Stephen Woodfin's Last One Chosen: A Top 5 Finalist

The literary experts are speaking.


And clear.

Stephen Woodfin

The Best Indie Books of 2012, sponsored by Jeff Bennington and the Kindle Book Review, have been narrowed down from 170 semi-finalists in six major categories: Horror/Suspense, Literary Fiction, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller, and Young Adults.

And Caleb and Linda Pirtle has a reason to be excited.

One of our featured novels LAST ONE CHOSEN by STEPHEN WOODFIN has emerged as a TOP FIVE finalist in the Mystery/Thriller category.

For Woodfin, it is a crowning achievement in a year that saw him release all three novels in The Revelation Trilogy: Last One Chosen, Next Best Hope, and The Revelation Effect.

In his mind, in his heart, the story has been there all along. For decades, Woodfin knew the book he wanted to write. The plot, the characters, kept percolating in his head – growing, changing, demanding to be put on paper.

He knew he should write it.

The idea haunted him for years.

But words on a page – 75,000 words on page – were daunting, especially when he had a life to live, a career to build, and his life and career kept taking unexpected and sometimes unorthodox roads.

Woodfin ran off to Wake Forest, North Carolina, and earned a Master of Divinity of Degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He would become a preacher. He thought. And he became a minister at a Baptist Church in Dallas. He was perfect for the position. He could, after all, pick a pretty mean guitar.

He thought preaching had to do with the Lord’s work.

He learned about the politics.

Stephen Woodfin walked out of the pulpit, drove south to Waco, walked into Baylor University Law School and began work on a law degree.

On several occasions, he has told juries that he attended seminary to get the Lord on his side and law school to recruit the Devil’s assistance.

Stephen Woodfin wasn’t taking any chances.

The story kept pounding at his head. It kept gnawing at his conscience. And after twenty-five years of practicing law – he still handles cases, most of them big, most of them national in scope – he decided the time had come to start putting the first of those 75,000 words on paper.

He worked closely for a couple of years with noted author Jory Sherman, whose novel, The Grass Kingdom, had been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and Woodfin began refining the art of writing a novel.

The story had been there all along.

Now it was time to be written.

Woodfin thought it would be a slow go. But he writes the way he likes for his readers to read. He kept churning out pages of a novel that is indeed a first-class, hold-your-breath, just-when-you-think-you’ve-got-it-figured-out, you don’t page-turner. You fall in love with the characters. You worry at night about the characters. You bleed with the characters. The ending hits you right between the eyes with a ball-peen hammer. You should have seen it coming. You didn’t.

In Stephen Woodfin’s novel, LAST ONE CHOSEN, the government attempts to silence a brilliant scientist when he refuses to cooperate in a plan to deploy the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. By so doing, the scientist, Joshua Issacharoff, sows the seed of his own destruction.
However, LAST ONE CHOSEN is more than a fast-paced legal thriller. It is a parable, a story in which things long hidden slowly begin to reveal themselves as surely as a butterfly emerges from the cocoon. There are oblique references throughout the book to THE IDIOT, Dostoevsky’s story of the one true person as he conceived such a character in nineteenth century Russia. These hints provide a clue to the story within the story.

What if the one true person lived among us now? Would we recognize him for what he is, for who he is, or banish him to the death chamber? Would we listen to his kind words of love or condemn him as a traitor?

Writers have grappled with these questions for centuries. In LAST ONE CHOSEN, Stephen Woodfin weaves the story with suspense that begins with a mad rush and never lets up.

Don’t misunderstand me. This isn’t a churchy or preachy book. The characters, a couple of country lawyers who form the defense team, a gay Black preacher, a dope head whore rescued from the street, a convicted thief, a television actress, a fired Baptist minister, among an odd assortment of others, are gritty and real. For instance, take this example of Woodfin’s description of the inner thoughts of Mabel, a girl from the street, as she considers what to do with her failed life.

She thought of a later visit, this time on her senior trip with three of her girl friends. Nice girls all, they were hungry for a taste of something beyond Kilgore, Texas, a wild something. She had outdone them all, scaring them home afraid to tell of her exploits, her two-day disappearance that ended when three guys old enough to be her father dropped her off on the highway a mile from their rented unit, and she wobbled her way to the door sporting a new tattoo and her first STD.

It is powerful stuff.

Likewise, the government’s agents are mean to the bone, calculating, vicious, willing to stop at nothing to achieve their grab for world domination.

The action builds to its climax when Joshua Issacharoff stands trial. But the trial’s bizarre ending displays that justice is ephemeral, a poor substitute for redemption.

The last chapter ends. The story doesn’t leave you. LAST ONE CHOSEN will remain with you for a long time.

It is a Biblical story as only an attorney could write it.


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