Daniel and Lori love each other, yet to live as one in 1856, they must escape from the unyielding society that imprisons them.
Lori was born a slave in North Carolina, yet by chance was raised alongside Daniel in a wealthy abolitionist household. The sudden death of Daniel’s mother catapults Lori back into bondage.
Relegated to chattel at a rice plantation, Lori lives in constant fear under the tormenting scrutiny of Daniel’s wretched Aunt Lucinda.
After Daniel fails to convince his relatives to free Lori, he is compelled to devise a daring escape. Although a life threatening endeavor for both of them, Lori’s freedom is priceless to Daniel, and he’s willing to pay such a price for her love.
The Story of The Unchained Trilogy
Fade to white...Just who do you think you are? Steven Jordan thought he knew, until his grandmother, Selina Manning, threw a grenade that put his identity in question. She reveals a secret: her grandmother was a black woman, born a slave. Yet Selina has lived her entire life as white.
Will Steven ever accept this root hidden beneath his family tree, or choose to leave it buried? Uncertain of what he’ll find, he delves into the past to learn where the secret began.
The Unchained Trilogy is an explosive three book series of love, deceit, emotional destruction and in the end, forgiveness. It spans a time period of one hundred and forty two years, with Escape (Book One) opening the series in 1856, and Revelation (Book Three), closing it in 1998. Time does move fast in this family saga, and since there are several years to cover, purposeful time gaps exist to move along the narrative. For a brief overview of the entire trilogy, here’s what to expect in every story:
Book I, Escape: The year is 1856. Lori is a black woman, born a slave, but Daniel Taylor, a young abolitionist from a wealthy merchant’s family, falls in love with her, and risks his life to help her in a daring escape.
After overcoming torturous trials and challenges, Daniel and Lori have a family. However, their youngest daughter, the beautiful and treacherous Lavinia, chooses to pass as white. But will she ever find true happiness while hiding behind a mask?
Book II, Masquerade: Lavinia runs away from home at age seventeen to pursue a life of decadence as an actress. Married to a powerful showman in New York, Lavinia weaves one lie after another, doing whatever it takes to keep the truth about her "Negro" mother a secret.
Selina Standish, born during her mother Lavinia's second marriage, learns the truth about her ancestry as a young girl. But Selina is convinced by Lavinia never to acknowledge her "Negro blood." However, Selina finds this difficult after meeting her "Negro" relatives, whom she comes to love. Eventually, Selina makes a choice that binds her heart and troubles her future.
Book III, Revelation: In 1998, one-hundred year old Selina Standish Manning reveals a secret that she's carried for nine decades like a painful chain bound around her heart. Now, near death, Selina tells her family the truth about her black ancestry.
Her relatives are surprised by this revelation, and her grandson, Steven, struggles to accept that black blood courses through his veins. One moment he's an average white guy of European descent, and now this! Despite Steven's initial misgivings regarding the secret, he and the rest of his family are eager to hear what Selina has to say, and their lives are forever changed as the past is revealed...
Unchained was conceived in 1998 as I thought about how sad it would have been if my husband and I had known each other 150 years earlier. Then, being an interracial couple, we couldn’t have gotten married. The rest of the story snowballed from there, and eventually swelled to over 700 pages! I worked on it off and on until finally completing it in 2008.
After seeing the movie Titanic, I decided to use flashbacks. I originally opened the story in 1998 with Steven learning the secret at the very beginning. Then the narrative moved back in time through flashbacks. However, after letting it sit in my drawer for while, thinking it was too long to do anything with, I decided to turn it into a trilogy. Now flashbacks will only occur in part three. I hope you’ll enjoy this ride through time and see how one family faded from black to white!
Maria McKenzie is the author of the Amazon bestseller The Governor’s Sons.
"Realistic, multifaceted characters make for an especially engaging novel." - Kirkus Reviews
"The Governor's Sons is tender and touching, and also quite terribly and frighteningly true. Maria McKenzie is definitely a young novelist to watch." - Stephen Birmingham, New York Times bestselling novelist and renowned social historian
Maria is currently at work on Masquerade: Book II of The Unchained Trilogy. Look for it in late 2012! Maria lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two boys. Although a Cincinnati native, Maria has ties to the South. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, small business owner and author, she worked in Georgia and North Carolina as a librarian for several years.