Welcome to the webpage of


John Richard Stephens
Author and Editor

Most of John's 21 books have been repeatedly published in various editions by a number of the world's top publishers, which is why you'll see several different covers for many of the books listed below. His books include Commanding the Storm, Weird History 101, Wyatt Earp Speaks, Voodoo, Adventure!, and The King of the Cats.

Before becoming a writer, John gained experience in a wide variety of occupations ranging from work as a psychiatric counselor in two hospitals and three mental health facilities to being an intelligence officer and squadron commander in the U.S. Air Force.

His books have been selections of the Preferred Choice Book Club, the Quality Paperback Book Club and the Book of the Month Club. His work has been published as far away as India and Singapore and has been translated into Japanese and Finnish.

John also has the distinguished honor of being quoted around the world next to such luminaries as Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Lord Byron and Franz Kafka. 


Scroll down to see John's books.



Commanding the Storm

Civil War Battles in the Words of the Generals Who Fought Them



Commanding the
                        Storm cover

Lyons Press (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), Lanham, MD, 2012, hardcover and ebook.


Commanding the Storm cover

Lyons Press (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), Lanham, MD, 2014, softcover.


Twenty-four of the Civil War's best-known commanders describe in their own words the twelve most famous battles of the war.

From Beauregard and Custer to Lee and Sherman, twelve commanders from each side vividly describe what they and their men experienced at twelve of the war's most legendary battles from Fort Sumter to Appomattox Court House in accounts gathered from letters, memoirs, reports, and testimonies. They relate noted incidents and personal triumphs and tragedies while covering strategies and explaining battlefield decisions.

Trench warfare at Petersburg and Sherman's scorched earth policy in Georgia foreshadowed the world wars to come, and technological advancements--such as armored steamships, landmines, and machine guns--literally changed the landscape of war. Submarines and a time bomb even came into play. Also discussed are notable tactics and technologies, including espionage, aerial reconnaissance, and guerrilla warfare.

Here, from the men who conducted and controlled it, is an invaluable sourcebook of what happened in the War Between the States and why. Relive the most important Civil War battles through the personal experiences of their most famous commanders.


The Library Journal says, "This will bring Civil War history alive."

Selected as a membership premium by the Civil War Trust.


Commanding the Storm cover

The Civil War Trust cover.


Available at

Lyons
                            Press
Barnes and Noble Apple iBooks Kobo
Amazon

Books-a-Million
IndieBound.com eBooks.com





Humor and the Civil War

Comedy from America's Darkest Hours


Humor and the Civil War cover

Fern Canyon Press, Maui, HI, 2013, ebook.

President Abraham Lincoln said he wouldn't have been able to survive the Civil War without his jokes and amusing stories. That war was by far the greatest struggle the United States has ever faced. More Americans died in the Civil War than in all of the other wars combined. Americans--both North and South--endured very difficult times and suffered terrible tragedies, and yet they maintained their sense of humor. They even printed jokes on the front page of newspapers, mixed in with the top news stories.

Mark Twain is, of course, the most famous humorist of the nineteenth century, but there were others who were famous then that aren't quite as well known now. What they wrote still holds up well today and deserves to be revived. These humorists include Lincoln’s favorites: Artemus Ward, Orpheus C. Kerr, and Petroleum V. Nasby. There's also Josh Billings, Alf Burnett, Bret Harte, and Ambrose Bierce. Even Abraham Lincoln himself was noted for his many funny stories and jokes. And people were still writing humorous stories involving the war at the end of the century, when O. Henry came along. This book includes all of them, along with some rare pieces by Mark Twain.

Here's just one example: "During the war a Southern editor, wishing to compliment Confederate General Pillow, wrote a notice of him, in which the General was called the 'battle-scarred hero,' but the typesetter made the phrase read, the 'battle-scared hero.' On reading the notice, the irate soldier hied himself to the newspaper office, and demanded a correction. This was promised, and the next day's paper spoke of General Pillow as a 'bottle-scarred hero.' "

This book draws together the very best of the Civil War's humor, parodies, burlesques, funny anecdotes, jokes, satire, personal experiences, tall tales, and wit. Retrieved through extensive research from books, newspapers, speeches, letters, and personal diaries, some of this material hasn't been published since the war.


Available at

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Amazon
eason





Weird History 101

My Dinner with Attila the Hun, I Started World War I,

Watching Custer's Last Stand and Other Tales

of Intrigue, Mayhem and Outrageous Behavior


Weird History 101 cover

Adams Media, Holbrook, MA (now Simon & Schuster), 1997, softcover.


Weird History 101
                    cover

Barnes & Noble Publishing, New York City, 2006, hardcover.

Weird History 101
                          cover

Adams Media (F+W Publications, now Simon & Schuster), New York City, 2009, softcover.


"We heard shooting. We hid in the brush. The sounds of the shooting multiplied--pop--pop--pop--pop--pop--pop! We heard women and children screaming. Old men were calling the young warriors to battle. Young men were singing their war songs as they responded to the call. We peeped out. Throngs of Sioux men on horses were racing toward the skirt of timber just south of the Uncpapa camp circle, where the guns were clattering. The horsemen warriors were dodging through a mass of women, children and old people hurrying afoot to the benchland hills west of the camps."¯

The Native American woman who wrote this was experiencing the beginning of an event that would become legendary in American history. She was about to be one of the few eyewitnesses to Custer's Last Stand.

Thought history was dull and boring? That's because you were never taught any of the really interesting stuff. In this book, John Richard Stephens brings together striking firsthand accounts, rare documents, and weird and unusual information to reveal the flip side of "official"¯ history. This is the sort of stuff they wouldn't dare teach you in school.


bullet A spy explains how easy it was to steal CIA secrets and sell them to the KGB.

bullet In 1957 the U.S. Air Force accidentally dropped a hydrogen bomb on Arizona. Then in 1966 they dropped three on Spain.

bullet Houdini's secrets revealed! Discover how he survived being buried alive and how he escaped from a locked safe.

bullet An official government pamphlet claims nuclear warfare isn't really that harmful to your health.

bullet A firsthand account by a man who was standing on the Titanic when it went underwater.

bullet A doctor tells his famous patients to drink a glass of water containing fifty live millipedes twice a day to aid digestion.

bullet Find out about the foreign invaders who actually destroyed the White House.

Can you guess which American presidents said:

bullet "Things are more like they are now than they have ever been."¯

bullet "Oftentimes...I don't seem to grasp that I am President."¯

bullet "I have opinions of my own--strong opinions--but I don't always agree with them."¯

Find the answers in Weird History 101. You'll wish this book had been your history class textbook!

This is a collection of unusual odds and ends of the past, with selections like "Eyewitness to Custer's Last Stand," "Dinner with Attila the Hun," "Wyatt Earp Tells of the Shootout at O.K. Corral," "Unintelligible Quotations of U.S. Presidents," "The Sacking of the White House," "Take Some Lice and Call Me in the Morning," and "Unusual Uses for Mummies."

This is history as entertainment. You may be surprised, amused, infuriated, and perhaps even offended, but you won't be bored! You're not used to seeing history like this. The kind that is often censored, covered up, ignored or white washed. They don't teach you this stuff in college.


Available at


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Amazon







Wildest Lives of the Frontier

America Through the Eyes of
Jesse James, George Armstrong Custer,
and Other Famous Westerners



The Wildest Lives of the Frontier
                    cover

TwoDot Books (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), Lanham, MD, 2016, softcover and ebook.

By and about the greatest celebrities of frontier America, these are the stories of their adventures told in their own words through excerpts from autobiographies, articles they wrote, newspaper interviews, private journals, intimate letters, and court testimony.

Read their own personal accounts as told by:


Daniel Boone
Lewis and Clark
Sacagawea
Davy Crockett
Black Hawk
John C. Frémont
Kit Carson
John Sutter
Buffalo Bill
Mark Twain
Jesse James
Cole Younger
Frank James
George Armstrong Custer
Crazy Horse
Sitting Bull

This book offers a rare glimpse into the world of these legendary figures as they describe their own heroic exploits, fierce battles, deadly gunfights, horrible crimes, thrilling discoveries, and harsh dangers of life on the frontier of the American West, while revealing the roles they played in the notable events that made them famous.


Available at

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Amazon
eason






Wildest Lives of the Wild West

America Through the Eyes of
Wild Bill Hickok, Billy the Kid
and Other Famous Westerners



Wildest Lives of the Wild West
                    cover

TwoDot Books (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), Lanham, MD, 2016, softcover and ebook.

By and about the greatest celebrities of the Wild West, these are the stories of their adventures told in their own words through excerpts from autobiographies, articles they wrote, newspaper interviews, private journals, personal letters, and court testimony. These glimpses into the worlds of these legendary figures as they describe their own personal experiences, impressions, what life in the Wild West was like, and reveal the roles they played in notable events in American history.

Read their own personal accounts as told by:


Wild Bill Hickok
George Armstrong Custer
Buffalo Bill Cody
Billy the Kid
Pat Garrett
Calamity Jane
Frederic Remington
Geronimo
John Wesley Hardin
Wyatt Earp
Doc Holliday
Teddy Roosevelt
William Pinkerton
Emmett Dalton
Butch Cassidy
Deadwood Dick



Available at


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Amazon
eason




Wyatt Earp Speaks

My Side of the O.K. Corral Shootout,

Plus Interviews with Doc Holliday

Written by Wyatt Earp and others

(Introductions and footnotes written by John Richard Stephens.
Also edited by John Richard Stephens.)

Wyatt Earp Speaks cover

Fern Canyon Press, Cambria Pines by the Sea, CA, 1998, hardcover and softcover.
Fern Canyon Press, Maui, HI, 2013, ebook.

Wyatt Earp Speaks
                          cover

Fall River Press (Barnes & Noble Publishing), New York City, 2009 first version and 2015 second version, hardcover.

Legendary lawman Wyatt Earp entered Wild West history with his guns blazing and people have been fighting about him ever since. His exploits have become so distorted by many books and movies that, chances are, almost everything you know about Wyatt Earp and the O.K. Corral Gunfight is wrong. Over the years so much has been made up about what happened that the truth is now deeply buried under a pile of distortions, faulty inferences, embellishments, and outright lies.

For the first time ever, Wyatt Earp's writings, court testimony, newspaper interviews and other hard-to-find items from contemporary sources are brought together in this collection. Wyatt Earp himself explains his side of the gunfight near the O.K. Corral and his experiences as a frontier lawman in Tombstone and Dodge City.

This unique book also includes several interviews with Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson's tributes to Wyatt and Doc, a shot-by-shot reconstruction of the famous gunfight with diagrams, and is lavishly illustrated with maps, drawings and photographs.

Now find out what really happened at the infamous gunfight near the O.K. Corral--which was one of the largest shootouts in Wild West history--and what life was like in the lawless wilds in and around Tombstone, Arizona. In this wonderful sourcebook, discover what Wyatt and Doc had to say about the events that made them famous.

"One day six of the cowboys came into town and proposed to run it. The Earps were informed of their doings and they invited me to go over to where the cowboys were. One of the Earps said, 'Throw up your hands; we have come to disarm you.' Instead of putting up their paws they put up their revolvers and began firing."¯  --Doc Holliday


The Tombstone Epitaph says, "The words of a western legend speak from beyond the grave through antique letters and articles."

Book and Magazine Collector says, "...Wyatt Earp Speaks contained yet more fascinating primary material, together with an expert commentary by John Richard Stephens."


Available at

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Wyatt Earp Tells of the

Gunfight Near the O.K. Corral


Wyatt Earp Tells of the Gunfight Near the
                      O.K. Corral cover

Fern Canyon Press, Cambria Pines by the Sea, CA, 2000, booklet.
First edition has perfect binding. The second edition is stapled.

This booklet explains the causes of the shootout and what happened during the fight and the bloody vendetta that followed. Much of this story is in Wyatt's own historic words. It also includes a detailed analysis of the gunfight with shot-by-shot diagrams and maps.

While most of this material is scattered throughout Wyatt Earp Speaks, this booklet pulls together the most important information and puts it in chronological order to provide a better understanding of what the most famous gunfight in Western history was all about.

This is an easy-to-understand explanation of what really led to the shootout, what happened during the fight, the aftermath of the fight--including the bloody vendetta--and how circumstances were distorted to make the Earps and Doc Holliday look like they were the criminals. There is also an analysis of the gunfight with shot-by-shot diagrams.

Discover how the gunfight actually began in Harwood's lumberyard and why it couldn't have taken place in the O.K. Corral, as some still claim today. Also find out why it's important that the fight didn't take place in the corral and how it was a stagecoach robbery, murder, and treachery that put the two groups on the collision course that ended in the deaths of eight men.

This an informative and enlightening examination of a significant event in a fascinating period of Western history.


"Bullets were flying so fast that I could not keep track of them. Frank McLaury had given a yell when I shot him and made for the street with his hand over his stomach."   --Wyatt Earp

"Rich with detail," says The Tombstone Epitaph.


Available at


Barnes and Noble
Amazon







The Wild, Wild West

Thrilling Tales by Famous Authors


The Wild, Wild West cover

Sterling Publishing (Barnes & Noble Publishing), New York City, 2010, hardcover.


The Wild, Wild West cover

Fern Canyon Press, Maui, HI, 2013, ebook.

The Wild, Wild West cover

Fern Canyon Press, Maui, HI, 2015, ebook.

"A town that had a man for breakfast every morning."¯ That's how Tombstone, Arizona was described in the late-1800s, bolstering the myth that a corpse would be found cooling in the town's dusty streets each sunrise. The reality was quite different and much less violent, of course, but that hasn't kept the fanciful folklore of the Wild West from being retold in the years since, across America and around the world.

This book captures the quick-trigger temper and savage spirit of America's frontier days in The Wild, Wild West, an exciting compilation of factual and fictional stories about the Wild West by famous authors.

This is a collection of works on the Wild West by many of the world's most famous authors from the 1800s, including Dickens, Wilde, Emerson, Whitman, Longfellow, Muir, Irving, Thoreau, Twain, Kipling, Bierce, London, James Fenimore Cooper, O. Henry, Bret Harte, Zane Grey, Max Brand, Stephen Crane, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson. The selections involve gunfights, outlaws, gold mining, the Pony Express, stagecoach robberies, cowboys, card sharks, vigilantes, lynchings, ghost towns, and sheep, along with tributes to Custer and to the Native Americans who did him in.

In a Max Brand tale, a town offers to reward a gunslinger for bringing in a stage robber dead or alive, leading to a battle of wits in the outlaw's canyon hideout. A story by Stephen Crane involves four men who play a card game for fun which ends in death, while Jack London tells of a deadly struggle between a hard-working prospector and an opportunistic murderer over a load of gold. Then there's the very first story that introduced the Cisco Kid to the world, along with the jumping frog story that made Mark Twain famous.

The vivid personalities and the stories they give rise to in The Wild, Wild West reveal the truth behind the embroidered legends of the Old West, even as they add to them.


Available at

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Amazon
eason




Gold

Firsthand Accounts from the Rush That Made the West


Gold cover

TwoDot Books (Morris Book Publishing, now Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group), Guilford, CT, 2014, softcover and ebook.

The Gold Rush era was an amazing time in our country's history. California had just been occupied during the Mexican-American War and wasn't officially a U.S. territory yet when gold was discovered in 1848. Suddenly the whole world was electrified by the news and tales of men digging vast amounts of wealth out of the ground, even finding gold nuggets just lying around. Within five years, 250,000 miners dug up more than $200 million in gold--about $600 billion in today's dollars.

Gold offers a feel for what it was like to live through the heady days of the discovery and exploitation of gold in California in the mid-1800s through firsthand accounts, short stories, and tall tales written by the people who were there. These eyewitness accounts offer an immediacy that brings the events to life.


Wild West magazine says, "Stephens sifts some of the most informative and engaging accounts to relate the good, the bad, the ugly and many outright surprising aspects of the gold rush era, capping the anthology with classic short stories of the period.... Like Sutter's gold, the narrative treasures lie waiting to be found."


Available at

Rowman and Littlefield
Barnes and Noble Amazon
Indie
                              Bound
eason
Books-a-Million eBooks.com







Captured by Pirates

22 Firsthand Accounts of Murder and Mayhem
on the High Seas


Captured by Pirates cover

Fern Canyon Press, Cambria Pines by the Sea, CA, 1996, softcover.

Captured by Pirates
                        cover

Barnes & Noble Publishing, New York City, 2006, hardcover.

Captured by Pirates
                      cover

Fern Canyon Press, Maui, HI, 2013, ebook.

Pirates are primarily known for their swashbuckling attitudes, their freebooting lifestyle, their high-seas adventures and their stolen treasure, but their victims tend to be forgotten. These are the innocent and not-so-innocent voyagers who find themselves suddenly snatched up, brutalized, and franticly struggling to save their own lives. Many were viciously murdered, but a few survived. In this revised edition of Captured by Pirates, which features additional material not found in earlier editions, author and researcher John Richard Stephens has collected twenty-two astounding firsthand accounts from people who found themselves helpless prisoners on the open ocean and somehow made it through, usually badly scathed.

Dead men tell no tales, but the survivors do. These true crime tales of terror are collected from personal accounts, private letters, official reports, ships' logs and pirate trial transcripts. The long-forgotten narratives from 1500 to 1850 are among the rarest of buried treasures, with some not having been in print for almost two centuries. These men and women offer a look at pirates from a unique perspective, providing rare insight into the everyday lives of pirate captains Henry Morgan, Howell Davis, Edward Low, John Phillips, and their blood-thirsty crews. Some of the captives were even forced to become pirates themselves in order to survive, while in one account, a pirate vividly describes his capture by other pirates and how he exacted his revenge.

These involuntary participants describe thrilling sea chases, raging battles, desperate knife fights, treachery, double dealings, betrayals, maroonings, murders, tortures, skeletons, treasure and even a little romance. Their very personal eyewitness accounts provide an intimacy and intensity that will almost make you feel as if you're standing there alongside them looking straight into the faces of these ferocious pirates.


"Our decks were instantly crowded with the motley crew of desperados...finding myself surrounded by wretches whose yells, oaths and imprecations made them more resemble demons than human beings. I fell on my knees and...begged for permission to retire to the cabin that I might not be...a witness of the murderous scene!"  ¯ --Lucretia Parker in a letter to her brother.

 Scotland's Nautical Magazine says, "Forget Treasure Island, Pirates of the Caribbean, Cutthroat Island, or any of Hollywood's sanitized versions of piracy if you want realism!...All the villainous, cutthroat characters portrayed in this book were for real....not recommended for children or the squeamish!"


Available at

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Amazon
eason







The Pirate Trial of Anne Bonny and Mary Read


Constance Bond and Tamara J. Eastman
(Footnotes, editing and design by John Richard Stephens.)


The Pirate Trial of Anne Bonny and
                            Mary Read cover

Fern Canyon Press, Cambria Pines by the Sea, CA, 2000, booklet.
The covers of this booklet were printed on three different types of card stock--
light-gray parchment,
dark-gray parchment and beige parchment.

Throughout the centuries pirates have captivated imaginations as no other figures from history could, and the fact that some pirates were women has astonished and intrigued people even more.

Anne Bonny and Mary Read were two of the most notorious female pirates to ever wreak havoc on the high seas. Tough and courageous, they became legends during their own lifetimes. The myths surrounding Anne and Mary have become wilder in the nearly 300 years since they were captured, put on trial in Jamaica, and condemned to hang on the gallows.

This booklet explores the actual events that lead up to the capture of John "Calico Jack" Rackham and his crew, including his “brace of hellcats.”  It also includes the complete, unabridged transcript of their trial. Read the eyewitness accounts of captives who provided detailed information on these women pirates, including one victim who testified that she nearly lost her life at the hands of Anne Bonny! Going beyond the myths surrounding the women and placing them in a true historical context, find out how various primary source documents--such as the court transcript and personal correspondence from the governors of the Bahamas and Jamaica--have helped lay to rest many of the myths that have followed these women through the centuries. Read what may have actually transpired inside the Jamaican jail--including new information regarding Mary's death--and how ongoing research has already uncovered some fascinating new facts regarding Anne Bonny's mysterious disappearance from her jail cell, and what transpired once she found her way back to the Colonies.

The Pirate Trial of Anne Bonny and Mary Read captures the true spirit of these courageous and remarkable hellions, bringing back to life these legendary figures from the Golden Age of Piracy.


Available at


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Amazon








The Hawai'i Bathroom Book

Light Reading for the Lua, Airport, Bus, Waiting Room


The Hawai'i Bathroom Book cover

Mutual Publishing, Honolulu, Oahu, HI, 2012, softcover.

The Hawai'i Bathroom
                        Book cover

Mutual Publishing, Honolulu, Oahu, HI, 2014, softcover.

We all enjoy light reading to pass the time in waiting rooms, to relax, or to help us fall asleep. There are no bathrooms in the book, but that's a great place to read it. Open this book to any page and start perusing. Each selection is quick and easy to read, but more importantly they are very entertaining.

Here is Hawai'i's first-ever collection of over 200 flash pieces served in consumable bites. They will amuse, educate, and entertain and they don't require deep thinking. There is something for all tastes with a vast array of subjects, compiled from many sources.

This book is packed full of short sayings, anecdotes, little-known facts and historical stories that will broaden your understanding and knowledge of Hawai'i. There are firsthand accounts of Agatha Christie's experiences surfing and three geologists who accidentally slipped into molten lava. From Frank Sinatra to Sammy Hagar, from the Big Island to the Forbidden Island, learn amazing details about this paradise of the Pacific.

Sit back and enjoy your wait reading about tikis, ghosts, Pele, shave ice, volcanos, paniolos (Hawai'i's cowboys), Kona nightingales, Mark Twain, From Here to Eternity, baseball, Father Damien, hula, parrotfish, island scenery, James Michener, humpback whales, World War II, Big Foot, Adam Sandler, spinner dolphins, night marchers, Barking Sands, early Honolulu luau, sugar cane, Lucky Cats, humuhumunukunukuapua'a, and much, much more. Feel the aloha!


Available at


Mutual Publishing Barnes and Noble Amazon






A Skeleton at the Helm

Tales of Ghost Ships, Derelicts and Hauntings at Sea


A Skeleton at the Helm
                      cover

Metro Books (Barnes & Noble Publishing), New York City, 2007, hardcover.


A Skeleton at the Helm interior

The book's interior. It's very nicely designed.

With tales of strange shipwrecks on dark, stormy nights, ships that are haunted by terrible ghosts and bloody misdeeds from the past, and, of course, the doomed ship, the Flying Dutchman, which, with its ghostly crew, is cursed to sail the seas forever, this collection of nautical nightmares is the perfect book for late night reading.

Editor John Richard Stephens has carefully selected over thirty chilling tales written by a wide range of legendary writers, from fathers of horror like Edgar Allan Poe and Bram Stoker, to masters of adventure like Jack London and Rudyard Kipling, and even to canonical poets such as Tennyson and Yeats. There is even the unexpected, such as the story by Winston Churchill (the prime minister, not the author with the same name).

But frights on the high seas like sightings of the Flying Dutchman--which makes more than one appearance in this volume--are hardly a thing of the past, as Stephens ably illustrates in his introduction, where he catalogues the many dangers, real and imagined, that await nautical voyagers today.

A Skeleton at the Helm is a frightening anthology of classic tales about the supernatural and hauntings on the high seas.


Available at


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Amazon






Adventure

Thrilling Tales of Discovery


Adventure cover

Metro Books (Barnes & Noble Publishing), New York City, 2007, hardcover.

Adventure book
                      interior.

The book's interior. Looks sharp, doesn't it?

The Indiana Jones films are among the popular of all time. Adventure! collects a wide variety of adventurous tales--many of them true--which are reminiscent of, and often even directly inspired, many of the films' thrilling scenes.

All the selections are set in exotic, faraway locations ranging from the jungles of the Amazon to the deserts of China and are often written in an intimate and thrilling first person style. The stories--written by real-life explorers like Stanley and Livingstone, as well as classic authors like Rudyard Kipling, H. Rider Haggard, and H. G. Wells--are filled with ancient tombs, gigantic spiders, shrunken heads, witch doctors, desert caravans, deadly quicksand, vampire bats, and lots of very large snakes. This is the perfect book for anyone who loves excitement and adventure!

Available at


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Amazon







Into the Mummy's Tomb

Mysterious Tales of Mummies and Ancient Egypt



Into the Mummy's Tomb cover

Berkley Books (Penguin Group, now Penguin Random House), New York City, 2001, softcover.


Into the Mummy's Tomb cover

Barnes & Noble Publishing, New York City, 2006, hardcover.

The Mummy. The first thing that comes to mind is the curse...reanimation...and revenge. But what further mysteries are there to be unwrapped in the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians? And what horrors still lie buried in the imaginations of the immortal talents who have explored this realm of the fantastic?

This thrilling anthology of tales on Ancient Egypt and its mummies features a diverse selection of remarkable talents, from major bestselling authors like Anne Rice (famous for her vampire and mummy novels) and Elizabeth Peters (mystery's master of Egyptology), to all-time favorites such as Bram Stoker (who wrote one of the first mummy novels) and Agatha Christie (queen of the sealed "tomb" mystery). Into the Mummy's Tomb even includes a few surprises--a short story by Tennessee Williams (his first professional sale), a translation of a tale written in 300 b.c. by an Egyptian priest, and nonfiction pieces by famous Egyptologist Arthur Weigall and the discoverer of King Tut's tomb, Howard Carter. It also includes contributions from Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir H. Rider Haggard, Sax Rohmer, Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, H. P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and more.

You never know what you might find when you venture into the mummy's tomb for century-spanning tales of the undead that have survive in the nightmares of the living.


Publisher's Weekly writes, "Ancient curses are unleashed, the spirits of disturbed dead bodies exact revenge, archaeologists get lost in underground mazes and ships bearing unearthed coffin lids sink in Into the Mummy's Tomb."

Necropsy: The Review of Horror Fiction says, "Into the Mummy's Tomb is a necessary addition to the collection of any serious fan of horror or mummies."

This book was a preliminary nomination for the Horror Writers Association's Bram Stoker Award: Superior Achievement in an Anthology.


Available at


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Amazon






Vampires, Wine and Roses

Vampires, Wine and
                    Roses cover

Berkley Books (Penguin Group, now Penguin Random House), New York City, 1997, softcover.

Vampires, Wine
                          and Roses cover

Metro Books (Barnes & Noble Publishing), New York City, 2008, hardcover.

This is a collection of vampire stories entirely written by famous authors--from Sir Walter Scott to Woody Allen--most of whom are not usually associated with supernatural literature. Thirty-one famous authors to be exact. Through extensive research, John Richard Stephens has unearthed many of these misplaced classics and gathered them together into a single book. The result is Vampires, Wine & Roses.

It includes works by Anne Rice (a short story and a rare vampire poem), Lenny Bruce, Sting, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Southey, Edgar Allan Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Lord Byron, H. G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Ivan Turgenev, Robert Louis Stevenson, Baudelaire, Jules Verne, Voltaire, John Keats, Guy de Maupassant, Alexandre Dumas, Conrad Aiken, Sir Thomas Malory, Thomas Hardy, Rod Serling, Goethe, T. S. Eliot, Edith Wharton, H. P. Lovecraft, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and, of course, Bram Stoker (a chapter that was cut from the vampire classic, Dracula).

Even the most ardent vampire fan will be surprised to discover that many of these classic authors actually wrote about vampires.

Nominated for the International Horror Guild Award, Best Anthology Award.

USA Today says, "Another timely literary offering is Vampires, Wine & Roses..."

The Straits Times from Singapore says, "There is no denying the lineup here is eclectic....The result is an erudite, quirky collection of writing."

The Virginia Quarterly Review points out that "Stephens's volume is a wonderfully entertaining bat's-eye view of our culture's continuing fascination with graveyards and bedrooms and the creatures who inhabit them both."


Available at


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Amazon







The Book of the Living Dead

The Book of the Living
                    Dead cover

Berkley Books (Penguin Group, now Penguin Random House), New York City, 2010, softcover and ebook.

Explore the other side of mortality with the world's greatest writers. From Mark Twain to Jack London, this is a unique literary vault of the living dead.

Zombies, vampires, mummies, Frankenstein's monster and other reanimated corpses--the undead rise in a variety of frightening ways. And all are featured in this collection of classic stories by an impressive lineup of authors including: Mary Shelley, Lafcadio Hearn, Sir Walter Scott, Washington Irving, Guy De Maupassant, Amy Lowell, Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, along with a few lesser-known authors with comparable creepy talents for the grim and gruesome.

If the dead cannot rest in peace, neither will the living.


Available at

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Amazon
Book Depository

Books-a-Million

eBooks.com







Voodoo

Strange and Fascinating Tales and Lore


Voodoo cover

Sterling Publishing (Barnes Noble Publishing), 2010, hardcover and ebook.

Voodoo.... The very word conjures shadowy and sinister images of black magic and primitive rites and rituals: crudely fashioned dolls stuck with pins, mojos, animal sacrifices, wild dancing to savage drumbeats, venomous snakes, and bones charged with lethal supernatural powers that can make a person drop dead for no apparent reason. Then there are zombies--the soulless living dead, whose reanimated corpses are sprung from graves at midnight to mindlessly serve the summoning voodoo houngan.

Some of this is fact, some is fiction, and most is exaggeration. In the extended introduction John Richard Stephens delves into the real world of authentic voodoo, exposing the myths and exploring its mysteries, from its birthplace in the jungles of Africa to its practice in the islands of the Caribbean and the dark swamps of Louisiana.

The book then enters the entertaining realm of fiction, presenting harrowing horror classics by H. G. Wells, H. Rider Haggard, and Robert Louis Stevenson, as well as little-known tales of voodoo by forgotten fantasy masters. Here you find curses, bewitchings, wild festivals in Louisiana bayou, a series of axe murders, and zombies.

Voodoo will entertain you with its authentic accounts of voodoo ceremonies and beliefs, as well as its chilling tales of terror that just might make you look warily over your shoulder and wonder, what if?


Available at


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Mysterious Cat Stories

(co-edited with Kim Smith)


Mysterious Cat Stories
                    cover

Carroll & Graf Publishers (now Avalon Publishing Group), New York City, 1993, hardcover.


Mysterious Cat Stories cover

Galahad Books (Barnes & Noble Publishing), New York City, 1994, hardcover.


Mysterious Cat Stories cover

Mystisia Kissatarinoita
Book Studio Oy, Helsinki, Finland, 1995, softcover.

This spectacular anthology, featuring stories spanning from the 13th century to the present day, brings together twenty-six dazzling and diabolical portraits of cats and their many lives. Here are cats who can transform themselves into human beings (and visa versa) and into deadly demons. Here are wise cats, wily cats, and cats so cunningly wicked they'll send chills down your spine.

The adventures here are not limited to the world as we know and perceive it. In fact and fiction, Mysterious Cat Stories offers glimpses into the feline world of the supernatural. The mysterious, haunting, and horror stories in this collection capture this much beloved animal's charming and unpredictable nature, while occasionally emphasizing their dark side. Contributors include Edgar Allan Poe, Cervantes, Bram Stoker, Saki, Robert Block, Algernon Blackwood, August Derleth, Washington Irving, Lilian Jackson Braun, and others.

Wild, wily, and winsome cats--some with secret lives--reveal their cryptic side in these supernatural and dark fantasy tales.


Publishers Weekly says, "This is a thoughtfully chosen and engaging collection."

The School Library Journal adds, "A collection that offers something for almost every taste....All-around good reading."


Available at


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Amazon







The King of the Cats

and Other Feline Fairy Tales


The King of the Cats cover

Faber & Faber, Boston and London, 1993, hardcover and softcover.

Sterling Publishing (Barnes & Noble Publishing), New York City, 2009, hardcover.


The King of the
                          Cats

Soshisha, Tokyo, Japan, 1999, hardcover.


Clever cats, bewitched cats, enterprising cats, lovelorn cats: The King of the Cats presents thirty-six cat fairy tales from around the world that celebrate feline intelligence, intuition, and ingenuity.

Beginning with a thirteenth-century fairy tale, the colorful fiction and fables in The King of the Cats range across six hundred years and fifteen countries. Authors including Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, Washington Irving, and Rudyard Kipling are represented with stories alongside cat tales from the folk traditions of Europe, India, Japan, Persia, North Africa, North America, and Scandinavia.

Here are stories of Puss in Boots, Dick Whittington's cat, and other famous felines, including the King of the Cats himself. With them are tales of cats who live in palaces of their own; cats who outwit ogres, witches, and magicians; cats who are really princesses in disguise; cats who talk themselves out of trouble; and cats who, over and over again, use their wisdom, cunning, guile, and charm to save the day for their human companions.


A selection of the Book of the Month Club and the Quality Paperback Book Club.

The Quality Paperback Book Club says, "John Richard Stephens has unearthed a host of unusual tales, such as a 'Puss in Boots' from 16th-century Italy, several variations of the famous Dick Whittington story (including one from 1256)...Stephens includes an extensive section of forgotten cat stories as well...Enchanting and unique.

The Book of the Month Club says, "From as early as the 13th century come these wonderfully memorable tales of clever cats, bewitched cats, and lovelorn cats...The King of the Cats will be treasured by anyone who loves the true king of the beasts."

Available at


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Amazon







Kitty Literature

An Illustrated Collection for Cat Lovers


Kitty Literature cover

Fern Canyon Press, Maui, HI, 2013, ebook.

People have been fascinated by cats for centuries. From the ancient Egyptians, all the way down to today's cat lovers throughout the world, cats have held a special place in people's lives. Cats are unique creatures. It shouldn't be surprising that they have captured the imaginations of many of the world's greatest authors and artists.

This book contains 242 illustrations selected from the world's best cat art by 58 great artists, and explores stories, poetry, essays and quotations on cats by 37 of the most acclaimed and classic writers.

From Beatrix Potter to Louisa May Alcott to Teddy Roosevelt, this eclectic collection features writings about cats by such great masters as Dickens, Kipling, Chekhov, Poe, Lovecraft, Keats, Shelley, Yeats, Whittier, Audubon, Muir, Thoreau, and Mark Twain, accompanied by fine art museum pieces by Renoir, da Vinci, van Gogh, Rousseau, Hiroshige, Goya, Chagall, Gauguin, and Picasso.

Kitty Literature is perfect for anyone who lives with one or more cats. It will also make an excellent gift book.


Available at

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kobo
Amazon





The Enchanted Cat


The Enchanted Cat cover

Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA (now Penguin Random House), 1990, softcover.


Cats in art, history, literature, and folklore. Researcher and anthologist John Richard Stephens gathers artwork, poems, and selections from fiction and nonfiction about cats and their characteristics and behavior. Heavily illustrated, this compendium on cats consists of a plethora of short selections by such classic authors as Ernest Hemingway, Lewis Carroll, William Wordsworth, Edgar Allen Poe, and Mark Twain, illustrated by artwork by Mark Twain (he's multitalented), Renoir, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci, and many more.

This book is a loving tribute to our favorite felines.


A selection of the Preferred Choice Bookclub.

Booklist says, "Amid the plethora of art collections, this one is distinguished by its unifying focus and the diversity of its contents....A literary treat for even the more widely read ailurophile."

CatFancy magazine says, "Other anthologies of cat literature pale in comparison to this book's exceptional variety....You can pick up this book for just a few minutes or lose yourself in it for hours."


Available at


Barnes and Noble
Amazon







The Dog Lover's Literary Companion

Great Writers and Artists Celebrate Man's Best Friend


The Dog Lover's Literary Companion
                          cover

Prima Publishing, Rocklin, CA (now Penguin Random House), 1992, softcover.

Dogs have been praised throughout the ages for their faithfulness, loyalty, bravery, and warmth. John Richard Stephens, author/editor of The Enchanted Cat, has compiled a loving tribute to man's best friend by collecting the prose, poetry, artwork, and photographs of great writers and artists in one outstanding volume.

Sure to warm the hearts of dog lovers everywhere, The Dog Lover's Literary Companion features selections from: Napoleon Bonaparte, who relates a moving tale of a soldier's faithful dog standing guard over his master's dead body as it lay on the battlefield; Sting, whose lyrics present a dog's view of people; Farley Mowat, who recounts the noble characteristics of the wolves he observed; President Lincoln, whose poetry reveals his amazing insight into the nature of dogs and humans.

Also included is praise of dogs from such great literary figures as Shakespeare, Jack London, Rudyard Kipling, Lord Tennyson, D. H. Lawrence, Will Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, William Wordsworth, O. Henry, Hemingway, Benjamin Franklin, John Muir, Robert Louis Stevenson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Mark Twain, Marco Polo, James Herriot, and a host of others.

Complementing the written praise of dogs and their qualities are skillful works of art by masters such as Rembrandt, Goya, Picasso, Manet, Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, and da Vinci; contemporary artists such as Donald Roller Wilson and Edward Gorey; and a sketch of two children with their dog, drawn by Queen Victoria.


Good Dog! magazine says, "If you're looking for true 'doggy' literature, stick with The Dog Lover's Literary Companion."


Available at


Barnes and Noble
Amazon







Quotations

Dog Quotations cover               A Little
                    Book of Puppies cover


A British book titled Dog Quotations includes quotations from such illustrious people as Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, Konrad Lorenz, Robert Service, Thomas Mann, Ambrose Bierce, Ogden Nash, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, George Eliot, Erma Bombeck, Doris Day, James Thurber, and Lord Byron, but John Richard Stephens was quoted more often than any of them. The book has four quotations of John taken from this dog book. John is also quoted in A Little Book of Puppies. In addition, quotations from his various books are included on web pages around the world.




Two Cover Stories by John Richard Stephens


Fortean Times
                          cover                   New Times Cover

"Titanic Curse" (Fortean Times magazine, August 2000) exposes facts behind the story of the mummy case that supposedly sank the Titanic, while "Hearst's Revenge" (New Times magazine, San Luis Obispo, CA, 2002) reveals the real reason William Randolph Hearst built his extravagant Hearst's Castle--the world's most expensive mansion.





John is also a photographer.

His photographs have appeared in a number of books.

A few of John's
                        photos.