No Hard Feelings…

It’s Sunday, and I’m eagerly *insert sarcasm* awaiting the 2nd round of presidential debates taking place tonight. But like a dutiful voter, I will be watching. Despite the emails that have been released this week about Clinton and the newly released audio of Trump and his commentary on women – you bet your ass I . Will . Be. Watching.

Tonight will likely be as messy as the first debate and there’s certainly more dirt to throw around this time. I wonder if any of the issues will be discussed or simply lost in the circus. Let’s face it, this is a train wreck that most of us will watch through our fingers, cringing and even laughing, though none of this is remotely funny. Our future is at stake and it’s just plain sad.

Perhaps tonight Trump will finally lay out HOW he’s going to create these jobs and “Make America Great Again.” And maybe Clinton will tell us HOW we can trust her, when she’s lied for most of her political career and tell me why I should claim “I’m With Her.”

I have to admit, I’m not hopeful at either prospect.

This political year, and the time leading up to this fiasco, has been one testing friendships, ideals, and morals. I fear the backlash for posting this because I cannot say #Imwithher, when there are so many outspoken about that sentiment. And then there are those that want to #MAGA who are either hiding in the shadows or the outspoken extremists.

Let me say now that I respect their (your) point of view because our individual beliefs are deeply rooted. None of us agree wholeheartedly, and that’s okay. It’s what makes America already a wonderful place. But I’m sure you’ll admit that the political climate isn’t the only thing wrong right now. We are not as unified as we should be and we are not as secure as we should be.

Unfortunately, neither Clinton nor Trump represent someone I can stand behind or someone I can see uniting us.

These two cannot be the best of us.

I know not everyone feels this way because each candidate has a loyal following, so I certainly don’t speak for everyone when I say this, but to me, they are both villains in this narrative. And we’re left picking between the lesser of two evils.

The Lesser of Two Evils: I’ve read people saying this is not a valid argument, but isn’t it? These are the choices we are given and to cast my vote for either of them is a punch to my gut.

We had choices. In the early stages of this election, we had some decent choices, and I don’t think anyone could look into their crystal ball back then to see this place we stand now. There was an overwhelming amount of support for Bernie Sanders and yet he “lost” to the Clinton machine. And while the Republican ticket was divided greatly and admittedly a spectacle, there were a couple who would have been great candidates, if only they were given a chance to speak.

So again, we’re left with Clinton on the left, and Trump on the right. And neither is truly and completely the voice of his or her party. Though there are many more Democrats rallying around her while an overwhelming number of Republicans distance themselves from him.

And then comes the bashing that we’re used to in an election year…

You have Republicans saying “She’s ____.” And Democrats saying “He’s ___,” and guess what, maybe they’re both right! And if you like him, you’re everything that’s wrong with this country and if you like her, apparently you want more of the same.

I remember when I turned 18, it was an election year. I was so excited to be able to cast my ballot for the candidate that I felt best represented my vision for the future. I was young, optimistic, and of course I thought I knew everything. I watched the debates…maybe not as keenly as I watch them now, and I prepared to make the biggest choice I had made up to that point. I took this privilege very seriously.

Now, let me stop here to tell you something that most probably know about me…I’m a Republican. Like most of my family, but certainly not all, I more closely align myself with the Republican view. Although, if you were to talk to my very close Democratic friend, he would tell you he thinks I more align with his views. (It’s nice to talk with someone of differing views and you both respect the other.)

But I digress…back to the 18 year-old me.

That year, back in 1996, I cast my ballot for the very first time. And though I was as staunch Republican, I voted for Bill Clinton. Despite his treatment of women, the affairs he was alleged to have engaged in, and his policies, I was one of the over 47 million people who voted for him. I couldn’t relate to Bob Dole because he was old and seemed unwilling to change with the times.

When the Lewinsky scandal came out, it was the first time there was an absolute media circus surrounding the President and his personal life.

Okay, maybe I should correct this to say, in my lifetime – that I can remember. It was embarrassing. But like the rest of the country, I was riveted with the goings on and wondered how his wife could stand by him – time after time. Now, I can’t judge their marriage because that happens behind closed doors. Perhaps she truly forgave him and they’ve made amends. That’s their business.

But what is my business…our business…is the vilification of the alleged victims.

I’ve been absolutely disgusted by Trump and the things that have come out of his mouth. But it’s sad to say, I’m not shocked. Not shocked because we’ve all heard things he’s said before. And, unfortunately, as a woman, I’ve heard worse from both men and women. I’ve heard the talk and heard the excuse that this is how men talk. Maybe not all men, most definitely not all men, but yes, I think it’s more common that we are willing to admit. Does it make it right – ABSOLUTELY NOT. Let me repeat….NOT AT ALL!! I’m not excusing his language or treatment of women, because it’s inexcusable. He is vile. There’s no other way to say it. Has he ever apologized to the individuals that he has victimized?

Now I have to ask myself, is Clinton any better? Okay, so she hasn’t had an audio leak talking about what she can do to a man because of her position, but when her husband cheated, she blamed the other women. And when he allegedly assaulted or harassed women, she claimed they were lying and said awful things about them. She vilified and demonized them. I watched videos and read her words about these women. As a wife, as a woman, I understand the anger and humiliation she must have felt, but when truths came to light, those women were still made out to be the bad guys. Bill Clinton was just as guilty for the infidelity and he also shamed these women as much as his wife, so maybe they share equal blame here. And look, I understand the whole “innocent until proven guilty,” and she was standing by her man…but has she ever made amends with those women?

Both candidates have used their position of power to intimidate and silence those beneath them. To that extent, both are pretty unfavorable…or rather deplorable.

Regardless of all that I’ve said, what it boils down to for me is that neither candidate represents someone I feel can create what I hope and pray will be a stronger, unified, and better America. And as someone who takes my privilege of voting very seriously, even though I do not know that my voice really counts, I hate to admit that I’m not sure if I will cast my vote this year.

I’ve spent the better part of my day reading recent articles and those from years past. I’m trying to educate myself more than I ever have before because it’s important. My daughters are watching because my oldest will get to vote in the next election, and they want to stay current. They are well aware of the mudslinging and even the hot issues. I’m often surprised at how much they actually know. But like I said, it’s important, and I’m glad it’s important to them.

And after all of this, it might be the year I vote for a third party candidate since Gary Johnson is on the ballot. I’d like to hear him debate and see what he has to say, but our system makes it very hard for that to happen. So I implore all the undecideds out there, like myself, to read up…look at ALL the candidates and choose who you think will best lead this country. Not just the one you hate the least. Our future depends on it.

Much love and respect to all. ❤

XO
~T

:/ Listening to No Hard Feelings by The Avett Brothers, because they’re my spirit animal.

I Broke My Ankle…

13680362_1741303546086859_102079079289393275_oAnd it sucks. 😛

I’m 38 and I’ve managed to make it this far in life without ever breaking a bone. YAY!! Until yesterday. :/ I will say, compared to what’s going on in the world and what others have to go through on a daily basis, my broken ankle is nothing to complain about. In fact, aside from the twinges of pain, my only true complaint is my lack of sleep. I managed to get 6 hours on and off last night. But by 5:30 this morning, I was officially up for the day.

Let me walk you through what happened – I bet you’ll laugh, or maybe not…but I haven’t stopped.

9:45 (ish) I’m at kickboxing (yes, I sound so bad ass right now!) and I’m finishing up one of our last rounds. I’m sweating and giving it my all, and wondering how I’m going to go three days in a row as planned. It’s time to use that sidekick that I learned only the day before and I’ve already done it about 20 times (maybe). I’m positioned…left foot planted and right leg goes up and I kick it. Hard. It was one of those kicks where I was cheering myself on…for a split second until I flailed as I fell to the floor. I wish I could say it was graceful, but the only thing I can actually attest to is that it was funny.

I kid you not, the very first thing that went through mind as I felt the pops and heard the snap on my way down was “Dear God, I hope no one saw that!”

The two instructors ran over to check on me and as I clutched my foot I explained to them what happened. Mind you, class was still going on. 😛 They got me some ice for my foot and I told them to continue with class…my plan was to stay on that mat for a while longer and let it rest. While I sat on the floor icing it, I texted my sister who had called me during class:

I texted my husband, my parents, and my other friend who had texted me during class to let them know what happened. They all pretty much got the same message and yet…here’s the thing, I couldn’t stop smiling and occasionally laughing.

My mom suggested I go to the ER or urgent care, but I was certain – C E R T A I N – it was just a bad sprain. I mean, after all, I’ve never broken anything. If it got worse, I assured her I’d go get it checked out. When I was finally able, I hobbled out of the gym and went home. No problem driving since it was my left foot.

10:10 (ish) I get home and the first thing I did was grab a cane. In all of the crap going on, this was the one smart thing because I laid on the couch with ice and my foot elevated for…oh…about 10 minutes. I looked at my foot and the swelling wasn’t too bad. My nurse friend advised that if it bruised or swelled, that I needed to get an X-ray. As I rested, I kept thinking, “Maybe I should go in. I will ruin vacation over this if I’m not careful.” And my mom’s voice kept echoing in my ears, “GO TO THE DOCTOR!”

10:35 (ish) I make my way to the urgent care and it was just my day!! I walked right in and waited only a few minutes before being taken to a room. The Doc looked at my foot and said we’d get an X-ray to figure out if it was broken or just sprained. The X-ray tech took 3 pics and then said, “yeah, it’s broken.” She showed me where and said that we’d get an official report and then go from there. The staff at the urgent care was great and helped me out to my car via wheel chair since all I had was a cane.

11:30 (ish) I drive to Walgreens to buy crutches. Oh yeah…I failed to mention, urgent care didn’t have any. HA!! So I got out of the car and, with cane in hand, hopped to the sliding door. I just kept thinking: Don’t. Fall!

When I finally made it inside, after almost falling again, the cashier looked at me with wide eyes, “Are you okay? What happened?”

I explained the fall, the break, and that I was in need of crutches. The man didn’t hesitate to run to the back and grab me some crutches, open them, and put them together for me. I am so grateful to him for being so helpful and kind. When I left the store, he told his manager that I was a bad ass. “She was in a fight with a ninja. I think it goes by the name gravity.”

As I left the store, I was wearing the same smile I’d had on my face all day. Yeah, I was smiling. WTF?!

Thankfully, my friend picked my daughters up and dropped them off to me. I had an appointment scheduled with an orthopedic doc at three and I was desperate for a shower. Remember…I’d been kickboxing, so I stunk!

This was, by far, the dumbest thing I’d done. Okay, breaking the ankle, THEN the shower. But you see where I’m going here. It was no easy feat, but I managed with some help and soon we were off to the doc. Again.

2:45 (no -ish, it was 2:45) we arrive to the doc where I waited over an hour. I was in a hurry because my sister and I had plans to go get dinner and then go to a concert. She’d won tickets (she’s the only person I know who actually wins tickets on the radio!!) and we had a night planned. I was looking forward to it so much. But then the doc too longer and longer. He casted me in a waterproof purple cast (Peese picked the color) and said I can’t bear weight on it for 2 weeks. It’s only been a day and my hands hurt.

But I’m still smiling. 🙂

I don’t know why. Truly. I didn’t cry when it broke and it did hurt. But it wasn’t the worst pain I’ve ever felt. That story is for another time. I didn’t get angry. In fact, maybe I’m still stunned that this happened. I have laughed several times. I got a little teary when he casted me because of the inevitable muscle atrophy. Haha. Yep! That’s what almost brought me to tears. I’ve repeated numerous times aloud and to myself, “I can’t believe I broke my damn ankle.”

But like I said, things could be worse. ❤IMG_0811

 

Affection…

I haven’t posted in a while on this blog. There’s so much going on in this world and I have so many thoughts, but I can’t seem to articulate them. And I usually feel my voice doesn’t need to be heard. But this morning, a friend shared an article on Facebook (link at the bottom of this post). It was one that I was happy to see because of the message. It’s about affection and the effects of making kids show affection.

When my daughters were young, they were super affectionate. Constant hugs and kisses…constant cuddles. Everyone loved getting the hugs and kisses – hugs and kisses that weren’t prompted by me. I mean, who doesn’t love the squeezes from little ones?!

But as they got older, things started to change.

As someone who grew up in an affectionate home, you would think I would have been offended when my daughter didn’t give as many hugs as she used to. You would think I would be upset and sad…but I wasn’t. In fact, I was happy.

Happy??? Yes. Happy.

Of course, I missed the cuddles. But I was happy because they were setting a boundary, and boundaries are important. I didn’t tell them, “but you need to hug (fill in the blank) because…” and I didn’t guilt them. As expected, some people were sad or offended that the hugs were no longer freely given, but when I explained why I didn’t force it, it was understood and embraced.

Earlier on Facebook, I posted the following:

I’m raising two young ladies, who are sweet, funny, beautiful, and smart.
I’m raising two young ladies who will someday be women.
I’m raising two young ladies that I’m trying to empower.
I’m raising two young ladies that are learning now that they have women’s intuition and that it is something to be honored and heard.
I’m raising two young ladies who will someday be on their own and have to protect themselves.

My goal, my job, as a mom is to equip my children with knowledge…encourage their voice…support them, and to love them unconditionally. And I do, so very much. My daughters are my world and I want them to turn into strong women who can go out into the world and do anything. And I will not undermine who they are turning into by MAKING them show affection. As they are growing up, they’re learning to listen to that inner voice, but more importantly, they’re learning to TRUST it.

And I can add that from my experience with NOT forcing my children to show affection to myself or anyone else, they ARE affectionate. Not to everyone, but to a select few. And for those on the receiving end of it, they should feel special because it is not given frequently, but it is given wholeheartedly.

❤ XO

~T

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE —-> POPSUGAR ARTICLE

String Beans…

The time has finally come!! Today, I get to show you the cover for String Beans, as well as tell you what it’s about.

A little background: I actually started writing this story well over a year ago. It was one that I was excited about, but then a different story took front and center – Fumbled. But this one was never far behind. Earlier this year, I put all of my time and attention into String Beans. I knew what Viola’s story was, I knew exactly how it would go and how it would end, and yet I couldn’t seem to get the words down. So I kept watching the “movie” play out in my head.

Thanks to some wonderful friend/beta readers, the story took shape and what comes out on June 5th is the final product. I really love these characters. They’re “real” in how they handle things. Relationships aren’t always easy, and as people, we don’t always do the right thing. And that’s what I love about them, they’re flawed.

I hope you like the cover and give this story a chance. ❤

~T

Coming June 5th

About this Book:

Viola Banks had music in her blood. As an aspiring song writer, she grew up wanting nothing more than to have her words sung for all the world to hear. That all changed when she fell in love and married a man whose ambitions became more important than her own.

And when it all fell disastrously apart, she realized she was left with nothing but shattered dreams and empty promises. 

A fairytale without the happy ending.

Trying to pick up the pieces, Viola decides to move to Los Angeles for a new beginning. 

Her chance to find the voice she thought she had lost.

Wyatt Jenson’s life was settled. He had a job. A girlfriend. A future.

Moving back to L.A. to take over the family business was the last thing he wanted. But obligation called and he found himself putting down roots in the last place he ever thought he would be. He finds himself the new owner of String Beans, the local music hotspot and coffee shop.

It only takes one night, one song, one random encounter, and lives can change forever. 

Viola has to learn to open a heart that’s been broken.

String Beans…

You may or may not know that I’m currently working on 2 books. This week, I’m going to focus on String Beans…book 2 in The Girls of Beachmont series.

In Fumbled, you met Dani and Tabor and hopefully enjoyed their sweet story of finding each other. There was mention on Dani’s friend Viola and her husband Will, the musician. I’ve been enjoying getting to know these characters and I have to say, I love Viola’s friends. (I think you will too.)

Anyway…String Beans is her story and I really hope you like meeting all of these new people. So, here’s an excerpt, and not the one included in the back of Fumbled.

Enjoy!!
XO
~T


String Beans
by T.K. Rapp
Coming Spring 2016

Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.

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He looked down at me and dipped his face to my ear so I could hear him. “You finally made some friends,” he teased.

“I did.”

“Hold up…you’re smiling at me. On purpose. Is this what drunk Vi is like?” he asked, nudging his arm against mine.

“Shut up,” I laughed. “I had three shots. That’s it.”

“Viola,” Callie sang loudly as she stood next to me and gripped my hand tightly. “Let’s dance.”

“Actually, I’m ready to get back home.”

“What? It’s only one,” she said as she stuck out her bottom lip. “I’m not ready to go yet.”

One? Already? I pulled out my phone and was shocked that she was right.

“Have we really been here almost two hours?” I asked of no one in particular.

“Yeah,” she laughed. “Hell, it only took thirty minutes to get into this place.”

“How much longer do you plan on staying?” I asked.

“What’s your hurry? You don’t really want to leave, do you?”

Before I could answer, Wyatt spoke up.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll take her home. I was heading out anyway.”

Callie’s eyes went wide and I made a face trying to silence her with a death stare, but she was too far-gone to notice.

“Sorry, Vi’s with me,” I heard Dallas say from behind us. His friends were no longer in sight and I was grateful he spoke up. But when Wyatt turned to face him, he shook his head and smiled. “I mean…she’s all yours. Take her.”

“Thanks a lot,” I mouthed, narrowing my eyes.

“You’re welcome,” he mouthed back.

I sort of wanted to hug him and kill him at the same time.


So there you have it! Be sure to stop by next week for details about my new YA standalone that will be out by this summer. I don’t have an actual release date yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll share! ❤ Have a great week! 

Fumbled…

Hey! Happy New Year!!! (Late…I know) I hope that you’re 2016 is going well. ❤ For me, 2015 ended amazingly and 2016 has already started with a bang. I’ve been busy working on 2 stories, and while both are speaking to me, I’m going to try to focus all my attention on one. (I go crazy trying to do two things at once. LOL!)

Not sure if you heard, but on January 6th, I released my 5th book. It’s a contemporary romance…a football love story, titled, Fumbled. The story idea came to me after a conversation my husband and I had about JJ Watt. We are both huge fans of his and we were talking about how hard it must be for him to meet someone who wants him for him and not his status and money.

And thus…Fumbled was born.

NAYAI had so much fun writing this book. It’s very light, sweet, and cute – little “drama.” I think that’s why I loved writing it so much, because it didn’t demand the same heartache that my other stories have. As I was writing, I found myself smiling and laughing…ultimately falling in love with all of my characters. My daughters saw how much I enjoyed the story and would ask me what was happening. It finally got to the point that they begged me to let them read it.

ADNow let me say this, if you’ve read anything of mine before, you know I write very “fade-to-black” scenes, but even those I don’t let my daughters read. So around Christmastime, I removed those scenes, cut out about 99% of the cuss words, and sent it to their kindles so they could read it. Since my niece is an avid reader, she wanted to read it as well. She read it in about 2 days, my younger daughter finished it in a few…my oldest just started reading it. But because of their interest, I was encouraged by my husband, sister, mom, and the kids to release a YA version alongside the regular version. I figured why not, I had it already formatted. 😉

I didn’t know what to expect from this release. I never do. But I have to say, I’ve been completely overwhelmed by the reception…especially in Australia. I mean…really??? Australia readers, you are amazing and I can’t thank you enough for spending time with these characters and helping to make Fumbled #49 overall there. (At least at the time of writing this post.)AD1

I suppose I should get back to writing. It’s a beautiful Saturday here in Texas and I plan on enjoying some of it. But I think I’m more excited to have a visit with Viola…Dani’s friend. 😉 I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, thank you everyone so very much for your continued support!! I’m blessed to have you. ❤ If you haven’t picked up your copy of Fumbled yet, it’s available exclusively on Amazon for only $2.99 and always free through KU.

US – http://bit.ly/Fumbled
AU – http://bit.ly/AUFumbled
UK – http://bit.ly/FumbledUK
Canada – http://bit.ly/FumbledCAN

If you’re interested in the YA version, look for the pink label.  12654251_1682841275266420_323009684265109573_n

XO
~T ❤ 

‘Tis the Season…

I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, especially during the holidays…but man, the world sure seems to be in bad shape. :-/

My news feed on social media it saturated with horrible stories of people gone mad, politicians doing what they do – sling mud, and terrorists doing their damnedest to destroy everyone.

I try to watch enough news to stay informed, but not so much that I’m afraid to live. And some days, that’s really hard.

According to The Washington Post, there have been, 355 mass shootings this year – how crazy is that? Heck, there are only 365 on the calendar, so how’s that for a statistic? Atrocities like those in Charleston (2015), San Bernardino (today), and Aurora (2012) are happening far too often. In fact, it’s becoming so frequent that I have seen many people use the word “desensitized” when news of these horrors are reported. We shouldn’t be desensitized. We should be angry and questioning why it keeps happening.

And then there’s Politics….UGH! You know, I love a good debate. I love learning about candidates and the issues. Hell, I even love that I get to vote. Everyone has an opinion as to who is best for our country, and I respect the differences. I have friends that are republican, democrat, independent, and undecided…and that’s okay. I’m not in the business of trying to change anyone’s views to match my own. Our difference are one of the things that make this country great. But you have the politicians out there, all of them (and I do mean ALL!!) trying to get their ten seconds of air time. And instead of talking about the issues, about the REAL issues and coming up with REAL solutions, there’s nothing but grandstanding and mudslinging. It’s embarrassing. And the sad thing is, as much as I want to believe that SOMEONE can do right by this country, I’m too jaded to actually believe it. Money makes the world go ’round, right?

As for the terrorists, I’m blank. It breaks my heart to see the refugees fleeing for safety, and some of them never finding it. How many lives have been destroyed by the monsters who seek to eradicate anything good, beautiful, and different? The terror and destruction they seek to inflict on their victims is nothing compared to the weakness and fear they, themselves, carry in their hearts. Fear is a powerful feeling, it immobilizes its victims and perpetuates a feeling of helplessness. But the thing is, fear is just a feeling.

I’m not trying to get on a soap box and claim I know any way to remedy what’s happening right now. All I can think to do is pray and hope that a time like Christmas, a season of goodwill, charity, and happiness, will open the hearts of all of us to do something. Perhaps something….one little thing, might have a chain reaction, and if even for just one day, make the world a better place.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa ~ Happy Holidays my beautiful friends and a wonderful New Year. ❤

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XO
~T