Susan Helene Gottfried

Biography

Author, professional book reviewer, freelance editor, and Rock Fiction expert. My love of what happens when books and music collide led me to create the books in the Trevolution, but stay tuned because I can do oh, so much more than that. Like Mannequin, only different. And every bit as good.

Where to find Susan Helene Gottfried online


Where to buy in print


Books

Broken
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,160. Language: English. Published: October 15, 2014. Category: Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
It's a routine night backstage for the members of Ice Cubes in Hell. Or is it?
ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes--Year 4
By
Series: The Trevolution, Book 6. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 17,740. Language: English. Published: April 4, 2013. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction
Trevor Wolff is back, bringing with him an expanded cast of characters in this new addition to the beloved Demo Tapes series.
King Trevor
By
Series: The Trevolution, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 77,750. Language: English. Published: March 30, 2012. Category: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
(4.33)
When Mitchell hatches a plan to turn Trevor into the official King of ShapeShifter, it sounds to Trevor like bunk. However, the Big Idiot hires the best architect around—the brother-in-law he’s never met. Trevor can’t help but smell secrets that awaken the person he used to be. After all, there’s nothing Trevor Wolff likes more than intrigue -- except a chance to square off against Kerri.
ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes: Year 3
By
Series: The Trevolution, Book 5. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 22,470. Language: English. Published: June 12, 2011. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(4.00)
The popular Demo Tapes series continues with The Demo Tapes: Year 3. There's more Mitchell, more Kerri, and more of what you love the most: The Indomitable Trevor Wolff. Viva la Trevolution!
Mannequin: A Short Story
By
Price: Free! Words: 3,060. Language: English. Published: April 8, 2011. Category: Fiction » Literature » Coming of age
(4.40)
Lynne's dad often takes her shopping with him at a high-end men's boutique. Lynne likes to sit at the feet of the mannequin in the window and dream of what he'd be like if he were real. One day, a stranger walks in. For Lynne, nothing will be the same ever again.
ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes (Year 2)
By
Series: The Trevolution, Book 4. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 20,720. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2009. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(4.67)
The Demo Tapes: Year 1 introduced the reading public to ShapeShifter and the two men behind this fictional band: Trevor Wolff and Mitchell Voss. The Demo Tapes: Year 2 brings you more of the short fiction that brings these people to vivid life. Year 2 delves more deeply into love, friendships, and the inside workings of ShapeShifter. Vive la Trevolution!
ShapeShifter: The Demo Tapes: Year 1
By
Series: The Trevolution, Book 1. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 19,550. Language: English. Published: September 8, 2009. Category: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
(4.50)
A band's demo tape is intended to introduce listeners to their music. Likewise, this collection of short pieces allows readers into the fictional world of Trevor Wolff and his band, ShapeShifter. From the day Trevor and Mitchell meet to the pinnacle of success, these loosely linked stories will let you hang with a rock band. Vive la Trevolution!

Susan Helene Gottfried's favorite authors on Smashwords


Smashwords book reviews by Susan Helene Gottfried

  • Chasing Shadows: Shadow Ops Book #1 on May 29, 2010

    I was shocked -- but not more than a little bit pleased -- when best-selling author CJ Lyons dropped me an e-mail. We'd recently been at a conference together and while we hadn't spent time hanging and chatting, we'd connected enough that CJ felt she could ask me a pressing question. It seems some of her books are getting pounded by some online reviewers, and she was wondering if I'd take a look at her books and see what was going on. She was kind enough to send me some coupon codes so I could download the books from Smashwords, and I was off and reading. I started with Chasing Shadows: Shadow Ops Book 1. I loved this book; it's a totally fun read from start to finish. Yes, the reviewers are right in that the plot does follow a formula. They don't think it's okay. I'd like to disagree. What makes Chasing Shadows such a strong read is the way CJ takes the formula and bends it to the story she's telling. For instance, usually when I read thrillers of this sort, the cast of characters is so large, I can't keep them all straight. I confuse the bad guys, the good guys, the guys in the shadows… everyone but our main hero -- and even then, I sometimes still have problems, especially if the guy's name is similar to someone else's. CJ introduced her cast slowly. I never got lost or confused, even as loyalties are revealed and shades of grey within the characters and the situation are revealed. This one's running guns. This one controls the small town. This one is the middle guy but hey, look, he's also one of the good guys, trying to take down the one but not the other, and that's fine because here's our other hero, trying to take down the other but not the one… Trust me. It makes WAY more sense in CJ's hands. The woman knows how to plot. That's all there is to it. Chasing Shadows never bogs down in too much backstory, too much exposition, or even too much in the way of characterizations. This is a story that's destined for the big screen, and in a big way. Lethal Weapon, look out. But maybe that's the problem these reviewers had. There's no deep message here, no subtext. Yes, it's true the characters aren't terribly fully developed, but so what? While we're with them, they're alive and vibrant, KC in particular. It's been awhile since I put down a book and wondered what the characters were up to while I wasn't reading. It's been even longer since I wished for more from them. In other words, there's something more going on than first meets the eye. Add in the skill with the plot, the way the tension keeps increasing, making me slide to the edge of my seat and lick my lips (once even spattering the screen of my e-reader. Oops), and the utter fun of this book and, really. CJ, don't let a few sentences at one book vendor trip you up. You're on to something with this book. I'm now eager to read Nerves of Steel and you bet I'll be picking up Lost in Shadows, the Special Ops #2 featuring Lucky, the dude who takes a big one for the team in Chasing Shadows. I walked into this a fan who wondered how an MD could take herself out of the hospital setting she's known for. I closed the back cover convinced that CJ Lyons is much, much more than simply a writer of hospital books. If it's got CJ's name on it, I'll be first in line from now on.
  • Enemies and Playmates on March 16, 2011

    There's always that moment when you first sit down with a friend's book. That moment when you're afraid you'll wish you hadn't risked your friendship over a book, which your friend was kind enough to give you. I shouldn't have worried. Darcia Helle's as awesome a writer as she is a person. Which is to say Enemies and Playmates was one of the most wickedly fun cat-and-mouse tales I've come across in a long time. Alex Covington is a phenomenally well-drawn jerk, his wife Kara is a tragedy, son Stephen is an even bigger heartbreaker who colors the whole book. And then there's daughter Lauren, our heroine. She actually turns out to be a secondary character, as the heart of this story is Lauren's man, Jesse, and the way he goes up against Lauren's dad. This is where it's at for me, and not once was I let down. Jesse and Alex engage in some of the most delicious -- and dangerous -- play I've read in eons. Really, the romance between Jesse and Lauren is secondary, even though it is pivotal to the way in which Lauren's character grows and changes. No, it's not perfect. Dialogue is stilted in spots, and the subplot with Lauren's friend stretches believeability -- but at the same time, it makes the important point that no matter how well you think you know someone, no matter how best your best friend is, surprises can (and do) lurk around every corner. For a woman like Lauren, it's a good reminder of what a louse her father is, why she needs to get away -- and the steps her father will take to make sure she can't. I don't want to say too much. Go read it for yourself. Have some fun with it. Enemies and Playmates. A definite West of Mars Recommended read. (4.5 stars)
  • Voice on Dec. 30, 2012

    It's been so long now that I can't even remember how I came to pick up a copy of Joseph Garraty's Voice. I can see that I got it at Smashwords, where it was listed as free as of the night I finished the book and sat down to write this rave. And rave I must. I simply adored this story of a man who sells … well, maybe not his soul and maybe not to the devil, but that's only the first of many riffs on the classic cliché. John does go down to the crossroads, but the trade he makes is great, unexpected fun that gives a clever nod to current—okay, maybe by this point, a bit passé—trends in literature. Saying more would spoil the read, and I have no intentions of spoiling anything. This is a book to share, not ruin. As John's bargain pays off both in a set of golden pipes and a decline as a man, his guitar player, the harsh, abrasive Case, is molting her own skin—in the opposite direction. Case learns how to be a friend, to take a chance, to allow herself to care. As John loses his humanity, Case finds hers. While some may point to John and his alter ego Johnny as the heartbeat of the story, for me it was Case. I related to her. Don't forget, though, the other two members of the band: Quentin and Danny. Quentin's the conscience around here, and, of course, whenever evil's afoot, the conscience must pay. The way in which this happens is a bit … unorthodox, shall we say. Danny, though, flirts with the dark side. There's betrayal, and a steep price for him, also. Too bad; Danny and Quentin both are likeable. So, too, is Erin, Case's friend who becomes the band's one-woman PR maestro. She's maybe too good to be true, but she's also smart enough to make the hard but brave decisions. As Ragman puts all these elements together—John's new voice, the small hurricane that is Case on guitars, and Erin packing the clubs—and success follows, each of the five must figure out what price they are willing to pay for it all. They're paying all right, and it's a bill that comes due long before many of the clichéd Rock Fiction works would have you believe: not when they are headliners, but when they are paying their dues on the way up. That's how it usually works, after all, and Garraty shows it to us. Maybe it's a bit exaggerated. But then again, is it? A definite West of Mars Recommended Read.
  • Voice on Dec. 30, 2012

    It's been so long now that I can't even remember how I came to pick up a copy of Joseph Garraty's Voice. I can see that I got it at Smashwords, where it was listed as free as of the night I finished the book and sat down to write this rave. And rave I must. I simply adored this story of a man who sells … well, maybe not his soul and maybe not to the devil, but that's only the first of many riffs on the classic cliché. John does go down to the crossroads, but the trade he makes is great, unexpected fun that gives a clever nod to current—okay, maybe by this point, a bit passé—trends in literature. Saying more would spoil the read, and I have no intentions of spoiling anything. This is a book to share, not ruin. As John's bargain pays off both in a set of golden pipes and a decline as a man, his guitar player, the harsh, abrasive Case, is molting her own skin—in the opposite direction. Case learns how to be a friend, to take a chance, to allow herself to care. As John loses his humanity, Case finds hers. While some may point to John and his alter ego Johnny as the heartbeat of the story, for me it was Case. I related to her. Don't forget, though, the other two members of the band: Quentin and Danny. Quentin's the conscience around here, and, of course, whenever evil's afoot, the conscience must pay. The way in which this happens is a bit … unorthodox, shall we say. Danny, though, flirts with the dark side. There's betrayal, and a steep price for him, also. Too bad; Danny and Quentin both are likeable. So, too, is Erin, Case's friend who becomes the band's one-woman PR maestro. She's maybe too good to be true, but she's also smart enough to make the hard but brave decisions. As Ragman puts all these elements together—John's new voice, the small hurricane that is Case on guitars, and Erin packing the clubs—and success follows, each of the five must figure out what price they are willing to pay for it all. They're paying all right, and it's a bill that comes due long before many of the clichéd Rock Fiction works would have you believe: not when they are headliners, but when they are paying their dues on the way up. That's how it usually works, after all, and Garraty shows it to us. Maybe it's a bit exaggerated. But then again, is it? A definite West of Mars Recommended Read.
  • Voice on Dec. 30, 2012

    It's been so long now that I can't even remember how I came to pick up a copy of Joseph Garraty's Voice. I can see that I got it at Smashwords, where it was listed as free as of the night I finished the book and sat down to write this rave. And rave I must. I simply adored this story of a man who sells … well, maybe not his soul and maybe not to the devil, but that's only the first of many riffs on the classic cliché. John does go down to the crossroads, but the trade he makes is great, unexpected fun that gives a clever nod to current—okay, maybe by this point, a bit passé—trends in literature. Saying more would spoil the read, and I have no intentions of spoiling anything. This is a book to share, not ruin. As John's bargain pays off both in a set of golden pipes and a decline as a man, his guitar player, the harsh, abrasive Case, is molting her own skin—in the opposite direction. Case learns how to be a friend, to take a chance, to allow herself to care. As John loses his humanity, Case finds hers. While some may point to John and his alter ego Johnny as the heartbeat of the story, for me it was Case. I related to her. Don't forget, though, the other two members of the band: Quentin and Danny. Quentin's the conscience around here, and, of course, whenever evil's afoot, the conscience must pay. The way in which this happens is a bit … unorthodox, shall we say. Danny, though, flirts with the dark side. There's betrayal, and a steep price for him, also. Too bad; Danny and Quentin both are likeable. So, too, is Erin, Case's friend who becomes the band's one-woman PR maestro. She's maybe too good to be true, but she's also smart enough to make the hard but brave decisions. As Ragman puts all these elements together—John's new voice, the small hurricane that is Case on guitars, and Erin packing the clubs—and success follows, each of the five must figure out what price they are willing to pay for it all. They're paying all right, and it's a bill that comes due long before many of the clichéd Rock Fiction works would have you believe: not when they are headliners, but when they are paying their dues on the way up. That's how it usually works, after all, and Garraty shows it to us. Maybe it's a bit exaggerated. But then again, is it? A definite West of Mars Recommended Read.