Naive Gnostic’s review of The Haircut + my retort

Okay, not all reviews can be 5 stars, that would be an unrealistic expectation.

Quite often, the most valuable reviews aren’t those full of unambiguous adulation. When properly worded, well-meant and constructive criticism can be quite helpful to any writer that is determined to grow as an author, even if the review is only for 4 stars or less.

One of the latest reviews for The Haircut got me thinking about story length. How many words a story has when it’s finished isn’t always within the author’s control, but when you begin outlining or drafting that new brainchild, you at least have an idea of the ballpark your story will be in.

Generally, stories are classified into a few categories as far as word count goes: (wikipedia)

Classification Word count
Novel over 40,000 words
Novella 17,500 to 40,000 words
Novelette 7,500 to 17,500 words
Short story under 7,500 words

At roughly 11,000 words, The Haircut falls nicely into the novelette category. This was a choice I had made at the onset, to end up between 10- and 12,000 words.

This choice bears a few consequences.

As highly regarded the principle show, don’t tell may be among writers, being succinct in your descriptions is a great way to trim those excess words and paragraphs from your manuscript.

Wouldn’t The Haircut have been a better story at 25,000 words? Or 50,000? Who knows.

I could have added a lot more background of every character, sure. I could have had them reminisce their childhood, I could have revealed their inner dialogues and conflicts, or showed my reader a lot more in places where I chose to tell, for the sake of brevity.

Every story deserves to be told, and I am convinced that it is often the story that searches for and finds an author, rather than the other way around. Once the two have found each other, it is in the author’s hands. His or her choices, skills, and experience play a key role in how the story will eventually turn out.

Not every story would work well as a full-length novel; some stories would be done a disservice if their author tried to cram them in a 3,000-word format.

“My main complaint is the length. Although it is a fully formed short-story it could be so much more. I’d like to know more about Lucy’s condition. And what’s the real deal with Arron? He’s got issues that weren’t sufficiently fleshed out.”

That said, The Haircut wanted to be a novelette, and that’s what I wrote. So indeed, that means I had to make some sacrifices. Aaron and Elbe’s backstory is indeed a fascinating one; so is Lucy’s journey up to the point where she met and fell in love with Elbe. But my characters tend to haunt me in my sleep, so I’m confident that future stories will raise the tip of the veil a little higher.

Read Naive Gnostic’s review on Amazon.

p.s. I’m still very happy with this review, of course 😀

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Sakura’s review of The Haircut

By now, it’s no longer a secret that The Haircut is a transgender romance novelette. The first review it got even before publication was by Isabella, who is a trans woman herself. She also writes transgender erotica and has recently made the jump to the big league in this specific genre by venturing into the Futa realm.

Another review I was looking forward to was by another seasoned expert of the transgender genre, Sakura Von Sternberg. Her book Slumberparty Succubus—reviewed by me here—was the first book I read that featured characters of dubious sexuality. This opened up a whole new spectrum of literary possibilities for me, and together with Isabella’s book TransMission, prompted me to create my first transgender character.

So far, the reviews have been amazing. 5 stars across the board, and praising comments not only on my language and story line but also on the credibility of my heroines and the erotic tension between them.

With an opportunity for me to learn a few new words comes Sakura’s review, adding another 5 stars for my new book The Haircut. Needless to say, I’m excited and honored in equal measure by her recognition of the effort and care I spent in giving life to Elbe. The research I put in before starting my first draft paid off, that much I can gladly conclude.

Check out Sakura’s review here.


TITLE: The Haircut AUTHOR: Lusty Soul SUBGENRE: lesbian, LGBT, erotic romance The Haircut is both a continuation of and radical departure from Lusty Soul’s Spicy Dinner for Three. Like her previous…

Source: REVIEW: The Haircut (Lusty Soul)

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Lars Kaiden’s review of The Haircut

Lars Kaiden, author of erotic poetry and romance novels, has written an amazing review of The Haircut. Since I’m so happy, I thought I’d share it with you 🙂

This story of Lucy and Elbe is a fascinating read. The author is skilled at setting the scene and providing succinct and yet vivid imagery. The plot twists and turns were welcome, as was the depth of the dialog between characters. I did feel a little lost in the plot in one or two places. However, that did not detract from my overall enjoyment of the story. I would definitely recommend this as a short story purchase.

The Haircut went on sale yesterday at all major retailers. Be sure to get your copy, or send one as a gift to your friends.

Use coupon code XL23H to buy it half-price until April 30 (only at Smashwords)teaser4

 Check out my new book The Haircut on

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The Haircut

The Haircut is now exclusively available at Amazon. Pick up a copy, enjoy, and leave a review.

An Erotic Story With A Cutting Edge
Lucy, a succubus still coming to terms with her special nature, falls in love with her hairdresser. Elbe isn’t the type of girl she usually falls for, but after seeing her stand up to her bigoted brother, Lucy is impressed by Elbe’s confidence and energy, convinced there’s more to this girl underneath her shy and timid personality.
She offers Elbe her friendship, which quickly turns into scalding passion.
But Elbe’s brother, in his religious zealousness, isn’t so easily deterred…

The first reviews:

“I was taken on a roller-coaster ride. I am looking forward to the next installment to see just where these two go.”

“This novelette is beautiful and warm, sensitive and thoughtful. Oh, and did I mention…hot, hot, HOT? ”

“The author is skilled at setting the scene and providing succinct and yet vivid imagery. “

Read an excerpt at Amazon

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The song mentioned in The Haircut was Spiritual Migration by the Andorran progressive death metal formation Persefone. Check them out, they deserve a lot more recognition than they are getting.



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The Haircut – Pre-release and free sample available now

Dear Reader,

With a considerable delay, at last my next book The Haircut is uploaded to Smashwords and Amazon, and available as pre-release.

If all goes well, my book should be available for full download from April 8, through Smashwords at all major retailers, and Amazon. You can already add it to your library, or send a free sample to your friends.

As with my previous book Spicy Dinner for Three, I’ll be handing out coupons for a free download, so make sure I notice you sharing the good news all over the internet. Spread the word and help me grow!

People who have subscribed to my mailing list can expect a 50% discount code in their mailboxes.

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My review of TRANSmission

HOLY CRAP! What did I just read!!

Okay, let me back up a bit.

I read TRANSmission, the latest release by my good friend and overall naughty internet badass Isabella Belucci.

According to Isabella, “Transmission: an erotic thriller”  was something of an experiment for her, a sidestep from her usual repertoire of more romantic eroticism.

Let’s analyze the title into its constituent parts:

  • TRANS: Anyone who knows Isabella or is familiar with her work knows that her heroines, besides being mostly audacious, confident and gorgeous women, are all transgender characters. So now too, our protagonist is a trans woman. This is an aspect that helps advance the plot in this character-driven blockbuster-to-be since it defines the leading lady as much as what drives her actions, which is the next part of the title:
  • Mission: Yeong, our Asian angle-of-vengeance, spares no one in her mission to avenge the brutal murder of her father. Her entire life she has devoted to tracking down, isolating and punishing those that have taken away the person dearest to her. Blood nor bruises are spared, and anyone foolish enough to get in the way of her ultimate goal is flung aside as collateral damage.
  • Erotic: Eroticism has many definitions, and is very subjective. Sex is seeded throughout the story, but it has many faces, some of those faces splattered with blood and gore. Sexy, enticing, groundbreaking, but not for the faint of heart. You won’t find sweet cuddles between clean flannel sheets here.
  • Thriller: I mentioned this story is a blockbuster-to-be, and I hope my predictive powers won’t fail me on this one. As I was reading, my mind automatically translated every word to the big screen. The story reads like an action-packed, out of control, overloaded and often bordering on derailment freight train from hell. So be warned: if you choose to get on board – which I highly recommend – you are in for a ride that will leave you gasping and panting, and reaching out for a tissue. Don’t put the box too far though. Leave one hand free to take care of business, if you know what I mean.

So, a conclusion has become a bit superfluous by now. The story delivers every promise the title makes. As I’m not a native English speaker myself, I won’t comment on Isabella’s style, grammar or language, although some purists might think her writing is a bit unpolished. The pace, terror and searing heat this story packs more than make up for the lack of thoroughness during the final editing. I’m sure the few typos and inelegancies I came across will be smoothened out with coming uploads.


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Transgender survey suspended

Due to the unexpectedly high number of responses, I am (temporarily) suspending my survey. I’ve gotten almost 50 replies already, which is a lot more that I had ever hoped for.

I am now attentively reading the submissions. The draft of my story is coming along nicely, and I feel it is important that my transgender character has real feelings, real emotions, and a real backstory. The information I have gathered will make that possible.

I want to thank everyone for their participation. Your answers are as diverse as they are gripping. I hope my story will do justice to all of your stories.

I humbly thank you.

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The Trans Experience – Survey for transgender folks

UPDATE: The survey has been suspended. Read here why.

In preparation for my new story, and as a means of researching my topic, I have come up with a questionnaire for transgender people. My goal is to increase my knowledge and insight, by asking a few questions in this short survey.

The survey is strictly confidential, and participation is completely anonymous. If you are trans, or you know a transgender person before, during or after their transition, feel free to have a look. Any answers you provide will help me create a credible backstory for the trans character I will be introducing in my current work in progress.

You can find the survey here. Please forward this as much as possible.

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