“Where you are is home…”
THE BUTTERFLY PROJECT
by Emma Scott
Released February 28, 2017
Amazon US | Amazon Universal | Paperback
“Where you are is home…”
At age fourteen, Zelda Rossi witnessed the unthinkable, and has spent the last ten years hardening her heart against the guilt and grief. She channels her pain into her art: a dystopian graphic novel where vigilantes travel back in time to stop heinous crimes—like child abduction—before they happen. Zelda pitches her graphic novel to several big-time comic book publishers in New York City, only to have her hopes crash and burn. Circumstances leave her stranded in an unfamiliar city, and in an embarrassing moment of weakness, she meets a guarded young man with a past he’d do anything to change…
Beckett Copeland spent two years in prison for armed robbery, and is now struggling to keep his head above water. A bike messenger by day, he speeds around New York City, riding fast and hard but going nowhere, his criminal record holding him back almost as much as the guilt of his crime.
Zelda and Beckett form a grudging alliance of survival, and in between their stubborn clash of wills, they slowly begin to provide each other with the warmth of forgiveness, healing, and maybe even love. But when Zelda and Beckett come face to face with their pasts, they must choose to hold on to the guilt and regret that bind them, or let go and open their hearts for a shot at happiness.
The Butterfly Project is a novel that reveals the power of forgiveness, and how even the smallest decisions of the heart can—like the flutter of a butterfly’s wings—create currents that strengthen into gale winds, altering the course of a life forever.
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5 ASTOUNDING STARS!
Wow. I don’t know what to say. Emma Scott has written another amazing and emotional story that moved me completely and filled my heart. The Butterfly Project is packed with guilt, regret, seriousness, and the circumstances that ultimately shaped the characters into the people they are, but it’s the power of forgiveness, trust, and love that is astounding and even more life altering. This captivating, heartfelt story is a must read and a new 2017 favorite of mine.
When Zelda Rossi was fourteen years old, she witnessed a tragic event that changed her life in a blink of an eye. An event that hardened her heart and filled her soul with unimaginable pain. The guilt she harbors eats away at her and she does the only thing she can to survive.
It was either draw or lose my fucking mind.
The book was an apology spread out over a hundred black and white pages, colored with tears and inked with regret; everything I didn’t do that day was embedded in the drawings, and my heroine’s rage – her merciless thirst for vengeance – was my only relief.
Zelda moved to New York City to make her dreams come true and find peace, but as a graphic novelist suffering rejection after rejection from publishers, everything just keeps getting worse. Then, on her last night in the city before she heads back home, she meets Beckett.
Beckett Copeland is consumed with his own pain. He made mistakes in the past, bad decisions that altered his life and will haunt him forever. When he meets Zelda he finds her intriguing but he refuses to pursue her for reasons kept deep down inside him. She somehow implants herself into his life though and the bond that forms between them becomes everything.
This book delivers ALL THE FEELS and I loved it! I am still reeling from this sensational story. The writing is gorgeous, flowing easily across the pages while drawing you into the story. You become fully invested in the beautifully broken, complex characters who are just trying to survive.
The pain in his eyes when he’d spoken about it was bright and glassy. I’d see that look before, in every mirror I’d ever looked into. I recognized the weight of guilt hanging around his neck, because I wore it too.
Zelda was written in such a realistic way that I could totally relate to her. Her hopes and dreams, her fears and reservations, everything made her real to me. My heart wept for the pain she constantly felt and the guilt she couldn’t forgive. She was sweet, smart, and funny, and I loved her sarcasm and wit. I admired her bravery and strength as she tried to find closure from the past.
Beckett is an amazing hero whose vulnerabilities only make me love him more. He is one of the most generous heroes I have read and his kind heart was apparent through his actions. He is selfless, caring, and loves taking care of the people around him. He had a hard childhood and now he has to deal with the consequences of his actions taken in the past. I loved that he owns those actions though and doesn’t put blame on anyone else.
Zelda and Beckett are amazing together. Even though they both fight separate inner demons, each are affected completely by their experiences and are stuck in a place of hurt, unable to move on.
“Do you ever wonder, Zelda, if you’re allowed to be happy?”
Tears sprang to my eyes. “Yes,” I whispered. “All the time. Every minute.”
His brows furrowed and her brushed the backs of his fingers along my cheek. “I hate to hear you say that. I hate that I can’t take that pain from you.”
“Me too,” I said. “For you. You carry too much.”
“Maybe we both do.”
I loved watching them help each other heal from the grief of their pasts. They challenged each other and the growth they experience in this story is incredibly beautiful as they overcome the pain they harbor inside their souls. They find a calm in each other and a safety they haven’t felt in a while.
“How do you do that, Beckett?”
“I called you feeling so goddamn lost, but your voice… It’s like a searchlight in the fog.”
And they finally find hope. Each one giving the other a flicker of possibility for a different life while supporting and providing strength to each other. I loved the detailed expressions that describe Zelda and Beckett and how they painted a clear picture of everything the characters were feeling, making me feel everything too.
The progression of their relationship was slow building and natural. It’s was well paced and excellently written. I loved watching the friendship bloom into more as they opened up to each other and tore down the walls that encased their hearts.
I met a girl.
She’s woven herself into my life, so tightly that if I cut those threads, I’ll unravel. The warmth will seep out, the light will dim until I’m nothing but dark.
There were so many sweet interactions between Zelda and Beckett as they navigated a relationship that was all too new and unfamiliar to them both. The slow burn nature of this book only intensified Zelda and Beckett’s desperate need for each other creating a delicious tension that explodes when they finally give into the inevitable.
The drama and pain we see heightened the intensity of the emotions in this novel yet none of it was unnecessary or over the top. These elements were enough to add depth to the story without overshadowing the relationship between Zelda and Beckett.
The vivid imagery and beautiful writing made the story play out like a movie in my mind. I saw it all. I felt it all. I loved it all. Even the parts that were all too painful and heartbreaking because in the end, every emotion was worth it to get to an ending like the one in the book.
“Together, Zel. Everything we do in this life… We do it together.”
*ARC generously provided by the author and Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review*
“Why do you stay if it’s so hard to live here?” I asked.
Beckett took a drag from his cigarette, as if he were buying time before answering.
“Brooklyn, born and raised,” he said finally, still not looking at me. “Where else would I go anyway? Different city, same struggle.” He finally brought his gaze to mine. “So you’re getting out?”
“On the bus, tomorrow,” I said. “I can’t stay. I was here for a job interview—sort of—and it fell through.”
“What was the job?”
“You’ll think it’s stupid.”
“Yeah, I probably will.” His smile was dry.
I laughed a little. “Smartass. I draw graphic novels.”
He stared at me blankly.
“Long-form comic books that tell one continuous story,” I said.
“Like The Walking Dead?”
“Exactly. I have one mocked up and I came here to pitch it to a few publishers. They all rejected me. Well, one half-rejected me, but it doesn’t matter. I can’t stay in the city long enough to make any changes, and I wouldn’t know what changes to make if I could.”
Beckett studied the cigarette between his fingers. “Why can’t you stay?”
“Where do I start?” I ground out my cigarette under my boot heel. “My poor planning? My dwindling funds? The fact I was robbed today? Or that I was naively hopeful the publishers would adore my work and sign me on the spot? Take your pick.”
Beckett shook his head, his mouth turned down in his grimace. “Wait, go back. You were robbed?”
I nodded and waved away the last of the smoke, wishing my failure could be as easily dissipated. “I came here like a wide-eyed twit with a dream, and I crashed and burned.”
“You tried. That’s more than most people do.”
“Tried and failed.”
“So try again.”
“I wish,” I said, letting my gaze roam over the dingy back alley. “I feel like I’m so close to breaking through. That last publisher gave me some hope. If I could pull a few weeks out of my ass, I’d have a chance. But it’s impossible. I have to go back to Nevada.”
“You don’t have friends or family nearby?”
Yes, and only two hours by train.
“No,” I said, and decided I’d said enough to a total stranger. The last thing I needed was the terrible homesickness to well up again. I stood and brushed off the ass of my pants. “Anyway, it is what it is. Thanks for the smoke.”
“Were you hurt?”
I turned, glanced down at Beckett. “What?”
“You said you were robbed,” he said, his voice low, his eyes holding mine as if he were forcing himself to hear this. “Did they hurt you?”
“No, I… No. I wasn’t there. It was a break-in.”
He leaned against the wall and his sigh plumed out in front of him in the cold air. It sounded relieved. “I’m sorry, Zelda.”
I frowned. “Not your fault. Like I said, the city kicked my ass. The sooner I get the hell out of here, the better for all involved.”
Beckett ground out his smoke and got to his feet. He was at least six-two, yet it didn’t feel imposing to stand in his shadow. It felt…
Safe. I feel safe with him.
“Do you know how to get back to wherever you’re staying?” he asked.
“The same way I got here, only in reverse,” I said, covering my unsettling thoughts with sarcasm.
Because that was safe for me.
Signed Copy of The Butterfly Project & $15 Amazon Gift Card
The Escapist Book Blog is not responsible for this giveaway.
About the Author
Emma Scott writes romances with flawed characters, characters with artistic hearts: builders, poets, and writers of various makes and models. Emma loves to write book lovers; those who have found refuge, companionship, and escape in books, much as we all do in real life. She digs realism, honesty, authenticity in storytelling. She also loves to write about enduring love, soul-deep love, in as real a setting as possible, but with big smooshy HEAs. Emma believes in diversity, open-mindedness, and inclusion. She adores sweetness mixed with steam, love conquering all, and above all, hope. Love always wins.