November 3, 2008

New Novel Captures the Beauty, Adversity of Pre-Civil War Decade

MENTOR, Ohio, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- "A light summer breeze funneled across western Maryland and sifted through the dogwoods lining the oval entrance to the Roulette farm. The large limestone mansion was absorbed into the tranquil scene and depicted the best of times." So the scene is set in Jack Babb's "Portals to Freedom" (published by AuthorHouse --, the entrancing new novel that takes a dramatic look at the lives of the Roulette family during what the author calls "one of the most romantic periods of history."

Taking place just prior to the Civil War, between the 1850 Compromise and 1859, "Portals to Freedom" tells the love story of Johnny Wills and Melissa Roulette, as well as the stories of love, life and death of those around them. The cast includes Ben and Clara Roulette, Melissa's parents; slaves Samuel and Emma and their son, Jonesy; Flossie, Jonesy's love interest; Senator Penderson and his wife, Myra, Ben's sister; and a variety of other characters who breathe life into this captivating saga.

Capturing the realities of life's continuous flux, "Portals to Freedom" follows these characters as they deal with the hardships of unforeseen occurrences that disrupt the peace in all ways imaginable. Amidst colorful scenes of military balls "with uniforms and gowns twirling in the oil lamplight," county fairs and Fourth of July celebrations are unforgiving tragedies: death, racial injustice and rape. The latter sends Melissa on a journey like none she had ever imagined. Pregnant and without Johnny, she is forced to join the Underground Railroad, a rare experience for a white woman.

Fear is rampant as Melissa and her fellow travelers attempt to evade the relentless pursuit of bounty hunters and marshals and survive the harsh winter en route to freedom. Johnny's deep love for Melissa sends him on a desperate search to find her, a search that brings them together in an unexpected way. Discover true love's ability to overcome all odds in Jack Babb's "Portals to Freedom."

Author Jack Babb studied journalism at the University of Maryland and received training as a screenwriter through several schools pertaining to film techniques using 16 and 35 MM film. After writing for several large companies, Babb began writing for television, including such programs as Bonanza, Hawaii Five-O and The Richard Boones Show.

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