eternal love

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Ica Iova ~ Above the Cut ~ Interview

Published February 14, 2019 by paulandpaulasbooks

Hi Paula, here it is again. P.S. I couldn’t open your attachment and I only saw 7 questions, so I added a few of my own. Thus starts my interview with a lady I met on Facebook years ago.  She was an aspiring writer, I already had a published book, but our main thrust was friendship.

Over the years, Ica has written award-winning books, won contests and generally just stayed the course eyes forward in accomplishing goal after goal.  I would recommend any of her books; they all hold solid engaging stories.  I will be reviewing her first book, Whispers, an award-winning book.


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think, subconsciously, I always knew that writing was what sparked my fire. My grandparents were great story-tellers, and from a young age, they instilled in me the love of story-telling—but like many other writers, I had to choose a different path and work for a bi-monthly paycheck.


How long does it take you to write a book?

A number of factors play a role in how long it takes to write a book—the amount of research necessary, my muse, length of the book, etc. But on average, I can finish writing a 50,000 words book in three to four months.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I try to write at least 2000 words every day, even when my inspiration is gone or hiding. Sometimes it consists of random thoughts, but you’ll be surprised how efficient moving words around could be.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmm. I had to think about this for a moment because to me my quirks aren’t just quirks. It’s the way I write. I’d have to go with my readers’ comments that my characters act and sound very realistic. And that is because I don’t just write what comes to mind (well, I do, but then I delete it, *big grins*) I give each character his/her own personality, his/her own goals, and I let them tell me What’s stopping them from achieving that goal. Is it his arrogant personality? Her defiance?  These two are my favorite since they tend to paint strong personalities. I often eavesdrop on other people’s private conversations (I know, bad habit) but I like to hear how real people carry on a discussion. On rewrites, I may change the dialogue several times. If it doesn’t make sense to me, it probably won’t make sense to anyone else.

How do books get published?

There are three ways (that I know of).

  1. The traditional way, which is a long and exhausting process, especially if your confidence in your writing is not up to date. This is a very competitive industry, and you may get lucky at your first try, or you may get a thousand rejections before a publisher/agent agrees to even look at your work. It doesn’t mean your work is not worthy of publishing; it merely says that publishers are invaded with submissions and they can choose. You have to make sure that when you submit your manuscript, you and your work stand out from thousands of others that the publisher may have received that day.
  2. The DIY self-publishing way. Several platforms allow you to publish your book at minimum or no cost to you. All you need is a computer and to be able to follow instructions.
  3.  Pay a vanity press to do it for you. I strongly advise against this form of publishing. These organizations are not cheap, and they all promise you the world when in fact all they want is your money. But don’t take my word for it. Do the research yourselves. 

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Everywhere! Literally. Sometimes it takes as little as a word to spark an entire story. I also do a lot of research on the Internet and by interviewing people in different fields to get my facts straight.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I told this story many times, but I never get tired of it. In my second grade, the curriculum included reading a story—Puiul (The Chick) by Ion Alexandru Bratescu-Voinesti. It’s a somber story from the Romanian literature, about a baby quail, who hadn’t listened to its mother to sit still with its siblings while she tried to divert a hunter’s attention. The naughty chick flies from its hiding place, and the hunter shoots and injures it badly enough so it can’t join its migrating family to warmer lands. 

Though the story is meant to teach children to listen to their parents, I hated the image of a baby quail slowly freezing to death. So, I did what writers do: I re-wrote it. My version had a happy ending, where a child founds the injured bird and takes it home to nurse it back to health.

What is your favorite, and your least favorite thing about writing?

When my mind buzzes with ideas, I can’t seem to type fast enough, to put it all down on paper. Yes, sometimes during rewrites my head may drop on the desk, and I may ask myself aloud, “What the heck were you thinking,” but when that new idea pops in, I feel like a child the night before Christmas. Editing, on the other hand, and I bet I’m not alone in this, feels like a chore. Believe me: there is a good reason why I’m a writer, not an editor.

What would you most like readers to know about you?

Of course, first and foremost I’d like my readers to know the professional side of me—how I started to write; why I started to write; how each one of my prior jobs has helped prepare me to take on this crucial role. But I also like my readers to know me beyond my writing. I want them to connect with me on a personal level as well. While I’d love to share everything about myself—my likes, dislikes, the places I’ve visited, the oceans I’ve crossed, there isn’t enough room for all of it here and now, but I like my readers to know that I appreciate the little things money can’t buy. I am also open-minded and approachable.

What is your WIP?

I just finished writing another romantic suspense—Convenient Lies—and I’m putting the finishing touches on a historical fiction that is a mix of fact and fiction inspired by my own story. Set in two wolds, and two different cultures, Reflections will resonate with a lot of people—immigrants or not—because it offers a window into the life of people who choose to leave their homes and everything familiar and plunge into the unknown in search for better lives.

ica lova photo


Ica Iova – Award-Winning Author


Ebony’s Albino

Published February 20, 2014 by paulandpaulasbooks

Some love affairs are classified as ill-fated and others as eternal. Which would you classify the affair of Ebony’s Albino?purple flower-steven shene

Ebony hissed as the unfamiliar hands toweled her dry. It was good to be in out of the rain, but the strange hands and the smells of food were setting off spasms in her stomach.

“There you go. Almost as good as new.” said the woman, as she moved to shoo Ebony into the living quarters.

Walking through the alcove, Ebony thought, This is really nice. Places to sleep, to lounge and… Oh!

Her eyes widen in fear as she spies the big … the really huge male as he saunters forward, planting himself directly in her path. She quivers as she looks into his pale pink ringed eyes. “Hello,” she utters, not realizing her voice is a soft purr and taken as an invitation by the Albino.

Without a word, he slowly circles her, dipping in to sniff, absorbing her essence. ”Eh bien, bonjour ma bella. Vous êtes le plus beau morceau que j’ai vu dans une très, très longtemps. ”

Ebony skitters back, afraid of his overpowering size and his words, stutters, “Ex..excuse me? Wha..what did you say,” knowing exactly what he had whispered in her ear. At least she understood that he thought she was the finest piece he had seen in a long, long time.

“Listen up Sweetheart, if you want to end up calling these digs home, you and I better act like we can get along. This family takes in the likes of you weekly. I have the final say on whether you stay or not.”

“The likes of me? What do you mean?”

“You look to be pregnant. Are you not?” He leans in to hiss as his body gently bumps her stomach.

“I don’t think.. well that is… no. No!” She pulls herself up to her full height, leaving her still woefully several inches too short, needing to gaze upward into his silvery eyes. Her heart thumping out the echo of his words, I have the final say…

“How do you explain that big bump? Just give birth? On the run? Don’t think she has not noticed,” as he cocks his head towards the woman out in the cooking area. If you play nice, she’ll take you to be checked, getting the best medical care she can for you. Say the word, and you stay. Fight me, you get to keep moving. I’ll make sure of that,” he growls as he breathes into her ear.

Ebony’s shoulders slump as her spirit droops. She was dumped in an alleyway, cuts, burns and, bruises marring her delicate beauty… being cursed for her color, running from gangs of wild males; caught a couple of times. Could she be? No! But what if she was. Unthinkable! Oh, Dear Lord, please no! she silently implores, even as she shyly seeks out the Albino’s eyes.

“What do I have to do to stay? How do I play nice,” thinking, this may be only slightly better than the alley.

“Let’s start with introductions. I’m called Al, and I would like to call you ma beauté noire.”

A smile was threatening to lift her lips even as she replied, “I’m not a horse and I’m not much of a beauty but my name is my color. Ebony. You still didn’t say what you want.”

“For now… I just want to sit and talk.” Al beckons her towards his sleeping area but seeing her hesitate, he veers towards the couch he was on when she walked in. Seeing her raised eyebrow, he assures her, “It’s fine. The folks are as good as the people here in this home. Come Sweetheart, sit.”


“Al, why do I have to do this? I’m afraid of what will happen. Can’t you come, too?”

“Ah, ma beauté noire, you’ll be fine. She won’t hurt you, and she knows I like you, so you’ll be coming back.”

“But what if I’m.. if I’m … if I’m pregnant? Will she make me have a… ?”

“Sweetheart. Ebony. Stop. Please. Don’t get yourself all worked up about something that probably isn’t and if you are, no she will not make you have an abortion. She values all life.”

“I don’t like her and she knows it.”

“You don’t know her enough to not like her. You will like her in time. I wasn’t crazy about her either when I first got here but she loves me and her mate is good to all of us. You’ll see. Now hop in and get going. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll be back.”

“You promised. You will be here when I get back?”

“Have I lied to you yet? Of course, I’ll be waiting for you. I’ve been waiting for you my whole life Sweetheart. I will be here, waiting,” Al whispers as he leans in to kiss her.

When Ebony turns to watch Al standing in the doorway, the woman says, “We’ll be back soon and Al will be waiting for you. You’re the first female he’s shown any interest in, and we’ve had a bunch through the house. This is more of a half way house. I do hope all is well with your health. That tummy of yours worries me but if it’s baby time, then we’ll deal.”


Ebony sighs as she settles back on the seat of the woman’s car. She doesn’t know why she doesn’t like her, but she doesn’t. She will trust her though because Al trusts her. He has street smarts, his judgement is good.

In the short time she’s known Al, he’s truly been a gentleman. She shared his bed the night before, slept spooned into his heat, fell asleep to the beat of his heart. Her heart felt like it was home, as its rhythm matched his. He didn’t try to mate with her, just kissed her goodnight and enfolded her in his embrace.

Ebony couldn’t understand the aversion to her, but it never seemed to fail, she always got what she called, dirty looks from other females when she walked into a room. This waiting room seemed to have the same old crowd. The woman leaned over and whispered, “Pay no attention. They’re jealous because you’re so beautiful.”

Overwhelmed, Ebony peeks at the woman, trying to figure out why she’d say such a thing. She wasn’t beautiful. Hadn’t she’d been told enough times she was ugly, just another mouth to feed, not only ugly, but a no good, witchy female. Her mirror told the truth, lots of black hair and those sparkling green cat’s eyes, but all Ebony saw was the lies she believed.


As Al gently rubs Ebony’s bloated stomach, he leans in and kisses her. “I told you, you probably weren’t pregnant but I thought your tiny appetite was because you were nervous being new here. Finding out your body is in starvation, I want to go and hurt your tormentors!”

“Truly my White Knight, you are so sweet. I don’t know how I ever thought you were going to be like everyone else I’ve been around. Please don’t worry. I’ll be okay. The doctor told the missus what food I should have, and she agreed she’d start tonight! I can’t believe she’s doing this for me!”

“I told you she was kind and that you would like her.

“Did I say I like her? I said I couldn’t believe she was doing this for me…. I don’t like….stop, stop tickling me…okay, oka..y, she’s all right, I guess.”

“I’ll be going out, tonight. Got to do my rounds, and I want you to feel comfortable being here without me.”

“Do you have to go tonight?” Ebony could hear the whine creeping into her voice so left the question hanging.

“I’m getting restless. It’s been a bit, since I’ve been out. I wanted you here and I didn’t want you afraid so I’ve flipped my routine but I really need to get back to business. I need to sleep for a bit….do you want to take a nap? I find I sleep better with you at my side Sweetheart.”


Ebony thought back to that first night that Al went out. His job was patrolling the neighborhood, reporting the crimes he should, and taking down the perps that he could. He was one tough guy with many conquests under his belt, with a lot of rescued souls listed on his resume, but tonight was different. Ebony could feel the dread in her bones, and it was tearing her apart. Her throat tightening and her eyes stinging first with unshared but soon followed by an unending flood of tears.

Begging Al not to go out tonight was as far as she could go in her influence over him in their fourteen years together.

His feeling of responsibility for all that the Mister and Missus had done in saving him and saving her, she his greatest gift he said, weighed heavily on him. So here she sat, night after night gazing into the darkness praying for his safe return.

She feared tonight’s outcome. Her visions were few but clear and seeing his forthcoming death was stripping her of all her calmness. Her gut was twisted, spewing forth her dinner, leaving behind the sourness of sadness.

The anguish was building, and if Al had not forbidden following him into the alleyways, she would be hot on his heels. Her love for him was like a knife more cruel than the tortures of her past.

Wiping her mouth of the last of the true liquid in her vomit, she sees them coming and crumples to the floor as they carry his body in and lay him on the couch. The couch where she and Al started their love talks a lifetime ago.

A blood curdling howl rips from her throat spilling over her lips, rolling on and on …until she falls into an everlasting faint.

Gentle hands lift her limp body, to be laid beside her mate as their spirits soar together into eternity. The woman folds herself into her husband’s body as their tears mingle for the deaths of their handsome Persian and his beautiful Siamese.