top of page
SB Logo with wolf black.png
Burckhardt Books LOGO Teal and lt Brown_edited.png



Now Available!

 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 installment in a saga serial.


The sagas are divided into five or more 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, ebooks, and hardcover on and in paperback on


Stephen drew heavily from family stories for much of the Into the West Saga Serial. His father and his sisters spent time in a childrens' homes in Oklahoma in the 50's. Stephen grew up hearing stories of their years they lived there.

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 National Orphan Train Complex Museum and Research Center (<--- click for website). 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 faced. 

Follow Amazon bestselling, western author, Stephen Burckhardt,here and on his other social media pages for information on publication dates, contests, sneak peeks, and 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.

all 7 books with a cow.jpg
Orphan Train
Into the West: The Orphan Train
Part One of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials
Buy the book
2020_Book_Awards_NOMINEE copy.png
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.
A New Home
Into the West: A New Home
Part Two of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials
Buy the book
Thanks to their caseworker, 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 make a hard decision. Should she place the children in separate homes 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. 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?
Sharon Springs
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.
Most Wanted
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.

To Save Them All
Into the West: To Save Them All
Part Five of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials
Buy the book

Ines Rülke and her family have a secret, they are the most wanted bandits in the Kansas Territory. When the law starts to get too close for comfort, Ines decides it’s time to pull one last robbery to throw the lawmen off their trail and then just fade away into history.

When Elizabeth MacBride set out on her own to go find her brother, Conner, she never expected to stumble onto Ines and her new partner in crime, Tonja Miller. When they try to take her back home to her new family, things do not work out as expected. Now Elizabeth has to go along as they try to con tax money from homesteaders near the Missouri border.

Unfortunately, Sheriff Jones from Douglas County expected the bandits to strike and set a trap. If Ines and Tonja can pull off this job without getting caught, and get Elizabeth back home to her new family safely, they just might manage to save one more homestead and get the lawmen off their trail for good. God willing, they just might be able to save them all.

Last Showdown
Into the West: Last Showdown
Part Six of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials
Buy the book

Just when things start to calm down for the residents of Sharon Springs, more trouble comes to town. Mrs. Kelly is convinced she made a mistake letting families in Sharon Springs adopt Elizabeth and Conner MacBride. Now, she wants to take them back to New York City, but the townsfolk are not ready to say goodbye to the children.

When an old adversary of Sheriff Ike Rowlett and Marshal “Blackjack” James shows up in town looking to claim the bounty on the tax bandits for himself, tensions go from bad to worse. Sheriff Jones is known for overstepping his authority. He’s had disputes with Jack and Ike before. In fact, Jack carries a scar on his face as a constant reminder of the other man’s treachery.

When the three men cross paths again, things get more than a little heated as Sheriff Jones insults some of the members of the community and threatens to arrest another. When the townsfolk stand up for their own, things might end up being settled once and for all.

Family Ties
Into the West: Family Ties
Part Seven of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials
The Saga is Complete

In the final installment of the Into the West Saga Serial ... Now that Sheriff Jones has been dealt with, Sheriff Ike Rowlett and Marshal Jack James turn their attention to catching the tax bandits and getting the governor to let Sharon Springs and its townsfolk get back to their quiet lives.

When the identities of the bandits are finally revealed, many of the citizens step up to help protect their own and find a conclusion to the whole fiasco that everyone can live with while giving the governor what he wants. Sharon Stephens calls in a favor that Ike and Jack are not too happy about. Together they find a way to turn a bad situation to their advantage. If things work out, it just might be the start of a new life for Jack and the woman he loves.

Kansas finally wins its bid for statehood and the people of Sharon Springs start celebrating new beginnings, but the happiness is disrupted when news comes down the orphan train line about a stranger searching for riders of the train. When someone from the past shows up, it could shatter the new found happiness of many families. The Ruths and the Wellensteins will have to come together to protect their families once again. With a few prayers, a little luck, and a lot of love, everyone just might be able to build some new family ties that will bind them all together for the rest of their lives.

wood background with leaves
Special Edition
Special Edition
wood background with leaves
Into the West: A New Home - Special Edition
Part One and Two of Book One in The Territories Saga Serials

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 #1 on's top 100 free westerns in July, 2021 in two categories. Don't want to wait for December for another giveaway? Buy your copy today!

Parts 1 & 2
in one book!

Only on Amazon! 
Available with Kindle Unlimited 
contributing author
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. 

Shot Rang Out
Dark & Stormy
Bourbon & Cigar
Time to Myself
SB Logo with wolf black.png

©2024 Stephen/Dianne Burckhardt

 Created with

  • amazon-icon
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • instagram-png-instagram-png-logo-1455
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • 687474703a2f2f732e67722d6173736574732e63
bottom of page