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A NOSE FOR TROUBLE

EVIL IS ALL AROUND
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 A Novel By James Bailey

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“A Nose For Trouble,” is a thrilling novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The story is set in a make-believe place where a community of do- gooders lives on edge daily, fearing two and four-legged life forms that regularly stray down from a place called Run Down by Sundown Mountain. The plot centers around what happens to humans at their death when they have carried out works that were good, versus those that have carried out works that were evil.

 

The main characters in the story are widowed Joann Goode and her two sons, Mathew and Michael. When they are kidnapped and taken to the harrowing highlands, Mathew is killed, leaving Joann and Michael devastated in the aftermath. Still mourning the loss of Mathew years later, Joann and Michael find themselves once again at risk of being harmed by the mountain’s heartless inhabitants after a new husband she’s found is vengefully kidnapped and taken there. Having held on to a strong belief that Mathew remained in their presence, when it turns out the local Sheriff is a step slow, it’s Mathew who steps in from the afterlife to save the day.

 

For anyone that enjoys reading action, colorful humor, suspense, thrills, chills, kidnappings, manhunts, shootouts, hideouts, heroes, and hooligans, this novel has it.The characters behaviors are wholesome, real-to-life, good natured, crude, rude, compelling and engaging.The story is fast-pace and filled with unexpected twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very end.

 

Overall, “A Nose For Trouble” is a captivating work of literature that explores the themes of family and loss, drawing attention to the notion that our loved ones, even in death, are always in our presence. The novel is a must-read for reading enthusiast.

INSPIRATION

Writing this book was a significant achievement for me, as it was a long-standing item on my bucket list. I have always had a strong desire to create something that would leave a lasting legacy for my family and future generations. The process of writing this book was not an easy one, but it was a labor of love that took me several months to complete. The story I chose to tell in this book is one that is close to my heart, as it is based on my personal experiences with bereavement and loss.  Through the use of a cast of colorful characters, I was able to explore the themes of life and death in a unique and meaningful way. My hope is that readers of all ages will be entertained by this story and will take away something valuable from it. Throughout the writing process, I was constantly reminded of the power and mystery of the universe. There were times when I felt as though the story was writing itself, and I was merely a vessel for its creation. It was a humbling and awe-inspiring experience that rein- forced my belief in something greater than myself. Ultimately, this book is a tribute to my loved ones who have passed away. By honoring their memories in this way, I hope to keep their spirits alive and to inspire others to cherish their own loved ones while they are still with them.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

As a first-time author, James Bailey brings a unique perspective to the literary world. Despite dropping out of college, Bailey’s determination to improve his written communication skills led him to teach himself through various means. This self- taught approach allowed him to become an effective communicator, leading to success in both personal and professional endeavors.

 

Bailey’s gratitude towards God and family is evident in his writing, and he values the importance of family and relationships. His life experiences have taught him the value of hard work and perseverance, and he hopes to inspire others through his writing.

 

Overall, James Bailey’s journey towards becoming an author is a testament to the idea that it is never too late to learn and improve oneself. His unique perspective and life experiences are sure to make for an interesting and thought-provoking read.

Excerpt From Chapter 1

 

RUN DOWN BY SUNDOWN MOUNTAIN –

 

    This place is the feared home to mountain lions, gray wolves, grizzly bears, wild hogs, coyotes, cotton mouths, copperheads, hawks, bald  eagles, black widows, chiggers, and mosquitoes. A taboo land made up of steep slopes, vertical walls, and narrow channels, Run Down by Sundown Mountain is a deceivingly beautiful territory that spreads over a vast area. 

    Hidden underneath the appearance of a leafy green umbrella, the mountain’s rough and rugged environment acts to fool those who are nature worshipers, big city dwellers, and wet behind the ears greenhorns. Naively, like moths drawn to a fire, they flock to the mountain in hoards, allured by a visual grandness disguising it as a land where milk and honey flow abundantly. 

    Guided by a perception far disconnected from reality, those who  believe there is something to be gained when traveling to see this place  insanely do so, not having a clue that they are putting their lives at risk. Condescendingly, this is where thrill seekers travel to enjoy, but painstaking is the effort that goes into warning them that they should stay away because, to hear the locals tell it, Run Down by Sundown Mountain serves as a province of peril to those who are curious and fool-hearted.

    The steadfast citizens of Mommadelia firmly believe that without their diligent efforts, naive and slow-to-learn individuals who journey to the mountain would face dire consequences akin to lambs being led to slaughter. Located at the mountain's base, the city of Mommadelia is a small town that you've probably never heard of—that is, until today. Labeled as being a bit old-fashioned, the people who live in the city have grown to become mule stubborn in their disdain for those calling the highland home. 

    They describe their avowed work as being "a message of goodwill" when they warn outsiders of the clandestine dangers associated with setting foot on the mountain’s harrowing land. And seen typically of the town's citizens, they ask of all who arrive in the city, appearing dreamy-eyed and bushy-tailed, "Why are you here? Didn’t you notice the not-so-subtle disclaimer in the mountain's name? It’s with good reason that place is called Run Down by Sundown Mountain, I tell’ya!” They say to visitors, “Ask anyone around here, and they’ll tell you… that place is where you send someone you don't like!" They then proceed to discuss the myriad of headaches they have  experienced because their town borders the mountain. The citizens say that blameworthy of their complaints, there live some shady characters who routinely stray down from the mountain, searching primarily for prey they perceive as easy to conquer. 

    Telling of the countless times they have been assaulted, harassed, threatened, beaten, robbed, kidnapped, and carjacked, the citizens recall that it is their nasty neighbors to the north who carry a torch unleashing unfounded fury on them. Naming among their worst aggravations linked to the mountain, the citizens of Mommadelia voice that there is a wreck-loose clan of unsociable mountain folk who call the place home; they warn that contact with them should always be avoided. Decrying further about the ghastliness of the mountain folk, the townspeople stress, "If ever you see someone who looks like they may live up on Run Down by Sundown Mountain… be smart and go the other way because trying to cozy up to those cold-hearted people is akin to someone trying to kiss a hungry alligator on the lips!" 

    Subsequently, they ramp up the rhetoric about how the mountain and its shady bands of misfits have long served to impede their otherwise peaceful lives. The citizens complain that even worse than the existence of the God-awful mountain folk, the situation they face living within a rock's throw of the four-legged backwoods buddies of the mountain folks is exponentially more frightening than can be explained. Dubbing the animal’s breeds as "worthless good-for-nothing beasts," the citizens insist that there is nothing they relish more than to attack and eat humans alive.  After that, the citizens express firmly that there is nothing they wish for more than to one day be rid of both the mountain folks and the group of bloodthirsty animals that call the dreadful place home! And from here, our story begins when…

    At the start of a chilly day, the morning sun gradually elevates into the sky; the view of it appears, rising from behind a high-reaching peak up on Run Down by Sundown Mountain. Lingering in the space below, patches of fog quickly evaporate, fading from view. Kneeling amid a desolate area where aged trees are standing, a lone gray wolf lay chomping on the remains of a deer's carcass in the mountain’s forest. Pulling the last bits of flesh from bones already stripped bare, the wolf has no idea that other eyes are watching him, waiting for him to get up and leave. 

    Sailing around in a circular formation, more than a dozen buzzards have taken flight in the sky, unnoticed by the starved wolf. Planning to swoop down and pick from the stripped carcass all that is left after the wolf leaves, the buzzards use their keen eyesight to keep a close lookout for others in the area that may have plans like theirs. Thinking beforehand, they had gotten lucky when it seemed there were no competing forces in the area. The hopes of the buzzards were eventually dashed once they see that an army of ants have begun marching toward the carcass, despite the wolf still lying there gobbling on it. 

    High atop a pine tree branch, the keen ears of a tiger owl pick up the increasingly loud and irritating rumble of all-terrain vehicles in the distance, rudely interrupting his tranquil morning slumber. Combing the rough, rocky, and rugged mountainous terrain, a search party is toiling under a blazing hot sun on the trail of a fugitive believed to have  carjacked and kidnapped a mother and her two sons. Reese County Sheriff, Rusty Cooper, is on horseback leading a posse, consisting of both men and women, looking for the family. The Sheriff, in his mid-forties, is a slim man of average height, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, with a Smith Wesson nickel-plated revolver strapped to his waist. Said to be tough-as-nails, under normal circumstances, he and his two deputies are all that is needed to keep things under wraps in Mommadelia and other areas of the county. Opting to deviate from going it alone on this occasion, the Sheriff has called in additional badges from neighboring counties to help out. 

    Following a lead that the suspected outlaw has his victims held up somewhere on Run Down by Sundown Mountain, the Sheriff and his backups are in a race with the clock to locate the family's whereabouts before darkness falls. Barring the need to find where the kidnapped family is being held, the searchers’ minds are also plagued by the ensuing dangers they will encounter if caught on the mountain come night fall.

    Probing on horseback, foot, and all-terrain vehicles, the Sheriff’s Posse is working to try and examine all area before moving on. Incidentally, it was overlooked by those helping the Sheriff where some vehicle tracks led off into the distance, stopping where an SUV sat abandoned by its passengers. 

    The vehicle is white and has its doors swung wide open with noticeable damage done to its right side. Inside, there are left behind keys lying in the front seat above where the contents of a woman's purse is scattered all over the floor—lipstick, eye shadow, a hairbrush, chewing gum, and a wallet.

    Rooted in the earth in front of the abandoned SUV are giant trees strewed around the yard of an old rock-walled cabin. Nestled beneath the canopy of trees, the yard is adorned with various elements of rural life, including an ancient walking plow, a group of goats, a multitude of hogs, a flock of chickens, a tub, and a washboard, all adding to its rustic landscape. It's worth noting that in addition to the domesticated animals and washing facilities, two young boys are weeping uncontrollably in the yard, gripped by uncertainty about what lies ahead for them. 

    Michael and Mathew Goode are the names of the two boys, and at the moment, they are being tortured, standing with their arms stretched around giant oak trees. Michael Goode is an 11-year-old, slim, good-looking boy with brown eyes and curly hair. Tied to Michael’s right, his 13-year-old brother, Mathew Goode, is also a handsome boy, slim, with curly hair and brown eyes. Apart from the boy's apparent height differences, they look as if they could be identical twins, sharing close features they inherited from their mother. 

    Joann Goode, the mother of the boys, is a woman in her late 30s, who is very attractive, slim, average height, and has beautiful brown eyes and long brown hair. Unable to help her sons, she is standing on the front porch of the rock-walled cabin, staring at them while her life is threatened by a big burly mountain man with a deranged look plastered on his face. 

    Wearing a shabby shirt, denim jeans, and twisted boots, the burly mountain man is standing directly behind Joann, holding a Bowie knife to her lower back. Towering over her, with a face that is harder to look at than a scary movie, he hastily scans the front yard. Unsettled about having lost his wife two years back due to mountain fever, the mountain man has chosen to lay claims on Joann to be his new wife.

    Coincidentally, Joann happens to be a grieving widow who's not looking for a husband at this time. She lost her husband, Jacob Goode, four years back to an incident that occurred on his drive home from work. Circumstantial to his death, Mr. Goode was killed on an eerie night when, at the time, he attempted to drive along a road passing by Run Down by Sundown Mountain. Unfortunately, it seems to have been Mr. Goode's undeserved run of luck that while driving along the road, a barrage of bullets came raining down from the mountain, filling both him and his car with holes. Killed instantly, Mr. Goode's lifeless body was discovered along the roadside by three Good Samaritans from Mommadelia hours after having been shot.

    The three men are reported to have been out for a night’s ride when they happened upon Mr. Goode, already dead in his car. Still coping with the loss of her husband, Joann and her sons now find themselves distressfully trying to overcome a situation that will leave emotional scars of a different kind. Amidst the utter chaos in the yard, where chickens are running amok with their incessant cackling, pigs are squealing, and Joann and her sons are raising their voices in loud screams, the commotion is impossible to ignore. There is also the car's radio blaring, the mountain man's wolf-dog barking, and the man, discontent, yelling in rage over it all.

    "Quiet down, all of yeh! Stop'ya whin'n and’ya bellyache'n! I can't hear myself think! Quiet down!” the mountain man yells.

    Joann cries out in a desperate response, "Please…please, let us go, Mister! Please!" 

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SOUTHAVEN, MS.
QUALITY INN HOTEL EVENTS RM
8840HAMILTON RD.
DATE: 3/30/24

TUSCALOOSA, AL.
COURTYARD EVENTS RM
4115 COURTNEY DR.

DATE: TBA

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HAMPTON INN & SUITES EVENTS RM
1680 S GERMANTOWN RD

DATE: 4/06/24

BIRMINGHAM, AL.
HAMPTON INN EVENTS RM
2021 PARK PLACE

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BATESVILLE, MS.
COMFORT SUITES EVENTS RM
441 COVENANT DR.
DATE: 4/13/24

AUSTELL, GA.
HOLIDAY INN EVENTS RM
3741 TRAMORE POINT PKWY SW
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OXFORD, MS.
COURTYARD EVENTS RM
305 E JACKSON AVE.

DATE: 4/20/24

ALPHARETTA,GA.
HAMPTON INN EVENTS RM
16785 OLD MORRIS RD.

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CLEVELAND, MS.
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS EVENTS RM
808 N DAVIS AVE

DATE: 4/27/24

TUPELO, MS.
HOLIDAY INN & SUITES EVENTS RM
923 N GLOSTER ST.

DATE: 5/04/24

JASPER, AL.
HAMPTON INN EVENTS RM
100 INDUSTRIAL PKWY.

DATE: TBA

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