Sandra Ruttan's Blog (64)

In Review: Harvest of Ruins

"Intricately layered, Harvest of Ruins works well on several levels. On the surface it’s a taut legal thriller that interweaves the proceedings currently unfolding in the courtroom with the events that brought McKenna to this point. On a deeper level, however, Harvest of Ruins is a psychological study of the devastating effects of guilt, both for actions taken as well as those not taken.

"Author Sandra Ruttan’s writing is some of the smoothest and most realistic you will ever…


Added by Sandra Ruttan on August 14, 2011 at 12:20pm — 1 Comment

Another One Bites The Dust?

From JA Konrath to Lee Goldberg, established authors are dipping their toes in the ebook stream in ever increasing numbers, seeing how the waters feel. Meanwhile, the news of the fall of Dorchester has been almost the equivalent of a sign of the End Times, accompanied with wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And then…

Added by Sandra Ruttan on August 25, 2010 at 2:30am — 4 Comments

Looking Like A Fool With Your Foot In Your Mouth

In the wake of the Amazon-Macmillan war, I came to one inescapable conclusion: trust no one.

I heard so many varying reports on how royalties are paid, who did what to whom and the legal variables I ended up with a headache. As a result, I clearly stated some things (I think mainly in comments here on Crimespace) that are probably incorrect.

I say probably, because everyone seems more invested in playing PR games than in the truth.

Scalzi has… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on February 2, 2010 at 2:02am — 7 Comments

Readers and Authors are Casualties of Amazon Price War

Amazon has pulled from sale books published by Macmillan. This includes books by - amongst many, many others - authors including Ken Bruen's books published by Minotaur and Duane Swierczynski.

This is the first time I've seen such clear proof that adherence to publishing ethics (as per the guidelines… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on January 30, 2010 at 11:09pm — 16 Comments

An Armchair Hero Confronts Her Fears

I was invited to contribute a guest article to Barnes and Noble's Ransom Notes. You can read the result here:

Added by Sandra Ruttan on January 17, 2010 at 4:38am — 2 Comments

Mysterious Matters Spanks Some, Thanks Others

At Mysterious Matters there is an excellent post that cuts through all the blather and gets to the heart of the state of publishing fiction. It also addresses policies of organizations, review sites, discussion lists and I find that many of the sites they take issue with are ones I've had my own personal concerns about in the past. For every thousand people who recycle the sound… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on January 6, 2010 at 3:06am — 10 Comments

The First 39, Interviews and chickens coming home to roost

As the Baltimore Examiner's crime fiction columnist I've started a new series of reviews called The First 39. I review the first 39 pages of a book and determine whether or not the writer has done their job by successfully hooking the reader. If you follow the link, you'll see the first one went up last week, followed by a two-part interview with Robert Gregory… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on July 14, 2009 at 2:15am — No Comments

Thrice Screwed (AKA The joys of moving)

I am recovering from moving to a new house, and I hate moving. I doubt many people actually enjoy it, but I've done enough moving in the past 18 months to make me truly loathe the process. I like knowing where my things are, being able to find them when I'm looking for them, feeling a sense of comfort where I'm working and not having a long list of things to do that extends beyond the normal things I already have to do. And then there are the other things about moving - the expenses, the… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on July 7, 2009 at 12:06am — 7 Comments

New Spinetingler

The new issue of Spinetingler is live and, as Patrick Shawn Bagley so eloquently put it, "locked and loaded". There's a double dose of short stories, plenty of reviews and interviews.

My thanks to Jack Getze, who has remained with us as the editor, and Damon Caporaso and Jay Tomio of BSC Review, who… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on July 1, 2009 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

Rogue Male, Craig McDonald, and promo opportunities for authors.

My latest post for the Examiner includes a short Q&A with Craig McDonald, who has a new book out featuring author interviews with James Crumley, Elmore Leonard, James Sallis, Lee Child, Ken Bruen and many more.

My partner has taken on the literature column for the… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on May 21, 2009 at 4:00am — No Comments

2nd Annual Spinetingler Awards

The full list of nominees for the 2nd Annual Spinetingler Awards has been announced. Anyone can vote online through a simple polling system until April 25. Winners will be announced April 30.

The list of nominees can be read here. The master list has a link to the polls for voting.

Congratulations to all the nominees... and especially those on Crimespace!

Added by Sandra Ruttan on March 29, 2009 at 5:30am — No Comments

Who Reviews The Reviewers?

What kind of scrutiny should reviews receive? I raise the question in the wake of a brouhaha over the use of profanity in a review.

"Yeah, it has the blood (tons of the stuff), it has the kick-ass dialogue, the one-of-a-kind stream-lined prose, and it moves along like a motherfucker - but this is no doubt a major departure for Huston. Shit, I’d argue that…

Added by Sandra Ruttan on February 10, 2009 at 12:00am — 8 Comments

We Interrupt Working To Deadline For This Rant

The new ms is due Friday, and to make matters worse the kids are on their second full day off school so far this week.

With the volume of snow falling and the forecast for the night, I'm not optimistic they'll be in school tomorrow.

With all these last-minute conspiracies trying to prevent me from finishing the ms this week, what on earth am I doing taking time out to blog?

I'm not a happy camper.

The… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on January 28, 2009 at 3:44am — 6 Comments

The Long Tail & Hawaii 5-0

Another review comes in for THE FRAILTY OF FLESH. This book seems to have some legs. I worried it would be overshadowed by the year-end busyness and releases from big names, but those things seem to only have delayed the discovery instead of preventing it.

Sandra Ruttan has a perfect recipe for this multilayer thriller. First layer:


Added by Sandra Ruttan on January 9, 2009 at 6:01am — No Comments

Meme of Tears

What's hit you on an emotional level and made you cry?


TO THE POWER OF THREE by Laura Lippman

A book that hit me on an emotional level. Sometimes, life is such a game to teenagers, and then they make choices they can never take back that are like throwing a boulder into a pond, and the ripples spread out and hit everyone else in reach, and sometimes those ripples have the force of a tsunami and wreak destruction on the people in their… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on January 6, 2009 at 10:55pm — No Comments

16 Random Things

I've been tagged, and I've shamelessly dragged Stuart MacBride, Tom Piccirilli, Patrick Shawn Bagley, Russel D. McLean and a host of others into it. I was just doing what I was told, so blame Linda. ;)

The confessions are here

Added by Sandra Ruttan on January 6, 2009 at 6:06am — No Comments

Poll Dancing

If you haven't had a chance to check out the debut issue of Crooked, a new Zine that's being published at Eastern Standard Crime, you can follow the link. There's also a poll on the site now, giving you the opportunity to vote on your favourite story from the… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on January 4, 2009 at 11:50pm — No Comments

Life Imitates Art

I'm not sure that I'm giving anything away if I say that THE FRAILTY OF FLESH is a hard book for my protagonists, and one character in particular. Working on the next book in the series, one of the key things is how people are seeing this person. They're trying to figure out if the character is okay, and they're looking for some sign, some normal behaviour, some actions that reassure them that they'll have the person they know back again.

This is where life imitates art. We've been… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on January 3, 2009 at 2:35am — 5 Comments

Happy New Year Indeed

One really can't complain when they wrap up the year with a review like this:

THE FRAILTY OF FLESH by Sandra Ruttan: Another great outing from Sandra Ruttan who is building her cast of Canadian constables into a winner of a series. A child is found beaten to death, his brother names their sister as the killer. The entire family is obviously dysfunctional and an impediment to solving the crime. A cold case continues to haunt the department and jeopardize current…

Added by Sandra Ruttan on January 2, 2009 at 4:08am — 1 Comment

A Happy Holidays Meme

What's the most original Christmas gift you received?

A strawberry rhubarb pie from Dangerously Delicious. It was amazing, and Brian gets an A for effort there, because I spent the summer keeping an eye out for strawberry rhubarb, and never saw it once.

What book did you get for Christmas?

A Choir of Ill Children by Tom… Continue

Added by Sandra Ruttan on December 31, 2008 at 11:30pm — 4 Comments

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