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.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

My Easter Prayer

Thank you, God, for sending your Son to die for me and save me from my sin.  Thank you, Jesus, for the sacrifice you made on my behalf.  I could not earn it nor ever deserve it.  Not only did you give your life for me, but you rose from the grave, defeating death and promising me eternal life.  Thank you. 
You’ve given me the authority to tell Satan to kiss my ass, which is exactly what I tell him every day.  I’ve already won the battle because of You, and I am eternally grateful. 
Thank you for loving me.  Happy Easter.  ~

Saturday, March 30, 2013

An Easier Easter

Easter is such a fun holiday, though I wish it didn’t fall on a Sunday. 

The problem with holidays that fall on a Sunday is that it hinders people from being able to travel and celebrate with their families.  It forces people to have to take Monday off of work, and not everyone can do that.  It also means kids have to miss school on Monday and not everyone can do that either.  For those who have family local, it still puts a damper on the festivities because there is constant time awareness, knowing you have to get the kids home and to bed at a decent hour for school the next day. 

I think we should officially move the Easter celebration to Saturday…that way people can travel easier without missing work or school; and the party doesn’t have to stop at any particular time. 

We could go straight from Good Friday to Easter without the extra day in between.  Now, I know I’ve probably just offended some of my super-duper-religious friends, who feel we should keep the time authentic.  Jesus died on Good Friday and rose from the grave on the following Sunday; therefore we should celebrate on the day of His resurrection. 
Forgive me…but I don’t think God cares what day on which we celebrate, as long as we recognize the true meaning of Easter and honor He and His Son for the gracious gift of salvation.  (Which, honestly, we should be recognizing all year long anyway.) 

The way I see it, we’re not re-arranging God’s schedule, just the Easter Bunny’s... and I don't think he cares either. ~

Friday, March 29, 2013

Titillating Technology

Computers…nothing fits the old adage “you can’t live with ‘em and you can’t live without ‘em” better than computers. When they function properly, are virus free, and intuitively anticipate your next request, they are like a gift straight from the Heavens.  You maneuver around them gracefully, your fingers barely striking the keys in a dance of whimsical bliss.  When they stall, freeze, shut down and crash, it is as if they came straight from the pit of Hell…and you want nothing more than to obliterate your machine.
Admittedly, I have had moments when I have desired to chuck my laptop across the room and even threatened to Taser it.  I’ve spewed obscenities at it, cursed its very existence and fallen to my knees begging it to work.  Not some of my finer moments.

Thirty years ago, computer frustration didn’t exist, at least not for the general public.  We may have experienced road rage but computer rage was unheard of.  The only electronic frustration back then was when one of our three television channels produced static and we had to move the rabbit ears around until we could find that magic spot where reception was clear.

We thought THAT was bad…little did we know the irritations that lie ahead with the onslaught of technology.

Computers …we loathe them, we love them, we curse them, we cradle them…and ultimately we must admit they control not only our ability to communicate, but often times, our emotional and mental stability.  They make us delighted and depressed, excited and annoyed, joyful and jaded.

Computers …we can no longer live without them.  They’ve become an addiction, a basic need to function in society.  They teach us, they taunt us, they help us and haunt us… Oh, such titillating technology!  ~

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blogging Blues

Blogging can be demanding.  Though I see the benefits of it, it can become overwhelming because my writing time is limited and I would much rather be working on my next novel than carrying on about nothing.  It’s not that I feel that bloggers, such as myself, ramble pointlessly; quite the contrary.  I enjoy visiting a handful of blogs that prove to be informational and entertaining. 
However, when it comes to consistent blogging, I often find myself behind the eight-ball, so to speak; and it makes me crabby.

My life in general is not that different than those in my demographic.  I do all of the normal things that most forty-two year old, married women do.  I pluck my eyebrows, wax my upper lip, color the gray in my hair, and consistently rub my face with revitalizing, uplifting, plumping, wrinkle-reducing, age-defying creams.  I take care of my children and the dog, satisfy my husband, clean my house, do the laundry, keep everyone’s schedule organized and spend a greater part of my week driving to practices, games and rehearsals.  Around all of that…I write.

There are days when I have a cohesive block of time to let my creative juices rage, and those are my most fun writing moments.  Four hours of uninterrupted creativity is very fulfilling.  Unfortunately, those days are not the norm for me.  Most of the time I am squeezing in thirty minutes here or an hour there, hoping that my brain can easily pick up where I left off and continue the story.  It’s a challenge.  I find myself hurrying to my computer and uttering a silent prayer, "God, please let the words flow quickly, because I don't have much time."

Between phone calls and emails, the time to write dwindles…and then I realize, crap, I’ve got to post a blog.  Ugh.  There goes any hope of getting another chapter done today. 
And then I sing the B-L-O-G-ging Blues.

I don’t know if most writers feel this way?  It would be fun to conduct a comparative study and see if the majority of writers love or loathe blogging; but that study will have to wait until I get my next novel completed.  J

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Truly Trekkie

I went to a book club meeting the other night and was asked a fun question:  “What is something we don’t know about you from your books, bio or blog?”

This was a challenging question to answer because I couldn’t readily remember all of the things I had posted on my blog, nor exactly how my bio read.  My answer was this:  I am a Trekkie.

I am not the sort of Trekkie that dresses up and attends Star Trek conventions, but I’m the kind that DVR’s The Next Generation and watches an episode almost every night, with a glass or red wine or a bourbon on the rocks.  I have a Klingon Bird of Prey ornament on my Christmas tree, and an ornament of the Enterprise, a Shuttle Craft, one of Data, Picard, and one of Captain James T. Kirk.  I also own all of The Next Generation main character action figures, complete with Guinan, Q and Wesley Crusher; and the main characters from the original Star Trek. I have a Tricorder and a Phaser.  I also own a couple of Star Trek board games.  I’m the kind of Trekkie that has seen every episode but still roots for Troy and Riker to hook up and wants to see Beverly Crusher and Picard admit they’re in love and get on with it already.  I’m the kind of Trekkie who likes to imagine what it would be like to beam somewhere, who secretly dreams of having a replicator in my home and who would love to go from half impulse to warp nine in a matter of seconds.  I even love Earl Gray tea, hot.

After I admitted to being a closet Trekkie, one book club member asked:  “Can you speak like a Trekkie?”

I wasn’t sure what this meant.  I mean, there are a plethora of different life forms with their own languages.  I don’t speak Klingon, but I do have some of Picard’s vernacular.  For example, if you were going to ask if you should buy my books, I could respond by saying, “Make it so.”  If you asked if you should set a course toward buying my books, I could say, “Engage.”

Another member posed:  “If you could be any character on the show, who would you be?”

That was an easy one:  Troy, because I would love to be able to sense what people were thinking and feeling.  I could have a lot of fun being part Betazoid.  J

So, there you have it…one of my deep, dark secrets. 
The book club found it interesting that I loved Star Trek and didn’t write Sci-Fi novels.  I suppose it might seem strange, as many novelists write in the same genre as that which they enjoy reading/watching.  Maybe I will attempt a sci-fi suspense one day. 
Until then, live long and prosper. ~




Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Here's Your Sign

I’m never going to claim to be a better parent than any other parent, or to say I have all of the answers; when, undoubtedly, I have very few.  That being said, I read a story that made me cringe on many levels.

A couple in Florida were having some challenges with their 13-year old daughter.  She was being disrespectful, rebelling against their authority and had allowed her grades to slip. (A typical behavior pattern for many teenagers.) Apparently, the parents tried grounding her, but that form of punishment proved ineffective; so they opted for public humiliation.

They made her stand on a busy street corner for 90 minutes, while holding a sign that read: 

"I’m a self-entitled teenager w/no respect for authority. I’m also super smart, yet I have 3 'D’s' because I DON’T CARE."

As a parent, I understand the feeling of frustration that comes from trying to reach your child and having them not listen.  I can relate to the feeling of being at wits end and wondering if more drastic measures would produce more positive results.  I get the frustration, but I don't get the action they took. 

However…there’s a behind-the-scenes story here:  According to the Florida Daily News, the 13-year olds Uncle, to whom she was very close, was killed in Afghanistan in December 2011; and since losing him she has become more defiant at home and at school, and her grades have dropped.

This is a lot for a young teen to process.  It seems to me that since the rebellious behavior began after the death of her uncle, perhaps the child is “acting out” because she is unable to describe, understand or release the intensity of emotion related to the sudden loss of her loved one.  She most assuredly feels anger at what may be deemed as the injustice of his death.  I am sure there was a sense of shock in learning that he would never be coming home.  I’m certain the dynamic in the home changed, as each member grieved and mourned his loss.  Maybe in their grieving, she slipped through the cracks and no one noticed that she was struggling with her own sense of grief?

The parents admit to not seeking professional counseling for their daughter and instead felt that public humiliation would be a better tool of learning.  For a normal teen, not on the heels of a huge loss, perhaps their methods would not have met with public anger; but under the circumstances, I can understand why the community has found their disciplinary tactic unacceptable. 

Every parent braces for their child’s teenage years.  We know they will make mistakes and we’ll watch in horror as what was once our precious little angel now becomes a back-talking, defiant, rebellious, know-it-all.  Weren’t we all that way during those tumultuous years?  I look back at my youth and cringe.  There were moments when I treated my parents with disrespect, when I belittled their authority and thought they knew nothing and I knew everything.  However, even at the height of my rebellion, my parents never demeaned me, humiliated me or publically embarrassed me.  Oh, they punished me plenty.  I was grounded, had to do more chores, couldn’t talk on the phone and lost rights to the car more times than I can count.  Privileges were revoked, leaving me stranded at home with nothing more to do than ponder my attitude and actions.  Ultimately, the lesson was learned and I was remorseful.

Every child is different and what works for one won’t necessarily work for another.  It can be frustrating for parents, but I think it is important to remember that as children become teenagers, they will need our help and guidance, not our pointed, degrading fingers.  They will need rules with consequences, but not public or private humiliation.  They will need our shoulders to cry on, our strength to hold them up and our reassurance that nothing they say or do can ever make us stop loving them.  They will think they don’t need us and that’s when it is ever more important that we are there. 

As an adult, my sins are great in number.  I wish I could remove them, undo them, go back in time and make wiser choices, but I can’t.  Would it behoove me to stand on a corner with a sign, proclaiming my sins for the world to see?  Would that change my mistakes?  What adult would do this?  No one.  I cannot help but notice the fact that the parents weren’t standing on the corner for 90 minutes, holding a sign with their indiscretions on it.  Hmmmm…. 

How then could they subject their own child to such public disgrace?  

To the parents of that 13-year old child, I challenge you to write down all of your mistakes on a giant piece of poster board and stand for 90 minutes at the busiest intersection in town, proclaiming your sins to the world.  

Let me help you get started:  Mistake #1:  Purposefully humiliating my own child in public. 
In the words of Jeff Foxworthy, "Here's Your Sign." ~

Monday, March 25, 2013

Queasy Questions

I wouldn’t describe myself as leading a sheltered life.  I’ve lived in various places throughout the United States, traveled to numerous countries around the globe and had some experiences that one might consider atypical for the majority of the American population.  I’ve watched my share of HBO featured segments on sex, gone to a nudist colony, done my share of drugs, studied crime families, researched cult groups, gone topless on a beach in France, earned my New Orleans beads the good old fashion way, done more than my share of body shots, danced on a grand piano, danced on a bar, danced half-naked… what can I say, I like to dance...I’ve jumped from an airplane, had sex in a submarine, rode a wave runner, and crashed a motorcycle.  The point I’m trying to make is that…I’ve seen a lot…but today I witnessed something I’ve never seen before.

There’s a reality television show called “My Strange Addiction” and they showed a woman, named Michelle, who is addicted to drinking blood.  She says she prefers pig blood to beef blood because it is gamier, and that she also drinks human blood; stating that she extracts it from the upper arm, elbow area, upper back or inner thigh.  She also explains that she stays away from drawing blood from the neck area because it is too cliché; and she emphasizes that she is not a vampire.  Full Story and Video Here.

Okay…okay…maybe she’s not among the living dead, but clearly she has vampire-like tendencies.  After all, drinking blood is not exactly a “normal” behavior…or is it? 

I decided to conduct a brief study on the effects of blood drinking and found that there are no medical advantages to guzzling hemoglobin.  Though it can be a good source of protein and iron, it can also cause severe nausea and increase your risk of contracting blood related diseases.  All in all, the medical community recommends against blood consumption.  But, historically speaking, blood has been used in many recipes for hundreds of years and is still being used today.  Here are just a few:

Polish Czarnina (duck blood) soup is made with spices, dried fruits, vinegar, and more or less the whole duck including its blood.

Blodplattar are blood pancakes made in Nordic countries like Sweden and Finland. They're savory but made with molasses, and they are typically served with Lingonberry jam.

Pig's Blood Sundae is on the menu at Washington, D.C., restaurant The Pig. Apparently it uses a chocolate ice cream made with blood instead of egg yolks.

Your own placenta is another way to eat some blood.  (I think I’m going to go throw up now!)

Pig's blood cake is a Taiwanese specialty that -- contrary to rumor -- is legal throughout the U.S. It is sticky rice drenched in pig's blood, steamed, bathed in a pork soy broth, rolled in peanut flour, and then topped with cilantro.

Blood sausage, also known as black pudding, is a sausage made with blood and any number of other ingredients like meat or cornmeal. Blood sausage is made all over the world. In Spain it's called Morcilla, in France it's Boudin Nor, and in China it's Xue Doufou.

This makes me wonder if the original Bloody Mary recipe was made with blood instead of tomato juice?  A good study topic for another time.     

Though I am not naïve to the fact that there are people in this world who drink their own and/or other’s bodily fluids…it never ceases to amaze me.  Aside from the occasional tear that has trickled down my cheek and landed on my lips, I have not ingested my own bodily secretions; nor do I desire to do so.  I am certain that blood, sweat and tears were not meant to be shared with others in a toasting fashion, nor consumed over ice for one’s own partaking pleasure.  ~

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mafia Madness

The Just Call Me Angel suspense series is based on the Mafia, in Chicago, New York and Sicily.  Angel Maratinzano is granddaughter to the Capo di Tutti Capi in the States and granddaughter to the Head of the Costa Nostra in Sicily.  This places her in a unique and dangerous position.  As the first and only female Boss, Angel isn’t always accepted in what has thus far been deemed a man’s world; but she is slowly learning to hold her own.

With Mafia life comes the reality of unspoken rules, some of which are slightly twisted from the norm and paint a dark picture.  Good guys don’t always win.  Everyone is guilty until proven innocent.  Death is imminent.  No one can be trusted; not even your own family.  Loyalty comes at a high price and love is often its casualty.   Nothing in her formal education prepared her for mafia madness; but experience has taught Angel that the learning curve is high and one mistake could cost her, her life.

Not only is Angel’s position unique because she is female, but also because she’s the youngest Boss and consequently her outlook is far less jaded than that of the others; particularly than that of the older generation. 
Often finding herself trapped between her grandfather’s wrath and her compelling need for justice, Angel is learnind the importance of honing her mob instincts...before it's too late. 

Coupled with her Great Aunt Olga and her mother, Sophia, the Maratinzano women make a dynamic threesome of generational female power that turns the Mafia world on its ear.  Some want them dead, while others just sit back and shake their heads; watching and hoping for the moment when Angel will fall. 

How long can she survive as head of the Maratinzano family?  If Olga and her Taser have anything to say about it, Angel will be around for a long time.  ~

Don’t delay… start reading the Just Call Me Angel series today!



Friday, March 22, 2013

Passive Aggressive Power

Sometimes biting one's tongue is an act of love and other times it's an act of passive aggression. 

I don’t deal well in the passive aggressive world.  Some would describe me as aggressive-aggressive, meaning I don’t use passive power-plays to try and manipulate other people.  If I want something or if I disagree with something, I’ll tell you straight out.  Maybe I’m just psychologically lazy in that I don’t have the time or energy to think through how to silently manipulate my environment.   Maybe passive aggressive people are gifted in a way… if so, it’s a gift I lack and I’m not going to try to develop the skill.  I roll more like the mafia characters in my books...straight forward...up front...in your face...badda big, badda boom.

For the most part, I find passive aggressive behavior hurtful.  I’ve never witnessed someone acting in a passive- aggressive manner for the betterment and well-being of others.  It has always been a selfish, power-play; one that has ultimately led to deeper wounds.

Some might say that being aggressive-aggressive is hurtful because it can result in arguments; but I disagree.  I would much rather have someone talk to me about their concerns or even holler their objections than try to quietly manipulate me.  I think to address something head-on shows a certain level of respect for the other person; to value them enough to treat them as if they are indeed worth your time and discussion. 

Using marriage as an example:  Married people argue…it is normal and researchers will tell you a certain degree of arguing can even be healthy for the relationship.  It shows that partners are able to hold on to their individuality and use their differences to enhance the marriage.  It is the partners who do not communicate that are in danger of permanently damaging the relationship.  Disagreeing isn’t a bad thing; stifling it until it harbors negative feelings between you and the other person, is.

Aggressive-aggressive people might scream, yell, curse and throw something across the room; but those are merely hurt-driven actions, not hate-driven motives.  There’s a big difference.  I’m not saying those things are good or right…merely that they are human responses and not premeditated actions of hatefulness.  When a person treats you with deliberate silence, it is a premeditated action designed as a power-play to cause hurt and the feeling of inferiority. 

Passive aggressive silence sends a clear signal that you are not worth the other person’s effort to speak.

Passive aggressive people use silence as a means to maintain a position of power over others.  It is indicative of the fact that they do not respect others enough to have a discussion, that they are unwilling to compromise and that they do not care one iota about anyone’s needs or how their silence affects others around them.  It is a selfish act of passivity, wherein they can proclaim to have fallen victim to someone else’s aggressive nature, when in reality they are the ones victimizing others with their power-play of silence.

Not everyone who takes extra time to process their thoughts or emotions is being passive-aggressive.   Sometimes a little time and space can be helpful in calming an otherwise heated situation.  There’s a big difference between healing silence and a passive-aggressive power struggle… and that difference is often so thick it becomes palatable. 

Silence can be golden, but it can also be a dagger.  The difference lies in the heart of the silent one.  ~

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bureaucratic Bullshit

The gun debate is raging among political parties.  What I find fascinating is that at the foundation of their efforts lies common ground.  Everyone wants to make the world a safer, better place.  That’s the heart of the people.  Somewhere along the line we get wrapped up and even trapped in the bureaucratic bullshit of it all, but I truly believe both sides want the same thing.  Safety.

How do we get there?

As I analyze the issue I find myself perplexed.  We cannot throw away the 2nd Amendment, as we are a nation built on our freedoms, one of which is the right to bear arms.  I believe we deserve that right.  However… worldwide, we are the nation with the highest gun-related deaths, which means we have a problem that needs to be rectified.  It’s not okay for thousands of Americans to die every year at the hand of a trigger.

A greater issue on the table is the fear that if we alter something in the Constitution, where does that altering end?  Could it lead to us losing more of our rights and freedoms?

Tom Clemens was murdered on Tuesday night at his home.  He was the head of the Colorado Department of Corrections and said to be a decent, hardworking man of integrity.  He was 58 years old and had a wife and two daughters.  A gunman came to his front door and when Tom answered it, he shot and killed him. Full Story Here.

This is unacceptable.

If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know that I believe in an American’s right to bear arms.  I also believe in taking responsibility to protect lives, by instating procedures that will make purchasing a gun more difficult.  That being said, will all of these measures make our world a safer place?  Probably not…because the law-abiding citizens, the ones who will adhere to new policy, register their guns and follow the rules are not the ones taking innocent lives.

How to you separate the good seeds from the bad seeds?

I’m going to wager that when the Constitution was written there were fewer crazy people in the world.  Gang violence didn’t exist back then.  A huge percentage of people weren’t on anti-depressants and narcotics weren’t available to anyone who had the money to buy them.  Back then, Americans owned guns so they could hunt for food or fight what they deemed to be a collective enemy.  Every once in a while a bad seed would roll through town wreaking havoc, but for the most part people didn’t randomly kill individuals like they do today.

We can’t fix crazy.  The bigger problem is that we often can’t even identify crazy until it’s too late.

What is the answer?  Remove guns from the public?  No.  Only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns, leaving them defenseless against the criminals who will still have weapons.  Limit magazine size?  That might cut down on the number of people an insane shooter can kill at one time, but it won’t save the first 15 people. 

The only somewhat feasible solution I can think of is to institute the death penalty on anyone who intentionally kills or attempts to kill another person with a gun.  (Self-defense is obviously an exception.)  I'm talking about criminally insane individuals with intent, malice and premeditation to murder others.  As it stands today, prison isn’t a deterrent for the criminally insane because they have friends there…peers who understand them like no one else. 
What I mean by "insitute the death penalty"  (as it is already instituted in many states) is that in cases where guilt is obvious and the person is convicted, no appeals are allowed.  The day they are convicted is the day they meet with a firing squad.  It needs to happen that fast.  Right now, criminals don't fear the death penalty because, with all of the appeals, it literally takes years for their number to be called up; if ever.   

I don't like it...in fact, thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach; but these are desperate times and desperate times call for desperate measures.

When our forefathers wrote the 2nd Amendment they had no idea how dark a place our world would become.  They didn’t foresee gang violence. They didn’t fathom mass shootings of school children.  How could they?  They were declaring freedom from government oppression and saw the Constitution as a means to protect the people as a whole.  They never intended it to be used as a weapon to arm crazy people who would then terrorize the population.  It is no doubt that our forefathers are weeping at what we have become.

The violence must end.  Our children deserve to feel safe.  How do we make that happen?  ~



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Colorado's 4G Craze

Colorado has become a 4G focused network, and I’m not talking about cellular coverage. I’m referring to:  Grass.  Gay Rights.  Guns.  And Gas. 

Oh, the questions that plague the minds of Colorado voters.  Should we be allowed to do this, should it be okay to do that, and so on and so forth.  It’s absolutely exhausting. 

Statewide, Coloradans can roll a fatty, smoke a doobie and carry up to an ounce of marijuana without worrying about being arrested by local law enforcement.  This law sort of gives the John Denver song a whole new meaning…“Rocky Mountain high, Colorado.”  While half of the state celebrates with a half pipe, the other half labors over what new laws need to be instated to ensure driver safety and penalties for stoned driving…that is, if they can determine beyond a shadow of a doubt that a person is indeed stoned when they are pulled over.  While radical Republicans worry that Colorado will become the next Amsterdam, radical liberals bask in the beauty of their peace pipes and utter, “I love you, man.”

And that’s just one issue plaguing the state.  Republicans are up in arms about the Gay Rights bill passed, allowing civil union for homosexuals.  Liberals proclaim they won’t stop fighting until a bill allowing gay marriage is passed; while radical right-wingers revolt, spewing God’s judgment and condemnation on the state.  

And those in the middle roll another fatty and hope everyone shuts up soon.

The whole state is up in arms, literally, as gun shows reach an all-time high in both gun sales and ammunition sales.  Liberals fight for magazine limits while Republicans try to shoot down their arguments. 

And the rest of the state wakes and bakes to try to avoid the conflict.

Gas prices skyrocket and Environmentalists go crazy over Fracking.  Save the environment or lower the cost of fuel…apparently we can’t have both.

And the stoners see that if the radical left and right wing dopes would smoke some dope there might be peace in the world.

What’s the answer?  I have no idea.  Maybe the left and the right need to be locked in a room until they can hash it all out…no pun intended.  Or, maybe the left and the right need to hash it out in order to find the answer…pun intended that time.  J

Either way, I think it's time to realize that our state is in a 4G debate that has no end in sight.  The constant upheaval is exhausting.  The truth on all issues lies somewhere in the middle, in a position of compromise and understanding….so let’s put that thought in our pipes and smoke it!  ~




Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Give Time, Time

There is no greater educator than time.  It has a way of tweaking perspective and providing view-altering life experiences.  No matter how good or how bad your current situation may be, time ensures that it will change; thus, there is never a viable reason nor justifiable excuse for a person to give up on living.  Suicide is never a solution.

There have been situations in my life where I thought I could never face the world again; moments when humiliation left me cowering in the shadows and shame left me feeling unworthy of anyone’s company.  I have stood in the powerful throes of depression and wondered if it was even worth fighting.  I have been afraid to die and even more afraid to live.  There are dark moments in our human existence…but they are not unbearable because God’s light can cut through even the darkest hour…IF we hang on.

Often times we give up before the lesson is learned and then wonder why we have not grown. Growth takes time.

Time cannot heal if we don’t (ironically) give time, time.  Satisfaction, comfort, and success don’t come overnight.  They take hours, days, weeks, months and years of laying a foundation and planting seeds so to bear a fruitful harvest. Time works for us if we endure; but it works against us if we quit.
So, don't give up...because giving up is like throwing away time.
Give yourself time… time to love, time to laugh, time to mourn and weep, time to pursue your dreams, time to deepen your relationships and time to cherish your memories. 

If I have learned anything it is that instant gratification fades as quickly as it comes…but taking the time to lay the right foundation brings lasting fulfillment.

Don’t rush through life... because it’s already too short. ..and time cannot be replaced.  ~


Saturday, March 16, 2013

One Childhood

I read a sign today that said, “Children get only one childhood.”

Standing there, staring at the sign, I couldn’t help but feel that it was onto something, but it should say more.  So this is what I came up with:

Children Get Only One Childhood…

So let them be wild, daring and free...let them be what they want to be...let them make noise, run and shout...give them something to laugh about...show them love, forgiveness and truth...and whenever you can offer them proof...don't say no when you can say yes...always teach them to do their best...just for fun, make life rhyme...and give them the greatest gift, your time.

Children get only one childhood...isn't our job to make it good?

Parenting can be hard, no, parenting IS hard.  Sometimes the hardest thing to remember is that they are children, not miniature adults.  They make messes and they don’t clean them up.  They’re loud, obnoxious, whiny and silly…and they’re supposed to be. 

Sometimes the hardest thing to give them is our undivided attention…our precious time.  But what we need to understand is that years from now they won’t remember the majority of toys they had…but they will remember a special moment shared with us.  They will remember that we gave them our time and that alone will make them realize how much they were and are loved. ~

Friday, March 15, 2013

Entertaining Enquiries

I love my readers and particularly enjoy it when they contact me out of the blue to comment about or question something I have said or written.  I laugh out loud reading some of the emails…so let me just say, thank you.  Thank you for reading my books and for taking the time to write to me and share your thoughts.  Keep 'em coming!

One of my favorite things to do as an author is to meet with book clubs.  Most of the clubs with which I have had the privilege of meeting have been predominantly composed of women, and we have spent the evening in a casual environment, drinking wine and gossiping about our favorite characters.  I love these meetings because it not only gives me a chance to meet some phenomenal women, but I get to hear their perspectives on the characters, scenes and circumstances I have created.  What’s more, they keep me quite entertained with their questions; some of which I would like to share. 
Here are the three most common questions I am asked with regards to my novels:

·         In No Easy Way, you wrote about a broken marriage, wherein both the hero and the heroine were engaged in inappropriate behavior with other people.  Do you believe a marriage can survive what Tom and Kate’s marriage endured in the book? 
Yes.  Marriage is a lot of work and no relationship is or ever will be perfect.  People make mistakes…painful, awful, life-altering mistakes…but those errors don’t necessarily have to destroy the marriage.  Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.  It’s a choice only the two persons involved can make.  The whole point of No Easy Way was to show that real couples can experience real heartache and come out stronger in the end…but there’s “no easy way” through it.


·         If you were Angel Maratinzano from the Just Call Me Angel series, would you pick Tony or Andrew?

This is one of the most popular questions I am asked and it also happens to be one of the first questions I ask my readers, as well.  Who would YOU pick?  Andrew is logical, stable and romantic.  Tony is passionate, fiery and strong-willed.  Both are tall, dark and handsome with a muscular physique and an appealing sense of humor.  Both are excellent lovers, cherish Angel deeply and would die to protect her.  Tony calls her “babe” and Andrew calls her “sweetheart.”  Surely if we could mesh the two together it would create the perfect man; but we can’t. 

If I can’t choose between them, how can I expect Angel to pick one? 


·        Do you find Angel’s promiscuity (i.e. sleeping with Grayson, Tony and Andrew) to be inappropriate?

I LOVE this question!  Here’s why…  Angel hasn’t slept with Tony in the series…yet.  She and Tony met in college, fell in love and were engaged to be married; then his family found out who she was and forced him to leave her.  In Tetterbaum’s Truth, Angel reminisces about making-love with Tony, but they have never again indulged in sexual activity beyond a passionate kiss now and again.  Furthermore, she has only made-love with Andrew one time during the course of four novels.  I would hardly call this promiscuity.  Grayson Galante was her only promiscuous fling and that was birthed out of her broken heart after Tony left.  Well, that, and the fact that she was driven by pure lust for his body.  For an un-wed, unattached, attractive, young woman, I’d say she hasn’t been very promiscuous at all.  J

If you would like to have Author S.R.Claridge visit your Book Club, click Here for contact and booking instructions.