Jan Ruth is new to SMASHWORDS. For book reviews, please visit her website: http://janruth.com/
Jan Ruth writes contemporary fiction. Love stories with strong, identifiable characters, about family life and relationships.
'I like to think my books convey some serious threads with a good blend of humour, a balance of light and dark. Different, I feel from the majority in that I often write from the male perspective.'
Jan has been writing for more than 30 years and despite various dalliances with the more traditional publishing routes, she is now pleased to be an independent author.
Jan was born in Bowden, Cheshire, and moved to North Wales in 1998, although she has always maintained a strong connection with the area from a much earlier age. Her feel for the Welsh landscape is evident in all of her books.
Jan started writing at primary school, winning prizes for poetry and short stories. Her first novel attracted a London agent, but failed to find the right niche with a publisher because it didn’t fall into a specific category- not quite light enough for romance but not literary fiction either, sitting somewhere between these two genres. Her second novel, again snapped up by a London agent; suffered the same fate. Undeterred, Jan has continued to write, believing her market is out there.
'E-Readers have completely changed the face of the industry. It is an amazing platform for writers in that all books-successfully published or not- are available to a world wide audience but most importantly to the reader, who is after all the most important judge.'
'I love the process of writing. There are not many jobs where you get to play God and be devils advocate. Sometimes I am astonished at the pearls of wisdom that must be deeply buried in my brain. At all other times I find myself frantically holding down the delete button.'
'I think you have to be a little mad to enjoy the compulsive and intrusive way it can take over your life - but then I think it has to be this way to have the same vitality for the reader. It’s almost like being possessed by several other people!'
Jan has four titles currently available: Wild Water, Midnight Sky, White Horizon, The Long & The Short Of It. (These books are written in British English. Spellings and grammatical conventions are conversant with the UK and appropriate to the setting.)
Editor: John Hudspith Book Covers: Jane Dixon-Smith
Where to find Jan Ruth online
This member has not published any books.
Smashwords book reviews by Jan Ruth
- Lying in Wait
on Nov. 23, 2012
I connected with this book straight away.
Irish country boy, seeking his fortune and a better life, becomes embroiled with hard nosed criminals who use him to their own advantage. Malachy Flynn gets himself into a sticky situation when it all goes wrong and finds himself on the run.
A second plot co-existing alongside this adventure, draws us into a complex love triangle set in Northumberland. Both plot lines collide, and Mal finds himself in the centre of this vortex, proving perhaps that adultery can be just as dangerous as a life of crime.
It is a story of contrasts; from the harsh conflicts of terrorism to the horse-racing community of Ireland and the gentle farming ways of Northumberland.
The story of Malachy Flynn combines a suspenseful and engaging plot, carrying themes of both drama and romance, and spanning across both town and country settings, to paint a vivid background of ever changing scenery; all of which, combined with a diverse cast of characters, lends the text a big screen, filmic quality.
A thoroughly enjoyable book; a great story with an exciting climax, and a totally unexpected revelation at the end.
- Peril: A Ger Mayes Thriller
on Jan. 23, 2013
From the cover, not what I expected. After the initial murder scene, a little slow...
In theory I shouldn't have liked this book quite so much, but I thoroughly enjoyed it on a number of levels. No... I loved it, absolutely loved it.
Serious crime thriller yes, but only on one level; Peril is so much more.
The cover and description makes this novel looks rather serious, and it is, but the laughs are there in bucket-loads. Barnes style reminds me in parts of Mark Haddon; that dry black humour, which when mixed thoroughly with some great descriptive observations, adds a dark, glittery poignancy to the narrative.
Had a good chuckle at the useless male protagonist trying to change the bed linen; in fact read this bit out loud to my other half who wanted to know what I was laughing at. (He recognised himself immediately.)
So, back to the serious story, there are some great action scenes and a surprisingly likable character in Ger Mayes. Surprisingly, because in truth Ger Mayes is a total waste of space. Somehow though, there is sufficient character depth in there by way of redemption to get us all rooting for him. There are some great emotive passages, cleverly disguised with the same, self depreciating humour.
Mayes manages to get himself into all sorts of bother with the ladies and some local misfits which escalates into a nightmare of affairs, drugs and debt. It's all cleverly woven together and it`s down to the author's skill that the reader fully engages with the central character, for despite his faults (and he has quite a few!) one can't help but hope he makes it in the end...but does he?
- Three Steps To Heaven - Pam Howes Rock'n'Roll Romance Series
on Jan. 24, 2013
Pam Howes takes us back to exciting times in the early sixties, when the growth of sex, drugs and rock n roll burst onto the music scene. They were heady times for young people, with new freedoms and opportunities. This era gave birth to a lot of big names, leaving a legacy of music which is very much alive and kicking today.
The author captures the mood of those times with ease, and I took a trip down memory lane with the references to landmarks such as Ringway- now Manchester International Airport- the fish n chip suppers, the films and cars of that time, all the crazy fashions and Jackie magazine! It is proudly working class, and rich with the expectations, hopes and dreams of that time. It is more than a love story and it has more than one complicated thread wrapped around the central plot; that of the rise to fame of The Raiders. And it has plenty to offer anyone too young to remember the real mods and rockers with it's romantic, teenage angst and all the relationship problems with parents, friends and lovers.
It is a very special skill to write in any one particular year, because the plot and the characters need to exist solely in those times. No birth pill, no mobile phone, no internet, no major roads. The list is endless but the author has a firm handle on all the `props.'
A small negative now; the balance of dialogue to narrative. I would have loved more of a reflective, thoughtful kind of backstory from the main characters in place of some of the dialogue. In fact Pam's style has a distinct screenplay type quality to it, given her penchant for dialogue...hint hint programme makers out there! Now who could we have to play Eddie? Yes, in places this novel reminds me of those wonderful programmes Heartbeat and Happy Days. Nostalgia done well is so appealing, even for those outside of the era looking in.
A complete story in itself, Three Steps draws to a climax but the door has been left sufficiently ajar for the next book in the series. Who can resist?
- The Golden Cuckoo
on Feb. 06, 2013
The Golden Cuckoo is a slightly dark story, with plenty of tension and good imagery. I’ve always been slightly fascinated with cuckoo clocks so the concept of the story worked very well for me.
So, our little hero Jake buys such a clock and has no idea there is a boy trapped inside! With the aid of the golden cuckoo there ensues a wonderful adventure; all manner of villains are overcome and a rescue mission builds to an exciting climax. (I loved the idea of the weather man and woman being a nasty old couple!)
Although there is of course a strong element of fantasy, the author has a firm hand on the necessary facts required to lend the story some reality. All the components which make an adult piece of fiction a satisfying read, is all present and correct here, which is often lacking in a lot of childrens fiction.
In fact, the atmosphere created by the author reminded me of a couple of books from my childhood; the ones which have firmly stayed in my mind that is, for more than 40 years, notably The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Weirdstone of Brisingamen.
Overall, a quality childrens book, with a beautiful cover too.