We’re Not Gonna Take It…

I see it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Actually, I’ve been spending the remainder of the summer hanging with the family and doing what moms do. (I love it.) But I miss writing.

I went to dinner with the family tonight and planned on coming home to write….but is that what I did?  Nope.

Instead of writing the YA story that I’ve been working on for the last few weeks, I spent the last hour and a half gathering information to send to google regarding pirate websites who are hosting copies of my books.

Yep – an hour and a half.

That really sucks, especially when there are so many other things I’d rather be doing like… watching TV, sitting with my kids, WRITING….all of those sound so much better than hunting down lowlifes who are insistent upon STEALING copies of my and other authors works – uploading them to sites where others can down-load them…FOR FREE!!

So you might wonder…

  • WHY? Why would you spend time sending DCMA Takedown notice after notice?? – Because STEALING is wrong and to ignore the issue would disappoint me.
  • Is it about the money?  Nope, not at all. It’s about stealing.
  • But, I can’t afford the $___ (name-a-price here) book and it’s easier/cheaper to get it…FOR FREE. – Yeah, and it’s easier to swipe the candy at the checkout counter instead of waiting in a long line to PAY FOR IT!
  • But the site I down-loaded it from said that it was legal! – WRONG! Absolutely FALSE. They will host thousands and thousands of books and allow down-loads UNTIL they get caught. Of course, it will be taken down, but for every one that comes down, more go up.
  • It’s only $___ (name-a-price) and the author makes so much money anyway. It’s not like they’re going to notice. – OMG….I can’t even begin to explain how incredibly INCORRECT this is! Allow me to explain.

AUTHOR INCOME on a $3.99 e-Book sold via Amazon:

  • For every $3.99 book a Indie author sells, we get approximately 70% – which is about $2.79
  • Out of that $2.79 – we have to pay for
    • Editing – Starting around $200 and up
    • Cover design – $200 and up
    • Cover photography sessions – Prices range from around $150 for 30 mins and up
    • Formatting – $100 and up
    • Proofing – Starting at $100
    • Advertising (including blog tours, release parties, swag for parties and giveaways, etc…) – AT LEAST $60 and up.
  • Oh yeah – did I mention we also have to pay taxes? Yep, because you know Uncle Sam likes to take a hefty chunk for himself.
  • This leaves us with mere pennies to save and spend on our next book. You know, the one we are hoping and praying is loved by readers because we bled and poured our soul into the story.

Let me state that I know the majority of readers buy the books they love. I also realize that many of us are on a budget so we can’t buy all the books we’d like. I’m in that category, too! There are so many books that I want to read right now, but I simply cannot afford to buy ALL of them right now. But, I’m not about to go and find a pirated copy. Nope, I’m going to wait until my next binge happens and buy them then.

In perusing the aforementioned pirate websites to gather information, I was beyond frustrated. If only there was a way to track down the offending individual(s) who shared the files to begin with so others could steal them. However, there are so many twists and turns these sites take to protect themselves and stay out there. All we can do is stay vigilant. But when I came across an ACTUAL person who was sharing a file of my book – my anger really grew. To put a name and face with someone who is actively stealing from me and so many others – well, let’s just say it took a lot of effort not to go after her and scold her with my words. Yeah, I agree….she probably wouldn’t have cared.

I know that I may offend some with this post, but those are probably the ones who have down-loaded illegal copies of books from myself and others. What I have to say to those individuals – IT IS STEALING. IT IS NOT RIGHT. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.

Real readers – real fans – don’t steal. These are the ones that authors rely on to share their love of our books. YOU are the ones that I want to thank because you respect the artist’s work and understand that $.99, $2.99, $3.99, etc… is not a lot of money to spend on hours of entertainment that you get lost in. THANK YOU for being true supporters and mostly – for being honest.

And if you stuck around to read this post in its entirety – well I ❤ you and think you are even MORE amazing! 😉

XO
~TK

😎 “We’re Not Gonna Take It”- Twisted Sister….ummmm, yep.

So What’cha Want…

I remove the silky piece of material, and she pulls my body flush against hers.

“You feel so good,” I confess as my lips continue finding someplace new to touch.FTB

This woman is consuming every one of my senses, and I want more. My hands can’t touch her fast enough, and I want to taste every bit of her.

“You’re so beautiful,” I admit while looking at her naked body. Through the fog of the shots and beer, I see curves and skin and hips arching against me, and I drink her in. Damn, she’s sexy.

“So are you, t-” she says before my lips collide into hers. Her soft moans send my body into overdrive as I give in to the night neither of us planned and both of us want.

***AND SCENE***

(Copyright 2014, Mine to Steal by T.K. Rapp. All Rights Reserved)

Wait for it….

“WTF?!”

“MORE HEAT!!”

“I FEEL CHEATED!”

I’ve heard it all and I get it – I do! You want the details.

What he did to her? 

How he made her feel?

Did she have the best night of her life?

Was he the best she’s ever had?

How did he do it?

That damn FADE TO BLACK!

FTB2

I love reading romance stories and the way the relationship builds – even that moment when they finally get to the good stuff! There are some writers who describe it so beautifully and delicately that it makes you swoon. There are others that describe – in great detail – every facet of the moment, making you blush. Then there are ones – like me – who work the fade to black and get the backlash for it.

I have to ask, why is the “fade to black” such a bad thing? 

I remember as a kid (dating myself here) my parents watching Dallas or Knots Landing…or even soap operas – a love scene would come on…

They’re kissing all passionate and shit…

Cut to the mad rush to remove clothes…

He’s still kissing her as he walks her backward toward the bed…

*** Camera pans out, the screen blurs and focuses on the candle or some other cheesy object***

COMMERCIAL!!

Yep, happened all the time.

Go back another 20-30 years, and there was none of that. A chaste kiss (if you were lucky) and maybe a shot of a messy bed. Cut to 9 months later, Jr. is popping out!! o_O

You knew exactly WHAT was happening without the detail. It wasn’t the act that was important, it was the story and how it developed.

I know I know!! I’m brining up television and movies when my subject is books – specifically writing. But really, is it any different?

Again, I have to repeat here, I LOVE READING ROMANCE….all types! The detailed AND the fade to black! 

Let’s face it – if you’ve read my books, you know I write in the FADE TO BLACK persuasion. I could go into more detail about where he touches her, how she feels, but that’s not the way I write. If I did write it, I think it would come out awkward – so I write what I want to write. Some people read it and love the way the scene plays out. Others, which I’ve heard many times, feel cheated or that I chicken out. I can promise you, it’s not that at all.

I make no apologies for my stories,

the way I write

and what I write.

Any other writer will tell you the same thing.

Sad Teenage Girl

Of course I want you to read and love my books, but I also know that not everyone will. I can accept and appreciate that. Some will be pissed. Others will be disappointed. Some may never read another of my books again. But there is the crowd that WILL read. That’s who I write for…and myself. 😉

There is beauty in all stories and the relationships within them…the ones that make you blush from the content (yes! I read those!!!), the ones that detail love-making, the ones that detail F$%@ing, and YES – the ones that FADE TO BLACK. Every writer pours their heart and soul into their stories and does everything they can to bring all aspects to life in your imagination. It’s why I love reading so much – I SEE that movie when I’m reading it. I FEEL the emotions the characters are experiencing. DAMN! I love reading!!

Going back to the title of this post, “So What’cha Want?” – because if your imagination is vivid enough, you can see the scene in your mind, without my input. 😉

****FYI – this post is based off of feedback I’ve received from readers (both for and against FTB.) There is absolutely no malicious intent, nor am I knocking anyone’s work. I have so much love and respect for every writer who is brave enough to put themselves out there. ❤ ****

XO
~T ❤

P.S. “So What’cha Want” by Beastie Boys has me rocking out at the moment. 😉

Pocketful of Sunshine…

I believe I have posted this just about everywhere else, except my blog. I guess it’s time then…

As you know, I completed Mine to Steal  a few weeks back. I sent it to some Beta readers who gave me some awesome feedback. (Yes, I realize I overuse the word awesome, but in this case, the adjective is quite fitting.) Using the suggestions they gave me, I tweaked the manuscript and sent it back out to a few others to read, and they loved it! But you know who didn’t love it?

ME!

I love my characters…all except one. Each of them have different characteristics that I love: funny, charming, strong, obnoxious, caring, smart, quirky and one is inappropriate. But something about this story wasn’t clicking for me. 

My husband read my first book, and let me state here: HE IS NOT A READER! But he loved the first book, Being There. I think he loved it in the way that he has to, because I’m his wife. 😉 He was really busy and never read the second book, which didn’t bother me in the least. Honestly, I was so impressed he read ONE. LOL. Well, cut to my working on Mine to Steal. I’ve never written what I call, “Dude” before and when he found out, he insisted on reading, much to my excitement and dismay. (Really…mixed feelings!!) After talking over the premise and then his reading the first 10 chapters, things started to click and he gave me some great suggestions and helped correct things that weren’t clicking at all. Now, I know what I need to do.

This was a VERY long-winded explanation of justifying the reason I have decided to postpone publishing Mine to Steal for a couple of weeks. My editor has been understanding and encouraging and I plan on getting the completed, revised and best version of the MS to her in the next week or two. 

Currently, I’m pushing to release on June 12. If that changes, I’ll definitely post. But be looking out for more teasers and giveaways that are coming soon!!

😎 Pocketful of Sunshine by Natasha Bedingfield. Clicked random and this came on and made me super happy!

Hey! Baby…

Happy Wednesday!! HUMP – DAAAAAYYYYY!!

Yesterday was a busy day because I had some things to take care…the biggest being that I needed to re-reveal my new book cover.

WHAT!?!?!

Yeah, as it turns out, I started seeing more books with the same couple, and same pose on their book. Who can blame them, they make a GORGEOUS cover!! I really loved my version of the cover, but I felt it best to revamp and reveal a NEW cover. Of course I was disappointed because…I LOVED IT, and it was already out there. But since Mine to Steal doesn’t release for another month, I decided that I have time to get a new cover.

(Give me a sec….)

That didn’t take long. 😛

Thanks to some advice from my girl Amy Queau (who is freakin’ awesome!) I have a new cover that – I can’t believe I’m going to say this and totally mean it:

I LOVE MORE THAN THE ORIGINAL!

Introducing the Mine To Steal Book Cover 2.0

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00002]

Mine to Steal

What are your thoughts on seeing the same couple appear on numerous book covers? Did I make the right decision in revamping the above title??

OH YEAH!!! I said it was a busy day! I heard back from two of my betas (amazing women that I appreciate so much) and based on their feedback, I’ve been working on some rewrites that are adding so much to the story. I can’t wait to finish these up and send it to a couple of more people before it goes to the editor. I better get back to it…another busy day ahead! 

As always, thanks for stopping by! ❤ 

XO
~T

😎 Hey! Baby by Bruce Channel. It’s my jam today! 

The Waiting Room…

HELLO!!!

^^^That’s shouty caps for….H E L L O!!!! 😉

Yesterday was a big day for me because I finished my 3rd book! Mine to Steal is now complete and in the hands of some wonderful wonderful people who are going to provide their feedback because they are, well, WONDERFUL! (Let the freakout commence: is it good enough? will they like it? should I have changed that one part?)

*Exhale* – letting it go. 

I have enjoyed spending the last 3 months (yes, 3) with Trey. It was definitely different to write this book than the last two, but challenging in the best way. This story took several unexpected turns that were not planned, but I rolled with it and *think* it’s better for it. Sometimes we plan things and they don’t work out, but the end result is so much better. I sincerely hope that’s the case with this one. ❤

I never posted a teaser for this week because I was working on finishing the last two chapters, but I do have one.

MtSTeaser6

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who’s kept up with this blog while I write. In the next few weeks, Mine to Steal will be in the hands of my editor with an anticipated release of late May. I’ll keep you posted. 😉

As always, thanks for stopping by! 

XO
~T ❤ ❤

😎 “The Waiting Room” – Sixpence None The Richer (The title was appropriate for my position) 

Wobble…

This is the happy dance that I’m doing because: I’m DONE!!
(Seriously…I had to stop after I wrote that sentence to dance all by myself, because I’m a nerd like that!) 

Me & some LSU folks doing the Wobble (that's as close as you'll get to seeing me do it!)

Me & some LSU folks doing the Wobble (that’s as close as you’ll get to seeing me do it!)

A&M-LSU Montage

A&M-LSU Montage

Thanksgiving break started with a bang! My hubby and I made a trip out to Baton Rouge to hang with some awesome people to watch the A&M v LSU game. Traffic getting there was a nightmare, but it was all good. We drove right in to see REK (Robert Earl Keen for those who don’t know) and it was seriously probably his best performance. I’ve seen him 4 times, but this one was just great! There weren’t too many fans there to see him, because most were there to see Kelly Pickler, so we were pretty close. Best part, he ended his set with a song that I listened to everyday while my husband was deployed 9 years ago.

Anyway, the Aggies lost; it was cold and rainy, but we had so much fun! I mean, we got to see REK, tailgate and gamble. What’s up!?! And it’s totally acceptable to start drinking at 7am (I started at 10) when the game starts at 2:30.

When I got home, it was back to work…

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you already know that I FINISHED writing Mine to Lose!! I stayed up until 2:30 Thanksgiving morning and wrote the two most amazing words….

No two better words in the world. (??? BS!!!)

No two finer words in the world. (??? BS!!!)

My sis and me by the fire

My sis and me by the fire

It made for a really sleepy Thanksgiving, and this year, I couldn’t blame it on the turkey. Thanksgiving was fantastic because, not only did I finish my book, but I got to spend the day at my sister’s house with the Tenacious 10 doing what we do best….nothing! The kids played, dad and the guys watched football, while my mom, sis and I relaxed. And damn! She (my sis) had a beautiful set up!! Later, my brother in law and hubby had a fire going and my sister and I hung out warming up next to it all night. 

So now, Mine to Lose is in the hands of some of my most trusted friends, critique partners, authors and family. I’m waiting on feedback before final edits. I’m a little nervous because…well, this is nerve-wracking. BUT, I’m so happy that it’s done, and I am proud of the story. I’m working on the cover, which I hope to reveal, maybe next week. My current publish date is January 9, but we’ll see, it might come sooner. 😉

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you aren’t letting the Xmas hustle and bustle wear you out. Tis the season, right? 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OH!!! I almost forgot, one more thing…TODAY is my parent’s 37th wedding anniversary! They are the cutest couple. I swear, you catch them giving each other looks, laughing and teasing and I love it. They have been a wonderful example of a successful marriage…not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard work and worth the time and effort to see it through. I am so proud to have them in my life and wish them another 37!

HAPPY 37!!

HAPPY 37!! (Seriously…still so cute!)

XO
~T

😎 Wobble by V.I.C. because….it’s so much fun!

Same Dress New Day…

There are a million different things running in my head this week and trying to pinpoint which one to write about it driving me nuts! Since I’m on vacation, I decided to just get all my thoughts out…I apologize now for the absolute randomness.

1. Friends/Fans/Followers – Over the last week, thanks to my BFF Vicki Green, I have gained so many new people to tell about my book and everything else that I have going on. I have discovered that the Indie Author Community is an amazing bunch of people. I don’t know many places where people promote and encourage each other so much. I feel so honored to have met such great people. And…Vicki also has an awesome giveaway, featuring books, swag and other goodies from her and so many other fabulous writers! Go to her page and enter!!

2. ReviewsBeing There has 11 reviews on Amazon and 7 on Goodreads, which is awesome, and I THANK YOU so much for taking the time to review. If you liked my book, and haven’t left a review yet, I would love to hear your thoughts via a review on either of those sites. Word-of-mouth is a wonderful tool. 🙂

3. iBooks – OMG!!! This should have been first, but it’s all good! Finally, FINALLY, Being There is available in the iBooks Store! It took almost 4 weeks, but better late than never, right? So this means that Being There is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks & Diesel!

4. Reading – My reading list, as of late, has consisted of some great stories!! Kim Stedronsky, who is so awesome, has The Roam Series. Book 1, Roam, is currently a new fave of mine. I plan on purchasing Book 2 soon…after I continue through the remainder of my TBR list. My next is Clementine by new author R. Jean Wilson…this chick is super sweet. If you are looking for something to read, besides my book ;), check out both of these super fab ladies Kim & R. jean!

5. Writing – Okay, so even though Being There just came out, and I’m still working my tail off trying to get it in front of people, I have started on my second book and third book. I’m not ready to talk about them yet, but as soon as I am, this blog, or my Facebook page, will be the place to hear about it. In the meantime, I am putting together a group on Facebook for people who can help me with my book through either reading and offering feedback, checking for errors and consistency and overall flow of my book. I plan on sending all, or parts, to those who I have in this group. So this means that I need some keen eyes, trustworthy and honest people with me. If you are interested, mesage me on Facebook for the details. It will be a very small group, and there are only a few openings left.

So, I suppose that’s all for now! Like I said, random things, but now I can breathe because I think I covered all my bases. Again, if you haven’t followed me on Twitter or Facebook, or haven’t read Being There yet….I’m not above begging. Lol!

Until next week….

Hasta!
~TK

😎 Same Dress New Day….Love me some Tripping Daisy

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