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Every Time I Think of You Is Available Now!

  • September 16, 2014

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

  • August 22, 2014

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!

  • August 3, 2014

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?

  • August 3, 2014

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

  • July 25, 2014

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

  • July 15, 2014

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

Special Announcement from Wordsmith Publicity

  • May 12, 2014
We are thrilled to announce that best selling author Tracey Garvis-Graves will be releasing an Adult Romantic Suspense novel this year! Please be sure to watch the gorgeous trailer for EVERY TIME I THINK OF YOU, read the excerpt, and don’t forget to add it to your reading list!
Title: Every Time I Think of You
Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves
Release date: TBA 2014
Book Description:

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.

TRAILER
EXCERPT

My watch said 11:00 p.m. Way too late to show up unannounced, but I knocked on Daisy’s door anyway, picturing her tip-toeing quietly to look through the peephole. It took a full minute because I’d undoubtedly roused her from a sound sleep. But then she opened the door far enough for me to cross the threshold and locked it again behind me.

The apartment was dark, save for a small beam of light that spilled into the hallway from her bedroom. As my eyes adjusted I noticed her hair. I’d never seen it down before. It fell way past her shoulders and was slightly messy, like she’d been tossing and turning in her sleep before I arrived. She wore a pair of pajama pants and a tank top with narrow straps, one of which had fallen off her shoulder.

“What is it?” she asked. “Are you okay?”

“My mom died,” I said. It felt strange to say the words out loud. My voice sounded flat, unemotional.

“I’m so sorry, Brooks,” she said, but she didn’t say anything else.

I wanted something that would take away the empty, restless feeling inside of me. Something solid and real. She was standing close enough that one step was all I needed to close the gap between us. She must have taken a shower right before she went to bed because when I plunged my hands into all that hair, grabbing fistfuls and pulling her up against me, I felt the dampness and smelled the faint traces of her shampoo.

I moved my hands to the sides of her face and cupped it. She didn’t miss a beat when I pressed my lips to hers. She was probably wondering how I could possibly kiss her at a time like this, but it didn’t stop her from putting her arms around me and kissing me back like it was exactly what she needed, too.

Like the steady turn of a release valve, everything that had been bottled up inside of me escaped slowly through that kiss. I hadn’t realized how rigidly I’d been holding my body until it slackened against hers. How tightly I’d been clenching my jaw until I relaxed it to kiss her. All the tension I’d been feeling disappeared when she opened her mouth and let me in.

It was a long slow kiss, the kind that wasn’t meant to lead to anything else and was all the more powerful because of it. When I’d finally had enough I said, “I don’t know why I came. It’s late. I woke you up.”

“It’s okay,” she said softly. “I don’t mind.”

“Go back to bed,” I whispered.

She nodded and I opened the door. “Lock this behind me,” I said, and I waited in the hallway until I heard the tumble of the lock clicking into place.


About the Author:

Tracey Garvis-Graves is the author of On the Island and Covet. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. She blogs at www.traceygarvisgraves.com using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood. You can e-mail her at traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com. She’d love to hear from you.

The Trade Paperback of Covet Is Available Today!

  • April 29, 2014

Hello, everyone!

Today is the release of the trade paperback of Covet, with the beautiful new cover! Will I be at Target tonight, taking a picture of it on the shelf? You bet I will (plus we’re getting low on paper towels and laundry detergent, so I’ll be there anyway).

Here’s a quick recap of where you can buy it:

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Target
Wal-Mart (select stores)
Airport bookstores
Books-A-Million
Canada – Indigo, Chapters, & Amazon

And don’t forget, the e-book of Covet is still on sale for $5.99 through May 21st.

When Covet was released in hardcover, many of you sent me pictures of yourselves holding the book. I loved these “in the wild” photos and hope you’ll send them again (please direct them to traceygarvisgraves@gmail.com). If you do, I’ll send you a signed bookplate created by Bookplate Ink. It will look like this:

A bookplate is a fancy name for a sticker that you can peel off and affix to the inside cover or title page of the book (or wherever you want to put it).

My publisher has decided to up the ante a bit and has generously offered to send a copy of the trade paperback of On the Island (signed by me!) to the first thirty people who send in a picture of themselves with their copy of the trade paperback of Covet. Everyone who sends in a photo after that will also receive a bookplate.

Disclaimers: You do not have to buy anything. This is meant to be along the same lines as last September’s hardcover launch of Covet when I sent out signed bookplates. Basically, if you’ve been planning to buy the trade paperback of Covet and you pick it up sometime in the next week or two, I’d love to see a snapshot of you holding your copy (and you’ll receive a bookplate and signed copy of On the Island).

I will post your pictures on my Facebook author page, so smile pretty. 🙂

Thanks, everyone!!

Covet E-book Sale And Giveaway!

  • April 23, 2014

Hello everyone!

I’m sorry I’ve been missing in action lately. I recently finished writing my newest book and will have some exciting things to share with you in a couple of weeks. But in the meantime, I’m excited to talk about the upcoming release of the trade paperback of Covet. In case you haven’t seen the new cover, here it is:

Isn’t it gorgeous? I wouldn’t have believed that Penguin could top the beautiful concept they came up with for the hardcover edition, but I think they have. I just love it.

The trade paperback will be released on 4/29/14 and will be available at the following retailers:

Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Target
Wal-Mart (select stores)
Airport bookstores
Books-A-Million
Canada – Indigo, Chapters, & Amazon

In conjunction with the publication of the trade paperback, the e-book will also be going on sale. From today through May 21st, you can buy the e-book of Covet for $5.99. If you haven’t yet picked it up, now would be a great (and economical) time to do it.

Here are the participating retailers:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Apple
IndieBound
Kobo

I need your help in getting the word out about this e-book sale, so one lucky winner will receive a prize package containing the following items:

Signed copies of the trade paperback of Covet and On the Island

This cute little Marc Jacobs necklace

This Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey (which is my FAVORITE shade)

This awesome blush from Clinique in Berry Pop (which is the last one on the left) 
This Marc Jacobs Dot rollerball perfume

To enter, all you need to do is follow the instruction on the PunchTab giveaway below (and make sure to share your activity on your Facebook timeline). If you win, I do need to be able to verify where you shared the information. This giveaway is open to EVERYONE. I don’t care where you live, I’ll get the prize package to you. The giveaway will run from 8:00 a.m. CST 4/23 through 8:00 a.m. CST 4/25. One winner will be chosen. 

PLEASE BE AWARE THAT YOU *MAY* HAVE TROUBLE ENTERING THE GIVEAWAY USING A MOBILE DEVICE.

Thanks, everyone!!

xoxo

Fiction Friday – A Public Service Announcement To All Aspiring Authors

  • February 14, 2014

Hello, everyone!

Today I’d like to talk about something that’s become quite worrisome to me. I’ve already touched upon this subject here, in my FAQ, but I want to go into it in more detail.

I’m still receiving e-mails from authors with this question: Who did you use to self-publish On the Island? As I’ve said before, I didn’t use anyone to self-publish my debut novel. I published it myself (which is why it’s called self-publishing) and the book was later acquired by Penguin as part of a two-book publishing contract. But initially, when the book was self-published, I acted as the publisher and I was responsible for all the things a traditional publisher would have done for me. I spent time searching for – and vetting – a freelance content editor, copy editor, and formatter. The names of everyone I used can be found in the link in the first paragraph of this post.

I paid each of these freelance professionals a flat fee, which we agreed upon in advance. There were also written contracts provided (where applicable), so that everyone knew the fee and the completion date of the service provided.

Once everything was complete and my book was ready to be published, I uploaded it to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I also published via Smashwords, so that my book could be available through Sony, Kobo, Apple, and Diesel.

Cost to UPLOAD: zero dollars. I paid nothing. 

The reason I’m writing this post today is twofold: First of all, if you’re going to self-publish, you don’t need to pay anyone to do this for you, especially if they’re also going to take a percentage of your royalties. Self-publishing is not nearly as hard as people want you to think it is. It takes work, and there are a lot of steps involved, but it’s not hard. If you’re ready to publish (or query agents), the really hard part – writing your book, revising it, sharing it with betas, revising it again, self-editing, and polishing – should already be done. If these steps haven’t been taken, your book is probably not ready for querying OR publication. Get a critique partner, get some beta readers, spend more time learning the craft of fiction writing, or whatever it is you need to do to write the best book you possibly can. Second of all, when you pay a company to publish your book for you, this is called vanity publishing. You will pay for your own editing, cover, marketing, etc…Print distribution will probably be of the print-on-demand variety, which I don’t have a problem with, but you’re still paying a company to publish your book for you.

And some of you are paying a lot of money to let them do it. When you stumble upon my self-publishing FAQ and then write to me, heartbroken, because you’re out hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars, I feel horrible for you. But if you want to be a writer, you’re going to have to make good business decisions and that includes educating yourself about the business you want to be a part of. Read everything you can about the publishing industry, so that you can make informed choices. There are tons of great articles and blog posts out there, so spend a little time every day learning something new.

So, is it bad to pay a company to do your editing, your cover, your formatting, etc…and then publish your book for you?

I think it is.

Paying freelance professionals on a per-job basis makes a lot more sense. And making sure that you’re the only one who will receive royalties (other than the cut the retailer will take) is always a solid business plan.

Here is the link for the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing FAQ.
Here is the link for Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press FAQ.

These links are a GREAT place to start if you want to learn more about how to self-publish your work. And remember, you can upload your manuscript to Amazon and Barnes & Noble for FREE.

There’s something even more insidious than the vanity publisher, and it’s what I call the “predatory publisher.” With the explosion of self-publishing, more and more writers are throwing their hat in the ring. Unfortunately, that means that these “predatory publishers” are also popping up all over the place. What usually happens is this: An author submits their manuscript and an “offer” to sign the author is made. Unfortunately, what the author finds out later is that they can’t get the publisher to pay the royalties that are due to them. Now they’re in a really bad situation. Also, it is a huge red flag if a publisher is willing to sign you without reading your manuscript. Think about it: why would they buy something they know nothing about?  

All of this can be avoided by doing a few things:

1. Self-publish without outside assistance. I’m not talking about your editor, formatter, cover designer, etc… you’ll pay them a flat-fee for services rendered. I’m talking about someone who wants you to pay them money to publish your book and/or also wants a cut of your royalties.

2. Google is your friend. If you’re thinking about signing with a publisher, do your due diligence. There are a lot of really good publishers out there – big, small, and in-between – but check them out. If you don’t have an agent, consider hiring an IP attorney to look at any publishing contract you may be considering.

3. Go to Preditors & Editors (click on the link here). I like to think of P&E as the Better Business Bureau of the publishing world. Go to the section marked ‘Book Publishers’ and check yours out. If it says NOT RECOMMENDED, there’s a reason and I’d steer clear.

So, to re-cap:

1) You are perfectly capable of self-publishing your manuscript on your own, and uploading it to retailers will cost you nothing.

2) Do your due diligence when signing with ANY publisher, and if you don’t have an agent make sure you consult an IP attorney.

3) Never pay a publisher to publish your book for you. You can do that on your own.

Along these same lines, I’d like to caution you when choosing a copy editor.

Because everyone is a copy editor these days.

While I’m certainly glad that there are plenty of available resources, you need to make sure your copy editor is qualified. Ask them if they follow the Chicago Manual of Style or APA. If they don’t use either, or they don’t know what you’re talking about, they are probably not qualified. And just because someone is a voracious reader doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re capable of editing your work. Copy editing is a learned skill, and good copy editors are constantly honing theirs.  

Other people who are not qualified  to edit your manuscript: your sister, your best friend, your mom (unless they’re actually copy editors). Time and time again, I see copy editing confused with proofreading. While copy editing includes finding typos in a manuscript, copy editing involves a qualified professional showing you all the places you screwed up. A good copy editor will know that your compound modifier is missing a hyphen. A copy editor will tell you when it’s okay to split an infinitive, and when it isn’t. A copy editor will know if you are using simple past when you should be using past perfect (and vice versa). I have learned something new every time one of my manuscripts has been copy edited, which in turn helps me to become a stronger writer. A good copy editor can teach you so many things.

So just be careful, okay?

I’m not trying to burst anyone’s bubble, but I do want you to do your homework because I don’t like it when people are taken advantage of. I’ll be happy to answer questions in the comments sections, so please feel free to ask.

Now let’s go write!

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