Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays!

It's that magical time of the year when people around the world celebrate a very special thing.  That thing is different for different people.  No matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Yule, Solstice, Kwanzaa, or something else, it's a time to put those differences aside and focus on that which is really important.

For me, my family, my children are what drives this holiday for me, and truly makes it memorable.  The looks on their faces when they eat some of their favorite foods, and open gifts that they truly want makes every trial and tribulation I might have faced during the year fade away.

I hope you find something special in this season as well, and that you realize how wonderful you are!  Every day is a new day, and a new year is upon us.  Do that thing you've always wanted to do but have many excuses for why you haven't.  Call that person you've been thinking about, but haven't made the time for.  Go somewhere different, and make it a special event.

There's no time like the present to be thankful for what you have, and to remember that what's in the past cannot be changed so to look forward.  Have a wonderful, amazing day, and a wonderful, amazing life from this moment forward.

With fondness,

H.A. Larson

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Introspective

Instead of waiting until the new year to talk about how thankful I am, I decided that I'd like to do that now.

It's definitely been a great year.  I've accomplished many things, things I never would have thought were even possible a mere few years ago.  I quit smoking at the beginning of the year, I wrote all of the 2014 editorials for the magazine I write for, I published my first book, I took a dream trip to Ireland for a week, and I got to see one of my favorite bands in concert (and took my teenage son with as well).  I've started on my second book, and I'm excited by how much I've improved since the first one.  I've seen how much I've grown and changed all while strengthening my bonds with my kids, my family, my friends, and even with my acquaintances. 

To be sure, there were a few lows, but I'm not one to lay down and cry about my woes.  In this world, the only way to move forward and achieve your dreams are to just do them.  That's where I am.  I used to be afraid to attempt things, or try to do things because I was most afraid of rejection.  I hated saying 'no' and I didn't always have the best of self-esteem, but this year...that has all changed.  I don't worry about how people view me anymore, I only worry about how I view myself.  I have nowhere to go but up, and for the first time in my life, I'm dreaming big.

I'm so grateful and thankful for all that 2014 has brought me, and I'm looking forward to all the great things to come.  I hope and wish for you peace within yourself and peace without.  

Much love,

H.A. Larson

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving

Well, it's been another week, and here it is the day before Thanksgiving already.  My how time has flown.  Another year is close to being over, and since it's a giving thanks kind of holiday, I have some things I am grateful for that I'd like to share.

I've been through a lot over the past few years, and this year is no different.  I've accomplished things this year that I would never have thought possible a few years ago.  I quit smoking back in January (the 12th was the last day I smoked), I wrapped up a whole year of writing editorials for a local magazine, I published my first novella, and I took a trip to Europe, a life-long dream come true. 

I've watched my amazing children thrive and grow another year.  My son has a driver's permit, and excels in school.  My daughter is so creative, and also excels in school.  They are both healthy and I love them so much.  I couldn't imagine a life without them in it.

I no longer worry about the same things, or fear new challenges or the unknown.  There's a great, peaceful calm and way of dealing with the world that only the 40's could bring.

So, I'm so very thankful.  Thankful for what I have, thankful for the opportunities, thankful for determination and hard work, and thankful for a life that I love living.  While it may not seem like much to others, it's definitely so very very much for me.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving eating great food, and spending it with great people whether with family, friends, or just yourself.

Warm regards,

H.A. Larson

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Post-vacation

Hello!  I'm back from my fantastic vacation to Ireland, and how sweet it was!  I travelled from Dublin to Limerick to Galway visiting castles, eating an authentic medieval feast, checking out museums, toured St. Mary's Cathedral, Grange Henge, and spent a memorable day driving through the Burren on our way to the Cliffs of Moher. 

Besides the Rocky Mountains, nothing else has ever amazed and impressed me as much as watching the mighty Atlantic ocean crash against the gigantic cliffs of Ireland.  I took many pictures, and then gazed out towards the Aran Islands in awe of the magnificence of nature.  Indeed, it was one of the best days of my life. 




I arrived back home this past weekend, but I needed a bit of downtime in which to relax and recover from my whirlwind trip, jetlag, and an unfortunate knee injury from climbing one too many castle staircases.

I now feel renewed and inspired, as I had hoped.  I have been processing the ideas for my second book, and I am pretty excited about it.  I hope you have had a good few weeks, as I have, and look forward to blogging and posting on my (old) regular schedule!


Warm regards,

H.A. Larson

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Update before Vacation

Ahh, it’s so good to have my book out there and available for everyone to read!  I have it on Amazon for Kindle, Barnes & Noble for Nook, and it’s on Smashwords for other formats as well (it will be part of their premium catalog very soon).  On the Smashwords FAQ section, they detail how to download books to computer as well, so if anyone needs some assistance, it’s there.   I’m also glad to have all the fear, stress, and anxiousness of completing my novella over and done with.  

I hope everyone likes Cold!  There’s a piece of me, lying bare before you, inside its pages.  If you would all be so kind as to leave a review when you’re done, it would be incredibly helpful and very much appreciated! 

I will be absent for the next week and a half to two weeks as I'm taking a much-needed vacation (sans husband and kids) to Ireland!  It should just the thing to be inspired by.  Until then, check out my book!  

Here are the links:






Saturday, November 1, 2014

Finally!

So...I'm a few days late on my weekly blog post, but in my defense, I have a perfectly good excuse.  I have finished my book!  After countless hours in front of my computer finishing, and then editing my freshman effort, I'm glad to finally be done.  More importantly, I couldn't be more proud of myself, or a bit nervous, to have finally accomplished my dream.  For sure, this is only the beginning of my journey, and one I hope that you will come with me on.  My novella, "Cold", is now for sale on amazon for Kindle, and will soon be published on Smashwords as well.  I truly hope you enjoy it, and please review it for me when you're done.  And as always, feel free to comment or ask me any questions you might have!
http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Ghostly-Revenge-H-Larson-ebook/dp/B00P33V4KO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1414846267&sr=1-1

I'm going to spend some quality time with my family before I leave the country next weekend for a much-needed, long-awaited-for solo vacation.   After I get back, I have my next book to work on, which I already have an idea in mind.  Have a wonderful weekend!

-H.A.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's Wednesday!

Three weeks ago I was telling someone about my crazy, busy week.  Two weeks ago I was telling someone about my crazy, busy week.  This week has been...you guessed it, another crazy, busy week.  My son's birthday was yesterday and we spent the day tracking down information and waiting in lines in an attempt to get him a learner's permit, just to have him fail.  We went back this morning, and I'm happy to say he got it!  I can't believe he's 15, where does the time go?  I went and saw my friend's two-week old baby the other day, and all those memories of my son came flooding back.  I admit I got a bit misty-eyed.

Today, I am wrapping up my latest editorial that I write for a magazine that publishes in five metro areas.  It's officially been a year since I started writing their health editorials, and it's been great.  Tonight the magazine is having a small gathering of it's writers, and it's my first.  It will be nice to meet the rest of the people that make the magazine tick.

I'm inching closer and closer to my first real novel's publication, and my new job.  I am cutting my two weeks notice down to one so I can get things done around my house that are desperately needed, and to get this novel done!  I'm so excited for it to come out, and can't wait for all of you to read it.

I am taking the trip of a lifetime in a couple of weeks, and I am really looking forward to it.  No husband, no kids, just me and my best friend.  It's going to be relaxing, inspiring, exciting, and new.  I'm ready.

I hope you have a great finish to your week, and make sure to mark your calendars for next Friday, Halloween.  Until then, enjoy the unusally, gorgeous weather we're having here in the Midwest.

All the best,

H.A. Larson



Thursday, October 16, 2014

Novel Update

I've got a date set!  "Cold" will be out on Halloween.  It's a dynamic tale of ghosts, revenge, love, and redemption.  I can't wait for you all to be able to read it!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cold Teaser - Chapter One

From my upcoming, soon-to-be-published book "Cold," I present Chapter One, exclusively here.


The following work is copyright 2014 by H.A. Larson - author.  Any and all rights belong to author.




The night his mother died, Michael lay huddled and shivering on the forest floor.  It was early Spring, and the old leaves from Fall were starting to turn back into earth.  They felt cold and slimy under his hands.  It was raining particularly hard, and there was a bitter chill in the air.  Underneath him, sheltering her as best as he could was his little sister Julia.  Even though he was slight in build, he felt like he was crushing her so he tried his best to hold himself up from her using his palms.  Normally, his arms would be tired, but adrenaline was keeping him strong.
From his vantage point, Michael could see the top half of the house, rising like a black cloud over the tops of the trees.  He could see smoke rising from the chimney, swirling in anomalous patterns, beaten down by the rain.  Even from here, he could hear the intense yelling and crashing sounds emanating from the house.  “Mommy!” cried Julia, scared.  Michael instinctively threw his hand over her mouth and whispered into her ear, “We have to be quiet Jules, please, don’t make a sound.  Ok?”  He felt her nod against his hand. 
As he lifted his head back up again to look across the trees, he noticed that the furor that had emanated from the house like a tumor had been replaced with eerie silence.  Even the pelting rain had dwindled into a trickle.  In his mind, he chanted over and over again, “Please momma, be all right.  Please momma, be all right.”  Just then, the sound of gunshots pierced through the silence, shattering the ominous calm, and washing over them like a tidal wave.  Michael’s heart dropped, and a queasy, sinking feeling gripped his gut.  His hopes for the right outcome were immediately crushed by the shout of his stepfather outside the house, “Fucking BITCH!” 
Michael heard the sound of his stepfather’s truck door slamming, and then the motor came to life, cutting through the forest like the sound of a train screaming past.  He could hear the tires peeling out on the rough gravel that made up the driveway and then down the road that led away from their remote house in the woods. 
He couldn’t breathe, and realized that he had been holding his breath.  He heaved in deep, cold, damp breaths and looked down at Julia, but it was too dark to see her expression.  Alone, cold, wet, and scared, brother and sister sat and stared at the house, and waited.
Michael couldn’t say how long they waited, but he was jolted out of the fog that encased him by Julia sobbing beneath him, “Mommy. I want mommy.”  He was afraid to take Julia back to the house, but he knew he had to go there.  He hadn’t heard his mom say anything, or yell out from the house for them.  They had only heard their stepfather, and Michael knew he had to check on his mom.  He couldn’t leave Julia here either. 
He grabbed Julia’s hand and together they ran as fast as they could through the woods.  The moonlight barely pierced through the dense ceiling of trees, and he almost tripped on a felled log.  Julia slipped and stumbled on the wet carpet of dead foliage, and he picked her up.  The distance to the house seemed so great that Michael almost doubted that they would get there.  They ran as fast as they dared until they arrived at the back door.  Out of breath again, Michael was overwhelmed by a sense of dread so acute that he felt like he was floating.  He was afraid to open the door and go in, but his concern for his mother overrode his sense of fear, so cautiously, he opened the door and crossed the threshold into the dark kitchen.  The creaky aged door seemed incredibly loud and Michael looked around, anxious that their stepfather would hear the sound and find them.
At a near snail’s pace, they entered the dark kitchen.  Julia let out a squeal, “Ouch!” and he realized that he was gripping her hand too tightly.  A peal of thunder broke the stillness and a bolt of lightning followed.  The sound of it was like a jet plane crashing into the side of the house and Michael felt momentarily disoriented.  The lightning illuminated the room and he could see that pots, pans, and dishes were scattered everywhere.  To the left, a frying pan sat in a dark pool of liquid.  
Looking further, he could see his mother stretched out in the pool as well, and he understood that the pool of liquid was his mother’s blood.  His dread turned to horror as he flung himself across the room to his mother’s body, practically ripping Julia’s arm off in the process.  As she knelt down next their mother, a bewildered look on her face, Michael started shaking his mother. 
With tears streaming down his face, he screamed at her lifeless body, “Wake up mom!  Wake up!  Momma!  Please…WAKE UP!”  Julia started weeping then.  She looked at Michael and quietly asked, “Mommy?”  He grabbed his sister and held her close.  As they wept together, Michael gazed over Julia’s shoulder at his mother.  Even in death she looked beautiful, and he missed her so much already.  The most intelligent, kind, and wonderful mother in the world lay lifeless beside him.  He took in then that he would never take comfort in her loving arms again.  Never again would he receive her kisses when he was sad.  Never again would he talk to the person that mattered most to him. 
His crying turned into deep, heaving sobs.  He must have continued like that for an hour before he stopped.  He noticed Julia lying next to their mom’s body, holding her still-warm hand.  He slowly got up, walked across the kitchen, carefully stepping over kitchen cupboard debris in the barely lit room.  When he got to the phone, he picked it up.  A dial tone welcomed him, and he punched the numbers on the lighted keypad, the eerie green light cast a faint glow over the entire room.  On the other end of the line someone answered, “911, what’s your emergency?” 
After hanging up the phone, Michael took Julia upstairs to where their bedrooms were.  He knew they would be going away, so he wanted to make sure they could get some of their favorite things.  Grabbing their school backpacks they put stuffed animals, pictures, books, and other mementos into their bags and descended the stairs to wait.

Much later, lying in the bed that used to be his mother’s, in the room that used to be his mother’s at his grandparent’s house, he listened to Julia’s quiet breathing next to him.  Rolling over onto his side he opened the locket that his mother always wore so proudly around her neck.  He had carefully taken it off his mother’s lifeless body before the police came and escorted them away from the nightmare that was this night.  Using the moonlight that gently lit up his side of the bed; he looked at the two tiny pictures inside.  Mom and he, Julia and mom.  The tears came then and he quietly cried himself to sleep, clutching the locket in his hand.