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.

 

 

My latest interview

Hi Ica, 
Thank you so much for being here and telling your writing story to us. I appreciate you being here, my Friend.
 
What is your book She Never Got To Say Goodbye about, who are the main characters, and how did you come up with this story?
She Never Got To Say Goodbye is a two-part paranormal romantic thriller. 
The main characters are Brandon—a successful lawyer, and Olivia an aspiring lawyer, fresh out of law school. They meet, they fall in love, they marry, and they have a baby. But their happily-ever-after ends abruptly when Brandon falls prey to alcohol and drugs following the tragic death of a client. One minute Olivia is thinking of leaving the marriage, the next she floats at the foot of her son’s bed. Dead. Murdered. Confused and angry, she comes back to find justice for her premature death.
I can’t tell for sure where the idea behind She Never Got To Say Goodbye came from. I woke up one morning with the phraseShe Never Got To Say Goodbye, swirling around my mind. It could’ve been the remains of a dream, it could have been something that I’ve heard somewhere, I’m not sure. As the day went by and the words continued to hammer my previously quiet thoughts, my writer’s mind kicked in, and as a plot began to sprout inside my skull, involuntarily, I started to take mental notes. I’m glad I did because, in 2015, She Never Got To Say Goodbye won third place at World’s Best Story.
Click the link to read the entire interview. http://jdswritersblog.blogspot.ca/2016/07/an-interview-with-award-winning-author.html

10 Days until Christmas

 

 

Still looking for that perfect gift for Christmas? Since there are very few days left, I’ve decided to post one book each day. I’ll start with the new bronze winner at World’s Best Story. She never Got To Say Goodbye is suspenseful, romantic and awash in the afterlife thrill.

$2.99 will get you this page turner.

hyperurl.co/d10zqm

When Olivia traded her promising career for a more domestic lifestyle as a wife and mother, she expected many things but never to see ghosts, much less be one. Then again, she never expected to be murdered or to have to point the finger at her husband for the crime.

WBS 2015 3rd place Winner

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Are you looking for that perfect gift? How about a paranormal romance – 3rd place at WBS? “Strong plot, solid and riveting…” ~Alistair Cross – Judge~.
http://www.amazon.com/She-Never-Got-Say-Goodbye-ebook/dp/B00IK671JO/
 
When Olivia traded her promising career for a more domestic lifestyle as a wife and mother, she expected many things but never to see ghosts, much less be one. Then again, she never expected to be murdered or to have to point the finger at her husband for the crime. Suspenseful, romantic and awash in the afterlife thrill.

She Never Got To Say Goodbye – Free Chapter

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Olivia covered her eyes with both hands to block the brightness around her but unsuccessful she winced and closed her eyes quickly. She tried again, this time she opened her eyes gradually allowing them to adjust to the light. It worked. She looked around taking in her surroundings. An entirely white room. Top to bottom. There appeared to be no doors or windows.
Where was she? A hospital?
No.
How did she get here? she wondered, trying to shake the foggy feeling in her head. Confused, she looked around again grabbing at frail fibers of specifics from her mind about her prior whereabouts.
Nothing. A blank, invisible veil wrapped around her brain making her feel strange.

Then she discovered the source of the brightness. A glare. It shimmered from above. Soothing. Magnificent. She had never seen anything like it so her mind found nothing to compare it with. For a moment she thought she saw human forms floating in the light. Translucent but definitely there. The light, it seemed, radiated from them. They spoke softly, mere whispers, like a mother. Were they beckoning her to join them? Then without warning they faded away and took the light with them.
Olivia blinked repeatedly to adjust to the new light… or lack of light. The house, her house, felt quite dark and still, and something seemed different about her senses. At first she couldn’t pinpoint it. Then…
My vision; what’s wrong with my vision?
She could see above as well as below all at the same time. Her vision seemed to be at three hundred and sixty degrees.
This is disturbing.
Was she dreaming? That was it. It was just a dream. She should wake up now. She could not tell if it was day or night. Closing her eyes, she willed

herself to wake up. She opened her eyes. Nope. Still the same hazy state. Was this real? It couldn’t be.

Brayden.

The name popped into her mind and an unexplained fear churned deep inside her. Almost instantaneously, she found herself standing beside Brayden’s crib. He slept peacefully.

She blew a sigh of relief.

Thank God.

She reached to tuck Brayden in, but her hands went straight through. Startled, she took a quick step back. It didn’t feel like a step; it felt more as if she floated through the air. She looked down. Her feet dangled above the ground. She did float through the air.

“What is happening to me?” she asked the stillness around her. Her words sounded hollow. What was going on? This had to be a dream, but why couldn’t she wake up? Maybe the dream wasn’t over yet. That had to be it. Okay. Okay, she would play along a little while longer.

No. It didn’t make any sense. She glided down in the rocking chair beside Brayden’s crib and tried to still her thoughts long enough to make some sense of the situation. She shivered, suddenly feeling chilled.

Pipes clanked somewhere below followed by footsteps and doggy toenails clicking on the hardwood floor. More clanking morphed into muffled voices from downstairs. Instantly, Olivia found herself looking at a multitude of people, most of them dressed in police uniforms. They went in and out of the house as if that was the most natural thing to do. Flash bulbs made lightning strikes in the setting sun. Two people—a woman and a man—both dressed in plain clothes, talked to some uniformed officers while pointing, measuring, and comparing notes.

Olivia’s parents sat on the sofa in the living room. Her mother cried uncontrollably and her father had his arm around her, comforting her while he fought back his own tears.

Outside, uniformed officers swarmed in all directions. A coroner’s van parked in front of the house stood out from the rest of the police vehicles. Olivia spotted Brandon. He sat on the curb with his legs swinging, facing traffic. Holding his face in his hands, his body shook as he sobbed. Dark red splotches covered his white shirt. The same dark red substance coated his hands and face.

Why was everyone crying?

Another lightning strike drew Olivia’s attention toward the garage. She drifted in that direction and froze. A lifeless body, which looked a lot like her, lay down in a pool of blood. Detective Libby kneeled down beside the body and looked at something, in particular, then shook her head.

“It looks like she’s been dead for hours,” she said.

Olivia looked at the body in disbelief. It was her body. She was dead?
How?

Sheer terror shook her. Even more confused, she hovered trying to compute the events leading to this moment. Still in a haze, flashbacks began to rush through her mind. She remembered her fight with Brandon… her plan to leave him in the morning. Then the scratch on her arm… Instinctively she looked at her arm. Yep, it was still there. She had walked into the garage… the intense burning sensation in the back of her head. She remembered thinking of Brayden. Begging for help… and a voice instructing her to relax. The stream of blood running down on the cement floor as her life slowly drained from her body. She remembered fading away, knowing she would never see her son again. She never got to say goodbye. Just before she had taken her final breath, her heart sunk for Brayden, for herself. She wouldn’t be there to teach him things, guide him, and see him graduating or getting married. Then everything had gone black. She was actually dead. The finding shook her as shock replaced the confusion. A sense of betrayal began to stir somewhere deep inside her soul as a burning rage hissed through like a deadly poison.

“I am dead. He’s killed me. The son-of-a-bitch has finally killed me. Damn you!” she roared.
Suddenly, she stopped her rumble. This wasn’t right. If she was dead, why was she still here? Wasn’t she supposed to move on? To heaven or something?

“Am I a ghost?” The question hung in the air like a dark shadow. She examined herself trying to find something that would prove or disprove her theory. She was still dressed in the same clothes from the night before… as was the body lying on the ground of her garage. She wasn’t glowing or translucent; she had no halo above her head. She looked normal. Well… if she did not take into account that her voice sounded hollow; or that she glided instead of walking; or that she went through doors and walls as if she were taking a walk in the park.

“Dammit! I am a ghost; nothing more than a spirit without a body.” That bit of knowledge was the first thing that somehow seemed to make sense. She swirled a few times, assessing the situation then she stopped. “He has to pay for what he’s done,” she decided calmly. Then instantly, her calm morphed into anger and resentment again. “I will make him pay!” she shrieked as she flew into a rage. Spinning around the room and around the house she knocked things down in her path.

“Close that door. The draft is messing up the evidence,” detective Libby yelled at no one in particular.
Olivia’s flight continued out the door until she reached Brandon and clutching on to her anger she beat the air with her hands into a frenzy trying to hit Brandon.

“You, son-of-a-bitch! Damn you! Damn you!” she screeched endlessly until she couldn’t anymore.
Exhausted and frustrated, she slouched beside him on the pavement. “Why? How could you do this to me? I loved you. Why couldn’t you just divorce me?” She wanted to cry, but tears didn’t come. Only an excruciating, soul-gripping pain.

Shoulders slumped, she glided back in the house. Her parents came into view again. Her mother sat on the floor still crying violently. It didn’t sound like she paused long enough to breathe. Her father had kneeled down beside her, one arm wrapped around her and the other caressing her hair in an apparent attempt to calm her.

Olivia felt her parents’ pain and wanted to somehow make it go away. Unwillingly, she perceived inside her mother’s soul and felt everything her mother felt. Torment. That was what Dana felt. A pain more agonizing than anything Olivia had ever experienced, came in waves and seared through her like a branding iron. Her mind conceding to the torment, unable to bring a thought to completion. Her only desire was to curl into a tiny, invisible ball while the pain burned and radiated.

Debbie came in the room holding Brayden in one arm and caressing the back of his head with the other, his tiny legs wrapped around her waist. Olivia approached and gently touched her son’s face. Brayden smiled as if knowing his mother was there.

“Why does Debbie’s advice make so much more sense after I screwed up?” Olivia wondered, remembering countless times when Debbie told her she deserved better.
Olivia floated back outside. This was an entirely new experience for her, one to which she knew she must become accustomed. No one seemed able to see or hear her. Instantly, she knew. She had to tell the world that her husband had killed her. That was her reason for being here. She had heard that before. Not that she believed in ghosts at that time. Now she wished she had.

“Help! Please, someone, help me!”

For a split second, she stood somewhere on a highway, waving for help. A bus driver seemed to spot her. He would stop. But… no. He just swerved around her and disappeared from her view. Then she was back at her house in her bedroom where it was quiet. Olivia stilled her thoughts. Though the events seemed crystal clear, she had to focus on finding a way to make her presence known. She had never believed in ghosts, but she had always loved movies about the paranormal. In the movies, the spirit could communicate. But that was Hollywood. This was real life… or death.

“Gah! Just kill me now,” she sneered in frustration. “Oh, wait. Somebody did. Never mind, false call,” she growled looking toward the heavens.

There were a lot of things she needed to work on in her new existence, besides making her presence known. Things like traveling. She could no longer tell time, but she knew she moved too much, too fast because she became easily disoriented.
Thinking of something allowed her to go to the source of the question. It quickly became one of Olivia’s favorite pastimes, much like dessert was a favorite at mealtime. Apparently, she just needed to learn how best to utilize her ghostly senses but a dark pressure-like sensation fogged her attempts. Something she could not describe, almost similar to how there are no words to describe colors to a blind man. Perhaps pain? Perhaps regrets for a life unlived?

Mark your calendar.

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Are you ready for some Halloween fun with me, Award Winning Indie Author Ica Iova? Join Lisa and Linda for their debut show on BlogTalkRadio Oct 29 @ 10pm CST where they will be talking all things paranormal. They will also have open lines so you can share your scary stories with them. http://goo.gl/3LsxhO

 

And, yes, I will be there to share with you my stories about the unexplained.

Have a spooktacular

Have a Spooktacular Halloween with Lisa, Linda, and Ica

Good News and Better News

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Yesterday I received a snail-mail letter from a publisher. Of course, as usual, I had a thousand other things to do and I forgot about it. However, I opened it today, and guess what? They will publish one of my short stories in a collection of short stories written by Canadians titled “Wherever We Roam”. Oh, and one more thing, the book will become part of the national collection at Library and Archives Canada for preservation in Canada’s documentary history. Naturally, now is happy-dancing round the house… and maybe a glass of champagne later tonight. Yey to me!

FREE! FREE! FREE!

http://amzn.to/1KdLmZI Today ONLY! Free to download on Amazon. Suspenseful, romantic and awash in the afterlife thrill, She Never Got To Say Goodbye captures the power of love. Get your own copy while quantities last.

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The Creature In The Woods

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Copyright © 2012 by Ica Iova

 

 

 

Once Joseph stepped out in the rain, he breathed a sigh of relief; the school was finally over. In the fall, he would go to high school. Play with the big boys. He sighed and decided to take a shortcut through the woods. The absence of traffic and the serene backdrop allowed him to consider all the things he could do over the summer. Early in the spring his parents had split up, and this year it didn’t look like either one of them was up for an out of town vacation.

The sound of heavy footsteps on crunching leaves interrupted his thoughts. He stopped and turned toward the sound. His friend, Raul, came into the view.

Joseph and Raul had known each other since kindergarten and their friendship became stronger when Joseph stood up to some kids who bullied Raul during grade four. However, when Gina moved to their neighborhood, she drew a wedge between the two best friends. Raul liked her, but she seemed to like Joseph. To the untrained eye, Raul and Joseph still looked inseparable because Raul kept his personal feelings hidden, but Joseph knew better.

“Hey. What are you doing tonight?” Raul inquired once he caught up with Joseph, shifting his weight from one foot to another.

Joseph shrugged. “Hey. Nothing, I guess. You?”

“Let’s play Flashlight Hide and Seek,” Raul suggested.

“Who else is coming?”

“Sandy and Gina.”

Joseph sensed the same anger in his friend’s tone that he had been detecting throughout their grade seven. However, as usual, he acted as if he hadn’t noticed. If Raul decided to confront him, he would deal with the situation accordingly. Until then, better not stir the pot if nothing smelled. “Okay. I’ll see you tonight,” he agreed.

When Joseph’s parents separated, his father moved out allowing Joseph and his mother to live in their family home. Located next to an old church on one side, and the woods on the other side, Joseph’s backyard provided endless places to hide. With plenty of room to play a good game of Hide and Seek, they always played behind Joseph’s house.

Flashlight Hide and Seek was as much fun as it was scary. While the seeker had a flashlight, none of the other players did, so they sat in the dark waiting to be found.

When Joseph arrived home, a note from his mother waited for him on the kitchen table. ‘I’ll be working late. Beef stew and mashed potatoes are in the fridge. Love, Mom.’

He piled a plate with food, carried it in the living room and began to watch a movie.

***

Joseph wasn’t sure when he fell asleep but awakened suddenly by banging on the front door, he jerked and headed toward the sound. His journey halted momentarily as he stopped to turn on the interior lights, revealing a pathway from the messy living room to the front hallway. An inexplicable shudder ran up his spine as his hand reached forward to open the door. Nightfall had engulfed the atmosphere and his friends had come for the game.

How long was I asleep? He shrugged and stepped outside to greet his friends.

“Hi guys,” he said groggily.

Gina placed a hand on his shoulder drawing an immediate gaze from Raul. “You just woke up, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, I feel asleep on the couch,” Joseph said, massaging the back of his neck with one hand.

“Well, c’mon, let’s play,” Raul urged them.

With all rules pre-set, stepping over a pile of rocks deep in the backyard, they spread in different directions and the game began.

A few rounds later, it was Joseph’s turn to be the seeker. He gave everyone a few minutes to hide before he began his quest to find his friends. He first started to go toward the church in search for them but changed his mind and began to walk down the tree line toward the moss-draped woods. Some rustling in the woods caught his attention and he smiled knowing he had found someone. Slowly, creeping up on the sound he could see branches and tree trunks. Massive dew-covered rocks glistened in the dim moonlight. The brushwood crunched beneath his feet. He took a few more steps and began to feel as if someone was watching him. A strong feeling that it was not his friends settled in the pit of his stomach. Whatever it was, made him feel very uncomfortable, so he began to withdraw. He made it out of the woods and then began to walk further down the tree line when he heard that same noise again.

Pushed by curiosity, he decided to see what it was. With his flashlight aimed at the ground in front of him, he walked a few feet then stopped to listen. Then walked a few more feet, and then he stopped again. The noise seemed to come from his side and slightly in front of him. He slowly lifted his light upward and strange grayish feet, long, powerful legs and a hunched back appeared in the ray of light.

Joseph froze and his hand shook violently, dropping the flashlight. With only the moon as his light, he saw the form turn around and reveal what had been hidden in the darkness. Joseph took a step back; his breath caught in his throat as the creature moved slowly, twigs snapping beneath his feet. In the moonlight standing motionless in front of him, was a creature that he had only seen in horror movies. Seven feet tall with wings tucked behind itself, and arms hanging by its side, the creature horrified Joseph. Joseph did not look up for facial features frightened of what he would see, but two glowing red eyes drew Joseph’s gaze to a lipless hole filled with sharp, blackened teeth, and no nose to speak of.

The moonlight amplified the horrific features, and as the creature began to raise its head, a high-pitched scream escaped its throat. It came fast and quick as if the souls of thousands expressed their torment. Behind its teeth a bloody red, jagged and forked tongue wiggled, overpowering Joseph’s brain.

Frozen with fear Joseph gasped and took a shaky step back needing a plan to get out of there as soon as possible. He took another step backward and slowly began to retrieve trying not to make a sound, although deep down he knew the creature was aware of his presence. Slowly, very slowly, he kept walking backward. The creature remained motionless. A few more steps and he would be out of the woods.

He could no longer see the creature but when he heard sticks breaking, he knew it was moving. Only moments later the monster stood in front of him blocking his way. Joseph tried to go around, but the creature picked him up and threw him in the air. He landed on his back with a loud thump a few feet away. Rolling onto his stomach, Joseph scrambled to stand but before he succeeded, the creature picked him up and threw him in the air, this time more forceful.

Sure that this would be his last living day as his strength wavered, Joseph forced himself to hold on. His body screamed as his energy slipped away. His brain gave a series of commands, which his body ignored. He wanted to cry, but he couldn’t. He wanted to shout, but he couldn’t. Wanting to survive more than anything else, his adrenaline kicked in. As the creature prepared for another attack, Joseph gathered all his energy and crawled out of the creature’s way. Just then, he caught sight of a form collapsed against the rocks.

“Oh God, that’s Gina! And she is not moving,” Joseph cried out. “Help! Someone, please help!”

He shouted louder hoping someone would come and help, but when no one did, he shakily stood and wobbled as fast as he could toward his house. He reached his backyard and stood there breathing heavily and wondering if the creature was real of just his imagination. Just then, he heard a loud swooping noise like a giant bird taking off. He turned around and saw the most incredible thing he had ever seen in his life. The giant creature was flying. In the moonlight, Joseph saw its enormous wingspan before it disappeared from view. He remained there in the middle of the lawn speechless and looking at the sky. Still in shock, he forgot that he and his friends were playing.

Sandy appeared from the tree line. “What’re you doing?” he asked Joseph seemingly unaware of what had happened.

“Did you see it?” Joseph asked still scanning the sky.

“See what? What’re you talking about?”

Suddenly, Joseph remembered Gina and took a few steps toward the tree line. Still unclear about Joseph’s trance-like state, Sandy followed closely behind him when Gina emerged from the woods and ran toward them.

“Raul,” she gasped, trying to catch her breath.

Joseph breathed a sigh of relief. “I saw you laying there. I thought you were dead.”

“Raul,” she mumbled. “He tried to kill me.”

Joseph’s eyes widened in surprise. “What? No. It was the creature. Where is Raul, anyway.”

“Raul is the creature. He left me alone when I wasn’t moving,” Gina said, still shaking.

For the rest of the night, all Joseph could think was the unbelievable creature. Was that really his best friend? How? Where did he go? Why didn’t he kill Gina and him? Would he return?