RT 2015…

This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege of attending RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas. I saw pictures from last year, but knew very little about it, so being there as a volunteer and friend of Kathryn Falk, founder and CEO if RT Book Reviews was great. (If you have not met Kathryn yet, you are missing out.)

My trip started out eventful from the start. How you may ask? Well, I rode with this woman…

Courtesy of Meme Queen - Blue

Courtesy of Meme Queen – Blue

….Yeah, she’s crazy and totally #inappropriate. So if I were to say it was boring, I would totally be lying.

I HATE…I mean H-A-T-E driving to Dallas. And it’s not because I hate Dallas, I love it. But I hate the drive from Houston. It’s about the most boring drive ever! But not with Blue. We talked the entire drive there about anything and everything. And of course she made the above image.

We got to Dallas and checked in so we could get settled in our room and find the people we were eager to see. It took a while to locate our peeps, but we did. And the first person I saw was my girl Molly. I love her so much because she is one of the most down to earth people in this industry. Molly and Colleen have both been so gracious and have taken time out of their schedule to visit with me…for no reason. Lol. I admire both of them so much and have only great things to say about these two women. They can teach all of us a thing or two about how success should be done. #Humility.

THE Molly McAdams

THE Molly McAdams

After chatting with Molly, we headed upstairs where I finally….F I N A L L Y got to meet Kelsie Leverich who was rooming with my other friend Stacey Lynn (who was on an epic photoshoot at the time). For almost two years, these girls have been among those who have been closest to me in the book world. We support each other, challenge each other, and just listen. (I’m still waiting to meet the rest of the girls, but I was so happy to be with these two.) Stacey and I met in person back in November and she was easy to be around. You add Kelsie and Stacey together and it’s perfection. There is something special about being so close to people online and meeting them in person to discover that the relationship is just as strong IRL.

Kelsie Leverich, Stacey Lynn, and me

Kelsie Leverich, Stacey Lynn, and me

Highlights of RT:

  • Dinner with Molly & Cory. They are so funny together and so adorable! ❤ 
  • Drinks are expensive at the bar, but taste pretty good.
  • Colleen Hoover is too popular. I only got to hug her once. 😉
  • It’s hard not to fangirl over your favorite authors…just sayin’
  • Dinner with some amazing ladies on Saturday was delicious and so much fun.
  • I know there’s more….I just can’t seem to think of them. 

RT had so many people in attendance and so many things to do that it’s hard to pick out my favorite. I will say the highlights included a surprise visit from EL James who was so kind and took time to take pictures with anyone who wanted to….even if we were in our PJs. I should know, I took two!

Some things I took away this weekend:

  • Smile. You are out there doing what you love and people actually want to read/hear what you have to say. Some people are having a crap day and your smile might be the thing to turn it around.
  • Be kind. For the same reason above. What do you get out of being rude or pretentious? Nothing but people talking about it when you turn around.
  • Be approachable. It helps start a conversation…now if you don’t want anyone to talk to you, do the opposite. 😉 
  • Avoid the drama. Yeah, we all know there is drama everywhere and it’s not hard to find if that’s your thing.
  • Ask questions. Ask LOTS of questions. There are so many wonderful people out there who are eager to share their knowledge and experience, why not ask?!
  • LISTEN. O.M.G. Listen!! When someone bestows their understanding of the industry, whether it is this one or another, listen. They don’t have to talk to you. They don’t have to tell you a single thing. But if for some reason they think you are worth it, listen. You can learn so much.
  • You are not better than anyone else. The moment you think you are, is the moment that reality might just slap you in the face. Some of our journeys may be a little rougher than others, or some are just plain lucky…others still work their asses off for it. We are all just trying to make it in this world. 
  • Find the fun in all of it. I mean really…does this need an explanation??

I am so lucky that I got to have this experience and I am so grateful to Kathryn Falk and her amazing RT family who put on this event. The RT Team is full of wonderful people who put their heart and soul into making this a great time for all. Mission: Accomplished!

XO
~T

2014 TK Rapp Year in Review

2014 – the Year in Review

2014 has been an absolutely fantastic year! It truly seems to have gone past in a blur and as I sit here, I can’t help but wonder if I missed something. Some parts of it seem to have happened years ago, not just eleven short months ago.

My second book, Mine to Lose, came out and so January started with a bang. I had so much support and love from bloggers, authors and readers and before I knew it, I was working on book #2 in the Mine to Love Series, Mine to Steal. There is another story there – Jett’s – but it’s on the back burner for a little while.

Amidst the book releases, there were the book signings. In February, I attended my first as an author and shared a table with R.S. Grey and sat next to PEN-NNNNNAAAAAYYYY Reid. (I love yelling that at her!) It was a first for all three of us, and I was lucky enough to have dinner with Penny and her assistant, Angie, the night before the signing. I was terribly nervous about meeting her…what if she doesn’t like me? What if she thinks I’m weird? What if I have nothing cool to say? Okay, none of that mattered because we hit it off and I enjoyed her so much.

Then came the Houston Indie Mashup and again I shared a table with R.S. Grey who – by this time – hit the USA Today Best Seller list! I was so excited that I got to congratulate her in person. She, her Lance, my hubs, and a few other writers went out to dinner at a local restaurant. Gabby organized the get together and everyone had a great time. It was a long day filled with smiles, drinks, friends and hugs from Sunshine via Charity. (My Candybabies!)

It was at the Mashup that so much changed with I met Kathryn Falk….THE Kathryn Falk. We started chatting and exchanged phone numbers with plans to talk after the event. And we did. After a visit to her farm, I began working with her and 3 other amazing ladies on her Houston Readers and Writers Roundup – an event that is going to take place in Houston October of next year. (More on this later.)

The pinnacle of the signing year for me came when I attended Penned Con in St. Louis. I signed up for this event a year earlier and I was beyond scared. I mean, I was going to be at an event with the likes of Colleen Hoover, Jasinda Wilder, Abby Glines, Tara Sivec and so many more! Okay, yes, these names terrified me! But what intimidated me even more was meeting the people I had become close with over the last year and a half. People like my wifey, author of the Roam Series – Kimberly Stedronsky, Lisa Karafa of Penny for My Thoughts Book Blog, Word Play author Amalie Silver, Jenn Beach of B.O.M.B., Kahlen Aymes – author of The Remembrance Trilogy. But meeting them all in person felt as if I knew them for years and we hung out like we were old friends. Of course, I got to see PEN-NAAAAYYYY again and flew out with Angie…best flying partner! And I found new friends, too, like the lovely DL Kane, Susan Garwood of Wicked Women Book Blog, Lori Otto – author of the book that has me wrecked in the best possible way – The Emi Lost & Found Series, Simone Chavous – author of the Fate Series Books, Amy Jackson – editor fabuloso and so many more!! The icing on the cake was being joined by my best friend who promoted herself to my Midwest Selling something or another….it was a long title and it fit. 😉 LOL!

There are a few other writers that I got to meet when I attended a pre-signing party in Houston. Hanging out with Stacey Lynn was the HIGHLIGHT….finally getting to meet and hug this woman made me smile. It was here I got to hang with Stacey, her husband, my husband, Erin Noelle, KD Robichaux, Jessica Prince and then I got to meet Jay Crownover…how cool is that?!

This leads us to the fourth book I have coming out – Finding Laila. I started work on it and kept much of it under wraps until it was almost complete. This book is my baby, my heart and soul. I’m so proud of it and can’t wait to release it on January 13. I only hope others love it as much as I do. It’s my first YA novel and I have a feeling it won’t be my last. These characters are a part of me and I can’t wait to share them with you.

Looking ahead at 2015, there is so much I’m excited about:

~Finding Laila
~Book Release Party with Erin Noelle, Sierra Cartwright and KD Robichaux
~HRWR in October
~RT Book Convention in May

And hopefully meeting some of these people:

~Kelsie Leverich
~Claire C. Riley 
~Brittainy C. Cherry
~A. Meredith Walters
~Jean Haus
~Sarahbeth Caplin Stoneburner
~Kirsty-Anne Still

There’s more…I know there is…and I’m going to feel like a jerk for leaving them out. But trust me…I KNOW there is more. And I want to meet every-single-one!

Thank you so much for being a part of my 2014 and I hope you’ll stick around and be part of my 2015 as well. I want to be a part of yours. Happy New Year’s and I wish you so many wonderful things. ❤

Until next year 😉

XO
~T

Penned Con 2014…

IMG_0174I’m still trying to recoup from St. Louis and Penned Con 2014. Were you there?

I have been raving over this event because Rick & Amy Miles really did a fantastic job with this event. The weekend raised just over $11,000 for Action for Autism and I have a feeling next year will be even more successful!

It was so awesome to meet fellow authors, readers and bloggers. Amazing! Okay, before I get all weird and stuff, here are some highlights for me:

  1. My best friend drove in to be my assistant, which is code for, “company!” She has given herself the title of, “Director of Sales, Midwest Division.” HA!!! I’m so glad that she was there with me. We visit each other every year, so this was our trip – and first girl’s only weekend!
  2. Goose! Come in Goose! YES!!! I finally – after a year of texting, talking and IMing – met THE Kimberly Stedronsky! I love her even more now and adore her sister! Kim was the first person to reach out to me when I published and we are huge fans of each other’s work. To hug her in person – dream come true! And if you haven’t read her Roam series, you need to, because this was the series that hooked me!
  3. Do you follow Penny for My Thoughts Book Blog? Okay, I do – because of Lisa Karafa. She has been one of my biggest champions and supporters since I published and to hug her and hang out in person was so wonderful!
  4. A year ago, I connected with a woman who would fast become a trusted friend and source for a swift kick in the ass when needed. That would be one – Amalie Silver! We chat daily and this summer I finally got to hear her lovely voice. But this weekend, totally got to hang out with her and her editor, Amy Jackson, who is so fun! Kari and I ran with these two and I never tired of it. Now just to figure out how to get her near me again. HAHA!
  5. Flight out – Free drinks! Am I right, Angie? Angie Hulsman – a.k.a. Penny Reid’s assistant – doesn’t live too far from me, so we made arrangements to fly out together. There was talk of turbulence, but we never noticed a thing. Our wonderful flight attendant comped our drinks, so we were good to go. Angie and I talked the entire 2 hour flight and I was so glad she was there.
  6. Kahlen Aymes!!! Again, another wonderful author that I have become friends with. She is business savvy, down to earth and super sweet! Oh, and I loved her table set up with “prescriptions” from Dr. Matthews!! 
  7. Colleen Hoover. I think this one speaks for itself because it’s Colleen Freakin’ Hoover! Again, if you haven’t met her, you’re missing out. I have to brag about her for a second because, in this industry – or any for that matter, there can be egos. People forget where they came from, some step on others to get to the next plot point or just don’t give a damn. NOT COLLEEN! This woman is such an inspiration, not only because of what she writes (because I’m a HUGE fan) but because of the way she handles her success. She is the kindest, funniest, smartest and most humble person. People could take notes on how to handle success by looking at Colleen. She makes time for people, loves her fans and never acts like she’s something she’s not. Meet this woman – it is a requirement!
  8. Penny Reid, as always, is so much fun to see. If you haven’t met her yet, you need to get on that. I’m not sure how to describe her, but I know whatever complimentary thing I say, she’ll blow me off and call me crazy – because that’s how she rolls.
  9. Lori Otto – OMG, she is so cute and sweet! She has fantastic fans and watching them surround her and hang with her, she was adorable. I don’t know if she realizes how great she is, but what sticks out to me is how humble and grounded she is. I want to figure out a way to be around her again. (Oh!! And her swag is seriously some of the best I have ever seen!)
  10. Jenn Beach – another blogger I connected with a year ago through Lisa. (See how that works?) Jenn surprised the hell out of me because for over a year, I’ve heard how shy and introverted she is, but not this weekend. She was engaging, chatty, and all over the place. It was so great to see that side of her in person, because I see it online all the time!
  11. GREAT Keynote speakers and panels! Jasinda Wilder opened the weekend up with an inspiring and honest account of her career. She and her husband are so cute together and I took much away from her talk. Mark Coker had some insight into the self-publishing world that was great. I really wish they had closed the signing room during his talk so that more authors could hear him – invaluable information.
  12. The First Annual Penned Con Awards! Set up Oscar-style. There were trophies, envelopes and acceptance speeches that had everyone laughing. Whether you were in jeans (like me) or opting for a formal gown (yes, this is true) it was a great time! Oh and the finished it off with cupcakes! Yes, please!!! 

I know there is so much more I could cover, but I don’t know where to go from here. This was a fabulous signing and I can’t wait for next year. If you missed this one, tickets are on sale for next year and it benefits a great cause!!!

Until next time, here are some pic from the weekend and you can check out the rest on my Facebook page.

XO ❤

~T.K.

Hopeless Wanderer

The theme of today’s post is simple:

I LOVE Mumford & Sons!

Lawn at Mumford & Sons

Lawn at Mumford & Sons

The first time I heard of them was when they performed on the Grammy’s with Bob Dylan and The Avett Brothers a few years ago. My mom, sister and I fell in love immediately. So much, in fact, that we had purchased tickets to see Avett when they came to town, but it was rescheduled and we never saw them. 😦 My sister is a major Mumford & Sons fan…so much, that she had tickets to THREE, yes, 3, shows! I was so happy last spring when they added a Houston show, so that I would finally get to see them.

So last night, it happened. After all the waiting, anticipation and high expectations, we FINALLY got to see Mumford & Sons live. What did we think…..

AH-MAY-ZING!!!!!

I have been to numerous concerts ranging from pop (i.e. NKOTB…I’m not ashamed), classic (Van Halen….helz yes!), rock (STP, Bush, Foo Fighters and an endless list) and even Jimmy Buffett (sorry, not sure how to classify that one, LOL). But this was, by far, the BEST show I have ever been to! Those boys (sorry, men), know how to put on a fantastic show!

If you have ever been the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston, you know that your place on the lawn can sometimes not be the best. Well, I’m sure that’s true at any outdoor venue. However, my friend and I got there 1 hour before the gates opened, with my kids, and once in, got center stage, edge of the lawn seats. O.M.G….I don’t think I could have asked for better placement. 😉

I have watched Mumford & Sons, The Road to Red Rocks, many times since I have it on my DVR. Watching that made me so excited, but RR is THE venue for artists, so I figured there is no way our show could compare. I was so wrong in that assumption, and I am happy to admit it! They were energetic, fun and awesome showmen. The moment they took the stage, the crowd was on their feet, singing along and dancing to the music. I’m still in a state of shock that I was actually there, because they were that good. And, I couldn’t help but take notice of the lighting, because it was so damn cool! Every song was great, but my two favorites had to be I Will Wait and The Cave because you could hear the audience sing along, and that just gave me chills.

If you ever get the chance to see Mumford & Sons, I cannot say enough about the awesomeness that IS M&S! I will go again and again if given the opportunity. Needless to say, today’s blog title has EVERYTHING to do with how much I loved last night and how grateful I am that I got to be a part of such an epic night! I only wish they had played this song. 🙂

We were awe-struck!

We were awe-struck!

Come back tomorrow for our regularly scheduled blog, not already in progress! 😎

XO
~T

Call and Answer…

My Proof!!

My Proof!!

I think this post will be pretty short…if it’s not, sorry for lying! 😉

I went out with my girlfriends the other night for dinner & wine and we had a blast! We talked for hours about kids, books and whatever else we could think of…but mostly books. I think after the first two hours, I might have divulged more than I intended, but it’s all good.

These ladies were great, because they know about my book, and what was really cool was that I got to show them the paperback! They had no idea that I had a proof with me, so when I pulled it out of my purse, they freaked out…and I loved it! They were happy for me, and proud of me, and I loved them for that.

I think that is something that seems to be lacking in some people these days….genuine happiness for others. If you are lucky to have a person(s) in your life who cheer you on, push you to do better and celebrate your victories, hold tight to them. And be sure to return that favor, because they are the true friends who will likely be there 5, 10, 15 years down the road.

Ok…getting off my soapbox now. See….It wasn’t so bad…not so great, but it’ll do. (In my head….that totally came out in the voice of James Cromwell from Babe)

XO
~T

😉 Barenaked Ladies – “Call & Answer” …not much I can say about it…the song it playing and I love it!