A Higher Calling


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“What is the matter with you? We do not need his money!”

She stood behind him; her hands on her hips. “It’s not about the money.”

His voice was calm. He could have told her what day of the week it was with the same level of excitement. “Then why? Why must you go back and try to get yourself killed? You have responsibilities here!”

Sam stopped brushing and seemed ready to turn and face her. He then thought better and did not. He returned to brushing the horse.

“Samuel, you turn around and face me! You tell me why I have to get ready to mourn a second man in my life. You tell me what I’m supposed to tell our children!”

His turn was powerful and deliberate; he faced her, “Our children, Laura? It wasn’t that long ago you told me in no uncertain terms they were your children and I was a bad influence. You share them with me only when it suits you. They are our children if you think you can use them to your advantage.”

“Is that why you’re doing this? To punish me for what I said?”

“Laura, please. Do you really think that little of me? I gave the man my word. I promised him I would avenge him if this happened.”

“You promised? You promised? You also promised my husband you would look after us. I know Wiggins was your friend, but he is cold and dead in the ground. There is nothing you can do that will change that.”

Sam’s’ brows furrowed, “And how is that different from William, your husband? Is he not also cold and dead in the ground?”

Laura stepped forward and took his free hand. She placed his hand on her chest, between her breasts, “Does this feel like it’s cold and dead? Do you not feel the love that surges through my body with every beat of my heart? Tell me what I have to do to keep you here? What must I do to change your mind?”

Sam Moses was in a quandary, a crossroads. He had followed the beautiful Laura Stoddard and her children to Missouri in order to care for them as he had promised the dying William Stoddard, the husband and father. He was determined to keep his word. Now, he had received notice a friend had been murdered. A friend whom he had promised to avenge if such a thing happened; now, it had. Avenging his friend would most likely kill him but he had given his word.

Now, after living most of his life not being beholden to anyone, he must choose, which promise is the higher calling?


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Reader Reviews


I’m an aspiring writer, but even more, an accomplished reader for over 60 years now. I’ve read many of Zane Grey’s offerings and virtually all of those by Louis L’Amour. I judge a book by how it captures and holds my attention. In all honesty, during the final two thirds of this one I could hardly put it down, and the surprise ending left me hungering for more of the story.

In my opinion Kwen Griffeth, although not as well-known as those venerable sages, is every bit their equal in telling a good tale. His talent for period correct detail and character development makes for a story that I was able to crawl inside of and feel right at home with. Being born in the rural Midwest, and having spent much of my life there and as well the wide open spaces of Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico, his characters were so true to life that it felt almost as if I had known each one of them personally at some time in my past. He is especially accomplished in the way he handles the emotions and interaction of his characters, in such a way that they seem like real honest-to-goodness folks instead of just two dimensional figures on the page of book.

This is the second installment of the story of Sam Moses and I understand a third installment is soon to come. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

I am continually amazed at each book I read that was written by Kwen Griffeth. Summers are so busy so it took me awhile to start reading this book. I was afraid if I picked it up and started reading I would not be able to put it down and I was so right. This book caught my attention within the very first chapter and kept me hooked the entire book. My first thought was it cannot end this way but I think Kwen could not have picked a better ending because now I don’t think the third book can be published soon enough.

Oh my goodness…….this certainly was one huge roller coaster ride…more like the colossus! Beautifully written, so very captivating, intense the entire way through! I love how Sam eventually found himself and came to terms with his past to move on to a better life, one filled with people who love him for,who he is and who in turn he has learn to love and appreciate their simple, yet very hard way of life! As is the history for this time period….happiness in such simple ways, yet trials, sorrow and tragedy plagues everyone in one form or another…..oh my, makes a person grateful for what they have, look and work towards something better with those they truly love and want to share their lives with. Thank you D. Kwen Griffith for your wonderful gift you were blessed with…just took a few years for you to realize it😌

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