Sunday, 15 July 2018


We caught up with fab author Nicola Morgan, who's an expert on how the teenage brain works, and how life online can impact on this! Fascinating stuff... read on to find out more! 

A big wave of positivity to you, lovely Cathy’s readers! And thank you, Cathy, for asking me to come here and say something about The Teenage Guide to Life Online. The book should really be called Everyone’s Guide to Life Online. Your parents need to know this stuff as much as you do – maybe more! Adults often behave pretty badly with their phones and tablets, even while telling you to use yours less. Have you noticed??!

I’ve studied all the science behind our use (and over-use) of screens and I know that the risks and problems (as well as the positives) apply to all ages. We all need to understand this – so, tell your parents, especially next time they answer an email or text when you’re trying to talk to them or next time they’re suffering stress from being online too much…

The Teenage Guide to Life Online has stacks of fascinating science about all the positives and negatives but let me give you my four top tips here. (I have loads of free downloadable stuff on my website and anyone who orders a book from my site will get two signed cards, one of them with these tips on. You’ll find the free stuff and details here.)

Don’t compare yourself to the “perfect” lives you see online: it’s not the whole truth. People put their best stuff online and hide the boring, difficult or embarrassing bits.
If being online is making you feel bad, switch off, walk away and do something else. You’ll notice that you feel better – and the world didn’t stop just because you weren’t online for a bit.
Put your phone away if you want to do your best work. When we need to concentrate on something, we do better if our phone is out of sight and switched off. (Ideally somewhere we can’t easily get it – so, not in our bag or drawer but in a different room, or locked away.)

Make sure you spend enough time on things that we know are essential to well-being: sleep, physical exercise, face-to-face communication, hobbies and day-dreaming. If you’ve done all this, there’s no problem being online. (TTGLifeOnline has fascinating stuff about the power of day-dreaming and it’s something most of us aren’t doing enough of now, as we just get our phones out when we have five minutes of “empty time”. That empty time nourishes your mind, heart and creativity.)

Life online is wonderful and brings enormous benefits but we can have too much of it and it can start to dominate our lives. The Teenage Guide to Life Online gives the how and why – and how to have the benefits without the negatives.

If you’d like a chance to win a signed copy, add a 'pick me' comment below and one random person will be picked as the winner! The comp will run for just 14 days, so don't delay!

Btw, I have another new book: Positively Teenage. Both books are written for you, from me. I hope they help you have the best life possible. Take care, keep control and build the best life you can for yourselves, online and off-line. Because you’re worth it!

Wow... a book we could ALL use, and an amazing COMP as well! Thank you so much Nicola! COMMENT BELOW with 'PICK ME' to be in with a chance of winning a signed copy!

Saturday, 14 July 2018


SKYE TANBERRY reads the stars for our summery month of July!! Read on to see how your predictions turn out!

LEO: Jul 22 - Aug 21
Feeling a little worn out? Taking too much on can sometimes leave you feeling drained… why not breathe into a new hobby such as yoga or meditation. This will do wonders to your anxiety and help you focus your mind on the present!

VIRGO: Aug 22 - Sept 21
The moon is especially bright for you this month. A Saturday night is a good night for moon and stargazing. Maybe camp in the garden with your BFF’s? Connecting with nature is good for the soul… you may not realise how much we need it in our lives!

LIBRA: Sept 22 - Oct 22
Your social scene seems a bit disjointed and scrambled right now. Focus on having low-key fun with those who mean the most...  and avoid drama and gossip, it will only bring unwanted negative energy into your life.

SCORPIO: Oct 23 - Nov 21
Sometimes you feel like you’re being overlooked… your ideas somehow get lost over louder, less clever ones. Well, this month it looks like your time has come. Make sure you articulate clearly what you have to say, as people will tune in with extra care! Go change people’s minds!

SAGITTARIUS: Nov 22 - Dec 21
A time to perhaps focus on good deeds. Even just one selfless act may bring in return a huge deal of good karma. Energy is rewarded in mysterious ways, but you may just find yourself with a big smile on your face as everything around you aligns.

CAPRICORN: Dec 22 - Jan 19
Make time for daydreaming this month, you may find the inspiration you have been searching for all this time. A time for finishing on going projects with a final burst of creative energy. Stay positive and go with your gut feeling.

AQUARIUS: Jan 20 - Feb 18
You find yourself with a lot of free time this month, this may be your cue to take up a new hobby. Something you’ve been meaning to do for months… JUST DO IT! What is stopping you? New experiences are an invaluable part of human existence.

PISCES: Feb 19 - Mar 20
You are glowing and your love life is too! Lots of attention this month from romantic interests, wanted or unwanted!! Don’t let yourself become distracted from those closest to you though, plan that adventure with friends, go to the cinema with your mum, have some ‘me’ time.

ARIES: Mar 21 - Apr 20
This is your opportunity to shine brighter than the rest. Crank up your engines and throw yourself into your projects! Impress, inspire, be fabulous. Confidence will be easy to come by this month.

TAURUS: Apr 21 - May 20
This is a month to have fun, so let loose and be free to express yourself in the best way you see fit. Realise your own power and project it into the world... leave seriousness for another day and let yourself laugh!

GEMINI: May 21 - Jun 20
You are peaceful, harmonious and at one with nature this month. Very little will let you stray from being outside. You are most yourself in the summer, a gentle breeze in your hair and a river to dip your toes into!

CANCER: Jun 21 - Jul 21
You are a deep thinker, by nature. Always with your head in a book. This month is no different… you are wired to the moon! It’s okay to be alone with your thoughts, spending time by yourself is healthy and can lead to some amazing creative endeavours!

Isn't it SO spooky how accurate these are? Do Skye's predictions ring true for YOU this month? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Thursday, 12 July 2018


Reader Katie read SAMI'S SILVER LINING as soon as it came out... while on a visit to the UK from her home in New Zealand! Read her cool review...

Katie says:
While reading SAMI'S SILVER LINING, I was reminded that actually I live a very sheltered life. This book was the reminder I needed that there are people not so very far from home, who watched their friends’ conditions deteriorate, who only had a coat to remind them of their father and who constantly sought their silver linings in order to keep going.

The Lost and Found (save for one member brilliantly written by Cathy for SAMI'S SILVER LINING, you know who you are!) have become like friends to me. I didn’t want to put this latest instalment in the series down, to the point where in my first sitting I read eighty pages! Cathy’s writing is a brilliant mix of dynamic, feels-hitting prose, and the kinds of scenes that make you want to dive right in so you can hang out with your friends over and over!

SAMI'S SILVER LINING, as well as being the perfect summer read, depicts the heart-wrenching reality of Syrian refugees. My brain tends to get clogged when reading about these political-type issues, but not this time. From this book I have learned that the reality of Syrian refugees is Sami’s reality. The reality is that, for some people, 2018 is as hard to live in as 1918. Guys, you will love Cathy’s beautiful interpretation of this.

It is a special book, not just because of what a story it is (and I mean, what a story!), but because I actually got my copy signed!!! My first signed Cathy Cassidy book!!! Cathy actually took time out of her busy tour schedule to sign MY book! But go read LOVE FROM LEXIE AND SAMI'S SILVER LINING. You are in for a treat! Thank-you Cathy!

Cathy says:
It was amazing to meet up briefly with Katie and her family while racing through Victoria station in London on the way to the start of my book tour! I love Katie's review... have you read SAMI yet? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018


HONEY TANBERRY sheds some light on reader Dana's tricky problem in today's problem page dilemma! Read on and see what you make of it...

Dana says:
You have to help! I think I am in love with a boy and I know he feels the same! The problem is, he is already going out with my best friend!! On the one hand I have no idea how to tell her and on the other I am overwhelmed with these emotions, I can’t get my head straight. I know he wants us to get together, but what if that means losing my best friend?

Honey says:
Alarm bells are ringing! OK, I know that when you fall for a boy you can fall hard, but let's be honest - teenage hormones are to blame for a lot of that, and teen crushes can be short and sweet. Would you risk a friendship for a flirtation that could be over before it's even started? I'll come clean here. I have been in a similar situation myself - before I met Shay - and I chose the boy over my friend. It was fun while it lasted, but it didn't last long, and to this day I miss the friendship I threw away far more than the boy.

Worse still, I've had this happen to me - if you count my step sister Cherry snatching Shay from under my nose. We've made our peace now, a few years on, but it was not the best of starts for me and Cherry. If this boy is serious about you and you are serious about him, he will do the honourable thing and finish with your friend. If you still feel the same way a couple of months on, by all means give it a go, but do NOT go behind your friend's back. You will only live to regret it.

Cathy says:
Strong words from HONEY - and I have to agree! What advice would YOU give to Dana? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Wednesday, 4 July 2018


CC readers share their stories of how they managed to channel their self-confidence, even in the hardest of moments...

Soumia says:
In high school I used to suffer from a very low self-esteem, I was very insecure about many things in my body and face even though my friends and family used to tell me that I am beautiful. Something inside of me was not satisfied... I do not know how to explain it but it is like when you look in the mirror and like what you see for the first look but then the good and beautiful things start to fade and all you can see are the FLAWS. I do not really have any advice for it, but my insecurities disappeared with growing up. I went through tough phases and came out stronger. Today I can never hate anything about me, I still have some insecurities but I now know how not to let them ruin my day or my life.

Afroditi says:
Lack of confidence is my main character flaw. It stops me from actually achieving or even properly trying to achieve the things I long for. I always have this voice inside my head, telling me this isn't good enough. I need to work on that.

Hollie says:
I was always very confident being me - wore quirky clothes and wasn't scared to like what I like. You'd expect kids to have been nasty, but actually aside from the odd sarcastic comment or mention of the word 'weird' everyone loved me for it! If they asked why on earth I was wearing that or 'why do you have a Peppa Pig backpack, you're thirteen?' I didn't even falter in my response, and they had no choice but to accept it. They can't upset you over something that doesn't bother you! I was lucky to be very confident in myself, and didn't understand why others weren't. But when I was seventeen I started getting self conscious about how I looked and developed an eating disorder. It was only then I realised how important confidence was! Rather than looking at what you'd change, you've got to do other things that make you feel good. When I had anorexia I stopped feeling bad about buying myself things, and bought lots of clothes that made me feel really good! I didn't buy things that I thought I'd fit in if I was thinner, because otherwise there's reason to change! So I made myself love how I looked again, and it made me feel better about everything.

BeeBee says:
Confidence is like a mask - some of the most confident outgoing people are often the most nervous people suffering with low self esteem. Confidence in my opinion is a bit like attending drama class - you turn it on as a shield to protect yourself from people seeing your true self below the surface.

Marie says:
I am anorexic, and when I was in the hospital, I said I had faith in myself. But in truth, over time, I realized that I did not have faith at all. I thought I could control everything, so I had confidence and I was ‘proud’ of myself. But under the surface, I hated myself and found myself empty, lost and with no positive points at all. Anorexia is a poisonous disease that makes you believe in a twisted way, through the illness, that you're worth something, and that without it, you're nothing. It’s all a lie. You have to start from scratch, rebuild your confidence, learn to trust yourself and love yourself if you are ever to conquer it.

Cathy says:
Confidence is sometimes the hardest thing to channel, it takes time and doesn't always appear when you need it... it's something you build, little by little. Have YOU got any good confidence tricks? If so, why not COMMENT BELOW...

Monday, 2 July 2018


Reader Samantha shares her wonderful, poignant story. Read on and be inspired...

She was all alone, staring at the moon, hoping that someday soon she would rescued from this rut she was once again trapped in; hoping that her dreams would one day come to pass. Would they? She could not figure that out no matter how hard she tried. She could not stop herself from trying as hard as she possibly could every single day, no matter how many times she would fail.

How could this world be so cruel, she thought to herself... she had no idea what this world had in store for her and was not looking forward to it at all. She knew that something was not right, but she found herself at a fork in the road. She truly had no idea what direction to choose, as it felt as if everybody was pulling her a different way. She knew that if she did not get the help she desperately needed then pretty soon she would just give up and end it all…. and she knew she did not want it to end so badly, as she had a bright future ahead of her. On this journey it was just her and her dreams.

So she would pour her heart out on each page of her diary as the tears made their way down her cheeks, until the pain she felt inside would finally begin to fade away so that you could eventually no longer see the scars that marked her heart and arms. After a while, new ones would appear each time she let her guard down only to be disappointed.

She never really escaped them, but only dragged them along for the ride all these years. If you believe in yourself, slowly your dreams start coming, one by one, depending on how much work you put into making them become a reality. You can do anything you put your mind to, even if it means facing your deepest fears.

She had no idea that she possessed that much strength and power all along to help her face her many trials and tribulations… she was only one girl with a dream in this big crazy world, but she could make a difference in other peoples lives, too. Yet she still had no idea what to do with the gift that has been given to help her cope with the upcoming storms. She is tired of sitting on the fence watching bad things happen to good people and just simply doing nothing. It is time for all of us to make a stand and work together, to make our futures brighter.

Cathy says:
Shivers... such beautiful writing, Samantha! Did YOU enjoy this week's five minute fiction? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Sunday, 1 July 2018


Reader Kristen channels the life of Audrey Hepburn as her source of inspiration. Read on to find out why!

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

Audrey Hepburn. History remembers her as one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the earth, which is no small praise but I want to remember her as the amazing, caring woman she really was. Looks only go so far in my book, it is the actions and personality of a person that really matter. And she was special.

Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1929. Her father was an English banker who, in the run up to the World War II, became very involved in Nazi politics. To avoid Audrey becoming mixed up in this, her mother sent her off to England to a boarding school. Here she developed her life-long passion for ballet. We wont mention her father too much more, because he deserted the family when Audrey was only eight, leaving her and her mother to fend for themselves.

After boarding school, her mother took her to live in Holland where they waited out the harrowing years of World War II. Here, they struggled just to stay alive, often going hungry. They were forced to hide in cramped conditions with lots of other people and it is said she used to dance in the basement of their crowded building to earn money towards the Nazi resistance. Even back then, she was fighting the good fight! Unfortunately malnutrition and poor health left Audrey too physically weak to dance, crushing her dream to become a professional dancer. It was at this point she looked into the world of acting! Her first real hit was with Roman Holiday starring alongside Gregory Peck (I highly recommend this film!) She was an instant hit, going on to star in films such as Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady, The Nun's Story, Sabrina, and many more.

In 1967, Audrey stopped acting for a while, focussing more on her family and started work for the international children's relief organisation UNICEF. She travelled the world, nursing sick children, teaching them to read and write. She visited an Ethiopian orphanage to help send food to impoverished children; went to Turkey and Vietnam for immunisation and clean water campaigns; Central America for aid efforts; and so much more. She remained so dedicated to her work with UNICEF that they made her the goodwill ambassador in 1988.

Despite her obvious fame and wealth she chose to live out her later life helping others. Choosing kindness over Hollywood exclusivity. We all have something to give but often it is those who are the most capable who ignore this. Be Audrey!

I LOVE Audrey too! She was so much more than just a pretty face, and her films are still iconic today. Who is YOUR female role model? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Thursday, 28 June 2018


Reader Isobel shares her review of CC book SAMI'S SILVER LINING... on the day it's published! 

Isobel says:
Why do I think you’ll love❤️ this book?

If you enjoyed😍 LOVE FROM LEXIE than I definitely think you will love this book📚 too as it’s the second book in the LOST AND FOUND  series and is just as amazing - maybe even better! Instead of following the life of Lexie, it introduces you into the mysteries 🔍and secrets of Syrian refugee boy Sami.

I also think you’d be a fan on this book if you are interested in what’s happening in the world🌍 around you and are willing to jump into the worn out soles👟 of someone who is perhaps not as lucky as you and has suffered some unimaginable things - but also some fun and exciting things as well. This fantastic book 📖 changed my viewpoint on refugees and made me think🤔 about the hardships that they have to suffer from everyday.

It's not a soppy fairy tale, it’s set in real life and shows an example of what some people actually have to face. Even though this story is quite sad, the fun parts in between make you suddenly happy 😃again as you turn page📃 after page📄 after page📃, unable to put the book down.

I love the way how Lost and Found weren’t supposed to be a band 🎷at first, it’s as if fate somehow brought them together. Just a gang of teenage misfits who lead up to produce something amazing. SAMI'S SILVER LINING also shows the twists and challenges they have to fight through after showing their faces and proving to everyone what they can do in the music 🎻festival, but can they keep that up?

Read this book📖 to find out, and share it with your friends - I am certain you won’t regret it. It’s absolutely amazing😯 and may even be Cathy’s best yet! I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Time to get YOUR hands on SAMI'S SILVER LINING and tell us YOUR thoughts! COMMENT BELOW and reveal all...

Monday, 25 June 2018


Skye Tanberry here, revealing all from the stars above! I'm a bit late this month, but read on and see if these predictions are ringing true... 

CANCER: Jun 21 - Jul 21
You are full of inspiration and creative thoughts this month! Keep an open mind and see what will come of this energy. It is a month for experimenting, and remember it’s always OK to fail - as long as you try, try, try again!

LEO: Jul 22 - Aug 21
You're feeling fab, friendly and full of confidence. Sunshine does wonders for your mood, make sure you share this feeling with those around you. Shine your light on others who may feel slightly less bright and bubbly!

VIRGO: Aug 22 - Sept 21
You're a bit lost this month, feeling like you could float away on a cloud. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing… use this time to let your imagination go wild. Keep a journal to document any passing thoughts and turn them into something beautiful!

LIBRA: Sept 22 - Oct 22
People around you think you are strong, kind and wise. You may not see this, but others do. You are constructive and want to improve the world you live in. Meditate on this and see what you can achieve - small steps make big changes!

SCORPIO: Oct 23 - Nov 21
Now is the time to resolve any bad blood between friends or family members. Sometimes it's worth taking the higher ground and letting go of the grudges, so you can replace grey memories with happy, golden ones. Summer is a time for forgiveness.

SAGITTARIUS: Nov 22 - Dec 21
A love interest may arise towards the end of this month, a newcomer ready to open you up to new experiences. As someone who finds it hard to open up to others, this may be a good exercise to test the waters... and it could be the start of something special!

CAPRICORN: Dec 22 - Jan 19
Take time to relax this month, because soon you may be very busy. For now, just focus on the present and the summer breeze and how much sun-bathing you can squeeze into your day - enjoy the downtime while you can. It may be a nice time to work on your fave hobby!

AQUARIUS: Jan 20 - Feb 18
You will reconnect with an old friend in an unexpected way this month. Let this influence flow with an open mind, you never know where this will take you... yes, you've both changed, but you still have lots to connect you! Rekindled fires often blaze brighter and more constant than the rest.

PISCES: Feb 19 - Mar 20
Ever the idealist, you often get carried away with your imagination so when things eventually pan out, you are sometimes slightly disappointed. Try to live in the present, wisely and thoughtfully. As Buddha teaches, do not fuss about what is ahead or behind you, focus only on where you are right now.

ARIES: Mar 21 - Apr 20
You love being active, but you struggle to find time to fit sport and exercise into your day. Why not just do it? You don't need to go to the gym… get out into the summer sun, go for a run or play a game of football with your pals. You will be glowing and healthy in no time!

TAURUS: Apr 21 - May 20
You’re a problem solver - I guess that’s why everyone comes to you with their troubles. This is great, but don’t let it overwhelm you or cloud over your own issues. Leave time for your own mental health. Think about what YOU want too - mull things over. See what makes you happy and what can change.

GEMINI: May 21 - Jun 20
You are slightly afraid of change - you know some things could change but still you do nothing about it. This may be a confidence issue. You make your own decisions, so if something isn’t right, it’s simple just to say ‘no.’ You’re fab, promise - it's time to take control!

Cathy says:
Wowee! Lots going on! What's happening in YOUR life this month? COMMENT BELOW to let us know!

Saturday, 23 June 2018


Ok, so not the REAL Mary Shelley… as in the author of Frankenstein, we’ve done that already... Cathy's daughter tells all about the inspiration for the adorable reptile character in CC's latest series the LOST & FOUND!

Cait says:
Who is she? What is she? Well, Mary Shelley (or Hercules as she sometimes likes to be called!) is a gender-fluid tortoise residing in Manchester. She is also the living, breathing inspiration for CC's recurring character of the same name in her new series! The fictional Mary Shelley first appears in LOVE FROM LEXIE, wandering into the garden of Lexie's new foster home after being lost for months from the student house along the street... and becomes Lexie's first 'rescue' and best friend. Mary Shelley features lots in CC's new book, SAMI'S SILVER LINING, out on 28th June, too - she goes to parties, picnics, travels on a train, goes to the beach... generally speaking, she's just being her very cool self!

The 'real' Mary Shelley used to belong to one of my friends and I was often asked to tortoise-sit while they were away on holiday. I like to think it was like leaving her with her “cool-aunt” and so I would take her on adventures to the beach, the countryside or to my parent's house. This is how my mum has become inspired and who can blame her? Mary Shelley is a heartbreaker! As it happens, recently she became my forever tortoise due to my friend's having a baby. They still visit her all the time, but simply didn't have time to look after two little creatures. And I am completely in love.

Mary LOVES to eat dandelion leaves and cherry tomatoes but her real weakness is for red bell-peppers - they are like an elixir to eternal happiness, in her opinion. My favourite characteristic about Mary Shelley is that she is unquestionably fast; you turn your head for one second and she's off into the undergrowth, leaving you to spend half an hour trying to hunt her down and subsequently burning the dinner on the stove. She is a free spirit and defies all previous impressions.

Mary is a rescue tortoise. A tortoise can live, on average, for around seventy-five years, making it hard for families to hold on to them - thus having a tortoise is a lifetime commitment and a family affair. Sadly there are so many unwanted tortoises around who have lost their homes... just like Mary Shelley did in LOVE FROM LEXIE, in fact. If you've fallen in love with the tortoise in the story - let's face it, who wouldn't - and are thinking about adopting one, there are many online sites to help you find a tortoise in need and help you to get up to speed on looking after one. Although tortoises are not native to this country, they can live pretty happily if they have a heat lamp, room to roam and good, fresh food.

Let's face it, tortoises are cool and Mary Shelley is cooler than most. And her favourite books? FRANKENSTEIN, of course, as well as LOVE FROM LEXIE and SAMI'S SILVER LINING!

Cathy says:
Aww... Mary is the cutest tortoise ever! She's also one of the most popular animal characters I've ever written about, so check her out in the books above! Do YOU have a fave pet? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018


Reader Lara recommends a cool YA romance - MY BOX SHAPED HEART by Rachel Lucas - a perfect summer read!

Lara says:
I loved this book from the start, a/ because it is set in Scotland which is where I live and b/ because it's a romance that feels quite real, as if it could happen to you, and c/ it has a swimming theme which makes a change!

It's an easy book to get into, and straight away you care about the characters, especially Holly who just wants to fit in but finds it hard when her mum is so odd (and probably a bit depressed) and her dad isn't in the picture at all. Most of the time, Holly is looking after her mum more than her mum looks after her, and school is a lonely kind of place where she doesn't have any close friends to confide in. When Holly's mum breaks an ankle, however, life takes an unexpected turn for the better. When Holly meets Ed, a new boy in town, at the swimming pool where she works, she discovers that she can relax and really be herself with him. Their friendship turns into romance, in spite of their different backgrounds.

When Ed's past threatens to cause trouble between them, will Holly and Ed weather the storm, or are they doomed to swim in different directions forever? You'll have to read it to see. I recommend this book to anyone over the age of 10/11 who likes romance with lots of realism mixed in. It would be a great summer read, and it's not just a romance, it has lots of drama too. I have read this author's other YA books also and liked them too.

Cathy says:
Funnily enough, I went to the book launch of this lovely book not too long ago... and I agree, it's a fab read! Do YOU have a fave book you'd like to recommend on DREAMCATCHER? COMMENT BELOW to let me know, or email via the 'email Cathy' link on


We caught up with fab author Nicola Morgan, who's an expert on how the teenage brain works, and how life online can impact on this! Fas...