When was the last time a book made you "laugh out loud"? What about a book that was so good, you didn't want the story to end? Billion Dollar Winner - the novel does all that and a whole lot more!

Have you purchased your copy of the book yet? Do it now and get it autographed!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

You Finished The Book - Now What Did You Think

To my readers who have finished the book or are partway through the book, -- What did you think? Be sure to leave your name so that when the books becomes the bestseller, you can let everyone know that you were instrumental in making it happen. I will publish all comments except those that are spam.

Click here first to read the reviews for Billion Dollar Winner at Amazon.Com.  Then read the reviews from the "average everyday reader."


New to commenting on a blog? Just click on red comment link below.   Scroll to the bottom and write
your review. If you are already on Google, your userid name will automatically show.   Otherwise, Click on the "Comment As" and a Drop down menu will appear. Choose Name/URL and put in your name and enter on Continue.


  1. I particularly enjoy reads that reference places I know and your book takes me all over Chicago and downstate Illinois. You also touched on an aspect of life I can relate to. I work with an organization on the WestSide that helps individuals who have a criminal record to get and keep jobs.

    The details on the information technology fraud storyline were intriguing. (I was hoping the IT crooks would get their comeuppance, and just like real life a lot of crimes go unpunished.) You’ve done a good job of demonstrating the good-natured innocuous “gambling” through the main character’s accidental lottery purchase and through her uncle we see how there is hope with getting back on your feet; balanced on the other hand we see the trouble of the untreated gambling addiction through the IT programmer and the troubling sums of money that folks don’t really have to spend on lottery tickets. I wish the monies could go back into the community, and hopefully the actions of the main character will serve as an example and lesson for us in how we benefit from taking responsibility to rebuild and support our communities. Keep writing to hone your skill!

    It was a pleasure to meet you at the African Festival of the Arts and the book signing at the Woodson Library.

  2. I finished the book. It was very interesting and a page turner. Couldn't wait to see what happen next. I'm not going to spoil any portion of the book, but there was a scene so funny I darn near wet myself from laughing. I have a 45 minute train ride to and from work every day so I chose to read the book during that time. I was on my way to work when I got to that scene, I had to put the book down because I was laughing so hard. Needless to say, people on the train were looking at me as if I had loss my mind. I did not continue to read until the ride back home. Just thinking about that scene makes me laugh still.

    This was such a feel good book. It makes you ask yourself, "what would you do if you won a billion dollars?".

    Can't wait for your next book to come out.

  3. My mom received your book 2 days ago (she is 82 years old). She read the whole book in one sitting! She said to tell you to make sure to send her the next one, she absolutely loved it!!!!!

  4. Hello all:

    I had to leave a comment about Billion Dollar Winner. This book is excellent and fun read. It includes romance, suspense and made me smile throughout. Some of the sections take you back to when you were a kid...i.e. piggy 1; piggy 2. When you purchase this book you will not be disappointed! Trust Me! I want to Thank Arlene for giving us something that will take our minds off hectic schedules; if just for a little while.

  5. Arlene,

    I left your comment on Amazon.Com. Here's the link to it. I can't wait to read your next book.

    Here's my link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Billion-Dollar-Winner-Arlene-Jones/product-reviews/1599971461/ref=cm_cr_dp_all_summary?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

  6. Wow! That was fun. I am not a big reader of novels but once I got into this book, I really couldn't put it down. It was fun and also inspiring. It was good to read a story about someone doing something good that wasn't all about themself. The plot was also interesting and I couldn't wait to see how she ended up with a winning ticket to begin with.

    I am looking forward to your next effort.

  7. Pamela Butler HarrisNovember 20, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    I left your comment at Amazon.com, but then decided to link to it here too. Then I saw that the link from Bill Young shows what I wrote, so there's nothing else to say!

  8. Arlene,
    I finally figured out how to post out here after doing the one on Amazon. Here's the link:

  9. Eleanor J Powell - IDCFSDecember 5, 2009 at 11:32 PM

    Don't judge a book by its name. The book is about more than just a lottery. The book was wonderful. I couldn't put it down. I read it within a 24 hour period. I Have been telling other people about the book. Everyone wanted my book. I told them where to go get a copy for themselves. I feel if more people read the book they will feel the same way. Keep up the great work. Can't wait for the next book.

  10. Hi Arlene:

    I am reading Billion Dollar Winner and before it is all over said and done, you will be a multi-million dollar baller!! You go!

    My review:
    Smart, witty, seriously comical, Very good book, easy to follow, can't put it down. Your characters are very alive, soulful and original. Love it. Waiting on the next book.

  11. I want to let you know that I finished your novel; it was absolutely fantasic! I was so well written and very thought provoking. I truly enjoyed it. I loved the way you developed your characters and the plot was off the chain. Val Banks Freeman could have actually been you. If you ever win the LOTTO, I know you will put it back into the community. Keep writing because you are a great author, I hated for it to end. Please find a way to get this book exposed, it will be worth it!

  12. I enjoyed reading your book. Even though I traveled the roads of the U.S. as a recording musician the closest I ever came to your hometown was a brief stop-over flight from New Jersey to California, in the 90's when I worked as a television director. Your book took me there and let me experienced the streets, freeway exits, schools, houses, neighborhoods and best of all the people in your hometown, the Windy City. You write beautiful pictures.

  13. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Billion Dollar Winner once I had/made the time to finish reading it. Even though it was a really busy day for me, I made it a point to take time to make it to the book signing to purchase it directly from Ms. Jones herself on October 2, 2009. I started reading it within a week of purchasing it but just could never find the time to finish it. The book was interesting from the very beginning. I tried reading it on my lunch hour but found myself constantly going over my time because I didn't want to put it down. It's been some months later but I'm not dissapointed. This is definitely a feel good book, it'll have you laughing in some parts, relating to so many areas , dreaming , there are so many truths in it as well as fiction. I would definitely recommend reading it. I'm looking forward to this author's next book.

    January 24, 2010 3:40 PM

  14. I have not read the book yet, but I will be attending your, Chicago Read-In-For Black History Month, on 2-13-10 and will purchase a book then. The comments are so positive, I can't wait to read it.

  15. I read Billion Dollar Winner in two days! It was totally captivating and I could not put the book down!

    For me, the book embodied Good vs. Evil on many levels. Val’s struggles with accepting the winning lottery ticket when she had just gave a speech about how the lottery was destroying her neighborhood and the way she handled it is very inspiring.

    Good vs. Evil also triumphed over the plot to rig the lottery, in the way the drug lord situation was handled, in the revitalizing of the neighborhood.

    The book shows that it doesn’t matter what circumstances you grow up with – poverty, drugs, alcohol – it’s not an excuse to allow bad behavior, it’s a challenge to rise above it and make something of yourself in spite of your situation and surroundings.

    I loved how Ms. Jones shows strong family values and how the Freeman family worked together to reach the decisions they did in accepting the lottery money and how they used the money to give back to their neighborhood – not with a handout, but a hand up.

    Ms. Jones also brings to light some Chicago aspects of life – I haven’t played “Piggy” since leaving Chicago! She explains about “The Hawk”, “quarter parties”, “bid whist” and other things that make Chicago unique.

    The radio station WPBD reminded me of listening to WVON 1690AM back in the day and listening to the great Motown hits of the 1960s and 1970s.

    Billion Dollar Winner is an inspiring story for all people, and it’s refreshing to read a novel that has a positive message that everyone can relate to.

    I am looking forward to Ms. Jones’ next novel!

    Peggy Stagner Jupp
    Former West Town/Wicker Park resident

    Written by: Arlene P. Jones
    Arlene Jones has written a charming novel. This fast paced adventure covers a nostalgic time period that is different from today. Life was predictable and less stressful. People took time out for each other. She wrote about things that took place in the “Good Old Days.” Black people lived a life of “STRUGGLE.” Yet, they enjoyed life and what it had to offer: Raising their children, creating businesses, attending bid-whisk, and quarter parties. Children made up games, played outside, and obeyed their elders. This was a time when our needs were met in a thriving functional community.
    The title of the book, BILLION DOLLAR WINNER does not portray the total substance of the book. This book has a higher calling. It is a book of life; an inner city drama about Black people. The author is a master at sending you quietly in one direction, and then jerking your chain. People who live in the Chicago area will recognize the land marks that the characters come in contact with.
    One day I passed my book to a thirteen year old “video game guru.” After reading several pages he said, “This is a good story; I’m going to read the entire book.” He also defended the occasional use of “four letter words.” I recommend BILLION DOLLAR WINNER to youth and adults. Enjoy this urban adventure as you laugh out loud.

  17. Donna D Morris - Librarian - Hall Brach 4801 S. MichiganMarch 26, 2010 at 9:17 AM

    Thank you for the outstanding discussion and reading. Everyone enjoyed your presentation. I believe Billion Dollar Winner is going to be a success..

    Again, thank you for sharing your book with us. Hopefully you will return when your next book is published this spring.

  18. Dear Ms. Jones --

    Hi, there -- I wanted to tell you that I very much enjoyed Billion Dollar Winner, which I bought from you on Friday at the African-Caribbean Festival.

    I see that it is on Amazon, and agree with the reviewers that it is fun to read, and one does not want to put it down.

    I was impressed by what was not in the book. It doesn't include white people as main characters, it doesn't discuss the South or whether things are better up here, or better or worse than in the past. Perhaps these are a feature of the genre you are working in: if so, good for you, and the genre too.

    It was delightful when you sent Val up to Michigan. I too have gone looking for Idlewild. I drove right past it without spotting it, the first time, and next morning got up and paid more attention, and found it. I remember a disused nightclub sort of building. An older guy had once described Idlewild to me. He was something of an impresario, and said that he had known Nancy Wilson when she was 16, and told her that she had a beautiful voice.

    Also, the climax of Val coming to understand that she had been a little depressed by what she felt as the burden of her good fortune was very well done. It was well prepared for, but I did not see it coming, which is how you want it. It's a good thought that a billion dollars is not going to fix everything, and it takes a while to come to terms with this, but it really is great to have resources to work with.

    I appreciate your suggestion regarding the young woman on her way to UIC. I believe you are correct that it will be helpful if she makes friends who are getting themselves to class. And, we may find out eventually whether her grandma turns out to be flexible! If I should happen to hear out how things are going in the future, I might let you know!

    I see that the Austin Weekly News is on the Internet, and am looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Thanks again for your book, and good luck -- Barbara Ro

  19. Hey Arlene. Just finished yr book and thoght it was really good. You were right about not bein abe to put it down. Is yr next one out yet? Please give me details on where to buy etc. Congrats to my favorite programmer of old time. Keep up the great work.

  20. Billion Dollar Winner is an amazing book.

  21. Hi Arlene

    I am half way though the book and I must say I have enjoy every minute of it. From the city myself it was refreshing to read names of places I am familiar with, It was nostalgic.Interesting to see what will happens at the end. Thanks," Billion Dollar Winner" is a Winner !

  22. Ms. Jones,

    I just finished reading your book. I totally enjoyed it. I found it easy to get into and it held my attention, in a manner similar to two of my favorite authors (James Patterson and John Grisham). While you rightfully point out that your book teaches financially literacy, economic development, business creation and entrepreneurship I also see it teaching responsible parenting, family cohesiveness, taking responsibility for one's own choices, the importance of knowing when you need to make time for yourself, etc.

    A whole university course curriculum, as I see it, could be developed around your book that integrates business, economics, sociology, etc. My thought, even though farfetched, is to contact individuals at HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) that are responsible for selecting books suggested for incoming freshmen to read and attempt to get your book added to the freshman reading list.

    Ms. Jones, I see all kinds of possibilities and potentials for your book. I believe you should also send a copy to Tyler Perry for him to take a look at. I don't know if my comments are as constructive as my excitement from having read your book.

    I believe in you and your talents as an author. You have a winner.

  23. I thank you A. P. Jones for
    entertaining me @ all my Dr’s
    visits, hospital waiting rms. &
    hospital visits for the past year.
    I just finished yo book today.
    I really enjoyed it. Lots of details
    tho. I’m still waiting for that
    blazing hot Arlene unleashed book.

    Michael Jones
    Host – Trick City
    Can TV

  24. After reading "Billion Dollar Winner" I had a billion dollar smile on my face. While reading the book I wanted to share my joyful thoughts with everyone I talked to. I wanted folks that either lived in Chicago or were born there to go down the vivid memory lane with me and feel what I was feeling as I continued to read. Those childhood memories of living in Chicago, in particular East Garfield Park were heartfelt. I could visualize the various landmarks and neighborhoods that were mentioned. The positive family characters and their names spoke volumes. "Billion Dollar Winner", in my view, was a love story and a business guide. I must also agree with a very intelligent prior review written by Burke Pollard, he detailed quite a few reasons why this book should be used in many educational curriculum.
    However, I will be contacting Jesse White the Illinois State Librarian, to request that every library in Illinois have at least ten copies of this very informative book in its collection. I appreciate the writer's insight and thoughtfulness for giving the reader a real book that feeds the soul with goodness.
    Love & Blessings,