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From the Comfort of their Favorite Armchair
  May 20, 2002

Today's Featured Author -  Samantha Jay

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by: Lisa Elizabeth

Samantha Jay is a wonderful person. I have chatted with her on occasion and have seen her reviews of other authors here at StorySite. A sweeter lady you will not meet anywhere else in cyberspace. That said...on with the review!

The first story I read is titled 'Why'. This is actually an essay on why Samantha is who she is. A brief history into the world of a lovely person. I find it wonderful that she has an understanding partner. I guess having a wife so similar makes it more special for me.

The next story is 'All for Jasmine'. This is a multipart story that seems to need a third part. I sincerely hope that Samantha is considering writing another chapter. It starts with our hero, Jason, finds out his wife has left him for another. An office co-worker saves him from suicide and spends the weekend watching him. She discovers his alter ego, Jasmine, and spends the rest of the story getting Jasmine 'out and about' as they say. She leaves us knowing that Karen is in love with Jason/Jasmine and that Jasmine has just had her first trip out in public. As I said earlier...I hope this story is continued.

The third story is titled 'Weapons Grade'. It is a 'Hugglebugs' story. This one is a case of blackmail, intrigue, revenge and fear for national security! Also a little accident where our hero, Samuel, becomes Samantha! It has all the right elements for an X-files story, if it was still on the air! If you are a fan of either the Hugglebugs or the X-files, you will enjoy this story.

The last story I read is a three-part story titled 'Peter'. This is the story of a fourteen-year-old boy. It is also a very serious story that points out some of the shortcomings in the world's social service systems. This is not to condemn anyone who performs in this capacity, only to shed light on the problems. Samantha writes about the British system, however, I see where the same problems exist here, in the USA. The story expresses the hopelessness of being rejected for being different. TG is the main theme in this case. It also brings to light the good works of the 'Samaritans' in the UK. An organization that runs 'Help' lines. It appears they do a very good job of it.

The story is very moving and really brings the reader into it. I urge you to keep a tissue box nearby, for you will need it as you read this touching story.

All told, Samantha Jay has written four different types of stories. There is a little something there to please people of different likes. She shows diversity I wish I had in that she can write in so many different genres.

Give her work a read, I think you will find one you like.

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by: Heather

Insightful, entertaining, fanciful, and poignant are the adjectives I would most use to describe Samantha Jay. Her authorship started recently, in the late fall of 2001, and she seems to be going on a rampage .

Four stories grace the pages at Crystals. "All For Jasmine," "Why," "Weapons Grade," and lastly "Peter." All four are vastly different from each other in subject as well as style.

"All For Jasmine" is her introductory story into the cookie cutter world of cross dressing. Most of the CD authors here have at least one story that deals with finding someone that accepts the main character for what he is ... a crossdresser. Then she helps him be who he really is ... a crossdresser that can dress without feeling like a freak.

Her foray into essay's/memoirs in "Why" is both familiar (for anyone that is a cross dresser) and helpful (for those that aspire to be one.) It is nice to know that there are people open enough to share their personal story so that others might feel less stressed about being who and what they are.

Samantha jumps in the deep end with "Weapons Grade." In the often writ world of Prue Walker's "Hugglebugs." This time is a bit of a twist. The often self-used, or accidentally used nanites are being employed in a totally different manner ... as a weapon.

This was my favorite of Sam's stories, plot-wise. Granted, it's the "nanites" again, but the way the plot device is used makes it more than 'just another Hugglebugs story.' I mean no slant at the universe; just that I am not a universe person.

However, I think this story could have been so much more than it was. It was dialog driven, which is not a bad thing. Many of my own stories are dialog driven. The problem is not to assume that the reader is privy to everything that is going on in the author's mind.

When an author writes a room scene, for the most part, she knows what the layout is, where all of the furniture is, and what is in every drawer of every desk in the room. She can change it around, of course, but the point is the author knows, not the reader.

I found certain scenes difficult to picture in my mind and found myself thinking of "The X-Files" to fill in the spaces in the office scenes and Houston (my hometown) as a backdrop of the inner city scenes. Again this isn't a 'bad' thing. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and the version I would have liked to see would probably be additional 200k worth of writing. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Last and certainly not least is the heart and soul of Samantha Jay, "Peter." In only 46k worth of story, broken up into three parts is a heart wrenching story of a crossdressing teen being ousted by his parents and on the verge of suicide. He calls the 'Samaritans', an area crisis hotline, for help.

His story is the first and last part, with the counselor's story in the middle. What stuns me is that part three garnered only 90 hits. Granted the story is depressing as all hell, but it needs reading. Being TG is not all fun and games, it's blood and tears too, which Samantha Jay aptly shows.

In only four stories she has become quite an artist with the written word. I'm scared to find out what is next, I don't need the competition.

Editor - Heather Sinclair

 

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