Thursday, 28 June 2018

BOOK REVIEW: SAMI'S SILVER LINING

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


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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!

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

Monday, 25 June 2018

YOUR STARS FOR JUNE!

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

THE REAL MARY SHELLEY...

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

JUNE BOOK CLUB: MY BOX SHAPED HEART

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 www.cathycassidy.com

Sunday, 10 June 2018

KATHERINE: KEEP GOING EVEN IF YOU'RE LOST

Reader Katherine shares how CC books shaped and encouraged her writing career. Take a look...

Katherine says:
Tomorrow I turn twenty-two. I graduated college from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina last December and  I've just got my very own first solo apartment. My life after graduation has turned out totally different to how I'd imagined. I ended up babysitting a former professors five year old daughter - the last thing I thought I'd end up doing. However, that same professor helped me realise that my path wasn't one that was already set for me, with my degree, with what people expected from me. I've been so happy with the idea of writing and being able to be creative as my profession, but keep having doubt that I'm good enough. Since I graduated I have been struggling to once again find my voice as a writer, and also find my place in this world as a kind, passionate, intelligent and thriving adult. 

Have you ever forgotten a certain time in your life and then had something made you remember it? All of those feelings come flooding back. This happened when I went back onto the CC website just the other day. I gave a little girl named Soleil a copy of SHINE ON DAIZY STAR to read. She is turning six but is a fantastic reader so I thought she could handle a chapter book. So as  I was going through the CC website to find similar, sort of younger books for her, I saw the 'COMPS' section.

I used to submit so much writing to Cathy's writing comps, without a care in the world. I didn't care if she judged me, I didn't care if other people thought it was good, I just did it. Cathy sent me letters twice for coming runner-up and once for winning! I was thrilled back then but cannot tell you what that means to me now. I scrolled back pretty far through the competition entries and found things I had submitted all those years ago. I remembered the stories that were mine. 

Cathy helped me so much, even if she didn't know it. She helped support me as the little artist I was ten years ago, and now I hope she can give me the inspiration to continue to be a writer even though right now I may be feeling a little lost. It makes my heart so happy to see her inspiring so many kids, as she once did for me. 

Cathy says:
It's stories like Katherine's that remind me more than ever why I write. What a touching story... thank you Katherine! Have YOU got a similar story where an author or book has inspired you? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

Monday, 4 June 2018

CURL UP WITH A CLASSIC: CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG

Reader Lauren recommends the classic CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and we couldn't agree more...

Lauren says:
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG is a children's classic book published in 1964 by the author Ian Fleming, better known for his James Bond series for adults. It was written for his son Caspar, who was twelve, but sadly Fleming suffered a heart attack and died two months before the book was released. It was his only children's book. It really captures the magic of flying and adventure. An inventor has a  regular car and a regular life... but on several occasions the car appears to have a mind of its own! The inventor and his family have endless adventures, catch criminals and have several run-ins with gangsters. The book is a thrilling fantasy set in the 1900s, and a film was made of the story in 1968 which made it even more popular!

Recently I discovered a sequel to this amazing classic which is just as awesome as the original! CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG FLIES AGAIN by Frank Cottrell-Boyce is set in modern England, with a regular family struggling with money.  The creative and eccentric dad is an inventor and s tries to renovate a vintage VW camper van. The family decide to go on holiday and while traveling, the family discover that their VW seems to have her own mind. The children,  like in the original,  get kidnapped while on holiday and the parents save them. Although it's a bit different to the classic, I recommend it highly as it has aspects of modern 20th century life that are very relatable and easy for younger readers to understand. Both are amazing books and I really recommend them! If you do like the modern sequel, try also CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG OVER THE MOON and CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG IN THE RACE AGAINST TIME!

Cathy says:
Definitely have to agree with Lauren on this one - a classic - and Frank Cottrell-Boyce is fab too! Have YOU read these books? How did YOU find them? COMMENT BELOW...

Sunday, 3 June 2018

MY HERO: AMELIA EARHART

Reader Kat shares her wonderful write-up of pioneer female aviator, Amelia Earhart. Read on and be inspired!


Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.


Amelia Earhart gave women their wings. No seriously. She is famous due to her fascinating and mysterious life in which she pioneered her way, head and shoulders above the men in her field, breaking many records and championing the advancement of women in aviation. That is, flying.

She was always a bit of a boundary-pusher… born in 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, she often played basketball and later held a keen interest in mechanics. She even attended college, which at the time was uncommon for many women.

It wasn’t until after the war in December of 1920 that she took her first aeroplane ride with famed war pilot, Frank Hawks. It was love at first flight (forgive me) and she started lessons straight away. Soon she bought her very first plane, which she called The Canary after it’s yellowy colour.

There was no stopping her! Amelia went on to become the the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and she set the world altitude record of 18,415 feet. Earhart also helped found the Ninety-Nines, an organisation of female pilots who banded together to encourage women in aviation, which still exists to this day!

In 1937, Amelia mysteriously disappeared during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. She vanished over the central Pacific Ocean and was never found. Although there have been countless investigations, nothing absolute can be drawn with such little evidence.

She inspires me with her seamless, courageous spirit and even though I hold no interest in aviation as a career, this energy can be applied to my own hopes and dreams. She gives me confidence that I can achieve anything. Amelia once described fears as paper tigers, adding, please know that I am aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. So let her disappearance be an inspiration for us. You could view it as she intended, not necessarily a failure but more of a challenge.

CATHY SAYS:
An inspiring woman indeed... and a role model for anyone wishing to push the boundaries and reach for the sky! Do YOU have a fab female hero or role model? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

GEORGIA RAE - SINGER!

Another in our cool series on careers - talented vocalist Georgia Rae is carving out a successful career as a musician. Read on to find out...