Update Time

Hello, everyone!

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read Heart-Shaped Hack yet but plan to, you may want to skip this entire post.

I’ve received quite a few tweets, e-mails, and private messages regarding the publication date of White-Hot Hack, so I’m going to try and answer some of your questions.

First of all, I’m overjoyed that so many of you are looking forward to spending more time with Kate and Ian. They’re two of my favorite characters and I’m glad I don’t have to let go of them just yet.

Many of you have asked how many books will be in the Kate and Ian series. I originally wrote synopses for three books because I’d tossed around the idea of writing a trilogy, but once I finished Heart-Shaped Hack, I realized the complete story could really be told in two books. Sometimes the second book in a trilogy can end up feeling like a set-up for the third and final book, and I didn’t want that to be the case here. If anything should change (and I don’t anticipate that it will), it will be clearly marked in the description of White-Hot Hack so you’ll know for sure whether it’s the final book.

Some of my readers were upset to discover there would be a sequel to Heart-Shaped Hack because they prefer to wait until all books in a series are published before they start reading. While I completely understand this, there’s a plot element in Heart-Shaped Hack that could have potentially been spoiled if this information had been shared at the beginning of the book instead of the end. (As I’d anticipated, most of you guessed the “twist” and those who didn’t probably spent some time around the 70% mark wanting to kill me). There were in-depth discussions between myself, my publicist, my beta readers, and my peers about the best way to handle this potential spoiler issue, and the consensus was to err on the side of caution. The fact that Heart-Shaped Hack can be read as a stand alone book was also taken into consideration. There is no cliffhanger and it’s a complete story with a happily-ever-after/happy-for-now ending. White-Hot Hack is simply the next chapter in the lives of Kate and Ian.

I’m not an especially fast writer and usually complete at least three drafts before I’m ready to send the manuscript to my beta readers. Then I need another 6-8 weeks after that to tackle revisions, polish the manuscript, go through the copyediting process, and have the final pass proofed and sent to the formatter. One book every 9 months is about the quickest I can write; anything faster and I’d be worried that the final product would not be well written and/or edited. This is just *my* process. There are many authors whose timelines are much faster. The official publication date of White-Hot Hack won’t be released until I have a better idea of my timeline for finishing, but I’m shooting for late spring/early summer. I’m working on the blurb now, but I’d like to get a little further in the writing process before I release it. This helps me avoid having to tweak it later if something should change plot-wise.

I’ll be revealing the cover soon (sometime in the next 3-4 weeks). I can’t wait to show it to you!

If you’d like, you can add White-Hot Hack to your Goodreads shelves here.

Thank you for your enthusiasm, everyone! And please feel free to reach out to me via social media should you have any further questions.

Have a great day!







Heart-Shaped Hack Chapters 1-5 Reveal

When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian —a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.
Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.
But Ian has enemies and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.
© 2015 Tracey Garvis Graves
Heart-Shaped Hack
“The babies are going to starve,” Helena said.
“Don’t be so dramatic,” Kate replied. “No one is going to starve, least of all the babies.” But her pinched expression and the way she was jabbing at the keyboard as she refreshed the donations page on their website said otherwise. For the first time in the sixteen months since Kate had left her position as a corporate attorney to open the food pantry, she faced the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away. She couldn’t stand the thought of letting down her regulars, especially the young mother of three who relied on the pantry to feed them.
The problem was that Kate’s nonprofit organization was not the only one in Minneapolis that needed help. Tomorrow was the first of September, and everyone was trying to stockpile whatever resources they could before they headed into the colder months.
“Let’s see,” Helena said. “We could rob a bank. We could pawn our valuables. You could sell your body on a street corner.”
Despite their dire circumstances, Kate cracked a smile. Helena had walked through the front door of the food pantry shortly after Kate opened and said, “I’m sixty-five, and they’re forcing me to retire from my job at the insurance company. My husband retired two years ago, and now he’s home all day. That’s too much togetherness for us. I have to find something to do outside the house, and you wouldn’t have to pay me much.” Kate hired her on the spot and had never regretted it.
She swiveled her chair toward Helena. “Why am I always the one who has to sell her body? Why can’t you sell yours?”
“Who do you think is going to bring in more money? A gray-haired grandmother of seven, or a willowy twenty-nine-year-old beauty? It’s a no-brainer.”
It was hard to argue with logic like that.
Kate had been so determined not to let down their clients that she’d resorted to begging her ex-boyfriend Stuart—who worked as the executive producer on an hour-long talk show on the local ABC station—to let her appeal to the public during the afternoon broadcast.
“Do you know how hard it is for me to be around you, Kate?” Stuart said when he received her call. “Do you ever think of that?”
“Of course I do. But this is really important to me.”
“I used to be really important to you.”
Kate remained silent. They’d been through this before.
He sighed in defeat. “Come in tomorrow. I’ll squeeze you in after the cooking segment.”
“Thanks, Stuart.”
The skirt had been Helena’s idea. “We need to do whatever we can to grab viewers’ attention.”
“You mean I need to do whatever I can.”
“Of course I mean you. You have great legs.”On the day of the broadcast when Helena arrived at the food pantry, Kate said, “I don’t remember this skirt being quite so short. I’m actually a little worried about the type of viewer I might attract with it.” She tugged on the hem, pulled out her desk chair, sat down, and crossed her legs. “Can you see anything?”
“You’ll be fine unless you decide to recross your legs in the middle of the segment like Sharon Stone did in that one movie.”
“I can assure you I will not be doing that. The skirt is as far as I’m willing to go. I draw the line at flashing people, not even for the babies.”
Kate had paired the black-and-white houndstooth skirt with a black short-sleeve top and her favorite black heels. When she arrived at the TV studio, she ducked into the bathroom to check her teeth for wandering lipstick. Before she left the food pantry she’d applied a raspberry lip stain that Helena claimed looked stunning on her. That morning she’d curled her long dark hair and then brushed through the curls with her fingers so they draped across her shoulders and down her back in loose waves. She’d used plenty of mascara to play up her brown eyes. The extra primping made her feel a little like she was standing on a street corner, but she banished those thoughts. At this point, they needed all the help they could get.
After Stuart snaked the mic up the back of her top, his hands lingering on her skin in a way that made Kate feel sad, he positioned her on a stool and told her to wait for his signal. She kept her legs tightly crossed, and when the light on the camera turned red, he pointed at her and she began to speak.
“Good afternoon. My name is Kate Watts, and I’m the executive director of the Main Street Food Pantry. As we head into the winter months, our needs—and those of all local food pantries—will be greater than ever.” Kate stared into the camera, imagining she was speaking directly to anyone who might have the means to help them.
“No child should ever have to go hungry, and many of our local residents depend on the food pantry to feed their families. I’m here today to personally appeal to you should you have the ability to help us in any way. The families we assist, and especially the children, depend on your generosity more than you could ever imagine. Thank you.” She ended the short segment with the food pantry’s telephone number and street address, and when Stuart gave her the all clear, she reached under her shirt for the microphone and handed it back to him.
“Thanks, Stuart,” she said, giving him a quick hug. “I really appreciate this.”
“Sure,” he said, looking over her shoulder as if there was something very interesting across the room. “Take care, Kate.”That was yesterday, and so far only a few additional donations had trickled in. She and Helena spent the rest of the afternoon making calls to local churches and schools to set up additional food drives while continuing to monitor the donations page. Finally, at a little before three, Kate went into the back room to recount their inventory. It was the end of the month and they were down to their last cases of infant formula and baby food. Almost all of the canned vegetables had been depleted, and they were completely out of peanut butter and soup. If it was this bad now, Kate didn’t want to think about what might happen when budgets were stretched even thinner by holiday spending. Dejected, she was sitting on the floor, clipboard in hand, when Helena burst into the back room.
“I ran after him,” she said, gasping for breath. “But he was too fast. Boy am I out of shape.”
“Who did you run after?”
Helena tossed a brown paper bag to Kate and leaned over, resting her hands on her knees as she took in giant gulps of air.
“The man who dropped off the money. Seriously, I may need supplemental oxygen over here.”
Kate looked into the bag and blinked several times. “Did you lock the front door?”
She turned the bag upside down and watched in disbelief as hundred-dollar bills rained down on the concrete floor. She counted it quickly. “There’s a thousand dollars here.”
Their website listed four levels for donations with amounts ranging from ten to one hundred dollars. There were higher amounts for corporations, but this was the largest donation they’d ever received from one person, and it was more than enough to replenish their shelves. Kate was already picturing herself pushing a giant cart through Costco. “Did he leave his name?”
“No. He walked up to my desk and said, “Give this to Katie. He must have seen you on TV yesterday.”
“Young? Old?” Rich?
“Young. Early thirties, maybe? Tall. Blondish-brown hair. He was in a real hurry to leave. I chased him out the door, but he jumped into the driver’s seat of an old blue car.”
“An old car? Are you sure?”
“I think it was old. It didn’t look like any car I’ve ever seen. It had stripes on the hood. And then he burned rubber.”
“Why would someone who drives an old car drop off a bag full of money?”
“I have no idea. But whatever the reason, he just saved us.”
Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author of Uncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish.
Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Heart-Shaped Hack Pub Date And Pre-Order Links

HSH Amazon


Good morning and happy Friday! I’m very excited to share pre-order links and publication information for Heart-Shaped Hack.

First things first: Heart-Shaped Hack is a full-length, stand-alone adult contemporary romance novel and will be released on Tuesday, August 25th in both ebook and paperback.

I have some exciting news regarding the ebook price. There will be a discount for anyone who pre-orders Heart-Shaped Hack. The regular price will be $3.99, but the pre-order price is $2.99. You’ll save a dollar by reserving your copy now.

When I asked my readers how they felt about pre-orders, most loved them because they didn’t like keeping track of release dates and they enjoyed seeing the title show up on their e-readers on publication day. But not everyone wants to pre-order their ebooks, which I totally understand. So I’m extending the pre-order discount price through the first week of the release. If you don’t want to pre-order but want to take advantage of the discount, be sure to mark August 25th on your calendar. The discounted price of $2.99 will be available August 25th-August 31st. The price will be raised to $3.99 on September 1st.

To pre-order Heart-Shaped Hack, click on the link for the retailer of your choice.

Amazon ebook

Amazon paperback 

Barnes & Noble


The link for iBooks is coming – I’ll make sure to add it once it’s live.

If you haven’t already, click here to add Heart-Shaped Hack to your Goodreads shelf.

Make sure to head over to my Facebook author page to enter the giveaway for a digital ARC of Heart-Shaped Hack!

Have a great weekend, everyone!









Heart-Shaped Hack Cover Reveal

Good morning!

I’m so excited to show you the cover of my forthcoming adult contemporary romance novel. I think this one might be my all-time favorite. It’s so pretty!

Here’s the blurb:

When Kate Watts abandoned her law career to open a food pantry in Northeast Minneapolis, she never dreamed it would be this difficult. Facing the heartbreaking prospect of turning hungry people away, she is grateful for the anonymous donations that begin appearing at the end of each month. Determined to identify and thank her secret benefactor, she launches a plan and catches Ian—a charismatic hacker with a Robin Hood complex—in the act.

Ian intrigues Kate in a way no man ever has. But after learning he’s snooped around on her personal computer, she demands retribution. Impressed with her tolerance and captivated by her spirit, he complies and begins to slowly charm his way past her defenses. Time spent with Ian is never boring, and Kate soon finds herself falling for the mysterious hacker.

But Ian has enemies, and they’re growing restless. In the hacking world, exploiting a target’s weakness is paramount, and no price is too high to stop an attack. And when Kate learns exactly how much Ian has paid, she’ll discover just how strong her love is for the man who has hacked his way into her heart.

And here’s the cover:


HSH resized

Publication date and pre-order links will be up soon. To add Heart-Shaped Hack to your Goodreads shelves, click here.

Please swing by my Facebook author page to enter the giveaway for a digital ARC!

Happy Friday, everybody!













Dream A Little Dream

Hello, everyone!

Today I’d like to talk about the inspiration for my latest novel. I’d mentioned on my Facebook author page late last fall that my next project was going to be a second-chance romance called The Girl He Used to Know, loosely inspired by the song “Same Auld Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg (the one about running into your old lover at the grocery store on Christmas Eve).

I’d already done quite a bit of research for this book. I’d written the synopsis, and I had a word document full of notes.

I was very excited about writing this book.

I’m still very excited about writing this book.

But that’s not the book I ended up writing.

Sometime during the early morning hours of October 2nd a book idea came to me in a dream. I woke before my alarm and I remember lying there just thinking about it. The dream itself was weird and didn’t make sense, and I couldn’t really remember the specifics. But the idea part was very vivid.

And I was all, “Whaaaaat is going on here???”

But I went downstairs, poured myself a cup of coffee, and opened a new word document. I typed in one sentence that summed up the book idea, saved it, and went about my day, preparing to really get down to business on drafting The Girl He Used to Know. 

But later that afternoon I started making notes for the dream book. And once I started I didn’t stop until I had about 5,000 words. I had a loose outline, scraps of dialogue, and whole scenes. I’d named the main characters. Everything was kind of a blur and I almost couldn’t type fast enough to keep up with the ideas that were pouring from my brain.

I told my husband I felt very conflicted. I always know what I’m going to write next, and it felt wrong to change my mind.

I’m a planner. I don’t wing anything.

But I decided there was no harm in spending a few weeks with this idea to see what would happen, and that’s what I did.

I ended up falling for the characters. I liked each of them separately and I loved their lively banter. They made me laugh. I felt like I had a front-row seat in their world and they were showing me their story. I sent the first sixty pages to a few trusted friends and their excited feedback and enthusiasm inspired me to keep going. It’s an adult contemporary romance, and I always felt really happy when I was working on this book. It’s lighter than Every Time I Think of You, and I really needed that. For the most part, the two main characters are together on every page. I haven’t done that since On the Island.

Tomorrow I’ll be revealing the cover and blurb so I hope you’ll stop by and take a look. I’ll be using the rafflecopter flash giveaway app to select one winner who will receive a digital ARC (as soon as they’re ready).

Have a great day!







Writing Process Update – Revision Stage!

Here’s another update for those of you who enjoy hearing about my writing process.

I’ve completed the first draft of my new book. I actually typed THE END almost two weeks ago, but then proceeded directly to the second draft, also known as the beginning of my revision stage.

Which I love.

The first draft is where you meet your characters and learn about their world.

Revision is where you find your story.

I feel – very strongly – that this stage is the most important part of the entire writing process (and for me it’s obviously the most enjoyable). You find out a lot about your characters in the first draft, but in order to develop them fully – to give them dimension, to make them leap off the page, to ensure their actions make sense – you need to be able to look at the story –and the active role your characters play in it – as a whole. And I really can’t do that until I’ve written the first draft.

The first thing I do when I start the second draft is send the first draft to my Kindle. Then, as I read the entire manuscript straight through, I highlight sections and take notes, adding them to the items I’ve already listed in my revision checklist. For example, there is an element of the hero’s backstory in the first draft that is totally cliché, and I’m sort of embarrassed that I couldn’t see it. But that’s one example of why revision is so important. Often the first idea that pops into your mind is the one everyone would probably think of, so it needs to be replaced by something not quite as obvious. A character’s backstory is part of the reason they act the way they do, and – bonus! – the element I came up with in the second draft actually makes more sense for the hero. Double bonus – it added some more dimension to a secondary character as well. This is the power of revision. 

I mentioned in my earlier updates that I’d written a synopsis of this book for my agent, and that it had really helped give me a road map to follow as I wrote the first draft. But with the good comes the bad, and there was one particular plot point in the synopsis that really didn’t work the way I needed it to once I’d written it. And that drove me NUTS because it was a pivotal plot point and I thought it would be so awesome when I finally got to write it.

But it wasn’t awesome.

At all.

Because by the time I wrote it, I knew a lot more about my characters and their motivations. And the reactions of both characters in this particular chapter didn’t really ring true for the stage they were at in their relationship. This realization was incredibly frustrating and at first I tried to force a solution, which only made it worse.

Last week I was on vacation with my family for spring break. I had lots of time to let my mind wander and when the answer finally came to me, I realized where I’d gone wrong and what I needed to do to fix it. But I was only able to do this by looking at the story as a whole (and allowing myself the necessary time to figure it out). Interestingly, I had originally planned for this chapter to occur earlier in the book but then moved it a few chapters later. This no longer works, so I’m re-writing the whole chapter and moving it to where I’d originally planned for it to go. Sometimes this is the only course of action and I’m just thankful it was one chapter and not half a book. However, any time you pull a plot thread you run the risk of loosening something in another location, which means I now have a few other things that also have to be changed and moved.

That’s okay. That’s revision.

One of the other things I’m able to do once I have a completed first draft is look at my story arc. I like using a three act structure (you may need to click on the picture to see it better).


This doesn’t mean it has to be followed 100%. But it’s a great way to see if I’ve got rising action (including enough smaller conflicts), a big enough main conflict, and a nice wrap up.

I hope to be done with my revisions by early May. Then I’ll send the manuscript off for beta feedback. After that, I’ll write the third draft, do a hard line edit for grammar and rhythm, and give it a final polish. This is why I’ll probably always be a 1 book a year (or maybe 1 book plus a novella) author. I’ve learned (the hard way) that I really do need this much time in order to be satisfied with a book.

I would love to give you more details about this book (including why I decided to write it) and hope to do so in the next couple of months. I can tell you that it’s not The Girl He Used to Know, which is what I had planned to write next. I’ll still be writing that one, but not until I’ve completed my current project. This new book is straight-up adult contemporary romance, which is something I haven’t done since On the Island (at least in a full-length novel). After the heavier subject matter of Every Time I Think of You, I really needed to write something a little lighter (and I think my readers are ready for that, too).

In one word, this book is fun. The hero and heroine have lots of dialogue (and banter!). There is an external conflict in addition to the romantic conflict, which is my favorite kind of contemporary romance. Many of you have asked for a bit more steam, and I tried my best to kick it up a bit. However, you still won’t see certain words because I don’t think they’re necessary, nor do I personally find them romantic. The heat level of this book is similar to Jill Shalvis (who’s an author I love).    

So there you have it! I’m very excited about sharing more on this project in the coming months.




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 


Barnes & Noble 


(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.