blogspot counter

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A whole new world ~guest post by fantasy author Nicole MacDonald



Today I'm pleased to bring you a guest post by fantasy author Nicole MacDonald. Be sure to check out her book in The BirthRight Trilogy.

Writing fantasy is both a blessing and a curse. A whole new world is yours for the creating, but, if you don’t plan it carefully and abide by your own rules, you can turn it from fantasy to pure nonsense. Having now completed a trilogy of fantasy novels I’ve experienced researching like I never would have fathomed prior to it. For example;
-                      How far can a griffon fly in a day? Or an hour? What is ‘top’ griffon speed.
-                      How would syrens work, and why? Because as silly as it might seem debating a mythical creature, to make it believable in a tale it has to seem logical…
-                      Why do dragons breathe fire? And would they all?
-                      If you have dragons and griffons, what would they eat? Surely a cow wouldn’t be big enough.
-                      How long would an ‘average’ human live?
-                      What colour are the oceans, and why?
-                      Is there magick on this world, and how does it work?
Creating another world, with believable creatures and characters, all in a completely foreign setting requires some meticulous note taking (well, that or flicking back and forth between your drafts *grin*) and an absolute dedication to make it read as logical as possible. It can create some writer’s block like you’ve never experienced but at the same time the sense of freedom, and adventure, in being the first to pioneer your ‘ne world’ makes it all worth it.

Title: The BirthRight Trilogy
Author: Nicole MacDonald
Genre: Fantasy

The Arrival

Cat, Kassie, Sian and Loi are anything but damsels in distress. Fed up with a lack of decent male specimens they cast a love spell in the hopes of finding their soul-mates. And inadvertently land themselves on another planet.
Oops… 
The Arrival, follows the girls' adventures as they stumble through a foreign and often hostile world where humans are NOT at the top of the food chain. Friendships are forged and love teeters on the horizon while the threat of civil war looms thanks to the girls' very unexpected '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 Arrival – 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, smiling when I heard splashes further out in the water. Audi’s such a water baby and as long as it’s by choice rather than me giving her a bath she’ll swim anywhere. I swished the top under the water, rinsing the soap out. The splashes got closer and I glanced up.
Alek stood in the middle of the river, the water lapping mid thigh on him.
I froze, heart thudding loudly in my ears as I stared.
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 stared at Catherine in surprise; 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.

Suddenly I could make out the rational voice in my head, it shrieked at me; STOP STARING! HE’S LOOKING RIGHT AT YOU!
My eyes jerked up to dark blue ones that regarding me in amusement, an eyebrow arched.
OH MY GOD.
And in the manner of any intelligent, attractive, level headed female who’s been caught out… I promptly blushed beetroot, muttered something unintelligent and snatched my things before bolting for the tent. I hurtled past Daron heading toward the river.

Alek stared after Catherine. She’d turned a rather remarkable shade of red then run off. Not far off the color of her hair, Alek mused in amusement. She obviously approved of what she’d seen; he chuckled at the recollection of shock in those wide green eyes when she realized he watched.
'Alek! What’d you do to Catherine?' Daron appeared at the end of the track, a concerned expression on his face.
Alek smirked.

Uh oh, thought Daron, I know that look. He stopped in the track and gave Alek a look of his own. 'Explain. Now.'

Alek arched an eyebrow at Daron’s tone. 'I did nothing to her,' he struggled to keep a straight face. 'She didn’t notice me swimming here and seemed a bit,' he paused and shot Daron a crooked grin. '…surprised to find me.'

Daron envisioned the scene and gave a snort of amusement. 'You do know your shorts are see-through when wet, Alek.'
'You know, I think Catherine noticed that.’ Alek smirked then shrugged. ‘I thought they’d sleep for a few more hours. Didn’t think I’d need to worry about company.'

Awakening

Be careful what you wish for...
A seemingly innocuous love spell caused Catherine, Sian, Laura, and Kassandra to cross worlds in search of their soul mates. But more than love drew them to Gar'nyse. Truths are revealed and lives forever altered after an attack at the castle. An age old feud between two archaic families threatens to tear the world they've arrived in apart. As the ultimate weapons in such a war the four girls are the only hope for peace.
But one of them lies unconscious from the attack, and the destiny that awaits her when she wakes will change everything.


Awakening – Excerpt

Sian tipped her head up to press a kiss to Daron's jaw then scooted off the bed and went to look out the windows.
Outside the forest darkened as the sun dropped, and the sounds of the animals changed. The day dwellers were going to sleep, and the night dwellers began to venture out. The sense of awe at such a sight struck her again. The window misted with her breath when she pressed her forehead against it, looking up.
'Daron, what's that?'

Daron glanced up to see her pressed against the window, staring in fascination at something. Marking a place in the book, he climbed off the bed and joined her at the window. Flickering lights had begun to appear in the air, and clusters of nightbloom were opening as twilight turned to dusk. The glow of the delicate flowers was a soft gold in the dark and made him smile as he remembered trying to pick one for his mother.
'Those are nightbloom, Pix. They only open at night and are very delicate. You can't pick them,' he said wryly and she smiled.
'Tried?'
Daron nodded and opened the door to the balcony, gesturing for her to go out. Shutting the door behind them, he wrapped his arms around her as they gazed out.
'I really wanted to pick one for my mother when I was eight. My sister told me it wasn't possible, but I didn't believe her.' His older sister always knew the best, one way or another and even now, still loved to boss him and his younger brother around.
'She was right, as always. As soon as you touch a nightbloom they wither. Just those firefae can feed from them.'
'Firefae? Like Cat's fire?' Sian watched as one flitted close.
'No, they don't burn. They just glow. During their mating season they turn pink.'

One rested on the handrail. Sian watched as Daron coaxed it onto his hand.
'Have a look, Pix.'
She gently cupped his hands and bent to stare at the little creature. The tiny firefae watched her with large dark eyes. It glowed, a lovely orange shade, and the energy it used hummed through Daron's hand and hers.
'It's beautiful.'
It was kind of like the pictures of fairies she'd seen on Earth. A human-like shape but you couldn't tell its sex. Its tiny body was covered with fine, hair-like filaments, so it almost looked fuzzy. The wings that it flitted around with were shaped like a fan, the edges almost ragged, floating softly in the night air. Its large eyes were surrounded with beautiful long lashes, making the little creature look adorable. A second firefae landed next to it, and Sian quietly gasped. This one had hair, or what looked like it, that surrounded its head in a golden mane.
'That's a male,' Daron breathed the words as the two fae seemed to dance on his hand.
'How can you tell?'
'The gold mane.'
She watched the two interact together, marveling at their tiny hands and feet. Each digit had a slightly bulbous end, reminding her of frogs' feet. The fae wandered about Daron's hand for a bit longer, then pushed off, their delicate wings fluttering as they flew away to the nearest nightbloom.
They spent nearly an hour out there, watching as the forest turned to inky blackness. There were quite a few plants and creatures that were luminescent. It made the dark beautiful and eerie, reminding Sian of footage she'd seen of deep undersea dives. When they retired to bed, she snuggled up to Daron as he gently stroked her back.
'Pleased to be here?'
'I am. It's really lovely,' she yawned. 'I'll have to give Gredel a big hug for this.'

Feel the Burn

The battle to save Gar'nyse is upon them and already the costs are insurmountable.
With no other option but to knowingly sail into a trap, the girls, the Griffon Guard, and the gathered forces set forth to reach the castle and destroy Jenviet. However the loss of Alek means the task sits fully on the four girls' shoulders and with only one of them at their full Elemental abilities, the risk of death, or worse—failure—is high. Now with nothing to lose, Catherine refuses to link with the other girls, hoping that she alone will be able to take Jenviet. But the malevolent Sorceress of Vo'Arum has other plans...

Feel the Burn – Excerpt

I slowed, stopping when I sighted Loi. She stood in the middle of a large cave, larger than the previous one we’d stayed in, and tiny lighted things fluttered around her.
‘Loi, what are those?’ I called in a quiet voice, not wanting to disturb them. Leynorah squealed and she and her mother leaped off my shoulders, flying straight for Loi and the lights. My jaw dropped when the two fae tackled one of the glowing things to the cave floor, gobbling it down and then lifted their heads to utter sharp whistles. Poor Loi looked horrified when answering whistles echoed from further down the corridor and more Haleninefae came whooping through, flashing past my head into the cave.
In a short matter of time the Haleninefae devoured the glowing things, buzzing excitedly around Loi, congratulating her on the find, oblivious to her appalled expression while she stared at the glowing remnants scattered about the floor. Those behind me pushed past into the cave, looking around, and the Cavalry and General guard soldiers started to set the camp up. It felt strange to realize that the whole day had gone, the lack of light messing with my body clock. Loi stared at the glowing remains of the fluttery things and I made my way to her.
‘Errmmm…sorry about that.’
Leynorah sat perched on a rock, fiendishly waving some bits of glowing wings in either front hand, singing a little ditty of ‘Yummy! Yummy, yummy, YUMMY!’
Loi sighed. ‘S’okay. Guess they have to eat.’

Author Bio
Nicole MacDonald is a thirty something year old Kiwi who loves to read and moonlights as a novelist. From a young age she fantasized about being the heroine in the books and/or movies she watched and credits the series ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ for really inspiring her. Writing only occurred to her a few years ago after reading an abysmal tale with silly useless females where upon she decided to write a tale solely for herself where the girls got to kick butt without the usual sob story—betrayed/abused/abandoned etc. That little tale eventuated into the BirthRight Trilogy.
Nicole’s current daydream is that Joss Whedon (aka the genius of film) will discover the BirthRight Trilogy and demand the film rights to it. Until then, she’s working on several other writing projects and aiming to explore the world with her partner.

Links
The first book, The Arrival, is FREE everywhere.
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords (available in any format)
Kobo
Sony
iTunes US
iTunes UK
Wattpad – where The Arrival is now available
http://www.wattpad.com/11296258-the-arrival-book-one-of-the-birthright-trilogy
 ~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance: Book One, SEEKING A SCRIBE, Book Two, HERITAGE AVENGED, Book Three, LOST VOLUMES, and Book Four, STAUROLITE. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

2 comments:

Nicole MacDonald said...

Thank you for hosting me today :)

Majanka Verstraete said...

While fantasy worlds are tough - because they have to be logical even though they're fantasy - I love creating worlds from scratch, setting up my own rules, etc. Did you enjoy that process as well when you were writing The BirthRight trilogy, or did you have more fun with the writing and did you think the setting was more of a hassle?