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New Release | Trouble on the Smoky Hill Trail – A Pearl Brothers Western Adventure #western

Title: Trouble on the Smoky Hill Trail – A Pearl Brothers Western Adventure

Author: Andrew Weston

Genre: Western

Publisher: Dusty Saddle Productions

Book Blurb:

A Cheyenne raiding party turns the quiet community of Elder Grove, Kansas, upside down, resulting in the death of a mother and father, and the abduction of their teenage daughters.

All seems lost.

But the Cheyenne didn’t reckon on the leaders of Elder Grove, Jacob and Noah Pearl. Two men with a remarkable shared history, who are a force of nature when roused. And as the Cheyenne are about to discover, they’re also the kind of men who will do anything to see justice done, even if it means getting their hands dirty.


Something wasn’t right.

Whatever that something was, Alfred Johansen couldn’t immediately figure it out, as those moments between the end of a dream and half-wakefulness always left him feeling sluggish and unbalanced. Nonetheless, he knew his home intimately, and an air of latent menace pervaded the somber tranquility of the night. Unsettled, he shuffled quietly to the edge of the mattress so as not to wake his wife, stilled his breathing, and strained to listen over the wheeze of her gentle snoring.

To no avail.

No matter how hard he tried, the source of Alfred’s unease continued to elude him.

His sense of alarm increased. Heart thudding, Alfred levered himself up onto his elbows, and a gentle breeze cooled the sweat now forming across his brow. An unexpected sensation, seeing as how he religiously shut the doors and shuttered the windows every night before retiring.

While Alfred and his family reaped the benefits of the security offered by their small community of just over a dozen homesteads, all of them scattered in close proximity on the northern side of Walnut Creek, forty-five miles west of Alexander, Kansas, there was always a danger to living here. The nearest town, Gove, was twenty miles away to the north. A good full day’s ride by wagon, or less than half that on a good horse maintaining a steady trot. And even though the new Wells Fargo coaches still braved the old Butterfield Overland Express route, or the southern Santa Fe Trail running past Dodge, they were still too far away to be of help at times like this. So you had to learn, and quickly, to sort out problems yourself.

Highlighting Alfred’s predicament.

Procrastinating would achieve nothing.

He decided to go and check, just in case, and reached toward the bedside table where he kept his old 1839 model Colt Paterson, which had been converted to fire .44 Henry Rimfire cartridges. Just holding it would help to calm his jitters.

Except it wasn’t there. Oh, for pity’s sake. I must have left it out in the kitchen.

Irritated, Alfred swung his feet out of bed and almost tripped as his sock snagged a splintered floorboard. Scuttling forward a few paces, he bit back a curse and turned to stare at Rita, his wife. His night vision allowed him to make out the shape of her form beneath the covers. She hadn’t moved. Good. I don’t want to upset her unduly. . .

That thought died in his head as he caught sight of the window. One of the shutter’s was open, and the small rocks his wife used to weigh the fabric down and hold them in place were missing, allowing the cloth to swing free. Drawn like a moth to a flame, Alfred padded across to the window, brushed the cloth aside, and peered outside.

A half-moon peeked from behind purple clouds, heavy with the last snows of spring. By its light, Alfred could see the stones clearly, laid out in a neat line in the dirt, next to a tight cluster of footprints. Vilken (What)?

Withdrawing from the window, he started for the door and tried to reason things through. Who would be snooping about at this time of night? People around here know we don’t have much, and that our community is self-sufficient.

A barely audible thud, from deeper inside the house interrupted his musing. Somebody’s definitely moving about. One of the girls perhaps? Has something spooked them? He glanced toward the bedside table. Is that why my gun is missing?

The twins, Margit and Astrid, were coming up on seventeen years old. Precocious to a fault, they were spirited, reckless, and way too bossy for their own good.

Tsking quietly, Alfred relaxed a little. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve told them not to put themselves in danger by investigating things for themselves. Come morning, Ill. . .

Another sound, this one laced with hushed voices along with a stifled squeal of protest intruded. For some reason, just hearing it turned Alfred’s stomach, and his protective instincts finally kicked in. Djävla (Goddamit). I’d better arm myself.

His father’s shotgun hung from a couple of hooks above the fireplace out in the main room. Alfred wasn’t the marksman the Pearl brothers were, but that old gun would be forgiving enough in this situation to even things out a little. Indeed, the mere sight of it had been enough to douse the heat of troubled egos—with other settlers heading west, and wandering bands of Lakota and Cheyenne—several times over the past two years they’d been putting their little community together, so he had no doubt it would act as a deterrent now.

If he got to the darn thing, that was.

As cautiously as he possibly could, Alfred depressed the latch with his thumb, and prevented it from rattling by using both his hands to maneuver the bar into position. Once open, he lowered the lever and left the door ajar, before tiptoeing silently out into the short hallway leading from the bedrooms and into the living area. Whatever was happening, the sounds coming from his daughters’ room were becoming more frantic. Swallowing his anger, he began imagining all the terrible things he would do to anyone trying to take advantage of his daughters’ virtue, and quickened his pace until he was nigh on running. Just hang on, girls. Hang on for a minute or two . . . huh?

It wasn’t until Alfred was halfway across the room that three things hit him in quick succession.

Buy link:

Special Giveaway:

To all the aficionados of the western genre out there . . . I’d really love to see what you think of this, my first western adventure.

So, if you’re willing to provide an honest review, then the first five readers to accept the challenge and who contact me, either via messenger on Facebook or via Twitter with the phrase YES PLEASE, will receive a free kindle copy – or, dependent upon where you live, a gift voucher to cover the cost – of Trouble on the Smoky Hill Trail, so that I can see what you think, and improve as I go forward.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Andrew Weston

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


Andrew Paul Weston
Andrew Paul Weston

Thank you - you are most welcome :)


N. N. Light
N. N. Light

Thank you, Andrew, for sharing your new release with us! We love western adventures in the old west.

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