Mundie Moms

Monday, February 15, 2016

BLACKHEARTS by Nicole Castroman / Book Review

By: Nicole Castroman

Published by: Simon Pulse
Released on: February 9th, 2016
Pre-Order it from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble iBooks
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Stars - I LOVED IT!
* I received an arc from the publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review

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. This is their story.

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.

A fantastic debut that will leave you wanting more! This book is brilliant! I absolutely love what Castroman did with the story of one of the most dreaded, if not the most dreaded pirate in history, Blackbeard. I never would have thought I could have fallen in the love with this pirate, but what Castroman does with his story is amazing. Very little is known about him, and I love that not only do we get a back story on him, we get a character to know, and love, and see the beginning of what made him turn into the feared pirate he became.

I might have a thing for pirates, and Castroman just upped that to a whole new level with Teach's story. Teach is a character whom I couldn't help but falling for. Despite the fact that he may have a temper, Teach is the kind of compassionate character who sweeps you off his feet, not with what he says, but what he does for those he cares about. Trust me, there's nothing he wouldn't do for those who cares for. Not to mention he doesn't stand for innocent people getting hurt, which I found fascinating, and greatly admired about him. He's a character who naturally commands attention when he's in a scene. To be honest, there's no way you could pretend he wasn't there, and trust me, he uses this to advantage a time or two. He's also someone who's easy to sympathize with. He comes from high society through his family's name, yet he wants nothing to do with the title he was born into and the money his father has. He's a character who feels trapped by the responsibilities that come from that. I greatly admired his wanting to be free to do what he wanted to do, and that was sailing the seas.

To equally match him is the book's main character, Anne. I loved this girl! She is the perfect match for Teach. She's witty, educated, has a hard time not speaking her mind (something frowned upon in high society), and can take care of herself. She grew up having a good life, but after something happens (which I won't spoil here), she now finds herself a servant/staff member in Teach's father's home. I admired Anne's strength. She has nothing left to lose, and yet this girl continues to keep going, and won't give up on her dream to sail away from England. At the moment, she's doing all she can to make the dream a possibility. One of the things she and Teach have in common, is the need for escape from the life they're both stuck in. Like Teach, she's something who's trapped by the standards of society because of her birthright.

The chemistry between Teach and Anne is awesome! I knew from the moment these two met that I was in for one heck of a battle of wills, and I couldn't wait to see which one would cave first. With these two stubborn characters, I knew the sparks were going to fly. Did they ever! These two couldn't have been more perfect for each other. It was highly entertaining watching these two fall for each other. It was definitely not a love at first site, though there was something there. Their first meeting was definitely unforgettable *snickers* What transpired shortly after that first encounter was simply awesome, and slowly grew into something so much more. I love that they had a lot of similarities and understood each other, and their need to follow their passion. It's one of the things that drew them closer together. I love that they confided in each other, and learned to trust one another. My one of my favorite scenes between these two revolved around a book! *sigh*

This debut swept me off my feet! I loved this book! I seriously hope there is a sequel, because with the way this book ended, I need to read it now. haha. Seriously though, that ending is begging for a sequel, and I REALLY hope that happens, because I am not ready to be done with Teach and Anne's story. There's so much more to be told, and I can not wait to read it. I highly recommend picking up this book! I am looking forward to reading many more of Nicole's books.

Shadowhunters TV: Episode 5: "Moo Shoo Pork to Go" / Review #Shadowhunters

Happy Mundane Monday Shadowhunter fans! This week I am late on sharing our thoughts from last week's Shadowhunters episode. It was a crazy week, and honestly, I finally had a chance to write my review up this weekend. Better late than never ... You can read our previous reviews here. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this week's episode below in our comments. 

Katie's Thoughts

I am totally shocked to say this, but I liked a lot of what went down in episode 5. I was not excepting that, at all. Sure, there are still things I can't help but laugh at, like Valentine hiding out in Chernobyl, and the middle grade drama, or should I say comeback that Alec gives Clary when she confronts him about him loving Jace, but other than that, the over all character development was great. I felt like I finally got to see more glimpses of the characters I have come to love in the books. 

Clary finally started to show a bit of that attitude book Clary has, and she took charge and set out to find answers. Though that ended up getting her kidnapped, but hey, I loved seeing her attitude, not to mention it was a little comical that she ticked Alec off even more for running out on him, which I also found humorous in the books. Gotta love him calling her out during this scene....

*ShadowhuntersTV via Twitter

Hello Luke! I loved seeing him go all alpha to protect Clary. I loved that Clary didn't immediately believe him when he tells her he was their to protect her. I'm finally starting to like Jace so much more than I have been. I love seeing him torn between his loyalty to Alec, and his feelings for Clary. I am loving Simon! Okay I've loved Simon from the get go, but I'm loving that his transformation into a vampire is taking a bit to happen, similar to how it was in the books. I love that we're seeing that it's not just Simon that's noticing his changes, but Clary as well. Also fabulous, Alec. 

Seriously, I am loving Alec more so in this TV series than I did in the books. Alec took a few books for me to really like him, though I always felt bad for him. However, Matthew rocks at bringing Alec to life. From the delivery of lines, to his body movement, and his actions, everything about him is totally book Alec. Wow, did my heart break a bit for him when Jace laid into him about losing Clary. Can we talk about Jace for a moment? He's killing me with how he's treating Alec. I love that it was Izzy that intervened. Yes I read the books, I know how he treats Alec, but seeing it is a little harder to take. Those scenes were great, and hard to watch all at the same time. Also hard to watch, the way Izzy's mom treats Izzy. My word that women has angered me all over again. I didn't like her much in the books, but now, I really don't like her. Izzy was the one lending comfort and trying to keep the peace in this episode, but she lacked getting any of that herself, especially from her mom.

Over all episode 5 was good. I felt like it's been the biggest improvement since the show started. Despite it not giving us any real answers, we saw a lot more action, some great scenes between the characters, witnessed a Malec date being set and unfortunately, Valentine is still in Chernobyl. I'm trying hard not to laugh, because that's such a ridiculous hiding place for Valentine. The man is ruthless, and doesn't hide out in some far away city. He hides in plain site, right under their noses. At this point, I'm more scared of Maryse than I am of Valentine... that's a disappointment. 

I'll definitely be tuning in to watch this week's episode (episode 6). I need some answers, and I'm hoping we'll finally get them. I'm also really curious about what's going to happen now that Luke's the alpha, Simon is on the verge of becoming a vampire, and Magnus and Alec have a date set. I wonder if we'll get a green house scene with Jace and Clary, since that scene never happened. I'm holding out hope that there will something to make up for that crucial scene not happening a couple episodes back. 

Sophie's Thoughts

Shadowhunters S1E5 is titled "Moo Shoo Pork to Go". I think it should be titled "Hungry Like the Wolf".

If you're now singing along with me, "Darken the city, night is a wire/Steam in the subway, earth is a afire...", I am truly sorry. Okay, not really, but keep humming along as we find our favorite cast of Shadowhunters facing the same dilemma as always -- will they ever aind Valentine and therefore Clary's mom? Where on Earth is that Mortal Cup? This week's episode, sadly, brings us no closer to those answers, although we get a lot of reminders of their goals.

Episode 5 feels like a Flller Scene. You know the scenes in books where action is sacrificed in the name of character development? Yeah, that. So we get these sweet little scenes between pairings of characters, and I'll be honest, I ate them up (yes, I'm sticking to the eating metaphor). The relationship between Jace-Clary-Alec is at the center and we get Alec's commanding presence, Jace's quiet frustration and Clary's Imma-gonna-do-what-Imma-gonna do attitude. Not gonna lie, I loved it. It was book-worthy. Not perfect, but close to book-worthy. We see Isabelle comforting Clary after Alec's outburst. We see Alec and Jace discussing what Alec perceives is an embarrassing moment with the demon and the image of Jace appearing. The awkwardness of Alec and the easy dismissal of the entire thing by Jace is EVERYTHING. As is Maryse's comment back to Clary's pathetic whiney 
line, "I've only been a Shadowhunter for a few days." "And what an exciting few days it has been," says FREEFORM Mama with the BRestingFace. Indeed, it has been exciting.These scenes weren't perfect, but the characters were much more recognizable to me.

Speaking of book scene recognition, the infamous moment in City of Bones when Clary confronts Alec's love of Jace was reduced to middle school drama. They even said it -- "middle school comeback". You're in love with Jace. No, you're in love with Jace. Let's face it, we are ALL in love with Jace. I wish they had stuck to Alec's really ticked off reaction in the book. But, hey, this is Shadowhunter-lite storytelling, so we forgive and move on.

We are then given an awkward reminder of our big, bad, dad-villain in a scene in Chernobyl (yes, I still smirk at the location) involving Seelie blood injections and making more Forsaken. And we have another gloriously weird moment of Wonder-Twin-Powers-Activate with Alec and Jace as they try to locate Clary. We have scenes of Simon being genuinely BookSimon. Lastly (dun-dun-dun-dun), we have the Alpha Wolf fight time. I wasn't expecting it this quickly. But, there it was at a place called The Jade Wolf (a seedy Chinese food place) -- shirtless Luke looking, well, hungry and alpha-ish.

Anyone hungry (had to say it) for episode 6? What could possibly happen there? While I'm not entirely sure, I do know that I'll tune in. Will you?

Emm's Thoughts

See I did like this episode but I've decided I still need to know the answers to lots of questions. So my review is in question form

Why was Maryse such a B*#ch? Hard mom yes but maybe a bit to full on

Why the motion blur? While Clary & Alec were training maybe but not every time someone moves. My film school son says it is doing his head in. Just get rid of it and speed them up.

Why do the weapons like Alec's bow & the seraph blades just appear? Do they glamour them? Are they magic?

Why the parabatai staring contest, I mean tracking magic? I know the fans complained when there was no parabatai in the movie but that doesn't mean you have to go over board. And why can't they track over water?

Why isn't Luke the leader of the werewolf pack? And why are the werewolves bad guys?

Why is Clary still wearing Izzy's clothes, why the heels still? Why is her hair so perfect and pretty? Although I do like her jewelry.

Why isn't Izzy's zip on her dress all the way up, did it get stuck?

How did Luke get defeated so fast by Alec & Jace? I know they are good but isn't Luke supposed to be good too?

Did I just see a scene from New Moon? Ok now Luke is the leader. I'm ok with that now.

Why is Valentine's hide out in Chernobyl?
Why do the seraph blades look like light sabers?
And how cool is the soundtrack?
And now who wants Magnus' phone cover?
Who got excited to see a baby JC reference?
Who doesn't love Alec?
And who here in Mundie Mom land liked that we saw Old Spice Guy, I mean Luke without a shirt?

Recent Shadowhunter Fan-Art / Mundane Monday #271

Happy Mundane Monday! Have you seen the latest artwork from Cassandra Jean? Cassandra Clare shared each of these images recently on her Tumblr page. I swear the Emma and Jules just about breaks us. I love it!

These two are of Mark from Lady Midnight and Valentine from the TMI series. Mark is one of ten post cards from Lady Midnight that Cassandra Jean has made for Cassie. You can read more about it here. The Valentine image is one Cassandra Jean shared with Cassie yesterday, here. I'm looking forward to seeing the other 9 images from the Lady Midnight post card set. 

Shadowhunters TV: More Episode 6 Sneak Peaks! #Shadowhunters

(picture shared by Isaiah Mustafa)

Who's ready for tomorrow night's episode of Shadowhunters? We are! We're looking forward to seeing more Magnus, what transpires with Simon, not to mention getting to see the history of Jocelyn and Valentine. Recently we shared an exclusive picture from this week's episode here. You can check out more exclusive pictures a few other TMI fansites shared last week as well, here. Along with exclusive set pictures, also shared some sneak peaks with fans. 

Check out more sneak peaks / Freeform recently shared below. You can find out more about Tuesday night's episode from, here

Check out more episode 6 sneak peaks here, on Be sure to tune in to Freeform on Tuesday night at 9/8 pm CST to watch Episode 6: Of Men and Angels. Don't forget, you can catch up with all the latest episode using the Freeform application