Charly in Space #GuestPost #BookExtract #CharlyHolmes3 #IndieAuthors

Schoolgirl Charly Holmes has an out-of-this-world experience!

13-year-old Charly and her friend Jenny must raise money by washing cars if they want to go on a school trip to the European Space Agency in France. With Dad’s help, they hit their fundraising target and embark on the trip of a lifetime that soon becomes the adventure of a lifetime for wannabe detective, Charly.

Charly’s inquisitive nature soon gets her into trouble, and leads her to another exciting adventure. But this time it is the ultimate adventure of going into space and visiting the International Space Station. Not only does she go to Space, but she has the opportunity to prove that her theory about alien dogs is true!

Find out how this situation comes about, and what happens to the curious schoolgirl when she is discovered and returns to planet Earth. Experience the expanse of Space and life on the Space Station through the eyes of a schoolgirl and gasp in wonder at the adventure that unravels before her.

Charly in Space is a story of imagination and thrilling adventure that treads the border between scientific possibility and sheer fantasy, seen through the sharp eyes of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl.

This book is suitable reading for children aged 9+ and is the third book in a series, following on from The Adventures of Charly Holmes and Charly & The Superheroes.

Tags: juvenile fiction ages 9-15

13-year-old British schoolgirl, Charly Holmes, is on a school trip to the European Space Agency in France…

Charly excused herself and went back inside to look for the women’s rest room. She wandered along a corridor, looking at the pictures of the space station and space-walking astronauts, humming a tune to herself. After a few turns she suddenly realised that she was in an unfamiliar part of the building. Turning around, she wandered back the way she thought she had come, and soon saw a door with a woman’s sign it. She pushed it open and walked into a large locker room, lined with steel lockers and wooden benches, with toilet cubicles at the far end.

A woman with straight shoulder-length light brown hair, similar to hers, was sitting with her hands covering her face, quietly sobbing. She glanced up at the sound of Charly’s approach and looked at her miserably, through red eyes.

“Whatever’s the matter?” Charly asked.

“Oh, I feel very sick,” the woman replied, speaking English with a French accent. With that, she lurched forward and ran to a sink in the corner, vomiting into it. Charly felt awkward, but being the only other person there, went over to pat the woman’s shoulder and console her.

“There, there,” Charly said, “can I get you some water?”

The woman grinned at her, green bile dripping from her mouth. “Yes, thank you,” she replied. Charly went to a water cooler by the wall and poured some water into a paper cone. The sick woman threw her head back and drank it, then wiped her mouth on her sleeve. Charly saw the ESA logo on the sleeve of her white top, now stained with green vomit down the front.

“Do you work here?” Charly asked.

The woman swayed back to the bench, clutching her stomach. “Yes, I am a science officer, specialising in biology. I’m waiting for my colleague. I don’t know how to tell her I’m too sick to go with her. She’ll be disappointed with me.” She groaned and leaned forward with her arms folded across her stomach.

“Is that your space suit?” Charly asked, pointing to a suit hanging from a hook next to an open locker. The sick scientist nodded.

“I need to lie down. Would you help me go to the rest room next door?” she asked. Charly nodded and helped her stand up. She took the woman’s arm and helped her out through the door and into a room along the corridor. It was a bedroom with two beds, and Charly gently lowered her onto one of the beds. The scientist was groaning and beads of sweat stood up on her head.

“Shall I get someone to look after you?” Charly asked.

“My friend will soon come to the locker room. Can you please go back there and wait for her and tell her I am here? Thank you.” She groaned again and covered herself with a blanket, rolling over to face the wall. Charly left the room, turning off the light and quietly closing the door.

Back in the women’s locker room, Charly decided to try on the sick scientist’s space suit. She had noticed that the woman was the same height as her, and the suit fitted perfectly. She zipped herself in and covered the zips with Velcro pads to seal the suit. Then she picked up the helmet resting in the bottom of the locker and tried it on. With a twist, it clicked into place, and a light came on. She could feel cool air circulating around the helmet. “Cool”” she said, her breath misting the glass visor for a second, before the air pumping around the suit cleared it.

“Now I’m Science Officer, Janine Rogers,” she said, patting the name tag on her suit.

Just then the door opened and a woman with short blond hair entered, swinging a sports bag. “Oh hi, Janine,” she said, smiling at Charly. Charly gave her a thumbs up and lowered the sun glare visor to hide her face. “We’re running late so I’ll quickly get suited-up, then we can join the others.”

Charly sat down and watched her strip down to her underwear and t-shirt, then get into her suit. Charly saw her name tag – Lucia Puccini. Soon she was ready. She pulled a small hold-all from her locker and threw her clothes into it. Once her helmet was on, she pointed to Janine’s locker and Charly took out the hold-all of the sick woman and threw hers and Janine’s clothes and a toilet bag into it.

Charly followed the taller space woman out of the locker room and along the corridor, waddling like a penguin, wondering at what point she would reveal that she was an imposter. Maybe they were going to a space simulator and she could play at being an astronaut and float around. That would be fun. They passed through a steel door and entered a huge warehouse-sized room, with a ceiling higher than the biggest building Charly had ever been in. She remembered looking up at the dome in Saint Paul’s Cathedral and marvelling at how high it was. “Wow,” she breathed to herself. There was a crackle in her ear and she could hear Lucia laugh.

“Ha ha, ‘wow’, indeed, Janine. The scale of the launch site never ceases to amaze me too.” Charly now realised that they could hear and speak to each other. “Come on, let’s take a ride to the top and meet up with Tom,” the blond astronaut said, leading the way past a huge rocket with steam coming from the bottom to a steel platform with a hand-rail. “Hang on!” she laughed, and Charly complied, holding her bag in one gloved hand, and the hand-rail in the other. Soon they were riding up on an elevator with no door, moving up the inside of a steel tower. Charly marvelled at the massive rocket in front of them with the ESA logo on the side – cream coloured with black fins sticking out. She really should say something, but this was such an amazing adventure!

Author Bios

Charly in Space is the third book in the Charly Holmes series by father and daughter team, Tim and Cathy Walker. It follows The Adventures of Charly Holmes (2017) and Charly & the Superheroes (2018). Tim lives near Windsor in the UK and works part-time for a local charity, and Cathy lives with her mum and sisters in Bordeaux, France. She goes to college (secondary school) is busy this year studying for her baccalaureate. They meet up during school holidays and enjoy making up stories.

Tim Walker has written and published eleven books to date, and recently finished a five-book historic fiction series, A Light in the Dark Ages. He has also published two books of short stories, a book of poems, and a dystopian novel, in addition to the Charly Holmes books. Please visit Tim’s website for news and information.

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