Book Review: “Highland Raven” by Melanie Karsak

Hello!

The only way I can explain why I read this book is because I desperately wanted to connect to my Scottish roots. I love my Irish bloodline but have always felt something different for the other one. I’ve never found the answer to it, but reading various books have helped me think positively towards Scotland. I actually had one other book I found on Kindle Unlimited and it was nonfiction but since reading the Hades and Persephone series in January, I’ve been craving more fantasy and magic books, so when I saw this series, I thought I would take a chance on it.

WARNING: There are some spoilers mentioned after the description, so if you don’t want to be ruined too much of what this book is about, don’t read anything towards the bottom!

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Destined to become Queen of Scotland.
Bound by blood to the Celtic gods.

Scotland, 1026–Gruoch, descendant of the line of MacAlpin, should have been born into a life of ease. But fate is fickle. Her father’s untimely death, rumored to have been plotted by King Malcolm, leaves her future uncertain and stained by the prophecy that she will avenge her family line.

Escaping to one of the last strongholds of the old Celtic gods, Gruoch becomes an adept in arcane craft. Her encounters with the otherworld, however, suggest that magic runs stronger in Scotland than she ever imagined. Haunted by dreams of a raven-haired man she’s never met, Gruoch soon feels her fate is not her own. She is duty-bound to wed a powerful lord, if not the Prince himself; however, she’s not sure she can stop her heart when she meets Banquo, a gallant highlander and druid.

Fans of Outlander and Mists of Avalon will relish this sweeping Scottish Historical Fantasy that tells the tale of Gruoch, a woman struggling to escape her fate without blood on her hands.

taken from Goodreads.

So, I’m not really familiar with William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. It wasn’t one that I was forced to read out loud throughout high school (thank god!) but I have seen the film called Lady Macbeth with Florence Plugh, I have seen it twice but have never finished it. Once I decided that I was going to read this series. I knew it would be like I walked into another realm, and oddly enough, this metaphor works out great with this story! Anywho, I just looked at the cover and was basically drawn to it and I just hoped it wouldn’t let me down too much.

I look at the whole thing in three acts, you get to know the origins of Gruoch and Corbie, living at her aunt and uncle’s castle and knowing her only role in life there is to be a pawn because of her bloodline, as she is the direct link to the Irish royal families, and at this time, Christianity is being introduced all across the land and reeking havoc on the Old Gods, and when it is her time, she goes to live with this coven, of eight women to learn more about the history, paganism and magic. And then you are pulled back into the Macbeth side and discuss the role of the Wyrd Sisters.

Something wicked this way comes.

I was already sold on the medieval aspect of the story and the fact that you, as a reader, are learning things such as soul magic–I found it so interesting!–that I was literally telling myself “it’s not real Meghan,” but what I was really surprised about was my interest into the Celtic paganism and rituals mentioned within the story. In a way, Samhain is like Day Of The Dead to Latin Americans, where you celebrate your ancestors, by giving them their favorite foods, clothes, etc. If you want to learn more about the Celtic religion and everyday life, click here

There were a lot of information mentioned but for once, I wasn’t confused or thought it was too much (shockingly!) but I still gave it a four out of five stars on Goodreads. I think it was because of the sections between the events that happened during Samhain and then suddenly being transferred to a whole other part. I kind of kept losing interest once we entered the third act and I never really understood that part yet. However, I just need to keep thinking that maybe we’ll learn more about all of the that in the second book, Highland Blood, because I was smart this time around and as it started getting toward the end of it, I went and downloaded the next story in the series. There is a slight chance that by the time I get this review up, I’ve finished reading that one and have an extra post on Friday, but don’t get your hopes up though because I am reading rather slower than I would like to at the moment.

Have you checkout out the The Celtic Blood series by Melanie Karsak? If you have, were you familiar with the story of ‘Macbeth’ already?

Royal Baby | 32 Swedish Forward Baby Names!

Hello!

I am back for another baby name post, and today I am focusing on the Swedish Royal family. King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia’s son, Prince Carl Philip and his wife Princess Sofia will welcome their third little bundle of joy sometime in the next few weeks. When I was busy coming up with these posts, I wasn’t necessarily paying any attention on what season these babies would arrive, so there is a small chance that by the time this post does publish, the new Prince or Princess has already made its welcome to the royal house.

Back in 2016, I wrote a post just like this one for their second child, Prince Gabriel, and although the only part I got right was the letter “G” it, obviously, hasn’t stopped me from making any other name guesses of the future generations. During that time, I was thinking it would be a boy, mainly because both of the Prince’s sisters have had boys during their second pregnancies, however, with this one, I am definitely leaning into the color pink, so I tried to think of well beloved names on both sides of the family tree and hoped I was correct on more than one element.

For this post, I will be doing what I’ve done on my previous baby posts and picking out four names listed in the banner below, and including a middle name that could work with it too. I will also be giving you a little background on each name, plus my reasons behind my decision.

Birgitta Sofie

The name Birgitta is well beloved in the royal house of Bernadotte, as it is the first name of Prince Carl Philip’s great aunt Princess Birgitta of Sweden, Princess of Hohenzollern. If they do decide to use a name that is a bit popular among the public of Sweden, Birgitta or maybe even shortening it to Britta could be absolutely gorgeous for a modern day Swedish princess!

If they do end up having a daughter, I can see the name Sofia being apart of the full name but not a first. I’ve been wrong before and it was my main thought behind using Sofie as a middle and/or nickname! I feel this combination fits both the French and Swedish styles that you normally see throughout the rest of the royal family, and it works as Bridget Sophie too!

Kristina Madeleine Victoria

The name Christina in general is a big symbol of the Swedish monarchy. Just because they use the first letter “K” instead of a “C” is just basically moving on with the times, as Christina has an older quality while Kristina has a modern flair considering it is different compared to the king’s older sister Princess Christina, Mrs. Magnuson. There have been many other princesses with the name up and down history, but nothing is more amazing and possibly infamous than Queen Christina in the 17th Century.

I have to say, I don’t normally include multiple middle names in these posts, but with thinking about continuing a tradition, the royal Swedes are known to name their children after close family members and it would be an sweet way of the Prince to name this little girl after his own sisters: the Crown Princess and the Duchess of Hälsingland and Gästrikland!

Isabelle Maria

Isabelle or Isabel is a beautiful and very French way of the name Elizabeth or Elisabeth. Although, Elizabeth has been used in the past for both first and middle names, I just don’t think it will appear on this baby. I don’t have anything against it–my middle name is Elizabeth!–it unfortunately has the same look as Christina, this past tense feel of it just turns me off but I do love for Isabelle because it just has this elegant but loose magic that the other lacks at the moment.
As far as the middle name pairing, I think it works great with any variation of the name Mary. Personally, I love Maria because I’ve never been a huge fan of the same letter either beginning or ending, but the main reason why I believe it will feature somewhere is because it is the name of Princess Sofia’s mother. She is also my inspiration for Britta as her middle is actually Britt. I really would love it to see The Princess’s family recognized too!

Signe Alexandra

I am actually a fan of Swedish names, and the moment I found Signe, I was hooked immediately! So, it is pronounced as “cig-knee” and can be spelled as ‘Signe’ or ‘Signy’ and could also be used as a sweet nickname for the rougher ‘Sigurd’ maybe. I like to think of it as the Swedish cousin of Australia’s own “Sydney” and I’m not even sorry about it either!

Honestly, between Birgitta, Kristina and Signe, they are all common names in Scandinavia, and I would really love it if the current royal family used more of their country’s baby names. I think it is time to fully allow their home grown names to shine out forward for the whole world to see finally its authentically and uniqueness.

My outlook on boy names is somewhat different than what I would think will happen, mainly because they’ve already had a nice thing going with using Alexander and Gabriel as first names. and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. What I really mean is, those names are like ‘normal, everyday’ type of names to the general public. I mean, I’m an American and this a different royal family then what most people know about, so despite the fact that I would like to see a traditional Swedish name up front, I can understand wanting to give the child a simple name that reflects both the royal family and what the future holds for this little prince.

Felix Johann

The name Felix already has a big following among fellow royal families, as there is one in Denmark and Luxembourg, so I think it’s only right for it to appear in Sweden. Felix is also big in households all over Scandinavia, so it would be a perfect fit all around I think! It has that likeable but traditional quality that I thought could work great with Alexander and Gabriel. Personally, my favorite part of it is, it’s masculine and short and these are two big factors for couples right now.

When I was trying to figure out a middle, I was instantly pulled into pairing it with longer and strong Scandi names like Oscar, Nicholas, and Johann. There are a wide array of names that could work great with Felix but I think we will have to see what .happens because this is where I have the most trouble are with male middle names!

Theodore Harald

Now with Theodore or Teodor as both spellings are common in Sweden, I feel more confident with this name to be on the Top 5 since it is an universal type of name. Despite the fact that people enjoy shorter names–a lot like the sweet quality that Theodore instantly brings to a child. Some couples love it for the cutesy flair on little boys and the amount of strength it will bring to him as he continues to get older, as it adds some seriousness for a man.

Again, middle names are difficult to decide on, but I thought about how close the Swedish family is to other monarchs on their borders, and with all of the health concerns on King Harald V of Norway, I think it would be really nice thing is to name their little guy Harald in tribute to the king. The Crown Princess has done that with her daughter and heiress, is named Princess Estelle Silvia Ewa Mary.; the last name Mary is for her godmother, Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, so it can happen and has been lovely additions to the next generation.

Folke Philip

When I worked on my guesses for Prince Gabriel, I was hoping the name Folke would see the limelight because I think it is so neat! I’m still not 100% sure on how to pronounce it yet but I would still like it to be somewhere in his name. The same goes with Philip too, it would be really nice to allow their third son a chance to bear the name “Philip” like his father, but I would still like ‘Folke’ to be up front though!

Gustaf Viktor

Out of all of the names I listed above in my banner, the one name that I am sure will make an appearance is “Gustaf”. Why? Well, it is the second name of the current King of Sweden. Despite the fact that almost all of the king’s grandsons has the name “Carl” in their full names, it’s only Princess Madeleine’s son Prince Nicolas that actually has “Gustaf” instead!

Now originally, I had picked the name “Kristian” for the possible middle, and I was really proud for remembering it but just before I was going to talk about my decision there, I thought about naming in tribute for both the Norwegian and Swedish kings, we are forgetting, the royal family has four little princes as of right now and none of them are named after the Crown Princess yet. I thought this was an interesting aspect to keep in mind as I was comfortable with adding “Victoria” on the girl side, but what about creating a “Victor” in the lineup as well? I do think this would be a great combination too because it honors a current and future sequence of events that will be visible in this child’s lifetime.

So, what do you think of the combos I’ve listed in this post? Do you think any will be on this child’s full name? If you have any guesses that you want to share with me, please tell me in the comments!

Royal Baby | 32 Romantically Royal Names!

Hello!

EDITED: I wrote this post last month and was curious whether or not I would be able to get this out before Her Royal Highness gave birth, but I put out a poll on my name account on Instagram the evening when the news broke that they had welcomed a son, and I had a large amount of people who said they would like the post to go out as it was suppose to, so thanks to them, I am sharing with you all of the names and pairings I’ve had in my head for the past several months.

Well, 2021 will be a HUGE year for the British and Swedish royal families, as there are four different families (not counting Pippa Matthews because she is the sister to The Duchess of Cambridge!) who are expecting new additions in the spring. You know how much I love guessing and creating combinations for the royals, so I am so pumped to be doing this again!

For this post, I am focusing on Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank first child. Of course, like the majority of the English royals, they don’t say what the gender is to the public until the birth so I am using the same format as I have with both Prince Louis of Cambridge and Archie Mountbatton-Windsor. There will be four sections of names but in the aesthetic I think The Brooksbank’s will look into for their child.

I was really excited to hear that Princess Eugenie was pregnant. I follow her on Instagram so when the picture of her holding a pair of Koala booties was absolutely adorable! It actually didn’t take me very long to create a list of names that I thought could appear in the child’s name, but I wanted to look beyond my usual assumptions and focus on what this young couple could be thinking about, so I began to look into them a little more and we’ll have to see how right or wrong I was in the end.

Princess Eugenie went to Newcastle University in 2009, studying Art History and English Literature, which is how I came up with the idea of putting together a romantically-pleasing list of names that could be a winner. However, I still wanted to look to what Jack could enjoy as well, so I felt really good including vintage names into the mix. The way I have created this, is that the literacy type names are on the left side of each sex, while the more aristocratic/royalty names are on the right side. I tried to my best to include well-used family names and switched some spellings around too! I will list four names that I think will look really cute and fun and give you some information about each other, So, in total, there will be eight names and pairings for both genders.


Jane Margaret

I think the name Jane is a very unused name in the royals; it was only used once with Jane Seymour, the third wife of King Henry VIII. She was the one who gave the king what he’s always wanted, a son but sadly she passed away a week after giving birth to the future Edward VI. The King was very saddened to hear that she had died, but considering how he treated his wives at all, it is unsure what her future would have been like if she had lived and how the Tudor dynasty would have unfolded.

Jane is somewhat in the middle of popular lists, but since it is a one syllable and feminine type of name, I feel like it is really nice for a first daughter. I find it very cute but strong as far as talking about literature: you have Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and the author Jane Austen who bridges the gap between romance in the aristocratic world of the 18th Century and the feminist mindset too. I really think if at least one royal couple gave it a shot, their daughter would really appreciate it!

The reason why I decided to pair it up with Margaret, is because it is her mother’s middle name. It would be a subtle way to keep her close and I also believe, like Jane, is underrated with the royals. There isn’t anybody in the immediate line of succession with the name so it could be a nice way of bringing it back home within the York family tree too.

Mabel Alexandra

The name Mabel has been growing in popularity in the last couple of years, so if the couple wanted to do a more “in” type of name as a first, then I think it is not only a lovely name but winner overall.

For me personally, I have always have an love/hate relationship with Mabel. I have known about it for several years now, mainly because of a sitcom my family and I used to watch all the time called Mad About You. The main couple: Jamie and Paul Buchman name their own daughter Mabel because of an old saying Jamie’s mother use to say to her daughters, the anagram is “Mother Always Bring Extra Love” but unfortunately, I have never liked it enough to put it on my list. I do love how it is short and sweet, but with it’s growing fanbase, I’ve sort of had to put it at the lowest placement.

I am a HUGE lover of combining both small with long, almost regel like names together, so, pairing it with Alexandra is both beautiful but gives the little girl a strong, masculine type of name. The nearest royal with the name is Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogvily. It is also one of the Queen’s middle names, and of course, we have to look at Alexandra of Denmark, Princess of Wales, and eventual Queen to her husband King Edward VII.

Beatrix Victoria

Okay, I think out of all the names in the banner, I feel like this one has a better chance of being used out of any other name. Princess Eugenie is the younger sister to Princess Beatrice, and I feel like they are incredibly close and it would only be right to say that this variation would be high on their list. The “rix” at the end gives it a more literacy type of style, because of the children’s author Beatrix Potter, and I also think this way has a lot of moxie compared to the other spelling. I actually have an old friend who is also using this way, for her second daughter so it is definitely a trend at the moment.

Now I think placing two powerhouse names together is very interesting and also honors the Victorian era to a T! It actually rolls off your tongue pretty well, but the main reason why I decided to combine it is because Victoria is the last middle for the Princess. I think it would be a nice way of keeping a tradition but mainly because it is easier to say than her own name: Eugenie. I mean, I have a difficult time saying her name, and I think it would be interesting to switch it with Victoria or maybe Helena too.

Elizabeth Ophelia

Princess Eugenie has a very close bond with her paternal grandparents, I think it is fair to keep the name Elizabeth on a higher spot because of this, but mostly because it is pretty low on almost all of the name charts. There is the fact that it is used more as a middle name than a first, so if they were to use it as a first with this generation it would probably have the same effect that Princess Charlotte had when she was born in 2013. If they didn’t want such a robust type of name, maybe Isabel/Isabelle/Isabella could be a nice variation too. It would still work with the classic trend going on in Great Britain too.

Speaking of trends, it was slightly easier to picture the name Ophelia for Eugenie and Jack’s baby than any other couple, mostly for the fact that it was created by William Shakespeare. It comes from Hamlet, and I think it’s gorgeous and fun for a distant royal; that is one thing that Eugenie and Jack have going for them, they don’t have to basically use popular and traditional royal names, but since she did study art and literature, I think it is far to say that this than any other Shakespearian name is contender.

If they do indeed have a boy, I believe they could use one or the other of its grandfather’s names, but it probably wouldn’t be as a first. The reason why is because of the obvious scandal with the Duke of York, The name Andrew is still a family name that has ties to the Duke of Edinburgh’s line, but again I just don’t see it coming up as a first, but with a different way of spelling could make it work without drawing that uneasy comparison to Prince Andrew.

After the birth of Prince Louis in 2018, a lot of people were surprised by the fact that Louis is one of their eldest son’s middle names. The public was shocked by this, but it actually didn’t necessarily freak me out because it has been done over many generations with the royals, for example, all of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s sons (including one of their daughters’) have the name Albert. The first boy was named Albert Edward, but the other three all had the name towards the end. Their fourth daughter Princess Louise had a feminine variation: Alberta as part of her whole name too! So, naming their son George could be used but having it in the front could be interesting because they could be accused of basically stealing although I’ve just explained how this has happened before and is a beloved way of giving back so to speak.

Asa Nicholas

It was very difficult narrowing two male names from the left side of the banner, mainly because there are so many interesting choices that resemble the type of aesthetic I’m going for in the post, but the name Asa was actually kind of natural, mainly because it is very different compared to all of the other names. Asa has grown in popularity in the last few years, but it is original and I think it would be cool to see a name like this, grow within the royal families.

For the middle, Nicholas was just the first one to pop into my head. I wouldn’t normally combine two names that feature an “s” so close but as soon as it came together, I started to realize how angelic and adorable the names are together. The name itself has strong ties to the Saxe, Coburg and Gotha bloodline and the former Russian royal family: Romanovs. Tsar Nicholas II and his British wife, Tsarina Alexandra (born as Princess Alix of Hesse, daughter of Princess Alice of the United Kingdom and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse).

Valentine Ferguson

Every part of me really wanted to chose a totally different name but the name Valentine is probably one of the most romantic names you could give a child. I have only started to enjoy it less than a year ago, because I’ve never been a huge fan of the “holiday” of sorts, but I really enjoy it for boys rather than girls. I think it does something, almost radiates everything the beginning of the February tries to bring out amongst the general public. However, I think it’s one of those names that work for all stages in a person’s life; it’s adorable on babies and is handsome on grumpy old men too.

My only issue with it was figuring out what to pair it up with, and I was really drawn to use the surname Ferguson because I feel like we always forget about spousal’s family names. In this case, Ferguson is Princess Eugenie’s mother’s maiden name. When the Duchess of Cambridge announced she’s pregnant, we all hoped that maybe we’ll see “Spencer” is featured in the child’s full name, but so far it’s not going to happen, so, I thought it would be interesting to see this one pop up as an unexpected surprise for everyone!

Henry Thomas

This one was inspired by the strong relationship the Princess has with her cousin, Prince Harry. They have always had a close bond and when I heard that she and Jack were going to move to Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor, I truly thought it was a sweet gesture because there are a large amount of royals who are living at Kensington Palace, including the Cambridge family, so it was easy enough to understand how much the young couple need their own place to live while adjusting to becoming a family of three.

Now there is another name that I think is an equal company as the Duke of Sussex. Thomas Brockbank is the elder brother of Jack. Of course, we don’t exactly know how good of a relationship they have since the wedding but I still think that the name could be used as well. The name isn’t as popular among the royals, so it would be really neat to see the classic pop in as a newcomer!

Philip Edmund

Princess Eugenie is very fond of her paternal grandfather: The Duke of Edinburgh. She speaks really lovingly towards him in a documentary directed towards The Queen’s 90th birthday a few years ago. So, I have really high hopes that maybe we all see Philip come back around with the great-grandchildren. and if it turns out that it is a girl, then Philippa would be a special way of keeping him close to her heart too.

I always hope that this name comes back into the royal family and it is Edmund. This is such a classic and very old name as the last royal who had it as a first was Prince Edmund, Duke of Somerset in 1499, the sixth child of King Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. I do consider this name as romantic because it has grown out of favor over the years but is still included in the annual name charts for England and Wales. It is also a nice alternative to the ever popular Edward too, so I genuinely hope that maybe it will come back around some day.


Whenever I do these types of posts, I always feel bad that I hadn’t included a lot of the father’s interests, but with the royals, especially if they are lower on the list of succession like Princess Eugenie, figuring out they hobbies and style isn’t as easy to pin point and that was the main reason for looking at the Princess a little closer and using what she does outside of being the granddaughter of The Queen!

Another thing I have to remind myself is that I purely do this for fun. I don’t get paid to do this and honestly, I wouldn’t want to because that’s just really odd and I feel like I would lose interest into the whole thing because it does look way more complicated to create the entire post, and that includes the banner too! I don’t mind being wrong or right–although it does feel good sometimes!–but as a lover of names, you always wonder what everybody has on their lists and sometimes you get lucky and are asked to help the parents-to-be too, which can be intimidating at times too, So yeah, that’s why I continue to come up with these type of posts.

Do you have any guesses on what Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack are going to new their little bear? What kind of style do you believe could make an appearance?

Book Review: “A Game Of Fate” by Scarlett St. Clair

Hello!

A part of me knew I would be back for another book review, it is much sooner than I was really expecting, but yet here we are anyways!

On Wednesday, I published the review of A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair. I was at the start of A Touch of Ruin, which is of course, is written in Persephone, the Goddess of Spring’s point of view, but I was on Instagram a day after I downloaded it onto my Kindle, I saw a comment on the author’s profile, and someone had shared that is might be smart to read ATOD and then switch to this book before going into ATOR and Scarlett said you could definitely read the entire story in that order, so that’s what I decided to do, which meant I returned the other and was able to switch to A Game of Fate, the first book written in Hades’ point of view.


Hades, God of the Underworld, is known for his inflexible rule, luxurious night clubs, and impossible bargains. Use to control, he is not prepared to discover the Fates have chosen his future wife and Queen—Persephone, Goddess of Spring.

Despite her attraction to the god, Persephone, an ambitious journalism student, is determined to expose Hades for his cruel and ruthless ways.

Hades finds himself faced with the impossible—proving his future bride wrong. Despite his efforts, there are forces who wish to keep the two apart and Hades comes to realize he will do anything for his forbidden love, even defy Fate.

taken from Goodreads.


For this book, I was sort of worried that it would replace what I thought of A Touch of Darkness, but from the moment it started, I knew this was an entirely different plot and story because it is focused on Hades, the King of the Underworld. If you had questions or theories of what was going on in Hades’ mind, which wasn’t as different as I had expected, like how much he thought about having sex with Persephone in almost every chapter wasn’t that big of a stretch but still, he thought about it a lot more than she did for him.

“Fucking Fates,” he mumbled,

Another part of me was very curious to having a whole book dedicated to seeing the worlds from Hades’ point of view. You don’t usually get to see it fully, when two characters share one book and I think that was what really sold me to this idea of having a separate series to divide up everyone’s true thoughts and ultimately see the character without much interaction from other people. You get to see his relationships with his brothers, enemies, and even Demeter too! I think one of my favorite things that I enjoyed about this book was you get to see the “friendships” Hades has made with fellow Gods and Goddess of the Underworld, like Hecate, the Goddess of Witchcraft and Hermes, the God of Trickery and Fuckery… 😉

Hades is a boss. I’d compare him to like any of the notorious mobsters in the history and beyond, but he seems like so chill with anyone that know him best when he completely switches from this immortal badass to laidback, homebody. You can also see this trait when it comes to The Fates too, although it is not as noticeable at first but you definitely know he absolutely cares for the ones that deserve it the most, and since The Fates are basically connecting him to Persephone, he really tries to breathe in and control his anger and frustrations for them and everybody else in the Underworld.

I am curious to what happens in the next few books, because apparently there are quite a lot in the series but I love learning more about these Greek gods and goddesses. Something that I am wondering about, is whether or not, if the author will write more like a series for Hecate and/or Hermes in the future. Honestly, I would rather be interested in learning more about Hecate than Hermes, but this two characters are really my favorites and I’d like to see how they got to be where they are now, you know? I mean, I don’t think Scarlett had originally wanted to write in both Persephone and Hades’ point of views so I’m just throwing it out there that it could be a nice novella, you know?

Have you read A Game Of Fate yet? Or are you waiting until you finished the series in Persephone’s side of events before you move on to this series?

Life | Struggling With My Heritage

Hello!

If I am a having a great reading month, I can bang out two reviews at the most, but if I’m not, figuring out what I want to blog about can be somewhat difficult for me. I do believe the book and music posts are the heart of this site but I think what I miss about are personal stories. It could be what I eat in a day or a life lately update, as long as it is like you’re talking to your best friend, I love them! And that’s what I want to bring back to the blogging community for 2021.

So, let’s start this year off with a brand new series, called “Life”. I sort of felt like Sir David Attenborough at the beginning of those nature documentaries you see on BBC America a little as I was writing that sentence!


At the end of 2019, my mom and I were finally to get dad something he’s always wanted for the last two or years, and it was the AncestryDNA kit. The year before, I was relaying things about my nana’s results, because she was given the kit for Christmas the year before. The biggest difference between the two of them is that, we sort of knew where she was from as we have a detailed family tree and information for her, whereas with my dad, it has been a case of “maybe” since I was really young, so he was genuinely very happy to receive this, even though he has been worried that these companies will keep the DNA in case you are wanted by the CIA or FBI. I understand why he had this fear, and I feel like it’s not one that a lot of people make easily, but again, he was very excited to finally get some answers!

Honestly, he wasn’t the only one who was curious. I am interested in genealogy, as I watch almost every TV show about other people’s discoveries. I find them really neat, especially when people are introduced to certain ancestors that may not have been the best people in their lives. It is also cool to feel proud of these people being apart of important moments in history too! However, if you are only wanting to see the percentage of where your family came from, that’s fine! This tool gives a better insight of general areas you came from through your heritage.

When my nana had told all of us was stuff we already knew, well, what I knew at least. She has strong ties to the British isles, mainly Irish, but there was an even bigger number for the western part of Europe: Germany. For my nana, who was given up for adaption at the age of 2. After she was given to her parents, they were afraid that her older siblings would be able to find her and basically steal her back to her biological family, so she moved around a lot growing up and lived on the West Coast for the majority of her life before coming back to the Midwest where she met her husband, my papaw in the the early 60’s.

It wasn’t until the late 80’s that someone came and knocked on her door to ask her name and was told that she had been adopted. Now, it took a little bit for this news to sink in but in the next two years, she found out that she was one of 13 children to a German father, who was a traveling salesman (he used to make furniture) and a Irish stay at home mother. She was able to meet some of her siblings and their families as they held a reunion a year before I was born. So, as I grew up, I heard every stage of her life and it’s been permanently engraved into my brain. It wasn’t until I was out of high school did I become obsessed with learning more about my own ancestry.

As we were able to find loads of information on my mom’s parents, and how exciting it was to learn more about both sides, I figured going into my dad’s side would be the same, even though it was full of questions more than answers. He has always said that we were of Scottish and Welsh descent but then there was some folklore in there too. We could have been connected to Native Americans. I was very much into that side of the story, and wanted to learn so much about it, but nobody was sure on what tribe we came from or how it came about either. Every year in school, we would learn more about these people and I would be ecstatic about it! When I was in fourth grade, our class created a teepee on one side of the room and we were divided up into a group of four and had to come up with names that resembled something they would have been called in their tribe. I chose Sunflower and was thankful that nobody else picked it out for themselves!

While my dad kept track of the arrival of his results at the end of February, they answered things we knew but my heart shattered on the no mention of being related to Native Americans.

It was one thing to know that I wasn’t a descendent of these amazing people, but it was even a harder pill to swallow to know that I was a full on brute.

The start of 2020 was very difficult on my self-worth because I would literally torture myself as I silently retraced the steps of history’s most horrible people like, Adolf Hitler’s hatred towards the Jewish community and becoming a dictator and was able to convince all of Germany to be mean. They were beaten, forced to work in camps, starved, and murdered because of their difference in religion. Unfortunately, after all these years of Germany becoming liberated of the Nazi regime, many people are still weary of the country.

And the last, the English coming to the West Indies and creating colonies on lands that were already occupied by indigenous people. Instead of the reason being about their religion, it was because they were not like them. Everything about Native Americans scared them, so they took everything that belonged to them and massacred and gave no mercy to anyone, even mothers and children. The English also brought with them the cruelty of keeping black people in slavery to the already cursed country. This would prove a problem that lasted well after Abraham Lincoln read the Emancipation Proclamation and allowed them to become “free” and able to do things that their masters had long been doing since they came to the United States.

It is a blessing to know many parts of history, but it is so hard to digest everything that your distant relatives could have done, which was the main reason why I didn’t say anything to anybody until now. I often wonder what would they think of me. Would they be embarrassed or proud of the way I hold myself, think about certain things and most importantly my disability? Unfortunately, I will never be able to gain anything by keeping this thought around, because it’ll never be answered.

As frightening to know that I could have some very bad people connected to my DNA but I started to feel bad for only looking at that side of things. These events are unsettling; we still struggle with our past, but we must move on and make sure to change our ways so it doesn’t happen ever again. We don’t learn anything by forgetting these sometimes gruesome and upsetting tales, so I will let them live in a large chest that is already full to rim of things that I have experienced in my life already, and continue blossoming into this journey.

Have you had your DNA tested? If you have, did you find out anything that was unexpected? For those who haven’t done it yet, can you tell me one reason you haven’t done it yet?