Into Autumn is the first book of my Four Seasons Series. Into Spring, the sequel, came out January 2017. Into Winter (book three) for Fall 2017 and Into Summer (book four) in the Fall 2018. The Four Seasons Series is the continuing saga of Peaceful Valley.
The economy of the United States has failed, government has shut down and the grid has gone offline. No Internet, no TV, no utility services. There is rioting, killing and chaos everywhere. You have no water and little food. You hear gunshots, then banging at your door. You have no gun. What do you do? It is not a question of whether or not this will happen, but when. Could you survive if it happened tomorrow? The lives of Lars Lindgren and Eileen Branson have been turned upside down. Follow their struggle; learn how they must change in order to survive.
Kindle version and paperback available on Amazon.com
Peaceful Valley is full of surprises as survival is a must!, October 3, 2015
This review is from: Into Autumn: A Novel (Paperback)
as the world goes into turmoil, Lars Lindgren goes off the grid and becomes a survivalist. When he finds Eileen Branson, not to far from his hiding place, he at first is worried about who she is and what she might want, but then she is invited to stay at his place and their relationship blossoms as they learn about survival. It is not an apocalypse, but it is close and readers will find this book an interesting look at what might just happen in our own near future, What if the power was gone? how would you survive and who would you want to survive with you? The author does a great job answering these questions and taking a look at what may just be an inevitable future.
Really enjoyed this book! Well written, and with a compelling premise that raises many questions. What if there was no infrastructure? Could we live without the Internet, texting, grocery store and Starbuck’s? Will the preppers be smiling like Cheshire Cats on their piles of useful supplies, weapons and ammunition when the time comes? Ethical decisions for ordinarily good, law-abiding people go from black and white to many shades of gray and into the red zone if your survival is on the line. Highly recommended!
I have always thought that if I could get someone to read the introduction to “Into Autumn”, they would want to read the rest of the book. For this reason, I have included the introduction here. Enjoy!
Lars Lindgren sat on the front porch of his country home. He rubbed his hands together and winced a little at the pain of arthritis, which seemed to get a little worse every year, as the cooler weather set in. A cool north breeze teased the wind chime hanging from a rafter at the end of the porch, producing a pleasant tinkle. Lars looked at the calluses on his hands, then rubbed his hands together, to produce a little warmth, and touched the palms to his face. The eastern sky began to glow brightly, as the sun was preparing to peek above the gentle slope of the landscape. Lars hated getting up early, but these days, he could never sleep in. He reached over and grabbed his rifle, a small can of oil, barrel rod, and an old washcloth. The lever action 30-30 needed cleaning badly, but no matter how much he scrubbed and oiled, the gun would never be new again. It belonged to his dad. Though past its prime, the weapon still had plenty of years left, provided he kept it well oiled. The task completed, Lars shoved in five 180 grain cartridges, and leaned it up against the porch railing.
Lars leaned back in his chair and stretched out his arms. He closed his eyes, and his mind drifted back to the old days; the old days of three years ago, before he went off the grid. Going off the grid was not his choice. The choice was not his to make; just something that happened rather suddenly one day. There was plenty of warning, but he did not see the signs. He had just assumed everything would always be the same. Over the years, presidents came and went, the stock market went up and down, taxes went up on a regular basis, and there always seemed to be a war somewhere, but everything always remained the same. Not this time though; how could he have known? The grid just suddenly shut down. No more electricity, no more mail, no more well stocked grocery store shelves, and probably the worst, no more gasoline for his aging truck. He had a full tank of gasoline when the grid shut down and a 55 gallon drum about half full of the fuel, but didn’t use the last of the precious liquid in the truck. He could do without his truck, but he needed his tractor to plow and plant his garden. His feet replaced his truck, but losing the tractor would mean a lot of extra back breaking work to plow the garden so he could plant the crops he needed to survive, now that his only source of food would be what he could produce himself. There was no telling how long this would be the case, maybe the rest of his life. He just didn’t know.
Lars didn’t just have to fend for himself; he had two mouths to feed. Lars was not married, but Eileen came to live with him about the time the grid went down. Lars did not care so much for himself. If he could not take care of himself, maybe he would just waste away and die. Lars had lived a relatively long life, and his health was headed downhill. Nothing serious, just a little arthritis, and he tired more easily and seemed to need much more sleep than when he was younger. He was just beginning to feel old, much like his dad’s old gun. He didn’t have a lot to live for, with most of the modern conveniences he had gotten used to over the years, now a thing of the past. Long-distance travel was certainly no longer possible, even if he did have the money or gas, which he did not. If it were just him, he probably would not care, but he did care for Eileen very much. She gave him strength and courage to press on and work hard, to provide as best he could for both of them. She gave him a sense of purpose. He did not want her to be cold when the chilly air blew down from the north. He did not want her to be hungry when times were lean, so he worked harder to provide what he needed to provide. He did not want her to sleep scared at night or worry someone would come along during the day and take everything she and Lars had worked so hard to accumulate. He wanted her to feel she had a future; they had a future; life was still worth living. Lars’ job these days was to take care of Eileen, and with a little help from her, he would do so. He would make her feel safe, keep her belly full, and give her all the love she needed.
Lars’ thoughts turned to his past year’s crops. They were not nearly as good as he had hoped they would be. If they had been, he would have had something to barter with the neighbors. At the moment, they had all the food they needed, but little to barter with. Lars would have to get up soon to chop some wood, but he just couldn’t stop thinking about his situation. They would need the firewood tonight, as the chill in the air meant it would be colder tonight than it was last night. Yes, he would have to get up soon. Well, not just yet, but soon. Lars rolled a cigar from some of the tobacco leaves he kept in a small cloth pouch in his chest pocket. The leaves were fresh from the day before, when he peeled them from the full leaves hanging in the barn to dry. His tobacco crop was meager this year, like all the other crops, so he rationed the leaves. They would not likely last until the next year’s crop came in, so he enjoyed every puff of every cigar. No more cigarettes for him. He had no papers to roll them in, and you certainly could not buy them, as all the local stores had closed down long ago, so cigars it had to be. Maybe he would just quit when he ran out of tobacco. This would certainly make Eileen happy; she never liked smoking. He knew it was a nasty habit, but Lars enjoyed smoking. He thought it helped him relax, and there were many things to relax from these days.
Lars took his last puff from the cigar, thumped the butt into the dirt just off the porch, and slowly got up. The sun was already up a little higher than usual. He would need to get after his chores soon. Eileen was still in bed, and he needed to get her up. He had decided to let her sleep a little longer this morning. It would be a full day of chores with the colder weather bearing down upon them. There were many things which needed attention before winter set in for good. Lars grabbed his gun, walked to the front door, turned the knob, and slowly pushed the door in. There was a little squeak in the hinges. Lars took the can of oil, set his gun just inside the door, and gave the hinges a little squirt. “Ah, that’s better,” he said softly. Can’t be waking Eileen up with a squeaky hinge, he thought. Lars went into the bedroom and the covers were still high over Eileen’s head. He slowly pulled at the covers, revealing her blonde hair, then her closed eyes, followed by her cute little nose, and the luscious full lips he loved to kiss. He just stood there for a minute. My God, she was beautiful. She just didn’t seem to get any older, and every day she seemed to be more beautiful than the day before. Lars leaned over and gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead. She stirred a little, and then her eyes opened slowly. Then, there appeared that lovely smile he fell in love with the first day they met. “Is it time to get up already?”
“I wish I could let you sleep a little longer,” Lars said, “but we have a lot of chores we need to get at.” Lars walked back into the living room. Eileen followed shortly, all dressed and ready to get to work. She had never been lazy, one thing Lars really liked about her. She always carried her load to help provide for both of them, and sometimes, she even surprised Lars with how hard she worked.
Lars could see that Eileen missed the city life, as she stuffed the old wood stove with kindling. She was a city gal at heart, unlike Lars who spent as much time in the country as possible. Living just outside town most of his life was not really living in the country, but Lars made up for this with numerous hunting and fishing trips every year. He didn’t like cities much, though cities did have their good points. But, no more. Cities were very dangerous these days. They were off the grid too, as was everyone. When there was little left to loot from the local businesses, the survivors lived on what they could take from others, who generally were killed for their meager possessions. Eileen was smart enough to leave the city long before things got really bad. She must have known the nation was going to shut down. She was not just a pretty face, she was smart too, very smart; city smart, school smart. How she found Lars, he didn’t know, but was very glad she did. You couldn’t tell Eileen was a city gal now by looking at her. She looked like she was born and raised in the country, much like Daisy Duke on the old television show. But Lars could tell she wasn’t, because of her lack of typical country skills, like shooting, old medicine, how to deal with wildlife, and knowing what and how to do all the everyday tasks, which most country folk seem to know instinctively. But Lars didn’t care about what she knew or didn’t know. What he cared about most was that she was eager to learn, worked hard to learn, and never gave up trying. Lars also remembered how lonesome he’d been before Eileen showed up.
Eileen got busy on breakfast, but before Lars went outside to get started on chores, he walked over to give her a big hug and a tender kiss. Eileen liked his bear hugs, and this was a daily ritual. Women need to know they are appreciated, loved, wanted, and needed. Lars wasn’t much for words, but he let Eileen know daily she was loved and needed. He learned a long time ago that women need to know someone wants them and that their hard work is appreciated. Lars made certain Eileen knew this every single day. He was not certain he could survive, with or without her, but he let her know every day that, with her help, he would give it his best effort.
Into Spring – The Next Generation
Sorry, I left a few things hanging, so there had to be a sequel.
Nearly twenty years after the grid shut down and the chaos began, the two boys leave home for the first time. There are no women for them in Peaceful Valley and men need women. They begin a quest to Corpus Christi in search of wives. Are they prepared? Maybe they are and maybe not, but they don’t have a choice. Will they find love? Or will they find more chaos?