Such a sweet and gracious love. It's the type of love that comes only with time, nurturing, and faith. It's the love we all hope to have one day. Inez Reilly is taking over March Madness with an excerpt from her upcoming novel, Leaven...
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EXCERPT FROM LEAVEN:
Zeke couldn’t take his eyes off of her. Ziva’s skin glowed in the soft amber light of the restaurant. When he called for the reservations he asked for the best seat in the house, and he was not disappointed. The maître d escorted them to a secluded booth overlooking the ocean. There was soft music playing, just overhead, with just enough volume to allow them to enjoy it and their conversation. He would not have found a place like this in Galena – another reason he was grateful for making the move.
He reached out and took her hand in his. The softness of her skin tantalized his senses, along with the gentle scent of her perfume. He was assailed by her beauty and her spirit and was feeling slightly breathless. With his free hand, Zeke caressed Ziva’s forearm, all the while never allowing his eyes to leave hers. She did not flinch or squirm under his emblazoned gaze – instead it was returned with equal intensity. The passion, just broiling underneath, was palpable. The fellow patrons could not help but look at the couple with admiration, assuming they were newlyweds or a couple just falling in love.
“You are one of God’s most exquisite masterpieces,” Zeke said, softly. “He took His time and fashioned you into a gorgeous gem – refined and rare. Your beauty has not faded or diminished in all the years that I have known you. Instead, you have grown all the more striking. You take my breath away, Ziva Montgomery.”
“Zeke, God has graced you with the wisdom and knowledge to know what to say and when to say it,” she smiled. “I could not have imagined a better mate. You amaze me, daily, with your care and concern for me. I am in awe of God’s wonderful love toward me for preparing me for you and for you finding me – making me your own. And, my God, you do it so well. The time and care you put into continually staking your claim, on this body…” She allowed her sentence to fall off.
The waiter cleared his throat, as the couple did not sense his presence when he walked up. His cheeks were crimson when they finally turned their attention to him. He felt as if he had entered into an immensely intimate moment. However, neither of them seemed embarrassed. The two of them were very comfortable expressing themselves. Their public displays of affection, whether in word of deed, never left them uncomfortable. They shared the belief that there should be no shame in people seeing how much they loved and enjoyed one another.
“Can I get the two of you anything more?”
“The check, please, Jason.” Zeke answered. “I am ready to take the birthday girl home and put her to bed.” He looked up toward the waiter. “Doesn’t she look sleepy, to you?”
Zeke and Ziva laughed, as Jason blushed all the more. He reached into his pocket, retrieved the check and handed it to Zeke. “Very well, sir.” Turning to Ziva, “Happy birthday, again, madam.”
She smiled at his embarrassment, “Thank you, Jason. You have been most gracious. In fact, the entire staff here was wonderful. Please give the chef my regards for such a splendid meal and for the delicious birthday torte.”
“I most certainly will.”
Zeke handed the waiter his credit card and slid out of the booth. Jason looked a bit confused until he saw Ziva slide closer to the window. He chuckled to himself, as he walked away to handle the bill. The couple’s apparent love was one to be admired. It made him desire to have that same fire for his wife when they have been married for over two decades, as the Montgomery’s have been. It is a rare thing, in this day and age, he was sad to say. However, the two of them gave him hope and he would not soon forget them.
Ziva turned and faced her husband. His hand slid around her waist and she could not help but gasp as the heat coursed through her body. She leaned in for the kiss she know was forthcoming. Her hand caressed the back of his neck, as she slid closer to him. She gently licked his bottom lip, and moaned.
He leaned in to kiss her neck, softly, and whispered in her ear, “I need to get you out of here.”
“Yes, you do.”
“Dinner was good, however, I know you will be better. I have a surprise for you.”
She looked into his eyes, and a smile spread across her face…”Happy birthday, to me.”
“Oh yes, my dear. Happy birthday, to you.” Zeke’s hand slid under Ziva’s dress and he caressed her inner thigh. As his hand traveled higher, she moved even closer to give him access to what he really wanted to touch; what she wanted him to touch.
Ziva watched as the waiter began to head back in their direction. She slowly removed Zeke’s hand and put his fingers to his lips. “Until later, my darling.”
Inez Reilly was born in Queens, New York to a heroin-addicted mother who abandoned her when she was ten months old. She is a survivor of physical, sexual and emotional abuse, most of which was experienced during her formative years. She attributes her endurance to prayer, positive affirmations and her subsequent acceptance of Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She is the proud mother of three natural children, one spiritual daughter and three grandchildren… Keilah, Joshua, Seraya, Joy, Haliek, Ryan and Sidney. She currently resides in Richmond VA.
Ms. Reilly refers to herself as a scribe, a composer of written work. She is a writer, at heart. She views life in storybook fashion. Through the lens of her eyes, situations are words and words become art. Writing has been in her blood from early childhood; putting pen/pencil to paper to create stories and poems. At the age of ten she began an autobiographical work, entitled How I Became Me, which she turned into a teacher and received accolades.
Writing has afforded Inez an avenue of opportunity to express herself when verbal communication was not an option. She would write her prayers, keep a daily journal and create vision statement for her life. Now, she shares her creative imaginings with the world through her works of fiction and non-fiction inspirational books.
Ms. Reilly is a counselor, teacher, mentor, minister and life coach to many. She has traveled across the United States speaking to mixed audiences, sharing her testimony of victory over the situations of her life. She utilizes the tools she has garnered under the tutelage and spiritual nurturing of Dr. Katherine Corbett, as well as the educational support in the Human Services field.
Currently, Inez Reilly has completed five books, a self-help inspirational book, ALL OTHER GROUND, and four Christian fiction novels, HOW TO TASTE IT AT THE END OF THE DAY, COVENANT, LIKE A ROARING LION and BEHOLDEN (all are available on amazon.com - http://amzn.to/21nJicz ). Ms. Reilly is working on several projects, including two books, LEAVEN and SHEER INJURY targeted to be released in the near future.
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