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.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Let's Talk About Nudity

Let's talk about nudity.

If that first line didn't get your attention, I don't know what will.  It is the perfect example of "hooking" the reader right out of the gate.

But in all seriousness, let's talk about nudity.

When I mention nudity I am not referring to pornography or anything grossly inappropriate.  I'm simply referring to a man and a woman's body without the mask of clothing.

Men and women view nudity differently.  Men are much more open about being naked.  They strip down in locker rooms, urinate next to one another and seemingly have no discomfort strutting around in the buff.  Most women, on the other hand, find being naked a challenge.  We are so self-focused that we can't just relax and enjoy the freeing feeling of being nude.  We're too busy judging our body and pointing out all of its flaws to be able to see the beauty in it.

Here's an idea ladies, let's stop it!

Your self-absorption with your body is painting a poor picture in your husband's psyche.  The fact is that you might notice every tiny bit of cellulite or a stretch mark or a scar, but he's not only not focusing on it, he probably doesn't see it at all.  You might think your thighs are too big but as long as those legs are going to be wrapped around him, he doesn't care. All he wants is your skin on his skin. He wants to feel you and touch you and, yes, see you.  Men are visual creatures, so don't rob them of the joy it brings to behold their lover naked just because you have an insecurity about your body. And don't taint the picture for him before he even has the chance to drink it in.  What I mean is, don't walk into the bedroom moaning about how bloated you feel or how saggy you think your breasts have become. Enter the room with the confidence of Beyonce.  Flaunt whatever it is that God gave you and make him think that you think you're the best damn woman to ever grace the earth.

Confidence is sexy and men like sexy.

It is statistically proven that couples who get naked together have a better chance of staying together. Couples who kiss and hug more often have longer lasting marriages.  Why?  Because human touch is important.  We all crave it because we all need it.

If insecurity has kept you hiding your body, it's time to say ENOUGH and get in the buff!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Setting The Record Straight

In a previous blog I shared the email correspondence from an incident that occurred on Facebook.The email thread that I posted has become the cause of confusion and I want to set the record straight.

A friend's name (Mark F) was mentioned in the email. Mark in no way had anything to do with what transpired, nor was there anything inappropriate on his Facebook page.  The man who contacted me simply saw my name and picture on Mark's friend list and contacted me without Mark's knowledge.

If you have any questions, please email me at AuthorSRClaridge@gmail.com

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Time to Stop Shrugging it Off and Start Calling it Out

This blog content has been removed.

If you would like to discuss the content please feel free to contact me via email.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Passionate Pursuit

My eleventh novel is coming out in just a few short days and it has caused me to reflect on my journey as a writer.  Though I have written since the age of thirteen, my first novel was released in 2010 and every year since I have had releases; with the exception of last year.  2014 slipped away and before I knew it, an entire year had passed. Perhaps every writer needs a breather now and again.
During the course of those twelve months, people asked if I was quitting.  My only answer came in the form of a smile.  See, what non-writers don't know is that writers can't quit.  They might cease to publish their work, but they never stop writing.

Writing is a disease, a curse, an addiction, an obsession and a love all rolled into one.  Some days you battle it.  Some days you relish in it.  There are moments when you birth the words through force and there are moments when they flow.  But, the one consistency is that a writer writes.

With three more novels currently in the works, I hope to have several releases in 2015; however, even if it is only one, as long as my pen hits the paper or my fingertips brush the keys on a daily basis, I will be fulfilled.

In reflection, what I have learned is that it is important to find what you love and do it.  No matter how others perceive it.  No matter what odds are against you.  No matter how many obstacles are thrown in your path.  One cannot waste their life on passion.  Life is wasted only on the mundane and the meaningless; never on passionate endeavors.  For the pursuit of passion is never a failure.

If it fulfills you... if it is your dream...then chase after it and never, ever quit.   ~

Sunday, January 25, 2015

One Resolution. One Choice. CHANGE.

2015 is to be a year of change.  That is my one and only resolution.  Change. 

Things in my life will change and the change will be for the better.  Here is what I will do to make this change happen:  

I will no longer be fake in order to protect other’s feelings while mine lie unprotected and stepped on.  I will no longer waste my time or concern on people who are only concerned with themselves.  I will not strive to keep peace when that very peace itself is a sham, a lie.  I will not keep people in my life who make me feel unappreciated, unimportant, forgotten and worthless.  I will protect my loved ones and I will expect that protection to be reciprocated in my time of need.  Otherwise, the relationship will be re-evaluated.  I will not apologize for who I am or for the fact that the little things in this existence matter most to me.  I will not feel bad about the fact that I am a creative and emotional being, who feels both overwhelming joy and crushing heartache.   I will not apologize for the things that I need… like the need to be heard, to be respected, to feel that my heart matters, that my feelings are relevant, that even my silliest request would be met with understanding…to be known and loved so deeply that I am cared for without having to verbalize those wants.  The simple fact is that if I am important to you than what is important to me is also important to you.  That is love.  When you love someone, you strive to show them, and for me love is best shown in the little things. Not lavish gifts, but in simply making me feel important to you. 

The latter half of 2014 was one of the darkest times for me and from the darkness new life has been birthed in the form of change.   Those who cannot love me in the little things will not be trusted with my heart in the big things.  Those to whom I don’t matter, will cease to matter to me and that will be determined by your track record, which speaks truth even though your lips lie.  For better is it to be alone, than to be made to feel worthless and "less than" at every turn.  There is a defining moment in everyone’s life… a moment when a choice must be made.  Live according to others or live according to yourself.   I have chosen happiness and in that choice comes the reality that I will cast from my life those that destroy my happiness, no matter what title they bear. 

2015 is a year of change and I will set the boundaries necessary to make those changes.  I will no longer demand to be heard, for those that love me will hear me and those that don’t are not worth my breath.   ~

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Atypical is Fine By Me

I got up this morning feeling pretty good and then I made the mistake of checking my email, wherein I received a note from a woman who does not know me, personally, but only in the virtual realm.  In a nutshell, she blasted me about the fact that I enjoy celebrating Halloween.  Each year my husband and I throw a Halloween party and, I'll be honest, I look forward to it.  In fact, I LOVE it!  Fall is my favorite season and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays (second only to Christmas).  For me, Halloween is about costumes, cocktails and candy.  It's a time to be creative with decorations, to light hundreds of candles, to dress up and spend one evening a year hanging with friends and family in an atypical environment.

The woman who wrote to me didn't take any of that into consideration.  She only focused on the fact that I am a Christian and chose to cast judgment by writing:  "A Christian with a true heart for the Lord doesn't celebrate a pagan holiday because it offends the spirit of God that dwells inside every believer." 

The email was somewhat lengthy because she took the time to share with me why celebrating Halloween is "wrong."  I won't bore you with the details, as a quick Google search will provide plentiful information of its pagan origin.  I do, however, want to point out that in one simple sentence (the one I quoted above), this woman implied that I did not have a "true heart for the Lord" nor that the Spirit of God dwells inside of me.  Wow!  What happened to "Thou Shalt Not Judge?"

There was a time when I would have felt the need to defend my beliefs, but that time is gone.  I don't care what this woman or anyone in the so-called "church" thinks of me.  My "Christianity" is a private matter between me and God.  My love for Him and His for me is personal and cannot be held nor defined by stigma, rules or superficial expectations.  It is atypical and I like it that way.

So, to the woman who wrote to me I would say only this:  Tout your religion elsewhere...because my relationship with the Lord has nothing to do with religious regulations.  And shame on you for being a judgmental 'BeOtch.'  Can you not see that it is people like you that give Christianity a bad name? It is judgmental behavior like yours that causes people to run from God instead of toward Him?  If you don't feel that celebrating Halloween is "right" then don't celebrate it.  That's your choice and that's fine.  But, just because you have made a choice for your life does not mean you have the right to condemn those that have made a different choice for their life.  Christianity is about loving others, not about trying to convince others that your way is the right way and they should all agree with you. When will the typical church wake up and realize that true Christianity is nothing more than love at work in individual and often very private ways?  Touting signs, taping mouths, sending emails, condemnation and fear tactics, etc.... these drive a wedge and cause more damage than good.  Love is the key and love is the answer. 

As for Halloween...or any holiday for that matter... it is what you make it.  Halloween is only a pagan celebration if you honor it as such.  Just like Christmas can either be about Jesus's birth or about Santa Clause and presents.  Easter can be about Jesus's death and resurrection or about a large bunny who hides eggs.  Holidays mean what you make them mean.  There is no blanket judgment that fits all, nor should there be.  It's your heart, your focus, your life and no one has a right to speak into it...certainly not in the name of God.  If God has something to say to you, He'll say it on His own. 

BTW, I'm pretty sure there's nothing in the Bible against cocktails, costumes and candy...so, bring on the Halloween festivities; and if that makes me an atypical Christian, hallelujah!  There is no greater compliment in this day and age than to say I do not belong amid the "typical" Christians.  Atypical is fine by me.   ~ 


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Re-Post on Why I Left Vanilla Heart Publishing

I have been asked to re-post this story about Vanilla Heart Publishing and their unethical business practices; so here it is.  If you are an author seeking a publisher or if you know of an author seeking representation, please read this and heed the warning.  Vanilla Heart is not the only small press publishing company guilty of these charges.  Do your homework before signing a contract with ANYONE.  Protect your rights and your work from scam artists and liars like Kimberlee Williams and Vanilla Heart Publishing.

In October 2010 I signed a contract with Vanilla Heart Publishing to publish my debut novel, No Easy Way, which was nominated for the 2010 Molly Award by the Heart of Denver Romance Writers. 

In August 2013, eight novels later, I terminated my relationship with Vanilla Heart Publishing on the grounds of a severe breach of contract, misrepresentation, fraud and theft pertaining specifically to Articles #5, #7, #10, and #11 of the contract.

During my stay at Vanilla Heart, I upheld my end of the agreement.  I continued to write novels, producing eight in less than three years.  I continued to submit my novels to Vanilla Heart first, as per our contract she was entitled to a thirty day right of first refusal on all Just Call Me Angel books.  I continued to blog, participate in blog tours, promote and market my work through book clubs, book signings, holding contests and networking via numerous social media outlets (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Instagram, etc.)  In return for my loyalty, I was lied to, manipulated and used.

Upon confronting Vanilla Heart Publishing with the breach of contract, misrepresentation and fraudulent activity, I was given no apology for wrongdoing nor was there an admission of remorse whatsoever.  Instead, I was sent a list of termination items wherein it was stated that I was “not to discuss the Author’s Group or any information from that group, or discuss Vanilla Heart Publishing, nor speak as an agent or former agent of the publisher, either by verbal, written, or electronic communication with any persons, groups, or agents.” It goes without saying that I did not agree to this and, per the advice of my attorney, informed Vanilla Heart that all statements that are factual, unbiased and can be proven with subpoenaed records, email correspondence or any other written form of communication do not fall into the category of slander or libel and are allowable for discussion in any setting, person-to-person, blog, group format or social media.   

My attorney is now in the process of reviewing back royalty statements from all of the distribution channels and thus far the information I have received from Vanilla Heart Publishing does not come close to matching the real reports in number of books sold nor in amount of money owed.  I sit amazed at how I have been ripped off for almost three years.  It saddens and angers me.

I requested royalty statements from Vanilla Heart at least eight documented times since October 2010.  Every statement was falsified.  Every paycheck came months late.  I never even received a statement for 2012 from Vanilla Heart and the check I received doesn’t match the distributor’s royalty records for the quarterly periods during that time.  Each time I requested a statement or a check I was promised it and then given an excuse as to why it would be late.  The excuses ranged from severe medical issues to a gardening accident and countless laptop crashes, an accountant who allegedly printed the reports too small to be read and the post office that lost checks or statements along the way.  Every excuse added to the sour pit growing in my stomach.  Still, I wanted to believe that everything was on the up-and-up; but, over time,  there were just too many red flags.

Little did I know, but several of the Vanilla Heart authors were experiencing the same frustrations I was.  No statements.  Late checks.  Excuses galore.  The problem was, for a long time, none of us communicated with one another.  We didn’t compare notes and that’s exactly how Vanilla Heart wanted it.  Manipulative phone calls from the Publisher psychologically pitted one author against another.  “She’s the next one I’m getting rid of,” was said to me on several occasions, referring to fellow Vanilla Heart authors.  The Publisher made a point to let everyone know who was in her “Core Group” and who was not.  I was in the Core Group and I think that was one of the reasons it never dawned on me that she might be breaching our contract at all, much less in so many ways.  I was made to feel “special” as if we had more than just a business relationship…as if we were “friends.”  Friends don’t steal from or lie to friends, my mind would justify… but the red flags waved.

It wasn’t until two of the Core Group authors left within a short period of time that I mustered up the courage to start asking questions and digging deeper into what was going on.  I dug out every contract, read through every email, analyzed my notes from phone calls, etc.  Every hour spent researching deepened the pit in my stomach and leant proof to the revelation I didn’t want to face:  Vanilla Heart was guilty.

Guilty of copyright infringement.

Guilty of breach of contract.

Guilty of misrepresentation of intent.

Guilty of fraud.

Guilty of theft. 

On August 10, 2013 under the guidance of my attorney, a termination letter was sent to Vanilla Heart Publishing.  A complaint was filed with the Washington Attorney General’s Office and DCMA Take Down Notices and Perjury Statements sent to every distributor that carried my books under the Vanilla Heart imprint.  All books in all formats were pulled from the market.  The distributors worked quickly to make this right, as their policy is first and foremost to protect the intellectual property of the author. 

I want to give a shout out to the employees at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, All Romance Ebooks/OmniLit and Payloadz who were amazing in getting my attorney the information we needed (and I deserved) and in helping to protect my intellectual property rights going forward.  These people were absolutely amazing and I am grateful to all of them. 

My publisher used to call Amazon “Damazon” and always told me how slow and non-responsive they were.  That must have been a lie too…because after this experience, I would dub them “Amaz(ing)on.”

So, why am I writing this blog?  Because I feel a moral obligation to warn other writers who are as na├»ve as I was and can become easy prey.  The warning signs were there, but I didn’t see them…or I choose to look the other way.  Don’t make the same mistake I did.  

As an author, you deserve to have your books registered with the U.S. Copyright office.  You deserve a signed contract on every book.  You deserve to have timely statements and timely royalty payments and those statements and payments should match down to the penny.  You deserve a publisher who will protect your rights and who will not breach your contract.  You deserve a publisher who will conduct business in an ethical and moral manner, not hide behind excuses and outright lies.  You deserve better than Vanilla Heart Publishing.

In the past two months, seven authors have left Vanilla Heart… all of which were a part of the “Core Group.”  Some of us have found other publishers who have picked up our work.  I’ve signed with Global Publishing Group and my books will be back on the market in all formats by the end of the week. Others have decided to self-publish and still others are so shell-shocked they haven’t decided what to do.  What happened to us wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right, but we are all dedicated writers and will come out on top.

The moral of the story is:  Stay away from Vanilla Heart Publishing.