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.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

F A I T H

The other day someone asked me to define my faith.  At first I thought, "Wow, that's a tall order!"   But the more I thought about it, it became clear to me that the answer was really quite simple.  My faith doesn't hinge on hoping God will, but on knowing He can.  My faith is believing in the unseen, the untouched, and the unheard.  My faith isn't connected to a particular religion, it's housed in my relationship with God.  I trust Him in all things because I believe that from Him came all things.  ~ 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Playful Eroticism

There's something to be said for this.  Anyone can watch something, but the written word coupled with the human imagination is so much more powerful.  :)


As a writer, I find myself unable to continually describe human intimacy in a manner that escapes the fallout of redundancy.  That being said, I do enjoy a good love scene now and again and have incorporated some playful eroticism into my next suspense novel. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Be Real


I have a pet peeve, actually I have many, but I’m only going to talk about one today.  It is sugary sweet, dripping with honey, fake people.  You know the ones…. their smile is plastered on, and every other word is “wonderful” or “wonderfully” as they go out of their way to tell you about how perfect every element of their life is.  They unnerve me.  It takes all of my strength to restrain myself from slapping them.  Don’t get me wrong, I like happy people and I like positive people.  I am certainly grateful for those moments in my life when I have been down in the dumps and a friend has pointed out the silver lining to my crisis.  I like smiling and love laughing and there is no better feeling of elation than sharing the excitement of life with others.  BUT… there is a big difference between genuine happiness and the overly sugary fa├žade of fake fulfillment.  When people are over-the-top it makes me think they are merely using words to compensate for the unhappiness and un-fulfillment from which they are suffering.  It’s the same principal as the ever-popular joke about the man with the small penis who drives the fancy sports car. 

Overly compensating for something is often obvious to outsiders.  I wish these people would realize that happiness shines from the inside out and can be seen and felt without a word.  I wish they could see that fulfillment illumes the face and can be transmitted without an utterance.  Most of all, I wish these people would learn that it’s okay not to be the perfect, perky Pollyanna all the time.  It’s okay to have down days, sour hours and moments when you feel like you’re barely hanging on.  It’s okay to fail, fall down and make a few faux pas.  It’s life and it’s real and you can be too.  ~

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scary Stuff



I’m working on a new book.  Actually, I began this book last year, after spending three years researching a worldwide cult group…a group that shrouds themselves under the blanket of pseudo-evangelical Christianity, but spreads its tentacles deep into the political world under the guise of pushing “God’s Agenda.” This group believes in falsified prophetic visions and has built their foundation on prophetic words that have already been proven untrue.  They blindly follow their leader, despite the well-known fact that he consorts with demons and has twisted Scripture to fit his teachings.  His charisma and ego knows no bounds, as he manipulates the minds of his followers through contemplative prayer, group hypnosis and mantra, mandatory mortifications and many other tactics.  He feigns humility but his ego is powerful.  He teaches his flock that THEY are to build God’s kingdom on Earth so to usher in the second coming of Christ, and must thereby take control of every element of society….socially, economically, politically and spiritually.  His tentacles run deep and spread across the globe.  The Bible warns us against him:

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.  2 Corinthians 11:13-15."

  It is scary stuff, to say the very least.

 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Gun Talk


There is much conspiracy now about the Second Amendment, and I find it rather ludicrous.  We have the right to bear arms.  Period.  It’s part of our American heritage.  It’s who we are.  It’s one of our many freedoms and it should not be revoked.  That being said, should anyone be allowed to purchase an AK47 combat rifle?  I would ask this…. Why would anyone, outside of our military, who are fighting for and defending our freedoms, need an AK47 machine gun?  [ I mean, with the exception of the traditional Mafia families like those found in my Just Call Me Angel series, who fight the Russian Mob and need big guns for more action-packed pages!]  



Should there be restrictions on the type of gun an average American is allowed to purchase?  Maybe.  I don’t know.  It seems to me that laws, rules and restrictions only affect the morally upright person who will obey them, and those aren’t the people who are going to use a gun (of any make and model) to go on a killing spree.  Your morally bankrupt killers will find a way around the restriction and get whatever gun they want anyway…. so, to me, the argument seems rather moot.

I’m an American.  I have freedom of speech.  I have freedom of religion.  I have the right to bear arms and I own the responsibility that comes with this freedom.

Allow me to share an article featuring advice from several Concealed Carry Instructors:

The Rules of a Gunfight

A: Guns have only two enemies - rust and politicians.

B: It's always better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

C: Cops carry guns to protect themselves, not you.

D: Never let someone or something that threatens you get inside arms length.

E: Never say "I've got a gun." If you need to use deadly force, the first sound they hear should be the safety clicking off.

F: The average response time of a 911 call is 13 minutes, the response time of a .357 is 1400 feet per second.

G: The most important rule in a gunfight is: Always win - cheat if necessary.

H: Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets . . . You may get killed with your own gun, but he'll have to beat you to death with it, ‘cause it'll be empty.

J: In a life and death situation, do something . . . It may be wrong, but do something!

K: If you carry a gun, people call you paranoid. Nonsense! If you have a gun, what do you have to be paranoid about?

L: You can say 'stop' or any other word, but a large bore muzzle pointed at someone's head is pretty much a universal language.

M: Owning a gun doesn’t make you aggressive… it give you the opportunity to save yourself and your family if, God forbid, that need arises.

If you're in a gun fight:


1. If you're not shooting, you should be loading.
2. If you're not loading, you should be moving.
3. If you're not moving, you're dead.


 
Believe in the 2nd Amendment.  Believe in your freedom.  Believe in America.
 

 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Meeting Your Match


The other day I was asked if I publish my own books and if I publish other writer’s books.  I’ve been asked this question A LOT.  The answer is no.  In fact, I know little about the literary world from a publishing aspect.  I have several writer friends who have chosen to self-publish their books through Amazon and other outlets; some are happy with their decision and others are not.  I have friends who have signed with literary agents and those who have signed directly with publishers.  I don’t believe there is a right or wrong path.  Each avenue presents positives and negatives.  Each route has challenges.  I think the important thing is for every writer to ask themselves what they want and then pursue the avenue that best matches that outcome.  One must realize that writing is a subjective field, just as all other facets of entertainment.  A book that I may love, the next person may deem mediocre.  Getting published is a matter of finding the right “fit” for your work and for yourself.

When I began my journey toward getting my debut novel (No Easy Way) published, I received thirty-six rejection letters and did about a million re-writes.  Then, I entered a contest and my book was nominated for The Heart of Molly award through Heart of Denver Romance Writers.  Before I knew it I had found the right publisher for my book…the right “fit” for my work and for me. 


Since then I’ve had five novels published and one short story and I couldn’t be happier.


If you’re a writer who is considering getting your work published, ask yourself what you want, research the available outlets and then don’t give up.  Finding that perfect publisher for your work can feel like online dating… you might have to jump through a lot of hoops and kiss a lot of toads before you finally meet your perfect match. ~

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Writing Assignment


I needed to go to Wal-Mart for some bulk shopping.  Our home was bare, which happens every time I am deep in the throes of writing another novel.  I needed to replenish just about everything.  Toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, detergent, cleaning supplies, not to mention bulk food items.  As usual I was on a tight schedule so I told my 9 year old and 11 year old, who I was dragging with me to the store, that we were not stopping to look at clothing, toys, video games, books or anything else remotely exciting.  We were on a mission.  Get in, get what was on Mommy’s list and get out…quickly.  The key word:  Quickly!  As we walked toward the front doors I reiterated, “we are only buying what is on my list and nothing else.”  The underlying message in that sentence was:  DON’T ASK ME TO BUY YOU ANYTHING! 
We entered the store and my 11 year old daughter made an immediate beeline for a blouse, meanwhile my son jetted off toward the chocolate chip Poptarts and the begging began.  “Pleeeeaaase?”  Their eyelashes bat and the pouty lip came out.  “I neeeeeed it!” They said in unison.   I re-stated my original stance that we were in a hurry and NOT looking at things that weren’t on my list.  The begging continued.  “Well, if I can’t have pop tarts, can I have an action figure?”  Negotiated my 9 year old son.   

By the time we made it out of the store, I was flushed with frustration and anger; convinced that I had raised the most spoiled children on the planet.  Driving home I resolved to fix my poor childrearing skills by giving them the spiel every mother gives on how there are other children in the world without toys and video games and who have never tasted a pop tart; and how they should be thankful for all they have.   
As we pulled into the garage I turned to my children and announced they were grounded for the next thirty minutes, during which time they would each go to their rooms and write me a one page essay on the difference between needs and wants; and they would write about how richly they have been blessed. 
I lectured them on how, as their mom, it was my job to provide for their needs, namely to give them food, water, clothing, shelter and to let them know they are loved and cherished, to support their dreams and help them achieve their goals.  It was NOT my job to buy them everything they wanted every time they wanted it. 

Thirty minutes of writing didn't un-spoil my children, but it did give me a half an hour of peace and quiet; not to mention two adorable little letters I have tucked away to use one day as instruments of blackmail, or at the very least, for a good laugh.  :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wham-Bam-Thank-You-Scam


Have you ever been taken for a ride?  I mean, totally scammed?  I have and it makes me wonder how people get away with it, both internally and externally.  If you lie, cheat and steal for a living, how do you sleep at night?  Aren’t you always looking over your shoulder, wondering if you’re about to be busted?  I would be… I would be in a constant state of fear…and what kind of life is that?!? 

When you’re the one that falls for the scam it makes you feel stupid, like a big doofus.  Hindsight is always twenty/twenty and how easily you look back and see all the red signs piled up.  They were there the whole time, but you couldn’t see them.  You weren’t looking.  You were trusting. 
It reminds me of some of the shady characters in my mafia series, Just Call Me Angel.  They live moment-to-moment, always looking over their shoulder, never at peace.

I've decided that scammers are the equivalent of a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am.  What seems exciting at first becomes crushingly empty afterwards. ~

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summertime Mommy Monster Syndrome


Being a writer and a mom isn’t always easy, but it’s particularly hard in the summer, when school is out.  During the summer, moms wear their normal hats of parent, teacher, counselor, playmate, entertainer, nurse, prayer warrior, taxi driver, cheerleader, chef, maid, butler and nanny… the only difference is that we wear these hats 24/7.  When school is out, mom gets no break.  Between baseball practices and games, swimming, rehearsals, plays, sleepovers, movies, vacations, etc., there is little time to think, much less to write.  Any creative person will tell you that if unable to express their creativity it begins to back up inside of them, and like a clogged hose, will eventually result in an explosion of epic proportion.  When I have a story that is dying to get out and I don’t have the time to write it, I begin to feel frustrated.  If the frustration lasts several days it morphs into resentment toward everything and everyone inhibiting my ability to sit down in peace and write.  In me, resentment manifests itself as crabbiness and a severe lack of patience.  If this continues, my family begins to suffer because Mommy has now become a miserable monster…if you don’t believe me, just ask my husband and children.   

The good news is that I have found ways to avoid the Summertime Mommy Monster Syndrome.  It isn’t fool-proof, but these things have helped  me to continue to write even when the kids are home, despite their many activities and the constant interruptions. (i.e. “Mom, look!” … “Mom, come here!”…. “Mom, where’s my glove?”…. “Mom, look!”…. “Mom, watch this!”…. “Mom!  MOm!  MOM!”… Oh, and did I mention, “Mom, look!”)

1.      I write late at night after the kids are in bed.  Yes, it means I spend the next day tired, but that’s nothing an extra pot of coffee or a couple Five Hour Energy drinks can’t solve.

2.      I write very early in the morning before the kids awaken.  Again, it can leave me groggy, but it’s well worth the sacrifice of slumber.

3.      I take my laptop to practices and rehearsals and write in the bleachers, in the theatre or in my car.  (purchase one of those plug adapters so you can plug your computer into your cigarette lighter)

4.      When the kids are watching television or being loud, I plug my headphones into my computer so I cannot hear them; thus I am able to concentrate on what I am writing.

5.      When I do suffer from Summertime Mommy Monster Syndrome, I have a martini or a margarita and a good cry.  It releases the frustration I feel, renews my spirit and helps me regain my focus and provides motivation for me to tackle another day.

Summertime is a needed break for kids and they deserve our fullest attention; however, in giving them our fullest we mustn’t forget to take care of ourselves too.  After all, when we’re not at our best we can’t give them our best.  As demanding as being a mom is, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.  J