Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: Marie Astor

Please welcome author Marie Astor as she tells us what elements make a strong heroine.  She is also promoting her new book, Dance me to the Stars.

Make sure to scroll down and check out her giveaway!  Aren't they pretty!

Marie writes:

What Makes a Strong Heroine?

Thank you for inviting me to the TBR Pile. My name is Marie Astor and I am the author of contemporary romance novels, Dance Me to the Stars, On the Rim of Love, and Lucky Charm, and a short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories.

Today I would like to talk about writing a strong heroine. There are many traits that make a strong heroine, but for today’s discussion, I’d like to cap the number to the five essential qualities. So, what are five most essential traits of a good leading lady?

1) A heroine should be relatable to by the reader – regardless of where and when the story takes place, the reader has to be able to identify with the heroine on some level. I think that Jane Austen’s novels are the perfect example – the setting may be in a different century, but we still find ourselves relating to Austen’s heroines as they struggle with their misfortunes and claim their victories.

2) A heroine should be likeable, which does not mean perfect by any means! There are many famous heroines who are not perfect in the least– for example, Scarlett O’Hara. Scarlett is scheming, conniving, jealous, and downright mean at times, and yet, as readers, we love her all the same because she has redeeming qualities, which brings to number three:

3) If a heroine has flaws, she must have redeeming qualities in order to make the reader root for her anyway. Again, Scarlett O’Hara is the perfect example here – she may be conniving and scheming, but she is also strong-willed and tough, and she perseveres and stands tall in very difficult circumstances, making us root for her as readers.

4) A heroine should have flaws. Who wants to read about a Goody Two-Shoes? In real life no one is perfect – how many of us can honesty claim to never having a jealous thought or listening to gossip?
And last, but not least – physical appearance is just as important as inner qualities. I believe that there should be a balance between physical appearance and character traits. How does a heroine who is gorgeous, confident and eloquent sound? Boring. But if we had a heroine who is good-looking, but is struggling with insecurities stemming from her past we would want to find out more about her.

These were the guidelines that steered me true when I was writing the character of Claire Chatfield – the heroine of my contemporary romance novel, Dance Me to the Stars. I hope that you will join Claire on her search for her true love – here is a quick blurb to tell you more about the book:

Twenty-eight-year-old Claire Chatfield has everything a girl could possibly wish for: looks, a promising career at New York’s top architectural firm, and an engagement ring from one of New York’s most eligible heir-bachelors! Life should be a dream, but when Alec Brunell, a sexy tango dancer, moves into the apartment one floor above from Claire’s, he unwittingly awakens Claire’s old insecurities, making her question her life choices. Will Claire brave her fears and allow herself to take a chance on Alec, or will she continue to play it safe?

Dance Me to the Stars is a love story about finding one’s perfect match - sometimes following one’s heart is as convoluted as learning the steps of tango.

Dance Me to the Stars is 254 pages in length and is available on Kindle:

More about Marie:

Marie Astor is a die-hard romantic who wholeheartedly believes in true love, which is why she writes in the contemporary romance genre. Marie is the author of contemporary romance novels Dance Me to the Stars, On the Rim of Love, Lucky Charm, and a short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories.
Marie’s latest novel, Dance Me to the Stars, has been selected in the first round of entries in the General Fiction category in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel contest this year.

Currently, Marie is working on her next novel – a first installment in her romantic suspense series. Stop by Marie’s website: to sign up for book releases and events. Marie can also be found on Facebook: and Twitter: @marieastor.

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Linen and Silk said...

I'd never really broken down what makes a good heroine. Good to know! Thanks. ;)

Marie Astor said...

Thank you for hosting me at The TBR pile today!