John M. Vermillion is the author of nine earlier novels in the Simon Pack series: The Supe (2015); Don’t Call Me General (2016); It’s Not Dark Yet (2017); Evil in Disguise (2018); Comfort Kills (2018); Matai (2019); Just Pack (2019); Pack’s Posse (2020), and Packfire (2020). He also penned two novels in the Cade Chase series: Rockledge (2021) and Awful Reckoning (2021). “Big Stone Gap & Beyond” went on sale 15 March 22. It has sold well. Thanks to all who have wanted to learn more about the Coalfield and the people who built it. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and retired from the US Army as an Infantry Colonel. For the next 10 years he worked overseas (including Germany, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Iraq) in a variety of quasi-military positions. He attended numerous military schools, including Airborne and Ranger. He is a graduate of the School of Advanced Military Studies and the National War College. He served in combat and has earned three Masters’ Degrees. You may contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please click ‘Follow’ at his website for future offerings: amazon.com/author/johnmvermillion. He also has pages on Amazon and Goodreads.
Murders in Big Stone Gap, mayhem on the Wildlife Preserve, and Triple F feels the stress. A Georgia minister discovers an uncle has left him an Assisted Living Facility in Big Stone Gap. Problem is, Reverend Chuck Bumpers knows nothing about business, and the residents quickly conclude he’s lazy, rude, unkind, and uncaring. Nobody in town likes or respects Bumpers. And Bumpers so despises the residents he devises a plan to murder them all. Felix Fox arrives in Big Stone Gap for his high school reunion at the same time Bumpers arrives. The ALF is home to Felix Fox’s best friend, Powder Lawson, and Felix vows not to return to his ranch 200 miles away until he’s certain his friends in the ALF are safe and well-cared for. Powder befriends two young people, a baseball player for the newly-formed Big Stone Gap Miners professional team, and his girlfriend, the gorgeous Anastasia Kovach, winner of the most recent Miss Virginia pageant. Sheb Turken, the ballplayer, is housed at the ALF; he tries to keep his distance from Bumpers, but no one, the residents find, can avoid the waves in Bumpers’ wake. The bumbling, almost comic Bumpers, creates disharmony, strife, and turmoil daily. As Felix works to straighten out the ALF, four savage criminals become the first ever to escape from Wallens Ridge State Prison in Big Stone Gap. One of the escapees threatens all of Felix’s friends. There are holes in the dike, and Felix is trying to plug them all. Should he return to his Preserve to help find out who shot a friend staying in his guest cabin? Or, following a serious incident in Big Stone Gap that attracts national attention, should he remain alongside Powder? His cup running over with stresses, Felix becomes uneasy seeing how he has reverted to character traits he didn’t like in himself 30 years ago, and likes less now. His new wife Nancy believes she might have made a mistake, and considers leaving him. A kind, wise minister at a local Big Stone church prays for Felix’s return to form. See how Felix, and all the characters, transform during the course of the book. Can Chuck Bumpers atone for his sins? Can Felix save the people in the Facility?
Felix Forthright Fox: descended from fighters and coal miners. Troublemaker in school, little interest in schoolbooks. But combine an aptitude for practical engineering and a nose for business with unmatched work ethic, and the result was commercial success. As his holdings grew, his enemies became more resolute in stopping him. Everyman and absolute individual in the same person. Whether in his coal mines or on his wilderness preserve, opponents sought to block his every move, often through violence. The United Mine Workers put a bounty on his head, and threatened his family. Eco-terrorists aimed to burn his ranch to the ground, as he was vying to construct the first wind farm in Virginia. This is the saga of Felix Fox, a man who loved large and made brilliant use of the heart and mind God gave him. Read to understand why his family’s story is perfectly instructive for our times.