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PLHS graduate release adventure novel

R.j Ruud, who grew up in Crosslake and graduated from Pequot Lakes High School, has released his second novel, inspired by mountain living in Gilpin County, Colo.

In “Lost Creek,” Ruud gives readers a glimpse into mountain living while tapping into mythic archetypes of the American West. Nestled along Peak to Peak highway, the town of Lost Creek is nothing more than a few scattered homes and a saloon, run by Sheriff Campbell and his family. While the Campbells seem harmless, a string of murders dating back 100 years unravels a conspiracy of control and power in this small mountain town.

“Lost Creek is an outside the beaten path journey of self discovery,” Ruud said, and “provides a different view of the world, an escape from the ordinary.” Drawing on his experiences hiking the James Peak Wilderness area, Ruud paints a vivid picture of unconventional life in the mountains filled with adventure, friendship, love and a twist of murder.

When Jack Leery suddenly finds himself the owner of a rural cabin in Lost Creek, he leaves his city life to set out on what turns into the adventure of a lifetime. At first completely alone in his primitive shack, Jack must learn to survive the unfamiliar mountain.

After a run-in with his neighbor, Clancy, a crotchety old Vietnam vet, Jack becomes entangled with the bartender at the local saloon and the bait in a plan to oust her as a serial killer.

But is Clancy’s story about the murderous Campbell family just another one of his tall tales far too fantastical to be true? By the end of this action-packed novel filled with dizzying twists and turns, Jack will have laid his earlier identity aside and found out who he really is.

Ruud now resides high in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where he spends his days skiing, snowboarding, hiking, biking, fishing, climbing and camping — when he’s not up all night writing. For more information about Ruud and “Lost Creek,” visit

Lost Creek is available for purchase on Amazon.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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