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The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott

The Butterfly Project Book Cover The Butterfly Project
Emma Scott
Fiction, Contemporary Romance
February 2017

"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.

Maria’s Review

➦One thing I’m definitely grateful for after reading this book is my fucking radiator. I just came back from the basement where I’ve spent some quality time hugging our brand new state of the art heater. I have new respect for the damn thing.

➦Why, might you ask? Well, because these two wonderful characters spent a winter in New York in a small studio apartment with barely any heat! I get legit cold just thinking about this book. Ok, all jokes aside, though.

➦This, right here, is one of those books that carry a message. Emma Scott’s ability to create these wonderful but broken characters is amazing. On one the hand they appear very unremarkable but you can’t help falling in love with them. This story about “the lonely busboy and the desperate girl with no place to go” touched my heart and is definitely going to stay with me for a long time. It’s sweet, romantic, heartwarming and makes me want to do good.

➦At first I thought this book wasn’t going to go there. You know?

➦It was just so sweet. And such a slow burn romance. But then BAM. Emma, you surprise me. In a good way. Me likie.

➦Not sure what trope to name here. I suppose, a second chance at happiness. Both these characters help each other overcome the guilt they feel and ultimately end up finding home in one another. While, of course, at the same time battling with the fucking radiator.

…also read ARIANNA’s Review

ARIANNA’s Review

“…there’s so much that’s shitty in this world, when you find something that shines against all the dirt and darkness, you gravitate toward it.”

‘The Butterfly Project’ is gripping, moving and fantastically written. A story about two lost souls who find friendship and love in one another, Emma Scott’s latest release gave me all the feels. I was immersed in these characters’ story from the very beginning and I couldn’t put it down for one minute. Mrs. Scott’s storytelling is truly captivating and, once again, managed to make me forget about the reality and live in Zelda and Beckett’s world for a while. ‘The Butterfly Project’ is more than a love story. It’s a story about friendship, second chances, finding hope, forgiveness and learning how to move on. It’s a book I would recommend to anyone who wants to read something unique, magical and touching.

“Wasn’t love a kind of chaos theory? One small look, one smile or one word could alter the course of a life forever.”

Zelda moved from Vegas to NYC in hopes of getting her novel published. Her dystopian time-travel graphic novel means everything to her, so when her hopes of publishing get crushed, Zelda is destroyed. She doesn’t want to give up, she simply can’t, not when her new story is related to her past. She doesn’t want to give up her dreams, but living in a city without money, where she doesn’t know anyone, is impossible. She’s thinking about going back to Vegas, but everything is turned upside down in her world when she meets a blonde haired boy named Beckett.

“I recognized the weight of guilt hanging around his neck, because I wore it too.

Beckett tries to survive working two jobs – as a bike messenger and as a bus boy. He wants to forget the fact that he spent two years in prison for armed robbery and that someone died because of him, but unfortunately, he can’t. Every day, Beckett is struggling with guilt, so the fact that he has a criminal record doesn’t mean too much to him.

When he meets Zelda, he doesn’t know what exactly to think about her, but he has this strange desire not only to help her, but to protect her as well. Zelda decides to give NYC one more try, but she desperately needs a place to stay. She comes up with an idea – to live with Beckett for a few months until they get back on their feet. Zelda and Beckett become friends very quickly, but soon their friendship blossom into something more, something pure and real, something that changes both of them.

“I once read that you fell in love like how you fell asleep: slowly at first and then all at once.”

‘Butterfly Project’ is simply wonderful. It’s moving,  addictive and its message is phenomenal. I loved the premise, and the execution is stellar. Like I mentioned above, Emma Scott’s storytelling is fantastic, her words so simple, yet so powerful.  From beginning until the end, they touched my heart and made me feel. I enjoyed the story-line, the graphic novel aspect and the slow burn relationship between Zelda and Beckett.

Emma Scott’s characters are amazingly portrayed and have so much depth. While, overall, I didn’t connect (too much) with either of them, I felt everything they felt as the story progressed and I loved them individually as much as I loved them together. My heart broke for them and I wanted so badly, and so many times, to take away their suffering. Their pain and guilt are so palpable that you can’t help but feel how lost and lonely they both are from the moment they are introduced.

“I must be crazy,” he muttered. “Or you are.” He nodded at the tracks. “This is me. Or…us?”
This is us.

Zelda is a fantastic heroine I loved from the very beginning. She is tortured, yet so strong and brave. Her past is truly touching, and my heart ached for her. Her determination for a successful writer is admirable. I loved her graphic novel and the role it played in her life. I also loved her perseverance, her gentle soul and the way she was with Beckett.

“I was lost in the dark without you, Beckett. You found me. You brought me home.”

Beckett is such a wonderful hero. As much as I enjoyed Zelda’s character, I have to say that I really, really loved Beckett. He is such a tormented, beautiful soul. I absolutely loved his kindness, his consideration and his selflessness, but what I loved the most is the way he cared for and loved Zelda. OMG…he warmed my heart in such a way…I honestly felt his love for her with all my being.

“I want this for you,” he whispered… “I want everything for you.”

The romantic aspect is wonderful and the slow burn relationship between these two characters is so well done. They make sense together from the start and the way they complement each other is terrific. I loved all the sweet and tender moments between them. There are also some very sexy and tender sex scenes, which I adored.

As for the supporting characters, I loved them all, but Roy stole my heart. I love that man. He is amazing. His love, care and support towards Beckett simply astonished me. Such an amazing man!

All in all, ‘The Butterfly Project’ is a wonderful, heartwarming read and is highly recommended if you are looking for a fantastically written, unique love story with two amazing main characters and a touching message .

“Every day it feels less like something I shouldn’t be allowed to have, and more like something precious I can’t throw away.”

Book Excerpt:

“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?”

...continue reading excerpt

“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.

About the Author

Emma Scott is a writer, marathon runner, and caffeine addict, who lives and writes in the California Bay Area. She has two smart, feisty little girls, a super-supportive husband, and is a demonstrated fan of the Oxford comma. She is also an unabashed Star Wars geek and comic book enthusiast who fell into romance novels when a writing contest prompt turned a 1000-word romantic story into a full-blown novel. She also writes epic fantasy that suffers an epic word count.

She hopes you enjoy her work, encourages readers to leave feedback, and thinks it’s amusing to write about herself in the third person. And if she has a driving force the fuels her work, it’s that love always wins.

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