I’ve had the chance to read Blackhearts and I adored this book. I loved how easy it was for me to picture the setting and the characters. Oh, the characters, how I loved them. Blackhearts takes a look at the life of Blackbeard prior to his pirate days. I highly recommend historical fiction fans and those that enjoy character driven stories to read this book.
Nicole and I talk on Twitter about our shared love of the TV show Poldark and the actor, Aidan Turner. Really…if you’ve not seen the show you should. I couldn’t help but picture Aidan Turner AS Nicole’s main character, Teach, in Blackhearts. I took this opportunity to have her talk a bit about it.
Guest Post by Nicole Castroman
I first wrote BLACKHEARTS in August, 2012. I had just parted ways with my literary agent and decided to make a change and try to write historical fiction. It was the best decision I could have made. The story of a young Blackbeard simply flowed and I couldn’t write it fast enough. It took a while, but my manuscript eventually sold to Simon Pulse.
Fast forward to December 2015. I saw a trailer for a new BBC series, called Poldark. I’m a sucker for BBC period pieces, so of course I watched it. And I fell in love.
The story revolves around a British Revolutionary War soldier who comes home after the war to find his life in shambles.
In BLACKHEARTS, Edward “Teach” Drummond comes home from a year at sea to find his life in shambles.
The woman Ross Poldark was supposed to marry is betrothed to another.
Teach wishes the woman he’s supposed to marry was betrothed to another.
Ross Poldark isn’t afraid to go after what he wants.
Teach isn’t afraid to go after what he wants.
Ross Poldark wants to run his own mine.
Teach wants to captain his own ship.
Ross Poldark begins to have feelings for the hired help.
Teach begins to have feelings for the hired help.
Demelza is a fabulous heroine. Strong-willed, yet caring. She’s a favorite character.
Anne is a fabulous heroine. Strong-willed, yet caring. I’m so happy with readers’ reaction to Anne. It’s as much her story as it is Teach’s.
As you can see, there are some similarities between Poldark and BLACKHEARTS, but those similarities weren’t intentional. If you’ve watched any episodes of Poldark, you can understand how surprised I was as the story unfolded. I guess I love dark, brooding heroes and strong, independent heroines. The more conflicted, the better. I find I’m more of a character driven writer than anything else, and that’s exactly what Poldark and BLACKHEARTS have in common.
Another reason I’m such a fan of Poldark is because of Aidan Turner. He’s a phenomenal actor (He was my favorite dwarf in The Hobbit movies.) He’s also incredibly easy on the eyes. And he has a striking resemblance to how I pictured my teenage Blackbeard. Eleanor Tomlinson is wonderful as Demelza. The secondary characters are also well-developed. Everything just works for me and I love the show.
About the Book
Author: Nicole Castroman
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.
Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.
Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?
From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.
At the age of 13, she went to Europe for the first time and it changed her life. She loves learning about different people, languages and cultures and speaks fluent German. She knows enough Spanish to get herself into trouble and can still read the Cyrillic alphabet from when she studied Russian.
She received her B.A. from Brigham Young University and has lived in Germany, Austria and two different places called Georgia. One is located on the Black Sea. The other is the state of Georgia where she now lives with her handsome husband and two beautiful children who continue to amaze her.
1 winner will receive a signed finished copy of BLACKHEARTS, US Only.
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