Wednesday, July 31, 2013

On my way

I am thrilled to say I have secured a publishing company, and even though there is a ton of work to gather and do, Saving Toby is that much closer to seeing print!


I had to rework my synopsis down a bit, to fit 250 words. This is what I came up with. Feel free to let me know your thoughts!

Back Cover Hook with synopsis:



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 is the first book of a two-part series that follows the emotional and inspirational story of a young couple's journey to find themselves and the love they never dreamed existed.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Progress

Where's the story at?


The final proofreading of "Saving Toby" is finished. I am working on small adjustments where the proofer made notes.

I got my first written review:

"Saving Toby is a great debut novel from Suzanne McKenna Link. This modern day romance tells the story of Toby and Claudia and how they endure the ups and downs of a relationship. I laughed, cried, and rejoiced, never wanting to put this book down!"
Michele L. Mathews ~ Indiana 

Next up is publication: Cover art, conversion to eBook format, uploading to Amazon, and ultimately a printed version.

I visited the library here in my hometown. Next to the new DVDs, they now have a "Local Authors" area. Two of the books on the shelves are by women I currently work with. I will see my book up there someday, too.

Until then, I work diligently at the tiresome, daunting task of finding a reputable publisher.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Saving Toby… Location, location, location…


20 Year-old Claudia POV:

After the divorce, my mother had followed a job to California, and my Dad and I had become a team. We'd weathered three years without her, still in the house I’d grown up in, in the small town of Sayville, about a half-mile from the Great South Bay on the south shore of Long Island.


Lands End parking lot on the Great South Bay, Sayville, NY


The corner of Roosevelt Avenue and Easy Street, Sayville
















         “Remember the Fayes? On Roosevelt Avenue?”
Without pause, my father said, “You are not working for Al Faye.”
I rolled my eyes. “Dad, the man’s dead. And Mrs. Faye is very sick.”
“Well, that’s a shame.” Dad pointed. “Set the table. If I remember correctly, there were two boys. One’s a convicted felon. Where’s the other one?”
“Toby is still there.” I went to the cabinet and took out dishes.
“What’s his story? He’s been in trouble?”
“I don’t think so. You’d know, wouldn’t you?”
“Ah, probably just a matter of time before we arrest him for something.” Dad added some salt to the pot and tasted it.
“That’s not a nice thing to say,” I chided him.
“I don’t want you there, in that environment,” he said.
“Unless the older son breaks out of jail, I think I’ll be safe.”
“In seriously damaged families like theirs, the residual effects always spiral down to the kids. The older boy was ruined and, mark my words, if there is trouble to be found, the younger boy is going to find it, too.”




Sunday, July 21, 2013

An inspirational quote courtesy of Joel Osteen (somewhat reworked in my own words) :


When someone we love tells us they're proud of us, something comes alive on the inside. 
He/she may be doing a hundred things wrong, things you don't like, but find three that you do, and pour the honor in.
Let your words be a blessing and watch them rise higher.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Chapter 1 - Main characters meet



“There's not a word yet, for old friends who've just met.”         

                                                ― Jim Henson




POV: 20 year-old Claudia Chiametti


“You remember Toby, don’t you?” Mrs. Faye asked.
“Of course.” I replied, quickly doing the math in my head. Four years of high school and two of college. “It’s been at least six years, though. I’m sure I wouldn’t even recognize him if I saw him.”
I tried to move back to my seat without breaking our eye contact. Out of the corner of my eye I became aware of motion, but too late to stop myself, I bumped into a solid wall of body.
“Oh!” I gasped, surprised as I hit a warm, immoveable mass with my shoulder and bounced off. A pair of hands caught me around the waist and kept me from tumbling over.
The collision brought me eye-level with the angular chin of a guy’s face. His windswept, tawny brown hair was streaked with multi-hued highlights. The untamed waves softly framed a tan, handsome face.
“Excuse me,” I mumbled, looking up into a pair of almond shaped, blue-grey eyes.
By his expression, he seemed just as stunned by our impact as I. We stood there, staring at each other for what felt like an eternity while the warmth of his hands on me spread like a blaze up my torso and flamed my face. The spell was broken when his full lips parted and he said, “Claudia?”
That he knew my name set off alarms in my head. I struggled to reassemble my disjointed thoughts and it took a moment to put it back together — where I was, who I was with.
Toby Faye.

If you enjoyed this passage, please comment. Thank you!



Saturday, July 13, 2013

Story Summary

For the last few years, I have been working steadily towards making my dream come true - to become a published author. My very first completed fictional novel, a literary love story, will soon be published and available for your reading pleasure. Check back for updates!

Saving Toby

Story summary: 


Loving someone through their hard fall from grace takes a lot of grit.

When pious widow, Julia Faye is re-diagnosed with Lymphoma, ambitious, 20 year-old Claudia Chiametti is hired to assist her around the house through her convalescence. But in their small Long Island town, the Faye family is known for its tragic history. Due to her care-taking role with his mother, Claudia is inevitably forced into close proximity with Mrs. Faye’s youngest son, Toby. With rumors of fights, drugs and shady friends, Claudia is surprised to find that underneath a head-turning handsome face is a guy who is amusing and rather sweet.

 21 year-old Toby Faye returns home with a sense of obligation. He will once again have to take care of his mother, something he’s done most of his life. But things are sure to be different this time — the smart, pretty girl who used to rule his young teenage dreams, is now working at his house. Using this unexpected access to his benefit, Toby tries to give Claudia a taste of what he has to offer. But the delights he proposes are unfamiliar to such a focused, self-disciplined girl. He will have to be patient, go slow and rein in his natural impulses.

Harrowing stories from Toby’s childhood has Claudia pledging to do whatever she can to bring about change, to both mother and son. But tension with friends from the past set off a cascade of events — threats involving a racially provoked attack, police involvement and even death — impel the effects of a dark upbringing to the surface. A deep-seated anger and profound insecurity are unveiled. The dark flaws devastate the tender bond that briefly unites the two.
 
Despite the ruins he has left her in, Claudia has a difficult time turning her back on the only guy who ever held her heart. Does she have the grit to love Toby through his fall?