CHEROKEE WINTER: Tales of the West I
By Troy D. Smith
Western Trail Blazer
If you read this blog often, you know I love, love, love westerns, and I've discovered a new one to love. Troy Smith’s collection of fifteen short stories varies from pioneers to contemporary, but each illustrates why he is an award-winning author. Those stories are:
I. “The Stealing Moon” - After Comanches kill his older brother, Will Rafer struggles to regain his self-esteem and his father’s love until a battle reunites them. One of my favorite of this collection.
II. “The Purification of Jim Barnes” - a former sniper has trouble fitting back in to his old life until his grandfather takes charge. Another favorite that helps me understand veterans.
III. “God Bless Our Home” - gives a new slant to the life and death of a famed outlaw. Sad, but made me believe this might be insightful.
IV. “Confessions of Little Big Man” - is an interesting look at the introspection of a famous man.
V. “They Day They Got Lance Burns” - Does a reformed outlaw still have to answer for his crimes after twenty years, even if he's lived a model life since?
VI. “Mister Maitlin” - A Colorado adventure begins innocently, but evolves into a masquerade that eventually backfires.
VII. “The Hunter’s Snare” - Civil War soldier Charlie Raymond makes a difficult decision.
VIII. “Sergeant Mann” - excellent excerpt from novel BOUND FOR THE PROMISED LAND. After initial insults, a town shows gratitude to the Buffalo Soldiers who save them from Apaches. One of my favorites.
IX. “Romulus Jones” - An insult to his wife and daughter sets Jones on a course even his best friend cannot curtail. Should he retreat or remain to rein in his friend?
X. “Becoming American” - thought provoking story of Sitting Bull’s time in New York.
XI. “Cherokee Winter” - Tom Spencer loved the mountains of Tennessee and hates to watch them change. His opportunity comes when he guides two surveyors to the East Tennessee Mountains where he meets the Cherokee.
XII. “Casualties” - A Pinkerton agent rescues a kidnapped girl, but the rescue doesn’t go as he planned. Has he become that which he hates?
XIII. “Where the Fire is Never Quenched” - A Civil War soldier helps a friend escape a grass fire after a battle. When does filial devotion end?
XIV. “The Final Nail” - When a man dedicates his life to wreaking vengeance, what happens when that vengeance is complete?
XV. “The Galvanized Yankees of Company D” - Excerpt from the novel of the same name. A heroic band of cavalry officers save a fort. Another of my favorites was very enlightening. I didn’t realize that Confederate prisoners were ever transferred to serve in the Union Army.
CHEROKEE WINTER captured my interest immediately. I have my favorites, as I’ve noted above, but I enjoyed each of the fifteen stories. Troy Smith is a gifted writer who weaves his spell over the reader. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves history, or who just loves a well-written story.
Buy Amazon link for CHEROKEE WINTER is