Monday, December 10, 2012

Krystal Shannan Interviews - Nicole MacDonald - THE ARRIVAL

Please welcome the fabulous Nicole MacDonald to the blog today!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a 30yr old New Zealander who loves to daydream and read. On a whim I decided to start a little story, thinking no one would ever read it and that has turned into a trilogy of 100k+ word novels and far more readers than I ever imagined. Reading was once my obsession, now it’s creating the worlds I love to daydream about, with kick-ass female leads!

Did you always want to be an author? What made you choose to write romance?

No, I never intended to write a book, let alone three. The thought of it terrified me. And then, when I finally did write a book it took me months to admit that it had a rather strong romantic streak running through it! 

What is your favorite part of being a writer/author?

Writing the books I want to read.

Tell us a little about your book. What inspired you to write it?

My book was inspired by my friends and my partner. It’s a fun, straight up and curiously realistic fantasy that I wanted to be as ‘believable’ as possible but with all the fantastical creatures I’ve loved since childhood.

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 branches we used to make the shelter stunk. I wasn’t sure yet if it was a good smell or a bad smell, just distractingly pungent. The shelter was a pretty basic design but it kept the wind out and might keep us dry.
It was just that smell.
Maybe it isn’t just the branches, I thought, it might be my pillow.
Sighing, I sat up to try and fix it again. Scrunching the leaves into a better shape, I re-fixed the hood of my cloak over them and lay down.
Sleep came quickly and it must have been around midnight when Audi’s soft growl woke me.
What? What was she growling about? Blinking, I peered around. The moon was full, making it surprisingly light in the shelter. I whispered her name and Audi crept to my side then gave another low growl. Placing a hand on her back I was shocked to feel the fur erect, like when we’d been chased by the elgrids.
Oh God, what now?
It couldn’t be anything little, considering Audi hadn’t raced out of the shelter to scare it off. Audrey wasn't a chicken, but she was sensible. With trembling hands, I knelt and strapped on the sword and daggers. The shuffling outside had gotten closer. My stomach seemed to sink to my feet and a wave of dizziness hit as fear swept through me.
Not again, I thought, the village is half a day’s walk away. There was no way we would be able to make it back.
I crawled over to Kassie and shook her, placing a hand over her mouth. She mumbled, then her eyes flashed open in shock.
'Shhh, something’s outside and Audi thinks it’s bad. Strap your sword on and get ready.'

Do you plot and outline or do you just write?  Plotter or Pantser?

I plot and outline. Plot the major points and outline the slower parts so to make sure that the story flows well. 

Can you tell us about the process of getting your first book published?

I self-published on Amazon and Smashwords. It’s a full on process that requires an awful lot of time and dedication. As a hobby, writing is VERY time consuming.

What advice would you give new authors?  What have you learned about the business?

The one star reviews ALWAYS sting at first. However, after a few months you learn to only take heart from those who enjoy your work, because in the long run you write for those who love your world, not those who don’t.

Do you have another book in the works?
I’m working on the final book in the trilogy, Feel the Burn, which will be available in December.

What do you like to do in your free time, besides read and write of course?

Sword fighting, tramping, sewing, reading, watch movies and spend time with my loved ones (critters included).

Where do you dream of going on vacation?


Boxers or Briefs? Briefs.

Cookies or cake? Ooooo… Cake – as long as it’s layered with excessive frosting.

Pizza or hamburger? Pizza.

Beer, Wine, or mixed drink? Ummm… I’m actually allergic to alcohol, so I’ll go with lemon water *grin*

Wow! Bummer :-(

(Hero/Heroine Character Questions)
What were your first impressions of each other?
Cat – Tall, dark, and handsome. Owns a bloody big griffon that looked like it wanted to eat my dog.
Alek – red head, a tad ditzy. Nice dog.

What’s your favorite characteristic of each other?
Cat – stands his ground calmly. The way he laughs at his own jokes and never makes me feel anything but special.
Alek – her passion, honesty and absolute tenacity. The way you can read everything she thinks on her face.

What are your plans for the near future?  

I have the basic outlines for a couple of series and a standalone black comedy, so hopefully to convert those ideas into novels.

Nicole will be awarding a $50.00 gift card – Amazon or Barnes & Noble, winners choice, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Be sure to leave your email and a comment to enter and visit the other stops along the way as well!

Be sure to visit Nicole@


  1. Your excerpt was exciting. I enjoyed your interview as much as the excerpt.

  2. I can't wait to read this book. It sounds really good. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. Great interview, thank you.


  4. Looks like a fun one--I'll need to check it out!


  5. Replies
    1. Long sword - so to learn how to describe it in the books :) so much fun!!

  6. Great interview and excerpt.
    Thanks for the "The Arrival" freebie and the giveaway :)

  7. I can't wait to read this!

    1. Added to the long TBR list is it, Krystal? :) well I hope you enjoy it when you get there!

    2. You have no idea how long! But I will get there :-)

  8. Oops indeed, but what a fabulous idea for a story.


  9. This book sounds great!!! I have already downloaded it to my Kindle!! Thanks for the freebie and for the chance to win!!

    ehaney578 at aol dot com

  10. 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

  11. Great interview and thank you for the freeby.


  12. Thanks for the chance to win

    hense1kk At cmich DOT edu

  13. Nice excerpt!