Review: Whispers of Old Winds by George Seaton

2nd Edition

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 has 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 causes 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.

First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2015.

This was my first read by this author during my annual trip through Dreamspinner’s Advent Calendar event in 2015. The original story is exactly why I read every story every year, I love being introduced to authors that are new to me and George Seaton writes words that transcend the basic Christmas story and his offering was a tale that made me believe in winter magic of all sorts. In the second edition the author has taken his short story and expanded it to full novel length and I absolutely loved it.

While I wouldn’t call Whispers of Old Winds a traditional Christmas story with gingerbread and mistletoe, I would say that it’s a perfect romantic wintery tale in a setting that, if you've ever had the treat of traveling through, will make you believe in spirituality of any flavor. And that’s what makes Whispers of Old Winds so special. It’s slightly eerie in the best possible way. The kind of eerie that makes the reader stop questioning the questionable and just believe in the words and enjoy the ride. 

Whispers of Old Winds is actually a really pretty quiet story told through current moments, flashbacks and “visions” for lack of a better word. The author does a great job of showing rather than telling and the pace moved forward perfectly.

The story was told from Sam’s POV and I really liked his voice. He’s a tough character, a man of few words, but I have a serious soft spot for those guys because to me, their words have that much more value. The bits shown with Sam and Michael together had a lot of impact. The words weren’t full of hearts and flowers, they were befitting a couple who had been through a lot together and were perfectly matched beyond sharing things in common, theirs was a union that had a mystical bent to it that fit with the mood of the whole book. Michael remained a little bit of enigma, but while that could have been frustrating somewhere else, here, it made complete sense.

The supporting characters are just as integral to the overall story as Sam and Michael and each added to the mysterious tale through twists and turns with some expected results and some unexpected. The way the story is told kept me hooked by keeping me on my toes throughout. I have to call out Hank and Digger especially. Hank’s insights and jibes at poor, sweet Digger, Sam’s helluva Deputy, added so much in a quiet and wise way and I loved Hank’s page time. Digger added some levity that balanced the mood every time he made an appearance.

I highly recommend spending time with this uniquely beautiful read.

For more information on the 2nd edition of Whispers of Old Winds, check it out at Dreamspinner Press.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

See George Seaton's Whispers of Old Winds Tour stop here

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