Chasing Liberty, by Theresa Linden

Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Secular totalitarian governments, no matter how utopian their intent, distort humanity as they force their relativistic materialism upon an unwilling nature. Opportunists may work the system. The less fortunate may crumble under pressure, numbing their pain with drugs. The few resist and lead others out of this dystopian world.

Re-education and/or elimination awaits each dissenter. Nevertheless, subversion flourishes. The resistance travels underground within the cities, settles in far flung colonies, and bores within the power structure spreading their poisonous doctrine of personal dignity, individual freedom and family life.

Liberty, a genetically modified, nineteen year old retirement home worker, befriends the elderly, treating them as family. “Her Friend,” an inner voice, leads her down a path of dissatisfaction with the regime’s plans for her future. When the regime and the resistance detect Liberty’s dissent, the hunt begins. Electronic surveillance records and tracks Liberty and other runaways, but dissenters attempt to frustrate these deadly video games. Can they snatch Liberty before the regime closes in?

Follow Liberty’s fortunes as she and her allies reinvent the Scarlet Pimpernel in a futuristic setting. Chasing Liberty deserves a place on the bookshelf among dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games, 1984, The Brave New World and Myles Connolly’s Mr. Blue.

Good news, a sequel nears completion.

Christmas Hope, by Leslie Lynch

Leslie Lynch creates such amazingly REAL characters, as we see again in Christmas Hope. Fortunately, she took time after the story to explain how she went into the real world to find her fictional protagonists among the heroes and victims of our crazy times. Fans of the Appalachian Foothills series will enjoy meeting Leslie’s latest characters and welcome another visit with Father Barnabas, who, up to his old tricks, plays a pivotal role in this novella.

We often see only our defects and assume that others hold the same perception. The Christmas season may add to one’s miseries as the holiday reopens family problems, especially for wounded souls desperately in need of completeness. If the family failed as a resource, Tennessee Williams, via Blanche DuBois, reminds us and the protagonists that “you can always depend on the kindness of strangers to pluck up your spirits and shield you from dangers.” Dreaded disasters that we all shun actually bring a couple together. The question remains, can they control their demons long enough to push beyond their first impressions and establish a loving relationship that heals their wounds?

Christmas Hope is the author’s fourth book of 2014, all of them segments in the Appalachian Foothills Series. Lynch has established herself as a formidable author who blends romance with grit and reality. Her characters come from life and reflect her interest in regular folks, the down and out, as well as law enforcement and the military. Louisville, Kentucky shines brightly as a venue. I look forward to another productive year as novels flow from the fertile mind of author Leslie Lynch.