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Monday, February 18, 2013

Blog Tour - Feasted On: The Arrival by Nicole MacDonald | Interview, Review, & Giveaway

Today I'm turning my blog over to Nicole MacDonald, who I interviewed about her novel "The Arrival," which is the 1st book her BirthRight Trilogy!!

ALSO -- Be sure to comment on this post to be able to sign up for this tour's GIVEAWAY (listed below)!! [Blog Tour will run from November 12, 2012 - March 11, 2013]

My Q&A with Nicole MacDonald :

Jess : Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Nicole : I am thirty year old kiwi (New Zealander) who works fulltime as a receptionist while moonlighting as a novelist. I live in a small town in Wellington that’s surrounded by rolling green hills and forest, with my partner and our dog and cat.

Jess : Which of your characters would you most & least to invite to dinner, from which book and why?

Nicole : Most – Elena, the sorceress of Elion. She is one who has lived centuries and seen so many things and she knows almost everyone of interest on Gar’nyse. There are so many things I’d love to know!

Least – Jenviet, the sorceress of the South. A woman hell bent on achieving her family desire of world domination. She gets a distinct pleasure from breaking anyone who opposes her.

Jess : Please describe "The Arrival" in 50 words or less.

Nicole : A kick-ass story about four good friends fighting for their lives, love and the new world they’ve arrived on.

Jess : What sparked the idea for your BirthRight Trilogy?

Nicole : A fantastic thunderstorm over the Wellington harbor. I’ve always loved thunderstorms and it just sparked the first idea of a fight scene.

Jess : Please describe Catherine, Sian, Kassandra, & Laura, from "The Arrival," in one to two sentences each.

Nicole : Catherine is a redhead who loves her friends dearly. She likes teasing boys but doesn’t fully believe in ‘true love’ and enjoys her solitude.

Kassandra is the oldest of the friends and an absolute sweetheart. Always there for her friends when needed.

Sian is the petite but formidable blond of the group. She loves to play up her tiny stature and then shock the heck out of people.

Loi is the youngest but tallest of the group and can seem rather shy to an outsider. She takes a bit to warm to people, but once you’re a friend she’ll defend you with her life.

Jess : If "The Arrival" were to be made into a film, who do you see playing the leading male characters in your trilogy and why?

Nicole : I can really only go on looks alone so:
For Alek—Sean Faris—he has the dark hair, height and blue eyes.

For Sabyn—Chris Hemsworth—the right sort of brooding look

For Daron—Dwayne Johnson—I love the ‘intense’ frown he has and the cheesy grin.

For Rumal—Tyrese Gibson—The gorgeous dark skin and piercing gaze.

For Gredel—Dash Mihok—the ruddy complexion and understated good looks.

Jess : Out of all of the secondary characters within your BirthRight Trilogy, do you have one or two favorites so far? If so, who are they and can you tell us why?

Nicole : I love Ada, probably because she is directly inspired by my grandmother who I very much adore in real life. In reality my nana didn’t have the easiest life and with Ada I’m able, in a sense, to give her the life I know she would have loved.
And then there are too many other characters I like to choose!

Jess : What is the most romantic thing one of your characters, from "The Arrival," said or did?

Nicole : Oooo.. that’s tricky. Everyone has such different thoughts on romance. I do love the part where Rumal comforts Kassie when she cries. It’s the little gestures that can mean so much.

Jess : In regards to "The Arrival," if you could write it all over again, would you change anything about it?

Nicole : I would be tempted to make it a little darker. But now, having written the third, I look on the whole trilogy like a relationship. "The Arrival" is the fluffy joyful first part where all is so bright and exciting! "Awakening" is the part of a relationship where you start to realize that even love isn’t ‘perfect’ and the third book, "Feel the Burn," is the time when you have to fight for it, to prove the worth both to yourself and everyone else. The hard part that once you succeed, you know the relationship can survive anything.

Jess : What appeals to you when writing a romance novel?

Nicole : *lol* Oh shucks ;p I blush, I cry, I get frisky (partner likes that part). I rave and rant and get ridiculously emotional. It’s a horrible, intense and absolutely joyful experience, just like any good romance.

Jess : How many books have you written? Which is your favorite and why?

Nicole : Three. And possible "Feel the Burn," because it’s the last. But I love each book for it’s own distinct flavor.

Jess : Do you have any other projects in the works? If so, can you share a little of your current work with us?

Nicole : I’m working on a dystopian steampunk that was inspired by a crazy dream I had. I can’t reveal much yet because I’m still figuring out the plot!

Jess : Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?

Nicole : Frequently. I do the absent minded thing all too often. Shirt buttoned on inside out (wondered why the buttons seemed weird) forgetting to zip my skirt up so flashing my underwear and once, glancing down to spot yesterday’s stockings hanging off the bottom of my trousers *lol*.

Jess : If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?

Nicole : "Blazing your own trail with burnt fingers."

Jess : List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?

Nicole : "Queen of kings" – YES!
"The Other Boleyn Girl" – YES!
"Fifty Shades" - No. No. No. *shudder* So far from my version of romance.

About the Author :

Nicole MacDonald is the Independent author of "The Arrival," and "Awakening," the first two books in the BirthRight Trilogy. Writing had never been a lifelong dream for her until she began "The Arrival," but it now is an all-consuming passion.

A proud Kiwi (New Zealander) Nicole dreams that one day Peter Jackson will be in touch to option the film rights for the BirthRight Trilogy. When she's not daydreaming about that she's working on book three in the trilogy - "Feel the Burn," available December 2012 - and planning future works.

- This is an ARC book - Available Formats through Amazon.com: Kindle Edition - File Size: 945 KB | Expected Release Date: December 2010 | Publisher: Self-Published | Obtained: Goddess Fish Promotions

"The Arrival" [The BirthRight Trilogy, Book 1] by Nicole MacDonald

My Book Summary : Four best friends cast what they believe to be a simple love spell that doesn't turn out to be simple, or even ordinary, at all! Especially when they conclude that they've been sent to another planet, now knowing they'll never see their families again, finding that they now have their own set of magical powers, and are asked to help out in a war that they aren't sure they want to be a part of.

If only they could just follow their hearts and have a fairytale life that they've always dreamed but they are coming to realize that everything comes with a price, the question is how much are they willing to pay?

My Book Review : 4 out of 5 stars! This world-win trilogy beginning keeps you on your toes while emerging you into a culture that is so like our own in many ways yet has a magical and mystical feel to it that delights your senses! I loved how this novel builds you up for what is to come throughout this series. However, it did take me some time to get used to how the author liked to switch her POVs, since it flowed well for everyone but when she was talking from Catherine's (Cat) POV and only because she usually used more "I" sentences with her then anything. For example, (the first two sentences are from Laura's--Loi--POV while the last five sentences are from Cat's POV):
Loi could see Kassie was ready to explode. Opening her mouth to tell her to calm down Loi froze when she noticed her clothes, “Guys, where are our costumes?”
After an initial panicked thought of ‘WHAT! I’M NAKED?’ I realised I did have clothes on. But they weren’t mine. There were sounds of astonishment as we stared at our ‘new’ outfits. It was kind of similar to my costume. ~ within Chapter 3

Nevertheless, all of the characters are great to read about, especially with their diverse personalities! However, if I had to choose I would say my favorite is Kassandra (Kassie) & Rumal! They just seem so cute together! Plus, I LOVED Audrey (Audi) Cat's dog! *hehee* She livened up the novel with her playfulness and antics!

I recommend this novel to anyone who likes sci-fi-ish fantasy romances!

Author's Novel Extras : The promised snippet!! (and sorry for it's length) | THE BIG REVEAL | Lookee!! My first review! | My first 5 star Amazon review!! | Genre definitions | First 5 star review on UK Amazon! | And then a four star review! | Dazed and confused... But excited! | The time is approaching... | Present time!

Author's Series Extras : Pinterest: The BirthRight Trilogy | The characters of the BirthRight Trilogy | Favorite quotes from the BirthRight Trilogy | Creating a fantasy world – how do you keep it ‘alive’ in your head? | Unusual differences | Whew! Is it hot in here or what? Sex scene and A surprise | Creative Monsters | Monday Madness! Character pictures (who I want to play them) Introducing Sian | Character Monday - Introducing Catherine (Cat) | Character Monday - Introducing Laura (Loi) | Character Monday - re-introducing Sian | Character Monday - Introducing Kassandra (Kassie/Kass) | Creative designs - Introducing my Cover Designer! | Character Monday - Introducing Daron | Character Monday - Introducing Yakov, the late King's advisor. | A little stuck... can you help? | Aha!! Sian CAN breathe underwater! | Tuesday Riddle! And it's official - I'm switching from Henry for Chris | Character Monday - Introducing Lieutenant Ignatius | Character Monday - Introducing Sabyn | Character Monday. Meet Elena - yes that's Kim Kardashian. | Character Monday - introducing Gredel and Citaan | Working on scenes, have a look at the current inspiration | Review number 2 is done... but do I have to rewrite the ending? | English - are we speaking the same language? | We have a blurb! | Let's play make-believe! A renewal of the characters of the BirthRight Trilogy and who would play them | Characters from the Trilogy - introducing Kassandra | Characters from the Trilogy - introducing Sian | Characters of the BirthRight Trilogy - Introducing Alek | Characters from the Trilogy - introducing Laura | Characters of the BirthRight Trilogy - Introducing Gredel & Citaan | Character of the BirthRight Trilogy - Introducing Daron | Characters of the BirthRight Trilogy - Rumal | Introducing Sabyn | It gives me shivers... the official cover to Feel the Burn! | There ain't nothing speedy about writing... | Still waiting on the draft... so here's the BLURB! | Feel the Burn is now LIVE | A BirthRight Trilogy snippet | Better make it official...

Author's Book Trailer :

Book Teaser(s) :
“What happened?” She sounded confused and had one hand pressed to her head.
“The tehnear lunged at us and you,” Alek’s mind warned him against mentioning the energy pulse. “You clipped your head when I pushed you out the way, I’m so sorry!”
I turned to face him, my hands on his knees to hold myself steady and looked into his eyes. They were sincere though guarded. “Don’t apologise.” I smiled at him, “You saved me.”
Alek stared back at me; an indecipherable expression on his face then lifted a hand and gently cupped my face. He pulled me close and pressed his lips to mine.
He felt Cat jolt in shock then relax and sink into his embrace. Alek wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her in and slid his other hand under her hair. He’d never found himself so aroused from such a simple kiss. She sighed against his lips and he deepened the kiss, wanting more.
‘Errrr, do you think you could do that somewhere private?’ Loushka’s voice came into his mind, she sounded amused.
Alek jerked back from me and flushed red. ~ within Chapter 13
For more information on this book, series, and/or any other books by Nicole, then please check out her website.

Book Excerpt :

The track quickly led to the river and I dropped my stuff near the edge. Kneeling, I dunked my top in the water and scrubbed it full of soap. I heard some splashes and smiled.

Audi’s such a water baby and as long as it was by choice, rather than me giving her a bath, she would swim anywhere. It sounds like she's having fun. I swished the top under the water, rinsing the soap out. The splashes sounded closer and I glanced up.

Alek stood in the middle of the river, the water lapping mid thigh on him.

I froze.

He was magnificent. The water cascaded down his taut, muscular body, his blue black hair shoved back out of his eyes and his white essentially see-through undergarment.

My jaw dropped. I don’t think I’d ever seen such a fantastic specimen in real life before.

Alek was surprised to see Catherine at the water's edge. He’d thought all the women would have slept for a few more hours, at least. About to call out a greeting, he stopped when he noticed her slack jawed expression.

It was at that point I could suddenly make out the rational voice in my head.


My eyes jerked up to dark blue ones, regarding me in amusement, one eyebrow arched.


And in the manner of any intelligent, attractive, level headed, sensible female who had been caught out...

I promptly blushed beetroot, muttered something unintelligent, snatched my things and bolted for the tent. I hurtled past Daron who was headed toward the river.

Giveaway!! :

  • A $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour

To Enter : Please leave a comment on this post, with a valid email address included at the end of it.

Soo .... COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT on this post!! And you could WIN!! =0)

ALSO -- Be sure to follow the tour around the other blog sites! Commenting on the other stops on the tour will also increase your chance of winning!

Find Nicole MacDonald :


  1. Great interview and review. It cannot be easy to write and also work fulltime. The book sounds like a good read.


  2. Thanks so much for hosting me! I really enjoyed writing the responses for this interview, the questions are great!

  3. Thanks for sharing with us! It's always interesting to know a bit more about the authors ~ I agree with you about Dwayne Johnson :)

  4. Great actor selection, from what I've read very fitting, too :)


  5. I'm giggling at the name you'd give to your autobiography. There must be a story behind Blazing Your Own Trail with Burnt Fingers?? Do tell...
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  6. Having a Sorceress over for dinner sounds like it would be a lively evening.

    LOVING the casting.


  7. Thanks for the links to the free copy of The Arrival. Happily downloading now. I can never seem to find good fantasy/SF romance books so this is much appreciated.


  8. Thanks for the chance to win

    hense1kk AT cmich DOT edu

  9. Holy hotness!! I love the men...I'm gunna have to take a cold shower now!


  10. Great cast!

    shadowrunner1987 at gmail dot com


Thank you for taking your time to comment!! =0)

*I have the right to remove comments that I would consider spam*

This site is a participant in various affiliate advertising programs through Amazon.com, Rakuten Marketing, Commission Junction, IndieBound, Smashwords, Book Depository, and more that are designed to provide a means for Jess to earn minimal advertising fees by showcasing the areas you can purchase the corresponding products that Jess discusses within her website. Basically Jess earns from qualifying purchases.