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The Flight to Brassbright

by Lori Alden Holuta

The Flight to Brassbright - Lori Alden Holuta
Part of the The Brassbright Chronicles series:
  • The Flight to Brassbright
Editions:Paperback: $ 14.00
ISBN: 1514382210
Size: 5.25 x 8.00 in
Pages: 264
Kindle: $ 2.99
ISBN: 9781311089182
Pages: 266
Audiobook: $ 19.95

Constance is a wild, stubborn young girl growing up poor in a small industrial town in the late 1800's. Beneath her thread-worn exterior beats the heart of a dreamer and a wordsmith. But at age twelve, she’s orphaned. Running away to join the circus—like kids do in adventure books—seems like such a brilliant idea… or is it?

Cover Artists:
Tropes: Fish Out of Water, Found Family, Good Robots, Past People/Future Tech, Quest, Wise Mentor
Word Count: 75867
Setting: Continent of Industralia, Planet Bright Hope
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
Tropes: Fish Out of Water, Found Family, Good Robots, Past People/Future Tech, Quest, Wise Mentor
Word Count: 75867
Setting: Continent of Industralia, Planet Bright Hope
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters

In northern Industralia, there’s a little factory town called Songbird. I have not visited it since I was a young girl of twelve, but memories of those cobbled streets and weathered shopfronts still sing to me across the miles. I’m a Birdie by birth, having been placed into my momma’s loving arms there, in the spring of 1877.

My momma’s name was Louise Whittlesey, and as for my daddy, well, his name could have been just about anything from Teapot to Thompson. Momma never spoke about the man who had left her all alone in Songbird with a baby-shaped predicament she would name Constance Jessamine Whittlesey.


I have memories from when I was about ten years of age, playing in Songbird’s peaceful streets with the neighborhood kids. Birdies would sometimes pause on the sidewalk to whisper and point at me, and the more curious among them would even poke and prod at my face, tug at my long black hair and if they’d been able to, they’d probably have checked for webbing between my toes—all the while trying to figure out if the sprinkling of freckles across my nose and cheeks were similar to those on Jameson Barker, the banker at Songbird Savings and Loan, or if my curly hair was like the fluffy tufts that ringed the bald spot on that quiet, twitchy civil engineer named Dobkins with the office on Kelvin Street. But no one ever managed to match my features with any of the local suspects, and after a while they just gave up trying.

It really didn’t matter who my daddy was though, because I was my momma’s girl. She was a clever, pretty, practical woman who must have been put to the test daily by her headstrong, stubborn daughter. No matter what she told me to do, I’d almost always do just the opposite. But she did manage to teach me the most important lesson I’ve ever learned in my life, and if it weren’t for that, who knows where I’d be today?

It happened one evening as we were having our supper and talking about our day. “Momma,” I’d said between bites, “a lady on the street told me I was too big for my britches, but I was wearing a skirt, and it’s not tight at all. In fact it’s near falling off me. Can you take in the waist a little?”

She’d burst out laughing, and nodded. “Of course I can, sweetheart. I swear, no matter how much I feed you, you’re just as skinny as a rail.”

Oh, that did it. I set down my fork and stared at her in exasperation. “Momma, I am not. And besides, if a rail is so skinny, how can it hold up a great big steam engine? Shouldn’t someone be strong as a rail?”

She made as if to say something, then paused and closed her mouth to think. Eventually, she dabbed her mouth with her handkerchief and cleared her throat to reply. “Constance, words are strange and wonderful things. People play with them, and even better, they learn from them. Words have the power to change the world and how people think. For instance, I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘pie in the sky’. Now we both know there’s really no pie in the sky, but…”

I interrupted her. “I sure wish there was, ’cause it would be so funny when it rained! Can you just imagine Mister Dobkins getting a face full of cherry pie before he could get his umbrella open?”

“You impossible child!” she’d exclaimed. “I do wish you’d get your head out of the clouds at least once in a while!”

“But I’m too short to have my head in the clouds, Momma! Though, if there was pie in the sky, I’d stand on my tippy toes and stretch…”

She just smiled wistfully. “My little dreamer, I wonder what will become of you?”

Reviews:DW Plato on Amazon wrote:

After Constance's mother dies, she runs away with a traveling circus. Maybe not the best idea as she finds herself running from it too, and following her dream to become a writer. (I wish there really were places like the Inkwell, LOL) Lea Popielinski does a great job with the narration, her accents and cadence is perfect for the storyline. Support an IndieAuthor and check out this fun read!

D Hartigan on Amazon wrote:

So enjoyed this YA book! It's well plotted with a likable protagonist named Constance. She is on her own but through various adventures finds her way to the big city with the help of interesting characters who become friends. It's upbeat with a modicum of humor. I am intrigued by the world of Brassbright that Ms Holuta created and look forward to reading more stories set in this steampunk world.

Tricia on Amazon wrote:

I loved this! Flight to Brassbright appeals to my inner child's desire for adventure and independence as well as my (mostly) grown up desire for really well written stories that capture my imagination and hold my attention. This is also a great introduction to Steampunk literature, if you are new to the genre, as I am. I really can't wait to see what happens next in Brassbright, and I hope to hear more of Constance's adventures!

About the Author

Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables, teas and herbs, when she’s not playing games with a cat named Chives. She’s fond of activities from the past, including canning and preserving, crocheting, reading in the dark, and cooking.

Her lifelong fascination with the Victorian era dovetails nicely with articles she has written for The Primgraph, a magazine which focused on historical eras in virtual worlds, as well as music and book reviews for Steampunk Magazine.