Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Book Excerpt - Saving Toby by Suzanne McKenna Link + Giveaway

Title: Saving Toby

Author: Suzanne McKenna Link

Release date: August 26th, 2013

Genre: New Adult

Book Description:
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.


Book Excerpt:

Breaking off our kiss, he put his mouth near my ear. “So, how long do you usually wait?” he asked, his voice lilted and husky.
“Wait for what?” I asked, hoping he wasn’t asking what I thought he was asking. Knowing he was.
Pulling back, he looked at me. “Your internet connection,” he said wryly. “Come on, Claude. It doesn’t have to be carved in stone, just an estimate.” He must have mistaken my expression to mean I didn’t understand the question. He rephrased, “Tell me how long you want to wait before we can, you know, get tight.”
Oh, God. How do I answer this? “I don’t know. I never thought about it in terms of time.”
“If it feels right, you just do it?”
He didn’t get it, but I was concentrating on where his thing pushed into me, and trying so hard to be still, my brain was paralyzed. I could barely manage a complete thought, let alone talk. I shook my head.
“No?” he asked. He stopped touching me and tilted his head in confusion. “I don’t understand.”
Our mismatch was rearing its ugly head. It was all so ridiculous—my complete overwhelmed state, his expression, and our bumbling miscommunication.
At the same time, I couldn’t help but find it humorous. I giggled and bit my lip trying to suppress the embarrassment. “I can’t say.”
“You can’t or you won’t?”
I took his confusion as opportunity to sit up and shift so I could see his face. I wanted to observe his expression when I clarified my answer.
“As you probably know, I’ve always been very focused on school,” I said, carefully picking through my words. He waited patiently, so I continued. “In high school, dating took a back seat to schoolwork. And now, with my heavy course load of health classes, it’s been even less important to me. So,” I took a breath and willed myself to finish it up, “as you might imagine, I don’t have a lot of experience racked up in my sexual repertoire.”
His eyes did a little whirligig thing, spinning around. “You’re a … virgin?”
He spoke as if we were talking about a mythical entity like Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster.
I looked down at my fingers, puckered my lips, and nodded.
“Holy shit!” He pressed his hands atop his head as if I’d told him some earth-shattering news. My face, I’m sure, was crimson.
And then he had the nerve to laugh.
I shoved his arm. “It’s not funny!”
He rubbed his hand over his face and blinked his eyes. “I’m sorry. I don’t actually think it’s funny, but it never occurred to me that you’d never been with someone. I suppose that’s nice…”
Nice?” I snapped. “It’s discerning, selective. Moral.”
Toby blew out and slowly sat up next to me, his manner suddenly subdued. “Does that mean you straight-out won’t have sex?”
Letting me consider my answer, he remained quiet. Negotiating sex. Way, way, way out of my comfort zone. I didn’t expect to have to deal with this so soon. Was this the ‘customary talk’ he had with all his girlfriends? Ugh, I was so out of my league.
“So,” he prompted. “What is it?”
I didn’t know. The answer didn’t seem so clear cut. Without responding, I threw my hands up in the air. “This isn’t going to work.”
Humiliated, I stood and pulled out my car keys. The faster I got out of there, the better.
“Hold up.” Toby snagged a belt loop on my jeans, and unfolding himself from the couch, he hauled me against him. I held myself stiffly in his arms. “Hey,” he said, raising my chin so I would look at him. “I didn’t think you’d be someone who gave up so easily.”
“Because you expect me to be different than I am,” I challenged.
His eyes traveled over my face. “I did. But you are way more than I expected. Virginal you—you who laughs at all my jokes, makes me quit smoking, forces me think about college classes, and for the first time, makes me happy to be home. Claudia Chiametti. You. Are. Perfect.”
“Yeah, right. Virginity is a dirty word to you.”
He shook his head. “No, I actually like that no one has ever touched you before. I’m not saying we have to get busy, like, tomorrow or anything. I only want to know you’d consider it.” Lowering his chin, he gave me a hopeful look.
Leaning away, I crossed my arms. “What if I say no?”
“I won’t lie, I’d be disappointed.” He tugged at my arms until I allowed him to place them around his neck. “But, I would try very hard to make you change your mind.”

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:

Tour Giveaway:

Prize: 5USD Amazon Gift Card + Copies of the book
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1 comment:

  1. I've already read this - it took only a few days since I couldn't put it down! I can't wait until 'Keeping Claudia' comes out.