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, February 28, 2013

Freedom in the Snow

I love snow!  I especially like when we have a crazy, hectic day planned and a surprise snowstorm comes rolling in and renders our plans obsolete.  With our schedule now free, what would have been a day of “have-tos” becomes a day of “want-tos.”  It becomes a day where we can do anything; which is so exciting because our schedule allows for very few of these days.  We can play in the snow, drink hot chocolate, snuggle in and watch a movie with popcorn and soda, play Xbox, color pictures, or have a ping pong match without ever looking at the clock and having to get ready to go somewhere.  I know many people dislike snow, but for me, there is freedom in a snowstorm.  Practices and games are canceled.  Team parties and lessons are postponed.   Our world stops and for a moment, we get to relax.  It feels cleansing, and in an odd way, it helps to renew the mind and refresh the soul.  It allows us family time we otherwise wouldn’t get.   So, I say, bring on the snow!  J

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The "Olga Complex"

Spammers piss me off.  That statement applies to online, email and telephone spammers.  People who intentionally comment on blog posts only for the purpose of marketing their products should be smacked.  I understand the importance of marketing but do they honestly believe this is an effective way to increase sales?  Are they really that stupid?  This type of spamming is up there in my book with all of the penile dysfunction spam emails I receive.  I mean, really?  I don’t even have a penis so why are they sending me advertisements for ED drugs?  Have they ever considered targeting their spam emails to an appropriate demographic?  Perhaps that would prove more prosperous…duh?!

Another form of spamming that I find utterly distasteful are the telemarketers that call me at home to solicit their products.  If I want a vacuum I’ll go purchase one at the store.  If I’m interested in a timeshare, I’ll contact a realtor on my own, thank you very much.  Please, don’t try to sell me something when I’m in the middle of homework or dinner.  I consider it rude.  It creates in me what I call the “Olga Complex.” 
This is a reference that has grown out of the Just Call Me Angel series and is based on the character of Angel’s Great Aunt, Olga.  When Olga gets angry or annoyed, she feels an ever-growing and powerful desire to Taser the object of her irritation.  With regards to spammers, I can totally relate.  One little zap through the telephone lines would most assuredly remove my name from their call list.  I have to admit, it’s an electrifying thought!  J

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Grizzly Adams Takes Over Hollywood

I watched the Oscars Sunday evening and I was struck my two things.  First, strapless gowns are back in style, which is a bummer for women with breasts that are a C cup or larger.  However beautiful and elegant in appearance, that style typically pulls breasts downward, making the dress quite uncomfortable and the wearer conscientious of it the entire time.  It's nothing a little adhesive and elaborate underwire can't fix...but watch out when you remove the adhesive.  Try to avoid getting any on the nipple.  I'd love to tell you that advice didn't come from personal experience...but we live and learn, right?  Ouch! 
Second, full beards for men are coming back.  I am way more discouraged by this one.  This is not an attractive look.  Before that statement offends people with beards, let me clarify.  A thin, trimmed beard is fine and can even look classy…but that wasn’t what everyone at the Oscars was sporting.  They were wearing bushy, thick, un-kept-looking beards; which, quite frankly, I find repulsive. 

For the sake of fun, let’s do a little comparison.  Here is Clooney with the beard.

Here is Clooney without the beard.

And, just because he's one of my all time favorites...on my laminated card...here's another non-bearded Clooney pic:
Whew!  Is it getting hot in here?!  Seriously, though, in which picture does he look younger and more handsome?
The same is true for Ben Affleck, Hugh Jackman and just about every other man at the Oscars who was sporting a bushy beard.  Unless you're auditioning for the role of Grizzly Adams, it's not a good look.  It doesn't scream class nor cleanliness.
You will find a small percentage of women who will disagree with me, but for the most part, women don't want to feel like we're making out with a furry dog when we kiss a man... and we don't want to be burned by your stubble either.  We don't want bushy, bristly hair on your face any more than you want it in our armpits or on our legs.
I don't know any women who have said, "Oh, look at that hairy looking, Sasquatch of a man!  I'd sure like to do him!" I've never heard any woman utter this phrase, which is probably why all of the men in my novels are cleanly shaven.  How could I write a romantic scene otherwise? 

Let me try.  Here is what a scene between Angel and Andrew from the Just Call Me Angel series might look like if Andrew was adorned with a bushy beard.

He slid his hand around her waist and pulled her close.  She could feel his wanting and mirrored his desire.  As his lips enclosed on hers, his scraggily beard tore at her flesh, leaving red, brazen marks on her cheekbones.  She could only imagine what it would do to other parts of her body.
Nope...the beard is definitely a scene-killer for me.   
Rule of thumb:  Partial facial hair that is well-kept is hot...but the bushy Grizzly Adams look is NOT.  ~


Monday, February 25, 2013

Wine Pairing Tapas Tour

My husband and I belong to a dinner club with two other couples.  We meet monthly, rotating homes and then every fourth month we got out for a night on the town.  This month was my turn to host and I wanted to try something different, so after much research, my husband and I came up with our theme:   A Wine Pairing Tapas Tour Around the World.

We, obviously, couldn’t prepare a dish from every country, as that would have been way too much food; so we tried to have at least one dish from each continent.  The research I conducted to create the menu and then pair wines with each dish was fascinating.  I learned about acidity and tannins, grapes and their unique flavors, spices and different regions around the globe. 

With an outline of menu items in hand, my next task was to find recipes and make sure I would be able to locate the needed ingredients for each dish.  I had to run to three different grocery stores in order to acquire the necessary items.  Then I began making the food and designing how every tapas plate would look.  A little parsley there, a lemon slice here, a sprinkle of fresh parmesan.  It was all coming together.

Our night began with a Mediterranean Cheese & Olive plate served with parmesan crisps and wafer crackers.  Wine Pairing:  Cabernet Sauvignon  -  Bordeaux

We then enjoyed a platter of Hummus, original and spicy red pepper, with fresh vegetables from Morocco.   Wine Pairing:  Chardonnay

Traveling to Germany we noshed on Bratwurst & Cheese Skewers served on a bed of Kraut with a horseradish dipping sauce.  Wine Pairing:  Riesling Kabinett

France was next with Escargot in a garlic butter sauce.  Wine Pairing:  Champagne

In Japan we dined on three different types of Sushi:  a Spicy Pacific Salad Roll, Rainbow Roll and a Dragon Veggie Roll.   Wine Pairing:  Sake

Our next stop was in Italy to enjoy Baked Gnocci served in a garlic cream sauce with parmesan crisps and topped with fresh basil and parmesan.  Wine Pairing:  Tormaresca Italian Chardonnay  -  Pinot Grigio  -  Sauvignon Blanc

In Brazil we had Prosciutto Rounds, which are layered rounds of mozzarella cheese, tomato and fresh basil wrapped in prosciutto ham.  Wine Pairing:  Tempranillo  -  Cabernet Sauvignon

Our next stop was in Cuba and it turned out to be one of our favorite dishes of the night.  We ate Croquetas de Jamon, which are ham croquettes served with fresh mango slices and topped with a Mango Ginger Habanero sauce.  Wine Pairing:  Tempranillo

In Mexico we had Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers.  This was another group favorite.  They are fresh jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, parmesan and spicy pork sausage, baked to perfection and topped with a dab of ranch.   Wine Pairing:  Pinot Noir

From there we went to Canada for some Planted Peppered Salmon Squares.  Wine Pairing:  Pinot Noir  -  Pinot Grigio

Then we headed back home to the United States for some Bang Bang Shrimp, served on a bed of lettuce.  Wine Pairing:  Riesling

Our next stop was in China for some Chicken Egg Rolls served with sweet and sour sauce and hot mustard.  Wine Pairing:  Sauvignon Blanc

In India we noshed on Curry Chicken served chilled and stuffed in a lemon shell.  Wine Pairing:  Reisling Kabinett

Spain brought us the Mar y Tierra, which is lump crab, ham and avocado served chilled and stuffed in an avocado shell.  This was the least favorite of the night.  Wine Pairing:  Dry Reisling  -  Tempranillo

Last, but not least, we headed back to the USA for Bar-b-Qued Pork Medallions.  Wine Pairing:  Chardonnay  -  Sauvignon Blanc

Needless to say, it was a unique night of fun and exploration with great friends.  J


Thursday, February 21, 2013

How Heavy Is Your Glass?

I didn’t write this story, but read it on Facebook and wanted to share it.  It’s a perspective on life that I think we all know deep down, but forget in the day-to-day chaos of living.  It goes like this:

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it.   If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem.   If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm.   If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed.   In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.” 

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water.  Think about them for a while and nothing happens.  Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt.   And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

I think it’s such a great reminder that it doesn’t matter whether the glass is half empty or half full… what matters is that any burden carried long enough will have negative effects.  To be healthy we have to learn to set the glass down…to step away from the stresses of our day.

What are you holding onto?  How heavy is your glass?   ~


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Say NO to Bad-Ass B.O.

Walking through the grocery store this morning, I was suddenly overcome by an odor that was so strong it was palatable.  This stinky stench filled the store in a matter of moments.  The best way I can describe it is to say it smelled like a layer of body odor, covered with curry, layered in dry urine, swirled with something musky and sweet and then topped with more body odor.  It was the most bad-ass B.O. I’ve ever smelled!

People in the store grimaced and I, wearing a cotton wide-necked sweater, buried my nose in the neck of my shirt.  My eyes watered from the potency of the stench and, though I haven’t checked, I am certain my nose hairs were burned clean off. 

My first inclination was to think a homeless person may have wandered into the store for warmth or to use the restroom; and compassion tugged at me.  But then, I caught a glimpse of the odorous wonder and compassion left me.

It was a young woman, maybe in her early twenties.  I let my eyes run the course of her body from her feet to her head.  She was dressed in clothing that looked clean and pressed.  Her hands were manicured and her nails painted.  There was no dirt on her skin and she wore shiny lip gloss and gold earrings.  There was nothing that indicated that she might be homeless.  In fact, she appeared well groomed, as if she had showered this morning; though the stench spoke otherwise.  My eyes stopped on her hair, which hung in thick dreadlocks; thick, dried, clumpy dreadlocks. These weren't the nice looking, fashionable kind of dreadlocks.  These were muddy and mangy looking.   I shivered internally, imagining the amount of bacteria in each pasty lock and wondering when was the last time her whole head had been given a good, solid scrubbing.

As I passed by her, the odor triggered my gag reflex.  How could someone with such a pretty, clean face smell so horrible?  Upon returning from the store I could still smell it.  I was having a Seinfeld moment…the B.O. was like an entity that had latched onto me.  I threw my clothes into the washer and jumped into a hot shower. 

I’m now free of the stench but still curious as to how someone can smell that bad and not know it?  An even bigger question is why aren't her friends telling her that she stinks?!    Maybe we need a sign that says, "Just Say NO to Bad-Ass B.O."  So, when someone smells that bad you don't have to say anything, you just hand them the sign.  ~


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"The World is a Mess"

The other night my nine year old son came into my room, plunked down in my office chair and let out a big sigh. 

“What’s the matter?”  I asked, glancing up from my laptop.

“It seems like the world is a mess,” he said.

I closed my laptop and studied him.  “What do you mean, ‘the world is a mess’?”

His eyes grew teary.  “Everyone’s killing each other and people are killing themselves.” 

He crawled into my lap and I wrapped my whole body around him.  My heart ached.  I wanted to be able to tell him that the world is beautiful and that people aren’t doing bad things and that we are safe…but I couldn’t.  Somehow the ugliness from out there had seeped into our four walls and penetrated his little heart. 

With tears streaming down my face, we had a conversation for which no parent can adequately prepare. We talked about violence, school shootings, drunk driving and suicide.  These are heavy topics for an adult and inconceivable for a nine year old to bear.  And, yet, it is the reality of the world in which we live.

I learned from our talk that he was afraid to go to school…afraid a shooter would come in and kill everyone in his classroom.  In the same week he had seen headlines on the internet about a baseball star getting a DUI and a country singer committing suicide.  That’s a lot of bad news and he wasn’t sure how to process it.  “The world is a mess,” was how it all boiled down…a statement that is sadly not far from the truth.

We have parental guards on our computers and iPads, but information seeps in through their iPhones and their friends.  It’s impossible to protect your children from the great wide virtual world of information.  As parents, we try to focus on the good so that our children will see that there is beauty in the world; but, oh, how the headlines make this a challenge.

How do we teach our children that violence is not the answer when our own police officers are on video beating a civilian to a pulp?  How do we teach them to feel secure when children are murdered in their own schools?  How do we teach them to forgive when ex-policeman are gunning down previous co-workers and their families?  How do we tell them to be carefree and enjoy their childhood when children are kidnapped, molested and murdered within a few miles from their home?  How do we teach them to look up to role models when those role models drink and drive and use drugs?  How do we teach them that suicide is not an answer when celebrities are overdosing and shooting themselves? 

“The world is a mess.”

The other night I realized I can’t refute that statement.  The world IS a mess.  All I could do and all I did was tell him the one truth that I knew… God is bigger than any mess. With Him in our hearts we never have to face anything alone; and His love conquers all. 

I wrapped my arms tighter around my son and whispered, “I love you with all of my heart and you will never have to face anything in this life alone.”

“How do we clean up the mess?”  He asked.

I kissed the top of his head.  “I don’t know, baby. I think we start by asking God for help.”

And together, we prayed.  “God, please clean up the mess so the children in this world don’t have to be so afraid.”  

I put him to bed and wept.  ~

Monday, February 18, 2013

No Such Thing As Bad Publicity

5 Reasons You WANT Negative Reviews

By Author Rainy Kaye


We all strive for excellence in our work. Sometimes, though, others don't think we measure up. It can be annoying, heartbreaking, or downright infuriating. Others will remind us that not everything is everyone's cup of steeped leaf water, and we'll eventually put down the chocolate, or wine, and get on with our existence.

 But could it be we actually need negative reviews? Yes!

Here are five reasons why:

1. Congratulations! You're real. In the throes of self- publishing and sock puppet reviews, it's important to establish a piece of work—and the creator behind it—is honest. One of the surest ways to do this is by receiving negative reviews. Since nothing is universally loved, not even Harry Potter, then a book with only five-star reviews is bound to raise a few eyebrows.

2. Marketing: You're doing it right. When a book is first born, it usually finds itself passed around from one loving supporter to another. And that's okay. Eventually, though, your baby will have to find its legs and start exploring the world. That means it will be outside the safety of the village, and into the wild. And some things out there will want to have it for breakfast. In short, if your book hasn't garnered a few negative reviews, you haven't sent it out far enough.

3. Welcome to the classroom. Before publication, a book should have been revised, beta read, and edited. Even with all that, your manuscript likely only saw less than a dozen people. Once out in the world, it—hopefully—will reach hundreds, or even thousands of readers. Among all the voices, some might ring true with thoughts and opinions no one had considered before. Don't dismiss constructive criticism just because it was accompanied by a one-star.

4. Anyone with even the slightest bit of knowledge about marketing will tell you that word of mouth is the best way to promote anything. This means you need people to talk about the book. Negative reviews often generate conversation among readers. No need to get involved. Just let it run its course. Engaged readers pique curiosity along the way.

5. It's good for the soul. Praise is nice. If you managed to see a book through from start to finish, you've earned all the bubbly feedback. But even Shakespeare had critics (and now entire classrooms pick his work apart). Sometimes it takes a negative review or two to keep us grounded and, therefore, real to our fans.

No one likes negative reviews. It's okay to be privately hurt or even angry about them. Rant to a friend, take it out on the punching bag, or indulge in a whole gallon of ice cream (not the fat free kind, either). Just keep in mind that in the end, you need negative reviews. They're part of being a real writer.

Thank you, Rainy for that wonderful advice.  No author wants to see their work torn apart….but as the old adage says, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity, as long as they spell your name right.” 
Remember...every field of arts and entertainment is subjective to the viewer, listener or reader.  Some people will love your work.  Others will despise it.  You job is just to keep them talking about it.  ~






Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Valentine's Close

This Valentine’s week, I have been giving a shout out to some of my favorite VHP authors.  They didn’t know I was going to do this…it was my secret surprise Valentine to each of them.  Over the course of the last five days, I've introduced you to  Smoky Trudeau Zeidel, Charmaine Gordon, Melinda Clayton, Chelle Cordero, Malcolm Campbell and Marilyn Celeste Morris, L.E.Harvey, Robert Hays, Collin Kelley , Janet Lane Walters , Anne K. Albert and Angela Kay Austin.

I wrote about these twelve because I have had the privilege and opportunity to work with them on blog tours, blog hops, on special projects and in the VHP Author’s group; and I have personally read their books.  They are wonderful writers and remarkable people and I encourage you to visit their websites, read more about their lives and order their books.

There are other VHP authors whose work I have yet to read, but am looking forward to it in 2013.  They are Kate Evans, Tracy R. Franklin, Namid, Scott Zeidel and Marie Hampton.  I encourage you to look them up on the VHPwebsite.  As time permits, I will read their books and highlight them in my blog as well.
I'd like to offer a special shout out to VHP Publisher Kimberlee Williams, as none of this would have been possible without her.  She works diligently to produce and promote each of her authors, striving to help us become all that we can be.  I raise a glass and toast to her.
I hope this Valentine's week has brought you peace and joy and most of all, love.  Love comes in many forms....family, friendship, romance and most importantly, God's unconditional love.  Keep believing.  Keep achieving.  And by all means, keep reading!  :)
Namaste ~

A "Give Me Everything" Valentine

 It’s Valentine’s week, and I am giving a shout out to some of my favorite VHP authors whom I feel privileged to have met and grown to love. They don’t know I’m doing this…it’s my secret surprise Valentine to each of them. So far, you’ve met Smoky Trudeau Zeidel, Charmaine Gordon, Melinda Clayton, Chelle Cordero, Malcolm Campbell and Marilyn Celeste Morris, L.E.Harvey, Robert Hays, Collin Kelley,  Janet Lane Walters, and  Anne K. Albert. 

It has been an exciting week for me, as I’ve had a blast getting to know my fellow VHP authors a little bit more.  Without further delay, I’d like to introduce Angela Kay Austin.

Bestselling author Angela Kay Austin has expressed herself through words for as long as she can remember. Poems became songs performed with her cousin at every family gathering. But, eventually, short stories filled her favorite pink diary. An infatuation with music and theater led to years playing various instruments and small extra roles in TV shows before giving way to a degree and career in radio and TV production. After completing another degree in marketing, Angela found herself combining her love for all things creative and worked for many years in promotions and advertising.

But once again, she found herself writing, which led to her first published work which stayed on her publisher's bestseller list for ten weeks. Her second release hit the bestseller list at All Romance eBooks.

Angela has authored several novels, including Give Me Everything and her upcoming release, Derailed.  Her stories sizzle and are sure to warm your heart. 

If you haven’t had the opportunity to read one of Angela’s books, order or download one today.


Angela has spoken on author panels, and served on boards for various author groups. When she's not writing, you can find her reading her favorite authors, or researching her next story idea. Angela shares her downtime with her mixed-bred rescue terrier--Midnight, in the beautiful southern state of Tennessee.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Angela!  J



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Anne's Humor and Heart

It’s Valentine’s week, and I am giving a shout out to some of my favorite VHP authors whom I feel privileged to have met and grown to love.  They don’t know I’m doing this…it’s my secret surprise Valentine to each of them.  So far, you’ve met Smoky Trudeau Zeidel, Charmaine Gordon, Melinda Clayton, Chelle Cordero,  Malcolm Campbell and Marilyn Celeste Morris, L.E.Harvey, Robert Hays, Collin Kelley and Janet Lane Walters.  
It’s been an exciting week!  The next author I’d like to introduce is Anne K. Albert.

Anne K. Albert has taught high school art, sold display advertising for a weekly newspaper, and worked for a national brand water company, but now writes full time. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she’s grateful for the constructive criticism, encouragement, and many friendships she’s garnered along the road to publication.

Anne’s award winning stories (Defending Glory and Frank, Incense & Muriel) chill the spine, warm the heart and soothe the soul...all with a delightful touch of humor.

I haven’t had the opportunity to read Defending Glory yet, but it is on my to-do list.  I have read Frank, Incense & Muriel and have recommended it to several friends and family members.   I can’t tell you the story without giving it away, so I won’t try…but suffice to say there are many twists and turns and the plot is never boring.  In fact, I laughed out loud in several scenes.  I was sad when I read the last page because I didn’t want the book to end.  If you haven’t read it, order it today… I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Anne says, "I find dead bodies and hang out with zany people who lead exciting, exceptional lives. Well, actually, I just made that up. I spend most of my life chained to my computer where I write mystery and romantic suspense stories. All. By. Myself."  She’s a character and that’s probably why she’s able to bring such vibrancy to the characters in her books.

When not writing Anne loves to travel with her high school sweetheart husband, visit with friends and family, walk on the beach, knit, crochet and of course, read using 'Threegio' her cherished and much beloved Kindle 3G. 

Happy Valentine’s Day, Anne!  J




A Eclectic Valentine

It’s Valentine’s week, I am giving a shout out to some of my favorite VHP authors whom I feel privileged to have met and grown to love.  They don’t know I’m doing this…it’s my secret surprise Valentine to each of them.  You’ve met Smoky Trudeau Zeidel, Charmaine Gordon, Melinda Clayton, Chelle Cordero,  Malcolm Campbell , Marilyn Celeste Morris, LEHarvey, Robert Hays, and Collin Kelley.   The next author I’d like to introduce is Janet Lane Walters.

Janet Lane Walters lives in the scenic Hudson River Valley with her husband of many years. She is the mother of four and grandmother of five; and quite the prolific writer.  At present, she is the author of 39 novels and novelettes as well as a dozen short stories and as many poems.  For several years she worked as a ghost-writer and has three non-fiction books written for doctors.  As well as being an author, she is a Registered Nurse and upon retiring from nursing in 1993, she began writing full time. Her husband, a psychiatrist, says writing is her obsession and he has no desire to cure her. Besides writing, she enjoys exploring Astrology and uses this while casting her characters. She is a lover of classical music, with Tchaikovsky leading her hit parade.

Janet is not only a novelist, but a cross-genre eclectic novelist, being published in the areas of mystery, suspense, romance, sweet to spicy, fantasy from young adult to mature and non-fiction.

The Warrior of Bast, Mistress of the Moons, Healwoman  Dark Moon, and The Chosen of Horu are four of Janet’s many books, published by Vanilla Heart.

I haven’t had a chance to read as many of Janet’s books as I would like, but I do want to recommend Healwoman, Dark Moon.  It’s a story of Norna, an abandoned girl and Shandor, a young man training to be a priest and the battles they face on their journey of love.  It is a love story and an action adventure all rolled into one. 

If you haven’t read any of Janet’s 39 books, order or download one today.

To learn more about Janet, please visit her blog at:  http://wwweclecticwriter.blogspot.com/
Happy Valentine’s Day, Janet!  J














Friday, February 15, 2013

A Conquering Venus Valentine

It’s Valentine’s week, I am giving a shout out to some of my favorite VHP authors whom I feel privileged to have met and grown to love.  They don’t know I’m doing this…it’s my secret surprise Valentine to each of them.  You’ve met Smoky Trudeau Zeidel, Charmaine Gordon, Melinda Clayton , Chelle Cordero,  Malcolm Campbell and Marilyn Celeste Morris, L.E.Harvey and Robert Hays.  The next author I’d like to introduce is Collin Kelley.

Collin Kelley is the author of the mystery/suspense novels, Conquering Venus and Remain In Light, both from Vanilla Heart Publishing, and the short story collection, Kiss Shot. He's also the author of poetry collections After the Poison, Slow To Burn, Better To Travel and the forthcoming Render (2013, Sibling Rivalry Press).  He lives in Atlanta, Georgia and is a multiple Pushcart Prize nominee and a recipient of the 2007 Georgia Author of the Year/Taran Memorial Award. His poetry, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world.

My favorite book by Collin Kelley is, Conquering Venus.  It’s one of those books that is hard to put down.
Set in Paris, it tells the story of young man named Martin, who is mourning the suicide of his partner, and agrees to chaperone a senior trip to Paris.  The unexpected happens when he falls in love with one of the students named David, who is not yet ready to cope with his sexuality.  Martin finds solace in a mysterious woman named Irene, discovering they share a similar tattoo; the same tattoo that adorned his dead partner and her dead husband.  It takes a terrorist attack to thrust these characters into acknowledging and embracing who they really are.  Grounded in reality, Conquering Venus is a mystery, a love story and a journey of self-realization.  If you haven’t read this book, order it today. 
You won’t be disappointed.
For more information about Collin and his books, visit his website at:  http://www.collinkelley.com

Happy Valentine’s Day, Collin!  J