Today we're excited to share an excerpt from
Alexa Donne's Brightly Burning as part of the YABC Scavenger Hunt!
Read on for more about Alexa and her novel!
And don't forget to answer the question from this post on the Scavenger Hunt form for a chance
to win the Grand Prize!
You can find Scavenger Hunt rules HERE !!
Meet Alexa Donne!
Alexa Donne is a Ravenclaw who wears many hats, including teen mentor, college admissions essay advisor, fan convention organizer, YouTuber, and podcaster. When she’s not writing science fiction and fantasy for teens, Alexa works in international television marketing. A proud Boston University Terrier, she lives in Los Angeles with two fluffy ginger cats named after YA literature characters. Visit her at www.alexadonne.com or on most social media spaces @alexadonne
Meet Brightly Burning!
Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind when she quits her engineering job aboard the Stalwart to become a governess on a private ship. On the Rochester, there’s no water ration, more books than one person could devour in a lifetime, and an AI who seems more friend than robot.
But no one warned Stella that the ship seems to be haunted, nor that it may be involved in a conspiracy that could topple the entire interstellar fleet. Surrounded by mysteries, Stella finds her equal in the brooding but kind, nineteen-year-old Captain Hugo. When several attempts on his life spark more questions than answers, and the beautiful Bianca Ingram appears at Hugo’s request, his unpredictable behavior causes Stella’s suspicions to mount. Without knowing who to trust, Stella must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.
~ Guest Post ~
Bookish Easter Eggs in Brightly Burning
Brightly Burning takes place two hundred years after a natural disaster spawned a terrible ice age on Earth, and so the dregs of humanity must orbit the planet in spaceships, waiting for things to warm back up. This, of course, leaves plenty of time for reading! (This is the result when someone bookish imagines a post-apocalyptic scenario.) I’m fascinated by culture and what endures over time, and I can’t imagine a future without books.
Here’s a peek at some of the bookish Easter eggs in Brightly Burning and why I chose them!
“Have you read this one?” I asked, gently nudging a half-broken paperback from the shelf, turning it over in my hands, then showing it to him. The title was barely visible, but the cover image was striking. A mountain obscured by clouds, and a name that was familiar to me. Everest.
INTO THIN AIR by Jon Krakauer
Why I chose it: I adore long form narrative non-fiction, and especially morbid true stories, and Jon Krakauer is among the best at his craft. I was assigned Into Thin Air during college and it remains one of my favorite books. I’ve also read pretty much every other published account of the 1996 Everest disaster and watched all the documentaries and movie adaptations.
“Anna Karenina,” he said. “It’s Russian. And depressing and beautiful.” He frowned down at the page. “But it’s been two months and I’m fuzzy on what I last read. Might have to start over.”
ANNA KARENINA by Leo Tolstoy
Why I chose it: Hugo just strikes me as a Russian literature kind of guy, honestly, and I didn’t want to torture him with War & Peace, ha. I also watched the Joe Wright film adaptation more than once while drafting Brightly Burning.
When I finished that book, I found another on the shelf, this one a tense drama about old world British and Russian spies.
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY by John le Carré
Why I chose it: I LOVE SPIES. Especially Cold War spies, and especially British & Russian spies! I’ve read a boatload of non-fiction accounts from the height of the period, and John le Carre is simply the master of the spy novel genre. I prefer THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD (which Stella reads later) to TINKER TAILOR but I felt that Stella should start with George Smiley and I mention her reading the whole series.
I was far too keyed up to sleep, so I pulled out my reader, opened my wall-length window for the view, and settled down with Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Hours later and Darcy had written Elizabeth a love letter, but she was having none of it, and then Lydia went and made a mess of things.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE by Jane Austen
Why I chose it: Do I need to explain? Pride & Prejudice! Jane Austen! I gave Stella a Reader tab (future!Kindle) loaded with classics and of course I gave her all the Austens. It was a no brainer to have her read Pride & Prejudice, which is a cousin novel to Jane Eyre in terms of being beloved by readers.
I wanted to dive back into Agatha Christie, but instead settled for and oldie but a goodie, relying on Harry Potter and whirlwind of the Tri-Wizard Tournament to engage and tire me. Harry had just taken a bath with the golden egg, and my eyes started to flutter as Snape confronted him on the stairs.
HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE by JK Rowling
Why I chose it: There is more than one reference in Brightly Burning to Harry Potter as a classic novel series, which was very much intentional and a deeply held belief for our future! Goblet of Fire is my personal favorite Harry Potter book, so I have Stella read it!
“Stella!” he exclaimed as soon as I walked through the door. “My little sleuth. I have a book for you!” He bounded over to a bookshelf in the far corner of the room, extracting a hardbound volume and gleefully handing it over.
“And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie,” I read off the cover.
“She’s my mother’s favorite author,” he said.
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE by Agatha Christie
Why I chose it: I watched an excellent adaptation of AND THEN THERE WERE NONE while I was drafting (it’s so creepy & highly recommended!), and then finally read the book--I cannot believe I hadn’t before! When I discovered an important character was name Hugo? It seemed kismet. And Christie is another one that I firmly believe will be considered a classic in the future--Doctor Who and I are in hearty agreement there!
By: Alexa Donne
Publisher: HMH Teen
Release Date: May 1st, 2018
One winner will receive a copy of Brightly Burning (Alexa Donne) ~ (US Only)
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