Update on virtual book tour

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The book tour was an absolute success with over 4000 entries for the giveaway, thousands of tweets, and many positive reviews. Thank you to all who participated. Congratulations to all winners. They are as follows:

Won a PDF copy of the book:

 

James Robert

 

Dan Denman
Ally Swanson Sarah Mayer

 

Won a mobi copy of the book:

 

Pam Kinsey

 

Will Griesmer

 

Susan Stenvog

 

Traci Troutman
Emily Endrizzi

 

Joy Flynn
Nikolina

 

Christy Meyer.
Sue Stiff

 

Missy Ellis

Kathy Davis

 

Won a PDF copy of the book plus a $25 Amazon gift card:

 

Meredith Miller Rita Wray Jessica Eapen

 

Won a mobi copy of the book plus a $25 Amazon gift card:  

 

Dea Sauva Morgan Mavetz

 

My last day on the book tour concludes with one more lovely review. I officially declare it a success with 2874 entries and 15 new reviews. Phew! Thank you, thank you, to all who participated and made it an extraordinary experience. You can still enter the giveaway until Aug. 27. Don’t miss the chance to win a free copy of She Never Got To Say Goodbye or a $25 Amazon gift card.

 

 

Virtual Book Tour

The book tour for my award-winning title has been scheduled. Laura, the book promoter, has booked a total of 18 stops–three more stops than expected–so the tour will run between August 1st and August 19, 2016, with 17 scheduled reviews, 2 interviews, 6 guest posts, and and 1 giveaway posted across 13 blogs. For more info, visit CBB Book Promotions’ website. I hope to see you all there.

http://www.cbbbookpromotions.com/tour-sign-up-she-never-got-to-say-goodbye-by-ica-iova-aug-1-12/

Romantically Real Anniversary Speech

z14I am a romantic at heart. I love fairy tales and happy endings (I write romance). 37 years ago I met this guy, and my life has never been the same since. He was much like me. We laughed, we fell in love, we got married, had kids. And then together, we found out that fairy tales only tell half the story. They tell nothing about what happens after the door closes behind the last wedding guest. They don’t tell about the financial struggles, the compromises, the battles of the wills. My husband and I had to learn all that on our own. We learned that romance in a marriage doesn’t only mean diamante bracelets beneath your pillow, fancy restaurant dinners, and huge bouquets of flowers. Romance in a marriage means picking each other up, wiping each other’s tears, being the rock when the other turns into quicksand. It turns out our lives are not fairy tales. They are better. The tests and trials made us strong. Real.

Thank you for quieting my fears, for being my biggest cheerleader, and of course, for standing your ground when you knew I was wrong.

Happy Anniversary! I love you, now and always!

 

The Ring

Forty-five minutes had passed and not a single call. Nights like this made Julian mad because, like everyone else, he relied on every penny. He wasn’t always a cab driver. He had come from a village with gravel roads, two-way streets and one working traffic light. A few job applications later, he was holding the keys to a company van with Coroner stickers on it. For eleven years, he had carried dead bodies.

A dog’s bark interrupted Julian’s thoughts. He opened the window and shivered. It seemed colder than expected for an early fall, and a layer of thin frost had already covered the ground.

The dispatcher’s voice boomed through the CB radio breaking the silence and startling Julian. “I need someone at 2117 David Drive.”

Julian reached for the microphone. “201. I am close.”

“10/4,” the dispatcher’s voice scratched through the line.

Julian turned onto the poorly illuminated one-way street when the dispatcher’s voice rumbled again. “201, David Drive canceled.”

“Really?”

“Sorry about that,” the dispatcher apologized.

Julian shook his head and made a turn for the main road.

A woman emerged from the cemetery and flagged the approaching cab. She seemed young – dark hair, immaculately dressed. Quite attractive from what Julian could tell. The whitest skin he had ever seen.

Probably one of those supermodels—doesn’t want to be seen in public.

“River Road, please,” she said settling into the passenger’s seat.

A foul smell entered the cab and Julian grimaced. “What number?” he asked throwing the car into gear.

She seemed puzzled. “What?”

“The number… on River Road?”

“Oh… um… I’ll show you,” she said then turned toward the window. Clearly she wasn’t interested in talking.

Julian opened his window to get rid of the familiar stench. Though he had been in close contact with dead bodies, he could never grow accustomed to the smell.

“I hope my window doesn’t bother you. Probably some dead animal that has drowned in the canal.” The young woman nodded but remained silent.

***

“You can drop me over there,” she said pointing to an empty parking lot.

Julian cocked an eyebrow, knowing that the factory had closed a while ago. “Are you sure?”

“Yes,” she replied, searching for something in her purse. “I think I lost my wallet.” She pulled a ring off her finger. “Here, take my ring, and I’ll pay you tomorrow,” she said, holding out her ring.

“I-I can’t take your ring.”

She searched her purse again and pulling out a piece of paper and a pen, she scribbled something. “Here is my address,” she said placing the ring on it and exiting the car before Julian could protest.

Is she ill? Julian wondered. What is she doing here in the middle of the night?

***

In the morning, he pulled in front of a house, proceeded down the narrow walkway and knocked on the door. A young man still in his pajamas, answered.

“Hi, may I help you?” he asked.

“Um…” Julian realized that he didn’t know the woman’s name. “I am looking for a young lady—”

“Sorry, you have the wrong address.”

“Is this 2117 David Drive?” A jolt of anger struck Julian when he realized that this was the same address that had canceled his order the night before.

“Yup, but I live alone.”

“The woman… Um… I am a cab driver—” Julian stuttered.

“Look, man, I’m tired.” The young man turned to go back inside.

“No. Wait. I gave a ride to a woman, but she couldn’t pay so she insisted that I take her ring and return it today.” Julian revealed the ring.

The young man looked at the ring in Julian’s palm and took a quick step back. His face became white and the next time he spoke his voice seemed obstructed.

“W-where did you get that?”

“I told you—”

“That’s impossible,” he interrupted. “That’s my wife’s!”

“Look. I didn’t mean to—”

The man paced back and forth. “Jody died a year ago.”

“Say what?” Julian could swear his hearing played tricks on him.

“Jody died in that stupid factory.”

“Man, stop playing with me. I just want my money.” The words crawling upward from the depth of his throat sounded more like a growl.

“I am not… playing! I swear.”

Instantly, Julian felt sick. A buzzing sound vibrated in his ears. He opened his mouth, but no words came out. The world shook and then went deathly still as he crumpled forward.

My review of Swarm Theory by E. W. Sullivan on behalf of Reader’s Choice

4****From the beginning to the end, Swarm Theory—A Murder-Mystery Thriller by E. W. Sullivan is a captivating story.

 

Dr. Thelonious Zones is a Criminal Profiler. He hears screams coming from a back alley and at a closer look, he discovers that a woman is about to be raped. He interrupts the act just as an explosion blasts, burying him under a pile of trash where he is found alive by the investigating team. He was working on trying to prove (or disprove) his father’s innocence, but his investigation is disrupted by the blast that has killed a young Arab college student, who at the time of his death was disguised as a–blond hair, blue eyes—Caucasian male.

More bombings follow and Zones’ list of suspects stretch a mile long. Everyone fits the profile—from suspected Islamic terrorists to environmentalists and animal rights activists to Jamaican drug dealers and perhaps even government officials.  The investigators begin to question the accuracy of Zones’ work every time new suspects surface. But when the path leads him to evidence connected to his mother’s murder, Zones begins to question everything he’d thought he knew.

 

From the thrilling screams in the alley to the very last paragraph, Swarm Theory by E. W. Sullivan grips the reader and never lets go.  This astonishingly imaginative story crammed with interesting characters and realistic dialogue is absolutely riveting as it takes the reader on an intriguing ride through various possibilities. I was especially fascinated with the conclusion of this story.

My review for Hellavey—book two in the New Breed series—by Lisa Vandiver on behalf of Reader’s Favorite

5***** Hellavey—book two in the New Breed series—by Lisa Vandiver is so much more than a gripping fantasy that puts the reader in the middle of a war between humans, Hellaveys, and Earth vampires.

Hellaveys, are a group of powerful creatures from another world brought to Earth by The Mist and ruled by Queen Santono and her two lovers, Prince Jeremy, and Waylona. While Detectives Alex Mosley and James Frazier try to solve a series of mysterious murders, completely unaware of a powerful enemy that is settling just outside their community, Keilwen, Prince of the Aspellian Kingdom, is also sucked into The Mist and brought to Earth, where he is reunited with his long-lost parents.

Though Hellavey by Lisa Vandiver is the second book in the series, it has enough background information that it can stand alone. Hellavey is a fantastic book complete with a made up Carasylian language. I can honestly say that I never read anything like it. Through vivid descriptions and characters with strong personalities, Vandiver delivers a terrifying cinematic tale of murder, desire, self-discipline, and sometimes, out of control circumstances. The city of Tonospon, surrounded by forest and eerie but breathtaking caves, is the perfect backdrop for the flurry of action that starts on the first page and lasts all the way through. The dynamics between these entities, each fighting for survival, hold puzzles that put everyone’s lives at risk. Vandiver’s imagination will take you far and beyond what you think you know when you first start reading this book.

 

My review for Rebecca’s Coronation by Gary Green on behalf of Reader’s Favorite

5***** Rebecca’s Coronation by Gary Green is book three in the Redemption series.

Rebecca is an orphan whose grandmother has guided her to a world of magic and adventure. Rebecca’s enemy, Pan, urges her to stop fighting him and just let him kill her. She mocks him and begins fighting him, her sword slashing through his body. But his wounds heal right before her eyes. Defeated, she feels she has no choice in the matter and makes a pact with Pan to kill her but to let her magical friends live. Just as Pan is about to kill her, she wakes up. It was just a dream.

Falsely informed that Rebecca is dead, Pan gets ready to destroy humans and their world. He summons his councils of war and instructs them each to create chaos, hurricanes, and other disasters. Meanwhile, Rebecca and her magical friends prepare for some new adventures, including meeting the Loch Ness Monster.

Cleverly done and easy to read, Rebecca’s Coronation by Gary Green, is so much more than a teen fiction. Readers of all ages will love this heartwarming, enjoyable book. The story flows well. Pulling from legends, Gary Green has created a world of characters that continue to grow, each of them enriching the story in their own way. Rebecca, in particular, is a strong character, blending magic with real life. Overall, Rebecca’s Coronation is an extremely well-thought plot with elves, gnomes, fairies, and dragons that add to the author’s wonderful writing style. He transforms a magical world into a believable, normal, everyday human life.

My review for The Elixir of Freedom by M. R. Neer on behalf of Reader’s Favorite

5***** The Elixir of Freedom by M. R. Neer is a mythological fantasy.

Ravi’s twin brother, Vik, is captured by the Mine Master’s men and taken to work in the coal mines. Ravi needs to save him, but how, without getting trapped himself in the mine? He wants to go and talk to the Master, but his father, Kristof, convinces him that’s a bad idea. He suggests seeking help from the old legends of Raam instead. As Ravi learns about the secret of the Heart of the Sun, he goes on a journey that takes him deep into the forest where he discovers a powerful potion, made of sap and sunlight. The potion is believed to be the answer to his brother’s freedom and possibly more.

The Elixir of Freedom by M. R. Neer is a captivating tale of intrigue, love, and danger in a world where fantasy is woven into reality. Gripping, clean, and character-driven with a unique premise and skilled writing, the story draws you in from the first page and takes you on a magical journey. I liked the idea of fighting the darkness with the light. Deep down we all know that is the only possible way to overcome our fears, doubts, and bigotry. I especially liked Ravi and Verda’s journey to find the light. Through their determination and powerful love, Ravi and Verda inspire us to examine our own lives and try to find our own internal light that could lead us to a better existence.