excerpt from the fourth RED MIST GIRL book

Here’s a new excerpt from the just completed novel titled DELL’S LEAP. The volume will be available in eBook or paper from Amazon in July, 2021…


The sheriff strolled in later than normal, even for a Saturday. Dell had gone and come back before he showed. Now she rushed to his office, practically on his heels, and knocked on the doorjamb as he sat in his big swivel rocker, exhaling contentment.

“Good morning, Vern. I have some things to go over with you. Did you see that big Jeep out front? I have to return it tomorrow, so I get to drive it one more time up to the ranch and back. It’s wonderful! I’m certain if I had been driving that car, I would not have been run off the road and whoever blew my door off would not have been able to get into the thing without the alarm sounding. I think…”

“Now just you wait, Deputy,” Warner interrupted. “Good morning, by the way. And before you get any further, let me say that our budget is squeezed to the limit right now, so there’s not a chance in hell, if you’ll pardon my French, that the county will earmark money for a fifty thousand dollar vehicle for you to romp around in, especially given the quantity of department units that have been totaled after being assigned to you.”

Dell bent her head and scowled at the floor.

“Now, I’m not saying you are to blame for any of this—it’s just a matter of the fiscal reality we have to be looking at. Unless, or until this current string of back-to-back vehicle mishaps has played itself out, we will assign you vehicles we can afford to replace regularly.”

A look of resignation replaced the scowl. “Yeah, I know, Vern. I’m just being childish. I just felt so much power—it’s addictive. And I’m looking for any help I can get in resisting these bastards coming at me all the time.”

“I know, Deputy. It’s like, you have to leave the amusement park and you are pleading for just one more ride. But it’s time to come back to earth now. We have to depend on our talent, which is affordable, as opposed to ultimate technology, which is not. Just the way it is, so please get used to it.”

Dell plopped into the chair against the wall and pulled her knees up to her chin. “Okay, Vern. I get it I don’t need to flog this to death. So listen to this other thing I have to get your opinion on, which I actually think might be important. Okay?”

Warner leaned forward and folded his hands on his desk. “Alright, Deputy. I’m listening.”

“I need a human ear.”

Warner leaned back and gazed at the ceiling, sorting over what this latest request might mean. “I’m sorry. You need me to lend an ear? Is… What the hell are you going on about now?”

Her feet bounced on the floor as they slid off the chair. “An ear, Vern! I need it as evidence that I’m dead… after I, in my guise as assassin, have completed the task of eliminating myself, then slice my bloody ear off to prove it. You think Madeline might get us an ear, no trouble?”

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