Title: Saving Toby
Author: Suzanne McKenna Link
Release date: August 26th, 2013
Genre: New Adult
Loving someone through their hard fall from grace takes a lot of grit.
In school, Toby Faye was a moody kid who sat in the back of class and looked like he wanted to be anywhere but there. Claudia Chiametti, the perfect student, always sat in the front row. She might have forgotten him if it weren’t for the fact that his family had been involved in two tragic events. In the small town of Sayville, Long Island, many knew of the family’s dark history.
Hired on as a caretaker to Mrs. Faye, Claudia is thrown into the lives of the widow and her son — a world where sadness lingers and old wounds run deep. Now twenty-one, Toby is not so quiet. A mass of muscles and unruly hair, he is a real head turner. He is jaunty with the confidence his masculine good looks afford him. While not immune to his sexual advances, Claudia sees beyond the cocky grin. Up close, his blue-grey eyes expose something else.
Despite her father’s stern warnings about the family’s violent history, Claudia is empathetic to their plight and vows to help both mother and son move past the hurt. This endeavor forces her to face situations she never imagines possible. She must be tougher than she’s ever had to be. Does Claudia have the grit to love Toby through his fall?
Saving Toby, the author’s debut novel, is the first book of a two-part story that follows the emotional and gritty tale of a young couple’s journey to find themselves and the love they never dreamed existed.
*Due to some explicit scenes and language, this fictional story is meant for mature readers.
What’s your story about?
This might be the most painful question ever asked an author. At least it was for me. When well-meaning friends or acquaintances approached me at parties and gatherings with this question, I almost always stumbled to answer. What was my book about? I’m the author—if anyone should know, you’d think it would be me, right?
Saving Toby is my debut novel, and when I set out to write it, I wanted to produce a piece of writing I was proud of, to plow my path and firmly set my place in the literary world. So why did my ears burn and words fail me whenever this question arose?
It’s because, early in the process, I honestly didn’t know what the book was about. Sounds strange, but it’s true. Starting with a small idea, I wrote Saving Toby from my heart. I never once considered what genre it would be, or how I would market it.
It is contemporary because one of plot issues is, unfortunately, a current event—a hate crime and the lack of acceptance of diversity. But it’s not only about the crime.
It’s a love story, the building of an intense relationship between young adults. I read “Fifty Shades of Grey” while writing. Big mistake. It was difficult to not have my characters ripping each other’s clothes off every chapter. Saving Toby has a few steamy scenes in it, but I don’t recommend reading for that reason. Frankly, there aren’t enough sex scenes to quench an erotic appetite.
It is literary fiction, in that it the story is multilayered and wrestles with universal dilemmas. Literary fiction boasts stories made for everyone. My book’s family and alcohol abuse are issues most can relate to, but if you’re squeamish about f-bombs, sex and fistfights, this is not a story you’re going to want to read. This is a gritty and truthful read. Not for the faint of heart.
Lack of options forced me to package it as a Contemporary Romance. I fought long and hard over that because, to me, romance books are the Harlequin books that my mother used to devour, one after the other. I confess, I did read my share of them, too. The recipe was always the same—headstrong Sunny Ray meets Brock Steele III, drop-dead, handsome billionaire. They almost always loathed each other despite how they lusted for each other. In the end, love always won. Don’t get me wrong; these books have their place. They are simple, easy escapes, but none of those characters, stories or writers has stayed with me. And I’m sure my mother would say the same. I couldn’t bear to have my characters and their story be that easily forgettable.
So what is my story about? At its core, Saving Toby is about the love between a guy and girl. It’s about forgiveness, hope, and second chances, and the love that gives us courage to not only face our fears, but to triumph. I wrote three-dimensional characters who are unique and flawed, and ones you can grab onto. I’ve barely lowered the tines into the soil to plow my path in the literary world, and most likely my story won’t stay with you forever. But if you read it, please go into it as I did, without trying to label it. If you do that, Saving Toby will touch your heart, for at least a little while. I promise.
About the Author:
Suzanne McKenna Link is the debut author of SAVING TOBY. The literary love story follows the moving journey of a damaged young man and his love for a girl who might just save him. An avid interest in psychology has Suzanne digging deep into the reasons for her characters’ behaviors. The native Long Islander is fascinated by the how and why of people’s actions. As a result, her characters come to life on the pages.
Suzanne is currently working on “Keeping Claudia,” the emotional sequel and finale to Saving Toby. To keep up-to-date on Suzanne’s newest writing endeavours.
Official Website: http://suzannemckennalink.blogspot.pt/
To follow the tour click on the banner bellow: