Shannon here: Biblical fiction author, Carole Towriss shares a romantic excerpt from her latest release, By the Rivers of Kadesh. Comment on this post for a chance to win a copy. Deadline: Feb 8th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Carole:
Excerpt from By the Waters of Kadesh by Carole Towriss:
Kamose leaned back against the log by the stream, for the first time completely comfortable in Tirzah’s presence. The fiery cloud kept the heat to a reasonable level, and in the shade of the tall, waving date palms it was even pleasant. Black-headed bulbuls called from their nests in the branches overhead, their melancholy songs overlapping one another.
Tirzah folded her long legs to one side, accidentally bumping into him with her shoulder for just a moment. Her tan eyes peered at him from under long, dark lashes as she winced. “I’m sorry.”
I’m not. The heat of her touch rushed through him, from his arm to his torso to his feet, and he took a deep, calming breath.
“Hungry?” He stood and walked over to a tree to their left. A branch drooping under the weight of a large bunch of oval-shaped fruit held dozens of ripe dates out of reach. He stepped up onto a large rock that had long ago slammed into the stand of palms and stretched to pull the bunch close enough to pick the dates. His foot slid a sandal’s length and he grabbed a lower branch to keep from falling.
Tirzah’s gasp gave him a strange and unexpected burst of satisfaction.
He glanced down at her as he righted himself and smiled when she blushed. Grasping a handful of slender, long leaves from the upper branch in each hand, he tied a knot under the branch beneath it, leaving the dates dangling within reach of the ground. He selected the fruit that had matured and tossed them at her feet, enjoying her laugh, before he stepped down and sat next to her again.
The girls chased Ahmose as he led them in a game of follow-me, around the palms, under broom bushes and over fallen logs and rocks. At first glance, the twins looked almost exactly alike. Keren’s hair was slightly straighter and a shade lighter, and Naomi had a tiny mole under the lower lashes of her left eye, but those were the only differences Kamose could see.
In personality, however, the twins were as different as the delta and the desert. Keren was fearless and interminably cheerful. The only time she wasn’t laughing was when she was asleep. She was the perfect playmate for Ahmose, ready to do anything he proposed. Naomi was shy, wouldn’t try anything until Keren had done so first, and preferred to stay near Tirzah.
Kamose ripped open a dark brown, glossy date, pulled out the stone and handed the meat to Tirzah.
She bit into the juicy fruit, closing her eyes as she savored it. A piece stuck to her lips, and he reached to wipe it away.
She opened her eyes.
He froze, his thumb on her mouth, his fingers on her cheek. He longed to plunge his hand into her wavy hair, draw her near to him, and kiss her. He debated whether he should move closer when Naomi’s cry decided for him. He suppressed a sigh as he retracted his arm and focused on the girl. She had tripped, skinning her knee.
Ahmose was beside her in an instant, blowing on the tiny wound and distracting her from the sting. He even got her to laugh. Briefly. She pushed herself off the ground and padded toward Tirzah.
Kamose chuckled. “I think she’s giving up for the afternoon.”
“She didn’t sleep last night. It was an especially bad night.” Tirzah stifled a yawn.
“And so you didn’t sleep either.”
Tirzah shrugged, leaned forward and wrapped her arms around her daughter. “Sleepy?”
Naomi nodded, rubbing her eyes.
“Sit with me for a while.”
“I want him.” Naomi tipped her head toward Kamose, and before he could say anything, she crawled onto his lap, pulled her knees up, and rested her head on his chest.
Momentarily stunned, his mind blank, his hands out to the side, Kamose gaped at the tiny figure snuggled against him. Her action caught him off-guard as much as any enemy ambush. An overwhelming need to shield and comfort her crept over him, and he wrapped his arms around her. If he had spent his adult life avoiding falling in love with a woman, he had certainly never even considered children. The image of a life with a woman and children hovered in the forefront of his mind. A family—his family.
Could Tirzah and the girls be that for him? Could she be part of his life forever? They needed a man to provide for them, to keep them safe. He needed a purpose.
Not to mention what she did to his pulse every time she looked at him with those honey-colored eyes.
About Carole: Carole Towriss grew up in beautiful San Diego, California. Now she and her husband live just north of Washington, DC. In between making tacos and telling her four children to pick up their shoes for the third time, she reads, writes, watches chick flicks and waits for summertime to return to the beach. Learn more: http://caroletowriss.com/, https://www.facebook.com/NovelistCaroleTowriss, https://twitter.com/CaroleTowriss, http://pinterest.com/ctowriss/
About the book – By The River of Kadesh: Kamose, once Egypt’s most trusted soldier, no longer has a country to serve or king to protect. Moses insists God has a plan for him, but Kamose is not so sure. Tirzah’s cruel husband died shortly after they left Egypt. She escaped his brutality, but now she’s alone, and once they reach their new land, how will she survive? Gaddiel, Tirzah’s brother-in-law, is chosen as one of the twelve spies sent to scout out Canaan. He’s supposed to go in, get information and come back, but all he really wants is to bring down Joshua.
Come back Feb 3rd for Lesley Ann McDaniel!