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From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  October 11, 2001

Today's Featured Author - Heather Sinclair

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  by: Lisa Elizabeth

Heather Sinclair IS a storyteller. She has written four stories here at Storysite. Some are in multi-part format so it appears as if there are more. Let me explain...

‘College Bound’ is the story of Chas and Lexi. Lexi just cannot see going to college without Chas to room with. School rules only allow freshmen in single sex dorms. The solution? Turn Chas into Chastity. It starts out as a crossdressing tale until Lexi adds some ‘vitamins’ into the mix. To see how Chastity turns out, you will have to read the story.

‘The Kingsley Investigations’ is a series of four stories based around our heroine Bobbie Kingsley. In the first one, ‘Happy Halloween’ our hero has to deal with a body swapping demon that has lived for over four hundred years. A woman comes to seek help after being thrown into the sewers and left for dead. She claims to be the victim of a body swap. They eventually find her old body at her home doing some ‘cooking’ on All Hallows Eve. The ensuing fight and body swap leave the demon in a dead body, the girl back in her male body and our private eye is now a female!

The next chapter is ‘Satan’s Rod’. Here our heroine is finding out more of the magical powers that are at work. This includes getting an assignment to help end a reign of horror. All is commanded by a witch’s staff that was named ‘Satan’s Rod’. A love interest and a fight with daemons are in store for you.

The third chapter is ‘Lost Souls’. A continuation of the first two sections of this series. Bobbie Kingsley loses her first love and finds eternal love, along with leaving a trail of dead gargoyles and werewolves along the way. Lots of action and a well-told story to keep you on the edge and reading.

‘Lost Souls II - Diana’ is the next installment in the Kingsley investigations. Here our heroine and his new love must be ‘approved’ by the elder of Diana’s coven. There is a problem there and they must survive a ‘petition’. Fortunately for all Bobbie and Diana survive the conundrum and the story continues!

‘Vii Will Rock You’ is the next to last in this series. We come down to a showdown with a special type of vampire. A Vii! This is one mean motorscooter! Lots of action for Diana and Bobbie. The only part I thought unusual is that Shurkom is not involved. I am sure Heather has plans for him.

‘An Unexpected Turn’ is Heather’s take on ‘Buffy, The Vampire Slayer’. The story is good and brings Faith and Buffy together. This one will never make it to prime time TV, but it is an interesting set of ideas. For all you true ‘Buffy’ fans, this is a must read!

The last series is what I like to call the ‘Dance’ series. It is a series of four stories built around Chad and Reagan. It seems Reagan is in love with Chad, but only when he is dressed as a she! The story progresses through a year and a half of college and is in the middle of the tale. Chad has had implants and is living as a female full time. No hormones or mind control. Just doing what a lot of us wish, we could have done at that same time in our lives. He has just had his first sexual encounter with a pair of twin males and has had to dress as a guy for a surprise visit from his parents. Did I mention that they do not know about the ‘modifications’ to Chad’s anatomy?

Over all, Heather writes a very good story. Grammar and the use of the proper word are seen throughout her writings. This only means that she takes her time to insure that we, as readers, will enjoy her tales. My only wish is that she has the time and inspiration to finish both the ‘Kingsley Investigations’ and the ‘Dance’ series. Take some time and download some of these stories, you will not be sorry.

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by: Julia Manchester

Heather Sinclair is our Editor here at Armchair Reviews, and critiquing her work is a little like evaluating your boss, so of course, I’m one of the ones she picked to do it. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m the most malleable, the most easily intimidated, or the easiest to bribe (Just kidding boss). Of course she knows I can’t afford to lose this high-paying job, not with mother’s operation to pay for.

Oh sure, when she casually walked over to my desk and gave me the assignment she said to be "brutally honest," but at the same time she mentioned that there might be a "reorganization" at Armchair Reviews, and that she was debating whether to expand our operations to cover post-modern literature by selected pre-school students, and that she was looking for the right gal for the job. Ahem.

Okay, here goes . . .

Heather has produced two series: "A Kingsley Investigation," and "I want To Dance." Additionally, she has authored two other works: "College Bound II," and "An Unexpected Turn." Aside from that she also co-authored "Tattle Tales: A Night At Crystal’s," a whopper of a tale with no socially redeeming value, told by six outrageous liars of dubious moral character.

Heather tends to write in narrative form, and though her stories are very good there are some occasional problems with spelling, punctuation, and distinguishing homonyms. There is also an occasional problem distinguishing between the plural and possessive forms of a word. These really aren’t major deficiencies, and certainly did not detract from the enjoyment of reading the stories, but they have a tendency to jump out at you from time to time. Aside from those minor problems, her prose is neat and succinct, and her dialogue is well-paced and believable. She never loses sight of a character’s personality (which is easy to do) and the interaction between her characters is excellent. She also has a dry sense of humor that finds its outlet in delightful ways.

"College Bound II" was Heather’s first posted work, and it contains a glaring error. A large section of the text is repeated a few pages into the story, and I was forced to search for the end of the repeated text to pick up with the story. This was a nuisance, but the story itself was very enjoyable. This story explores how two lifelong friends circumvent college regulations concerning co-educational dorms. When the female half of the duo discovers they can’t be together for their freshman year, Lexi hatches a plan to allow them to occupy the same dorm room. Though their relationship is platonic, Lexi can’t stand the thought of rooming with a stranger, and she uses tears to coerce Chase into masquerading as a woman. For his part, Chase is skeptical of his ability to pull it off, but Lexi manages to convince him with a demonstration, and it proves to be a life-changing event.

"An Unexpected Turn" is written in the world of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." The problem here is that Heather assumes her reader is familiar with the characters, and spends little time on introductions or history. Not being an aficionado of that particular series I did not understand many of the references in this story, and I would caution the reader that it will make little sense if you aren’t familiar with the underlying characters.

"I Want To Dance" is a four-part story about a male college student with a female roommate. One evening the girl finds a hot guy she wants to date, but he has a friend, and, well her roommate agrees to dress up as a favor. After a few too many drinks he falls asleep en femme, which leads to long term consequences and frank revelations.

I enjoyed the manner in which the two roommates explored their new relationship, and the smug attitude of the male protagonist as he discovered the power a hot chick has over men. Heather has a winner here, and my only complaint is that the ending doesn’t resolve enough issues. There is plenty of room for another chapter or two, and I hope she considers adding to this great series.

"A Kingsley Investigation" is a four part serial, and could easily go longer. It is, perhaps, Heather’s "signature" piece. Robert (Call me "Bob") Kingsley is a private investigator with a style and attitude right out of the 30s or 40s. He has a pretty secretary, a reputation for honesty, and Heather made it easy to imagine him sitting behind a battered desk, with his feet on the blotter and the requisite trench coat hanging in the corner. Visions of Humphrey Bogart, as Sam Spade, in the Maltese Falcon come to mind as you read this story.

When a bloody, but gorgeous client appears at his door with a bizarre tale of bodyswapping Bob swings into action. Ultimately he is successful in helping his client, but at a severe cost to himself, and Bob must learn to deal with life from a new perspective. Heather’s dry wit really shows through in this series, and a lowlife who attempts to extort money from "Bobbie" learns the hard way that the new woman gets a little testy during her periods.

An interesting metamorphosis occurs after Bob becomes Bobbie, and it has nothing to do with the physical changes. Where Bob Kingsley’s thoughts and speech are almost cliche for his hardboiled character, Bobbie’s thoughts and speech are subtly different. She tries very hard to mimic Bob and retain the tough, macho, private investigator image, but she doesn’t quite pull it off. She comes across as parody of her former self, and the effect is both humorous and sobering at the same time. In my opinion Heather is at her best in this series, and I look forward to more episodes.

Heather presents a diverse and interesting portfolio of stories that reveal an active imagination and a talent for descriptive language. Her dialogue is definitely her strong suit, and she gets more out of the narrative form than most authors who write in the first person. I thoroughly enjoyed her work, and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for something that doesn’t fall into the same old patterns.

 

Hang in there Mom, things are looking up. Heather just gave me my own office! Now, if I could just get the light to stay on when the door is closed . . .

Editor - Heather Sinclair

 

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