A riveting one-hour read (free); Max and Woody are back

August 21, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: newsletter.

This newsletter was sent to all of the people on Jim’s email list (2,539) on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017.


Greetings from East Tennessee. I hope your week has been a good one.

A riveting one-hour read (free, of course)

Virginia King is an Australian author I have been doing some promotion with, and she has produced a riveting short story, Laying Ghosts, that you can download for free. The story is a prequel to a series she is writing. The main character of the series is Selkie Moon, and you are sure to find her interesting. The link to Laying Ghosts is http://www.selkiemoon.com/. A more complete description of the story and a biography of Virginia are below the signature of this email.


The BookFunnel Mystery Giveaway promotion begins officially tomorrow, but you can head over there right now: https://books.bookfunnel.com/free_mystery/iygwd1dtrg. This is an excellent giveaway, and the folks at BookFunnel will do everything they can to help you get your book onto your ereader.

The Prolific Reader Mystery giveaway. This is a terrific giveaway with lots of books in lots of different genres — all free, of course. Here’s the link to the mystery section: https://melanietomlin.com/tpr-freebies/mystery/ .

Max and Woody are back

It’s 1966, and Max and Woody are seniors at Trinity Lane High School in Nashville. Maxine Wayman wants to be a journalist. Woodrow Lee Harper III is a math genius. They have been best friends since before the first grade. They were the main characters in my young adult novel Point Spread. And check below the signature of this email to see what reviewers have said about Point Spread.)

Now they are back with a new adventure in a novella, tentatively titled A Whiff of Walnut. Beginning next week, I will post successive parts of this novella as attachments to this newsletter. I hope that you will read it and let me know what you think.

Forward this email to a friend (the contest continues)

At the end of August, I will give away these hand-turned, wooden pens to four people who participate in this contest. You can forward each of my Friday newsletters to as many of your friends as you want (and be sure to include my email in the forwarding so I can have a record of it). The more times you forward these emails, the more chances you have to win a pen. Do this now. You have just this week and next week to participate. And if you have already done this, you can do it again.

More information about the contest is here: https://www.jprof.com/2017/07/26/contest-pens/

The Writing Wright (volume 1)

The Writing Wright (volume 1) is now available on Amazon. But DO NOTpay $1.99 (or $6.99, unless you want a print copy). Instead, download it free from this email with the link below. The Writing Wright (volume 1) is an eclectic mix of ideas, information, quotations, instruction, wisdom, and stories about writing and the writing life. It’s also forum to impose some of my pen-and-ink and watercolor renderings on unsuspecting readers.


Keep reading and have a great weekend.


Jim Stovall


Last week’s newsletter

Laying Ghosts by Virginia King

Description of Laying Ghosts: When a text message from a long lost friend lures Selkie Moon to a deserted beach house, the chilling events from a house-party four years earlier wrap her in ghostly fingers and turn her life upside-down. Content warning: occasional coarse language, adult themes (no erotica)

Biography: In her mystery series, Virginia King mixes her love of travel, psychology and folklore. Selkie Moon is a modern thirty-something seminar presenter who explores far-flung places full of secrets, and delves into psychological clues tangled up in the local mythology. Before Selkie Moon invaded her life, Virginia had been a teacher, an unemployed ex-teacher, the author of over 50 children’s books, an audio-book producer, a workshop presenter and a prize-winning publisher. These days she lives in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney with her husband and two pet alpacas.

Get you free copy of this short story at http://www.selkiemoon.com/.

What reviewers have said about Point Spread

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It held my attention, and the plot unfolded bit by bit, keeping me guessing about what was coming next throughout nearly the entire novel. There were some surprises. My first surprise was that protagonist of the story is a teenage girl. How in the world could the author, a middle-aged man, possibly present a believable character, having never bee a teenage girl himself? Again I was surprised – he nailed it.


Jim Stovall once again displays his considerable talent for storytelling. High school student Maxine Wayman is scrounging for a story to demonstrate she deserves a journalism scholarship when she stumbles across a gambling scheme surrounding the Trinity Lane High School basketball team in Nashville. The plot incorporates threads of journalism, 1960s-era divisions over the Vietnam war, and a teenager coming of age in a broken family. Stovall does a fine job of taking readers through some surprising turns, though Maxine’s ability to negotiate the adult world is at times a bit of a stretch. Still, it’s a story that’s engaging until the end.


Jim Stovall pulled off making his teen female main character believable and likable. It was great fun, getting to know Maxine and I hope to find her in future books. She was both sleuth and writer as she looked for her big story. Max carries the reader along on an enjoyable but at times scary adventure. I loved the East Nashville setting and recognized many places, past and present. And, now I know what Point Spread means.

(Haven’t read it? Get it here on Amazon.) 

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