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State Of The Trout: “Now listen to this!”

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Happy Post-Easter Monday, everyone! It’s a glorious time when that smug atheist guy you only follow on Facebook because they’re a friend of a friend and there would be awkwardness if you unfollowed them now stop posting Easter memes about how gullible and duped Christians are, and go back to just posting regular memes about how gullible and duped Christians are. Spring is truly in the air, my friends.

Even though I’m not a Christian, I had a great Easter this year. My great-grandparents are both gone now (my great-grandmother having died very recently at the age of ninety-eight), and my family decided to have one last holiday at their house before we have to sell it. We had an Easter egg hunt in the woods for the kids, had a big family picture taken in front of the house (with two empty chairs in the front for grandma and grandpa), and sat around watching old home movies. It could have been a sad time, but it was really fun and joyous instead. My great-grandfather once pointed to a photo of our entire, huge family and said, “My marriage license cost me two dollars, and I got my money’s worth!” so I think they would have been very proud to host their family one last time.

With that personal sappiness out of the way, onto the news! And there’s a lot of it today,  so I’m breaking it into sections.

News About Jenny’s Books

Bride Of The Wolf is available in audio! If you’re an audio reader, you can now pick up this historical paranormal romance, narrated beautifully by Tatiana Sokolov.

First Time is coming to audio! Tantor Media will release both version of First Time on May 31! I’ve heard both narrators, and they’re awesome. Also, in a hilarious coincidence, Ian will be narrated by a guy named Anthony Ferguson. Ah, serendipity. Keep an eye out at Amazon and Audible for those titles.

Speaking of First Time, after continued requests (and formatting issues with the previous volumes), both books of First Time are available in a single paperback now. It’s pricey and big, but it’s available.

But Jenny, what about Second ChanceWell, friends, you’ll be getting a cover reveal and release date news very soon. Stay tuned.

News About Where You Can Meet Jenny In 2016

Atlanta, April 9th I’ll be at the Sheraton Atlanta, at the multi-author signing for The Novel Experience Event. Doors for the signing open at 11 a.m. for the general public, and they close at 4:30 p.m. Come by and say hi!

Chicago, May 21st Okay, kind of a fudge here, it’s not Chicago proper, but Schaumburg. Still, for the number of authors who are going to be there, it’s worth leaving the city. Come see me between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Both of these events are still accepting registration for the entire conference, so if you’re interested in hearing me talk (I’m on a few panels and doing a reading at The Novel Experience Event and a workshop at Chicago Spring Fling) and have a weekend and some cash to spare, I recommend both of these highly.

News Of Interest To Trout Nation:

Our friends at the Peace Corps are collecting funds again. Last year, I posted about the Peace Corps’s “Bro Camp” in the Philippines. The camp aims to teach boys the importance of gender equality, and how to foster healthy, equal relationships. Or, as the volunteer who contacted me put it, to teach boys “not to be Christian Grey.” If this is something you’d be into donating to, you can get more information here.

My Reading Challenge Progress!

I totally cheated and shoehorned an entire series into the challenge:

A Dystopian Novel: The Selection, by Kiera Cass
A Book And Its Prequel: The Elite and The One, by Kiera Cass
A Book You Can Finish In A Day: The Queen, by Kiera Cass

When I started reading this series, I was skeptical. On the one hand, it was incredibly well-written and grabbed me right away. On the other hand, I had so many people whose opinion I trusted who absolutely hated it. The phrase “anti-feminist trash” was used by one of them. And it definitely could have been, considering the entire plot revolves around a The Hunger Games-esque competition for the hand of a prince and the chance for one girl to claw her way up through an unfair caste system. But while I cringed at the characterization of some of the girls (the ubiquitous slut who makes the heroine’s life hell, the ambiguously Asian girl there for family honor), I was pleasantly surprised by how sensitively Cass portrayed the idea of a group of girls competing for one guy without relying on a plot device wherein all the other girls were bitches. In fact, the girls who seem like the biggest threats are the ones I ended up liking the most.

What I did not care for in this series was the indecisiveness of the heroine. In the grand tradition of YA love triangles, the heroine kept one dude on the back burner–despite the fact that the circumstances of the plot made this super dangerous–while pursuing another guy. Plus, the back burner guy was such a douchebag, I couldn’t see for even a second why the heroine would want to be involved with him at all.

While some parts of the series were frustrating, I really enjoyed it, and while I could see where some of the criticisms were coming from, I think this is one of the few series where those issues did get better as the books went on.

A Graphic Novel: Nimona, by Noelle Stevenson. I really enjoyed this one. I loved the way the story blended science fiction, fantasy, and superhero mythos together. It was also kind of deceptive: when I started it, I thought, “okay, this is cute. Title character is annoyingly precocious, could do without that, but still interesting.” By the time I got to the end, that opinion was totally reversed. I mean, it was still cute in places, but the story was remarkably dark beneath the cute, and presented ages-old moral dilemmas in a totally unexpected way. I would recommend this for everybody, but especially for adult fans of Adventure Time.

Well, that’s all the news that’s fit to cram into this post!

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  1. Belle

    If you enjoyed Nimona you should definitely check out Lumberjanes, the comic series Noelle Stevenson helped create. It’s regularly described as Buffy but with girl scouts and absolutely kicks ass at representation.

    It’s my go to rec for any of the kids I babysit.

    March 28, 2016
    • Cherry

      I totally second that recommendation. We sell both at the bookstore I work at and I basically hand Lumberjanes to anyone who needs a fun graphic novel.

      March 28, 2016
  2. Oh! I’m within driving distance of Chicago and have friends who live in the area. I should try to come out and see you and Bronwyn.

    I’m also doing the PopSugar challenge, plus the Book Riot Read Harder challenge because I’m a terrible librarian who doesn’t read as much as I should. I wrote about them over at my blog.

    March 28, 2016
  3. Brian

    Just popping in to say, Read Nimona! I read it episodically when it was a webcomic. It is amazing.

    March 28, 2016
  4. Rhiannon

    Just wanted to comment, how amazing that you had your great-grandparents still alive after you became an adult (mine all died LONG before I was born), and that your grandma was in her own home till that age. My last grandmother died almost 2 years ago and she was 96 and still in her apartment but she did have carers visiting.

    March 28, 2016
  5. YES NIMONA!!! And I SO agree with the others, read Lumberjanes!!!

    March 28, 2016
  6. Mandi Rei Serra
    Mandi Rei Serra

    One day I hope you make it to Northern California for an authory event, because I doubt I could make it to Chicago!

    March 30, 2016

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