John I. Jones
John Isaac Jones is a retired journalist currently living at Merritt Island, Florida.
For more than thirty years, “John I.,” as he prefers to be called, was a reporter for media outlets throughout the world.
These included local newspapers in his native Alabama, The National Enquirer, News of the World in London, the Sydney Morning Herald, and NBC television.
He is the author of six novels, a short story collection and four novellas.
The Hand of God
In the early summer of 1955, Palm Beach County Judge Curtis Chillingworth and his socialite wife Marjorie mysteriously disappeared from their beach home at Manalapan, Florida and were never seen again. No bodies were ever found and the only evidence was a trail of blood which led from the home’s back porch to the ocean’s edge. Over the years, in the public’s imagination, the story took on mythic proportions. Who would want to kill the foremost jurist in Palm Beach County and his charming, devoted wife? What could be the motivation behind such savagery? Would the perpetrators ever be caught? This novel is based on those brutal murders. Chillingworth Wikipedia is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_Chillingworth
Thanks, PG!:Memoirs of a Tabloid Reporter recounts the life and adventures of reporter Billy Don Johnson during his twenty years (1975-1995) working for the fictional tabloid The National Insider. After his dreams of becoming a crusading journalist with daily newspapers are dashed, Billy throws himself into the wild world of diets, household tips, ghosts, UFOs, weird history, and celebrity scandal, all of which is designed to please Padrone Gallione (PG), the wonderful madman who was editor of the magazine. Like the tabloid industry itself, this book is a combination of fact and fiction. Within these pages, you will find untold stories from the lives of many famous people, get an inside look at how tabloid stories are created and examine the origins of celebrity scandal in American journalism. Ultimately, this book is a tribute to the genius of Generoso Pope Jr., founder and publisher of the National Enquirer.
The Duck Springs Affair
Devoted mother Cassie Carter is hard working and dedicated to running her small farm in Georgia. She tends to her home and sickly son daily while her truck driver husband is away on long hauls across the country. Her life and values take a sharp turn when a handsome and intelligent construction worker disrupts her daily routine. Her priorities shift and everything she keeps in her comfort zone is threatened.
Damaged romantic Paul Hamilton has a void in his life that leaves him wandering from affair to affair, empty and unfulfilled. He identifies with the haunting poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, yearning to capture an elusive love. One day, in an unexpected place, he discovers the love he is seeking, but she is out of his reach and he runs the risk of irreparably damaging the delicate balance he tries to maintain in his life.
In the Duck Springs Affair, Paul and Cassie’s worlds collide and explode. Will what they offer each other sustain and give them what they need out of life and love? Or, are they doomed to suffer the tragic consequences of their decisions as each searches for the perfect love?
Winner 2013 Indie Discovery Award for short stories!! Alabama Stories is a collection of short works lifted from the life of native son William Vernon “Billy” Johnson. Haunting, harrowing and gloriously-moving, these stories represent an intense examination of Billy’s childhood and young adult years in the Cotton State.
Meet the colorful characters Billy knew during his Alabama years. There was Boone, the tight-lipped, physically and emotionally crippled farmer who had a psychotic love for his invalid wife. You will never forget Annie, the lonely, tragic former actress who desperately wanted a child. Meet Bobby Worthington, the high school football star who dreamed of playing for Paul “Bear” Bryant. There was Virgil, the wildly successful Baptist evangelist who could never quite quench his thirst for black girls. Meet Charley, Billy’s angel unaware….
These are only a few of the strangely-wonderful characters who will step into your life when you read this book. Each and every one of these stories brings its own special flavor of Alabama to life and places it in direct context with the universal human experience.
The Last Cowboy
When the Lazy B Ranch is sold as a victim of the computer age, it seems that J.L. Crockett’s way of life as a cowboy in the United States is finished. So he decides to pack up and move to Argentina, where ranches are still run by human beings. As J.L. begins a cross-country journey to Miami so he can board the ship to South America, he meets Karina, another soul chasing after an elusive dream. The two join together in a wild and crazy trip where they encounter evangelists, con artists, thieves, ghosts and drug lords as they bond together over hardship along the way. Will J.L., with Karina, make it to his next destination or will he really be The Last Cowboy?
When Becky Stokes learned that she couldn’t have children, she was devastated. Doctors said corrective surgery could endanger her life and, after thumbing down several other options, she and her husband decided to use a surrogate to produce a child. After the papers were signed, however, nobody, including Becky, could have dreamed what happened next! A story of infidelity and just desserts!
The Old Indian
For years, Big Walter had dreamed of becoming Georgia’s Director of Public Safety. Now his big opportunity was before him. The governor’s chief aide said all he had to do was find the body of the governor’s college-age son who had been swept into the raging waters of theTallulah River in north Georgia. After three days, however, Big Walter, armed with all of the body-finding technology the twentieth century had to offer, came up with nothing. Then one of the locals suggested he talk to an old Indian who lived on the river. This is Big Walter’s story.
In the rural Deep South, there are stories about people who, upon the approach of their death, have been greeted by dead loved ones who return as ghosts to lead them into the next world. This is one of those stories.
The Old Men
For years, the old men had been hanging around the country grocery store whiling away their days playing checkers and dominoes and talking about politics, women, drinking and life experiences. All that time, the store owner readily approved their presence in the store and went on about his business as if they were not there. Then, one fateful morning in 1956, a new owner bought the business who was not quite as tolerant. The narrator of this story, an unnamed thirteen-year-old, was the son of the new owner and explains how his father dealt with the old men who hung around his store.
Tembo Makaburi, the Swahili term for “elephant cemetery,” is the stuff of which dreams are made for ivory hunters. This is the story of a greedy man’s quest for riches and glory as he relentlessly pursues a dying, bull elephant, and his valuable ivory tusks, across the arid, heat of the Serengeti plains. A chilling tale of greed and revenge!
Jen and Shirley Ann had been best friends in Palm Springs, CA. for more than 31 years. Even after Shirley Ann married and divorced Jen’s older brother, they remained friends. Although both owned homes in Palm Springs, Jen later purchased a home in Colorado so she could be near her ailing mother Pauline. Once Jen moved, Shirley Ann made frequent weekend trips to the new home to visit and go hiking. During one of those weekends, Pauline suddenly died and, because she was so cheap, her insurance policy didn’t cover the transportation for returning her body to Palm Springs for cremation. So, guess who was charged with that grisly chore? The spooky journey would not only test their friendship, but it would be an adventure they would always remember!
A shy, lonely computer genius tries to find love in the digital age. He would never be the same! Pygmalion for the 21st century!
“Follow love and it will flee; flee love and it will follow thee.” -Anonymous. When Alma Dawson, a middle-aged, hard-working single mother, sets out to get the tuition money for her daughter’s last year of college, she never dreamed her entire world would be turned upside down. A poignant, inspiring story, this novelette is a testimony to a devoted mother’s love!
Grandfathers is a heart-warming story of grandfathers and grandsons told in two parts. The first part is set in 1946 and relates the experiences of five-year-old Billy Johnson with his grandfather. The second part is set in 1996 and tells of Billy’s experiences with his own five-year-old grandson. What a difference 50 years makes!
Johnny Daytona is the seventh story in the Billy Johnson collection. In this story, Billy learns the incredible fascination the game of billiards held for him. Most of all, it recalls the love, respect and hero-worship he had for one of the greatest players the game had ever known. I hope you enjoy it!
Blood on the Salad
Here, ladies and gentlemen, you have “the kitchen from hell.” This is a sordid, hilarious tale of what goes on behind the scenes in the kitchen of a hotel restaurant. After reading this story, you might never again eat in another hotel restaurant, or any restaurant for that matter. Unfortunately, this story was based on the truth!
“PREJUDICE” is the first story in The Billy Johnson Collection. When Billy was five years old, he met a Negro on a personal, one-on-one basis for the first time. It would be an experience he would never forget. This story is an examination of racial prejudice in the Deep South in the late 1940s.
Archie Johnson thought he was prepared to meet his death in the electric chair. The sentence had been read; he had had his last meal and the prison chaplain had asked God to have mercy on his immortal soul. Then, just as they were strapping him into the chair and about to pull the switch, he suddenly realized there were a few things he wanted to do before he left this earth. This is Archie’s story.
You never really know the final toll that unrequited love can have on someone’s heart. If you’ve ever been the victim of unrequited love, and I’m sure most of us have, you know it is the most gut-wrenching, hellish nightmare the human heart can endure. In some cases, unrequited love can be so devastating that its toll extends far beyond the victim. This is such a case.
This short story is a testimony to the depths of parental love. One day in June of 1951, Billy Johnson’s father delayed plowing long enough to teach his son how to trap a rabbit. In the past, he had never seen his father delay plowing for any reason, especially when he was using black hired hands. Over the years that followed, he always assumed the motive for the lesson was nothing more than a father who was an avid sportsman teaching his son to trap a rabbit. After his father died, he learned differently.
It was Mother’s Day and Robert Allman tried to prepare for the occasion. Tradition held that when worshippers attended church on Mother’s Day, those whose mothers were alive wore red roses. Those whose mothers were passed, like Robert’s, would wear a white rose. However, after he could only find a red rose to wear, he never dreamed, not in a million years, what was in store for him.