Date Published: May 27, 2014
Sixteen year old Emma Cartwright runs away from her family’s South Carolina rice plantation after a slave is beaten to death. Determined to join the fight against slavery, Emma enlists in the Union Army disguised as a young man. Nothing could prepare her for the sacrifices needed—and for falling in love for the first time.
Emma could no longer raise her head or open her eyes. She tasted her own blood and withered under the sun’s brilliance. Her back and legs throbbed from the lashes with the leather belt. The scent of honeysuckle drifted to her nostrils, but Emma quivered with agony and trepidation. She fought the oblivion that threatened to engulf her¾fearing it was death.
Her heart searched for a prayer or a plea but nothing came. She wanted to cry out for her father, forgetting he was long dead.
Someone snatched a fistful of Emma’s hair and held up her head.
“Look!” Quinn said through gritted teeth. “Look at what you’ve done.” He touched his mouth to her ear. “Ain’t like he didn’t deserve it, though. Worthless wretch.”
Emma tried again to focus on the scene. At first, through the narrow slits of her swollen eyes, all she saw was a row of brown feet, naked and caked with mud past the ankles, a sure sign that rice planting was underway. She couldn’t find or concentrate on their faces now, but she knew that among the clan of thirteen laborers, Basil’s mother and brother were there watching. Fear reverberated from the mass. Children cried and stirred, but no one moved or averted their eyes. George had insisted.
Mercedes King is an Ohio native and founding member of Sisters in Crime Columbus, Ohio (affectionately dubbed SiCCO). With a degree in Criminology from Capital University and a passion for writing, she crafted O! Jackie, a novel focusing on the private life of Jackie Kennedy. She has also written The Kennedy Chronicles, a series of short stories featuring JFK and Jackie before they were married and before 'Camelot'. Mercedes writes in a variety of genres, including historical and mystery / suspense. In fact, she's working on creating a new genre, 'modern historical'.
Her newest release, Plantation Nation, follows the journey of Emma Cartwright, a 16 year old Southern girl who disguises herself as a young man and joins the Union Army.
Visit her sites, OJackiebook.com or Mercedesking.com . Contact her at Mercedes 'at' ojackiebook 'dot' com. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.