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Friday, February 5, 2016

Blog Tour- BLACKHEARTS by Nicole Castroman An Interview and A Giveaway!

I am so excited to be hosting a spot on blog tour for BLACKHEARTS by Nicole Castroman I FREAKING LOVED this book if you haven't yet check out my review HERE! I have an interview with Nicole to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway for signed copy of the book! 

Haven't heard of BLACKHEARTS? Check it out!

Author: Nicole Castroman
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Pages: 384
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
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 CuraƧao—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.

Now on to the interview!

Hi Nicole! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! I freaking LOVED BLACKHEARTS and I know my readers will as well and am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!

THANK YOU so much for having me. And I’m thrilled that you loved BLACKHEARTS!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about BLACKHEARTS and the characters?

BLACKHEARTS is a Blackbeard origin story. For anyone who doesn’t know who Blackbeard was, he was one of the most notorious pirates to sail the seas. This is the story of a young Blackbeard, BEFORE he became a pirate. I like to call it PRE-PIRATE.
This is also the story of Anne, the biracial daughter of a wealthy English merchant and a slave from the West Indies. She’s the girl who ultimately set him on his path to becoming a swashbuckler. At least, I like to think she’s the one who set him on that course. Nothing is known about his teen years or his early life, which was the main reason I decided to write BLACKHEARTS. 

BLACKHEARTS is a standalone for now right? (Fingers crossed for a sequel because I REALLY need more of this story) So what are you working on now?

I have another pirate story in the works, but I would really love to continue Anne and Teach’s story as well.

I’m sure you get this a lot but why Blackbeard? There’s not much information about him he was a pretty mysterious guy. Was that what you were fascinated by?

I find history fascinating and Blackbeard was such a notorious figure and yet we know nothing about his early life. Where did he come from? Why did he turn to piracy? Was it a better life than the one he left behind? I have so many questions about him and so I decided to write my own answers.

Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?

I enjoyed writing both Anne and Teach. They really came to life for me, and it was fun to tell the story from each of their POV. I had to make sure people liked Teach, but I couldn’t make him too perfect. He had to be flawed, because at some point in his life, he turned to a life of crime. I know some people struggle with him, and that’s exactly what I wanted. Actually, that’s what I want with most of my characters. I like for them to have layers and develop throughout the story.

Anne was a dream to write. I needed to make sure she was strong-willed and could hold her own against Teach, because he did have such an overbearing presence. She’s not perfect, but her actions are understandable. I’ve been so thrilled with readers’ reactions to Anne. It makes me happy to know others love her as much as I do.

My least favorite person to write was probably Miss Patience. I don’t like her as a person, and so I channeled a lot of the ugliness and prejudice I see in the world into her character.

What is your favorite passage/scene in BLACKHEARTS?

Oh, this is a hard one, because I have quite a few favorite scenes. I wanted there to be a lot of interaction between Anne and Teach. Sometimes when I read other books, I skim ahead because I just want to see the two protagonists interact with each other. That’s why Anne and Teach spend so much time together. I love the scene when they first meet, aka the pail scene. Also, the scene when they see each other again was a fun one to write. Of course, when Teach is sick is another one of my favorites. Do I have to pick just one? Can I turn the tables on you and ask which scene was your favorite?

Hahaha sure! But I can’t pick just one either! I love the scene when Teach is sick and Anne is reading to him. Also I love the cottage scene!!! I also love it when he names her Queen Anne ;) ;)

What kind of research did you have to do for the story

 I did A LOT of research. I checked out books from the library on what life was like in the 17th century. I checked out books about sailing, about pirates, about food, etc. I kept some of those books for three months and I returned to them again and again as needed. When I write historical fiction, I want it to read like historical fiction. It might not be perfect, but it was very important to me to try to make things as accurate as I could.

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

I have an ARC of OUTRUN the MOON by Stacey Lee that I’m dying to read. I will get to it soon!

Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend?

Honestly, I love Teach. J But I know I have to pick someone else, which is so hard! There are quite a few book boys I would have liked as a teen. Although I would never know where I stood with him, I’d pick Kaz from SIX OF CROWS. Wait, no, I would choose Arin from THE WINNER’S CURSE. Oops, I also love Duval from GRAVE MERCY. See, it’s just too hard to pick one.

What inspired you to write YA?

Why not YA? When I was a teenager, I read a ton and I told people I would be a writer. In fact, my mom was one of my biggest champions. She kept telling me, you need to write, you need to write. But life happened and I went to college and got married and had children and never seemed to have the time. But then I read TWILIGHT and I thought, she’s a stay-at-home mom as well. If she can find the time to write, then so can I. And so I did.

Admittedly, my earlier manuscripts were terrible. Not the ideas, but the execution really sucked. It wasn’t until I found my critique partner, Becky Wallace that my writing improved. It made all the difference, because she wasn’t afraid to tell me what was working in my stories and what wasn’t. Don’t be afraid of rejection or criticism.  Both are necessary in order to improve your craft.

Lightening Round Questions

Twitter or Facebook?

Favorite Superhero?
At the moment, I’m picking Captain America, because both my husband and I were extras in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie.

Favorite TV show?

Sweet or Salty?

Any Phobias?
Claustrophobia. Do not put me in enclosed spaces.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?
Hmmm, I don’t have one at the moment.

Upcoming Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Captain America: Civil War

Thanks so much Nicole for answering my questions! 

About Nicole:
Nicole 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.

Giveaway Details:

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


  1. "Favorite Superhero? At the moment, I’m picking Captain America, because both my husband and I were extras in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie." ..."Upcoming Movie you’re most looking forward to? Captain America: Civil War"

    ...This cracked me up! LOL. That's also super cool! I'll have to watch this movie, just to try spotting Nicole ;D And Kaz from SIX OF CROWS is such an amazing pick for a book boyfriend--I totally approve ^_^ Amazing interview, thank you for sharing!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

  2. I'm excited to read this and loved the interview. Thanks!


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