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Posted by Sandra Ruttan in Writing.
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Detective Sergeant Hunter McKenna is on trial, charged with negligent homicide after her investigation into the suspicious death of a local teenager led to more deaths and personal tragedy.

Hunter faces accusations in the courtroom, and is tormented by her own guilt over personal choices she’s made. The community’s grief demands someone to blame, and Hunter can’t deny she’s haunted by regret.

As her partner, DS Noah Wilmott, continues to investigate, he wonders if the nightmares plaguing his partner are really Hunter’s subconscious, piecing things together, or something more, and when he follows a hunch it leads to answers that will stun a community.

“Ruttan combines devilishly clever plots with genuinely empathic characters…” Russel D. McLean, Crime Scene Scotland

“One absolute wallop of a novel. Not only does it make you want to know when Sandra Ruttan’s next book is due, but when’s the next flight to Canada… A totally mesmerizing narrative and a plot that burns off the page.” Ken Bruen, Shamus Award-Winning Author of THE GUARDS

“A taut, crackling read with switch-blade pacing. A sizzling story by one of crime fiction’s hot new voices.” Rick Mofina, internationally best-selling author of A PERFECT GRAVE

“Sandra Ruttan writes with utter ferocity. Twists and turns that stun and dialog that absolutely crackles with wit and authenticity. With each page, Ruttan delivers the goods.”
GREGG OLSEN, New York Times Bestselling Author of A WICKED SNOW

“Ruttan effortlessly brings to life a varied cast of complex characters. She writes with tremendous passion, honesty and skill. This is a story you will care about.”
Allan Guthrie, Edgar Nominated Author of KISS HER GOODBYE

“Ruttan has a spellbinding style.” NY Times Bestselling Author Clive Cussler

“Ruttan clearly has the potential to be a very successful author… Lots of talent which I expect will be realized!” Maddy Van Hertbruggen, Mystery News

“Ruttan has made one big mistake in my eyes, she waited too long to bring her writing to us. She is talented in the way that a natural musician is talented, making all the notes seem effortless. Characters that feel very real, and a wonderful sense of timing, Ruttan brings it all and leaves it on the page. Lucky us. And unlucky me, because now I have to wait for the next one…” Jon Jordan, Crimespree Magazine

“Watch for more efforts from Ruttan, who shows a great deal of skill in developing an intriguing, complicated story.” Lesa Holstine, BookBitch

“Ruttan has a keen eye for description, a wonderful ear for dialogue, and an acute instinct for the nuances of characterization.” Anne Frasier, USA Today Bestselling Author of HUSH

“Sandra Ruttan writes with a machine gun rhythm that pulls you through every unexpected twist and dark turn.” Bill Cameron, Author of LOST DOG

Ruttan’s deft touch intrigues and satisfies, making her a powerful new force in the mystery field.” JT Ellison, ITW Award-Winning Author of THE COLD ROOM


Growth As A Writer 2011/04/09

Posted by Sandra Ruttan in Writing.
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When I review things I wrote years ago, I want to take out a big red pen and then fix all the mistakes.

However, a lot of ‘mistakes’ are subjective. Over time, we learn how to improve our writing. We learn how to use tense for impact, we learn how to avoid word repetition, we learn how to self edit. We learn how to show the reader what we mean instead of telling them everything, and we add dimensions to our writing.

The writing curve for writers in the early years is huge.

As a writing course tutor, one of the realities is that I’m constantly pointing things out to students that I’ve done myself. I recall being in that position, having a critique from someone who was calling me out on a mistake I’d seen them make in their own writing in the past.

The critical words there are in the past. Every writer has to be willing to grow and improve. That doesn’t mean we haven’t made our mistakes; it means we’ve learned from them, or are in the process of shaking our own bad habits, and we’re trying to pass on what we’ve learned to others so that they can avoid the same mistakes.

Writing is a humbling experience at times, and we must all be open to constructive feedback. If we aren’t, we risk inhibiting our growth, and the only people we’ll hurt will be ourselves.

Clean Freak 2011/04/03

Posted by Sandra Ruttan in Writing.
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Clean writing, that is.

Brian will be the first to tell you that I’m not a clean freak, and when I’m locked in, working on a manuscript, the dustbunnies can grow into monster-sized Wraithrabbits that have to be fought and killed to be removed.

However, when it comes to writing, I’m a bit of a clean freak. Ask anyone who’s received a critique or graded assignment back from me.

The reality is, it’s almost impossible for a book to be published without a typo, typesetting error or blatant mistake. Not all of these glitches in a published product are the result of laziness or indifference, either. For example, imagine you have a character in your draft named Gina. For a number of good reasons, you decide to rename Gina and call her Lucy. You set up find and replace, hit replace all, and think you’re good to go. (more…)