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Month: August 2013

50 Shades Freed recap chapter 22, or “A dumbass walks into a bank.”

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Hello Dear Readers! It’s been a while!

Here’s something I have to absolutely share with you: Beneath The Hat is posting audiobook versions of my 50 Shades of Grey recaps. This is a thing, and it is happening. Kate Davidson reads them, and she is so amazing and funny. Please, check them out, because she’s done a fantastic job.

Okay. Recrap time.

Hey, where did The Boss go?

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Hey everyone! I’m hard at work on the next 50 Shades recap, but I’m taking a break to answer a question I’ve gotten from a lot of people: where the hell is The Boss now? Why can’t I get it for free anymore? I hope this all makes sense and I hope it helps other people who are trying to navigate self-publishing on Amazon and other retailers.

When I decided to publish The Girlfriend on Amazon and Smashwords, I charged $3.99 USD for it, and I had no intention of enrolling it in “Kindle Select,” a program on Amazon that allows authors to offer free versions of their book, either as a limited promotion or as part of a lending library program. But I wanted The Boss to be available on all the same platforms. I thought it would be simple. I would just upload The Boss to Smashwords and Amazon and set the price as free. No problem. I uploaded it to Smashwords, and within four days it had been downloaded over 1500 times.

Amazon was not so easy. I had heard that if you got your book into the premium catalogue at Smashwords– and The Boss was in the premium catalogue– all third party retailers would offer it for free. Including Amazon. But that’s not the case, as Smashwords won’t ship to Amazon unless you’ve specifically asked them to, after you’ve made over $2,000.00 USD in sales on that book at Amazon. Which is hard to do with a free book.

You can’t list your books as “free” at Amazon, but I’d received a few tips on how to force a book to become free there, through price matching. One of the methods was to get your book into the premium catalogue at Smashwords, and when it was offered for free at other retailers, it would automatically become free at Amazon. Despite enlisting friends to report the book as free to the price matching people at Amazon, the book remained $2.99 USD.


So, I consulted another self-pubber, who explained that if the book hadn’t been offered for free on Amazon before, I had as much of a chance as a sparrow fart in a wind tunnel at getting it listed for free forever. How do I get my book listed for free on Amazon? I had to either traverse the hills of Av’Enlee, slay the two-headed ogre, Frax, steal his enchanted pendant, take it to the wizard in Fa’al, and with his assistance, perform the ritual of the Seven Stars.

Or, I could enroll it in KDP Select.

The rules of the KDP Select program are pretty straightforward. You allow your book to be published exclusively on Amazon for a period of ninety days. During this time, anyone who is an Amazon Prime member can read the book for free. Also during this time, you can schedule a five day free download promotion. After the ninety days are up, you’re free to opt out of the program and offer the book on different platforms for however much you want.

At first, I was like, “Okay, I’ll take down the Smashwords copies, and leave my blog up.” And then I saw in the TOS that you can’t offer the content on your blog. So, for right now, the blog version of The Boss is set to private. It will be come public again when the KDP Select promotion is over. It will also be available again through Smashwords and other retailers, like B&N and iTunes.

I’m not happy that it has to be done this way. I’ve had a lot of people give me other solutions (“just list your book with x retailer and Amazon will match the price!”), but the overwhelming advice I’ve received has been to just buckle down and accept the KDP terms, because it’s the simplest, surest way of achieving results.

So, for eight-five days, The Boss will only be available to Amazon Prime members and people who want to pay $2.99 USD for it. At some point, it will become free on Amazon, and hopefully after the ninety days are up, it will be free again all over– including the blog, which will once again be public.

Thanks for your patience, guys! And thanks for those of you who offered help with this!

Announcement I have been sitting on for what seems like FOREVER.

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Hey y’all! I am so excited to tell you something, and I’ve wanted to tell you ever since I got the job, but I couldn’t.

I, like Sophie Scaife, am now writing about beauty stuff. Life imitates art, and all that, so if you see any kinky billionaires around, send them my way. But seriously, I’m so pleased to be writing a monthly feature called “Jenny Tries” for Collective310.

What is “Jenny Tries” about? I find random DIY beauty tips and recipes on the internet, try them out, and report on the results. This month, it’s a blackhead removing mask.

The hope is that readers will come up with their own suggestions as to what I should try next. Expect to see photos of my face slathered in gross concoctions. I suppose you should also expect to see photos of the resultant breakouts caused by sticking mayonnaise on your face or whatever.

Anyway, that’s my news! I’m super excited, the first feature was a ton of fun, and I look forward to the next!

Up next for this here blog, expect a 50 Shades recap by the end of the week!

The best of media slut shaming

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Gird your loins, dear reader. Last night, at the VMAs, a young, blonde white pop star did something raunchy.

That has never happened before.
It has never happened before.

If you haven’t seen it, or for some reason you can’t get enough of “Can’t Stop,” you can watch Miley Cyrus’s performance, which people “Can’t Stop” talking about (see what I did there?) at

Let us never forget where we were the night we saw Miley Cyrus inexplicably air guitar to a drum solo.

So, what I saw on the screen was a young white female pop star appropriating elements of black culture badly in order to break out of a painstakingly Disney-crafted image she’s never going to fully escape. But apparently, the media saw something entirely different.

NBC saw a raunchy sex explosion that threatened to tear apart marriages and make innocent fifteen-year-olds cry.

HuffPo saw a husband and father sexually violated. (Never mind, of course, that the husband and father in question wrote a song about getting a woman high so she would lower her inhibitions to have sex with him, and dedicated not one, but two videos to nude/scantily clad models spelling out the size of his penis with mylar balloons).

People magazine doesn’t know what twerking is.

CBS news doesn’t know what a lap dance is.

And Fox News goes for the good old fashioned women-in-competition angle. But let’s keep in mind, Fox News is also running a story about Ricky Skaggs on their entertainment front page. Really, really think about that. It’s a miracle they even know what the VMAs are.

I took to twitter in the dead of night to air my grievances. It went like this (the tweets are chronologically reordered for non-twitterholics):

miley tweet 1

miley tweet 2

miley tweet 3

miley tweet 4

miley tweet 5

miley tweet 6

miley tweet 7

miley tweet 8

miley tweet 9

miley tweet 11

miley tweet 12

Then tweep @Its_Britney made my birthday, Christmas, and Festivus by sharing this. It truly must be seen to be believed.

It’s wrong to criticize Miley for acting sexually suggestive at an event that thrives off the hyper-sexuality of pop music. If you want to focus on the fact that Miley continues to appropriate black culture, use people of color as accessories, and doesn’t actually know how to twerk, then be my guest, those are legitimate gripes. I mean, Katy fucking Perry showed up with a grill last night. This is a thing. This is happening. But don’t tell me that it was somehow wrong of Miley Cyrus to get up on stage and grind with a guy who wrote an entire song about wanting to turn a “good girl” bad with his magical cock.  Because I’m not buying that double standard for a second.

This is what happens when a vampire writer goes camping…

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I went camping last night. Not far from home or anything, which is why I’m home again while the rest of the family enjoys the rest of their camping experience. I learned that fibromyalgia and a leaky air mattress are not good bedfellows.

Anyway, before the cold, sandy ground beneath the deflated air mattress seeped its icy tendrils into the very marrow of my bones, I used my camping time wisely:

Note the finger grip curves lovingly carved into the right hand side.
Note the finger grip curves lovingly carved into the right hand side.

I suppose now is the time that I should be like, “Okay, clearly I miss writing about vampires.” But I’m still in denial about that, and I don’t have time to write about vampires right now, anyway. So, let’s just say I did this for research. If you’re out there, writing a book about vampires or vampire hunters, you need to know stuff about how to make wooden stakes. It’s pretty straight forward; I started with a chunk of log that had been split, and then split again so it had a triangular wedge shape. Then I patiently and very slowly whittled one end down to a point. It’s actually quite sharp and probably could penetrate somebody’s breast bone if you put a lot of force behind it. So, I’m not sure if this counts as a deadly weapon. I probably wouldn’t drive around with it.

Then, at my cousin Tony’s urging, I whittled out three long, shallow scoops to use as a grip. Total time: about an hour and fifteen minutes.

So, there you go. If you’re writing a vampire book, or you’re just wondering how long it takes the Scoobies to make all those damn stakes, it takes an hour and fifteen minutes per stake, and you need to sharpen your knife between stakes.

The Big Damn Buffy Rewatch, S02E03, “School Hard”

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In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will never learn the lesson that nothing good happens after 2AM. She will also recap every episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer with an eye to the following themes:

  1. Sex is the real villain of the Buffy The Vampire Slayer universe.
  2. Giles is totally in love with Buffy.
  3. Joyce is a fucking terrible parent.
  4. Willow’s magic is utterly useless (this one won’t be an issue until season 2, when she gets a chance to become a witch)
  5. Xander is a textbook Nice Guy.
  6. The show isn’t as feminist as people claim.
  7. All the monsters look like wieners.
  8. If ambivalence to possible danger were an Olympic sport, Team Sunnydale would take the gold.
  9. Angel is a dick.
  10. Harmony is the strongest female character on the show.
  11. Team sports are portrayed in an extremely negative light.
  12. Some of this shit is racist as fuck.
  13. Science and technology are not to be trusted.
  14. Mental illness is stigmatized.
  15. Only Willow can use a computer.
  16. Buffy’s strength is flexible at the plot’s convenience.

WARNING: Some people have mentioned they’re watching along with me, and that’s awesome, but I’ve seen the entire series already and I’ll probably mention things that happen in later seasons. So… you know, take that under consideration, if you’re a person who can’t enjoy something if you know future details about it.

Update on The Girlfriend and other blog stuff

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Hey there everybody! I know you’re all probably tired of this blog being one big, extended commercial for The Girlfriend, but I wanted to update everybody on what’s going on with the release. Because I didn’t quite understand the process over at Amazon, the Kindle version of the The Girlfriend released two days early. I thought it was going to take forty-eight hours to publish to Amazon, it really only took twelve. And actually, it took less than twelve. It takes forty-eight hours to publish to Amazon in other countries, that was the part I misunderstood.

Unfortunately, that means everyone who pre-ordered or who will be ordering over at Smashwords are now getting the book after everyone else. I put a note into customer service at Smashwords and I’m waiting to hear back to see if I can get it released before Tuesday.

This was exactly the situation I was trying to avoid by not going through the Kindle Select program, so I’m very sorry to everyone who didn’t get the book early. I promise, I’ll have this figured out better for Raptors of The Great Plains. If I hear back from Smashwords before tomorrow, you’ll hear about it on twitter. In the meantime, if you were planning to buy The Girlfriend from Amazon, you can find it here.

As for other blog stuff! I’m so happy to be working on the next BtVS recap, and that will be up tomorrow!

The Girlfriend is available to pre-order!

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The Girlfriend


Hell, Troutnation! You’re not having deja vu, this is the same post as yesterday! I just wanted to add stuff to it, and I didn’t want anyone to miss it.

You can now pre-order the digital version of The Girlfriend on Smashwords. Since I announced that on twitter last night, I’ve had a slew of questions about whether or not it will be available on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It will definitely be available on Amazon, but I don’t have the option of a pre-order on Amazon. So, you’ll be able to buy it via your Kindle on August 20th. It will be offered on Barnes & Noble, Sony, iTunes, etc. through Smashwords, but I’m not sure what date those third-party retailers will have it available.

Oh, hey… did I mention that there are like SIXTY PAGES OF PREVIEW AVAILABLE AT THE SMASHWORDS LINK? The sample is downloadable. You get about three chapters. THREE CHAPTERS, Y’ALL.

If you were planning to order The Girlfriend as a paperback, now is the time! I opened orders for the paperback version a little early, so readers who wanted it could get it as close to the release of the ebook as possible. No, you probably wouldn’t be able to order this and get it before the 20th. I tested, to make sure. I mean, unless you wanted to pay like, eighty dollars worth of shipping, which would be insane, so don’t do that. Just send me the eighty bucks instead and go sit in a corner and think about your financial priorities.

So, if you’re itching to order your copy, you can do so here.

More State of The Trout

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Hey y’all! If you follow me on twitter, you may have noticed the #1 symptom of illness in Jenny Trout: explosive, aimless tweeting. I’m so sick! My husband had this wretched cold, and he passed it to me. I need to really set firm rules for myself and not have sex with that man while he’s ill. In my defense, something about nursing a sick guy back to health really turns my crank.

I’m also getting ready to put up the pre-orders for The Girlfriend. My goal is to have it available for pre-order on the 15th, but let’s see where the wind takes us. Having never done a self-pubbed release this way before, I’m not real sure of how everything goes down.

I know people are missing the Buffy/50 Shades recaps, and those will be back on track soon, but right now everything in my work life is like a clogged pipe or something. Good things are happening– but they’re happening all at once, making things kind of inconvenient.

Before I go, let me share with you some of the highlights of the last three days of illness:

  • I binge watched Orange is The New Black
  • I had to tell my four year old to stop twerking
  • My ten year old started playing Battlefield 3 online. I heard an outraged “He’s TEABAGGING me!” yesterday
  • Strawberry preserves in oatmeal is amazing

Have any of you guys watched Orange is The New Black? What did you think of it? I’m rewatching it with D-Rock, so now at least one person understands the joke when I say, “Don’t fuck me with me. I’m a Russian, I’ll pop your fake titty.”

THE GIRLFRIEND cover reveal, excerpt, and giveaway!

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It’s time to reveal the cover of The Girlfriend!

After the cover, stick around for the blurb, an excerpt, and to find out how you can win the e-book version of The Girlfriend!

The Girlfriend

Unemployed, blacklisted, and pregnant, Sophie Scaife’s life is totally upside down. Her relationship with publishing magnate Neil Elwood is on the rocks. Her best friend’s career is igniting. And Sophie is afraid she’ll make one of the toughest decisions of her life alone…

When a devastating diagnosis forces Neil to return to London, Sophie throws caution to the wind to follow her heart across the Atlantic. Keeping a scorching D/s affair as red-hot in sickness as it was in health is a challenge, even for two lovers as inventive as Sophie and Neil. But Sophie is more than willing to try anything her Sir commands, and their fantasies of control become a welcome refuge from the daily stress of illness.

While Neil’s wealth and privilege make adjusting to her new situation easier, Sophie finds herself rebuilding her life around an uncertain future. And while both of them face the changes between them head-on, they’re all too aware that their happiness could be fleeting—and Sophie could lose Neil forever.

The Girlfriend will be available in paperback and e-book August 20th! Check for buy links, and to read the prequel, The Boss, as a pay-what-you-want e-book download!

Enter to win an e-book copy of The Girlfriend in this Rafflecopter giveaway

So, here’s the deal: when I signed bloggers up for the cover reveal, I gave them a choice of either a sweet or a spicy excerpt. But since I’m the author, I can give you both, if I wanna. And that’s what I’m doing. Here’s the sweet one. If you want to read the spicy one, you’ll find it behind a jump at the bottom of the post.

Warning: The following excerpt will probably make you go, “Awwww!”

After a delicious course of vegan plum pudding for dessert, we went back to the drawing room to exchange gifts and have cocktails. We were all happy and relaxed, chatting amicably when Emma, a twinkle in her eyes, said, “Dad, please tell me you made Sophie do the shoe thing.”

“Shoe thing?” I raised an eyebrow.

“There was a tradition my father’s family had when he was a child, and he passed it on to us,” Neil explained. “You left your shoe in the window on Christmas eve, instead of hanging up a stocking by the fireplace.”

“Sophie, you are going to be so confused,” Emma said with a laugh. “There are like twenty-seven Santas in Iceland.”

“Oh no, was I supposed to set out twenty-seven shoes, then?” I teased Neil. “I didn’t even leave out one, the staff here pick everything up the minute you leave it unattended.”

“Not to worry, I did it for you.” He smiled his mysterious half smile and pointed to the tall windows behind the tree.

Rising from the sofa, I went off in the direction he’d pointed. In the corner of the low windowsill, a gorgeous nude-colored Christian Louboutin pump waited with an envelope inside.

I picked up the shoe reverently. It was goddamned beautiful, shiny, and oh, such a sexy tall heel. I slipped one of my own shoes off, took the envelope out of the Loubou, and tried the shoe on immediately. It fit perfectly. I thought of Neil carefully examining my shoes while I had packed. He’d gotten this before we’d left New York.

“What’s in the envelope?” Emma asked, snuggling closer to Michael on the velvet upholstered setee.

I unfolded the paper inside and read the note silently.

My darling Sophie,

The other shoe is waiting for you upstairs. Be sure to pack them when we leave for Paris for New Year’s Eve.

Merry Christmas, and all my love,


“Well, what does it say?” Emma demanded.

I raised my head, beaming, momentarily speechless. “Neil is taking me to Paris for New Year’s.”

“Go Dad!” Emma said, giving him a thumbs up. “Very romantic.”

I went to Neil and leaned down to kiss him briefly. I’d save the utter mauling for when we were alone. “Thank you. You’re wonderful.”

“Speaking of romantic,” Michael said, nudging Emma. “Remember when you said you thought Christmas-themed proposals were romantic?”

Neil’s attention shifted sharply. I looked up, my focus drifting with everyone else’s toward Emma and Michael. You could have heard a pin drop as Michael rose from the couch, then took a knee in front of her.

“Oh my god,” Valerie said softly, her hand flying up to her mouth.

The expression on Neil’s face echoed Valerie’s sentiment, but for the opposite reason. His facial “Oh my god,” was more like, “Oh my god, that bear is eating my loved one.”

“Emma, I am… so in love with you,” Michael said, his voice breaking with emotion. “And I know how important family is to you. So that’s why I wanted them with us when we started our family together. Emma, will you marry me?”

My knees went weak at the adorableness. A tear rolled down Emma’s cheek, and she wiped it away with her knuckle as she nodded frantically, and giggled, “Yes!

Warning: The following excerpt is hot, hot, hot! NSFW, most definitely.