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The Trade Paperback Of The Girl He Used To Know Is Available Today!

  • January 7, 2020


Hello, everyone!

I’m so excited because today is the release day for the trade paperback edition of The Girl He Used to Know. And there is something super special about it. Do you see the little red box at the upper right-hand corner of the picture above? That’s right! I am thrilled to announce that Target has selected The Girl He Used to Know as its January Book Club Pick! ! They choose one book per month and I can’t tell you how happy I was when I learned it would be mine.

And not only did Target select the book, but there are 7,800 signed limited edition copies on their shelves! It took me a month and 10 Sharpies to get them all signed, but it was such an honor that I’d have signed twice as many if they’d asked me to. I love Target and I’ve always loved seeing my books on the shelves there. But this book is extra special and I’d love it if you picked one up either in the store or at Target online.

I hope you’ll pick up a paperback copy of The Girl He Used to KnowOprah Magazine named it one of the best romance novels of 2019 and the Philadelphia Inquirer says “the ending had me riveted.” The trade paperback is available in stores as well as online at the following retailers (simply click on the highlighted link):


Barnes & Noble



I’ll be going live on my Facebook author page at 7:00 p.m. CST tonight. I’ll be doing a Q&A, so have those questions ready. I’ll be giving away some signed paperbacks and tote bags, too, so I hope to see you there!



The Girl He Used To Know Dream Cast

  • January 2, 2020

Hello, everyone!

I’ve been asked by quite a few readers who I’d want to play Annika and Jonathan if The Girl He Used to Know ever made it to the big screen. I’ll admit that I find this difficult because when I’m writing the book, the characters look sort of like faceless blobs in my head. Slowly, they come into focus but explaining what they look like can be challenging (with the exception of Annika who I compared in the book to Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy).

For one, the actors I choose need to match up fairly well with the ages of the characters. This was the hardest thing about coming up with the actors who could play T.J. and Anna in On the Island. As each year went by, actors I’d chosen in the past started aging out of the roles. Luckily for me, Annika and Jonathan are a little easier. Here are the actors I’d love to see in the roles if Hollywood ever comes knocking (these choices first appeared on a Q&A I did for Chick Lit Central):

For Annika, Hillary Duff.






You guys, I love Hillary in Younger (which is a fantastic show if you’re not already familiar with it and looking for something addictive to binge-watch). Her character, Kelsey Peters, has never met an obstacle she couldn’t overcome, but I think it would be amazing watching Hillary portray Annika’s vulnerabilities and fears (as well as her giant heart).

For Jonathan, Robbie Amell.








The first movie I ever saw Robbie in was The Duff. He was awesome, he’s adorable, and he seems like he would embody all the best qualities of Jonathan: handsome, respectful, and kind.

For Janice, Emmy Rossum.








For some reason, I could totally see Emmy Rossum giving Annika advice, helping her to get ready for her first date with Jonathan, and being there for her when it seemed that all hope was lost.

If you had other actors in mind, feel free to tag me on Instagram @traceygarvisgraves and I’ll share your choices! I’d love to see them.




  • January 10, 2018



Good morning, everyone!

I’m over-the-moon excited to announce that The Girl He Used to Know will be published by St. Martin’s Press. I do not have a pub date yet, but I will share all release details with you as they become available.

Thank you so much for your patience. I can’t wait for you to read this story!


The Girl He Used to Know

  • March 4, 2017

Hello, everyone!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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





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