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.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Grass, Grass...Kiss My Ass!

I overheard someone in our neighborhood quip about how long my grass was. Now, keep in mind that it’s only been nine days since it was last mowed, so it’s not like we have knee high weeds or anything. Why hasn’t it been mowed in nine days? Because my husband has been on the road for work and hasn’t been home. I’m not opposed to cutting the grass, but when we divvied up our husband/wife, male/female household responsibilities, grass sort of fell under his umbrella. I do it on occasion just like he helps with laundry or dishes when needed; but for the most part we have our defined roles in running the home.

True, the grass is longer than normal, but I figured it could wait a couple more days until my husband returned and could mow it. You see, I’m not sitting on my ass eating bon-bons all day so for me to squeeze an hours worth of mowing time into my schedule isn’t easy and there are some days when it’s virtually impossible.

However, since I overheard the comment, and in some feeble attempt to prove we are conscientious neighbors, I decided to mow the grass this morning. I had to get my daughter up, ready and off to rehearsal first and feed my son; then I began mowing. It was 9:00am.

Upon returning into the house I had a voicemail from the HOA telling me someone had complained that I was mowing “too early”. Those of you who know me can fill in the blanks as to my expression and verbiage upon hearing this message.

And… there’s the snap.

You see, I’m one of those neighbors who doesn’t even notice my fellow neighbor’s yards. I don’t know how many trees they have or the type of grass, how often they mow or water or fertilize. I don’t care. They can let their weeds grow sky high. I don’t care. In fact, unless they plant something that is physically killing me in some way, I won’t complain. It’s their yard…they can do whatever the hell they want with it. I’m more concerned about their mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being than I am about anything growing in their yard!

That being said… it’s a weekday. It was 9:00am. I didn’t mow at 6:00am on a Sunday, though I just might next time. I find the fact that someone complained quite outrageous and actually laughable. It was a blessing (for them) that I didn’t receive the call, because if I had I would have gladly shared my feelings on grass:

If you think my grass is too long. I don’t care. You should be thinking about more relevant things in life.

If you think 9:00am on a weekday is too early to mow my grass. I don’t care. Unless you work the night shift, you should have your lazy ass out of bed before 9:00am on a weekday.

If you want my grass mowed every five days then I invite you and your mower to come cut it.

And to all the ridiculous entities out there who are strict on rules that fall under a non-sense heading… I’m not following. You know the rules...only a certain colored flowerpot in your yard, only approved flags on your home, you must be quiet by a particular hour, no "ugly" cars allowed in the driveway for too long a period, and the list goes on, and on, and on, and on. A list made by uptight assholes who have nothing better to do in life than complain. Well... I'm not following your anal rules. You can fine me, but I’m not paying. You can call the police. I don’t care. I’ll take a seventy-two hour jail sentence, with three square meals a day that I don’t have to cook and all the girlfriends I could ever imagine. You call that punishment. I call it vacation.

I'm in my forties. I'm female. I'm hormonal. If you still want to nit-pick come do it to my face... but a little advice... I wouldn't if I were you.

You don’t like my grass… kiss my ass!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The F word




            The most influential F word in a relationship is Fulfillment.  We all want it, crave it, need it, chase after it, fight for it, clutch it, grab it, grip it, get a strangle hold on it, and inevitably watch it slip through our fingers.
            In a world where divorce is prevalent, infidelity rampant and heartache seemingly inevitable, how do we have a successful relationship?
            It starts by fulfilling each other’s basic needs.  Ladies, it starts with fulfilling your man.
There are countless books on the topic of fulfilling your man.  A quick internet search renders thousands of titles, all packed full of innovative ways to build your relationship and keep him coming back for more.  I’ve read many of these books and though they do offer some creative and fun ideas, it is my belief that we make marriage harder than it has to be.  In today’s world, marriage is already difficult.  The divorce rate continues to climb, families are ripped apart, hearts are tragically broken and lives are destroyed.  Hectic schedules and demanding careers leave a husband and wife with little time to talk and even less time for listening and understanding. 
            Marriages don’t end because people stop loving.  They end because people stop connecting.
            It has been my experience, and consequently become my belief, that if a woman wants to fulfill her man, she needs to stop trying to do fifty things and focus only on four.    
Men need very little.  This concept is hard for women to understand because we typically “need” much more to feel satisfied.  Take shoes, for example.  We need a minimum of fifty pairs, and as most of you will agree, I’m low-balling here.  He needs three pairs.  Dress Shoes or Work shoes.  Tennis shoes.  Flip flops.  We require accessories to match every outfit.  He needs a watch.  We need panties in all different colors, shapes and styles.  He needs one type of underwear and he most likely doesn’t care what color they are.  Let’s face it; a lot of guys don’t even require clean underwear!
Ironically, our relationships often break down because we, women, fail to meet their simplest needs.  We run around trying to fulfill them in all sorts of creative, wonderful, exhausting ways… when all we really have to do is embrace the four F’s.

            You’ve probably heard the old adage, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  It’s true.  Men need to be fed and when a woman cooks the food he likes, it strokes the strings of his heart.  So, simply put, don’t order in or eat out at every meal.  Cook for him and he will feel loved.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, some of you are exhausted from trying to make fancy-schmancy meals when your husband’s favorite food is a giant plate of spaghetti and meatballs.  Something new and fancy is great every once in a while, but men are creatures of habit, so make a habit of cooking what he likes.


            Men need time for male-bonding…period.  Whether he plays basketball with the guys, golfs, tinkers in the garage on some project you know he’ll never finish, goes on  fishing or hiking trips or heads to Vegas for a boys wild get-away… whatever it is, he needs time with his friends to rejuvenate his manhood.  He needs to burp and fart, scratch his balls and boast; and do all the things considered taboo in the presence of women.
            AND, he doesn’t need a guilt trip about it.  The male-bonding time feeds his ego, solidifies his rank in the pack, gives him a testosterone boost and validation to know he thinks and acts in similar fashion to the others.  He needs this guy time to free his mind of all the female clutter we constantly yackity-yack into his brain. 
He will return relaxed and ready to embrace the woman he loves.


            Most women are not as fanatical about sports as most men.  It’s hard for a woman to grasp the fulfillment a simple football game can bring; but there is relational magic in it.  Regardless of what sport your man is into, he needs nag-free time to enjoy the game.  He needs to be able to go to a pub and watch it without being harped on or made to feel guilty.  Better yet, he needs to be able to watch the game at home, stretched out in his favorite chair with some game snacks and beer.
            For men, football represents more than just the game itself.  It’s a time of freedom, where they can forget about jobs, bills, wife and kids and lose themselves in the excitement and entertainment of the game.  Football is an emotional outlet for a man, as most men don’t outwardly scream and cheer at much else in their lives, the way they do when their team is winning or losing.

            If you’ve been living under the misnomer that sex is not important to men, think again.  It’s one of the most important aspects of the relationship and key in their personal fulfillment.  They think about it.  They want it.  They crave it.  They need it.  And I’m not talking about lethargic, half-asleep, lay there and let him have his way with you sort-of sex.  I’m talking about the real deal.  They need energetic, all-consuming, numb your ears, toe-tingling sex!

            Food. Friends. Football. F#@k.  =   Fulfillment. 
            Men really are that simple, so don’t complicate it.  What you’ll discover is when his needs are met, he suddenly becomes more aware and willing to meet your needs.  When he feels loved by you, he’ll lasso the moon if it’s what you desire and go out of his way to set your heart aflame.