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The themes of identity and love amid difficult circumstances often show up in Rachel Toalson's writing, and no matter their age, gender or genre preferences, readers around the world enjoy and anticipate her hopeful message of bravery, transparency and the human capacity to change the world, at least a small part of it.

She is the author of the nonfiction Family on Purpose series, which chronicles her family's daily journey into values and cultivates them into 12 books; and This is How You Know, a book of poetry on the daily ordinary that becomes extraordinary when filtered through the lens of poetry.

Rachel Toalson’s journey into writing is a long and straight-line one. She began penning stories in small-town Texas on white computer paper back when she was a kid. When she got to college, she rose through the ranks of her college newspaper, this time telling true stories. That’s where her writing career began—sitting with sources, gathering information, soaking up the stories of everyday life.

In 2015, Rachel ended her newspaper days as a managing editor, with multiple writing accolades accrued over the years, so that she could become a full-time author of both fiction and nonfiction. In her fiction, she enjoys crafting tales of quirky characters who are more than what they seem on first glance. In her nonfiction, she enjoys writing about real life, real love, real struggles, and the humor underlining much of our human experience. She writes middle grade fiction and picture books under the pen names R.L. Toalson and L.R. Patton; poetry, memoir and humor under Rachel Toalson; and narrative nonfiction stories and literature under Rachel L. Toalson.

Rachel is an award-winning poet and a regular contributor to Huff Post Parents, Scary Mommy, Babble, a Bundle of THYME magazine and many other publications across the world.

Born in Houston, Rachel lives with her husband and six boys in San Antonio, Texas, where she faithfully writes at least 5,000 words a day, five days a week.


Biographies & Memoirs
Humor & Entertainment
Other (Fiction)

Free Book Giveaways

Crash Test Parents Guide to Surviving a Year

It’s not easy raising kids. We’re responsible for the life of a human being. That’s a lot of pressure. And also a lot of work. I’ll just be honest—some days I want to give up. Those are the days I need humor the most. Crash Test Parents Guide to Surviving a Year is a collection of never-read-before humor essays (with some serious moments thrown in) that attest to the fact that parenting is hard—but super funny, too. And wonderful. And really cool. And so hard. This guide will help you survive your trenches—whatever they look like.


The Lovely After

A life is changed not in hours
but in a single moment.
A single moment when
a car folds into another car.
A single moment when a man
is thrown from behind the wheel.
A single moment when the
newly-engaged Maggie stands
before her beloved Jeremy and
wails long after
the sirens have faded.

This is the story of love and loss
and secrets and courage and
weakness and life and love, again,
holding them all together.
Teaching them all to live.

“The Lovely After,”
a short story written in poetry.


Crash Test Parents Guide to Self Esteem (Your Child's and Yours)

It’s not easy raising kids. Some parents like to pretend it is so they can make the rest of us miserable, or, at the very least, question our competencies. I am not one of those parents, because I like to tell the truth—but tell it slant. When my boys are losing their minds and I can’t take another minute of it, I like to record that breakdown moment with an eye on the humor of it. Humor is good medicine, in my experience.

Crash Test Parents Guide to Self Esteem (Your Child’s and Yours) is a collection of essays that attest to the fact that parenting is hard—but super funny, too. And wonderful. And really cool. And so hard.


We Embrace Wisdom. Spiritual Maturity. Humility

The world does a competent job of veiling our wisdom, spiritual maturity and humility, though, so how does one go about uncovering it? In January: We Embrace Wisdom. Spiritual Maturity. Humility, Rachel leads her readers through her most private journals, working out for herself how one goes about uncovering wisdom and spiritual maturity and humility. With essays about failed expectations, overcoming victim mentality and the pride that comes before a hard fall, this first episode in the Family on Purpose series promises its readers great hope and encouragement.

Through Rachel’s candor and insight, you will learn:

•What a Family Sabbath can teach us about spiritual maturity
•The wisdom that lies in knowing (and accepting) who we and our children are
•The power of failure
and more.