Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Tour for The Arrival by Nicole MacDonald (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Fans of fantasy stories will definitely find Nicole MacDonald's The Arrival an exciting journey they'll want to join.  And luckily you can as this book is currently FREE at almost every online bookstore!  Nicole is here today though talking about the challenges of writing a trilogy as well as giving away a gift card to a bookstore. So keep reading to get to know more about Nicole as well as The Arrival......

I never meant to write three novels. Heck I never meant to write ONE novel, but that’s life for you. Guaranteed to throw a spanner in just when you think everything’s running smoothly…
It all started with a fun fight scene in the woods, and then five enormous griffons dropped in. You know, as they do. My little writing hobby progressed slowly while I struggled to develop a full plot but once I did and it ‘clicked’ in my head, I was away! At some point during my feverish drafting, I read an interesting article on the lengths of novels and what an ideal novel length was. All very new to me and curious I checked my word count…
In that moment, while recalling the recommended word count of 80-100k for a first time author, my heart sank. Because not only was I easily over the recommended length, but because I was only a third into the story. Cue a major panic attack and once that settled down I reassured myself that writing another novel to complete the story would be easy (HA!) and no reason to panic. After-all, no one was ever going to read it (double HA!). With that in mind I plotted out the rest of the story on paper and then frowned at said paper. Turned it.Studied it and frowned some more at it.
Oh, crud! Looks like I’m writing three books.
After another panic attack, I shrugged and settled down to writing. I have since discovered writing a continuing story like this, to be very rewarding.
Each book gives you a new opportunity to challenge your characters, to reveal more to the reader and to weave some rather wicked webs. With the BirthRight Trilogy I look on the three books as the stages in a relationship.
The Arrival is the first date, the moment when you think it’sall perfect and everything is seen through rose-colored lenses.
Awakening is when you realize that no one is perfect and life isn’t quite as easy as you’d like.
Feel the Burn is the biggy. It’s when you hit a major, life altering issue and this is the sink or swim moment, but if you make it through this issue then you know you can handle pretty much anything life throws at you.
The hard part about writing a continuing story like this, is that until you get to write ‘The End’ you never feel done. Not with the first or second (or more if you’re writing a longer one!) and that can be very frustrating. People congratulate you on writing a book and you shy away because until the story is complete, then you haven’t really achieved anything. But I think that’s because we do tend to be our harshest critics. I can say (now) that it does feel like a massive achievement once you’ve finished it, but until then, it feels like climbing Everest!

Four friends in the midst of a man drought cast a love spell on a whim, unexpectedly landing them on another planet.
On a foreign and often hostile world, love teeters on the horizon while the threat of civil war looms thanks to the girls' surprising gifts. Will the girls master these gifts in time to survive a war in which not only are they the ultimate weapons, but also the ultimate prize?


The river
“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 waters 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. “


The Arrival is an exciting book with a clever premise and likable characters.  The four heroines really define the word girl-power and stick together through any adversity.  After being transported to a mythical land after casting a spell to find their true loves they gamely adjust to the changes and work diligently to refine the mystical powers bestowed on them to save this new world they've entered.  Each heroine has unique talents and distinct personalities that set each apart and I admired their feistiness.  The four heroes of this story are chivalric and possess strength and charm and work hard to gain the affections of the women they immediately connect with.  While we spend some time with the boys, this is clearly a story about the heroines, with the heroes definitely in the secondary category.

The world created is visually stimulating with amazing mythical creatures.  The heroes and heroines are truly heroic and have to unleash some potent powers to save the kingdom.  The action sequences are thrilling and lead to an exciting conclusion for the moment.

There's a lot to like in this story but I did have some minor issues. There are a lot of main characters who the author makes sure get equal time and attention through constant head-hopping.  It was difficult at times figuring out who was talking since the perspective would shift suddenly.  The flow of the story was jarring because of this and there was a frantic feel as well. Those not fond of cliffhangers best be prepared to pull your hair out as this story ends right in the middle of a heartpounding action scene.  This left me screaming but excited for the next book.

The Arrival was an entertaining story with well-written characters, a colorful world, and exciting action scenes that lay the groundwork for what promises to be a satisfying series.  This was my first book by Ms MacDonald but I'm intrigued enough by this work to try more from her.

My rating for this is a C+

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.


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.

Twitter: @DmslinaDrtyDrss


Nicole will be awarding a $50 GC to EITHER Amazon OR BN to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 

-To be entered, leave a comment, along with your email addy.
-A winner will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 3/11.


  1. Nicole left a message but it's not showing up on this post, so here is what Nicole said.......

    Thanks for hosting me today :)

  2. Thank you for the review and excerpt.


  3. Loved the entire series!!! can't wait to see what you write next!! ;)

  4. Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
    Sounds really good!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  5. This is going to be such a great trilogy to read.


  6. Interesting post about writing a trilogy. Not easy to write one book, but to write a trilogy as a unified story must be so hard.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

    1. Not so difficult in the sense that it always was a single unified story :) but the mental correction of switching from one book to three took a bit!

  7. Thanks for sharing your writing a's wonderful that it wasn't planned that way but your journey took you there! Now that you've written one would you write another or consider a series?

  8. Great series, I imagine it's not easy to write a triology and avoid plotholes.

    Do you have a favorite recepy that you'd like to share?


  9. Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  10. Great series... will put it on my TBR pile. :)

    maybe at

  11. Definitely adding this to my TBR pile! Gosh, I can't wait!


  12. Sounds good. Putting on my 'to read' list! lcminer at windstream dot net

  13. Sounds interesting. Can't wait to read them.

  14. Love the excerpt. Hope this gets a lot of exposure. :)
    anne.j2 (at)

  15. Hi,
    I love your cover. Good look on this. If you contact me, I can review your book for Novelspot and Writer Wonderland. No cost. You can go one to read my reviews.

    morgankwyatt (@)juno(dot) com

  16. What a fascinating book! Enjoyed the excerpt. Will be putting it on my reading list. Thanks for the giveaway.

  17. Thanks for the giveaway

    hense1kk At cmich dot edu

  18. Hmmm....a C+ huh...well that's dissappointing...I'll have to keep following and see if that's the general opinion or if you're on your own :P

  19. Thanks for the giveaway!


  20. I own this book, and can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great giveaway!