Travel through a folksy history of Southern cooking from the best fruitcake before the Civil War to the ultimate Southern kitchen essential, the cast iron pan. Joe Johnston’s cultural history brings reminiscences and thoroughly-researched historical anecdotes. It is sprinkled with timeless stories and quotes from Southerners who really know their stuff! This book is for those from every Southern walk of life, but is also particularly appealing to those simply fascinated with cooking, history, and any- thing in between! With every detailed recollection, the heart and soul of Southern cooking shines through.

“Grits to Glory is a vivid recounting of the birth of Southern cuisine—peppered with food history, anecdotes, and entertaining stories of how the South came to be the food mecca it is today.”

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker, Culinary Explorer for the Georgia Department of Tourism and author of Dinner Déjà Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomor- row and Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes

with a French Accent

It Ends Here: Missouri's Last Vigilante

Robert Ford is known as the man who assassinated the outlaw Jesse James. But the story of Edward O’Kelley, the man who killed Robert Ford, has never been told so completely. O’Kelly put an exclamation point on the end of vigilantism in America. Now he comes to life in It Ends Here: Missouri’s Last Vigilante. The book weaves him into a tapestry with The Wild Bunch and the Missouri Kid, who was an anachronism, destined to a bad end in what may

be the Pinkerton Detective Agency’s greatest investigation.

“It Ends Here” is the third book in the Vigilante Series from Missouri History Museum, detailing true crime and law enforcement in the 1800s, focusing on Missouri, the state with the longest, most violent reign of vigilante justice in America. 

“It Ends Here” is the third book in the Vigilante Series from Missouri History Museum, detailing true crime and law enforcement in the 1800s, focusing on Missouri, the state with the longest, most violent reign of vigilante justice in America. 

Order from Missouri History Museum by copying and pasting the link below, or from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or other online retailers.

  Also order a personalized, signed copy from my home page, "Storyhound,"
Necessary Evil: Settling Missouri with a Rope and a Gun

In the settling of the Wild West, no place was more wracked with vigilante justice for a longer time than Missouri. This book, the second in the Missouri Vigilantes Series, from Missouri History Museum, details story after story of the people who dispensed hard and quick law enforcement in the 1800s, bringing out the vigilante in all of us.

Will Rogers Medallion Award
The Mack Marsden Murder Mystery: Vigilantism or Justice?

         In the late 19th century, while the cosmopolitan people of St. Louis were installing telephones, the sheriff in neighboring Jefferson County was trying to find out who was stealing all the pigs. Sandy Valley was home to Mack Marsden, and every major crime in Jefferson 

County was hung around his neck for over three years. The newspapers labeled him a desperado, but he was tried only once and never convicted of any wrongdoing. So when he was ambushed, shotgunned, and left dying in a dusty road, his mystery took on a new life. Who murdered him? And if Mack wasn’t the desperado behind all those crimes, who was?

          For the first time, in this award-winning book, all the available resources, including oral history, are mined for the clues that answer these questions and more. After 130 years, the light of research shines on the true Mack Marsden legend.

          The Mack Marsden Murder Mystery: Vigilantism or Justice? is a stirring tale of loyalty and family set in a thrilling Old West adventure. Winner of the best True Crime book, National Indie Excellence Book Awards. Published by Missouri History Museum, the first in their Missouri Vigilante Series.


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Awarded the Independent Publishers Association Silver Medal for Non-Fiction.
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Franklin is a portrait of  Franklin, TN, from the earliest human inhabitants to the present. In over 200 photos, some never before published, the book tells the story of a city that’s unique, Johnston says, because it has been so successful in preserving history, while progressing and becoming one of America’s most desirable places to live.”

“It was all done through cooperation of government and citizen groups,” Johnston says. “Where else can you park downtown for free and walk to dozens to historic sites, art exhibits, music venues, and thriving restaurants? And many of the hottest places in town are housed in restored and repurposed buildings that are over a hundred years old.”, he adds.

Johnston says, “It was important to weave African American history into the total picture. So often before, our city’s story has been told as white history, and oh, by the way, here’s the Black history. That’s not accurate. We’re all living one story.”

            Johnston also went out of his way to work with state archaeologists to include ancient people of the area. Also among the photos in Franklin are all six of the Confederate generals who died in the Civil War’s Battle of Franklin. They’re rarely found together, because some of the generals only had one photo taken in their lifetime. There’s also a photo of one of the city’s three members of World War Two’s famed Tuskegee Airmen.

            Franklin is in the Images of America series from Arcadia Press. 

To order: 

Somethin' from Nothin'
The Four Dimensions of Creativity

I see untapped creativity in everyone, and I can help anyone be more creative. This helpful and inspiring how-to of "making stuff" is designed for artist, parents, engineers, musicians, homemakers, and anyone else who wants to be as creative as they can be. In this book I share the Four Dimensions of Creativity.

The "Me, Myself and I" dimension is taking care of oneself. Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects are all revealed. The "Doing the Work" unlocks the secrets of working successfully. From time of day to dealing with issues like depression. Nobody works alone, so the "Other People Who Aren't Me" dimension is about healthy, productive supervision and teamwork. And all creativity relies on the "Fire" dimension. This book tells how to feed the creative fire and keep it burning. 

Somethin' from Nothin' is the guide to being more creative more of the time, and enjoying the ride. AVAILABLE ONLY AS AN E-BOOK.
I've had the privilege of mentoring and counseling lots of developing music makers. Every year, thousands of talented people take the leap of faith into the music business. What makes some of the millionaires, while some go down in flames? This little book is part practical advice, and part guidance along the softer side, the psychological and emotional roller coaster of the business. It's especialy about maintaining a positive, healthy life in the face of an unforgiving and unpredictable career. 

In music, we're continually faced with the choice of doing what it takes to fail or succeed, and this is the guide to which choices lead which direction.