Monday, 28 August 2017

DNA results are in!

Since I was 14 I have been working on my family tree. I even became so knowledgeable I have done genealogy work professionally and given over 100 classes.

About 3 or 4 years ago I decided to do one of those DNA tests. This was with ’23 and Me’, primarily for health results as one of the things they looked at were genetic markers for breast cancer (my late sister died of breast cancer). It turned out that they only looked at three of the most common markers for breast cancer and I had none – but they were quick to point out in all the health and wellbeing reports that you could, of course, get illnesses through environmental factors as well. They had a whole range of ‘traits’ and I was intrigued to know I had a low resistance to alcohol which explains why I am a cheap date!

I was less interested in the ancestral composition of my genes then, particularly as none of the people listed as potential cousins were people I recognised nor any of their surnames they listed, so I didn’t get in touch with anybody.

Recently, I decided to do the DNA test (it was on offer, but I also thought there would be more chance of getting in touch with cousins – already I have noticed two relatives I know).

Comparing the two reports has been fascinating – although a little difficult as they list their information differently. Ancestry is terrific at providing historical background to the regions they cover – afterall, historical records is their forte. ’23 and Me’ has the great health records (although I did notice they have archived many of the original ones which were so intriguing – I get the feeling they are moving more into the genealogy side).

What I did notice when I recently went on to the ‘23’ site, was a new feature not previously there giving a timeline of when the ancestor with those genes came into my family tree. Very helpful. For instance, I presumed the 4% Scandinavian genes would have come from the Vikings but no, that ancestor(s) came into my tree between 1750-1870.

So, the rest of the genes in summary:

·         About two thirds of my ancestors are British (Ancestry’s genetic communities section of their report indicates I have no Scottish or Welsh ancestors only English which fits with my own research). The figures for Ancestry versus 23 and Me vary enormously because 23 lists 30% of my ancestors as ‘broadly northwest European' – which doesn’t help narrow them down! So taking both sets of DNA reports I have roughly put it at 2/3!

·         6% are Irish (I have an Irish 2 x great grandmother, Elizabeth O’Brien, who left during the potato famine and ended up in the Channel Islands). So that totally fits with her as I would have 6% of genes from her, (if you get 50% genes from each parent, which is diluted to 25% from each grandparent, 12.5% from each great-grandparent, 6.25% from each 2 x great grandparent). So by that reckoning if Elizabeth was 100% Irish I don't have any other Irish ancestors.

    However, I had an inkling the unknown man who fathered her children was also Irish – now, quite possibly not!! (Image below from Lonely Planet of the Channel Islands)

·         Ancestry says I have 8% Europe West ancestors (which seems to cover Britain but also northern Europe – France, Holland, Germany, Switzerland etc). 23 says I have 6.4% French and German. I imagine these ancestors could well be from the ancestors from the Channel Islands or their ancestors. As I said above, no idea who Elizabeth got to father her children BUT there is another Channel Islands link, also on my Dad’s side, something like my 4 x great grandfather (Richard Ruse) went to the Channel Islands and married a girl there. The 23 report says for the French/German ancestor they came into my tree in the period 1750-1870 which fits with Richard going to the Channel Islands and marrying there but would also fit in with the unknown 2 x grandfather who fathered Elizabeth's children.

·         Both websites say I have between 0.6-2% Italian and Sardinian ancestry, which is astonishing and I have no idea how they come into the tree at all! Particularly as the timeline in 23’s report says the Italian came into the tree between 1690-1840 and the Sardinian 1690-1810 which makes it sound like two people. These could well be distant ancestors of the French/German one above, maybe.

·         What is more intriguing is that Ancestry says I have 2% Spanish/Portuguese which is not included in the report from 23, although the latter says I have 0.8% broadly southern European so that may be covered under that. No idea who this Spanish/ Portuguese ancestor is!!

·         Additionally, I have 6% from Europe East from the Ancestry report (not specified in the 23 report). The range for Europe East is Poland, Russia down through Germany to Bulgaria. Again, no idea when or how they came into the tree and 6% is quite a lot of genes.

·         The one that is VERY intriguing is the 0-1% European Jewish/Ashkenazi Jewish listed in both reports. When I first read this in the 23 and me report I ignored it, thinking they had got that wrong as I expected all my ancestors to be Christian. But now it is confirmed by Ancestry this is all quite exciting!

·         Finally, the Ancestry report lists 0-0.1% an ancestor from the Caucasus – which is Italy through Turkey to Iraq and the near east. That is not highlighted on the 23 report and could just be the Italian ancestor previously reported, although an near Eastern ancestor would be exotic.

·         Oh, one more finally – the 23 report also lists Neanderthal ancestry of which I have 4% (which is slightly above average for Europeans I believe! Don't say a word!!)

   In conclusion, I can say I an truly European! (I did vote to REMAIN in the EU!)

Friday, 25 August 2017

Wicked Weekends


Title: Lich Queen (Blood Canticles 3)

Author: Naomi Clark

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Length of book: 172 pages

What's hot?: A man who isn't afraid to punch a zombie in the face.


Magic has ruined Detective Dawn Hardy's life.

Her partner is dead, her career is on the rocks, and Dawn fears she herself may no longer be human.

While she struggles with the aftermath of a vampire attack, dead bodies are going missing around Fort Rosser. A demonic plot is brewing, and Dawn and her friends may be the only ones who can stop it. If they can stop fighting each other. And if Dawn can conquer the growing darkness inside herself.

Vampires and demons were just the beginning.

Title of book: Her Celtic Captor

Name of author: Ashe Barker

Genre: Historical/Viking/Erotic Romance

Type of book: Novel

Sexual orientation: MF

What’s hot?: Tempers flare. Sparks fly. Passion deepens. Old wounds reopen and love heals. 


As the sister of a powerful Viking chief, Brynhild Freysson is used to giving orders and having them obeyed, which makes it all the more difficult to accept when she suddenly finds herself at the mercy of a Celtic warrior intent on bringing her back to his village whether she likes it or not.

Taranc was a leader of his people before he was taken captive by Viking raiders, and now that he is a free man once more he has no intention of allowing a headstrong Norse woman to slow down his journey home with her stubborn disobedience. When Brynhild refuses to do as she is told, he wastes no time in baring her bottom for a thorough switching, and he makes it quite clear that she can expect even more painful and humiliating punishments if she continues to defy him.

Though her hatred of the Celts runs deep, Taranc’s stern dominance awakens desires in Brynhild that she thought she would never feel again, and when he takes her in his arms and claims her properly it is more pleasurable than she would have thought possible. But though her passion for him grows by the day, can she ever truly love a man whose people are enemies of her own?

Buy links:


Title of book: Claimed by the Vampire, Seduced by the Werewolf

Name of author: Kryssie Fortune

Genre: Paranormal erotic romance

Type of book: Novel

Sexual orientation: Ménage

What’s hot?: Two brothers fighting over their love


After seven centuries, Elias, a former Spartan turned vampire, finds his eternal bride.

Seth, Elias’s werewolf half-brother, scents his mate.

Vampire and werewolf loathe each other. The only thing they agree on is that Tempest is their mate--and they’re not sharing.

A prophecy will force Tempest, a twenty-first-century witch, to choose between them. As the half-brothers vie to win her heart, they teach her about spanking, the way pain heightens pleasure, and the joy of multiple orgasms.

A vampire can’t survive without his fated bride. A werewolf dies if he loses his mate. Their future rests in Tempest’s hands. Which one will she choose?

Buy links:

Loose id    
Amazon USA
Amazon UK   
Barnes and Noble

Monday, 21 August 2017

Holidays 2017

I had a lovely holiday this year which included a week with my great niece - now 11! (her favourite activity this year as York Dungeon! The women in my family are made of stern stuff – particularly as we passed a boy sobbing his heart out as we arrived!). 

She is growing up so much. Here is a pic from her first visit four years ago and this year's obligatory photo with the bear outside the Teddy Bear shop.

We also went to an outdoor performance of ‘Robin Hood’ at Bolton Abbey despite it pouring with rain in the morning. A friend took this great picture of Faith.

Another indication of how extrovert she is showed itself when we went to a water park and she was excited to go down the water slide which was pitch black! (I did it just the once!)

I wonder what she will become when she grows up – ghost hunter, snake handler or debt collector maybe?

(She is actually a lovely child – very well mannered and intelligent. And also excellent at English. We had a great game booing or cheering bad and good apostrophes in road signs!)

Quote of the holiday, "Auntie Jen, you know SOOO much. You are like a superhero!"

Friday, 18 August 2017

Wicked Weekends


Title: Soul Infection (The Sons of Gomorrah, Book 1)

Author: Katerina Ross

Genre: Gay, erotic, paranormal, fantasy

Sexual orientation: MM

Length of the story: c. 15,000 words

What’s hot: sex with a lustful incubus :)


Tristan Todorov, formerly one of the best scholars at the legendary and sinister Scholomance school of magic, was cast out and now travels alone through Eastern Europe offering discreet services as an unlicensed magician. In a luxurious hotel in Prague where he’s been invited to investigate a suspicious series of suicides, he’s about to meet someone who will make him remember the darkest secret of his past. Will a night of lust soothe Tristan—or will it stir up something evil and dangerous, something he’s tried so desperately to forget?

Buy links:

Title: Seduced by Him, Helldorado Mongrels MC 2

Author: Jacey Holbrand

Genre: Paranormal MC Erotic Romance

Sexual Orientation: M/M

Length of story:  27,044 words

What's hot? A sexy morning “encounter.”


Wolf shifter and member of the Helldorado Mongrels MC, Dante “Tex” Valentin is restless and dissatisfied. He goes on a ride in search of excitement, never expecting to encounter his mate—a human male, who disrupts his world.
Jarrod Russell is envious his brother, Cameron, found love. Wondering if fortune will ever smile on him the same way, he runs into a man who rocks his world. A man he believes could be the love of his life.
When Jarrod and Tex’s paths cross again, a passion-filled night connects them. Because of who they are, though, they’re in danger from the Mongrels. Will their relationship be over before they even have a chance to love?

Be Warned: m/m sex, anal sex, language, violence

Buy links:

- Apple - Smashwords

Title of book: Training Harder (Hard Hits, 18)

Name of author: Tatum Throne

Genre: Contemporary, BDSM

Type of book: Novella

Sexual orientation: MM


Sergeant Tim Malachi is a Dom who isn’t looking for a submissive. Forced to train Officer Wade Harder for SWAT, he’s determined to make the guy want to quit. It’s not long before their fighting escalates into an intense sexual chemistry neither man is able to ignore.

When Officer Wade Harder meets Malachi for the first time, he realizes that the guy absolutely hates him. It doesn’t help that Wade is instantly attracted to Malachi. As Malachi trains him for SWAT, he quickly discovers that he wants Malachi, but there is nothing he can do to make the guy like him.

Unable to deny temptation, Malachi crosses the line, but it only complicates things more. With their careers and their hearts on the line, Malachi knows he needs to protect his submissive—but will Wade let him, or will he push him away?

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Smut Leeds 2017

I’m back – did you miss me? I’ll tell you more about my holiday next week but firstly I went to the latest Smut event which was in Leeds last Saturday.

A great day – meeting old friends and new ones – the terrific erotic tombola and fab readings (including one by my friend, Kryssie Fortune, who got enough courage to do her first ever public reading after doing one at a writing retreat at my home earlier in the year!).

Great workshops and demos from Zak Jane Keir on using dice to think through options of where your story is going and from Stephanie Robb on ropework (see pic below).

I did another of my workshops – this time it was What Author Shape Are You? I adapted one of those personality/behaviour quizzes where people were categorised by Square, Rectangle, Circle, Triangle and Squiggle, and mapped author traits to it, so, where it said organised and task oriented, I followed this up by suggesting an author might be someone who loves plotting and had lots of spreadsheets.

It was great fun. Here is a brief summary – anyone wanting to do the quiz email me ( or message me on Facebook and I’ll send you the quiz so you can do it yourself.

As the title says – love plotting and organizing. Very task-oriented, probably have lots of spreadsheets or lists. They follow rules to the letter.

They are fast thinkers, very goal focused. Could be the leaders within writing groups (or even Doms in the BDSM world). Hate all the admin stuff that comes with writing.

These are changeable people – we are all rectangle at some points in our lives and quite probably when trying to decide which book to write next! But also this shape could be those who are disheartened and give up writing most easily.

Listens and communicates well but can over commit – for instance, blog posts, newsletter, tweets, all the social media, etc etc and gets very upset by what readers/reviewers say. But the best team player or co author of the five shapes.

Hates plotting. Mind on the go all the time. Could have cutting edge ideas. Might be creative at more than just writing.