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Shootout at Russell Springs by Andrew Weston is a Best Books '23 pick #western #bestbooks #giveaway

Title: Shootout at Russell Springs


Author: Andrew Weston


Genre: Western


Book Blurb:

A tornado tears through the open plains of Kansas, leaving death and destruction in its wake.

Yet that force of nature isn’t the only thing that might ravage the land.The Plains Indians are massing in their hundreds. Cheyenne, Comanche, Lakota, Kiowa, and Arapaho. All of them, turning their eyes toward the foreign settlers who encroach ever further into their ancestral hunting grounds with each and every passing year.

Already on the run from the law, the notorious Reno Gang also come calling, thinking that the residents of Elder Grove will be no match for a bunch of murdering horse thieves.

And just who are the two strangers from the east that come to town, acting all friendly, yet asking sly question about the Pearl brothers?

One thing’s for sure. . .

Another storm is brewing. And when it strikes, not everyone will walk away.




The spirits must have been looking down on Set-ankeah and smiling, for there, not more than two hundred yards away and bordered on three sides by a grove of cottonwood trees, sat a small group of whitewashed homes that could only belong to homesteaders.


And Set-ankeah didn’t like homesteaders.


They had two faces; false tongues; bad medicine of the most poisonous kind. They promised much, but gave very little. In fact, they gave nothing while taking everything . . . As he had learned to his cost, back when they knew him better as Sitting Bear, or by his more familiar Kiowan name, Satank.


And they were never satisfied. Always wanting more when they already had so much that they could never possibly use it all.


Set-ankeah and his warrior party were heading south, toward the ancient burial grounds just north of the Napeste River, for the great gathering of the principle chiefs, war chiefs and medicine men of the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Comanche, and of course, the Kiowa. That gathering would decide the future of their ancestral hunting grounds once and for all, and of the accursed white man who dared to settle on them.


With good reason.


Nearly seventy summers had passed since Set-ankeah was a child, and the plains were filled with buffalo for as far as the eye could see; more than twenty since the greatest of many waves of immigrants flooded in from the east, bringing their fences and their trails and iron roads that cut across the grasslands at will. And now the buffalo upon which they depended for their very way of life were nothing but a shadow of what they once were. All thanks to the white menace that couldn’t be trusted.


Set-ankeah remembered this wood and the spring at its center from the days when he first became a warrior. It was a good place to spend a few days, relaxing in between hunts. A place to rest their horses. To sing songs and tell stories.


Yet the white settler had built their homes right in the middle of it. Even worse, they’d erected their fences and planted crops as if assuming the right to treat what belonged to everyone as their own. Especially the water.


No, this was too good an opportunity to miss. And Set-ankeah intended to make a statement. One that would send a clear message to all those who trespassed upon their land.


“What do you want to do, brother?” That question from Red Hand, his second, so named for all the blood he had shed.


Set-ankeah unclipped his spotted antelope robe, folded it neatly, and tucked it beneath his riding blanket. That done, he removed his feathered tomahawk from his belt, raised it in both hands toward the sun, and began chanting, invoking a blessing from the spirits who always watched over him.


Red Hand grinned, fiercely. Set-ankeah was the principle chief and shaman of the Qkoie-Tsain-Gah—otherwise known as the Koitsenko—a warrior society of the Kiowa’s most violent and skilled Dog Fighters. Therefore, he understood the significance of that gesture only too well.


Wheeling his mount, Red Hand uttered a yodeling cry, prompting an instant response from the fifteen other members of their party. Shrieking in reply, they spurred their mustangs, and within seconds, the ground shook to the thunder of hooves.


Wise to the ways of the warrior, Set-ankeah allowed his braves to build up a head start. As he’d learned when rising through the ranks, the first few seconds of a battle were vital. And if you were in a position to make adjustments when and where they were needed, then all the better.


His gaze roved the scene before him, taking in the sum of three main dwellings, a large barn where the white man no doubt kept some of their livestock, and several smaller structures within a fenced compound. Smoke curled from chimneys positioned at the far end of each home. Good! They have not yet emerged to begin their day and will panic when they realize death comes for them.


And panic they did.


Men with pale skins, long white shirts and heavy pants began emerging from doorways, some holding onto hats, all of them clutching rifles and shouting. Women in blue or grey dresses scuttled through those same doorways moments later. Clucking like hens, they had their hands full, ushering screaming children toward sheds built alongside each house. Somewhere, a dog started barking.


The men hadn’t made it off their porches before the first of Set-ankeah warriors leaped the outer fences. Scrambling to a standstill, the homesteaders commenced firing, some standing, others taking the time to kneel before letting off a shot. None of them accurate.


Set-ankeah spurred his pinto to greater efforts and leaned low, over its neck. Ignoring the mane now tickling his face, he whispered in reassuring tones about the honor they would soon earn together.


Movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention. The brave riding next to him must have been hit, for he lost control of his horse. Grimacing in pain, he clutched at his side and fell, seconds later, before rolling away into the grass. Iron Jacket!


Set-ankeah bared his teeth. He knew all of his warriors intimately, and Iron Jacket had earned his name after being shot many times. But his medicine was strong, for he had survived on each occasion. Set-ankeah prayed that would be the case now.


Up ahead, his braves had already split into three distinct groups, and were returning fire with their own rifles, or, for those who wished to earn higher esteem, their bows and arrows. His heart swelled with pride. They were seasoned warriors, and rarely needed direction, even in the heat of battle. How swiftly the white man falls before us. They are like old grass. Brittle and easily broken.


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What makes your featured book a must-read?


Because it’s a classic western novel that grips you from the very first page and doesn’t let go until the very end.


Giveaway –


Enter to win a $45 Amazon gift card:



Open Internationally.


Runs December 18 – December 31, 2023.


Winner will be drawn on January 2, 2024.

Author Biography:


Born in the UK, Andrew Weston was captivated by the great western shows of the 1950s and 60s, where the likes of Wagon Train, Rawhide, Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, Bonanza, and the High Chaparral were regular fare on TV.


Having served around the world in both the military and law enforcement for well over three decades, Weston now lives in the Aegean Greek Islands with his wonderful wife of 24 years. It is from there that he continues his quest to write the perfect story, and discover a film to rival, “Once Upon a Time in the West.”


Social Media Links:


Twitter: @WestonAndrew

3 commenti

Membro sconosciuto
17 gen

I like reading a series. Thanks for sharing your info. Commenting under Michael

Mi piace

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
20 dic 2023

Thank you, Andrew, for sharing your book in our Best Books of '23 Bookish Event!

Mi piace

Andrew Paul Weston
Andrew Paul Weston
20 dic 2023

Thank you so much for stopping by and entering the event. I hope you enjoy the little peek into Shootout at Russell Springs, and the rest of the books highlighted through the rest of the event itself.

Mi piace
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