Hartstown, Virginia, holds stunning natural beauty and a close-knit mountain community. Deep in the heart of Appalachian coal country, Hartstown?also suffers more than its fair share of tragedy. Beth Azen discovers a strange ability that leads her deep into the ancient mysteries of the mountains around her. Mark Hersch finds more than he ever imagined on his lifelong quest to heal the damage left by decades of mining. Together, they discover the deadly nature of true loneliness. A gripping tale of sorrow and redemption. Inspired by Far Southwest Virginia: A Postcard and Photographic Journey, also from Spiral Publishing. An excerpt from Songs in the Mountains: “Can you hear me?” Beth whispered, her cheeks turning red. She tried again, a bit louder. “Hello? I hear you talking. Is anyone there?” The song continued without even a pause. Beth scrubbed her fingers through her hair, then got as close to shouting as she dared in the closed space with people right outside the door. “Either tell me what you want or leave me alone!” The voices stopped. Beth tried to hold perfectly still, not sure if she wanted an answer or for the whole thing to be over. She could probably adjust to not having music anymore, but not to the constant noise. The low, empty circuit hum in her ears intensified, and a voice floated up like a distant station on her great-uncle’s old tube radio. “Been wonderin’ if anyone was there.” The woman spoke with a thick dialect that was hard to understand, but Beth thought it had to be from close by. “Been tryin’ to get through for a powerful long time.” Beth opened her mouth twice before any words made it out.