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.

Friday, April 18, 2014

An "Action of Love" ...Not Really

I often wonder what travels through the minds of people.  I'm sure others wonder this about me as well.  It's human nature to be curious and to seek understanding.  I also wonder how it is that some people can so easily judge under the guise of "love."  How they can put so much time and effort into something that, when that time and effort is stripped away, is nothing more than a foundation of judgment, hidden in what is supposed to be seen as an action of love.  How is it that they believe it is their job or their right to take this action...even if it came from a place of love...Judgment rolled in love is still judgment.  Condemnation rolled in love is still condemning.

As I sip my coffee this morning and pray for a softer heart and understanding... the twinge in my gut and the nausea in my stomach is a sad confirmation of my initial reaction to this "act of love."  I pray for a way to define what I'm feeling so that I can dissect it, cut through the emotion and think rationally.  The word that keeps penetrating my thoughts is arrogance.

This "action of love" was dripping with arrogance and it sent a red flag soaring in my spirit.  Asking myself if I would ever do the same, the answer is a resounding no.  I wouldn't...but not because the thought behind it wasn't special...but because the river of arrogance carrying that thought is something to which I cannot relate.  I would never deem myself worthy enough to take this action.  I would never assume that I knew better than everyone else and that it was my duty to pass my knowledge, my perspective, my beliefs, my interpretations, and my outlooks onto them.  I would never assume that I knew more than anyone else.

How can an act of love send such a crushing blow?

Often times when judgment is dolled out under the pretense of love, we try to use that affection to justify the judgment; but it cannot.  There is no justification.  There is no blanket of love large enough to mask or hide the true spirit behind the action.

I don't sit here in anger this morning... I sit here in sadness.  Once more, arrogance has reared it's ugly head and taken out the feet of those it encountered.  Out of love, you say?

No.  Love waits and speaks when asked.  Love doesn't force or assume a position that is not theirs to assume.  Love doesn't push. Love doesn't drive a wedge.  "Love is patient and kind.  It does not envy or boast and it is not proud."

Thought, time and effort can be beautiful actions of love but only when they are not dipped in utter arrogance, laced with condemnation and a raw, hurtful action of judgment.



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why Size DOES Matter

After taking my kids to school, I usually saunter back into the house, re-fill my cup of black coffee so it’s piping hot and sit down at my computer.  First, I check my personal email, then my author email and then I open Facebook.  I had just taken a sip of hot coffee when I opened my FB email and saw this picture with a notation that read, "My dick is hard."

I added the black rectangle over his face just so he might have a tiny hope of deniability.  I won’t tell you the fellow’s name, but I am certain that since he sent his naked, full frontal picture to me, a complete stranger, that he is quite comfortable with it being posted online. 

After regaining my composure from almost spewing coffee all over my computer screen, I sent the picture to my husband with a comedic notation.  Then, I stared at the picture for a moment and let the thoughts drift in and out of my mind.

Who DOES this?  That was my first thought.  I’m not judging, as I, in no way, have a conservative, innocent or even remotely demure history…and yet, I can honestly say that I have never photographed my genitalia and emailed it to anyone.  Interesting.

Why do this?  Certainly there is a reason…right?  I mean, when one sends a picture of one’s genitals to another person they are hoping for a response. 

Why choose me?  This is where the real analysis begins.  See, on my FB profile it clearly states that I am a married woman.  There’s a link to my husband’s FB page and a quick jaunt through any of my photos testifies to the fact that our marriage is currently intact, stable and happy.  So I have to ask myself, if you’re going to send a picture of your privates to a woman, wouldn’t you choose one that is single with a greater propensity to give you the response which you are seeking?  I clearly am not the wisest demographic choice.  Then again, my ego is not so inflated as to believe I was the only woman to be graced with the presence of his penis first thing this morning.  One must assume that this picture was sent to every female “friend” on his Facebook account, thereby rendering a verdict of desperation.  How desperate does someone have to be in order to take a picture of their genitals and email it to strangers?  Now I just feel sad for the guy.

What response did he want?  Here’s the big question.  There are limited options as to how this thing can play out.  I mean, he has to know this…right?  He’s obviously intelligent enough to work his camera phone, so one can assume he must have had some forethought as to what might happen:   A) He gets ignored.  B) He gets reported for spam.  C) He gets blocked.  D) I actually respond, telling him that he has the best penis I’ve ever seen, that I am drawn to his utter manliness and that I must meet him in person so we can titillate between the sheets.   Just so we’re clear, I opted for (C).   Though, I do wonder if he ever thought he might end up as the center of attention in someone’s blog?  Maybe this is the response he was seeking after all?

How confident do you have to be?  This is the part I truly do not understand and to which I cannot relate.  The human body is considered a work of art and can be deemed sexy at times.  That being said, with regards to 99.99999% of the population, nudity alone is not sexy.  The circumstances in which a person becomes nude can be sexy, their personality can add to the sexiness, and good lighting doesn’t hurt; but to watch a great percentage of human beings walk around naked is not arousing.  If you don’t believe me, go visit a nudist colony.  Years ago I visited one in Malibu and I can honestly attest to the fact that most of the people there had no business being naked in public.  I also walked on a nude beach in Mexico, thinking surely the nudists who take beach vacations will look better naked than most of the human race, but this was not the case.  So, how confident do you have to be to strip down, take a picture of your penis and email it to strangers?  More confident than even the nudists, who parade around with their dinghies flapping in the wind and soaking up the sun?  Wow.  I envy that level of confidence.

Which brings me to my final thought:  Know your competition.   Our world is saturated with pornography and whether you think it right or wrong doesn’t matter; it exists nonetheless.  So, if you’re going to send out pictures of your body parts, you might want to first analyze the competition and make certain your parts are up to par.  Otherwise, it’s just embarrassing.  I, personally, don’t enjoy pornographic movies.  They’re incredibly redundant.   I do, however, appreciate photographs that are professionally done and tactful, i.e. the beautiful model on the beach with the wind blowing her long hair backwards and her hands delicately covering her breasts, or the shape of her ass silhouetted against the sunset.  I’m not anti-nudity.  I just think there is a time and a place and if you’re going to get naked, by God, make it look as good as you can.  Sitting in an office chair, displaying a penis that is no bigger than my thumb isn’t probably your best look.

While we’re on the subject, let’s face another harsh reality.  Men, size DOES matter…especially in photographs.   We’ve all heard the old adage:  “It’s not the size of the train, it’s the power of the engine.”  That’s all fine and dandy if you can make that small train do mighty things in the bedroom.  But, trust me, refrain from taking pictures of your tiny Thomas, because women want to see you soft at heart, not below the waist.  ~