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In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1 John 4:9

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Romance P.S. is an entertainment blog about two of my very favorite things — movies and books.

The title actually stands for Romance with the page and screen so it's not just about romance alone but all kinds of movies and books. Though I will confess that my favorites always seem to be romances in some way ;)

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September 4, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Tracey Garvis Graves!

Today we have the amazing Tracey Garvis Graves joining us here on Romance P.S.!

JennJ: Hello Tracey! It’s so good to have with us!

Tracey: Thank you so much for having me!

JennJ: Tracey could you please start by telling us a little about yourself, for those who maybe aren't familiar with you and your writing?

Tracey: I’m a married mother of two and I live in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. I’m the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of On the Island, which was published in 2011. I’m a full-time writer with five titles, three of which are available now with two more releasing in September and October, respectively.

JennJ: Could you please tell us about your latest release/releases?

Tracey: Every Time I Think of You is a romantic suspense novel. It will be released on September 16th. Cherish, my novella-length sequel to Covet, will be released on October 28th.

JennJ: Is your upcoming novel Every Time I Think of You a lot different than the other books you have written so far? It seems to have a bit more of a mystery/crime element to it than your other books by the blurbs that I have read.

Tracey: Yes, but then again, all my books are fairly different, at least as far as my full-length novels are concerned. You’ll find elements of romance and women’s fiction in everything I write, but for my newest release, Every Time I Think of You, I’ve also added suspense. Brooks McClain, the hero of the story, is a crime reporter. That led to needing a crime for him to report on, which in turn meant there would be a mystery element to the story. It was really fun to switch it up a bit, and it helped me grow as a writer.   

JennJ: Was it always your dream to become an author, or what did you want to be when you were growing up?

Tracey: I always wanted to be a writer, but for the longest time I didn't know what kind of writer I wanted to be. I was interested in writing articles, screenplays, blog posts, etc…. Really anything that needed to be written!

JennJ: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Tracey: Jonathan Tropper, Jennifer Weiner, Stephen King, Meg Wolitzer, Jane Green, and Julie James.
JennJ: What are a few of your all time favorite books (can’t have just one if your like me lol) as a reader?

Tracey: Good in Bed, This Is Where I Leave You, The Stand

JennJ: Now I absolutely LOVED your book On the Island that I recently read, and yes I admit it I re-read it again, because it was that good. It is now on my all time favorites shelf! How did you come up with the idea for that novel?

Tracey: I've always been interested in the desert island premise. I loved The Blue Lagoon and Castaway with Tom Hanks was a favorite as well. But I was kind of disappointed that the only thing Tom Hanks had to bond with was a volleyball. I thought, “What if I put two people on an island that should never be together. What would happen then?” I wrote On the Island because I just had to find out. 

JennJ: On the Island had such an usual hero and heroine. T.J. is 16 when the book starts and is recovering from his bout with cancer (which thankfully went into remission). And Anna is 30 year old English teacher who takes the position of T.J.’s summer tutor to help him catch up on all the schooling he missed during his bout with cancer. Can you tell us how you came up with that? As I said in my review I kept putting off reading this one for so long because of the age difference at first between them. And I am so, so sorry that I did I was completely wrong as I said, but have you found many that have thought that before about the story?

Tracey: I think most people would assume that I’d choose a hero and heroine who were more closely matched. But then I would have lost a great deal of the potential for conflict. I remember thinking, “What if I could convince the readers to not only accept this unorthodox relationship, but cheer for it as well? Wouldn't that be an awesome challenge?” However, I knew that the premise would be very off-putting to some, and that there would be people who might not take a chance on the book because of it. 
JennJ: Would you ever want to be stranded on a desert island like T.J. and Anna were for a while?

Tracey: No. I don’t even like to go camping!

JennJ: You did such an amazing job of describing the island and everything on it. Have you ever been to the Maldives or did you just do some research and let your imagination go wild to create the island in the book?

Tracey: I have never been to the Maldives, but I feel as if I have. The amount of research I had to do in order to write this book was insane. I never want to do that much research again!

JennJ: You also did a novella that was the sequel to On the Island called Uncharted do you plan to write more in the series? Possibly with more of Owen and Caila? Or might we see more of T.J. and Anna or their kids in the future sometime?

Tracey: I don’t have any plans to continue either book because I really feel like both couples got their happily-ever-after endings. I do miss them, though.
JennJ: There are also rumors that On the Island has been optioned for a possible movie is that true? I was so so excited when I heard that! I would absolutely LOVE to see this one as a major feature film, that would be awesome!!! Can you tell us anything about that?

Tracey: On the Island has been optioned by MGM for a feature film. My fingers are crossed that I’ll have an update to share soon.
JennJ: Sorry I just have to just say it - WOOOOHOOO!!!!!!! I can't wait to see it! :)

JennJ: I had a question about Covet and in reading some of the comments on Goodreads I saw I wasn't the only one - so I thought I would ask. Now I haven’t personally read Covet yet. I would so hate to make the exact same mistake that I did with On the Island and put off reading it like I did OTI,, but it seems to deal with possibly an affair between the main character and a police man? I am not a big fan at all of affair storylines so that put me off of it a bit. Can you tell me a little more about Covet and does the main character actually have an affair or does she just come close because of trouble in her marriage? I saw that the sequel that is set to come out soon shows the police officer Daniel evidently finding his significant other. So I just had to ask. I truly mean no disrespect in anyway at all by asking this I’m just curious.

Tracey: No problem! I totally don’t mind answering this. Covet explores the issue of an emotional affair, but nothing physical happens between the two main characters other than a kiss good-bye. Covet is the story of a marriage that hits a rocky patch and needs some fixing. It’s women’s fiction, so there are a few elements that set it apart from contemporary romance. Women’s fiction deals more with the heroine’s journey and there may or may not be a happily-ever-after ending. However, I will say that anything I write will always have an uplifting ending. No one should feel depressed when they finish one of my books.

JennJ:  Do you like to listen to music while you are writing, and if so what kind of music?

Tracey: I need total silence when I’m writing, but I do love coming up with playlists to go along with my books.

JennJ: If you could be any of your characters – Who would you be? And why?

Tracey: Wow, this is a tough one. As you already know after reading On the Island, I am not always nice to my characters and tend to put them into some challenging situations. But I think I’d have to say Anna. I will always have a special place in my heart for her.

JennJ: I’m a huge fan of Outlander and the TV series just started on Starz, and has had me thinking about the past and yes time travel too lol. If you could travel back in time to any period and place where would it be and when?

Tracey: Anywhere in the United States in the 70s. It is by far my favorite decade (and my favorite category of music).

JennJ: Is there a genre of book and/or setting or both that you would like to write but haven't yet? I know many authors write under pen names and pseudonyms do you or have you ever done so? 

Tracey: I have never written under a pen name and have no plans to do so. My next two projects are both what I call romantic women’s fiction. I love the heroine’s journey in women’s fiction, but I love it when there’s also a hero waiting for her at the end. I just love those happily-ever-after endings.

JennJ: What characteristics make up the perfect hero and heroine to you and why?

Tracey: I adore smart, chivalrous beta heroes who have alpha moments, especially if those alpha moments occur while he’s looking out for or protecting the heroine. I like heroines to be strong, self-sufficient, and kind, with good heads on their shoulders. I like it when they don’t let anyone walk all over them.

JennJ: Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes, how do you handle those?

Tracey: Yes, I find them very difficult, but not because I’m embarrassed about writing them. Love scenes are essentially action scenes combined with emotion, and they must also propel the story forward in some way. They need to be necessary and not gratuitous.

JennJ: And if you had the chance which character or characters from your own books would you like to have dinner with?

Tracey: T. J. Callahan.

JennJ: Since Romance P.S. stands for romance with the page and screen - can you tell us some of your favorite movies?

Tracey: Pretty Woman, Sweet Home Alabama, He’s Just Not That Into You, Dirty Dancing

JennJ: Do you ever use real life actors or actresses as how you see your characters when you write in your head? I know I personally see them as the main characters a lot in the books I read when I’m reading them, so I was just wondering if authors do that as well when they are writing them?

Tracey: Not when I’m writing them. After a book is done I get lots of requests to “cast” the characters. I can usually come up with someone at that point. 

JennJ: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? Facebook page? Blog? Twitter? Group?

Tracey: My favorite method of contact is via my Facebook author page. I respond to every post on my timeline. I also have a website and am on Twitter @tgarvisgraves.
JennJ: Is there anything else you would like to share with us? Upcoming plans for future releases or anything else feel free to share! 

Tracey: As soon as Every Time I Think of You and Cherish are released I’ll be turning my attention back to my recent work-in-progess, The Girl He Used to Know, which is a second-chance romance I started outlining over the summer. It is loosely inspired by the song “Same Auld Lang Syne” by Dan Fogelberg (the one about running into your old lover in the grocery store). I can’t wait to dive into this one!!

JennJ: Tracey thank you so much for taking the time to do an interview with me! I truly appreciate it. It has been a true pleasure and honor to have you as my guest. 

Tracey: Thank you so much for having me!

If you haven't already pre-ordered your copy of her upcoming release Every Time I Think of You or gotten your copy of On the Island or the rest of Tracey's awesome novels do so by clicking on the covers below! You don't want to miss them! 

Now for some Goodies! Tracey has graciously offered one lucky winner
 an autographed copy of their choice of her books!  
Enter for your chance to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love Tracey and it is a very cute and interesting interview, I want to read all her books!
    A question, is an international giveaway?
    Lot of love xx

    1. Hi Born Between the Books. I'm so sorry it's been a very busy last few weeks here and I was on vacation so just now getting back to my messages on the blog. So glad you liked the interview! :) Hmmm I'm actually not sure I'll have to ask Tracey about that. I'll let you know shortly God willing. :)

    2. Im excited to know who is the winner!

  2. Thank you for the wonderful interview. I'm such a fan of Tracey's and love hearing from her. Also thank you so much for the best giveaway. Really looking forward to her upcoming books.

    1. Hi Misti! Thanks so much and so glad you enjoyed the interview! Thanks for liking and following the blog. I hope to get to know you better! :)

  3. Tracey is an awesome author; On the Island is one of top five all-time favorites. Thanks for the chance.

    1. Hi Kristy! She is amazing isn't she! You are welcome thank you for entering and for liking the blog! :)

  4. Thanks to all who entered the Giveaway! The winner (which I forgot to post online but did email sorry about that) was Debra Diaz. She has already gotten her autographed book! :)

    Sorry for being so late in this announcement this last month has been extremely busy here with school starting back etc. more so for us since I homeschool my son.


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