Skip to content

Month: April 2014

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

Posted in Uncategorized


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.

Guest Post: Authors After Dark 2014!

Posted in Uncategorized

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

Posted in Uncategorized

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 

Happy Game of Thrones Season 4 (or “The second half of book 3: The Movie) day!

Posted in Uncategorized

Oh my Hodor. I am so excited. Today is Game of Thrones day and last night I just finished up an epic rewatch with my cousin D-Rock and my #MerlinClub pals Jessica Jarman and Bronwyn Green!

Oh. Well, it was a rewatch for some of us. Brownyn Green hadn’t seen any of the series. At all.

And last night was “The Rains of Castamere.”

This is a screenshot of the chat window during the infamous “red wedding” scene. The text is all Bronwyn:

bron IM


If you’ve seen all three seasons or just don’t give a shit about spoilers, here’s the hilarious Honest Trailer for Game of Thrones. I wish they would have left out the dig about Martin’s weight, though. But the rest is true on so goddamn many levels.

Are you watching tonight? Or, if you’re in elsewhere locations, tomorrow? Come back and leave a comment after you see the episode and tell me what you thought of it. I won’t read them until I can see the episode myself, but I’m totally psyched to talk Thrones with people again after so long.


Merlin Club S01E11: “The Labyrinth of Gedref” or “Let’s Go Kill A Unicorn”

Posted in Uncategorized


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.

So, here’s a quick rundown of episode eleven: Arthur kills a unicorn and everything in Camelot goes all to hell.

I’m leaving it at that, because that is really the entire plot of the episode.

If I had written this episode, I would have changed: From the moment Athur kills the unicorn, people are saying, “Historically, there are consequences to killing a mythological creature like a unicorn.” Then when weird shit starts happening (grain being spoiled, water turning to sand), Arthur and Uther are still like, “No, I think we’re being too hasty jumping on this unicorn thing. Let’s explore some other options. Like sorcery.” But dude, wouldn’t unicorns fall under the sorcery umbrella? I would have had them realize the link way earlier. Way, way earlier. Then I would have shown Arthur’s successes and failures at the tests affecting Camelot in positive and negative ways. Basically, I would have spread the tests out more and made them the center of the episode, rather than bringing them in during the second half.

The thing I loved most about this episode: There’s a fucking unicorn in it.

The thing I hated most about this episode: Besides the unicorn blindness that made Uther and Arthur lose their common sense? I hated the amount of comedic relief that was taken over hunger and lack of clean water. From a storytelling standpoint, it removes some of the urgency and forward momentum if you’re downplaying your main conflict for funny shots of characters eating bugs.

Something I never noticed before: The unicorn is alive again at the end of the episode. I don’t remember that happening at all before. Or maybe I thought I was confusing Merlin with Legend and mentally corrected something that wasn’t wrong in the first place.

Favorite Costume: The Unicorn dude’s bitchin’ druid robes:

druid dude

Here is proof of some random headcanon I created: None this time around. I would say it’s a welcome change, but it’s just laying low until next week.

What object would Bronwyn steal from this episode? The unicorn’s horn. And she would give it to me, because I could put it in my unicorn collection. UNICORN!

What Merthur moment did Jess have the naughtiest thoughts about? I assume that in Jess’s mind, the scene where Arthur makes Merlin try the rat dinner ended much differently. Probably with a spanking.

Check out Jessica Jarman’s take on the episode here

Check out Bronwyn Green’s take on the episode here

Or check out The Merlin Club drinking game, which, you know. I’m sober, so I can’t endorse it. But it’s still funny. Also, there’s a banner that shows you what I’m like when I’m not sober, which I never will be again, so enjoy the snapshot of an era gone by.

That’s it for this week. Join us on Monday as we watch S01E12, “To Kill The King” at 8pm EST on the hashtag #MerlinClub.


The Big Damn Buffy Rewatch S02E09 “What’s My Line pt. 1”

Posted in Uncategorized

In every generation there is a chosen one. She alone will panic that her taxes aren’t filed, before realizing that it’s not April yet. 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.
  17. Cheap laughs and desperate grabs at plot plausibility are made through Xenophobia.
  18. Oz is the Anti-Xander

Have I missed any that were added in past recaps? Let me know in the comments.  Even though I might forget that you mentioned it.

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. 

State of The Trout: What I’m working on now, where I’ll be, and Wednesday Blogging

Posted in Uncategorized

Hey everybody! As you might have noticed from yesterday’s unusually optimistic post, I’m back! I’ve crawled out from under my overwhelming two release months in a row and the resultant stress-induced depression, I’ve taken a week off and now I’m ready to jump back into writing with both feet! The next Buffy recap will be here on Thursday, and then it’s Merlin Club on Friday and sweet baby potatoes and celery, it’s almost like I’m actually blogging again!

What am I working on? I’m glad I presumed that you would ask!

  • Playing Him, a New Adult novella
  • The Abysm of Time, the second book in my Wondrous Strange series.


such sweet sorrowAmazon • Barnes & Noble

I’ll be going places, too! I’ll be at the Chicago Spring Fling Book Signing  (Hoffman Estates, IL • April 26, 2014 • 9 – 10:30am). There are going to be a lot of great authors at this one, including my girl Bronwyn Green, so if you’re in the area, come check it out!

Next up, in an attempt to get back to more regular blogging, I’m joining a bunch of really fabulous authors in a wednesday blog ring. Every week, we’ll be posting on the same topic. This week is “A Day in The Life,” and I thought it would be a great way to introduce another new feature, Trout Nation TV! I’ll be posting videos on an irregular basis, to keep things low maintenance.

Here’s the inaugural episode of Trout Nation TV, and my first wednesday blogging entry:

Check out what these writers do every day:

Let It Go

Posted in Uncategorized

I recognize the danger I’m taking in posting a serious account of a mental illness breakthrough on April Fools Day, but you can’t control when this stuff happens for you. So, there’s no punchline, this is just all good news.

There’s a line in the song “Let It Go,” from Frozen where Elsa says, “It’s funny how some distance/makes everything seem small/and the fears that once controlled me/can’t get to me at all.”

That’s pretty inspirational. But what the song doesn’t tell you is that it’s a lot of work to get to that line.

In 2009, I was about to have a second series published with Mira, and it was a series I was so incredibly passionate about. I loved it with all my heart, and I was so sure readers would love it as much.

For the most part, they did not.

I was crushed. I was also at the start of the five hellish years that span this story. I lost my house– the house I grew up in–, struggled with IRS problems that I’m still paying off until I’m forty, had surgery to remove a huge tumor from my spine, got Fibromyalgia which led to a pill addiction, developed epilepsy and became an alcoholic. It was not the best time of my life.

A brain affected by mental illness can really mess up a person’s life by creating parallels and patterns where there are none. And to my mind– which was mentally ill before all the stress and the raging substance addictions I had at that point– I decided that I knew what was up: the universe had handed someone else’s success to me, and now that it knew what a fuck up and fraud I was and always would be, it had directed that success to the right address and I would go on being the same failure I had always been.

Obviously, the answer was to kill myself.

I was already seriously mentally and physically ill. I was in pain all the time, walking with a cane when I could walk at all, living in a constant daze of pills and booze, missing my daughter’s first year, and watching my career, the thing that gave me the only sense of self worth I’d ever allowed myself to have, slowly spiral away. To my mind, it all made perfect sense. But then a family member committed suicide, and I realized that I was’t ready to do it yet. It would hurt people that I cared about. I decided that I was definitely going to kill myself, but that my reluctance to do it right at that moment was a sign that I shouldn’t do it yet.

Obsessive compulsive disorder has long caused me to look for “signs.” I wanted desperately to see a pattern in things, I wanted a clear signal that it was the right time to commit suicide. I began to set benchmarks for what would be my sign, or at least the thing that proved to me that I was worthless, that I was a fraud, and above all, that I had been given something I had not earned, because it had belonged to someone else the whole time.

I attended the Authors After Dark conference in Philadelphia, and at the book signing, a very earnest, very enthusiastic young woman came up to me and started going on and on about how great my books were and how the writing was so amazing and the characters, etc. until I realized that the book she was holding in her hands wasn’t my book. And as this person continued to talk,  it became clear that she had the wrong author. All the writers around me looked at me with such open second-hand embarrassment, I had to get up and leave. And I thought, “Okay, there’s a sign.” But it wasn’t the sign. So I put it in my back pocket and kept waiting. These instances kept coming, and began to form the foundation for my paranoid delusion that I had somehow taken something that didn’t belong to me. I interpreted each of these misunderstandings as a sign. But I still wasn’t ready.

By this time, Harlequin was no longer interested in seeing manuscripts from me. I’d written a critically well-received book that showed absolutely no hope of earning out the advance they’d been paid for it. My last editor had passed on a proposal days before I learned he was leaving the company, not through a phone call or an email to me or to my agent, but through another author’s tweet. I had written erotic romance for a small press, but it didn’t pay the bills. I worked as an editor, making twenty-five dollars a manuscript. Twenty-five dollars for manuscripts in excess of 50,000 words, while I was on food stamps and my husband had to return to the job he’d left in order to go to college. I had to go back to work at the McDonald’s I’d worked at when I was twenty. College was gone for him. Writing was gone for me. I was utterly humiliated, and I convinced myself that I’d proved everyone in my life right. Oh, because everybody in my life secretly thought I was a worthless fuck up, even though they’d never said or done anything to indicate that’s how they felt. I forgot that part.

Obviously, things started getting better for me and my family the very second I said, “Fuck this” and started writing about 50 Shades of Grey. At that point, I was like, “You know what? My career is over, I’ve been planning to kill myself for three years, anyway, so what’s going to happen? What can the publishing world possibly do to me? Spank me? They don’t even know I’m out here. Fuck this.” And everyone was being so nice and so sweet and people were saying I was cool and they were going to buy my books, and I started writing this thing called The Boss and people were liking it.

Things should have been looking up, right? I didn’t need to kill myself anymore?

Wrong. My diseased brain had been so focused on that one goal, that it was too late. I knew I was going to kill myself eventually, and that made me angry. I didn’t even want to kill myself. Things were going good, and I loved my therapist and I felt like maybe I was getting free from all the misery that my OCD and depression had latched onto. But I knew it was going to happen. I was going to commit suicide, even though I didn’t want to. It was just a matter of time.

One afternoon I got on twitter, and saw something that made me go, “This is it.” I don’t know how I decided that this was the moment, but  I went upstairs, my whole body shaking, and with complete calm told my husband that I had the final sign, and it was time to kill myself.

This came as a shock to him, as you might imagine, because I’d never told him about my suicide plan– “conceal/don’t feel,” as the song goes. He knew I was depressed, and I was projecting my mental health issues onto a person and a situation that had nothing to do with me. But he’d never realized how deeply ill I was. He made a frantic call to Bronwyn Green, who was on vacation with her family at the time, and they discussed whether or not I should be hospitalized. Between the two of them, they talked me down, and got me to see some reason until I could make an emergency visit to my therapist.

That day was the ultimate low. And out there were people I had never even met and things I couldn’t control, and I had elected them as the deciding factor in whether or not I lived or died.

How fucking unfair was that? My natural inclination is to say, “Jenny, you’re a terrible person.” But I have to accept the fact that I am mentally ill, and sometimes, I latch on to freaky, untrue shit, and it’s out of my control or anyone else’s control. Still, I’m responsible for that, and if I believed in karma, I would think, “Wow, I’m in a lot of trouble right now.”

Obviously, I didn’t kill myself. I walked away from that low point and I didn’t look back. For a while, I caught myself having the occasional weird thought, but I’d nip it in the bud. And I started looking for signs again, but not “suicide, next exit” signs. I began to look for actual, measurable progress in my mental health. Like feeling good about myself, and liking what I had written. Like standing up for myself in my career, and not pretending I needed to scrounge for crumbs because I failed to meet the high expectations set at the beginning of my career. And I have to get this out here, but reallyReally, Harlequin? You gave an author with one series under her belt and already declining sales a four book contract for fifty-thousand dollars per title? I’m sorry, but I am not the biggest fuck up in this scenario.

So, why am I writing all of this now? Because last night, I got the biggest, most important sign of my recovery, and gave the biggest fuck you in the history of fuck you’s to my jacked up mental health. I can’t share what this was; it wouldn’t be fair to out the name of an innocent bystander who was unknowingly involved in my suicide plan, and it’s impossible to tell that particular story without being specific. But it feels like, at least for a moment, my mind is clear and I can live with a whole, open heart and concentrate on doing what I love without needing it to murder me.

I was scared to write this post. It makes me sound like a legit crazy person. Because I am. I am super duper full time wacky pants. And I always will be; there’s no cure for mental illness. But the good news is, it’s getting better. I really am able to “Let It Go,” and not try to force myself to feel negative or positive emotions I think I should be feeling. I’m not going to try and show people the emotions I think they want to see, in order to protect them from the truth of my nuttiness. I’m going to be in charge of, and even like, myself. I’m not going to throw the weight of my suicidal thoughts onto someone else, someone I’ve never even met, and make them symbolically responsible for my life, so that I don’t have to face up to my real problems. And I’m going to forgive myself for being my own worst enemy. And I am not going to kill myself.

Tonight, I feel healthier and happier than I have in a very long time. The next time I latch on to some obsessive quest to justify why I should literally destroy myself, I’m going to remember to “Let It Go.” Because it’s way easier than carrying it around for five years.