Saturday, February 22, 2014


Ruth Barrett is my Woman In Horror today! After having numerous stories published by the traditional publishers, she decided to take the bull by the horns, go her own route and publish on her own. Thus, we have Spirited Words Book Company. But like any smart author, she knows the value of a good editor.

Her novel Base Spirits is my cup of tea. Time travel, murder, secrets, horror, mystery, and much more. I admire people willing to do the research to get a time period right. The suspense, horror, and tragedy suck you into the novel, taking you on a thrill ride not within any preconceived concepts of rationality you might possess. Toss everything away and be ready for what lies around the next corner.

It is interesting to note that this novel is based, in part, on an old Shakespearean play which was based on real life horror. Weaving everything together like this is not easy when time periods whiz back and forth between the story people. Ruth creates something special here: a novel which is much like live theater. The characters in the book are brought to life in the theater of the mind.

Ruth enjoys the inventing of a world in her books that is hers alone, reaching into her imagination, and having to answer "What if . . .?" Thus, her readers are always on the edge of their seats, wondering what's next?

Although many authors are in a hurry to publish their books, Ruth advises against this. She cautions that no matter what route you take, Indie or traditional, the preparations should be the same. Great editing is a must. Cover design is important if you publish the book yourself. Have the best book possible! And, she refuses to get caught up in the Indie versus traditional arguments. She claims there are merits in both.

I have supplied many links above for Ruth. My favorite is 
She has many interesting and amusing tidbits about writing and publishing there. Go there and check it out. It's well worth the time.

Ruth is a fascinating woman with a certain mystique. Visit the links I mentioned and you will find out much about this lady, but mystery still remains. Ah, my friends, I would have it no other way.

Ruth Barrett is a Woman In Horror!

Blaze McRob

Ruth Barrett was born in Pointe Claire, Quebec, and now makes her home in Stratford, Ontario. Between then and now, she studied English Literature at Trent University and the University of Leeds, and classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Ruth pursued an acting career in Toronto where her love of the stage saw her perform in everything from Shakespeare to sketch comedy, eventually settling into voice-over work. Transforming herself into a writer has provided a rewarding new way for her to explore character and spin tales. Ruth has published numerous short stories in various anthologies and periodicals, and she formed her own Spirited Words Book Co. in Summer 2011. 'Base Spirits' is her first novel. For a quick creepy read, try 'Family Secrets'-- the first of many Kindle short stories.

Book Description

September 2, 2011
In 1605, Sir Walter Calverley’s murderous rampage leaves a family shattered. The killer suffers a torturous execution… but is it truly the end? A noble Yorkshire house stands forever tarnished by blood and possessed by anguished spirits.

Some crimes are so horrific, they reverberate through the centuries.

As an unhappy modern couple vacation in the guesthouse at Calverley Old Hall, playwright Clara, and her scholar husband, Scott, unwittingly awaken a dark history. Clara is trapped and forced back in time to bear witness to a family’s bloody saga. Overtaken by the malevolent echoes, Scott is pushed over the edge from possessive husband to wholly possessed…

‘Murder has took this chamber with full hands
And will ne’er out as long as the house stands.’
~A Yorkshire Tragedy, Act I, Sc. v

Inspired by a true-life drama in Shakespeare’s day, this is itself a play within a play: a supernatural thriller with a historical core.

Only one player can survive.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very creepy thriller... February 16, 2012
By Spot
Format:Kindle Edition
I can't say enough good things about this book. It grabbed me from the beginning and sucked me in to the story. Ruth Barrett weaves an incredible tale of suspense and horror and tragedy. The events of the past are rendered in truly aching detail, it's obvious she's done her historical homework. Your heart will ache for the players in this tragedy of days gone by.

The modern part of the book is also painstakingly real. From Clara's fear and feelings of isolation, to her husband's jealous and possessive rages, the emotions ring clear and true. The book really picks up speed and rushes torwards the inevitable trainwreck where past meets present in a tragic climax.

Honestly, there wasn't anything I didn't enjoy about this book. I'm hesitant to give out five star reviews (they're flung out so willy nilly these days that who really believes them?) but this time I will. Anyone who enjoys history, ghosts, possessions, England, or horror in general, is going to enjoy this book. I don't know how many people know who Barbara Erskine is, but her novels are what this book put me in mind of. And I'm a huge Barbara Erskine fan. Which makes me a huge Ruth Barrett fan.

Book Description

February 24, 2012
A sinister short story about a family's long-buried secret...

Even as a young child, Jill had instinctively hated her grandfather-- and he'd always despised her just as deeply. Turns out her feelings were far from irrational...

During a summer vacation at the family cottage, Jill unearths the evil behind her Grandpa's dark personality. For years, everyone accepted that Grandma Annabelle's death had been a tragic accident. But what if Grandpa was guilty of her murder? Jill learns the horrible truth. Worse yet, Grandpa knows she's discovered his secret.

If an old man once committed a brutal murder, how far will he go to keep his past crime hidden? His terrified granddaughter is about to find out-- as Grandpa is due to visit over an extended family holiday...

(Includes a bonus novel excerpt from the author's acclaimed historical ghost thriller-- 'Base Spirits'.)
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruth Barrett an Author to Watch May 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase
By now, you already know what Family Secrets by Ruth Barrett is about, so I'll spare you the blurb and just get right on down to the juicy stuff!

I picked this up because I've been following Ms. Barrett for a while but had not had a chance to read anything of hers yet. I thought this would be a great introductory piece, and boy was I wrong! Not because the story was bad, but because I'm kicking myself for only grabbing the short story.

I fully enjoyed the author's voice. It has a natural flow to it and I'm amazed at how well the author executed the thoughts of such a young girl. The plot does not force and does not feel contrived. Instead, it goes at a natural, enjoyable pace. You don't feel the need to skip over extra writing nor do you feel like you have to back up and reread a section because you missed something. Very precise writing. Emotions, actions, descriptions are all wonderfully believable and descriptive, making this a very enjoyable read that I finished in less than an hour.

As mentioned, I'm only sorry that I didn't grab a full length novel by Ms. Barrett first. Ruth Barrett has definitely made into my circle of authors to watch for in the future. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to purchase Base Spirits for more Ruth Barrett. =)

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