Title: LIES OF THE BALL
Genre: Historical Fiction
Word Count: 87,000
She’s a runaway slave.
The man she loves has the power to destroy her.
Southern beauty Mercedes Albright lives in the prettiest plantation house Mississippi has to offer. She hosts the most beautiful parties in the entire South, and dances as though she were the belle of the ball. Mercedes is the most eligible bachelorette in town. And she has a secret that if ever found out, it would ruin her for the rest of her life.
Mercedes devises her own careful laid plans that put her in good standing with the wealthy socialites of Vicksburg. To her downfall, the man she falls desperately in love with is the man whose father sold her mother years before at the slave market. Mercedes was bought by another man and sent to live in another town.
Returning to the place of her birth, Mercedes has only one thing in mind: revenge on the family who stole her childhood and ripped her mother from her arms. She never intended to fall in love with her enemy. She never expected he would learn her true identity. Now, she’s on the run again, but this time, it’s for a different reason.
Lies Of The Ball is an 87,000 word historical fiction set during the Civil War era, based on true events.
Tangled undergrowth and briars scraped at Mercedes’s leg and snagged her dress. The woods closed in on her, twisting and turning the overhead branches into ghostly silhouettes. Climbing vines wrapped around the swamp dogwoods creating a canopy above her, blocking even the small slivers of moonlight. Something slimy brushed against her arm and she clamped her hand over her mouth to muffle a scream.
Wood smoke filled the damp air and squinting her eyes, Mercedes made out the flames of a small fire sputtering through the thick brush. She began to run away but tripped on a half-rotted log and fell into a clearing. The men on the other side stood in a circle, spewing filthy words.
“He won’t run no more,” one man said, throwing his head back in dark laughter.
Shadows danced across the ground and looking up, Mercedes froze in fright. A slave hung from a rope.
Sparks flew up as embers fell from his kicking feet. His piercing scream sliced through the smoky air and bounced off the overhanging, moss covered branches. No crickets. No rustling leaves. Nothing but screams. Agonizing, sad shrieks of pain mixed with cries for help.
Mercedes curled into a ball. She pinched her eyes closed and pressed her hands over her ears to shut out the horrible sounds.
When she finished, a twig snapped behind her. The night stood still for a moment. A cold hand squeezed down on her shoulder and jerked her off the ground.