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text 2017-04-30 09:26
OT: Our Ancestry!

The genealogical DNA test results have come! I had no idea they sent these things on a Sunday, but apparently they do.

Unfortunately, most of our relatives don't seem to be doing any research so today we've only found a few people that we're related to.

What we did learn was our genetic origin.

Just like we already knew, we're mostly Scandinavian (Swedish and Norwegian - 82 %). Surprisingly, we are also 9 % Irish, 3 % Finnish/Karelian, 3 % Western Europe (most likely France or Wallonia), 2 % Iberian (Spanish/Portuguese - I'm keeping my fingers crossed it's the latter, since I have a really good friend who's Brazilian, with mainly Portuguese ancestry) and 1 % Britain (England, Scotland, Wales). This is so fascinating. We'll probably never find any relatives from Ireland etc, living today, but just knowing about this part of our ancestry is so thought provoking. Apart from our Scandinavian ancestry, the Irish ancestry has the highest probability, but clearly there's something else as well.

I really hope we'll be able to find out more. When more people join the genealogy site (and possibly some others that use the same DNA tests), we might actually get to know people who are related to us. Maybe we'll even solve the great mystery of our family tree - 'who is my dad's real mother'?



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review 2017-03-23 02:28
Sins of the Father (Family Tree Mysteries, No. 2) - Patricia Sprinkle


Patricia Sprinkle

Paperback, 354 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Avon Books (first published September 25th 2007)

ISBN: 0060819766 (ISBN13: 9780060819767) 


This was a read that I really enjoyed. Part genealogy, part mystery, Dr. Flo finds what she thinks is her great grandfather's grave. She soon gets to know the family that owns the land, and a few other characters. Patricia Sprinkle's writing of her characters as well as her description of the small town keeps the flow going well with a few surprises for the characters interwoven into the story. I found myself becoming fond of several of the characters. Those I did not like were characters that were not meant to be liked. Sprinkle's description of the land surrounding the grave made me appreciate the importance of what land meant to people in the 18oos and early 1900s. Her writing gave personality to the area

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review 2015-04-14 00:00
Gianna the Great (Genealogy)
Gianna the Great (Genealogy) - Becky Villareal Gianna is a curious fourth grader who always wants to know about everything. So, when the new after-school History Club starts up, Gianna is the first to join, along with the class know-it-all, Matthew. With the help of her History Club teacher and the power of the Internet, Gianna makes it her mission to find out about her family's heritage.

This is a short book with cute illustrations at the beginning of each chapter to help us visualize the characters. Using Gianna as the narrator, the author adopts a great conversational tone which keeps the story flowing nicely. Unfortunately, while extremely well-written, this is merely a vignette; the story is nowhere near complete and will leave the kids unsatisfied and wondering what happens next. I can understand the author wishing to create a series around the character of Gianna, but each book should comprise a complete story, not a mere fragment. In addition, Gianna's Mamá (her mother) uses a bit of Spanish in her speech, and it would be helpful to have a glossary at the end of the book.

A promising start to the series.

I received this book in return for an honest review.

Full blog post: http://booksdirectonline.blogspot.com/2015/04/gianna-the-great-by-becky-villareal.html
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review 2015-02-07 10:52
Shining some light on the Roots controversy.
Alex Haley's Roots: An Author's Odyssey - Adam D Henig

This is an informative account of the period of time in Alex Haley's life following the publication of roots and the TV series. Although it does not delve deep into the author's motives (it is not a deep psychological portrait), it does a great job of reviewing existing sources and even on occasions adding new material from interviews. I was aware of some of the controversy surrounding 'Roots' but not of the evidence and details that unfolded. This is a must for people interested in Roots and Haley, and considering its length, it offers a good summary of the sources. I'd love to see and read more of the extensive sources the author explored to produce this work, as there seems to exist much untapped potential.

A well-written and compelling account of a fascinating work (however we might choose to define it) that changed people's perception of African-American history and stories.

As an author, I also enjoyed the collection of blogs chartering the journey of Adam Henig to, first research, and finally self-publish the book. I hope more books will follow.

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text 2015-01-07 14:27
Meet Jane Hollinger and read an excerpt from Only You


Jane Hollinger is thirty one and recovering from a devastating divorce. After being dumped by her husband and business partner then discovering he had been having a year-long affair with a client, Jane doesn’t think she will ever recover from the betrayal. She isn’t in any hurry to begin dating again because, as she puts it, she’s the wrong side of thirty. She spends her time teaching family history evening classes and one of her students is a man named Mitch. His strange appearance makes her very nervous but at the same time she is intrigued by him.


After a few classes and encounters with Mitch, Jane discovers that the man who has been sitting at the back of her class is a man she thought she would only see in her dreams. When she discovers his name is Robert Armstrong, one of Britain’s biggest acting stars, she is stunned. Robert asks Jane to help her with an up and coming television role and also to help him with a mystery in his family tree.


Jane and Robert become friends but realise the chemistry between them is too strong to ignore. Jane begins to discover what dating a celebrity is like and Robert gets a taste of the normal life. Then, the British press get wind of their relationship, and Jane must decide whether she can put up with press intrusion and the paparazzi to be with Robert. Find out what she decides in Only You!




Jane Hollinger is the wrong side of thirty, divorced and struggling to pay the mortgage her cheating ex left her with. As a qualified genealogist, teaching family history evening classes is a way for her to make ends meet. But she begins to wonder if it’s such a good idea when a late enroller for the class is a little… odd. “Badly-blond Bloke” both scares and intrigues Jane, and when she discovers he is her all-time favourite actor and huge crush, Robert Armstrong, she’s stunned. Even more stunning to Jane is the fact that Robert is interested in her romantically. He’s everything she ever dreamed of, and more, but can she overcome her fear of living in the public eye to be with the man she loves?




“Why do you run away?” he asked quietly. “Do I still frighten you or something?”


“No.” He just had a habit of turning her into a gibbering wreck.


“Then why?”


She felt herself redden. “Because, if you want to date me, I don’t know how,” she admitted. “I haven’t dated anyone since university and that wasn’t even proper dating. Tom took me out to dinner once. We were students; we couldn’t afford to go to restaurants, so it was usually fish and chips or a burger. I don’t know how to date properly, Robert. I’ve never been out with a man your age and it’s mortifying to have to admit it. That’s why I take the easy way out and run. And, apart from that, your ex-girlfriend was everything I’m not.”


“Which is precisely why she is now my ex.”


“Why did you split up?”


“It’s a cliché, but we ended up wanting different things. I’m not into all that ‘let’s see how often we can get in the papers’ stuff. I didn’t like going to clubs or restaurants where there would be photographers outside. She did. I’m an actor, not a celebrity. I hate the whole celebrity thing.”


“But you’re very famous now,” Jane protested. “And you’ll be even more famous when Mitch Burns is aired. I mean, on the web…” She pulled a face.


“What on the web?” he asked.


“You don’t surf the net much?”


“Not at home, no. Sometimes at Vince’s, he’s a mate of mine. I haven’t even turned my laptop on at the apartment yet. Why?”


“Um. Well, there are websites dedicated to you. Loads. Some of them are a bit…”

More blood gushed into her cheeks and he rolled his eyes. “Look, I’m just an ordinary bloke.”


There was nothing ordinary about him. “There are millions of women out there who compete against each other to see who can come up with the best sexual fantasy involving you. That doesn’t really strike me as normal.”


“Looks like I’ve got some work to do, then.”




“I’ll boot up my laptop and dedicate a few websites to you.”


“What?” she squeaked. “No you bloody won’t! If my parents saw…”


“You’re beautiful when you’re angry.”


“And that’s just corny.”


He shrugged. “That was meant to be a compliment. All right, you look like crap, if that’s what you really want to hear.”


She snorted and laughed. “Thank you.”


He inclined his head. “Look, Jane. Just tell me whether I’m wasting my time.”


“No,” she sighed. “But I think you’re mad.”


He came slowly towards her and took her hands. “No, I’m not.”




“Not,” he whispered, then kissed her. “You’re not going to run, are you?”


“It’s my house.”


“Ah. Good point. Can I have your mobile number?”




“Don’t you want me to text you sometime?” He gave her a wink.


“Sexy ones?” She cringed as soon as the words were out of her mouth.


“They might be,” he replied mischievously. “So don’t show anyone.”


They exchanged phones and numbers.




“Thank you.” He put it back in his jacket pocket and returned hers. “I’ll ring you the odd time, too. Now can I have a peep at these websites about me?”


Her heart lurched. “No!”


“Why not?”


Because the women—and quite a few men—in the guest books, message boards, and forums would queue up to rip your clothes off and handcuff you to the bed so they could smear cream all over you and lick it all off. “Because you’d find some of them a bit embarrassing.”


“That bad, eh?”




“Thanks, I think I will.”


“Won’t be long.”


She went out to the kitchen, switched the kettle on again then leaned heavily on the worktop. Right, let’s get this absolutely straight. Jane Hollinger is in a relationship with Robert Armstrong. She inhaled and exhaled deeply before she reached for the jar of coffee.




Amazon US - http://amzn.com/B00OGW1QLU
Amazon UK - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00OGW1QLU
Others - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Peel_Lorna/only-you.htm

Source: lornapeel.com/2014/11/18/meet-jane-hollinger-from-only-you
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