Meet the Newbies- Nicole Castroman Author of Blackhearts

Meet the NewbiesMeet the Newbies is hosted by Rachel from A Perfection Called Books and is a way to get to know the latest debut authors and get a glimpse of their books. Check out all the authors and blog on the tour here.

I’m featuring the wonderful Nicole Castroman, author of Blackhearts, today. I’ve read Blackhearts and let me tell you- it’s awesome. AND there’s going to be a sequel.

Author Most Likely to Wear a Corset to the Grocery Store
Nickname: Nicole (I’ve never been a nickname kind of person.)
First Day of School: February 9, 2016
Homeroom: Simon Pulse (S&S)
Grade: Historical (Romance)
Extracurricular Activities: Talking on the phone to Becky Wallace, Admiring Aidan Turner pics online, Reading, Visiting as many tropical beaches as humanly possible
Favorite Class: History
Favorite Quote/Motto: These change constantly. It really depends on my mood. Right now, it’s “To thine own self be true.”
Author: Nicole Castroman

About the Author

NicoleCastromanNicole was lucky enough to come with her very own best friend…she has a twin sister who can read her mind and finish her sentences for her.

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.

Social Media Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

The Book

BlackheartsCoverBlackbeard 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.

Book Buy Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

The Interview

In your debut, Blackhearts, you venture into the backstory of a nearly mythological pirate, Blackbeard. You take a look at what his life might have been like prior to his pirating days and what would lead the son of a wealthy merchant to venture into the unsavory life of a pirate. What first drew you to Blackbeard?
Just the fact that there isn’t anything known about his earlier life. It was a blank slate of one of the most notorious pirates to sail the seas. What compelled him to leave everything he knew behind to live such a rough life?

It is obvious from your writing and the inclusion of historical details that you did a good amount of research about the time period, etc. Could you tell us some of the most interesting things you stumbled upon in your researching?
I found all of it fascinating. From the way they dressed to what they ate. I read several books about what life was like in the 17th century. It’s no surprise that women didn’t have many opportunities at the time, but there were always women who refused to be limited. That’s why I wrote Anne like I did.

You have created some incredibly developed and well-rounded characters. Was there one you related to the most?
What I love about Anne is her indomitable spirit. She simply refuses to give up. What I love most about Teach is his ability to accept people for who they are. He doesn’t see color or race. It’s people’s actions that determine whether he wants them in his life or not.

I always imagine that when writing a book your characters at times surprise you and decide they want to take their story somewhere a bit different than you had planned. Did you find this to be true?
Somewhat. I always had the ending in mind, but it was a windy road to get there. And of course, working with an editor helped make the story tighter. I’ve learned to love the revision process because that is where the story truly comes to life.

Sort of related to the above question- what is your writing process? Do you plan things out or let the story take you where it wants to go (or a mix)?
I usually like to have an idea of the ending. It’s important for me to know where I ultimately need to go, but the characters can take a different route than the one I have planned for them.

The Giveaway

1 Pre-Order or Finished Copy of Any Debut Novel Featured on Meet the Newbies

International (as long as The Book Depository ships to your country)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Extras

InstagramBlackhearts

 

Blackhearts Release Day Giveaway US & INT

_PREPIRATENATION (6) Crop

I am so excited for Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman to be releasing today! I read this a while back and adored the character development and story of Blackbeard prior to his pirating days. You can see all the reasons I think you should read Blackhearts here and read about how the lead character, Teach, is similar to Poldark here.

About the Book

blackheartsBlackhearts
By: Nicole Castroman
Release Date: February 9th 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Summary:
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.

Giveaway

RaffleCopter form for Blackhearts international giveaway:a Rafflecopter giveaway

RaffleCopter form for US only giveaway (signed hardcover and swag):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Participating Bloggers

Chasm of Books

Blog Tour- Blackhearts Guest Post by Nicole Castroman + Giveaway

Blackheartsblogtour

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.

poldarkposter

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.

tumblr_nn2q3uvNt21uq57b0o1_500

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

blackheartsBLACKHEARTS
Author: Nicole Castroman
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Pages: 384
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.

About Nicole

NicoleNicole was lucky enough to come with her very own best friend…she has a twin sister who can read her mind and finish her sentences for her.

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.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway

1 winner will receive a signed finished copy of BLACKHEARTS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One:
2/1/2016- Mundie MomsInterview
2/2/2016- Beauty and the BookshelfReview
2/3/2016- My Friends Are FictionGuest Post
2/4/2016- Brittany’s Book RamblesReview
2/5/2016- Two Chicks on BooksInterview

Week Two:
2/8/2016- FiktshunReview
2/9/2016- Dark Faerie TalesGuest Post
2/10/2016- A Reader Under The Sea- Review
2/11/2016- A Perfection Called Books- Interview
2/12/2016- Lili’s ReflectionsReview

Why you should pre-order Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

blackhearts

It is far too early to share my official review of Blackhearts (releases February 9th 2016 by Simon Pulse) but I do think that you should have this book on your radar. I adore this author- she is so kind and friendly. If you can- give her a hello on Twitter. I was beyond excited that I got a chance to read her debut early.

Blackhearts is about the infamous pirate, Blackbeard.

Blackbeard

If you don’t know much about this guy you should do a quick Google search. I spent a good hour reading about him and it made me love Castroman’s book so much more. Her book focuses on BEFORE he became a pirate. I loved seeing little hints to what would come.

The book reads like you are watching a PBS mini series.

This is a super compliment in my world. It felt like I was watching something like Poldark but I was reading. The book is told in third person so it had the feel of watching it all play out.

Castroman says that her main character, Teach (aka Blackbeard prior to being Blackbeard) looks like Aidan Turner (aka Poldark).

tumblr_nkvdiyxVqv1stp2zco1_250

There was nothing like reading this one with that face in your brain. You just need to imagine him a tad more scruffy and it’s perfect.

Addicting Read

Though Blackhearts focuses entirely on character interactions and growth the book was still highly addictive and a very quick read for me. The last 25% was so addicting I was distraught that it was over.

This Pinterest Page

Go look.

Well Researched and Executed Historical Fiction

You can tell that the author spent time researching her subject matter and it shows. It was easy to picture the setting and characters which is always a wonderful thing.

Easy access to Amazon if you are so inclined…

AmazonBtnPreOrder

Do you know much about Blackbeard?