In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Confessions of a Literary Persuasion. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for my honest review of the book in question.

11 March, 2009

Book Review: ShapeShifter The Demo Tapes: Year 1 by Susan Helene Gottfried

Have you ever wondered what goes on backstage at a concert? Have you ever wanted to see the inner workings of a well known band? Did you ever wonder what forces shape a band into a powerhouse of music? Well, with The Demo Tapes: Year 1 you can find answers to these questions and more.

The Demo Tapes: Year 1 is a collection aimed at introducing readers into the fictional world of the band ShapeShifter. All of the short fiction pieces in this collection were first published online in the author’s blog between April 2006 and March 2007. The stories all parallel Susan’s currently unpublished novel Trevor’s Song. The Demo Tapes came into existence because author Susan Helene Gottfried was tired of people not being able to read the intense story that she had created starring the band ShapeShifter. The West of Mars Blog was born through these frustrations.

Along the way, her short fiction and musings on her blog Susan gained a following of loyal readers. Her groupies (as they call themselves) stared clamoring for her writing to be published. Because of their push, Susan took matters into her own hands, and self published The Demo Tapes: Year 1 using the services of The collection cleans up the quickly written outtakes from the blog, and arranges them chronologically.

I’ve been reading the West of Mars blog from its conception. I read each of these pieces when they were originally first published on the blog. I found ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes: Year 1 a fantastic and fun way of revisiting these older stories. I’m hoping that Susan publishes The Demo Tapes: Year 2 in the near future. I look forward to reading more adventures of Trevor, Mitchell, Keri, and the other band members and fans. I also hope that the Demo Tapes becomes a stepping stone for Susan’s debut novel Trevor’s Song to make it through the gamut of the publishing industry and be available for purchase in bookstores worldwide. Susan has created a wonderful collection of characters in a full fleshed world, and it would be a shame if it was never published.

Places you can find The Demo Tapes: Year 1:
Author Susan Helene Gottfried’s web site: West of Mars the Meet & Greet


As well, I have two autographed copies of The Demo Tapes: Year 1 to send out into the world.

Leave me a comment saying something about why music is important in your life, and a way to contact you and I'll add your name to the drawing.

The deadline for submissions will be 11:59 PM on Monday March 30, 2009.

If you leave a link showing that you are helping spread the word about this giveaway, I'll give you an extra entry in the drawing.

Good luck!

Just a note: Since bookcrossing is a site that both Susan and I love to use on our traveling books, I'm registering these two copies before sending them out to the winners. As usual, you don't need to pass the book along if you don't want to when you finish reading it. I'd love if the winners would use the information on the label to share what they think of the book after you reading it but don't feel like you absolutely have to if you don't want to."


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Aww, babe, thanks for the write-up!

Jodi said...

Music is important in my life because it helps me to free myself from all the things that weigh me down and discourage me. Music takes me away from 'stuff' and helps me to relax.

Thanks for this giveaway!

JodiMof3 at hotmail dot com

MJ said...

I can't imagine my life without music. I truly love almost all of it (except some of my son's stuff!) I teach kindergarten and I find I even get those kid's songs stuck in my head! LOL Ever heard the Milkshakes..they're great!!!

Indigo said...

Why is music important in my life? Because I can no longer hear it since the onset of my deafness 4 years ago. My partner is an awesome lead guitarist that plays gigs with his band every weekend; he's also a guitar teacher. So music is still very much a part of my life. I feel the vibrations music gives off and Paul will have me sit on his amp so in a way I can hear him playing.

Thanks for this opportunity! Indigo

bridget3420 said...

Music is important to me because it helps me release my feelings. I love to blast some music and dance around like an idiot. It's a stress reliever.


Janel said...

There are so many songs that I associate with events in my past. All I have to do is hear one and it takes me back.

Thanks for the giveaway! I adore Susan : )

jgbeads AT gmail DOT com

AmandaSue said...

Music is important to me because it relaxs me when I have a bad day, it just makes me feel better when I turn on some soft music, and then when I want to have fun or need a way to stay awake during a long drive its fun to turn up the music and sing along! Thanks for entering me.

Becca said...

Music is important to me because it can make me feel better under so many circumstances. It can calm me or just make me happy when I'm down. It even makes my morning commute bearable. I couldn't live without it.

I blogged about this contest here:


donnas said...

Music is important to me because it can express any mood you have or are in and can help cheer you up if you are depressed. It can take you away and help you relax or get you in the mood to party. It is such a wide field and very creative in all of its aspects.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Dorraine said...

Music is important in my life for many of the same reasons other readers have already mentioned. As an very auditory person, I am more likely to attach a memory or a feeling to a sound, rather than a colour, texture, smell, or taste. Music reminds me of good times or bad, enhances memory and mood, can amp me up or wind me down, lull me to sleep or gently bring me to wakefulness.

I'm GateGypsy on bookobsessed and if you're looking for me.

ps... I was touched and inspired by Indigo's post. Deafness, I must admit, is one of my greatest fears, and I was heartened to read of how her partner includes her still in his music, and helps her stay connected to his sound.

Anonymous said...

music calms my spirit
mel at