This week’s Remarkable Woman: Lillian Ross; a new author and a watercolor

October 2, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: newsletter.

This newsletter was sent to all of those on Jim’s email (3,576) list on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017.


We are coming to the end of Banned Books Week in the United States. The right to read is important and is always under threat, no matter where we live. Too many people get the idea that if we stop ideas and their expression, we can stop bad things from happening. That turns out to be the worst thing of all.

Don’t forget the victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and Maria. Too many people are suffering even though the storms have passed. The United Methodist Committee on Relief ( is my favorite charity. Please make a contribution to yours.

Viewing tip: Click the display images link above if you haven’t done so already.

Remarkable women: Lillian Ross

This week’s remarkable woman — people you probably haven’t heard of but should know about — is Lillian Ross, a long-time reporter and writer for the New Yorker magazine. She died at the age of 99 on Sept. 20. She was well known for her ability to observe and report. Read more about this remarkable woman and the influence she had on journalism here on

Last week’s remarkable woman: Margaret Fuller

Best book of the summer? Readers continue to respond

I have had an extraordinary number of great responses to my question in the last couple of newsletters: What was the best book you read this summer?

Bruce W. (my good friend): My favorite book this past summer was A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman, a very well-done but very strange Swedish novel. Right now I am reading a Tom Wolfe novel on Miami. At this point I am not into it. Maybe I have outgrown Wolfe.

Mike: The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. It is really just like a memoir of Jannette telling about her childhood. But at the same time it is a profound and deep look at life and what it is all about. It has many messages inside its pages that I still think about and that have made a great impression upon me. While entertaining, it is also so much more – it is philosophy at its best. Food for thought.

Do you have any others you want to put forward as the best read of the summer? Reply to this email with author, title and short description or reasons you liked it. We’ll carry this on for one more week.

Author Jo Allison: The Good Old Summertime

Here is another author you should check out — and she happens to be an old friend. She’s Linda Dobkins, but she writes under the pen name of Jo Allison. She has a series of mysteries that have an interesting twist. Here’s how she describes them:

The novels center on a young “new woman,” named Julia Nye. A “new woman,” in early twentieth century parlance, was one who supported progressive causes, including the right to vote, who likely worked outside the home, and who challenged the restrictions of the women’s sphere of activities.

Julia’s unconventional position as a typist for the St. Louis City Police Department in 1910 gives her opportunity to engage in the detective work she learned to love with her sheriff father. It also means opportunity, along with danger, for her two male news reporter friends. In fact, it’s hard to believe how much danger a typist can find in crimes that reflect the issues of the day: prohibition, race relations, sexual slavery, labor unrest, and more. As dangerous as the detection is, Julia finds the emotional, social, and romantic demands of “new-woman-hood” just as challenging.

Linda and I were faculty colleagues at Emory and Henry College a few years ago. We actually had offices across the hall from one another and talked about writing a lot. It’s a pleasure to recommend her work to you. Take a look at the first in the series, The Good Old Summertime.

Author Marion Eaton: When the Clocks Stopped

I introduced Marion to you last week. If you didn’t download her book, here’s another chance.

When the Clocks Stopped: In the long, hot summer of 1976, in the English village of Rye-on Marsh, pregnant lawyer Hazel Dawkins is drawn, against her will, into troubling events in the lives of her clients—events that echo the past. The distant past. Mysteriously, she encounters Annie, a woman whose romantic and tempestuous life took place more than two centuries previously when Romney Marsh was a violent place, dominated by gangs of smugglers. As Hazel’s destiny intertwines with Annie’s in the shifting time-scape of the past and present, Hazel confronts a terrifying challenge that parallels history—and might even change it. If she survives…

Download your free copy here:

Forwarding contest again in September
We had excellent participation in our forwarding contest in August, so I’m doing it again in September. Forward my newsletter to a friend (or many friends), and include my email address when you forward it, so I will have a record of it. The more time you forward the email, the more chances you have to win. You can find the general rules here on

The giveaways below have been listed here before, and they are still valid. Plenty of books are available as free downloads, so check them out if you have not done so already. In addition, I have joined together with some other authors for another Amazon gift card giveaway in October. Details will be available soon.

Books and More Club multi-prize contest. I joined this club to give you an excellent opportunity to win some great prizes. The big one is an Amazon Kindle Fire. Then there are two $25 Amazon gift cards, two $10 Amazon gift cards, and four $5 Amazon gift cards. All you have to do is sign up here: This contest runs until Oct. 8.

Instafreebie Giveaway: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense.This one has been extended to Oct. 6, so don’t miss it.

The Prolific Reader. Kill the Quarterback is listed there along with some other great mysteries.

A Whiff of Walnut, the story continues

A Whiff of Walnut, a novella with Maxine Wayman and Woody Harper (protagonists of Point Spread) continues with two more chapters. In the two new chapters, Max makes an important discovery.

Chapters 1-8 (pdf)

Maxine Wayman and Woody Harper are best friends and seniors at Trinity Lane High School, class of 1967, in Nashville. Maxine a budding journalist is assigned to write a story on a former school secretary, Miss Lizzie, who has recently passed away. Maxine finds the assignment more complicated than she first realized.

Finally . . .

I have been concentrating on watercolors and not so much on writing this week. Here is a watercolor that I will be donating to the local beekeepers association next month for its silent auction to raise money to help new beekeepers get started. It’s called Abandoned hives.

Best quote I have come across this week:

“If you want to be a clever person, you have to learn how to ask cleverly, how to listen attentively, how to respond quietly, and how to stop talking when there is nothing more to say.” — Leo Tolstoy

Keep reading and have a great weekend.


Jim Stovall

You can connect with Jim on FacebookTwitterLinkedin, and BookBub.

His Amazon author page is where you can find more information about his books.

Last week’s newsletter

5-star review: 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. Granted, Max Wayman is not your typical teenage girl, but I could relate to her nonetheless because she is something like I had been as a teenage girl. I could readily identify with her struggle to succeed in a society that valued boys over girls. I also enjoyed learning right along with Max about what a point spread is and what it means for a team to shave points. The colorful, interesting, and even eccentric, characters Max interacted with made the story seem almost as if it could really happen. Well done, Mr. Stovall.

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