- Marie Astor
- Release Date
- July 2011
Chick-lit, Contemporary Romance
Twenty-eight-year old Annabel Green is about to tie the knot with her college love, an aspiring author Jeremy Blake, but her plans for an ideal wedding are rudely interrupted when she catches Jeremy kissing his gorgeous book agent.
Shell-shocked by Jeremy's betrayal, Annabel retreats into the quiet routine of TV dinners and solitary evenings. It is then that Annabel's best friend, fashion designer Lilly Clayton, sets herself on a mission to draw Annabel out of her shell. In an attempt to persuade Annabel to keep an open mind on dating, Lilly takes Annabel for a stunning makeover, but after Annabel passes on a date with a dashing entrepreneur, Lilly decides that more drastic measures are needed. Lilly invites Annabel to see a palm reader who gives Annabel a lucky charm that is supposed to help her find true love.
A few weeks later, during her trip to Paris, Annabel meets a handsome Parisian, and as the two embark on a whirlwind romance, she starts to believe in the power of the talisman the palm reader has given her. But what Annabel doesn't know is that Lilly is hiding a secret that could unravel her faith in her newly found luck in love.
BOOK INTERVIEW on September 2011
Interview by Laura
Marie, thank you for being with us this month to tell us all about your latest release!
Q: What is the inspiration for LUCKY CHARM?
Romance is such a big part of women's lives we spend so much time dreaming and worrying about finding that special someone, but when things do not go exactly as planned, we rely on our friends to help us through the tough times. I knew that I wanted to write a fun contemporary romance about the magical and sometimes not so magical road to falling in love and the important role that best friends play in women's lives, so I started playing around with ideas and jotting down various plot lines. At first, LUCKY CHARM started out as a short story I wrote, entitled Lady Luck, which is part of my short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories. By the time I finished the outline for Lucky Charm, the novel turned out to be very different from the short story that inspired it.
Q: Do tell us more about your heroine, Annabel Green. What in her past shaped her to be the woman that she is?
In the beginning of the book, twenty-eight-year-old Annabel is about to marry her college sweetheart, Jeremy. The two of them have been together for a long time, and Annabel is not seeing their relationship clearly in her mind, Jeremy is still the same guy she fell for in college.
After Jeremy's betrayal, Annabel becomes the complete opposite, as she retreats into her shell, afraid of getting her heart broken again. Part of her problem is that she has been with Jeremy for so long that she cannot imagine her life without him because she does not know herself as a person. Slowly, Annabel starts getting to know herself as an individual as opposed to being a part of a couple and begins to understand what is it that she truly wants out of life.
Q: I think Annabel's lucky to have such a good friend in Lilly! What makes them such great friends? What does each woman bring to the friendship?
Thank you I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed my portrayal of friendship between Annabel and Lilly.
On the surface, Annabel and Lilly are complete opposites: Annabel is a quiet romantic, while Lilly is a wild party girl. But in reality, the two of them are more alike than they are different: both women have built defence mechanisms to protect themselves from getting their hearts broken. The two best friends balance each other out Lilly encourages Annabel to become more daring and assertive, while Annabel sees right through Lilly's bravado and pushes her to finally put her demons to rest and abandon her guard.
Q: Do tell us more about this mysterious, handsome Parisian! What about him causes Annabel to start believing in love again?
When Annabel learns from Lilly that she is being set up on a blind date with a Parisian named Etienne, her first impulse is to refuse. The last thing she wants is to be set up on a mercy date, but since Lilly won't take no for an answer, Annabel has no choice but to agree.
The initial encounter does not go smoothly to say the least, but just as Annabel is about to banish Etienne from her mind forever, he convinces her to give him a second chance. She agrees, and finds that there is much more to Etienne than his dark handsome looks and seemingly brooding demeanor.
Q: What is the most romantic gesture Etienne did for Annabel?
Etienne does quite a few romantic gestures for Annabel in the book he is Parisian, after all! But my favorite romantic gesture that Etienne does in the book is when he sends Annabel a giant bouquet of lilies the day after their first date.
Q: How romantic! What is your favorite scene? Why?
My favorite part of the story is when Etienne takes Annabel for a chateau tour Annabel is expecting them to be part of a tour group, but instead she finds herself sharing a romantic evening alone with Etienne. Here is a brief excerpt:
It was so quiet inside the chateau that Annabel could hear the panels of the wooden floor squeaking under her feet the kind of noise that made you think of ghosts. The place was dimply lit with electric lights that had been wired to replace candles in the candelabras, and Annabel clasped Etienne's hand tightly for fear of stumbling.
"Are we all alone in here?" she whispered.
"Don't worry I assure you that it's perfectly safe." Etienne put his arm around her. "I know the way well we won't get lost."
Within a matter of seconds Annabel's apprehension evaporated as she became absorbed by the magnificence of the chateau: regal paintings in gilded frames, ornate fireplaces and antique furniture. It was like walking through time, but unlike most museums, this place felt alive, as though there were still people living there.
They walked through a succession of rooms, each more opulent than the next until they reached a dining room.
At first Annabel proceeded to examine the room's interior as she did with all the previous rooms until she noticed that the long, rectangular dining table was set with food. She looked up questioningly at Etienne.
"I thought you'd never notice." He grinned. "Shall we?" He motioned for her to take a seat at the table.
"You mean to tell me that this is for us?" she exclaimed in half disbelief.
"Guilty as charged." Mischievous sparks danced in Etienne's eyes he was clearly enjoying the effect of his surprise.
"But is this even allowed? I mean there are historical artifacts all over this place! What if food gets spilled or something?"
"Then we'll just have to be very careful." Etienne pulled out a chair for her and took his seat beside her. "First things first." He reached for the bottle of champagne in the ice bucket and expertly popped the cork. Then, he filled Annabel's glass as well as his own. "To a wonderful night."
Q: That has got to be the most romantic date ever! What's up next for you in the coming months?
I am currently working on my next contemporary romance it is a love story set at a ski resort. Here is a little preview:
At twenty two, Maggie has a lot of important decisions to make: Jeffrey, her aspiring politician boyfriend of five years has just proposed to her, and an acceptance letter from one of the best law schools in the country is lying on her desk. But is that what she really wants? The answer comes most unexpectedly when during a ski trip to Colorado she meets Taylor, a handsome, free-spirited big mountain skier who is the complete opposite of Jeffrey. Maggie's attraction to Taylor is undeniable, but she is engaged to marry Jeffrey. Will Maggie find the courage to follow her heart?
Please visit my website, http://www.marieastor.com/, for updates.
Thanks a lot, Marie, for this interview! The brief glimpse into LUCKY CHARM is certainly fascinating.
Bio: 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 a contemporary romance novel, Lucky Charm, and a short story collection, A Chance Encounter and Other Stories. In addition to being a writer, Marie is an avid hiker, an excellent swimmer, a good skier, and a capable badminton player. Currently, Marie is working on her next novel - stay tuned for details!
Lucky Charm Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lucky-Charm/120438048048495
A Chance Encounter and Other Stories
Marie Astor is giving away 5 Kindle copies of LUCKY CHARM!
Simply write a comment or ask a question in the comment box below to be entered into the giveaway!
Contest ends September 30.
Winners will be announced in October.