The Dirt, A New Novel

The Dirt, a novel which combines themes mystical and psychological with the backdrop of the American Southwest, is now available in paperback ($12.99) and e-book formats ($2.99). It pits Yale Forestall, a cowhand with a traumatic past who suffers from a rare language disorder, against the State, which seeks to limit his freedom through guardianship. Yale seeks the help of Miles Holland, a small-town mental health counselor self-exiled from Chicago. Miles’s legal career blew up when he was assigned a too-hot-to-handle murder case. Now, he acts as Yale’s expert witness and lawyer in the guardianship case.

Yale and Miles are pitted against the triumvirate of a biased judge, an arrogant State psychiatrist, and a DA determined to win at all costs. To prevail, Miles must be completely objective, but his own judgment as an advocate is swayed by his belief that buried beneath his client’s many diagnoses lies hidden the wisdom of a mystic. Is Miles the only one who sees Yale’s gifts? Or does his own sense of emptiness lead him on an obsessive quest for the truth which ends up in a tragedy no one could see coming?

This novel asks whether eccentricity is enough to take away a man’s freedom, and plumbs the thin divide between genius and psychosis, between uncommon wisdom and those who simply choose to live atypical lives.

© 2022 by Michael C. Just

Mike’s novel, The Dirt: The Journey of a Mystic Cowboy, is available in softcover or eBook formats through Amazon.

You can purchase the book through this website. Or go straight to amazon at

Mike’s other titles, including The Crippy, The Mind Altar, and Canyon Calls, are available through this website or through Amazon at

Four of his short stories have recently been published online:

Lies, Ltd. has been published by The Mystery Tribune @ Lies, Ltd.: Literary Short Fiction by Michael C. Just (

The Obligate Carnivore has been published by the Scarlet Leaf Review @ Category: MICHAEL JUST – SCARLET LEAF REVIEW

I See You, Too has been published by the 96th of October @ I See You, Too – 96th of October

Offload, a short story about a man who can heal any disease, is now live and can be read at The Worlds Within at Offload – The Worlds Within