Spotlight On: GONE by Anna Bloom

Title: Gone
Author: Anna Bloom
Genre: Mature YA (intended for readers ages 16-19)
Publication: July 28th, 2014

Rebecca Walters harbours a dark secret, and as the fifty-three bangles she wears on her wrists as a self-imposed sentence of guilt remind her, she can’t even begin to consider moving on. Not after what happened on that night six months ago… a night which she can’t remember and yet managed to change her life forever.

When Rebecca comes across Joshua Adams, man equally haunted by past tragedies, on a moonlit beach, both of their lives are destined to change forever, and when the girl made out of the sun meets the boy made out of the moon and sea, anything can happen… but will the knowledge of their murky pasts bring them together or drive them apart?

Will Rebecca finally be able to claim her freedom? Will she stay and fight to be the girl she found on the sandy beaches of Cornwall or is she destined to keep running and hiding from a past that won’t stay Gone? One thing’s for certain: either way, nothing will ever be the same again.

Keep your eye out for the official COVER REVEAL on June 27th! If you would like to take part in the reveal, you can sign up HERE!
Walking
down the lane from the pub I decide to take a detour to the beach. The light is
fading but the glimmer of light from the sun setting on the horizon is just
enough that I can make my way down the path without landing on my face.
I
spend a lot of time on the beach at night. This isn’t like the beach in Newquay
which is filled with drunks attempting to get it on under the cover of
darkness. Our quiet beach in St Agnes is perfect for a solitary ten minutes. If
I go home now I know Aunt May will be twitching around me like she has the last
half a year, ever since my life ended at the end of one drunken night. She
doesn’t know what to say to help my get out of the ‘phase’ I’m going through.
Six months in, I think we can rule out the chance of it being a phase. This is
just me. I’m a guy without a plan. Aunt May tries, but having her wandering
around wringing her hands, asking me every three minutes if I’m hungry and need
some food is not a relaxing way to spend an evening.
I
don’t know what people want. Do they expect that one day I will wake up and
suddenly be over the fact that I carelessly lost my girlfriend one night?
As
I walk down onto the beach I keep thinking of Faye’s words. “Bridge Cottage.”
“Painting.” “Mum and Dad.” They hammer inside my head.
I know everyone is
waiting for me, for some resolution. They want to know that I’ve let go of the
past, and that if I can do it, they all can too. But I can’t. I want them to,
but I can’t do it myself. I can’t even acknowledge to myself what happened. I can’t
even think about it or let the thought enter my mind.
 Small steps, that’s what a counselor told me a
few months ago. “Just take small steps, Josh, and everything will work out.”
Today I have picked up a paint brush and drunk a pint of cider. That’s got to
be two small steps in the right direction. I’m not sure what direction those
things are taking me in, but it’s heading somewhere at least.
As I tread over the dark
sand I can see someone sitting on my rock. That’s just plain rude. Everyone
knows it’s mine.
Edging myself closer, I
slip off my flip flops and sink my toes into the cool sand as I walk down the
beach and try to get close enough to investigate without being seen.
It’s her.
My feet come to a
grinding halt.
I want to move in the
opposite direction but my damn legs won’t listen. Instead I stand there,
looming behind her on the sand, like an axe murderer.
“I can see your
silhouette in the sand.”
Busted.
“What are you doing?” On
my rock?
“Thinking. What are you
doing?”
“Thinking too.”
“That’s nice.
“Yes it is.”
I stand there like an
idiot working out what to say next. “Nice bangles.”
Thanks. They make me walk like a percusssion instrument.
“Why so many?”
“None
of your business, dreadlock boy.”
“Well
you’re a charmer aren’t you?”
“I
was sitting here first. You’re the one with the stalking, stealth-like sand
walk.”
“It’s
my rock.” It’s my rock? It’s my rock? Really. . .?
She
does not say anything. Let’s be realistic there is not much to say to that
comment. She just sits there looking out to the sea, and I stand there my feet
sunk into the cool sand.
“I
like your dreadlocks,” she says after an age has passed.
“Thanks.
They’re a lifestyle choice.”
She
turns to look at me and for a moment, just one brief moment my mind swirls with
colours. The make-up is gone and the waning sun illuminates her skin. She look
different. So different. A better different.
I
should walk away. I don’t talk to holiday makers unless I’m taking their money
in the shop.
I don’t.
Instead
I fold my legs and sit on the sand, my fingers automatically picking up a
splinter of driftwood as I cast my eyes up at the sun and then I start to draw.
“So
do you have a name girl with the bangles?” I’m trying to remember what the
young girl who was with her in the shop called her yesterday. Becca? Something
like that?”
Turning
to me with a frown on her face she bites her lower lip. Jeez, I only asked her
name.
The
frown and the angry glare instantly make me recall her name. “Bex.” I answer
for her. The frown deepens.
“No
one calls me that, only my sister.”
“Well
I don’t know what else to call you?” I prompt. Her feistiness is rather
amusing, it’s actually doing a good job of distracting me from the usual shit I
try to keep out of my head.
Her top lip curls a
little in distaste at my goading. She really doesn’t want to tell me her name.
Who doesn’t want people to know their name? My eyes flick over her with a
little more interest. She is rather pretty. Hot, Dan would call it. But I would
go with pretty. Pretty is a more delicate sounding word, easy to pair with the
freckles and flame hair.
Oh good god. I’ve
realized what I am doing? I’m looking at another girl. I try and turn myself
away from her a little. She must register the motion because she speaks, her
voice low like she is sharing a secret.
“Rebecca.” She clears
her throat. “My name is Rebecca.”
Something about her low
tone makes me cast my eyes back over her. Well not exactly willingly, my eyes
just won’t damn behave themselves and head straight back to the smooth sunlit
skin.
She looks nervous, her
fingers brushing over her overload of bangles.
“Does Rebecca have a
second name?” My feet do this bizarre thing where they scoot over the sand
towards her toes.
“No.”
“What no surname? So you
are Rebecca No Name?”
She scowls further. “Yes.
I am Rebecca No Name.”
Her tone and the death
stare she lays on me make me do something I am not expecting in the least. I
laugh. Fucking loud. I laugh like I never stopped.
“Well Rebecca No Name. I
am Joshua Adams, it’s a pleasure to meet you and your bangles.”
I lean forward and shake
her hand my fingers grazing against hers, sand rolls between our connected
skin.
Rebecca No Name digs her
toes into the sand, burying them deep. “Walters. It’s Rebecca Walters.”
“Bex Walters, now that
has a nice ring to it.”
“It’s Rebecca Walters.”
She spits her name out like it burns her lips to say it.
“Okay, okay.”
“So Rebecca Walters
where are you on holiday from?”
“Nowhere.”
Seriously. It’s like
talking to a wall. I don’t even know why I am still sitting here. This makes an
evening with Aunt May look like a social highlight.
I get up and start to
brush the sand from my legs.
The girl with attitude
stares up at me from the ground and I hesitate. “London. I come from London,
and I’m not on holiday. My family have moved into Bridge Cottage.”
Just like that the air
gushes out of my lungs. The girl with the attitude and the wrong clothes and
the frown lives in the house that I was fully expecting to move into one day.
The cottage I expected to grow old in.
I sit back on the sand
with a bump.
“I am leaving though, in
two weeks.” Her gaze is on the sea as she speaks. “Two weeks. I’ve just got to
get through two weeks.” She repeats almost to herself.
Two
weeks of what?
“Who are you running
from?”
Rebecca, Bex, the girl with
the attitude turns to me, her eyes hidden in the shadows of the dipping sun.
“Myself.”
       And that I just don’t know how to answer, so I don’t. I pick my stick back up and start
to draw some more.


Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer who writes about life as it happens. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two small children whilst working in a local school and completing The Uni Files series she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys – all in the name of her art.

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