S.R.Claridge writes Mystery and Romantic Suspense novels. Her work has been said to have the energy of Dan Brown, the mystery of Mary Higgins Clark and the humor of Janet Evanovich. Claridge novels will take you to the edge of your seat, keep you guessing until the very end and ultimately warm your heart. It is on the pages of every S.R.Claridge novel that Mystery and Sensual Suspense collide.

For more information on bookings, interviews and upcoming releases, please visit the author website and Facebook fan page.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A PussyCat with an Uzi

My mother-in-law works at a funeral home in Missouri, where many of her co-workers read my books.  They particularly like the Just Call Me Angel series.  After reading the series, one lady asked her if I was a violent person, wherein my mother-in-law chuckled and said, “Oh, no, she’s a pussycat…with an Oozie.”

I have spoken to numerous book clubs wherein a similar question has been posed:   How do you come up with all of the different ways to kill people in your books?

I started thinking… I wonder how many of my readers ponder the same question?  Does someone who writes about acts of violence have to be a violent person?

The Just Call Me Angel series is set in Chicago and deals with the Mafia from a feisty female viewpoint.  It’s unique because it shows a balance between the cold-hearted killer mentality and the tender-hearted nurturer perspective.  Sometimes lines are crossed, just like in real life; but, for the most part, Angel’s hope is that no one would die.

I’ll admit, when writing an Angel book, I study guns and explore the possibilities of how a particular weapon will cause death.  It’s morbid to think about in real life, but in the context of researching for a novel, it becomes exciting.

Does it make me a violent person?  No.  It makes me a creative person, who explores acts of violence only on the pages of my novels. 

Sometimes in life, violence is necessary.  For example, acts of self-defense, or in defense of another person, etc., but it certainly shouldn’t be the norm; and in my life it is not.

I only run around making people offers they can’t refuse in my books.  In real life, I am a pussycat who, for the most part, keeps her oozie tucked quietly away.  J





Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cosmetic Enhancement of Inner Beauty

Last weekend I was in a clothing store, trying on jeans.  From behind my closed dressing room door, I overheard a conversation.  I didn’t really mean to eavesdrop, but it’s kind of hard to NOT hear what someone in the next dressing room is saying.  Anyway, the gist of it was that a young woman was trying on dresses for an upcoming event.  She didn’t like any of the dresses and the older woman, whom I presumed to be her mother, was getting frustrated.  They had been to several stores before this one.  The mother remarked that the young woman was being too picky and that she had several beautiful gowns from which to choose.  The young woman grunted and I could hear the exasperation in her exhale. 

Stepping out of my dressing room, I glanced to the left to see the young woman standing in front of the full-length mirror at the end of the room.  She was wearing a long, black, gown and she looked stunning.    Her mother stood behind her with her arms crossed and a scowl on her face. 

“What’s wrong with this one?!”  She demanded.

“Nothing.  Everything.  The same thing.”  The young woman then burst into tears, covered her face with her hands and rushed back into her dressing room.

The mother begrudgingly followed.

Their conversation from that point forward was heart-wrenching, and I found myself saying a prayer for the younger woman as I tiptoed out of the dressing room.  The young woman wasn’t unhappy with the dress selection, she was unhappy with her body.  She had very small breasts and felt she was unable to fill out the dresses in the manner in which they were designed to be worn.  Her mother thought she was being ridiculous.  At one point, the young woman sobbed and said she was going to get implants; wherein the mother told her that messing with the body God gave her would be sinful.  She said, “it’s a sin even thinking about it!”

The hair on the back of my neck stood erect.  I wanted to say something, but I knew it wasn’t my place.  Still, I left the store feeling irked and flushed with anger. 

Cosmetic surgery is NOT sinful.  God doesn’t care whether you have small breasts or large ones.  He’s more concerned with what lies behind your breasts….your heart.  If there is something about your body that causes you to sob when you look in the mirror, then fix it if you can.  If something about your appearance has become a self-degrading weapon, get rid of it if you can.  If you have the means to make yourself feel better about YOU, then do it. 

The market is flooded with acne medication.  Is it sinful to use it?  I mean, God gave you the skin you have, right?  Rubbing acne medication on your skin or taking an anti-acne pill changes the dynamic of your skin, right?  So, is it wrong  to do it?  NO!  So, why is cosmetic surgery any different?

Both are forms of vanity….but here’s a reality check.  We are ALL vain; and to some degree we should be.  As my aunt says, “Vain people look better.”  It’s okay to care about your appearance.  It’s okay to want to look good and feel good about how you look.   Just don’t let it become the most important thing in your life….because true beauty shines from the inside out. 

That being said, there is nothing wrong with enhancing the outside package.  If there is something about your body that bothers you….then look into having it changed.  I know women who have had face lifts, implants, tummy tucks, nose jobs, liposuction, etc.  We tuck it, pluck it, hide it, lift it, minimize it, plump it, paint it, and suck it in, etc.; all for beauty’s sake.    So, whatever you have to do to feel good about yourself and your appearance, do it. 

Just remember that inner beauty is what really matters... and there's nothing wrong with cosmetically enhancing it.  ~

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Still Glowing!

In case you didn't have a chance to see the True Blue Ebook Review of my suspense novel, House of Lies, I've reposted it below, with a link to the actual review.  I am still glowing!  :) 
~ Review conducted by Stephanie Meyers at True Blue Ebook Review.
House of Lies - FIVE STARS - Mesmerizing
The first ebook I have chosen to review on TrueBlueEbookReview is House of Lies by author S.R.Claridge, published by Vanilla Heart. The reason I chose this novel is two-fold: first, because I wanted a new release in the mystery/suspense genre and House of Lies fit that description having been released just this month. (October 2012) Second, because I was seeking a new release that had yet to be reviewed professionally. I don’t like to read other reviews until after I have read the book for myself. Without further explanation, onto my review.

House of Lies is a political cult suspense about a woman who sets out on a mission to save her sister from what appears to be a religious cult group; however, as we move through the novel we discover that the religiosity of the group is merely a cover to hide the real agenda, which is quite political in nature. An anonymous tip leads her to a private investigator and a cop, who begrudgingly agree to assist her quest. That’s really all I can say without giving anything away.

This book has it all. There are plot twists that literally and figuratively take the reader to the edge of their seat and tauntingly leave them there. There is angst and suspense, action, romance and a little bit of sex. But, strangely enough, those things aren’t what drive the story. The character dialogue is the cohesive agent that skyrockets this book to a whole new level of storytelling. I was so enthralled I felt as if I were watching the story like a movie; that’s how powerfully written is the character interaction. But it doesn’t stop there. S.R.Claridge’s ability to tie together past and present events and weave them into a believable storyline is impressive; not to mention this author succeeds at doing something of which most mystery writers fail. She incorporates humor at precisely the right moments, when the reader needs a release from the mounting tension.

As I read, I began to wonder if the book, though fiction, held any truth about cult groups and their potential hidden agendas. I found myself contemplating if the author had once been involved in a group like the one described in House of Lies, and if so how much of what happens in the novel actually happened in real life. It was a similar feeling to what I had when reading Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code years ago. In fact, if I had to liken this book to one that is currently on the market, I would say it is The DaVinci Code, and I wouldn't be surprised if we find some controversy developing as word of this book gets out.

I give House of Lies a full five star rating. If you enjoy suspense novels, you will not be able to put this book down. Without giving away the ending, I can assure you that a sequel is to follow and I only hope it will be released soon.

What an exciting way to start off TrueBlueEbookReview!
Believability: Five Stars
Cohesive Flow: Five Stars
Characterization: Five Stars
Dialogue: Five Stars

House of Lies by S.R.Claridge - Overall Rating: Five Stars
House of Lies is currently available in Ebook at Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes&Noble with a pre-order print date for November 2012.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Too Hot in Hell

Evidentially, I have reached the ripened age of internal combustion…at least that’s what it feels like…  spontaneous waves of fire that completely take over my body from the inside out.  There’s no rhyme or reason for their onset.  They aren’t driven by the consumption of spicy food and they are unaffected by the amount of clothing I wear or do not wear.  In fact, I have rapidly stripped down to nothing but my undies in the middle of the kitchen and the heat remained constant. 

Thankfully, they only last for a matter of seconds, but oh, are those seconds intense!  My face flushes bright red and my neck gets instantly clammy with sweat.  In fact, my entire body becomes sweaty as the wave of heat runs from my toes to my head, burning hotter and hotter with every inch it covers; until I finally dive for the freezer, thrust open the door and try to cram as much of myself inside as I can.  All the while, leaving a trail of clothing behind.

When the heat subsides and I crawl out of the freezer, the chills begin.  There I stand, half-naked and dripping with sweat, but freezing.  It’s the strangest phenomenon.  One moment I’m screaming, “I’m so hot!”  And the next, I’m moaning and shaking, “I’m too cold.”  

My husband cocks his head to the side, puzzled by the broad range of my temperature and feeling the urge to explain to me that the temperature in the room hasn’t changed.  This doesn’t help.

I scramble back into my clothing, throw a fleece on top and mumble under my breath how men get off easy, not having to have periods, go through labor or endure hot flashes. 

He grins as if I’ve just performed a comedic showcase, while I roll my eyes and stomp out of the room.

I’ve concluded that hot flashes are God’s way of reminding me that I should behave… because it’s too hot for me in hell.  ~




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Drooping Eyelids

Don’t you hate it when you can’t keep your eyes open?  Literally!  I was driving my son to practice and my daughter to rehearsal and my eyes wanted to roll back in my head while I was behind the wheel.  Upon arriving back home, I brewed a full pot of coffee and began slurping it down; so picking up the kids after their activities would be a safer drive…and it was.  Thank God for coffee!

There’s nothing scarier than the prospect of crashing with your kids in the car. 

I remember one time I actually fell asleep behind the wheel.  My children were little and we had recently moved to Kansas City.  I was experiencing post-partum depression and was medicated, not to mention I was exhausted from the move.  It was around three o’clock and the afternoon sun was bright and hot.  I was on my way home from the grocery store; and both kids were strapped into their car seats in the back of my suburban.  I turned onto a four lane street with a large, grassy median and the sun shone directly into my eyes. I blinked slowly and tried to keep my eyelids from drooping further.  The next thing I remember, the driver’s side tires were up over the median and I was heading for a tree.  I jolted awake and yanked the wheel to the right, missing the tree and sending my car back into the street. Thankfully, there were no other cars on the road at the time.  My heart was racing with adrenaline infused fear, as I glanced back at my kids.  They were sleeping peacefully, just like I had been a split second earlier.

I don't know what jolted me awake in the nick of time, but I give credit to God, who probably sent my guardian angel to shake me back to coherency.  It took me several weeks before I trusted myself to drive with the kids in the car again.  To say the experience shook me, is putting it lightly.  I was horrified.  It made me realize how quickly an accident can happen and that in one moment life can be snatched away. 
The moral of the story is.... I don't feel bad about my coffee addiction.  The way I see it, it just might save my life.  ~

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fast Lane Confessions

During a recent interview I was asked an interesting question:  “If someone were to write a book about your life, what would it be titled?”  The answer instantly popped into my head.   It would be called, Fast Lane.

It all started when I was a child.  I would run everywhere.  I would dash down the hallways so fast I’d run into people and hurt them.  My mom often winced in pain, hollering at me to slow down, after I had inadvertently crashed into her.   I ate fast, danced fast, played fast, ran fast, prayed fast, drove fast and grew up way too fast. 

I was always in a hurry, always rushing toward the next adventure, antsy for excitement and wanting to experience everything life had to offer; no matter the risk. Danger was less scary than boredom.  I was never a sit-in-front-of-the-television-all-night type of girl.  I wanted to party.  I wanted to smoke it, snort it, toke it, foil it, bong it, bang it, crack it, taunt it, tease it, tempt it, taste it, make it and ultimately squeeze every last juice out of life.

Looking back at my youth, I did just that.  I wrapped my arms around life and squeezed it as hard as I could.  My zeal certainly led me down some unsavory paths; but damn, did I have fun!  I made mistakes and there are skeletons in my closet I wish I hadn’t put there; but the good memories far outweigh the bad. 

Whether I was driving across the country all by myself in the middle of the night, bungee jumping at the VP Fair, flashing my tits in New Orleans to earn some beads, snorting lines at a Hall & Oates concert, going to a nudist colony in Malibu, kissing another woman, dancing erotically in Hong Kong, having sex in a bull dozer or on the big M in the middle of Faurot Field…. I was living in the fast lane, with the crisp, cool wind in my hair and the moonlight reflecting wildly in my eyes.  I was alive.

Now, as I learn to embrace my forties, I often fight my body’s urge to enter the slow lane; but not my spirit.  I still want to party like a rock star, jump from a plane, dance wildly, have a lot of sex and every so often, go a little crazy.  I want to laugh harder, act sillier, love deeper, be less afraid, be more open, more willing, sweeter, kinder, more passionate and embrace life in a way I’ve yet to imagine. 

The way I see it, my youth was simply a training ground and life in the Fast Lane is just beginning.  ~

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Orange-Obsessive Zone

Someone asked me a question that is difficult to answer.  In fact, I don’t think it has just one answer.  The question posed was this:  “If someone you love is involved in something that you believe to be dangerous, and you have tried to communicate your concern, at what point do you give up and walk away?”

I don’t know. I suppose it all depends upon the situation; but here’s what I do know.

Love says fight for them, for their safety, for their physical well-being, and for their emotional, mental and spiritual balance.  Reality says you cannot continue to beat your head against a wall if they are not listening to you and don’t care about your concerns.  So, how long do you fight for someone you love?

Time, experience and heartache have taught me one thing:  Love and respect must be mutual for a relationship to flourish. If you take your concern to someone you love and they refuse to listen; then what is the point of further talking.  If you open your heart to reach them and they ignore your words or worse yet, tell you that you are deceived; perhaps it is time to let go.

Life is about making choices.  People can choose to live out of balance or balanced lives.  The burden of that choice falls on their shoulders, as do the consequences. Obsessive behavior destroys relationships because with that obsession comes isolation from those who don’t share in the obsession.  It often takes relationships that were once meaningful and causes them to have a fake, surface-level feel.   

For example:  if I eat oranges every day for every meal and it is the only thing I eat; is that a healthy choice?  Sure, oranges are rich in Vitamin C and have qualities that are good for my body; but a diet of only oranges is not healthy.  Then, if I grow my own oranges and all I talk about is oranges, and I attend orange conventions and speak on orange growing; what becomes of the people in my life who don’t like oranges?  What do we then discuss?  Eventually, with a diet of only oranges, my skin would begin to tint orange.  I would stand out as odd-looking, that is, unless I surrounded myself with other people who only ate oranges.  Then, I would fit in and never have to deal with the uncomfortable feeling of being around those that were not as unbalanced in their orange consumption as I had become. By becoming obsessive about oranges, I have isolated non-obsessive people from my life.  I’ve created my very own orange-obessive-zone.

The point is, there are things in life that have goodness in them, when they are taken in moderation.  Too much of a good thing can quickly become a bad thing.  Obsessive behavior destroys relationships because it is a life that has spiraled into an out-of-balance tailspin, casting everyone and everything else aside.

If someone you love is living out-of-balance, and you have tried with all of your might to show them the damage their lifestyle has and is causing, then it might be time to walk away.  If they don’t respect you and love you enough to care about your concerns for them, then why are you continuing to beat your head into the wall they have built?

Pray for them.  Be there if they ever decide that they need you.  Love them from afar.  BUT… if watching them destroy themselves, their family and their friendships is painful, then don’t watch.  Looking away isn’t turning your back; it’s simply guarding your own heart from the pain they have caused.  You can only try so many times and endure so much rejection and be told that you are deceived and wrong so many times before you finally have to accept that they do not care. Your opinion doesn’t matter to them.

Addictions come in many forms.  There are workaholics, spendaholics, sexaholics, alcoholics, drugaholics, religionaholics, sportsaholics, etc.  There are mental addictions, physical addictions, emotional addictions and spiritual addictions.  ANY addiction is unhealthy and throws life out of balance.  There is no “right” addiction.  There is no “harmless” addiction.  If someone is addicted to something… if they have made something their entire existence…if they eat it, drink it, breathe it, think it, love it, live it and nothing else… it IS harmful to them, no matter how good it looks or feels.

When you confront a loved one about an addiction and they are more willing to lose you forever than to loosen their grip on the compulsion that has taken over their life… that’s a problem…that’s an addiction…and they need help.  The painful part is that you can’t force them into caring.  You can’t force them back into a state of balance.  
Only they can change…and if they refuse…then maybe it’s time you let go and walk away.  ~ 

Friday, October 19, 2012

That Much Closer to Success

I've had many writers contact me, asking the same question:  "Now that my book is finished, how do I get it published?" 

The first step is to decide what path you want to take.  Do you want to seek representation with a Literary Agent, who will then attempt to sell your book to a Publishing House?  Do you want to solicit your manuscript directly to a Publisher?  Or do you want to self-publish your work?

If you choose either of the first two options, you will need to know how to write a query letter, a synopsis, an outline (if your book is non-fiction), write a proposal and develop a short pitch.

There are many books available to teach writers these very skills.  My advice is to buy one and use the examples to help you as you draft your own query, synopsis and pitch. (I recommend "The Writers Guide to Queries, Pitches & Proposals" by Allen, Moira Anderson)

Once you feel like you have perfected your entire proposal package, research agents or publishers and determine which one is a good fit for your book. (I recommend picking up a copy of "The 2013 Writers Market Guide").  Each agent and/or publisher listing will tell you their submission guidelines, as well as they type/genre of books they are seeking and accepting.  Follow their guidelines.   If you don't, you are only wasting their time and yours.

The most important thing to remember is that the process of seeking representation can take time and can be a pathway riddled with rejection letters.  Don't let them discourage you or cause you to give up.  Keep writing, editing, re-writing and putting your work out there.  Every so-called failure brings you that much closer to success. ~

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Exciting Review!!!!

I woke up this morning to a review of my latest release, House of Lies.  Needless to say, I am smiling big! :)

Please check out the review at TrueBlueEbookReview.

Here is a video trailer to give you a feel for what the novel is about:

You can buy House of Lies on Amazon, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks and Barnes&Noble.  Please download your copy today or pre-order the print copy, to be released in November.

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  :)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Fall Fangs

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love the cool air, the colorful earthly changes, the anticipation of snow, Halloween, football and the fact that it gets dark by six o’clock so I can light candles all over the house.  I love putting on warm sweaters, snuggling by a fire, and the smell of pumpkin pie.  I love everything about autumn. It makes me feel re-energized which is why my “spring cleaning” always takes place in the fall.

Some have said I’m “bass-ackwards” in this regard, as spring denotes renewal and regrowth, where one cleans out the old and makes room for the new; where we “spring forward” into a new year, blah, blah, blah.  I’ve never felt that way about spring.  In fact, spring depresses me.  I don’t care much for flowers, except giant sunflowers and white daisies. I can’t stand the smell of most flowers and don’t appreciate the fact that they draw bees and other bugs.  I don’t like that the days are getting longer or that summer and hot weather is looming.  Suffice to say, if I could hibernate through spring and summer, I would.

Fall is when I pull on my yellow, rubber, scrubbing gloves and attack the base boards, showers, toilets and windows.  It’s when I clean out the pantry, the fridge and re-organize the freezer.  It’s when the Goodwill donation truck visits my house on a weekly basis, as I sort through all the un-necessary items we’ve accumulated and the outgrown clothing.  

Yes, fall is when I am at my best, emotionally and creatively.  I feel motivated to write and generally more peaceful.  It is when I stop, take in a deep breath and appreciate the blessings in my life.

Isn’t it strange how a season can change your mood?

Statistically, more people suffer from depression in the fall and winter months and this has, in part, been attributed to the lack of sunlight during those seasons.  I am the opposite.  I thrive in the dark, colder months and barely get by during the spring and summer.  In fact, the sunlight of summer irritates me.  I am rarely seen without a dark pair of sunglasses and am not one to just sit outside and enjoy nature.  (Unless I’m in the mountains, where it’s cooler, and where the beauty surrounding me is indescribably surreal.)

It has been said I would make a great vampire, frolicking beneath the moonlight in the cool evening air.

See, I don’t have a green thumb and I find growing plants that I cannot later eat, quite unfulfilling.  I also don’t like to sweat, unless it’s during a good work-out; and I can’t stand bugs, mosquitos and June bugs in particular.  Thus, from a nature perspective, spring and summer offer me very little pleasure. 

Today, as I adorn my yellow, rubber, scrubbing gloves and attack my house, it is with a light heart and a big smile; for fall is here and I am aglow, ready to sink my fangs into life.  J


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Missing the Point

I posted this photo to Facebook last night and then stepped away from my computer to get the kids ready for bed.  As one friend put it,   “That was like dropping a water balloon off of a building and then not waiting around to see who got soaked.”  He was right.  By the time I sat back down in front of my computer, a heated debate had erupted all over my wall. 

What instantly struck me was the fact that most of the people completely missed the point of the picture.  The point was NOT to condone, condemn nor debate homosexuality; the point was that bigotry is an act of hatefulness, one clearly depicted in the images of the adults and children holding signs.  The point is bigotry in any form is wrong.

Many people quoted Scripture which was focused on homosexuality; again, not the point of the picture.  The picture is making a comparison between acts of love and acts of hate.  No matter how you personally feel about homosexuality, you don’t have the right to judge other people.  Bigotry comes in many forms.  It can be against color, race, religion, sexual preference, etc.  Bigotry in all forms is simply a cowardly act of spreading hatred.   It is not an action of love.
No one holds a sign up that reads:  “God hates you,” as an act of love.  No one holds a sign up that reads:  “God hates Fags,” as an act of love.  Jesus didn’t and wouldn’t act this way; nor should His followers.

Ironically, a passage of Scripture that was not quoted in the debate was Mark 12:28-33.  It reads like this:

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Last I checked, loving your neighbor didn’t mean shoving a sign in their face that says God hates them or that they are going to hell.  
Again, the above picture was not about whether you think homosexuality is right or wrong; it is about bigotry being wrong.

“Faith, hope and love…but the greatest of these is love.”  I Corinthians 13:13

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cautious, Aware and Scared to Death

With Jessica Ridgeway’s killer still at large, I find it nearly impossible to let down my guard; and an hour doesn’t pass without me thinking about the tragic ending to her life, praying for her family and for her killer to be found.

Although the police have increased security around all of the local schools and people have rallied to help in the search for suspects; there is still an underlying fear permeating the community. Schools have sent home safety guidelines, encouraging parents to talk with their kids about what happened to Jessica.  It’s a hard conversation to have because, as a parent, you don’t want your children to live in fear; but you also don’t want them to be careless. You want them to be aware and cautious, but not paranoid.  It’s a fine line, one I find myself struggling to walk. 

Without question, this tragedy has changed our daily lives.  My children used to ride their bikes to and from school; they don’t anymore.  They used to ride their scooters through the neighborhood, go to the park with friends or play in the cul-de-sac; they don’t anymore.  Instead, they play inside or in the back yard, where I can keep a constant, watchful eye. Every parent warns their kids of stranger-danger, but when a child is abducted and brutally murdered this close to home, a natural heightened awareness and paranoia ensues.  When it comes to a killer at large, the risk (albeit statistically improbable), associated with letting my kids walk to school or play alone is one I’m not willing to take; especially when criminal experts are stating that Jessica’s killer must be found quickly because he will kill again. 
Criminal profilers have said they suspect this person is a professional killer and is currently searching for his next victim.

As a mom, I’m not paranoid… I’m scared to death.  I don’t go through a day without shedding tears over Jessica; and feeling rage for the injustice of what occurred.  I wish I was a mob boss like Angel in the Just Call Me Angel series and I could order my men to find the killer and take care of him once and for all; so no parents and children would need to live in fear.  I’d have him placed in concrete boots and made to swim with the fishes.

The world can be a very ugly place, and it is often difficult to see the goodness through the despair; but the goodness is still there.  We just have to find it and focus on it.

This tragedy has made me hug my kids more, smother them in kisses, tell them more frequently how much I love them, be more attentive and ultimately realize how thankful I am for every moment with them.  It’s made me cherish our time, because there is nothing more precious than our time together.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Make It, Don't Fake It

I receive a lot of email wherein people voice their opinion of my books or my blogs or they simply want to share something they’ve experienced.  I love these emails.  I love that people feel that they can vent or open up to me, and that my blog is a safe haven for their questions.  Sure, every so often I get an email that is less than kind, but those are few and far between.  Most of the time, people simply want to be heard.

This is why I love receiving emails from people who feel they can “talk” to me, even virtually.  I can’t always answer their questions, but I always read what they’ve written and I always respond.

Here’s a section of one I want to share:

My husband and I have been together for almost four years and we love each other very much, but the problem is we don’t ever talk about sex and it isn’t very good.  I don’t know how to tell him I’ve been faking it all this time and then taking care of myself on the side.  He’s against masturbation and would probably be really hurt if he knew.  Besides, he thinks he’s really good in bed because I’ve made him think so.  I guess you could say I know how to make it look real and now I don’t know what to do.  I’m afraid he’ll leave me if I tell him the truth.

This is a sticky situation, but you’d be surprised how many women share this same story.

Men and women alike want to be considered good lovers.  We all want to be able to turn-on our partner, to stimulate them, taunt them a little and ultimately drive them into the orgasmic throes of euphoric bliss.  But the reality is, few are able to do this without open communication and teaching one another the seductive secrets of their bodies.

It is easier for most men to achieve orgasm than it is for most women.  Duh, right?!

What this translates to is that the man is going to have to work harder to please his woman; and the woman is going to have to communicate her needs to her man.  If she is shy or if the couple has never talked about sex, this can be extremely difficult.

Women fake orgasm for a number of reasons.  First, they want their man to feel good about himself.  They believe that for the experience to bring them closer together, they need to bolster his ego.  Second, because they believe if they pant and scream, it will be a more erotic experience, one he will never want to risk leaving or losing.  Third, because sometimes she’s tired and just wants to go to sleep already.

Whatever the reason, faking can eventually drive a wedge between the man and woman.  It can cause the woman to harbor negative emotions toward sex and toward her husband; which isn’t really fair to him, since he’s clueless, having no idea she’s been faking all along.

Is this fixable?  Absolutely.  Does it have to involve a difficult conversation where you shatter his ego by telling him you’ve been faking?   No.  It can be done gently and in a very fun way. 

Open a bottle of wine and light some candles, or whatever you do to set the mood.  Buy yourself some sex dice or make your own, and let the lesson begin.  The key here is to not let him know he’s being taught something...simply let him think you’ve arranged a night of erotica.  Every time the dice is rolled, you tell each other how or where you like to be touched.  The rule of the evening is “ladies first” and he doesn’t get to climax until after you.  Dig out those sex toys, or whatever you’ve been hiding and using on yourself and let him use them.  He doesn’t need to know you’ve been using them on yourself…let him think this is all part of the special evening.  (I’m not saying you should blatantly lie about it… I’m just saying you shouldn’t offer up the information right now.  Maybe you can tell him later.)  Only groan, moan, pant or yelp when he does something right…something that inches you closer to bliss; and use your hands to direct his to the right place, the right speed, the right pressure.  Believe me, he’ll follow your cues, because most men have a desire to please their woman.   He loves you and he wants to be everything you need and want in bed.  Trembling in his arms for “real” will be an experience unlike any other, and one you both deserve to share.

When it’s over and he remarks that it’s never been like this before… simply smile and say, “I want it like this every time.”  He'll log it into his memory banks and your sex life will have been changed for good.

Good sex is a learned skill, and satisfying a woman is no easy task; but most men are up for the job.  So… don’t fake it… because in doing so, you’re not doing your marriage, him or yourself any long term good. 

Show him how to make it so you never have to fake it again.

Friday, October 12, 2012

House of Lies

I am excited to announce the release of my new novel, House of Lies. 
It is a political cult suspense about Skylar Wilson, who sets out on a quest to save her sister from the grips of a deadly cult.  While searching for answers, Skylar discovers that this particular cult group stretches far beyond its evangelical, house of prayer veil; penetrating the upper echelon of the United States government, and pushing a lethal, International agenda.  To expose the truth, Skylar must learn to unravel the lies, each one leading her down a twisted trail of deadly scandals and mysterious deaths.  For the nightmare to end, she’ll have to take her sister back to where it all began.


House of Lies is a mystery-suspense-romance-thriller all rolled into one.  Ebook is currently available at Amazon.  Availability from Barnes&Noble, Smashwords and AllRomanceEbooks coming soon.  Look for print editions at all online retailers this Thanksgiving.  Download or Pre-order your copy today!

Here is a video trailer to give you a glimpse into the novel:


“House of Lies will take you to the edge and dangle you over the abyss.” Maxwell Crighton, Publicist



Thursday, October 11, 2012

Unbearable Suffering

Last Friday, ten year old, Jessica Ridgeway disappeared on her way to school…. a walk she took every day.  A body was found yesterday only seven miles from her home.   Police have yet to confirm it is hers. 

I’ve followed this story and wept.  I’ve cried for the family and for Jessica.  There is nothing worse than losing a child.  There is no greater pain in this world; and to add the injustice of the loss being caused by a criminal act is unbearable.  It should never happen. 

It makes me sit back and wonder what the hell this world is coming to?!  What kind of horrible person steals and kills children?  I can’t get my head around it…and it breaks my heart.  It is beyond all rational comprehension.

Child molesters and child abductors should be murdered.  Plain and simple.  They should not get a trial.  They should be killed as slowly and painfully as possible.  Even then, justice would not be served.  People who steal children away from their families don’t deserve to live.  Period.  No “ifs,” no “ands,” and no “buts.”  You steal and/or kill a child and you die.

The Bible says to pray for our enemies.  I pray right now for the person who abducted Jessica Ridgeway…. I pray that the person endures pain, hardship and death.  I pray that the person writhes in agony and receives no help from anyone and suffers endlessly.   Molesters and abductors are like demons clothed in human flesh and I pray a band of vigilantes will rise up with shot-guns and send these demons back to hell, where they belong.  Amen.

Comedic Interlude

Instead of blogging today, I wanted to take a comedic interlude.  Enjoy!





Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Lessons Life Taught Me by Regina Brett


This is advice written by Regina Brett, 90 years young, who wrote a column for the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. She said, "To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written." 
Thank you Regina, for these wonderful words of wisdom.  :)
"1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

"2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

"3. Life is too short – enjoy it.

"4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Some of your friends and all of your family will.

"5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

"6. You don't have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

"7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

"8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

"9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

"10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

"11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.

"12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

"13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

"14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

"15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry, God never blinks.

"16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

"17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

"18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

"19. It's never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

"20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

"21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

"22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

"23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

"24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

"25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

"26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'

"27. Always choose life.

"28. Forgive but don’t forget.

"29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

"30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

"31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

"32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

"33. Believe in miracles.

"34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

"35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

"36. Growing old beats the alternative --- dying young.

"37. Your children get only one childhood.

"38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

"39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

"40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

"41. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you think you need.

"42. The best is yet to come.

"43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."