The Girl He Used to Know Cover Reveal!

Hello, everyone! Happy Friday. I’m so excited to share the gorgeous cover of The Girl He Used to Know with you. I love its edgy, sophisticated, literary vibe and can’t wait to hold the finished hardcover in my hands. The book will be released on April 2nd, 2019. I know that seems like a long time away, but I promise it will go fast! Make sure to follow me on all my social media channels because I will be giving away signed ARCs every month from now until the release. 

I also have the pre-order links!

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2IHEds3

I’ll post the iBooks link as soon as I have it.

Add to your Goodreads shelf here:

Also, the e-book editions of Heart-Shaped Hack and White-Hot Hack will be on sale on Amazon for .99 STARTING TOMORROW. If you haven’t met Kate and Ian yet, grab your discounted copies for the holiday weekend!  <3 <3 <3 

Thanks, everyone! TGIF. 🙂

 

 

 

THE GIRL HE USED TO KNOW GIVEAWAY ALERT

 

Good morning, everyone!

A few of you have reached out to say hello and ask me where I’ve been, which I appreciate so much. I know I’ve been MIA, but I’ve been holed up in the writing cave working on my next manuscript so that I can reach my completion date goal of June 30th (and keep giving you new books to read!).

But today I have some super exciting news: 100 people will win an early copy of The Girl He Used to Know. That’s not a typo. ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE will soon hold a bound galley in their hands.

I cannot EVEN. I’m so excited for you to read this book.

All you have to do is click on this link and enter the giveaway. Mobile users, please use this one. That’s it. And if you’d like to share the giveaway link, that would certainly be appreciated but it is not required.

I can’t wait to reveal the final cover (this one’s a placeholder) and tell you more about this story. But for now, let’s get the ball rolling with this awesome giveaway. Good luck!

Happy Monday! 

Tracey

What Have I Been Reading Lately?

Hello, everyone!

I hope you’re enjoying your summer. I’ve been working in the morning and then shifting to play as soon as my two noisy teenagers wake up (because if you can’t beat ’em, you might as well join ’em). This means I’ve had a little more time to read than I usually do, and I’m so happy about that!

Here are my favorites so far:

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne – This was a delightful and fresh spin on the age-old enemies-to-lovers trope. The writing was sharp and the tension was fantastic.

Leave Me by Gayle Foreman – I’ve read If I Stay and Where She Went, but this is Gayle’s adult fiction debut and it’s wonderful. I would pick this up before bed with the intention of reading for only a short time and would still be reading an hour later.

Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing by Jennifer Weiner – I have been a fan of Jennifer’s since Good in Bed. I loved reading about her life and how she got started as a writer. This is an author I’d really like to meet someday.

The Admissions by Meg Mitchell Moore – I loved this tale of family drama. There was enough humor and heart that it never felt depressing to me.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo – This was a wonderful blend of women’s fiction and romance (I would categorize it as a love story). I loved the writing and enjoyed the character-driven narrative. Make sure you have a supply of tissues nearby.

Coming Clean: A memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller – I absolutely loved this memoir about hoarding. It reminded me a bit of The Glass Castle and Breaking Night because of the hardships the author had to overcome due to circumstances outside of her control. Gritty and ultimately triumphant.

The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn – I love stories about marriage and suburban life, and this book delivers both. It’s funny but realistic. The characters are old enough to know better but dive in headfirst anyway.

Falling by Jane Green – No one writes women’s fiction like Jane Green. I’ve been a fan of hers for years and this is one of my favorites. I especially loved all the details surrounding interior design, and the relationship the heroine has with a certain special little boy. This one was right up my alley.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo – A few months ago, I became very interested in eliminating the clutter that seems to permeate every corner of my house. I have two teenagers and their stuff is EVERYWHERE. It’s still a losing battle, but what I found was that I could eliminate my own clutter and it would feel almost as good as eliminating theirs. I was able to reduce my closet by 2/3 and have made multiple trips to Goodwill. It really did feel good to keep only the items that “sparked joy.” My next hurdle is our basement storage room. Hopefully I’ll have the strength to let go of the things we’re holding on to that we don’t really need.

Maybe in Another Life and One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – I find myself gravitating more and more toward stories that are a blend of women’s fiction and romance. This is reflective in my own writing so it makes sense I would be drawn to them. I like that both of these books were character and relationship driven. They’re thankfully low on angst and the subject matter is relatable and realistic. I love Taylor’s fresh voice and will definitely seek out more of her work (now and in the future).

What I’d love to read more of this summer: contemporary romance with adult characters and a fresh premise that doesn’t solely rely on tropes, smart women’s fiction that also includes romance in the storyline, and compelling memoirs that contain subject matter I’m not familiar with. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

I hope you’re enjoying your summer,

Tracey

 

 

 

The Girl He Used to Know

Hello, everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my current work in progress, and I’m happy to report that I finished my latest manuscript this week, a second-chance romance/women’s fiction hybrid called The Girl He Used to Know. It always feels wonderful to type the words THE END, and this was certainly no exception.

You might be curious about what I mean by romance/women’s fiction hybrid, and I’ll be talking about that in greater detail in a forthcoming post about branding. But the short answer is that this book will combine the things I love most about the two genres. Women’s fiction holds a huge appeal for me because I’m drawn to the depth of the stories, and I thoroughly enjoy the heroine’s journey outside of the romantic relationship. But I also love watching the romance unfold between two characters, complete with a happily-ever-after ending. Some may categorize a book like this as commercial women’s fiction or even mainstream contemporary fiction. Regardless of what it’s called, the combination of these two genres provides exactly what I love most as a reader, and I’m hoping there are others who feel the same way.

Although I’ve completed the manuscript, this is only the first draft which means there’s more to be done before I’m actually finished with this book. The revision stage is hard work, but it’s also my favorite and I typically spend another month revising, editing, and polishing (and that’s before I turn the manuscript in for professional copyediting).

I don’t have a publication date yet, but if you’re wondering what the story is about, it follows two people who meet via the campus chess club and fall in love during their senior year of college The second-chance part comes into play when they run into each other at a Chicago grocery store ten years after they broke up. The book is structured in a series of past and present chapters so you get to experience what happened to them in the past and also see what happens now that they’ve reconnected in the present. I have mentioned this several times already, but I was inspired to write this book based on my love of Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne,” the song about running into your old lover in the grocery store, and I decided to write my own interpretation. However, the hero of my novel is NOT a musician. The characters don’t buy a six pack of beer and drink it in the heroine’s car. Both of them are single. But I wanted to capture the spirit of what it’s like to give a relationship another try. To really explore what happens when you rekindle a past love using all the hindsight of the first relationship with the personal growth and maturity that comes with being ten years older.

I’ll post more information and publication details as they become available, so please stay tuned!

Tracey

P.S. Here are the lyrics if you’re not familiar with the song.

“Same Old Lang Syne”
Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I stood behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve
She didn’t recognize the face at first
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried
We took her groceries to the check out stand
The food was totaled up and bagged
We stood there lost in our embarrassment
As the conversation lagged
We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn’t find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car
We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
We tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how
She said she’s married her an architect
Who kept her warm and safe and dry
She would have liked to say she loved the man
But she didn’t like to lie
I said the years had been a friend to her
And that her eyes were still as blue
But in those eyes I wasn’t sure if I saw
Doubt or gratitude
She said she saw me in the record stores
And that I must be doing well
I said the audience was heavenly
But the traveling was Hell
We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
We tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how
We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to time
Reliving, in our eloquence
Another “Auld Lang Syne”
The beer was empty and our tongues were tired
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away
Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And, as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain

 

 

 

 

White-Hot Hack Is Available Now!

WHH Amazon

Good morning, everyone!

Today I’m celebrating the publication of White-Hot Hack, the full-length, dual-narrated sequel to Heart-Shaped Hack. So many of you fell head-over-heels for Kate and Ian, and I’m thrilled you wanted to spend more time with them.

When we left Kate and Ian at the end of Heart-Shaped Hack, they had just exchanged wedding vows, and Kate proclaimed that Ian would be her adventure. Truer words were never spoken, but the next chapter in their lives might have been more than either of them bargained for.

White-Hot Hack is about what happens to a couple who have already found their happily-ever-after. If you enjoy stories about married couples who communicate openly and work as a team during times of adversity, this book will be right up your alley (Ian’s shenanigans, the banter he and Kate exchange, and their steamy chemistry are just a bonus!).

I appreciate all the enthusiasm and support you’ve shown the Kate and Ian series, and I hope you enjoy the thrilling conclusion to their story. I’m sure going to miss these characters!!

Amazon US (e-book): http://amzn.to/1RbfO07
Amazon US (paperback): http://amzn.to/1pCxciz
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1MivJHU
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1nZoc5n
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1Mvmtef
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1YFBTnh
Apple: http://apple.co/1XsBqni
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1M4JcTvS

You can also buy signed paperback copies of White-Hot Hack (as well as the rest of my titles). Simply click on the store link above.

Thank you for once again coming along on this publication journey with me. I hope you’ll be with me for a very long time.

xoxo,

Tracey

White-Hot Hack Prologue and a Giveaway!

Hello, everyone!

Can you believe White-Hot Hack will be here in less than a week? If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet, here are the links (release date June 7th):

Amazon US (e-book): http://amzn.to/1RbfO07
Amazon US (paperback): http://amzn.to/1pCxciz
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1MivJHU
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/1nZoc5n
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1Mvmtef
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1YFBTnh
Apple: http://apple.co/1XsBqni
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1M4JcTv

The e-book pre-order price of $2.99 will be good through the first week of sale. On June 14th, the price will go up to $3.99. If you would like to purchase a signed paperback of White-Hot Hack (or any of my books), simply click on the store tab above.
You can also enter to WIN a signed set of Heart-Shaped Hack AND White-Hot Hack. Wouldn’t these books look beautiful displayed on your bookshelf? Natasha is a Book Junkie is hosting the giveaway – click here to enter (the giveaway is on the left sidebar of her website).
hshWHH Amazon

 

And here’s the prologue of White-Hot Hack for anyone who wants a sneak peek to tide them over while they’re waiting for more Kate and Ian. Enjoy!

 

PROLOGUE

The man in the business suit looked up from his phone when the tall blonde pushed through the glass doors of the office building, the rapid clicking of her high heels reverberating through the lobby as she hurried toward the receptionist.

She hoisted her shoulder bag a little higher and set a cup of coffee and sheet of paper on the counter. “I have a ten o’clock interview with Christopher Hill. I’m so sorry I’m late. There was an accident on the Beltway.” She sounded panicked and slightly out of breath.

He watched her with interest from his seat directly across from the reception desk. Arriving thirty minutes early for his appointment had left him with a severe case of boredom, and he welcomed the distraction.

“Please have a seat. I’ll let Mr. Hill know you’re here,” the receptionist said.

As the woman turned to go, her elbow hit the coffee cup. Though they both reacted, neither she nor the receptionist moved fast enough to catch it before it spilled. There wasn’t enough coffee left in the cup to make a truly embarrassing mess, but it was enough to ruin the piece of paper lying on the counter.

“You have got to be kidding me,” the woman said, her voice carrying more than a trace of hopeless exasperation. She pulled a tissue out of her bag and dabbed at the liquid, then held up the stained document. “That was my last copy.”

“Résumé?” the receptionist asked. She looked old enough to be the woman’s mother, and her expression was kind and empathetic.

The woman blew out a breath and raised her fingers to her temple as if she felt the beginning of a headache. “Yes.”

He couldn’t help but feel sorry for her.

“Hold on a minute,” the woman said, sounding hopeful. She rooted around in her bag again, and when she withdrew her hand, she waved a USB drive triumphantly in the air. “I have the document saved on this. Could you please print me another copy? I hate not having my employment information at my fingertips, and I really need to nail this interview, especially since I’m late.”

The receptionist hesitated as if she seemed a bit uncomfortable with the request. But before she could protest, the woman leaned over the counter and pressed the USB drive into her palm. Then she pointed to a picture on the desk. “Whose baby is that? I’ve never seen such a beautiful child. He could model for baby-food ads.” She picked up the silver frame and took a closer look.

A look of pride spread across the receptionist’s face. “That’s my grandson. My daughter-in-law entered that picture in a contest. We haven’t heard anything yet.”

The woman leaned against the counter but did not make eye contact, keeping her focus on the picture instead. “He’s a shoo-in to win. Those dimples are to die for.” She sighed and mustered a faint smile. “It’s amazing how a picture of a baby can brighten your day, especially when it’s going so badly.”

The receptionist waited, the USB drive held awkwardly in her hand, but finally she inserted it into her computer, and moments later the printer whirred to life and spit out a piece of paper.

“You’re a lifesaver,” the woman said, holding out her hand for the résumé and tucking the USB drive safely back into her bag.

“It’s no problem. If you’ll take a seat, I’ll let Mr. Hill know you’re here.”

“Thank you.”

The woman sat down next to him, giving him a nod and a smile. She held the résumé loosely, careful not to crease it, and waited patiently.

The receptionist looked worried when she hung up the phone. “Miss? I’m sorry. Mr. Hill is not actually in the office today.”

The woman rose and walked toward the reception desk. “I don’t understand.” She sounded utterly defeated.

“His secretary said he took the day off. There aren’t any appointments on his calendar.”

She seemed to deflate. “Well, I guess I don’t have to be embarrassed about showing up late. The only thing more embarrassing than showing up late is showing up on the wrong day. I’ll double-check my notes. I must have written it down wrong. Thank you. You’ve been more than kind. I hope your grandson wins the contest.”

He caught a glimpse of the woman’s pink cheeks as she turned to go, and she left the building as quickly as she’d entered it.

He put away his phone and approached the desk, giving the receptionist a thousand-watt smile. “I’m sorry. I’ve been called away unexpectedly and won’t be able to stay for my meeting with Mr. Matthews.”

She smiled back at him. “Would you like me to deliver a message?”

He handed her a white card with the word SUCCEDO on the front in raised black lettering. “Please see that he receives this as soon as possible, and tell him I’ll be available by phone after two p.m. He has my number.”

The man left the building and headed for the parking garage to his left. The temperature was still in the high fifties and quite mild for early November, but the colder weather he loathed would arrive all too soon.

The woman who was having a colossally bad day was up ahead, walking a little slower now. He followed her into the garage and quickened his stride, catching up to her on the landing of the stairwell that connected the first and second levels. When he was close enough to reach out and touch her, she turned around and they slapped their palms together in a victorious high five. Ian pulled Kate into his arms and squeezed her tight.

“Too smooth,” she said, smiling and running the back of her hand along his clean-shaven cheek. He lowered his mouth to hers, and her bag slipped off her shoulder and landed on the concrete floor.

“I thought we weren’t going to break cover until we were in the car,” she said between kisses.

“I couldn’t wait that long, sweetness,” he murmured against her mouth. “You know delayed gratification isn’t really my thing.”

She pulled back and looked up at him, her expression hopeful. “How did I do?”

“You were incredible. I’m so proud of you.”

“Something came over me when the receptionist stuck that flash drive into her computer.”

“That something was the thrill of penetration. You’ll be chasing it from now on.”

“I felt like such a—”

“Bad girl?”

“I was going to say hacker.”

“I like bad girl better.”

“I bet you do. No wonder you like manipulating people so much. It’s just so…”

“The word you’re looking for is arousing.”

“Yes. That’s it exactly.”

She kissed him and ran her fingers through his hair, which he hadn’t cut since the wedding. Why bother? Kate liked it long. He hooked her leg around his hip, causing the skirt of her business suit to ride up, and deepened the kiss because there were few things he enjoyed more than kissing his wife. When he finally pulled away, he reached for her hand and led her up the stairs.

“There are so many explicit thoughts running through my head about what I’d like to do to you in this stairwell, but we should probably be going. I’ve found that after infecting a network with that much malware, it’s never a bad idea to be on your way.”

The Escalade had been swapped out for a white Lincoln Navigator on their way back from Roanoke Island, and Ian unlocked the car and opened Kate’s door.

“Now what?” she asked as he slid behind the wheel and headed for the exit.

He yanked on his tie to loosen it. “Now comes the part when I get to explain to the client that the reason the IT department is losing its mind is because my partner did, in fact, successfully breach the network.” He glanced over at Kate and grinned. “This is the part of penetration testing I really enjoy.”

She laughed. “I bet you do.”

“I’d love to tell him the beautiful woman in the lobby was my wife and that it was her very first assignment, but I’ll refrain from bragging.” As proud as he was of Kate, the last thing he wanted to do was draw attention to her, and he certainly didn’t need word getting around about a husband-and-wife hacking team.

“Did the client think we wouldn’t be able to do it?”

“He was confident their computer systems were secure, and they are. Not secure enough to keep me out, but fairly difficult for others. When I write my report, I’ll point out their vulnerabilities and show him what I’m going to do to fix them. But what so many business owners fail to recognize is that one of the biggest threats to their cybersecurity is not their technology. It’s their employees. Humans are incredibly susceptible to manipulation. There’s a reason hackers consider the USB ruse an oldie but goodie: it almost always works. That receptionist didn’t really want to stick your flash drive into her computer, but she wanted to help you, so she talked herself out of saying no. She probably rationalized that someone as nice as you, someone who was having a bad day but who’d still taken the time to compliment her grandchild, couldn’t possibly be there to do any harm.”

“How bad was the malware?”

“It’s the real thing—I designed it myself. A penetration test isn’t going to be as effective if it doesn’t mirror an attack on the network. Using live malware will send them scrambling, but it’s nothing their IT department can’t handle. It’s good practice for them because if it actually happens someday, they’ll know what to do.”

“The receptionist won’t lose her job or anything, will she? She was so nice to me.”

“No, we’re not trying to get anyone in trouble. The reason the client hired us is so we can show them the ways in which a malicious hacker might take advantage of their employees so they can better prepare them. That receptionist will be the most secure person in the whole organization after this.”

“That’s true. No one is ever getting past her again.”

Ian looked over at Kate and grinned. “Was the baby really that cute?”

“Supercute. He probably will win.”

“Good for him.”

“I got lucky today. That was pretty much the ideal scenario.”

“Don’t sell yourself short. You’re much better at this than I was when I started, and you seem to enjoy it more than I ever did.”

“I loved it, but I know it won’t always be that easy.”

“That’s why we practice.” He and Kate had rehearsed dozens of possible scenarios so she’d be prepared no matter what obstacles she encountered.

She reached over the console and laid her hand on his inner thigh. “When we get home, I am going to climb you like a tree. You know that, right?”

He pressed down slightly on the gas pedal and smiled. “Sweetness, there was a reason I told the client I wouldn’t be available until after two. And even then, I’m not totally sure we’ll be done.”