by Gene Scott

ASIN: B06W9L363G

Publisher Alarice Multimedia, LLC

Published in Literature & Fiction/Coming of Age, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


"Jellybeaners" is a contemporary novel set in the heart of Appalachia, revealing the money ties, political corruption, wasted lives, and overall cash-churning nature of the prescription pill culture from perspectives spanning both sides of the law.

Sample Chapter

Kituwah Falls

The bent, rundown shack, patched and cobbled with gray pieces of crating and splintering brown pallet board, windows covered with ripped opaque plastic, squats in a heap off Stout Street, coal smoke twisting out its chimney like vapor from an ebony nostril.

Three children wail hysterically, run in circles, pull their hair, and scream at their father, resting on his knees beside the dilapidated rust-brown ’92 Plymouth Horizon, the driver’s door flung open.

A school bus squeaks to a halt and four children bounce off, stop in their tracks, and stare open-mouthed at the scene.

Vane Sarge Walker pulls up in his beat-brown 2001 Chevrolet pickup. A trained emergency medical technician, volunteer firefighter, long-retired military serviceman, and recently retired Forest Service ranger, he lives nearby on a fourth-generation family farm.

The Mount Vernon Volunteer Fire Department’s red-light-flashing, chartreuse EMS vehicle approaches, the wail of its siren whining faintly, building in slow crescendo as it roars down the twisting mountain valley cut by the ancient Tellico River, which falls down the mountain grade toward the village of Kituwah Falls.

The dirt driveway, strewn with clinkers—cindery particulate chunks of burnt coal dragged out of the leaky furnace and tossed into the potholed driveway—steal Sarge's attention.

A homemade doll mother Sizer crafted and gifted her three-year-old Ashley the previous Christmas sits with its broken neck propped against the largest clinker, the head mashed flat.

Jumping out of his pickup, Sarge purposefully fixates on the doll, briefly ignoring the cacophony, takes a few seconds to collect his wits, and then slowly turns to face the inevitable.

The toy’s face, black-button eyes fixed on eternity, glistens wet-red in the short March dusk, staring directly into a gunmetal sky. A dirty-black tire track ends at its chin.

Sarge can neither swallow the sob nor fight back the wave of salt water cascading down the stubble on his cheeks before he turns to face the disemboweled heap lying in the driveway beside the driver, wrapping, then unwrapping his arms across his chest, choking between screams.

Poor Ashley. One more notch on the pill mill tree of shame, thought Sarge.

This couldn’t go on. Someone had to put a stop to this…

We’re going to pull those sonsabitches out by the roots, come Memorial Day.

Studying a raven circling high over the ridgeline to the east, he swore to himself:

Or die trying.


Excerpted from "Jellybeaners" by Gene Scott. Copyright © 2017 by Gene Scott. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Gene Scott

Gene Scott

Gene Scott, a retired English and reading teacher, was born and raised on the prairie of Western Illinois, and has lived in Johnson City, Tennessee for thirty years with his much better half, Lana.

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