Jenny Reads After, chapters 1 – 3, or “The Best Girl Ever”

Hi, this is Jen’s snark voice! Did you miss me?! I missed you. I missed you so much that I decided to scrap my earlier secret plans for a read-a-long of Beautiful Disaster in the fall in order to start this recap of Anna Todd’s After right now.

A few things are going to be different this time around. I will probably not be as hateful and mentally destroyed, for a few reasons:

  1. I believe there is a difference between RPF and fanfic, a difference we’ll discuss at length throughout these recaps.
  2. Ms. Todd isn’t as obnoxious as E.L. “worship my expertise in shit I know nothing about” James.
  3. I’ll be listening to One Direction exclusively while working on these recaps, and they’re pretty good, right? Everybody likes them, so what could go wrong?

Now, before we get started, you need to understand the author’s warning:

This book contains detailed sexual scenes and tons of explicit language. If that isn’t your thing, you shouldn’t continue on, but if it is then you’ll enjoy. :)

This book is being touted as “the next 50 Shades” by a lot of people, so keep that in mind when considering the words “detailed sexual scenes.” We probably don’t have any problem with the explicit language, right? So we should be good.

Also, yes there are loads and loads of typos, be easy on me, this was an amazing and fun time for me and no one was reading it, I am fully aware of all the mistakes :) Thank you for reading :)

Don’t thank me just yet, Ms. Todd. Because as a long time fanfic devotee, I have a real issue with the “this was just for fun” defense. If it was just for fun, it would still be on your hard drive. And a lot of activities that are fun require some amount of attention to detail– go karting, tennis, rock climbing, trap shooting, that knife-between-the-fingers game pirates play when they’re bored, I guess– so that isn’t an excuse for not putting your fic’s best face out to the world. I am probably the least demanding person when it comes to typos and stuff like that, because I’m dyslexic and I understand. But if there are enough, I say nay. And this author has admitted to not editing her work for fear of ruining it. So we’ll see how this goes.

The good news is, this will give me more of a chance to point out to you guys stuff that will help you in your own writing. So everything here is paved with good intentions! I don’t remember how that saying goes, but I’m pretty sure it meant great stuff would happen.

So, let’s do this!

abbi adrenaline

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Wednesday Blogging: Let’s take a look at my WIP!

Hey everybody! This week’s Wednesday blog is about sharing one of our works in progress. Which is awesome, because I have one I really want to share with you! Except I have this whole cover reveal shizz set up for the first week of May…

So, while I can’t reveal the cover or the blurb, I can definitely tell you what it’s about! The book is called A Choice Fit for a Queen, and it’s in the If Ever I Would Leave You anthology. Which, by the by, is an Arthurian mythology themed collection of New Adult… I don’t know. Novels or novellas, depending on how you classify 50 – 60k stories. I’m not a bookseller and everyone classifies that shit differently. Anyway, the antho is written by me and my #MerlinClub friends, Jessica Jarman and Bronwyn Green. I’m the odd duck out, because I’m the only person who’s not contributing something paranormal to the mix.

Okay, the story is about Madison Lane:

leighton-meester-tiffany-fnoan English literature major taking a summer course studying Arthurian mythology in Wales. Her instructor is a totally gorgeous failed novelist who intended to write the next The Once and Future King, but ended up writing the Arthurian equivalent of 50 Shades of Grey, minus the financial success. He’s hot, in that whole down-on-his-luck, doesn’t-give-a-fuck, nothing-to-lose way. Also, in this way:


But Madison also meets good-boy hottie Rhys, a friend and former student of Mr. Professor there, and a stand-up guy.


And he’s like, such a nice guy that while he’s pretty into Madison, he worries about betraying his friend or potentially hurting Madison. Ultimately, Madison has to make the titular choice, and believe me, she sees the parallels between what she’s studying and what she’s living.

So, there you have it. A sneak peek at one of my current works in progress. If you’re a blogger interested in being a part of the cover reveal, here’s the sign-up!

For  a look at what my Wednesday Blogging buddies are working on right now, check out the links!

Jessica Jarman • Bronwyn Green • Tess Grant Gwendolyn Cease

Kris Norris • Leigh Jones • Kellie St. James


Jenny Reads After

The latest fanfic sensation sweeping the internet is After, a One Direction RPF written by a twenty-five year old named Anna Todd. Ms. Todd’s fanfic is getting a lot of attention due to its:

  1. staggeringly high page view count on the serialized fiction platform, Wattpad
  2. sexually explicit content
  3. depiction of 1D member Harry Styles as an emotionally abusive boyfriend
  4. recent representation of film rights by United Talent

As you may remember from my 50 Shades of Grey recaps and various other long-winded rants, I am not a fan of P2P or fanfic properties garnering a profit. But I feel there’s a bit of a murky line when it’s literally just the names of famous people inserted into original fanfic. After all, lots of authors (myself included) base our characters of the appearance and speech patterns of celebrities. The only difference I can see with RPF is the fact that those celebrities are depicted as actual representations of themselves through the use of their names.

In the case of a fic like After, I can understand why that would be problematic. I’m sure Harry Styles is probably not over the moon about being depicted as a total dickhead in a book that has millions of readers. But I don’t think it’s quite the same as what we saw with 50 Shades of Grey. There’s a difference between taking someone’s name and building a character around it and taking someone’s character and changing their name.

Still, I am intrigued to the point of recap by the author of After openly admitting that she doesn’t edit her work because it might ruin it (clearly laboring under the delusion that all first drafts are pure gold and the touch of an editor’s hand is like some reverse philosopher’s stone), as well as the abusive boyfriend content that we’ve all come to crave now that our wet, wanton holes have been filled to maximum capacity by the 50 Shades of Grey media glut. Oh. We are so ready.

It will also give us a chance to discuss how our media culture exploits the sexuality of teen girls while simultaneously dismissing the same sexuality. Even the Jezebel article linked above makes a snarky jab at the fact that After has a large audience of female teens. Material marketed toward teen girls– packaged supergroup One Direction among those materials– rake in tons of cash, but are mocked as lacking value. I’m not going to argue that all of those things have some underrated artistic value, just that the near universal hatred of these franchises is disproportionate to the derision our culture holds for fads traditionally marketed toward teen boys.

Marvel movies, for example.

So, beginning this week, expect to see recaps of After in two to three chapter chunks. The chapters are quite short, especially in comparison to the forty-pages-of-absolutely-nothing-going-on monstrosities in 50 Shades. Keeping the recaps shorter enables me to stick to my other blogging features like Merlin Club, The Big Damn Buffy Rewatch, and Wednesday Blogging.

Look for the first recap later in the week, and if you haven’t had a chance to read After or you’d like to read along, you can find it– and its sequels– here.

Merlin Club S01E13: “Le Morte d’Arthur” or “What do you mean magic will work exactly as everyone has been saying it will?!”


Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

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Hey guys! Due to my boob getting sliced up for a biopsy last week, and then the strep throat I that is so magnanimously gracing me this week, I’ve had to pull out of my Ransom Library appearance on the 17th. I’m really sorry for disappointing those who were planning to attend. Those of you who have mailed books to the venue to be signed, you’ll still be getting them signed, just probably the next week. Again, sorry everybody, but after my boob thing… let’s just say I understand why flaying is torture.

5:23 a.m.

At 5:23 a.m. this morning,  I shot straight up in bed and screamed, “GODDAMN YOU BRON!”

Last night, I had what had the potential to be an awesome dream. I’m not generally a fan of  listening to other people’s dreams sharing my dreams, but I’m gonna do this because it’s my blog and you are powerless to stop me. Other than just not reading it, I guess. In which case, I guess I am utterly powerless and shouldn’t have come at you so antagonistic right out of the gate. But anyway.

To follow this story, you’re going to have to be aware of several things. Which you probably already know from other posts but probably did not retain due to remembering stuff that’s actually important, but I’ll bring everyone up to speed.

  1. I am the president of a small NFPO called the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group, a professional organization dedicated to helping writers in all fields achieve their goals. We usually meet at a restaurant so we can all have lunch.
  2. My friend Bronwyn Green is also involved in this group.
  3. I wrote a book called Such Sweet Sorrow for a guy named Nick Harris and his company The Story Foundation.
  4. I have a very slight, very minor crush on a celebrity I may or may not have mentioned in the past: tumblr_lsv3b7sPNG1qf9xz0o1_500
  5. I am a Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones fanatic. As in, I know the geography of Westeros better than the geography of my own country, which one prompted my husband to interrupt my excruciatingly detailed description of the location of Pentos with, “Jen, what’s the capitol of Wisconsin.”
  6. The capitol of Wisconsin is not Cheesebaywaulkee.

So, now that we’re all caught up, here’s what happened in the dream:

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Merlin Club S01E012 “To Kill The King” or “To Fuck Your Dad”


Merlin club is a weekly feature in which Jessica Jarman, Bronwyn Green, and myself gather at 8pm EST to watch an episode of the amazing BBC series Merlin, starring Colin Morgan and literally nobody else I care about except Colin Morgan.

Okay, I lie. A lot of other really cool people are in it, too.

Anyway, we watch the show, we tweet to the hashtag #MerlinClub, and on Fridays we share our thoughts about the episode we watched earlier in the week.

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Guest Post: Authors After Dark 2014!

Authors After Dark is coming QUICKLY and OMG this year is going to be INSANE!
As always AAD is about the readers, and the amount of awesome we have put together for you this year, you would be INSANE not to attend….
First, our amazing Master of Ceremonies is none other than Alexandra Ivy! She will be doing a cool little event to celebrate your favorite gargoyle, Levet on Friday! Wanna know more? Check out the FB group where Alex will be talking about the awesome that she has going on!
Torquere and authors BA Tortuga and Julia Talbot will be Sponsoring our Welcome event, the Midnight Rodeo… And it looks like we will have some VERY COOL goodies and… riding… happening… *SNICKER*
How about Parties? This year we have a special event called the Leather and Lace Ball! Curious? We thought so!Take a ride on the wild side and let your inhibitions fly with five New York Times Bestselling Authors of erotic romance. Cuffs and corsets encouraged.
J. Kenner, Liliana Hart, Carly Phillips, Janelle Denison, Jasinda Wilder and Lorelei James
The ladies will be talking more about this on the FB group starting soon!
New for 2014 is the Paranormal Party! Join over 20 Paranormal authors who will be giving away goodies, some books and hanging out with you to snack and chat! Wanna know what authors are involved? You will have to join the FB group to see!

And of course, we have the amazing Masquerade Ball! This year it’s the SINS AND VIRTUES BALL! Are you a sin or a virtue? Join us for a wild costumed event! Prizes for the best costumes, including a 200$ gift certificate to Lori Ann Costumes!
Sins Virtues AAD
Your Sins and Virtues Sponsors:
Sin Lust 
Boone Brux
Opal Carew

Sin Pride 
BA Tortuga
Andrew Grey

Sin Envy 
Stella Price
TJ Michaels

Sin Gluttony 
Desiree Holt
Saranna DeWylde

Sin Greed 
Ann Mayburn
Heather Long

Sin Sloth 
Lizzie T. Leaf
Julie Morgan

Sin Wrath 
Stacey Kennedy
Marianne Morea

Virtue Charity
Kerry Adrienne
Trista Ann

Virtue Chastity 
Jenn LeBlanc
Annabel Jospeh

Virtue Humility 
Milly Taiden
Donna McDonald

Virtue Kindness 
CJ Ellisson
Alexandra Ivy

Virtue Temprance 
J. Kenner

Virtue Diligence 
Denise Grover Swank
Jenna McCormick

Virtue Patience 
Lousia Bacio
Kallypso masters

And if THAT isn’t enough awesome that will be going on… This year we have an amazing off site costumed event… the Ladies on the Green event sponsored by the AAD Anachronistic Society! This will be an hour and a Half on the famous GREEN in Charlotte (a half block from the hotel). It will be a Costumed event (though Costumes are not required they are encouraged!) to celebrate Gothic, Victorian, steampunk dark historical literature! Your hosts will be: Sahara Kelly, Amanda McIntyre, Leanna Renee Hieber, A.L. Davroe and S.A. Price. Prizes and readings will happen, as well as photo ops!
3D computer graphics of a brunette lady with fantasy hairstyle

And NEVER forget the Amazing Open bar with Mel Schroeder and friends! They have SO MUCH awesome set up for you just before the Bookies… you do NOT wanna miss that!
Getting excited yet? How about some info on the AWESOME mini events we have going on? Ready?
On Wed. Night,  Join Sasha White and Joey W. Hill for a wild party and Q&A, Also, the Blind Date Book Party will be open to start your con right! (If you have never done a BDBP, you are MISSING out! You need to attend, Get your blind date book, find the author that wrote it, and hang out with them!)
Thursday?  Panels up the wazoo, and the Bookie Awards—– goodies and books to be given out! The hangout with The GNO girls lead by CJ Ellisson and Boone Brux for some crazy fun! And if that wasn’t enough? Readings and a Blogger Sleepover party as well!
Friday? More panels, a games carnival with Nina Gooden and PalsName that Author with Cat Johnson, and some other fun surprises!
Saturday? A few panels, the Big ass booksigning with 100 authors,  the Cowboy Stampede party, theReaders Mad Tea Party with Hildie McQueenAn after the bookies event with a special publisher sponsor, And Jess Michaels’ Birthday extravaganza!
SEE? SO MUCH AWESOME! All the authors that are involved with parties will be talking about their involvement on the FB group, so join up and get ready to rock.
Oh? You say you’re not registered for AAD yet? You need to be! All registrants get put in the hat for the welcome party prizes, and these prizes are AMAZING! Breakfast with authors, Booze and Books, side trips to Carrowwinds…. We have a minimum of 90 special prizes…. So…
You need to rock this con! And as if this wasn’t enough…. AAD will be giving away something really awesome to registrants…. Wanna know what?
How about 5 VIP registrations for THE NOVEL EXPERIENCE 2015 in LAS VEGAS? YES… 5!
How about this… If we hit 100 more registrations from TODAY April 10th to June 10th, we will give away 2 AAD registrations for 2015…  2!!!!! So get registered, get your room and get ready for one HELL of an amazing year with us!

Note from Jenny: Heads up, Trout Nation, this is a great time. I’ve been to this con almost every year (I missed one last year, and I wished the whole time I hadn’t) and it’s always an amazing time for readers. You get tons of access to your favorite authors, and lots of fun events. Plus, it’s not a mega-sized con, so you can go and not feel overwhelmed like at BEA or some other cons. I’m on the bill this year, so if you come, find me and we’ll hang out!

Wednesday Blogging: 10 Random Things About Me

This week’s Wednesday Blogging topic is ten random things you didn’t know about me. Which is going to be difficult, because I’m pretty much an open book on social media. But I’ll try.

I cry every time I hear the song “Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas.  In part because I am an epic Disney nerd, and it reminds me of the beautiful Walt Disney quote woven into the movie Meet the Robinsons. But mostly because my BFF Jill and I are coming up on our twentieth friendiversary in September, and we trade that song back and forth as a little friend note on Spotify. It reminds me of how much I love her, and I get choked up.

Literally nothing on this planet scares me more than the looming spectre of my own mortality, and WebMD isn’t helping. This one is a little odd, for someone who spent the last four years battling suicidal thoughts, but I am terrified of dying. Every little ache or pain I have, I attribute it to some possible disease I’m surely going to succumb to before my time. So I get on WebMD’s symptom checker, find out I have every possible cancer, and then stay up all night panicking.

Whenever I need a lift, I watch YouTube videos of turtles/tortoises humping things and each other. These shelled bastards are apparently full-time horny, and indiscriminate about their sexual partners.

This one is a boot.

This one is a bag of trash (this one is gold for both the fact that this turtle is humping a bag of trash and the inquisitive child in the background whose mom provides hilarious off-the-cuff answers).

When I was younger, my friend Holly and I used to have weird shared dreams. I don’t believe in most supernatural stuff, but my friend Holly and I used to have frequent dreams wherein we could call each other the next day and know what we said to each other in our dreams the night before. It was never, ever important stuff.

I’m actually a pretty good singer. Not at karaoke or anything, that’s just for fun and generally ends in tragedy. But I’ve received both classical training and musical theatre training. I’m a bit rusty (haven’t had a class since 2008), but I do try to practice and keep up on my skills. I’m a lyric mezzo with a high tessitura. I’ve done solos in a few musicals and have a fucking excellent amount of Sondheim in my personal repertoire.

I believe I have been messed with by aliens. Not in a funny, quirky, hey guys, I’ve been abducted way, but in a really disconcerting way. I was fifteen, riding in a car with my friend Holly and her parents when all four of us saw a really bizarre thing in the sky. It was dark, so we couldn’t see the actual object, but there was a crazy bright light– the intensity of the light on the cop car that shines right into your fucking side mirror when they pull you over, but a bluer white– that would dart forward, disappear, then reappear a distance behind its position when it disappeared. We figured this meant some part of whatever this aircraft was had some rotation to it. Anyway, the next day all of us distinctly remembered seeing the object. But we couldn’t remember getting home. All of us were “missing time” from just after we saw the thing to the next morning, and all of us had slept in our clothes.


If something can be cooked on the George Foreman Grill, I will cook it on the George Foreman Grill. Even if it seems wholly unadvised, I will try. I have cooked swordfish on the George Foreman Grill.

Due to a misunderstanding regarding change of address and voter registration, I did not vote in the 2000 election. To this day, I am convinced that I am solely responsible for George W. Bush’s presidency.

I'm sorry I'm so sorry


 Speaking of Presidents, I spent my thirteenth birthday at the White House and The Pentagon. My uncle was in the US Air Force, and he was on a flight that was awarded the Mackay Trophy, which, if you’re unfamiliar, is a BFD.  They received the award for “extraordinary resourcefulness and unusual presence of mind during an unprovoked attack in international airspace,” and you can see the info here. My family got to travel to Washington, D.C., for the ceremony and fun stuff like meeting congress people and generals and stuff. On my birthday, we toured the White House, then the Pentagon, where the ceremony was held. We even got a special Air Force escort who had a lot of impressive decorations on his uniform. Even though it was basically an amazing birthday already, my aunt and uncle were worried I would feel like my birthday was overshadowed, so they got me a cake and presents and we had a party in the hotel room.

 I have really ugly feet. They’re like a horror show of thick and peeling dead skin, malformed toenails, weirdly bent toes and corpselike discoloration. Mr. Jen says he loves me in spite of my feet. That’s how bad they are. They are such a nightmare, I wouldn’t show them for my Jenny Tries column about foot scrubs. They’re just hideous.

Check out ten random facts about these other authors:

Bronwyn Green
Jessica Jarman
Kelsey St. James
Kris Norris
Leigh Jones