Monday 31 July 2017

BookTubeAThon Wrap Up!

So I LOVED taking part in the BookTubeAThon for the first time properly this year. I completed 6 out of 7 video challenges, a couple of the Bookstagram challenges and a couple of the reading sprints over on Twitter. It was great. You can see all my challenges on my YouTube channel, here's the one that I loved the most...

I also completed all of the reading challenges-yey! Here's my TBR Post where I explained what all the challenges were and what I was planning to read. Apart from one book I was planning on reading for the 'read a book with a character that is different from you' challenge. I ticked the other things off my TBR pil!

Here are the books I read during this week of reading:

Book One: 278 Pages
Has a person on the cover
Read it in one sitting
Read it completely outside
Has a main character very different to me

Book 2: 386 pages
Is a hyped book
Has a main character very different to me

Book 3: 312 pages
Has a person on the cover

Book 4: 272 pages
Has a person on the cover
Read it in one day
Has a main character very different to me

Book 5: 400 pages
Has a main character very different to me

Book 6: 305 pages
Bought it because of the cover
Read it completely outside
Read it in one day

Book 7: 212 pages
Has a main character very different to me
Read it in one day
The 7th book!

Book 8: 244 pages
Has a person on the cover
Has a main character very different to me
Got it because of the cover

Book 9: 100 pages
Read it in one day

Book 10: 244 pages
Has a main character who is very different to me
Has a person on the cover

Book 11: 304 pages
Bought it because of the cover
Has so many characters who are different to me

Total pages read: 2753

So look out for my reviews on all of these books coming very soon. I am planning on doing video reviews in full of a couple of these and planning on doing a video with some mini reviews too so please do check that out. 

I had great fun this week, did you take part in BookTubeAThon?

Which readathon is your favourite?

What are you reading right now?

Review: Some Like It Hot At The Picture House By The Sea by Holly Hepburn

Part Four in the brilliant new series from the bestselling author of The Star and Sixpence series. 
After several months in Cornwall helping her grandfather run the family business, Ginahas almost forgotten what London life is like, and her boyfriend Max has most definitely noticed.... With all her energy going into the newly renovated Palace picture house and the ever-successful Ferrelli's ice-cream business, he's not getting much attention. To make matters worse, Gina is spending more and more time with her friend and co-renovator, Ben, and old feelings are starting to resurface.
But as Gina's time in Cornwall draws to a close and she starts thinking about returning to life in London with Max, the cinema's very future comes under threat from a developer with greed in his eyes. Will Gina stay in Polwhipple? And can she help owner Gorran save the Palace before it is too late...? 

Review: Well the final part in the Picture House by The Sea series did not disappoint! This was obviously where all the story lines came to a head and things were resolved or not as the case may be. Because of that the plot is very much things coming together and so you can expect drama drama drama! I loved that it was structured like this because it made it super quick to read and I flew through this. There are romantic moments, there are heart warming moments and there are some tough moments too, very much reflecting Gina's life entirely and totally relatable!

Obviously Gina completely shines in this series. I love her as a character because she always wants to do the right thing and I find that admirable about her. She is down to earth and she is a strong woman who gets stuff done on her own merit-what more could we want for in a heroine? Ben obviously plays a big part in this final instalment too. I just love how laid back he is, he really is a tonic to the whole storyline, and yet that doesn't mean he doesn't have passion. He is so passionate about everything that he is into and I love that about him! Gina's family really come into play in this novel and It was great to see them altogether in one place. We also have the villains of the story, Rose and her mother. Rose doesn't play as big a role in this episode as she has in previous, but her nastiness still adds some fuel to the drama, as you might imagine. 

Of course there is a little bit of ice cream and a lot of movie magic in this book, as there has been in all the others. There are references to quite a few different movies throughout this book, and not just Some Like it Hot. That is one of the things I have loved about this series, it has definitely inspired me to go and watch the movies of the names of the episodes! Thankfully there wasn't quite as much Italian coffee and cooking in this one and so I didn't have to arm myself with an espresso and a bowl of pasta to read it but it was still just as much fun as the other books in this series. 

I cannot wait to see this book released as a whole as I think it will work really well following on from one another and I can't wait for everyone to start falling in love with Gina, Ben and the Picture House by the Sea just as deeply as I did. 

All four parts are available here

And you can pre-order the full novel (out on 10th August) here

Sunday 30 July 2017

Guest Review: Kings of the Boyne by Nicola Pierce

Two kings, Three young soldiers. One battle to end all battles.

Eager to prove his courage and defend his family honour, young Irish noble Gerald O'Connor rides his warhorse Troy north in King James’s cavalry.

Brothers Robert and Daniel Sherrard march south from the once-besieged city of Derry with King William’s army.

The chosen field of battle – the Boyne – lies waiting, where victory will decide who rules the lands of England, and of Ireland.

And the fighting will decide who survives the deadly game of war.

Review: This book is a historical novel based on the lead up, the battle itself and the immediate aftermath of the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690. The battle was fought just outside Drogheda in Ireland between two armies commanded, respectively, by James II of England (and VII of Scotland) and William III. Just 20 months earlier, James had been deposed by what has come to be known as the Glorious Revolution, and the throne had been offered jointly to William and his wife Mary. James was Mary's father, but he was also William's uncle. James went into exile in France but the following year, with the support of Louis XIV of France, he landed in Ireland with French soldiers and raised an Irish army with the aim of reclaiming his throne. The book's title comes from the fact that the battle was the last time two crowned kings of Britain commanded opposing armies.

Interwoven into the account of the battle are the stories of four young soldiers, two on each side. Robert and Daniel Sherrard, two brothers from Londonderry, who featured in a previous book by the author based on the siege of Londonderry entitled Behind the Walls, are infantrymen in the Williamite army, whilst Gerald O'Connor and his friend Jacques are cavalrymen in the army of James, also known as the Jacobite army.

The book is a dramatic account of the lead up to the battle and of the battle itself, and does not shy away from the brutal aspects of warfare and its effects on the civilian population. It also gives an insight into the political and religious motives behind the participants, of how the battle plans were drawn up and how these plans were executed on the day.

To order your copy, just click the link: UK or US

Friday 28 July 2017

Review: Killer Affair by Rebecca Chance

Killer Affair by bestselling author Rebecca Chance explores British reality TV in this gripping thriller. A shocking betrayal deserves a wicked revenge . . . Stunning, charismatic Lexy O’Brien is the reigning queen of British reality TV. Her life in front of the camera is planned and manipulated as successfully as any military assault. But success breeds jealousy. When you’re on top, the only way is down and there’s always someone standing by to give you a shove . . . Dowdy Caroline Evans, a part-time blogger and writer of erotic fiction, is brought in to chronicle Lexy’s life. Being taken under Lexy’s wing is a dream come true for Caroline. But sampling the star’s lifestyle is like tasting the most addictive of drugs, and it’s not long before she is craving what she can’t possibly have – or can she? And as Caroline and Lexy’s lives and loves become increasingly entwined, it’s only a matter of time before the hidden rivalry becomes a powder keg waiting to explode . . .

Review: Oh wow, Rebecca Chance's books are always chock full of drama and this one was no exception. You can tell from the synopsis that this novel is going to be fuelled by the desire of two strong women, two women who may or may not grow to like each other. The word rivalry is mentioned but this rivalry is like none other you've seen before. I loved the fact that this storyline covers fame and family but also the price of fame to yourself and to others. The way the story is told, we get to see things from Lexy's perspective, from Caroline's perspective and a few extracts from the books that Caroline has written/is writing. I loved this structure and it made for a little extra interest. 

These women are both fabulous to read. They both know what they want and are ready to go fro it. They are so different and yet watching them grow and change over the course of the book is really entertaining. Of course we know that Lexy being 'Queen of reality TV' is going to play a certain character but there is definitely more to her than meets the eye. And speaking of more than meets the eye, Caroline really does surprise you as you turn each and every page. I really liked her storyline and the way she dealt with the drama of it all. 

The other thing that I really liked about this book was the insight it gives you into the world of ghostwriting and publicising a book. Just a little of the world of publicity and publishing. I thought that everything rang very true to some of the things I had heard and there was a lot of detail to take in. Some of the detail made it that the book read a little slower than I am used to but it didn't take away from the drama of the storyline at all. There are also some familiar face that pop up in this novel, so if you have read Rebecca's other books, you will be pleased to see a recurring character here!

Overall this was a really good read and definitely up to par with what I have come to expect from this author. The sex scenes were fabulous, as always, and the drama was on point. This is definitely something to read this summer, something to heat up the cold British summer weather!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Thursday 27 July 2017

Review: Chasing The Sun by Katy Colins

Georgia Green is on the conveyor belt to happiness.
Live-in boyfriend, perfect career and great friends, it seems like Georgia is only a Tiffany box away from her happily ever after. But when she arrives in Australia for her best friend’s wedding and is faced with the bridezilla from hell, she starts to realise that she might not want the cookie-cutter ending she thought.
What was meant to be a trip full of sunny days at the beach and wedding planning over cocktails, has turned into another problem for her to fix – just like the ones she’d left behind. With hardly any time for her boyfriend, let alone herself, it feels like there is just too much to juggle. It might be time for Georgia to step off the conveyor belt to find the balance in life and see if she really can have it all…

Review: Oh this was the prefect funny, romantic, summer read. I picked this up because I wanted something that would be a little escapist and would make me laugh and that was exactly what I got. I just loved the storyline of this novel. It had everything you could want. A little travel, a little drama, a little relationship trouble, and a lot of growing up. It was all balanced perfectly. There were interesting sub plots and just a lot of fun times. It was fast-paced and so I read it all in one day. It left me feeling warm inside and happy that not everyone has their lives together the way you think they do. 

Now I haven't read Katy Colins's other novels but I got into this one straight away and so I guess you don't have to have read the others in order to pick this one up. I do know that I have been spoiled for the others so let that be a warning to you! I loved getting to know Georgia. She is a character who i can easily identify with, she could be one of my own friendship group. She is great at looking like she has got it under control when really she's knackered and its all a bit much and I am sure there are plenty of us out there who can totally relate to that when it comes to juggling work, family, friendships and relationships. Her own friendships are also very easy to recognise as the friendships I have and issues I have. 

I loved the other characters in the novel as well. All of them are completely plausible and all of them felt very real. I enjoyed learning about who they are and reading their storylines though Georgia. Some of the other characters made for the funniest moments in the novel and I just loved the way they all fitted into the storyline. There were some seriously hilarious moments in this novel but I think I liked the fact that this all could have happened to me. I enjoyed the travel, I enjoyed the adventure and I enjoyed the friendships and relationships that were explored in this novel. This was a great read and definitely something to add to your suitcase or over sized handbag this summer!

To order your copy, just click here!

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Guest Review: New York Actually by Sarah Morgan

Warning: this is a review of book 4 in a series so this review may contain spoilers!

Meet Molly
New York’s most famous agony aunt, she considers herself an expert at relationships…as long as they’re other people’s. The only love of her life is her Dalmatian, Valentine.
Meet Daniel
A cynical divorce lawyer, he’s hardwired to think relationships are a bad idea. If you don’t get involved, no-one can get hurt. But then he finds himself borrowing a dog to meet the gorgeous woman he sees running in Central Park every morning…
Molly and Daniel think they know everything there is to know about relationships…until they meet each other that is…

New York, Actually: A sparkling romantic comedy from the bestselling Queen of Romance by [Morgan, Sarah] 

Review: This is book 4 in the From Manhattan With Love Series from Sarah Morgan. I have read and loved the previous three books in this series, and so I was delighted to find out that there was more. I actually purchased this one as an audiobook that was my companion on a car journey.  It certainly kept me entertained and was just as enjoyable as the preceding books. In this story, Sarah Morgan has cleverly introduced new characters who slot in nicely alongside those we have met in previous books in this series. However, everything is made clear as we go along, so the book can be read as a standalone. 

The story centres on Daniel, a divorce lawyer of some standing in Manhattan, and Molly, a relationship advisor originating from the UK. Molly, writing as Aggie, has a popular blog and has written a best-selling book on relationships. However, there is a secret in her past that led to her move to New York. The pair are brought together while walking dogs in Central Park. There is incredible attraction between them, but will their opposing views on relationships cause some friction to develop?

I really liked the new characters in this story, especially Molly. It was interesting finding out what catastrophic event had caused her move across the Atlantic. I found Daniel pretty unlikeable to start with, but warmed to him as the story progressed and felt that I would be glad to have him on my side in times of trouble.  I particularly enjoyed the suspense of waiting to see what would happen if and when Daniel discovered that Molly was the agony aunt he despised. Of course, it was also good to meet up with old friends from Sarah's previous stories. 

I think that this book would appeal to a whole range of readers. It has it all, including romance, humour, a cast of strong and interesting characters and, importantly, gorgeous, cuddly dogs. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in this series and finding out what's going to happen to the characters I've got to know so far. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell


She was fifteen, her mother's golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.


It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter. 

Poppy is precocious and pretty - and meeting her completely takes Laurel's breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.
What happened to Ellie?
Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?

Review: Wow! This book left me breathless, shaking with adrenaline and just blown away. Lisa Jewell has just written her best novel yet (and I am a massive fan of hers so I am allowed to make that call!). I just loved this book, the twisty plot, the intense characters and the family theme running through it that just reduced me to tears. This is just a must read this summer. 

It is hard to go into too many specifics about what I loved so much about this book without giving away any spoilers but I will do my best. This novel is written in 5 parts and has 4 different narrators. We hear from Mum Laurel's perspective, some from Ellie's perspective, a little from Floyd and there is another narrator in there that I won't giveaway. We also have sections written then and sections written now, as the blurb would suggest. This may sound a little complicated, but believe me, it totally works. I love the fact that it was heavily structured like this and the short sections from each narrator made it even more fast paced for me because I wanted to find out what happened then that let to now or what happened to one person and how that affected another-I love books like this!

In terms of the character, Lisa Jewell always writes these amazing strong family relationships that you don't see from many other writers of psychological thrillers. The family at the core of this novel are your typical family, a Mum, a Dad two girls and a boy and I loved the fact that we get to go through this story meeting all of these characters and they all have their own backstory and subplot. But the main characters here are Mum Laurel and daughter Ellie. This whole story revolves around Ellie's disappearance and Laurel's quest to find out what happened. Laurel is really down to earth. She values her family and she trusts her instincts and I love that about her. She is a typical mum when it comes to her children, but we also see her become a woman in her own right when it comes to Floyd. 

Of course there are villains in this book as well as heros, what would a good psychological thriller be without a villain or two. But these characters are written so that we as readers can sympathise with them to some extent and form a kind of trust with them in many ways. And of course there are twists with each character along the way, I've already said too much! Needless to say the characters in this novel are all full formed people you could meet on the street, work with, go to school with and I feel like I know them inside out now. 

This novel is set in North London and so is very easy to relate to in terms of setting. A lot of it takes place inside which I thought really added to the tension and was an interesting choice, but each home and setting is well-described and easy to put yourself right into. The tension in this book is unbelievable. I had to go and pick my husband up when I had reached 90% and I was physically shaking with the adrenaline of the story unfolding in front of me and as soon as he got in the car I told him to be quiet to I could finish, this book is that good!

The storyline is fabulous, totally believable, incredibly tense but also something you could totally see happening in your neighbourhood to your friends. I loved the family theme and the twists and turns during every section of the story. The structure was perfect and lends itself to binge reading, what more could you want from a book this summer? Go out and get yourself a copy now-you won't regret it!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Monday 24 July 2017

24 in 48 Readathon Wrap Up

So the end of the 24 in 48 readathon has come. I am literally writing this as I finish it. 

Yes I managed to read for 24 hours!

Yes I managed to read the books I wanted to read (well four out of five of them!)

My wrap up video may be a little late because I am taking part in the BookTubeAThon this week so videos will be taken up with that...

If you haven't been following my updates on instagram, here's what I read:

I JUST finished The Heir in time.

I read a total of 1337 pages and 4 books altogether.

And now it is onto the next readathon.

Did you take part? Will you be reading during the next readathon?

Happy reading!

Review: Boys Don't Knit (In Public) by TS Easton

Meet Ben Fletcher, an Adrian Mole for a new generation

Ben Fletcher must get to grips with his more 'feminine' side following an unfortunate incident with a lollipop lady and a stolen bottle of Martini Rosso from Waitrose. All a big misunderstanding of course.

To avoid the Young Offenders unit, Ben is ordered to give something back to the community and develop his sense of social alignment. Take up a hobby and keep on the straight and narrow. The hot teacher he likes runs a knitting group so Ben, reluctantly at first, gets 'stuck in'. Not easy when your dad is a sports fan and thinks Jeremy Clarkson is God. To his surprise, Ben finds that he likes knitting and that he has a mean competitive streak. If he can just keep it all a secret from his mates...and notice that the girl of his dreams, girl-next-door Megan Hooper has a bit of a thing for him...

Review: wow I really totally loved this book. I felt like I was watching a TV show about some unlikely lads and how they all got themselves in and out of trouble. I laughed so much reading this and just generally had a jolly good time. 

I think it was interesting that the whole premise behind this book is that Ben is doing things that are all requirements of his probation and yet I found myself forgetting so often that he had done something wrong and was now dealing with the consequences. I really liked Ben as a character and he really does seem like a decent stand up gentleman. There are even knitting magazines hidden under his bed where you might expect other kinds of magazines to be hiding as well. Ben's friends, as I mentioned above, are also interesting characters. They just remind me of the lads that I went to school with and one of them is even attempting to write a sort of Fifty Shades of Grey spin off novel-how hilarious is that?

This book is very very funny but there are also some decent messages for life in here too. Ben really does grow and change because of his court mandated knitting and community service. He really is a decent person to start with but gains a level of maturity throughout the novel. He also finds out what happens when a lie spirals out of control. There is a little romance in this novel, and not just between Ben's parents (who are very much as embarrassing as a teenage boy's parents should be) and I liked that there was just a smattering of that left in there. Despite the fact that there is some slightly offensive language in there and allusions to sex in some scenes, I think this would definitely be something entertaining for the younger end of the YA audience, with those disclosures in mind. 

This is a very British read, despite me having read the US version and translating certain things in my head as I went along and I loved that about it. I really enjoyed getting to know Ben and his friends and also getting to know a little bit more about knitting and football (soccer). I would definitely recommend this read, it was very funny and thoroughly entertaining!

To get your copy now, click here!

Sunday 23 July 2017

BookTubeAThon 2017 TBR

Tomorrow sees the start of the BookTube-A-Thon!

This is a week long readathon which begins at midnight wherever you are on the 24th July and ends at 11:59pm on 30th July. This readathon is the biggest readathon on YouTube and is hosted by the fab Ariel Bisset.

Here is the information for the readthon, you don't have to be a booktuber to take part!

The BookTubeAThon comes with reading challenges to complete throughout the week as well as video chalelnges and Bookstagram challenges so keep an eye out for my videos throughout the week, I'm going all in on this one!

Here are the books I'm going to read to complete these challenges:

1. Read a book with a person on the cover


(depending how I have got on with the 24 in 48 readathon!)

2. Read a hyped book.

3. Finish a book in one day.

(also fulfils challenges 1 and 4)

4. Read about a character that is very different from you.

(Also fulfils challenge 1)

5.  Finish a book completely outdoors.

This one could be covered by any of the books because I already do a lot of reading outside! Keep an eye open for updates as to which one I choose to complete this challenge!

6. Read a book you bought because of the cover.

(Also will fulfil challenge 3)

7. Read seven books.

So in addition to these books I also have a couple of other books I would like to read but I am fairly flexible when it comes to 'making up the numbers' so here are a couple of other books I would like to get to from my July TBR and my current library book borrows:

Are YOU taking part in this readathon? I would love you to leave links to your posts/videos if you are! 

Happy reading!

Exclusive Extract from Kitty Hawk and The Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

Today I am lucky enough to have an extract from Kitty Hawk and The Curse of Yukon Gold for you. Before I share the extract with you, here's some further information about the book. Don't forget to scroll down for author information and buy links!

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new young adult series of adventure mystery stories by Iain Reading. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations. 

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales, Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada. As the plot continues to unfold, this spirited story will have readers anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves. 

There are currently five books in the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (book 1), Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost (book 2), Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (book 3), and Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (book 4), and Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (book 5). Each book can be read as a standalone. 

“In the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series the heroine finds herself in a new geographic location in each book. The series will eventually have a total of 13 books in it (maybe more) and her flight around the world will be completed in the end,” says Iain. “The books are sequential but one could definitely read any of the later ones before reading the earlier ones.”

For more information, go to

Check out the book trailer: 

Chapter Two

Some Postcards And A Good Meal

It was a Thursday in June when "the letter" arrived. I had just walked in the front door after getting home from school and saw it there, propped up on the pottery vase in the center of our wooden kitchen table. A simple white envelope addressed to me with a return address that read Alex Tilley, Tilley Endurables, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

It was the response to my letter asking for money for my crazy summer project to go to Alaska to study humpback whales. I knew it was a crazy idea, but I had tortured myself over that letter for days. Writing and rewriting it. Discarding drafts and starting over time after time. I was convinced that I sounded too desperate, and of course I was, but crazy idea or not, studying the whales was something I wanted to do more than anything. But the question was, why would some company that had no idea who I was just send me some money? Who was I, after all? I wasn't some world-famous animal researcher or something. I was just a teenager.

I walked over to the table and looked at the envelope for a moment. I was scared to pick it up. And when I finally got up the courage to do so, my heart sank down into my already heavy stomach. The letter was awfully thin. That was a bad sign.

"Oh well," the little voice inside my head told me. "It was worth a try. You knew that it was a long shot."

With a resigned sigh I tore the envelope open and pulled the letter out. With another sigh I read, my eyes darting from line to line.

My summer adventure was on.

My crazy idea wasn't so crazy after all.

Maybe I convinced them that I wasn't just a kid. Maybe it was my carefully thought-out research plans that I attached to the letter that convinced them that I was worth supporting. Maybe it was the clever diagrams and photographs of the ingenious camera mounts I had designed to mount on the outside of my floatplane that would allow me to extensively document the activities of the whales as I flew above them. Or maybe it was that I had clearly thought of every possible way to minimize the cost of the entire expedition— by arranging to stay with Skeena's relatives in Juneau and eliminating the expense of room and board, by begging and borrowing all the photographic and technical equipment that I needed, and by saving up for my own share of the cost by working part-time over the winter and picking up extra money working odd jobs whenever possible.

Or maybe it was just that I was a kid, after all. And they simply felt sorry for me.

Whatever it was, it must have worked because the thin envelope contained a brief but encouraging letter from Alex Tilley, a gift certificate from the Tilley online store (in case I needed "any additional outfitting for my expedition"), and a check! I couldn't believe it! A check covering all of my additional expenses plus "a little extra for some postcards and a good meal," Alex Tilley had written.

The ecstatic scream that I let out upon seeing that check sent the crows flying off in all directions from the fir trees surrounding my house. Exploding out of the back door, I ran and ran and ran, screaming all the while and waving the check over my head like a prized trophy. I was halfway down the beach to the ocean before it occurred to me how easily a gust of wind could tear the check from my hands and send me on a fruitless chase down the endless beach trying to recapture my prize. I shuddered at the thought of writing back to Tilley to ask for a replacement check. They would definitely realize then that I was just some stupid kid, and they would call the whole thing off.

Safely tucking the precious slip of paper into my zippered jacket pocket, I continued my crazed run down the beach, waving my arms madly and doing a little end-zone celebration dance at the edge of the water, like a football player who'd just scored a touchdown.

Somewhere behind me a dog barked, and I looked up to see our neighbor, old Mrs. McCready and her ancient yellow Labrador, Wilson, walking past.

"Hi, Mrs. McCready," I called out to her, blushing and waving sheepishly. "I'm going to Alaska."

"I never doubted it, Ms Hawk," she replied, looking at me over the lenses of her half glasses. Some of the money I'd saved up to pay for my expedition came from doing various cleaning jobs around the McCready property, just up the beach from our house. "I hope that doesn't mean you're too rich to come over this week and clear the branches from the roof and yard," she said in her endearing, stern, old-lady kind of way.

"No, Mrs. McCready," I replied. She gave me a nod and continued down the beach with Wilson walking stiffly at her heels.

For a while I just stood there, closing my eyes and turning my face to bask in the warm June sunshine and feel the cool breeze racing in off the Pacific Ocean. Without even thinking about it, the pilot inside me instinctually gauged the direction and speed of the wind, making mental adjustments as though I were preparing for takeoff.

But in a way I was preparing to take off, wasn't I? I was going to Alaska.

An Adventure Beyond Words

The next few weeks were a complete blur. Somehow I managed to organize all my equipment and provisions, finalize flight plans, buy new clothes, arrange my accommodations in Alaska, reassure my mother that I was going to be fine (this took a little bit of help from Dad, of course), pack and load everything aboard my floatplane, and of course write a heartfelt thank-you letter to Alex Tilley.

Oh right, and somewhere in there I also found the time to write my school exams and somehow graduate from high school. I have no idea how I did it, but before I knew it, I was sitting in the cockpit of my trusty De Havilland Beaver out on the waters of Clayquot Sound, about to push the throttle forward to bring the
engine to life and head for Alaska.

"This is it," I said to myself. "This is where my adventure begins.”

About the Author:

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations. 

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to 

Readers can connect with Iain on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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