Available Now in eBook & Paperback
The Territories Saga Serials Collection
Introducing the serial book collection, The Territories Saga Serials Collection. The concept is based on the old "cliffhanger" movie serial short films they used to play before the main feature in American cinemas. Each novella in the collection is written as an instalment in a saga serial.
The sagas are divided into five to six novellas to complete each serial. These books are great for anyone who wants to read a good book but doesn't have the time to sit and read a 500 page novel. Titles are currently available in paperback and ebooks at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.
Stephen drew heavily from family stories for much of the Into the West Saga Serial. His father and his father's sisters spent time in children's homes in Oklahoma in the 50's. Stephen grew up hearing stories of their years in the homes.
Later in life, he met someone whose aunt had come to Kansas on the orphan train. The stories of her experience fascinated him enough to make a trip to Concordia, Kansas to visit the Orphan Train Museum there. The more he learned about this time in history, the more fascinated he became. When it came time to pick a theme for his first book series, Stephen knew it had to be based on the orphan train and the triumphs and tragedies its young riders had to face.
Follow bestselling, western author, Stephen Burckhardt, here and on his other social media pages for information on publication dates, contests, and sneak previews of future book releases. Link buttons to all of his social media pages are on the bottom of every page of this website and on the About Stephen page.
The Into the West Saga Serial Collection
Into the West: The Orphan Train
Part One of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials
Buy the book
This book was a finalist in the 2019 TopShelf Indie Book Awards and is now an award committee nominee for the 2020 TopShelf Indie Book Awards
Margret MacBride loves her children more than life itself, but as a young widow, she can't support herself and her children on a maid's salary. After losing their home they struggle for years to survive living on the streets. Distraught, Margret turns to the church for guidance.
Mary Agnus convinces Margret her children will be better off if she turns them over to the Catholic Foundling Aid Society for placement in a home. Little did she know her children would end up on the Orphan Train heading into the western territories.
Taken from the only home they have ever known, Elizabeth and Conner MacBride are frightened and homesick. Their aid worker, Mrs. Kelly, does her best to comfort the children and help them come to terms with their new situation.
When Elizabeth finds herself in trouble after a run-in with the foundlings' home's director, Sister Mary Clare, and bullied by one of the other children, Mrs. Kelly puts her job on the line to get Elizabeth and her brother on the Orphan Train and find them a new home in the wild west.
Into the West: A New Home
Part Two of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials
Buy the book
Thanks to their case worker, Mrs. Kelly, Elizabeth and Conner MacBride make it onto the orphan train heading into the west. Mrs. Kelly is reluctant to part with the children as she struggles with the agreement she was forced to make with Sister Mary Clare to keep the children on the train.
If Mrs. Kelly keeps her promise she will keep her job but she may break the hearts of Elizabeth and Conner in the process. As the train heads into the Kansas territory to make one final stop, Mrs. Kelly must choose, place the children with strangers or return them to the Catholic Foundling Aid Society's home in New York City, something she does not want to do.
Finding a new home in a small cowtown in the Wild West will be a new and frightening experience for Elizabeth and Conner but with the help of a few good people they might be able to make a new life for themselves. Will Mrs. Kelly have to sacrifice her job to do what she believes is best for the children or can she find a solution with which they can all live?
Into the West: Sharon Springs
Part Three of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials
Buy the book
Families in Sharon Springs are dealing with ghosts from their pasts as they consider welcoming the riders of the orphan train to their town. Many old wounds need to heal if they are going to make room for Elizabeth and Conner MacBride.
Unfortunately, things do not work out as Mrs. Kelly had hoped and it may turn out that the only way to find suitable homes for MacBride children is to split them up.
When Elizabeth and Conner learn they are being placed with different families in Sharon Springs, both are heartbroken. After many tears and promises the siblings would get to see each other as often as they wanted, things begin to quiet down.
When Elizabeth meets her new family, she finds out Tim Ruth was much more thrilled to have a new daughter in the family than his wife, Stacy. Her new adoptive brother, Timothy, does not give her a warm welcome either. He is not interested in sharing his mother’s love with anyone and lets Elizabeth know from the moment they meet.
Elizabeth tries to get used to life in the Wild West but finds that living in the territories can be hard, especially when you’re alone and your new adoptive family doesn’t seem to want you there.
Into the West: Most Wanted
Part Four of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials
Buy the book
Marshal “Blackjack” James has a reputation for being able to catch any criminal he puts his mind to catching. When his friend Ike “Shorty” Rowlett, sheriff of Sharon Springs, sends him a telegram asking for help catching bandits in the area, Jack saddles up his horse, Bucky, and heads north.
Meanwhile, the folks in Sharon Springs, are doing their best to help Elizabeth and Conner MacBride settle into their new homes in the Wild West. Unfortunately, not everyone is happy to have them there. Just as Elizabeth begins to bond with her new parents, her new brother decides he wants her to leave.
Conner MacBride is trying to learn to live without his sister but getting used to so many changes in such a short time is very difficult for a young boy. Ian Somerholder is doing everything he can to help Conner bond with his new parents but he will have to return to his own new family soon. It just might take help from the most wanted to bring everyone together.
Into the West: To Be Announced
Part Five of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials
Marshal “Blackjack” James and his friend, Ike “Shorty” Rowlett, sheriff of Sharon Springs, had no idea what trouble they were heading into when they teamed up to catch bandits in the Kansas territory. As they investigate their leads, they find that some of the least likely suspects just might be the most wanted criminals in the territory.
As if Blackjack and Shorty didn't have enough work tracking notorious criminals, they also have a lost child to find. Elizabeth MacBride was missing her brother and just knew she could find her way back to town on her own. But when she trips and breaks her lantern, she finds the open valley is a dark and scary place at night, especially when you are not alone.
Elizabeth's thinks her prayers are answered when she sees a faint light off in the distance. She follows the glow hoping to find help. When she stumbles upon the local bandits getting ready to head out for one last heist, she is not sure if the territory's most wanted will be her salvation . . . or damnation.
Just when things look bleak, more trouble rides into town. An old adversary shows up hoping to claim the bounty on the bandits himself. Sheriff Jones, a man known for overstepping his authority, has had disputes with Blackjack and Shorty before. Blackjack still has the scar to prove it. When the three cross paths again, things just might get settled once and for all.
Contributing Author Books
I was included in a group venture with award-winning, best-selling Western author, Scott Harris. Harris challenged a group of western authors to craft 500 word micro-short stories using the exact same writing prompt. The resulted is a four book series of 52 micro-short stories from 52 different authors all putting their unique spin on the same few words. This was a fun exercise but unfortunately I earn no profits from these books. However, if you enjoy micro-short stories, be sure to check them out on Amazon.
This bestselling western, Into the West: A New Home - Special Edition, includes the full text from the two time award-winning part one, Into the West: The Orphan Train, and part two, Into the West: A New Home. This book was rated #41 on Amazon's top 100 free westerns in February, 2019. Get your copy today!