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Title: Whispers of Old Winds
Author: George Seaton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: 12/16/2016
Sheriff Sam Daly, a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and his husband, Michael Bellomo, have made a life for themselves in sparsely populated Pine County, in the Colorado mountains. Sam oversees the small sheriff’s department, and Michael sells his paintings and tourist items out of his shop, Needful Things. From the beginning, Sam had known Michael possessed gifts: the ability to see and hear things Sam cannot.
When a report of a body in a massive snow-filled depression up a mountainside sends Sam and his deputy, Digger, to investigate, Sam struggles to reconcile the existence of skinwalkers in Pine County with the world he’s familiar with. Michael, though, deals with this reality through his art, and through the mysticism he’s been gifted. Sam’s effort to discover what is happening cause him to examine his life with Michael from the time they first met. The inevitable conclusion might be that he’ll never understand the mysteries of the mountains, but for the sake of Michael and their love, he’ll have to embrace them.
George Seaton on Whispers of Old Winds – Magic in the Colorado Mountains
“Whispers of Old Winds,” was released by Dreamspinner Press on December 16th. Well, actually that was the second release of that title. The first release was the short story that appeared in Dreamspinner’s 2015 Advent Calendar. Some reviews of that short story rued the lack of detail in the relationship between the main characters, Sam Daly, and his husband, Michael Bellomo. Before the short story was even released, I began to expand it into a novel where I’ve hopefully provided the depth of the bond between Sam and Michael.
He turns the bag on its side and carefully scooches it a little across the table, and some of what’s inside filters out the top. “Wow,” he says again.
Okay. I’ve had about enough of the wows. Just like Cathy did, he pinches some of the powder between his thumb and forefinger. “Please don’t say wow again.”
He doesn’t answer me. He bows his head slightly, and I lean down and look at his face. He’s got his eyes closed. “Michael,” I say, fearing that he’s off into some dark region of his mind.
It’s bones. Human bones,” he says. He raises his head and looks at me. “It’s ground-up parts of a human and maybe something else. Maybe another animal.”
No way not to think about Joe’s dog laid out with his pads cut off and the back of his head missing. “Not dog?”
“Maybe. Why would somebody…?”
To describe what I’m feeling right now as eerie would be an understatement. “Let’s get that back in the bag.”
Michael draws his fingers across the powder on the table and lightly brushes it back into the bag. “There’s a meaning to this,” he says, his voice flat as if he’s talking to himself.
We both stand up and walk into the kitchen where I tear a piece of paper towel from the roll, wet it slightly under the tap, and as Michael washes his hands, I bring it back into the parlor. I wipe up the dust left on the coffee table. Michael kneels down and pulls tight the ties at the top of the bag. He leaves the bag on the coffee table and then stands up and sits back down on the couch.
“You okay?” I say, looking at his profile. He’s staring at the windows where there’s only blackness.
“Yeah,” he says, nodding. He pulls his legs up under him again and turns toward me. “There is some meaning to what’s in that bag.”
“Well,” I say, hoping to hell there is indeed some meaning to it. “Not that it would explain it any better, but maybe it’s just the remains of somebody’s cremated mother or something. And you don’t know what that meaning might be?”
“Magic,” he says.
That’s the second time he’s said that word. I shouldn’t have expected less. Of course it’s magic. And I’m sure the CBI lab in Denver would come up with the same conclusion: “Sheriff Daly, we’re dealing with magic here.” Yeah. Right.
About the Author
George Seaton’s short stories, novellas, and novels capture contemporary life mostly set in the American west—Colorado and Wyoming in particular. He and his husband, David, along with their Alaskan malamute, Kuma, live in the Colorado foothills just southwest of Denver.
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