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From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  July 20, 2001

Today's Featured Author - Jacki Pett

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by: Lisa Elizabeth

I will start this review out by telling you this. Jacki Pett writes long, novel length stories. So if you are a reader that likes short, sweet, get the story over quick, type stories, do not read this author!

Jacki takes her time. The initial transformation comes early in each story and then the story unfolds from there. She brings the story and the characters along a path that keeps you reading to the end.

In all of the stories, there is a forced transformation. Either hiding from the mob, Auntie wants a daughter, not a nephew, etc. In each case, there is a dominant woman that causes the transformation and usually another dominant character to take over when that one is written out of the story.

All of the stories have a good number of hurdles for our heroine to overcome. In each case, he/she does not want the transformation to occur initially. In some of the stories, the main character finally embraces her femininity and in others, they are rebels to the end.

I must admit that in writing a review of an authoress that writes such large stories it is next to impossible to review each one! I do not believe there is enough room to do that here. Let us just say that Jacki has written many stories, all of which are intriguing and build characters and plots quite well.

Some people say a critic should be critical! Other than the occasional grammar problem, the stories were well written and easy to read. (I have the occasional problem myself!)

I only have one last comment, take your time when reading Jacki's stories. These are 'rainy day' or 'day off' reading material. If you like curling up with a good book on your day off, one of Jacki's stories might just fill the bill!

by: Kelly Ann Rogers   

I don’t know Jacki Pett, but as an author, she is one of my heroes. She is the one who demonstrated to me that TG fiction did not have to consist entirely of short stories that take place in unbelievable "universes" and that are populated mainly with cardboard characters. No, it was Jacki (along with Vickie Tern, whose Jack and Jill still blows me away) who made it clear that long stories with rich characterizations, interesting relationships, and strong writing could be developed around classic TG fiction themes. This woman knows how to write and makes almost every minute you spend with her a treat.

I forget whether I encountered "Black Lace" or "Dancer" first. "Black Lace" is not like most of Jacki’s stories. But it is a little gem about a young man who goes to a street party with his girlfriend, who has dressed him as a girl, and who, through a series of really rather plausible events, finds himself in the hands of a group of exotic dancers who think it would be a lot of fun to fully feminize him. The story ends with him trapped in the hands of the girls, but before the feminization process is really begun. It’s such wonderful, compelling writing that every place either, this or any other Jacki Pett story has been posted, you will find readers pleading to Jacki to continue it. That so many people got hooked on what really was only the beginning of a story says much about the strength of her writing.

Dancer, another relatively short effort for Jacki, establishes a general story structure she has since used to great effect. A hapless male, who may or may not have offended a small group of women, is taken by them and feminized. The group of women, usually four or so is always an interesting mix of more or less well developed characters. There is typically one "bad cop," whose motivation to feminize the soon-to-be former male arises from anger, either at him directly, at men in general, or both. She usually drives the feminization process further than the other girls had anticipated or would have done on their own.

Then there is the "good cop," a woman who agrees with the process, but who eventually sees the victim as a whole person, and is taken with him, but only after he becomes she. This pair of polar opposites sets up a tension that runs throughout the story and allows for some rich exploration of motives and feelings. The other women align themselves with the good and bad cops in shifting alliances, usually changing sides before the story ends and thereby tilting the inevitable final confrontation one way or the other. In the end, our hero, now and forever more a heroine, is at least rescued from the bad cop, but still must find her way in the world as a new girl, who has at least earned the friendship and trust, if not love of some of the others.

Of Jacki’s longer stories, I liked "The Export" best, although "Executive Assistant", "Sweet Revenge", "Heather", and the recent "Tina" are all excellent. All of them, except for Executive Assistant, follow the format I described above. In "The Export", the victim is being feminized to be sold into a pleasurable sexual servitude, a departure for Jacki, but in many ways it is one of her richer stories because of the expansive emotional range the characters must traverse before they reach an ending that will keep you guessing. It is also her only story that includes scenes in which the hero is turned into an infant before becoming a woman.

"Executive Assistant" is simpler, without the emphasis on group dynamics that Jacki seems to enjoy, but delivers a truly sweet story written with real attention to detail. "Heather" really explores the women involved and sets up a serious conflict for them to overcome, as does Tina, in which a sweet young man is feminized primarily by a nasty young woman for no apparent reason except that she can. But much of this story is still rather sweet and just feels tender and remarkably feminine.

In all her stories, Jacki follows the feminization process in great detail, often lingering on key scenes, like a visit to the salon, or a first date. We learn a great deal about how the main character thinks and feels, and how he adapts to becoming a she. At the same time, Jacki explores the feelings of her female characters as they go through the process of changing a man into a woman and while their own relationships with each other wax and wane.

This is fertile territory and Jacki explores it with skill and insight, letting us learn much about her characters while we share their trials and triumphs, along with some of their regular days. As much as these stories are about the transformation of a man into a woman, with all the attendant clothes, hair, and behavioral modifications that implies, they are also stories about people and their feelings, and that is why they are so good.

Jacki’s writing style is simple and straight forward, and perhaps because of that, it does sometimes seem a little flat. But her story telling is strong and serviceable and she rarely loses the thread of her stories or allows her characters act in ways that are not consistent with their personalities. Her stories carry a ring of truth that makes it easy to imagine they are happening in your own neighborhood to people you know, to you even. It is easy to empathize with her characters and a joy to do so because her stories have a real femmy feel to them. At their best, they’re like wearing soft, flowing clothes and lace, or sitting with your cat in a Laura Ashley sun room full of cut flowers and soft lighting.

Much to her credit, Jacki accomplishes much story telling through dialog and her stories almost never get bogged down in long runs of uninteresting narrative that characterize much of TG fiction. Her stories are obviously well crafted, edited with care, and have few errors or any kind.

As you can tell, I think very highly of Jacki Pett and her stories. But they are long and there is rarely much going on in them. These are stories that explore the interior lives of characters who basically do little more than engage in everyday activities (at least they would be everyday activities if someone wasn't changing you into a woman). If you’re looking for action or adventure, you’ll have to go elsewhere. If you’re looking for a slice of life that is richly explored, carefully observed, and lovingly described, however, and if you like to sit and savor the little moments that make lives so real, then download one of these and curl up with it on your sofa. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Editor - Heather Sinclair

 

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