Saturday, December 28, 2013

Naughty or Nice Tour

Presented by My Family's Heart Book Reviews

Christmas Fantasy - Erotic Paranormal Romance by Siren Allen

One bite was all it took.
It's that time of year again. Alyssa Blakely is busy writing in her fantasy diary, filling it with all her forbidden, sexual fantasies. The star: her very sexy boss, Devin Jordan. Too bad for her, he's never given her a second glance...
Or so she thought...
After a steamy kiss under the mistletoe and a night of wild sex, Alyssa has the bite to prove just how wrong she was.
Devin Jordan has found his mate. The only problem: she's human. He's not. Can he prove to her that his inner beast can be both naughty and nice? or will her fear of the unknown keep him from claiming her?

Christmas Confusion - New Adult/Romantic Comedy by Monica Garry-Allen

Can two people be any more confused than Bailey and Max?
Bailey Cooper is very much attracted to her neighbor Max Davis. Unfortunately for Bailey, Greg - Max's lover is slowly becoming one of Bailey's best friends. Bailey's emotions are torn; she adores Greg's friendship while at the same time she craves Max's touch. What is a girl to do when she 'thinks' the man she's in love with is in love with someone else?
Max Davis and his baby brother Greg Davis are co-owners of the apartment building they line in. Max has fallen for his tenant, Bailey, but she avoids and ignores all of his advances. Max becomes suspicious of the friendship blooming between Greg and Bailey. He believes Bailey has a crush on his brother but Max wants Bailey all to himself. Now he has to think of ways to keep Bailey and Greg apart.
Will a holiday weekend full of chaos, confusion and a little bit of charm finally get Bailey and Max on the right track? Or will a few innocent caresses lead to more Christmas confusion? 

Lily's Naughty Christmas - Erotic Romance by Siren Allen

'Twas the night before Christmas and Lily Parks has every intention of having her name on Santa's naughty list. Tired of her good girl image, Lily Parks is determined to let her wildest fantasies free, even if it is just for one night. She plans a night of seduction - the only thing missing is her ex-husband Charles and his lover, Paul. She wants them both and she knows just how to get them.
Charles Henderson is surprised when he receives a call from his ex-wife inviting him and his partner to Christmas dinner, but he can't deny that her threesome idea is the greatest Christmas present ever. After one night of ecstasy with the two people he loves, he's determined to make this arrangement permanent.
Can the three of them make this love triangle work, or will jealously destroy the attraction they all feel for one another?

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Disney Princess Heritage

From left to right: Repunzel, Mulan, Jasmine, Ariel, Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Belle,
Pocahontas, Tiana, and Marida.

Ever wonder from where the Disney Princesses hail from? Well, the list below has been researched and constructed to the best of our abilities so that we can finally know where the tales originated. Some of the factors that can calculate the origins are the art that goes into the movie, but the main factor is the original tale and where it originates.

Snow White first was introduced in Europe through Grimm's Fairy Tales in 1812-1854, German in origin.  Walt Disney's first princess and animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Snow White is also considered the youngest of the princesses as she is 14 in the Disney production and thought to be nearly five years younger than that in the original tale. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013).

Cinderella (1950) is based off of an original fairy tale by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps passe in 1697. A version was also included with The Grimms' Fairy Tales (primarily German) (1812-1854). Widespread throughout Europe, the tale origins are French and also called The Little Glass Slipper. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013). Cinderella is the proverbial rags to riches story, she's 19 and literally she comes from the 'cinder' or ashes, through the help of her Fairy Godmother, she is able to reach out of the ashes and fight for more. While she wasn't born a princess, she married Prince Charming.

Her given name is Aurora, through extenuating circumstances she is taken into the woods to live with three Fairies who care for her and name her Briar Rose. Sleeping Beauty (1959), is based off of La Belle au bois dormant by Charles Perrault (1697) or "Little Briar Rose", making the origin French. This tale was also adapted and included within the Brother Grimm's writings as well. She embodies the sweet sixteen attributes as she is only 16. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013).

The Little Mermaid (1989) originally written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen (1837).  We know Ariel as the curious mermaid princess who is awaiting her life adventure - aren't we all at 16? The origin of The Little Mermaid is from Denmark (bordered by Sweden, Norway and Germany). (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013).

Beauty and the Beast (1991) first was publsihed in 1740 by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve as La Belle et la Bete, French. Belle's age is estimated to be about 18 (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013) and has the constant attribute of Disney Princesses of being in search of her life's adventure. Belle, like Cinderella, wasn't born a princess but married Prince Adam.

Aladdin (1992) is based in the Middle East, Arabia. It is one tale within The Book of One Thousand and One Nights ("The Arabian Nights") in the 18th century by Frenchman Antoine Galland.(Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013). Jasmine is born a princess, the only heir to the Sultan of Agrabah, and is 16 when she meets the charismatic Aladdin, a master thief, who steals her heart.

Pocahontas (1995) (born Matoaka, known as Amonute, and later as Rebecca Rolfe 1595-1617) a Virginian Native American, daughter of Powhatan, the Paramount Chief. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013).  She was approximately 19 when her curiosity crossed paths with John Smith, the rest is a heroic legacy. 

Rebellious Mulan (1998) is set in China during the Han Dynast. Fa Mulan is the only daughter of aged warrior Fa Zhou (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013), who Mulan fears when he is called to duty. She defies the rules of her time to become more than she even knows. She joins the army when she's 17 to impersonate a warrior, but she shines as the nations hero. She has favor with the Emperor and marries Chief Li Shang.

Tiana, 19, is a hard working girl from the 1920's Louisianan era. She is the main protagonist of The Princess and the Frog (2009). Tiana's story is loosely based off of a novel written by E. D. Baker The Frog Princess which is in turn based off of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale The Frog Prince. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013). Tiana isn't born a princess, she marries the carefree Prince Naveen.

Tangled (2010) introduces us to Disney's tenth proclaimed princess Rapunzel. Near her 18th birthday she enrolls the services of Flynn Ryder (otherwise known as Eugene Fitzherbert), together they discover the lost princess along with their love for one another. Rapunzel is a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm (1812) written within their publication of Children's and Household Tales. However, the brothers story is an adaption of Persinette by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force (1698), which could contribute to a French origin as well. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013).

Brave (2012) follows Merida a Scottish Highlands daughter of the head clan Dunbroch, her father King Fergus. She butts-heads with her mother who had decided her fate for her, determined for her daughter to marry - at 16! What 16 year old doesn't butt-heads with their mother at some point - right? (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013). Merida is strong willed and independent and discovers love through her family.

The Newest Addition...

Frozen (2013) loosely based off of Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale The Snow Queen (1845). Origin is Danish, like The Little Mermaid. Disney has set Frozen within the Norwegian landscapes. Technically Elsa is Queen of Arendelle, since we are witness to her coronation in the movie. She is the eldest of the two remaining heirs of Arendelle. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013). 

Younger sister of Queen Elsa of Arendelle, Princess Anna is an optimistic free-spirited young lady who proves that true love comes in all forms. She is based off of Gerda, from the above mentioned The Snow Queen (1845) written by Hans Christian Anderson. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2013).
I have also read that three characters within Frozen have had their names adaptive to the original writer. Prince Hans, Kristoff (Christian), and Anna (Anderson).

Frozen is the 53rd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series... so only 43 more animated feature films to research their origins... 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas Paws Giveaway

BTS & Wild Child Publishing Presents ~ Christmas Paws Blog Hop December 3rd - 10th

Within my book Going off Dreams the main protagonist, Eryn, has two pets. An elderly cat named Smokie and a big dog named Bryan. Originally, the earthly realm of Eryn reflected more of my real life. During the writing process and going through the many drafts, it was too complicated and complex to continue to write my real life into Eryn's. So, in the final drafts I created a new life for Eryn and the only ones that remained were my pets: Smokie and Bryan. 

Animals have always been a part of my life. It has been scientifically proven that they help lower blood as well as many other attributes. To help celebrate the Christmas Paws Blog Hop I will be giving away a free copy of my e-book Going off Dreams. All you have to do is leave a comment and a winner will be determined and announced before Christmas! Make sure in your comment, if you have a pet(s) or have had pet(s) to share a favorite memory or tell us something about them. We look forward to what you share!
Going off Dreams on Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Once known as "Fat Cat" Smokie has been with us now for nearly 20 years. It all started when I was 18 and considering moving out on my own with my best friend at the time. She had stated how she wanted a cat - me being the good friend that I was - I made my way to the local animal shelter to acquire a cat. 

He might be an "Old Man" but he's still has a spring in his step.

Walking into the kitten room, there were so many little falls of fur running around. Originally, I had picked out a cute little black cat. As fate would have it, this cat was already collared which meant that it was already claimed and in the adoption process. So, as I sat there looking around, here came a more mature cat walking right up to me. The little lady that was accompanying me through the process explained that "Squiggles" had been there for about a year now and if he doesn't get adopted soon, then he wouldn't last much longer there. She must have read the sucker tattoo on my forehead. Of course I couldn't let that happen - so, I picked him up and knew he was the cat that I would be taking home.

Smokie getting ready to pounce!

Squiggles was the name that the animal shelter had given him because of his little squiggly lines running through his fur. But, this wasn't a name I thought would best fit him and his personality. He was never really a 'kitten' he was more of a Garfield. My cousin is the one that gave him the name Smokie and it has been that way ever since. Of course we have nicknames for him; when he was younger and fatter he was "fat cat". Now that he is older (and we can no longer call him fat cat because he's lost weight) he's now just "old man".

Smokie in the arms of my niece - his BFF

Unbeknownst to my parents, I had brought this cat home and had been keeping him in my bedroom. There is a perfectly good explanation for this: because my parents said I couldn't bring a cat into the house. My best friend at the time had changed her mind about moving out, I had already adopted the cat. Meanwhile, we had a Golden Labrador Retriever at the time and the two did not get along in the beginning. It was more that Sunny (our family dog) was curious about the new family member, and Smokie wasn't having it. I was eventually found out and Smokie has been a cherished family member ever since

Smokie and I have been through a lot together. He moved with me twice now. Once when I was around 18, we moved into a townhouse with room mates. It was a rather stressful time and he kept trying to escape outside. When I moved back home with my parents, he was happy again because he could return to his patrol outside. He would remain with my parents for the next ten-plus years. In this time my dad had been feeding him, sometimes, two cans of tuna a day. This is when Smokie really packed on the pounds. But, they had a great bond. I always thought it was adorable that Smokie would sit on his back legs and "box" with my dad. My dad had been a golden glove champion, in his younger days, back in Massachusetts, so it was adorable watching the two of them square off and play box.

Smokie when he was a.k.a "Fat Cat"

In 2002 I had married and had a child. When we were able to afford our own home I was finally able to move Smokie in with us. This was a special time for me because I had felt like I had left Smokie behind for a couple years. He knew this and was just as happy to come live with us in our new home. He loved being there with me just as much as I loved having him there. I didn't let him out too often because there were a lot of wild cats there and I didn't want to risk anything, but since he was getting older he didn't mind as much. Smokie was ecstatic when we built a screened in porch where he could be the king of the pride and lay on his royal perch watching the neighborhood and what was going on.

Smokie had always been a cat that only showed real affection when he wanted something. He had a way of communicating with you that he needed something too. If he wasn't in the mood to be nice, then he would hop up onto the counter and start knocking stuff off to get our attention. I can still tell him to "show me" and he'll walk to wherever it is that he needs. He's walked me to his water bowl plenty of times before because it was empty and he wanted water and the same goes with eating. Smokie will go crazy when we use an electric can opener (from his two cans of tuna-a-day days). He has his favorite treats: spaghetti sauce and olives. As a special treat we will let him roll around in Cat Nip, but not all the time because he can get carried away. Even though he's an old man he still has that spunk that we all fell in love with.

This is his "Do Not Disturb" face.
As he's aged he's become more affectionate. I often tell him that he's getting soft in his old age. Now, when we retire for the night to watch T.V. he is usually nearby or on my lap. Now that Christmas is officially taken over the house, he's happy. He's always loved Christmas. He loves laying under the tree - when he was younger he would climb up into the fake tree. Some of his favorite things to do during this time of year are to "help" with wrapping, even by getting inside the boxes to inspect them before they are to be used.

Smokie has always loved Christmas time!

Smokie has been by my side through my divorce and a couple failed relationships. He's helped me through loosing my home and now that we are back with my parents he helped me through is own perspective. He was happy to be back outside in the yard he knows, to him he was home. So, I was happy knowing that he is happy to be back here. He always seems to sense when I am depressed or sad. Especially when my son passed, he was always nearby. There have been many hard nights and Smokie has been there. His purring is soothing to the soul and helps me to keep my center during times when it seems things are spinning out of control. He's there purring, calling me back.

All this Christmas stuff is exhausting... time for a cat nap.

Smokie is a part of the family. He's older than my nieces and has been with us for quite some time now. You know he is loved because my sister an her eldest daughter are allergic to him and have to take medication to just be in the same house as him. They wouldn't do that if they didn't care - and Smokie shows his appreciation by trying to rub up against them whenever they're around. Have you ever noticed that - if you are allergic to an animal that they make more effort to come around you more?

Helping Mommy with wrapping.

Smokie is still kicking and shows no signs of leaving us anytime soon. Although, we know life can change in a blink of an eye. He is gracious in sharing the house with two other pets. Bryan is a six year old 100 pound mutt and they have been together since Bryan was a puppy. Smokie was a great mentor in teaching Bryan the ropes of home living. We rescued Bryan around 2007 from Rainbow Tails Rescue. He's a goofy dog but has brought us a lot of joy and laughter. Smokie and Bryan are best buds.

Bryan sitting like a good boy

The other pet that shares the house with Smokie and Bryan is Sammy. He's my parent's dog. He's about a year or two younger than Bryan, he's about 5 years old now. He's a little ball of craziness. Sammy's never really been around cats so he still is trying to figure out Smokie. Which, Smokie has a lot of experience with the dealings of dogs - so he knows what to do best - ignore. But, he doesn't hesitate to put Sammy in his place. It can be quite comical watching them all interacting.

My Niece Arden & Sammy

Bryan - The Protector

My Niece Eryn & Smokie

BTS e-mag/BTS Book Reviews Magazine originally began in 2011 a Book & Trailer Showcase website. Since then they continue to expand and develop to meet the needs of the evolving field. They offer affordable promotional opportunities for authors, bok reviews and wonderful columns and articles for authors and readers (BTS eMag, 2013). To read more visit their website BTS e-mag About Us.

Wild Child Publishing (WCP) started online back in 1999 providing both fiction and non-fiction publications. Their goal is to offer entertaining and high quality reading material. Their catalog continues to grow with fast-paced and gripping stories (Wild Child Publishing, 2013). Visit Wild Child Publishing to learn more

Wonderful Co-Sponsors

Janine Whatley
Jami Gray
Vicki Sobata

For All Of You Animal And Book Loving Bloggies: