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Author: JennyTrout

The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp: Chapter Eight

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Need to catch up?

New video, new merch, short update

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Howdy! Still hard at work on a bajillion different projects at once over here, but I took some time out of my busy schedule to torment myself with the game that traumatized and inspired a generation of children to say, “Nah, I’m good. I’ll just keep living where I am.” And today, I am sharing that with you:

Please enjoy the adventures of the Butt family and many, many references to the Donner Party.

Also, if you’ve been waiting to see your favorite Jealous Haters Book Club selection immortalized on merchandise, this month I’ve added two new designs, “Pidge” and “#1 Most Jealous (for 24 hours)” to Troutmart. These were the designs that got bumped from June after the proofs didn’t come back in a way I was happy with. Now they’re fine and I highly recommend the “Pidge” throw pillow. Be aware that one of August’s designs will also be an homage to my favorite book about people randomly meeting Carrot Top, so if you want one but can only get one or only want one, wait until August to see if you like that design more because I don’t want to bait and switch you. But I’m having such a good time drawing these between frantically scribbling a thousand different stories all at once in many notebooks that I am most assuredly not looking forward to typing up.

On that note, more The Business Centaur’s Virgin Temp will be here tomorrow, after I obsessively make sure I have all the Ancient Greek names spelled correctly.

I Love This Book(s)

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I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a total fangirl weirdo when it comes to the stories written by Leanna Renee Hieber. I’ve posted about her Strangely Beautiful series, but she’s also written the Magic Most Foul series, The Eterna FilesThe Spectral City and the Dark Nest Chronicles

I have to admit, I haven’t read Dark Nest Chronicles yet, but that didn’t cause me any trouble reading her new series set in the same world. Time Immemorial is a trilogy of novellas that tie all of Hieber’s tales together with a hell of a concept: her starship captain, Liz Marlowe, is living numerous lives in various time periods, concurrently. As she bops between various lifetimes, interacting with characters from Hieber’s other works, Liz is accompanied by a friend who has reincarnated over and over, interacting with Liz’s parallel past-present lives.

In other words, Hieber has written a series of novellas about a kind of Clara-Oswald-Kwisatz-Haderach who ties the Hieberverse together in the space opera universe she co-created with Thom Truelove. So, gaslamp space opera?

In other, other words: you’ve never read anything like this.

the silhouette of a woman in profile against the background of a ring of blue light and black, starry space beyond. The text reads: Time Immemorial, a Dark Nest adventure, Leanna Renee Hieber with Thom Truelove

Lizzie Marlowe had as many missions as she had lives.

A masterful tale of multiple timelines; one woman, split between four lives…

Elizabeth Marlowe has always known she was different—even from others with psychic abilities. She doesn’t merely glimpse past or future lives, she lives multiple lives concurrently. She is L’Bet, a druid priestess holding out against the Roman invasion. She is Lizzie, a headstrong Victorian plumbing the depths of both science and Spiritualism. She is Beth, a Royal Air Force pilot fighting in World War II. And she is Captain Liz, a starship commander forging a path through the stars.

But being different comes with danger. Liz is determined to make it on her own, hiding her unusual ability from all but one trusted companion in each life. Yet, she is haunted by an ominous warning from her old mentor, Saire: Someday they’ll fear you. People fear what they cannot understand, and it is only a matter of time before those with psychic powers are targeted for their difference. When that happens, Liz will have to choose between her life of independence and saving the community she rejected long ago.

Return to the world of Leanna Renee Hieber’s Dark Nest trilogy with the start of a new series that spans eras and galaxies!

 

The silhoutte of a woman with her hand on her hip, in front of a purple ring of light and dark space with stars behind her. The text reads: Time Inescapable, A Dark Nest adventure, Leanna Renee Hieber and Thom Truelove

A tale of psychic powers and those who fear them; one woman, stalked by an enemy across the threads of time…

Captain Liz Marlowe has just learned of a horrific Homeworld plot to eradicate the Psychically Augmented population. Though her crew managed to rescue one survivor from the lonely desolation of space, the danger isn’t over yet. In fact, confidential documents from the Homeworld council reveal that Liz is in even more danger than she thought. For Liz has a power that may be the key to erasing the psychic population once and for all … the power of existing throughout time.

Elizabeth Marlowe is aware of living in four eras at once. And in each life—from druidic priestess to starship captain—she nurtures a special connection to the threads of power that crisscross the planet: ley lines. In times of danger she has always been able to draw on the power of these lines and hide herself within them. But recently something has soured the Earth’s beautiful music. Elizabeth is haunted by an eerie dissonance that warns of an encroaching enemy, who seems to be pursuing her throughout each life. And she cannot hide forever. Elizabeth will have to open her heart to new allies and prepare to confront her greatest enemy if there is to be any hope for the survival of her people—and herself.

 

The third installment releases in July, only on Scribd, from Bryant Street Publishing, but you can get the first two now. And if you’re more into audiobooks, good news: Leanna is a real-deal actress (which is a little weird when you know her IRL and she just randomly shows up in the Will Ferrel movie you’re watching) and you can hear her narrating all three titles, also available only on Scribd!

STATE OF THE TROUT: Why have I been so busy edition

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I’ve been a little busy lately. I wanted to get another set of Jealous Haters merch out for yous all, but I didn’t like the way one of the proofs turned out so they’re getting a re-design and release in July. It will be worth the wait, Jealous Disasters and Handbooks for Haters. I haven’t forgotten yous all. But here’s the stuff I’ve been busy with.

Reason #1:

me, with messy hair, holding three kittens up to my face

On the condition that my brother and sister get their cat spayed, I agreed to foster these beasts. Which quickly turned into, “I will keep two of these.” From L-R, that’s Frankenstein, Dracula, and Ed. Obviously, Frankenstein and Dracula are mine. Once Ed is old enough (they’re eight weeks old now, we got them at six weeks because Momma cat peaced out on the whole parenting thing), he’ll live with Baba. In the meantime, all three of them are here, to the bone-chilling terror of our largest pit bull, who trembles and flees any time we open the porch door because one of them hissed at her once and she has yet to recover.

Reason #2

One of the towers of the Mackinac Bridge, taken from right at its base looking up

I went on my annual U.P. writing retreat where, unfortunately, I spent most of the time in agonizing pain and missed out on seeing my friend’s new baby. But I did get more writing done than I usually do at home, and I always use that week as a benchmark to figure out how my publishing schedule is gonna go for the rest of the year. I feel like BARRING ANY POTENTIAL BREAKDOWNS CAN I GO ONE GODDAMN YEAR WITHOUT A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS, I’ll be releasing both Queen of Hell and the rewritten version of In The Blood on Halloween. Because I’m spooky like that.

 

Reason #3

You ever get a chance to do something you’ve always dreamed about but never had the chance to do? And then you get the chance and you throw literally everything else in your life to one side because this is all that matters until July 9, 2021? Well, that’s what happened to me. I got the chance to write a musical revue. It’s free, it’s outdoors, and it’s with my very favorite theater family, Center Stage in Kalamazoo, MI. If you live in the SW Michigan area and you’d like to see a show on the 9th, 10th, or 11th of July after a year of no theater, you can get ticket info here!   

So, that’s what’s been going on lately. Check back this week for a rec/review of a really great series from one of my most favorite authors, Leanna Renee Hieber, and possibly other stuff. I’m not 100% sure that my ass is unkicked yet from the trip.

$ PRIDE $ (and why I don’t think cops belong there)

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Am I introducing Pride merch like a god damn conglomerate? You’re 100% right. If Lego can cash in, so can I. Except, when LGBTQA+ creators do it, it’s like when you hand money to the dude in the sleeping bag on the sidewalk instead of the dude ringing the bell to get money to run through the hands of the CEO before making the dude in the sleeping bag sit through a gospel reading to get a bowl of oatmeal and a roll of toilet paper.

Moving on.

Before I shamelessly hawk my wears, let me explain this shit like a fucking recipe blog.

I don’t think cops should be a presence at Pride. Not just because cops routinely raided gay bars and checked people’s genitals and counted how many pieces of “gender appropriate” clothing they were wearing and beat them and outed them and humiliated them etc. until Marsha fucking snapped and chucked that brick, but also because of how the police have weaponized their presence to prevent events and protests from even happening. Cities have tried to use, “but you have to pay for the police to protect you!” as an excuse to withhold permits and contracts from event organizers who couldn’t raise the funds. And “protection” from police at Pride has sometimes meant open harassment and violence against the people paying for their protection in the first place.

Just because marriage equality passed in the United States doesn’t mean LGBTQA+ people are safe and all our problems have been solved. We’re still considered “less-dead” in criminology terms: victims more vulnerable to becoming cold cases due to marginalized status.

The situation is somewhat similar to what happens to Black Lives Matter protests: Pay us to protect you at the protests you organize in remembrance of how we, specifically, have historically victimized you. Oh, and while we’re here, why not let us make you feel incredibly unsafe.

In the United States, there’s a flag that’s become a popular substitute for the traitor (confederate) flag. It’s a version of the American flag in black and white. One stripe is blue, to signify the “thin blue line,” the mythical concept that without the police to brutalize citizens, the workers will undermine the fruits of their labor or something dystopian like that.

In my area, they usually fly just above “Trump 2024” or “Fuck Biden” MAGA flags.

I fucking hate them.

Like, whenever I hear a firetruck, I fantasize that it’s one of those houses.

So, as with many, many things in my life, I was motivated by spite to make a flag for LGBTQA+ Americans who don’t want cops at Pride, based on the bootlicker flag:

The "No Cops At Pride" flag is based off the American flag, but with rainbow stripes and the gray asexual flag stripe instead of red ones. The field of stars is black, with NO COPS in block letters in the pink and blue of the transgender flag.

This image file is huge, by the way, so that you can use it on what you want. Put it in your Cricut machine and make stickers and sell ’em on etsy. Make it a real flag, I don’t care. Put it on your FB, print it out and write love letters on it, whatever blows your skirt up. Monetize it. Get that cash, gaybies.

What I’m not cool with would be if someone not a member of the LGBTQA+ community decided to be an ally by making money off it. Or a corporation. That would disappoint me and I would lose respect for that person or entity. But I want it to be available for everyone so I’m not gonna copyright it or anything.

But I’m gonna sell merch!

Over at TroutMartyou can find this design, as well as a limited edition, super gayed-out version of our favorite misogynistic insult that will only be available during the month of June.

Giving queer people money is allyship, right?

Anyway, a very merry Pride to you, remember the people who died so you could watch cis straight actors pretend to be them in the biopic.

No Cops At Pride.

No Crave Post This Week

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Hey yous all, my dog died and i finally got an appointment for my second dose of the vaccine (they ran out of Moderna, so I had to wait until they got some), so I gotta postpone this week’s Crave post because I know after they stick me with that Dolly Juice, I’m gonna be down for the count and because tomorrow will be a total wash because we live way out in the middle of nowhere and it’s like an hour to get to the crematorium for the dog. I guess in the meantime, rock out with your cocks out? IDK this has been a wild week and it’s only Tuesday.

State of The Trout: The Retirement of Abigail Barnette

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This is my fourth attempt to write this post. The first one blew up bridges. The second was nuclear assault. The third was a little more measured and reasonable. I flirted with the idea of posting all of them, choose-your-own-adventure style: if you want to choose the high road, click here. To plunge into the fiery abyss of Jenny’s contempt, click here. But then I stopped and thought to myself:

I have so much awesome stuff going on in my life right now. I’m so blessed to be doing the things that I love. Why talk about people who aren’t included in that? This week, I’m launching some merch (I love how douchey that sounds. Merch.), I’ve got a video to post, a new recap to deliver, I’m finally crawling out of my grief pit a little bit, I’m half vaccinated…why burn a bridge I’m sure as hell not going to accidentally wander back down? But changes must be made.

As you can see from the title of this post, I am retiring Abigail Barnette. For a few reasons. I don’t need to comment on my views regarding the power of cis white woman tears in the ‘landia. I’ve referenced Mean Girls to describe the hierarchy of the industry but after Dudley only got twenty-six presents last week, it’s beginning to look a lot like MAGA. There are so many people trying to genuinely do good, even some of the people I find insufferable. And I wish those people well. But the hypocrisy of others, the entitlement and gatekeeping and diet social justice branding, the openly unethical actions and outright lies, it’s just…so tiring. And it’s really soured my experience as a romance author. I’m just not enjoying myself anymore. I don’t begrudge anyone their success; I actually have a lot of respect for con artists, if they’re good con artists. And I’ve seen so many incredible feats of manipulation and gaslighting in my time writing romance, made by incredibly successful people.

I’ve also seen some of the best, nicest, and most honest people have magical things happen for them. And I’ve made some great friendships, with authors and readers alike. Romance has always been a great love of mine. But I never meant to be a romance writer. My traditionally published books aren’t romances, they were just published by Harlequin and because romance readers are such big cross-genre readers, I did a lot of romance conventions and collaborations with romance authors. My writer friends were all romance writers. All of the fanfiction I wrote was romance. When I switched to writing and editing romance, it ended up being the worst move of my career. It killed my hobby writing and reading and made all of it a homework assignment. The pace, the environment, the intra-genre politics, all of it has burned me out. So, Abigail Barnette must retire.

I know this will come as a disappointment to readers waiting for a fourth Ian and Penny book. I had explored other avenues of continuing that series with new writers and I was in talks for about a year on that but ultimately a deal wasn’t reached. But when I look back on the end of Baby Makes Three, it feels like their happily ever after already happened. Everyone’s loose ends are tied up, except for one. That’s Danny’s book. I’ve had a perspective change on priest romances. I don’t think anyone is terrible for writing them or reading them, believe me. Priests are just not a subject I want to think about for reasons involving recent charges against a favorite one from high school. I won’t get into it because it’s a sensitive subject for a lot of people, I just wanted you all to be aware that his book wouldn’t have been happening regardless.

This isn’t me quitting fiction; as much as I would love to blog full time, I wouldn’t love to blog full time. I really like writing. I’m going to go back to the fantasy/urban fantasy I started with, and I’m still going forward with dark paranormal erotica/erotic horror as Jennifer Morningstar. So, upcoming releases like In The Blood and Queen of Hell aren’t affected by this shift. I’ll also be pursuing traditional publishing with future fantasy projects. Self-publishing requires more executive function than I’ve had for a while. But that’s quite a way out.

Do I believe that other genres are any better when it comes to petty squabbles and unethical behavior? Absolutely not. Where there be people, there…there shall ye find assholes. But at least they’ll be different assholes. And maybe that’ll make me less of an asshole?

State of the Trout: THE TROUTMART COMETH

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If you follow me on Twitter, you may already know that I’m planning to launch some merch. Why? Because why the hell not? That’s why next week, on Saturday, May 8th, Troutmart will have its grand opening! And today, I’m gonna give you all the information I have for you right now.

Show us pics of the merch! Certainly, friend! I’ve got something for everyone (who reads this blog and gets the inside jokes)!

Thirsty? How about this official Jealous Haters Book Club tumbler?

my hand holding a stainless steel tumbler with the words "Jealous Haters Book Club" repeated on it in various shades of gray

It’s steel, with text in multiple shades of…monochrome.

Are you cold? You could cozy up in an awesome hoodie:

A close of a hoodie, with the collar and string things showing. Jealous Haters Book Club is printed multiple times in a column, again in varying shades of gray

 

Or maybe you’re not a Jealous Hater? Maybe you’re more the cum-burping gutter-slut type? Again, I’ve got you covered with leggings and t-shirts in so many awesome colors so you can really clash if you want to. Here are just two of the aforementioned colors:

bright turquoise fabric over purple fabric. Both pieces have "C.B.G.S."  in an '80s-esque font in hot pink.

Now, brace yourselves, because the all-over print logo is only available in the United States. But don’t fret! Though I don’t have a photo of it, the same logo will be available on t-shirts and hoodies (you’ll see those on Saturday).

There are other products and colors (or shades of…monochrome) that I just didn’t photograph because there are gonna be photos on the store itself and it just seemed like overkill to post pictures of everything.

But that’s only two designs. That’s not really a store, Jenny. Well, hold your horses, lil’ reader, because I’ve spent a lot of time on a lot of different designs getting ready to launch this thing. As a result, there will be one or two merch drops per month that will stay in the store forever, and occasionally there will be limited edition exclusives. This gives me a chance to not only plug my merch everywhere, every month, like some kind of manic salesperson of intensely strange wares but also to have time to get samples of the product so I know I’m only passing on quality stuff to you. The schedule for the rest of this year looks like:

JUNE:

 

JULY:

AUGUST:

  • “Scambook for Haters,” celebrating five beautiful years since Lanizade published whatever the hell that was
  • an original drawing off a neat animal I like that will remain a surprise for a while

SEPTEMBER:

  • TBA spooky thing
  • TBA spooky thing
  • Limited Edition: “Trout-o-ween” and “Trick-or-Trout” and all of these are Halloween designs so you can get your spoopywear in advance of skeleton season

 

OCTOBER:

  • “Nightmare Born” and “Queen of Hell” shirts to mercilessly promote my series

 

NOVEMBER:

  • “With God as my witness…” I’ve been posting the same WKRP in Cincinnati fan art on my private FB every year for my family and friends and somebody said, “You should make that into a t-shirt” so I looked up the legal protections of fan art as transformative works and we’re good to go.
  • “Beautiful Penis in the Moonlight,” an original work by moi (will probably be poster/canvas only but let’s see how this shakes out)

 

DECEMBER:

  • “Mister Jealous” for those of you longing for the stereotypically backasswards imaginary Albania Erika made up in her head
  • Limited Edition holiday design I haven’t decided to go with yet but it will probably be a dragon because dragons are neat

 

Wow! That’s a lot of work. And you already do a lot of work and you fall behind all the time. Aren’t you taking too much on? Why no, dear reader! Though the first two designs are text-based, the rest of them incorporate art, a thing I already like to do. And I don’t feel like this is “monetizing a hobby” so much as it’s having fun and drawing and being visually creative, which is a great outlet for me.

These prices seem steep (you say on Saturday)Print on demand. I don’t know what to tell ya. At least they’re not concert tee prices?

What about sizing? Because it’s print-on-demand, my options for finding inclusive sizing were…not so great. For example, the leggings? Those are for straight sizes only. Some styles of the shirts only go up to XXL. Some products do go up to 5X, and I’ll be sure to always include those. And if you’re just not down with clothes, I’ll always have some non-clothing items available, as well.

I hope this answered most of the questions I thought you would have.

Sincerely,
Trout
XOXOXO

P.S.: There will be another State of the Trout announcement next week that’s also gonna be pretty important and a Crave recap.