Saving Toby by Suzanne McKenna Link
Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult
Word count: 113,000
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?
Welcome to the cyberverse. There are plenty of hucksters, scammers, con artists, and assorted seedy characters looking for every opportunity to move some money from your pockets to theirs. Some writers have spent thousands of dollars following the path of promises, misrepresentations, and “expert” recommendations made by some very bad people. They’re out there. Learning how to recognize them is your best protection.
There are a couple of very good watchdog resources every author should know: Writer Beware and Preditors & Editors. Both these sites do an outstanding job of tracking the latest scams and bad behavior in the publishing industry.
Indies Unlimited is not a watchdog site. Part of the reason is that we know these shadowy scammers can (and do) easily change their names and open up under a new banner whenever they are outed. Trying to compile a list of suspicious actors becomes a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. But a leopard cannot change its spots. If you know what to look out for, the name of the beast doesn’t matter.
What I have to say here is going to be very unpopular with a few folks in the indie community. It will offend those who say, Don’t settle for less than the very best. Spend as much money as it takes for editing, cover design, formatting. Your book deserves your utmost effort.
In truth, the perfect is the enemy of the good. If you live in dread of a reviewer pointing out an errant comma, you will never hit the publish button.