Cherish Is Available Now!

Hello, everyone!

Today I’m celebrating the release of Cherish, the novella-length sequel to Covet. I want to thank everyone who reached out to me over the past year, asking if I might consider writing a sequel to the story. It’s because of you that I finally decided to continue the story from Daniel’s, and his ex-wife Jessie’s, point of view.

Here are the places you can find Cherish:

Amazon US (e-book and paperback)

Amazon UK 

Amazon Canada 

Amazon Australia 

Apple

Barnes & Noble 

Kobo

(Major Covet spoilers from this point forward).

For the longest time, I had no plans to write a sequel. But something happened during the revision of Covet which left the door wide open for me to explore a particular storyline. I didn’t know at the time how grateful I would be for that.

The ending in the published version of Covet is different than in the earlier drafts because in those drafts, Daniel did not survive being shot in the line of duty. I wrote funeral and cemetery scenes and was pretty much a bawling mess during the whole time I was writing them.

I’m not exactly George R. R. Martin, but characters can and do die in my books (7 so far, if anyone’s counting. Is that a lot? I sort of feel like it is). Anyway, I point this out only to highlight that it’s not out of the realm of possibility for me to kill off someone. But sometime during the writing of Covet, Daniel’s death started to feel a bit gratuitous to me. Was I killing him in the name of emotional manipulation instead of what was best for the story? Also, I’m a big fan of characters having to answer for their actions, and if Daniel wasn’t in the picture there would really be no reason for Claire to ever tell Chris about her and Daniel’s relationship. Before I sent the manuscript to my beta readers and editor, I told them I had an alternate ending I wanted to discuss but that they should read the original first. If memory serves, it was pretty unanimous that killing off Daniel worked fine, but that not killing him worked better. One of my betas said, “You know what I kept thinking? That I wished there was someone for Daniel so that he could have his own happily-ever-after. Like maybe with Jessie.” We brainstormed a little and I mentioned the idea about Jessie still being listed as Daniel’s emergency contact. It all fell into place fairly quickly after that, and I re-wrote the ending. And in the back of my mind I knew the story wouldn’t be complete until I explored how this new ending would ultimate affect Daniel and Jessie.

I guess you’re all about to find out.

Please head over to my author page on Facebook for the opportunity to win signed copies of On the Island, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish.

xoxo,

Tracey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Time I Think of You Is Available Now!

Hello, everyone!

ETITOY AmazonGRSWToday I’m celebrating the release of my third full-length novel, Every Time I Think of You, and I’d love for you to celebrate with me. I’ve been waiting rather excitedly for the release of this book, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of this post so you can enter the giveaway. There are lots of fabulous prizes up for grabs, including signed books, gift cards, an ARC of my next book, and the opportunity to name one of the characters!

One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How did you come up with the idea for this book?” My books are fairly plot-driven, and Every Time I Think of You was no different. I could see the opening scene in my head like a movie so I knew what the inciting incident – in other words, the event that would send the main characters’ lives in another direction – would be. But in this case, my opening scene was the result of not only plot, but also a character. I have wanted to write a book where the main character was a crime reporter for a while now. I tend to gravitate toward heroes who are regular guys, and I wanted to see what would happen when I put this particular hero into various situations (and a little hot water). What would he do? How would he react? What, exactly, was he made of?

However, if main character Brooks McClain was going to be a crime reporter, that meant I had to come up with a crime (which ultimately, I’d have to solve). I’ve never written a book with a mystery or suspense element before, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that get in the way of telling this story. I’ve said time and time again that I never want to be an author who writes the same book over and over, but with that motto comes challenges. I have to deal with the discomfort that comes from tackling something different than I’ve done before, and often this means learning new things.

I have a love/hate relationship with research. I keep telling myself I’m going to write a book that doesn’t require as much research, and then I write a book that requires extensive research. I should really start listening to myself! Some of the things I did in the name of research for Every Time I Think of You included taking a four-hour firearms safety course and learning how to load and shoot a gun, which was something I didn’t have any experience with.

I also studied ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, by reading memoirs and poring over countless websites dedicated to the disease. Although the timing of the recent ALS ice bucket challenge is merely a coincidence, it makes me happy to know that this devastating illness is receiving such an outpouring of support from the general public.

I studied addiction, specifically methamphetamine addiction. What I learned was heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and often tragic. In total, I read six memoirs about addiction and read countless online articles. I watched a fascinating Frontline documentary from PBS about methamphetamine addiction and its effects on law enforcement and the community.

I reached out to a criminal defense attorney in California so that I could gain an understanding of that state’s legal processes, and I spent several hours in person and on the phone with my cousin Jack, who is a detective with the Des Moines Police Department. Jack was instrumental in explaining the outcomes of all the different scenarios I proposed (naturally, I named the detective character after him). I interviewed three different crime reporters (who all told me slightly different things), and one of them saved me from a potentially embarrassing gaffe. In Every Time I Think of You, I include an actual newspaper article written by Brooks McClain. Newspaper reporters use the Associated Press Stylebook to ensure that their articles are written correctly whereas The Chicago Manual of Style is the go-to guide for fiction writers. The crime reporter who proofed my article had me make a small tweak so that it was correct in form.

I spoke to a nurse, to make sure I got the details of Daisy’s DiStefano’s work schedule correct. There were less significant things I needed the answers to, such as what kind of jewelry a nurse would be permitted to wear to work and what floor she might work on if she were involved with a particular patient.

In addition to the factual research necessary to write this story, I also had to choose the path I’d take to solve the crime. I learned that there were a few different ways I could handle this: One, I could write the story in such a way that the reader would probably not know who committed the crime until the very end. Two, I could choose the slightly-less-suspenseful route and let the reader be privy to clues that would allow them to guess the identity of the perpetrator much earlier. That way, I could let the focus of the story rest on how the person would be brought to justice. I chose option two because I felt it would lend emotional resonance and depth to the story.

Now that I knew how I’d tell the story, I needed to concentrate on the characters. I usually have a pretty good outline in place before I sit down to start writing. This method doesn’t work for everyone, but for me it helps to have a roadmap of sorts so that I don’t waste too much time writing myself into corners. This is not a spoiler because you know from the blurb that the book deals with the aftermath of the death of Daisy’s beloved grandmother. However, once I was about a fourth of the way through the first draft, I realized that the character I’d chosen to commit the crime didn’t actually do it.

I fought it for a while, but the more I got to know these characters, the more I realized my inner muse was right. This person couldn’t have done it.

Delete, delete, delete, delete. Sigh.

The real perpetrator had a motive, but it was subtle and at first I couldn’t see it. And the person who I’d originally intended to commit the crime was actually somewhat responsible. But it will be up to the reader to draw their own conclusions about what transpired that evening in Daisy’s grandmother’s apartment, because the opening chapter of the book is narrated by Daisy’s three-year-old son, who has a very limited ability to explain it. I actually first wrote this opening chapter from the point-of-view of Daisy’s grandmother, Pauline. It gave the book a much darker tone than I wanted so I scrapped it and decided to let Elliott take the reins.

There is also one final plot thread that I chose not to tie up with a big red ribbon. Initially I wrote a paragraph that would have explained why a certain character made the choice that he did, but then I realized it wasn’t necessary. Readers are smart and book discussions are extra fun when there’s a bit of speculation involved.

I’m not an especially fast or prolific writer, and that’s fine with me. Between the research and the actual writing time, this book took fourteen months to complete, and there were times I wanted to pull my hair out. I’d told my husband there were a couple of twists I was hoping to pull off, but wasn’t sure I knew how to accomplish them. I told several people that writing this book made my brain hurt (but one of the readers who received an advance copy told me she kept saying to herself as she read it, “This book is so smart!”). When I hear feedback like that, it tells me that everything I did in the name of Every Time I Think of You was worth it.

I hope you enjoy Brooks and Daisy’s story.

Synopsis

Thirty-year-old Daisy DiStefano has two people she holds dear: the grandmother who raised her, and her three-year-old son, Elliott. But when Daisy’s grandmother is killed in a seemingly random act of violence, Daisy must take steps to protect herself and her child.

Despite a thriving career in San Francisco, thirty-six-year-old Brooks McClain has returned home to spend what little time his mother has left before she succumbs to the deadly disease that is ravaging her. The seasoned investigative reporter has taken a position with the local newspaper and been on the job less than twenty-four hours when he’s summoned to cover the death of Pauline Thorpe.

Brooks is all business, but the more time he spends with Daisy DiStefano, the more invested he becomes; there’s something about a single mother, a defenseless child, and an unsolved crime that has stirred Brooks’s protective instincts like nothing ever has before.

And when the unthinkable happens, Brooks will do whatever it takes to clear the name of the woman he’s fallen for and the child he’ll protect at any cost.

Romantic and suspenseful, Every Time I Think of You shows how far two people will go to fight for the ones they love, and the life they’ve always imagined.

Buy Every Time I Think of You

Amazon US (paperback and e-book)
Barnes & Noble (paperback and e-book)
Apple
Kobo
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK
Amazon Australia

Giveaway (open internationally)

ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE:

  1. ONE signed copy of each book: On the Island, Covet, and Every Time I Think of You
  2. $50 gift cards to Amazon and Barnes & Noble
  3. An ARC of my next work-in-progress, The Girl He Used to Know (an adult contemporary second-chance romance novel); and
  4. Finally, I will either use the winner’s name in The Girl He Used to Know (first name or last name only, or your actual real name if comfortable) OR the winner can suggest a name for a character.

**The restrictions are that it will not be the name of a main character. It will be a supporting or minor character. Also, this is a fictional character. It is not a character based on the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Every Time I Think of You and Cherish Pre-Order Links

Hello, everyone!

It’s hard to believe that the publication of Every Time I Think of You is only a few weeks away. Cherish is not far behind and will be here in a couple of months.

Two releases six weeks apart? How did that happen? I’m just as surprised as you are.

Here are the pre-order links for Every Time I Think of You (release date 9/16/14). I thought it would be easier to put them all in one post instead of trying to post them individually on Facebook and Twitter.

Amazon US (e-book and paperback)

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia 

Barnes & Noble

Apple

Kobo

 

Here are the pre-order links for Cherish (Covet, #1.5) (release date 10/28/14).

Amazon US (e-book and paperback)

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

Barnes & Noble

Apple

Kobo 

Happy Friday!!

 

 

 

 

Cherish Cover Reveal!

Hello, everyone!

I’m so excited to share the cover of Cherish with you today. Sarah Hansen at Okay Creations has once again worked her magic. Isn’t it gorgeous?

*If you haven’t read Covet, consider the rest of this post a spoiler.*

Readers have been asking me for almost a year if Daniel would ever get his own happily-ever-after. For the longest time I wasn’t even really considering it. I didn’t have anything in mind for how I’d want the story to play out, but then an idea hit me pretty hard. Suddenly, Daniel (and Jessie) were all I could think about. I typed furiously, trying to get all my thoughts down so I wouldn’t lose them. I told my husband I wanted to write the story and I outlined it for him when we were in the car (I had a captive audience – he couldn’t escape and had to listen to me ramble on).

So, if you’ve been wondering what happened to Daniel after he was injured in the line of duty, you’ll be able to find out on October 28th. Cherish is a novella-length sequel, not a companion or alternate POV story.

If you adore second-chance romances, Cherish is for you.

Title: Cherish (Covet, #1.5)
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance

Add Cherish on Goodreads

Fans of Covet by New York Times bestselling author Tracey Garvis Graves will be delighted by this novella-length sequel.

Synopsis

When Daniel Rush wakes up in the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to the head, the last person he expects to see at his bedside is his ex-wife Jessica. Their marriage disintegrated after the death of their infant son Gabriel, and Daniel gave Jessie what he thought she wanted: the freedom to start over with someone else. But Daniel never updated his emergency contact information, and Jessie is the one who receives the call with the devastating news.

Daniel was Jessie’s one true love. Together since college, Jessie had dreams of raising a family with Daniel, and growing old together. When Gabriel died, Jessie buried those dreams with her beloved son and shut everyone out, including Daniel.

Daniel faces months of grueling rehabilitation and he’s going to need some help. Jessie is the last person anyone expects to volunteer, but this is her one chance to make amends, giving her and Daniel a shot at getting things right this time.

The road to recovery will be long and arduous. But with Jessie leading the way, Daniel just might be able to get his old life back.

Daniel knows how to covet. But can Jessie help him remember how to cherish?

*Please note that this is a novella-length sequel. Reading Covet before Cherish is highly recommended in order to enhance your reading pleasure.

Pre-Order

Would you like to pre-order Cherish? Simply click on the highlighted link below. Pre-order links for additional retailers will be coming soon, and I’ll post them as soon as they become available.

Pre-Order Cherish at Amazon

Read Covet, to see where Daniel’s story begins

What Have I Been Reading Lately?

I’ve spent a lot of the last year in a major reading slump. My preferences in contemporary romance have not been aligning well with the current trends, which always leaves me in a bit of a funk. Consequently, I’ve been reading more women’s fiction (which I’ve always read and loved) and literary fiction.

I’m sharing these titles with you today because I enjoyed all of these books. But I urge you to download a sample first to see if the book is something you’d like. My recommendations are completely subjective and are based on my own personal preferences.

1. It Happened One Wedding by Julie James

Julie James goodreads cover image

When it comes to romance, I prefer older characters (30s or 40s), conflict over angst, heroines who are level-headed, and heroes who are smart, chivalrous, and preferably wearing a suit. This book certainly fit the bill. It’s part of a series, but each book can be read as a stand-alone.

2. The Unexpected Waltz by Kim Wright

the unexpected waltz

I read (and loved) Kim Wright’s debut novel, Love in Mid Air. The Unexpected Waltz features one of the characters from Love in Mid Air but can be read as a stand-alone novel. I loved this story of a middle-aged widow who embarks on a re-awakening through her love of ballroom dancing.

3. Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Your Perfect Life

If you’re looking for the perfect beach read, your search is over. I love how fresh Liz and Lisa made the premise of switching bodies in this highly relatable and often poignant novel. This is women’s fiction at its best.

4. The Vacationers by Emma Straub

the vacationers

The Vacationers is a book I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy. The reviews were quite mixed, which is why I always download the sample first. I’m so glad I did because I discovered this book was exactly what I was looking for. It’s about a family who goes on vacation for two weeks in Mallorca. It’s literary women’s fiction, and not only is it beautifully written, it’s one of those books where the setting is so vibrant you feel like you’re right there with the characters.

5. Flat-Out Celeste by Jessica Park

flat out celeste

No one writes snappy, sparkling, and intelligent dialogue like Jessica Park. No one. And if you’re already a fan of Celeste after meeting her in Flat-Out Love, you will love her even more in this full-length novel. And Celeste + Justin = simply adorable. I also flat-out love (see what I did there?) that this book explores first love in such a sweet and innocent fashion.

6. All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

all fall down

There is something so incredibly addictive about the way Jennifer Weiner tells a story. I’ve been a longtime fan and before I switched to an e-reader I used to love picking up Jennifer’s latest book at Target. All Fall Down tells the very troubling tale of a wife and mother who is addicted to prescription painkillers. It’s heartbreaking to follow the main character down the rabbit hole of addiction, but it’s an honest and eye-opening journey.

7. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirl

This book blew me away. Frankly, I was not sure I’d connect with it because of my tendency to gravitate toward older characters, but Cath and Levi stole my heart and I really enjoyed the fact that their relationship developed slowly. Cath is a twin and I’m a twin, so I know a little bit about wanting to find your own identity. Rainbow Rowell also showed me how powerful a single POV can be. I did not need to know what was going on in Levi’s head, because Rainbow showed me via his dialogue and action. As a reader, I love discovering the nuanced character development that unfolds when a story is told this way. And just like Flat-Out Celeste, Fangirl has a romance that is sweet, innocent, and just as awkward as first love tends to be.

8. The Unimaginable by Dina Silver

The unimaginable

Dare I be so bold as to predict that this book will put Dina Silver on the map? Because I am. Dina is already the author of three delightful books, but The Unimaginable is her most ambitious novel yet. Do you want to know why I loved it? It’s got romance, action and adventure, and one of the most powerful endings I’ve ever read. And it’s different. Frankly, if there’s one thing readers seem to be clamoring for right now, it’s a book that stands out in a crowd. This one does.

9. The Player by Brad Parks

the player

My step-mom actually introduced me to the Carter Ross mysteries because she knew my main character in Every Time I Think of You was a newspaper reporter and so is Carter Ross, the main character in this series. I’ve read all five of the Carter Ross mysteries (they can all be read as stand-alone novels) and have enjoyed them immensely. Brooks McClain, the reporter in my book, is quite serious. Carter Ross, however, is hilarious. He’s also highly likeable, very resourceful, and super entertaining. And in The Player, I finally got something I’ve been waiting for for a long time. I can’t tell you what it is, but if you read all five books you’ll know what I mean.

10. Last (but certainly not least) This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

this is where i leave you

I know I’ve already professed my love for this book on my Facebook author page, but consider its inclusion on this list as just another testament to how much I enjoyed this book. This is what happens when excellent writing is combined with an engaging story. Jonathan Tropper writes in such a way that I totally “get” what he’s trying to say without him having to explain it. To me, that’s an example of perfect word choice. The narrator of the story doesn’t go on for pages, telling me what he means with inner dialogue. He shows me what he means. And I will go on record as saying that I’m a happily-ever-after, plot-threads-mostly-tied-up-kind of girl. But this story is a bit more open-ended. And I was totally cool with that. Am I dying to know what the outcome would have been for a few of the plot points? Yes. Will I pester Jonathan Tropper for the answers? No. (Maybe). No.

And in case you didn’t know, this book will be making its way to the big screen very soon. I cannot wait to see it!

So tell me, what have you been reading lately?

 

The Paperback Of Every Time I Think of You Is Now Up For Pre-Order

Happy Friday, everyone!

I am excited to announce that the Amazon pre-order link for the trade paperback edition of Every Time I Think of You is now available. If you type the title into Amazon’s search bar you will see a page that looks like this (you can click on this picture to make it larger):

Kindle page with arrows for blog post

As you can see, I’ve added some handy arrows. Under the words ‘Kindle Edition’ you will also see ‘Paperback.’ Now you can purchase whichever edition you prefer (on Amazon, not this blog post).

And wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could purchase the paperback and then get a discount on the e-book, so you could have both? With Amazon’s Kindle Matchbook program, you can! Look at the arrow just to the right of the cover image. If you purchase the paperback, you can buy the e-book for only $1.99. And if you’d like, you can mail that paperback to me at Tracey Garvis Graves, P.O. Box 71694, Clive, Iowa 50325. I’ll be happy to sign it and mail it back to you (along with a cute little bookmark). For information on how the Kindle Matchbook program works, click here (you’ll want to make sure you’re logged in to your Amazon account).

Would you like to pre-order the Kindle or Paperback version of Every Time I Think of You? Please click here.

More pre-order links and book news to follow soon. Please stop by on Monday, August 4th, when I’ll be revealing the cover for Cherish, my novella-length sequel to Covet!

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Tracey

 

 

 

Cover Reveal, Sneak Peek, and Pre-Order Link for Every Time I Think of You

I am so excited to share the cover for my upcoming new release Every Time I Think of You. I asked Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations to work her magic, and work it she did! Isn’t it pretty?

 

 

Title: Every Time I Think of You
Author: Tracey Garvis Graves
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: 9/16/14

Add on Goodreads

Synopsis

Thirty-year-old Daisy DiStefano has two people she holds dear: the grandmother who raised her, and her three-year-old son, Elliott. But when Daisy’s grandmother is killed in a seemingly random act of violence, Daisy must take steps to protect herself and her child.

Despite a thriving career in San Francisco, thirty-six-year-old Brooks McClain has returned home to spend what little time his mother has left before she succumbs to the deadly disease that is ravaging her. The seasoned investigative reporter has taken a position with the local newspaper and been on the job less than twenty-four hours when he’s summoned to cover the death of Pauline Thorpe.

Brooks is all business, but the more time he spends with Daisy DiStefano, the more invested he becomes; there’s something about a single mother, a defenseless child, and an unsolved crime that has stirred Brooks’s protective instincts like nothing ever has before.

And when the unthinkable happens, Brooks will do whatever it takes to clear the name of the woman he’s fallen for and the child he’ll protect at any cost.

Romantic and suspenseful, Every Time I Think of You shows how far two people will go to fight for the ones they love, and the life they’ve always imagined.

Chapter One

Three-year-old Elliott DiStefano hid underneath his mother’s bed when the shouting started. He didn’t understand what the raised voices coming from the living room meant, but instinct told him to hide.

No one ever yelled in his house. Sometimes they used a different tone with him, firmer. “Stop climbing everything, you little monkey,” his mama would say or, “It’s time to pick up your toys and get ready for bed,” Nana would announce. Most of the time he would do what they said, although sometimes they had to ask him twice, especially if what he’d rather do was play a little longer. But they never spoke to him in such a harsh way, and they never told him to shut up like the man in the living room just did to Nana.

Elliott clutched his favorite green army man tightly in his hand. His nana had given him a bath after their early dinner at five, and asked if he was ready to put on his pajamas. “I can do it myself,” he’d told her, and she’d smiled and walked out of the bedroom he shared with Mama, closing the door behind her. She’d promised they could watch a movie and that Elliott could have one of the cookies they’d baked earlier that day for his bedtime snack. But then someone knocked on the door and now there was yelling and no movie and no cookie.

The man’s voice was scary and mean. Nana sounded like she was crying and as Elliott’s fear grew he began to tremble. The yelling got a little louder, followed by a crash and a thud. Then nothing. Was the bad man still there? What if he’d left but planned to come back? Elliott could no longer hear Nana’s voice and he wondered where she went. Did she leave? Did she go with the man? He curled himself into a tight ball and began to cry silent tears.

He had no way of knowing how much time had passed. It was dark under the bed and the crying had tired him out, so he rubbed his stinging eyes and took a little nap. When he woke up he desperately needed to go to the bathroom. His mama and Nana had been so proud of him when he stopped wearing diapers, and he hardly ever had accidents, but he couldn’t risk leaving the safety he’d found under the bed. The minutes ticked by and though he tried his best to hold it, he peed in his pajamas, soaking himself from the waist down. He started to shiver.

It was quiet for a long time and then someone banged on the door and shouted something, but Elliott didn’t know if that was bad or good. He heard voices in the living room, not yelling, just talking, but he remained hidden. Mama would be home soon and she’d know what to do. Elliott decided to wait for her under the bed.

More voices, drawing closer. The door to the bedroom opened. Elliott froze, wondering if it was the bad man coming to get him. He didn’t make a sound as a pair of legs wearing dark blue pants, with a stripe down the side, came into view. If he didn’t say a word or make any noise, maybe the person would leave.

No one would have known he was there if he hadn’t coughed at that very moment. It was a bit dusty underneath the bed, and Elliott already felt a little wheezy, like he might need another dose of his medicine. The legs bent as someone crouched down to look under the bed and Elliott squeezed his eyes shut, terrified of what he might see.

“It’s okay.” The man said, speaking softly. “I’m a policeman. I’m here to help. Can you come out from under there?” Heart pounding, Elliott didn’t answer. He couldn’t.

More footsteps. More dark blue legs. Elliott stayed put. No one was yelling, but Elliott’s heart was still beating fast, and his body felt like Jell-O. A lady wearing a dark blue uniform lay down on the floor next to the bed. “What’s your name?” she asked. She sounded a little like his mama. Her smile was nice like Mama’s, too. He didn’t think a bad person would smile at him, so he answered her. “Ewiott,” he whispered.

“My name is Officer Ochoa but you can call me Regina, okay?” He nodded. “How old are you, Elliott?” she asked. Using the hand not clutching the army man he held up three fingers.

“Three, huh? That’s a good age. I want you to know that you’re safe and no one will hurt you. Can you come out from under there? Here, take my hand.” She stretched out her hand to him and he hesitated but finally touched her palm with his fingers. She urged him gently toward her. Once he was close enough she reached in and grabbed him by his pajama top, pulling him the rest of the way out.

Elliott blinked and let his eyes adjust to the light. One of the officers noticed his wet pajamas, and his shivering, and they wrapped his Thomas the Tank Engine comforter around him, speaking in low, soothing tones.

“I want Nana and Mama,” he said. They could barely hear him.

“What is your mama’s name?” they asked.

“Daisy,” he said. He knew this was true because it was the name other people called her when they said hello. And it was easy to remember because it was the name of a flower, and he liked flowers.

“Do you know your last name?”

He nodded. He and Mama had practiced saying it. “DiStefano,” Elliott said. Maybe it didn’t come out as clearly as it sounded to him because they repeated it back like a question and he nodded.

The officers exchanged a glance and one of them said, “Got it.” The officer who spoke scribbled something on a pad of paper and left the room.

“We’re going to take you to the police station and we’ll call your mom so she can come get you,” Officer Ochoa said. “Okay?”

He wanted his mama more than anything, so he said okay, and when she bent down and scooped him up, comforter and all, he put his arms around her neck. She hurried down the hallway and just before they got to the door, when he would have tried to look for Nana to make sure she was coming too, Officer Ochoa pulled Elliott’s head down to her chest and all he could see was the dark blue of her uniform.

Pre-Order

Would you like to pre-order Every Time I Think of You? Simply click on the highlighted link below. Pre-order links for additional retailers will be coming soon, and I’ll post them as soon as they become available.

Pre-Order Every Time I Think of You at Amazon

Trailer