Thursday, February 9, 2012

Heather Snow's secret formula for romance: a brilliant heroine!


Since Jane Austen penned her first novel it has been (universally) understood that an excellent heroine has to be smart–or at least two or three moves ahead of the hero most of the time!

In order to truly appreciate the smartness of a fictional heroine a brief reminder about dumb female characters might be in order. Take horror movie heroines. Women seem to do the dumbest things in horror films. Example: Terrified by the night stalker, heroine hears a noise down in the basement. Why does she always go down there?

Smartest horror movie heroine? Ellen Ripley from Alien! 


The smarter the heroine the more we love her. 

Heather Snow has written a smart, sexy heroine who is more interested in experimenting in the laboratory than marriage. She represents the scientific woman, more of a rarity in her day than today! 
Fact: Women were not admitted to membership of the University of Oxford until 1920, although they had been allowed to sit some University examinations and attend lectures for over forty years by that date. 

In honor of Heather's brilliant and charming heroine, Liliana Claremont lets take a historical look at a few ladies of science. Pick your favorite scientifique féminin from the bios below or share your own personal favorite. Two commenters will win one of the following giveaways:

A signed copy of Sweet Enemy
A $20.00 Philosophy Skin Care Gift Certificate 




Hypatia 
(370-415)

Mathematician and astronomer Hypatia was a Roman woman who, unlike most women during her time, received a good education. Hypatia studied mathematics, astronomy and natural science, and was appointed as the head of the University of Alexandria.




Émilie du Châtelet
(1706 –1749)
French mathematician, physicist, and author during the Age of Enlightenment. Her crowning achievement is considered to be her translation and commentary on Issac Newton’s work Principia Mathematica. The translation, published ten years after her death in 1759, is still considered the standard French translation. Voltaire was one of her lovers.




Ada Lovelace 
(1815 – 1852) 
Mathematician Augusta Ada Byron (later Countess of Lovelace) never knew her father, the poet Lord Byron, who left England due to a scandal shortly after her birth. Lovelace wrote what now acknowledged as the world’s first computer program for an analytical engine considered one of the first computers.





Marie Curie
(b. 1867-1934) 
Marie Curie is one of the most famous scientists that ever lived. For her doctorate degree, Marie researched the element Uranium, and she discovered radioactivity.Her contributions such as the discovery of Radium and other key elements help us out every day, especially when getting an x-ray.





Liliana Claremont 
(Heroine of Sweet Enemy)

A brilliant chemist, doesn’t want to be any man’s wife, much less a Countess.  If she had tuppence for every time she’d been told her place was filling the nursery, not experimenting in the laboratory, she could buy the Tower Bridge. However, when she receives a coveted invitation to the Earl’s house party, she trades in her beakers for ball gowns and gladly takes on the guise of husband hunter—for the chance to uncover what the Earl had to do with the murder of her father.

Liliana believes the best way to get the answers she needs is to keep her enemy close, though romance is not part of her formula. But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can't control...

A brilliant heroine requires a challenging hero

Geoffrey Wentworth, a war hero and rising political star, never wanted to be the Earl, but when his brother dies, he knows his duty—take up the responsibility for his family’s estates. His mother’s definition of duty differs from his, however, and can be summed up in one word—heirs.  When Geoffrey rushes home to answer her urgent summons, he finds himself host to a house full of women, all vying to become the next Countess of Stratford.  But his love is Parliament, where he wields his influence and reputation to better the lives of ex-soldiers, until a tempting houseguest and a secret from his past threaten his freedom…and his heart.

Who is your favorite smart heroine? Pick one of the women above or name someone new. Comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Sweet Enemy or a $20 gift certificate to Philosophy skin care!

***Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America  addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

44 comments:

  1. I'll go with Hypatia. I first learned about her when Rachel Weisz portrayed her in a movie.

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  2. Madame Marie Curie has always held an incredible facination for me. When I was a child my father told me a little about her and her husband, Pierre and the importance of their work. The fact that she was a Jewish woman and therefore faced the double prejudices of her time left me with a huge sense of pride and respect for what she accomplished.

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  3. But of course a brilliant heroine is needed, Watson! What a terrific post, Jill. Heather, I hope Sweet Enemy is rocking the best seller lists!

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  4. I will go with Marie Curie. I have always been amazed at her accomplishments.

    Congrat again to Heather.

    And Jillian - I am very excited about your new book too. This is a big week at Get Lost in a Story

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  5. Marie Curie FTW!

    Love this post. Love the book premise. Will love spending my time reading it.

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  6. What a great post, Jillian! Can't wait for your release.

    Cyber toast to both you and Heather !!
    ~Angi

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  7. My favorite is Émilie du Châtelet. I love a brillant and charming heroine, Heather. I can't wait to read SE. I'm very excited about it! Ripley from Alien rocked. ;-)

    Meljprincess AT aol DOT com

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  8. Marie Curie. Great Post! Did not know she was Jewish. I am Jewish too. Would love to Win this book!
    Cindy H.
    cholub1968 at aol dot com

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  9. Great post, can't wait for your release. Sounds wonderful

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  10. Jill, what a fantastic post! While I like all of the women listed, I am partial to Hypatia...such a tragedy that her life was ended by a religious mob. Her death really marked the end of classical antiquity... Just as Lavoisier's death (Father of the chemical revolution) at the guillotine was a terrible tragedy as well. So sad...

    Thanks so much for coming and showing your support!

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  11. Of the lovely ladies listed I also will go w/ Hypatia. I also saw the movie that Rachel portrayed her in and was stunned. She was fantastic and before her time. Tragic ending. :(

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  12. I'm totally going to have to find that movie! I love Rachel Weisz and Hypatia

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  13. Marie Curie made great strides at the expense of her own health. She's one of the first heroines I remember reading about as a child.

    Can't wait to get my hands on Heather's book.

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  14. I always loved women who were the heroes of their own story. I love Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice is my all time favorite novel). Another great heroine who I adore (though she's not real) is Princess Roberta. In the fairy tale, the king and queen happen to have a daughter instead of a son. They name her Roberta (traditionally the prince was named Robert) and when she grows up she goes off, as tradition dictates, to find a spouse. In a wizard's castle she meets with an imprisoned prince (or so she thinks) and she decides to rescue him. But princes are not always what they seem, and Princess Roberta ends up instead rescuing the wizard from the clutches of the prince.

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  15. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman doctor to achieve a M.D. in the U.S. and to be listed on the UK Medical register. While relatively not that long ago (1849) that was still a major achievement for a woman in that time period and she faced great ridicule to follow her dream. Any woman who perseveres to achieve what she set out to is a heroine in my eyes!

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  16. Hi Heather. Congratulations on your new book. Sounds good. I love the cover. I would choose Marie Curie or Florence Nightinggale.
    Crystal816[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  17. I want to give recognition to the army of lady mathematicians who crunched numbers for the (all male) professors back in the days before computers/calculators. These women with the job title "computers" would sit and work out integrals and such.

    An article on their contribution to WWII:
    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-08/tech/women.rosies.math_1_women-computers-white-collar-women-first-computer-programmers?_s=PM:TECH

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  18. Wow what a great interview...I wouldn't pick anyone in particular......but I do like a good hero and I am looking forward to reading some of Heather Snow's great books.......babyruthmac16@yahoo.com

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  19. I'll go with Ada Lovelace. Interesting family background and then the computer....
    Congrats on your debut book -- enjoy this time!!!

    girlygirlhoosier52[at]yahoo.com

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  20. Of the ones listed, I probably know the most about Madame Curie. I read quite a few biographies about her as a child. I always thought it was sad and tragic how her husband died, run over by a carriage. She did so much for the advancement of women in science.

    A more recent "smart" female would be movie star Hedy Lamar. She helped to invent spread spectrum technology, which is used in communications today! http://inventors.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://inventionconvention.com/americasinventor/dec97issue/section2.html

    Your book looks very interesting Heather! I look forward to reading it!

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  21. You really know how to make a decission hard! I'll go with Marie Curie. Just think about how much of today's medical advancements have their roots in her work.

    Looking forward to your book Heather. I love strong female heroines.

    myturn427@hotmail.com

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  22. Hypatia! Definitely like smart heroine... :)

    Congrats on your new book! Sounds terrific!

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  23. I so enjoyed this post - thank you for the opportunity and I'm so looking forward to reading you latest title ;o)

    The only one I'm familiar with is Madame Curie so I'll choose her, but I'm now keen to research the other ladies!

    Rita from South Africa
    bitemeash AT gmail DOT com

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  24. Sojourner Truth
    She delivered a speech at the Women's Rights Convention in 1851.
    "Dat man ober dar say dat womin needs to be helped into carriages, and lifted ober ditches, and to hab de best place everywhar. Nobody eber helps me into carriages, or ober mud-puddles, or gibs me any best place!" And raising herself to her full height, and her voice to a pitch like rolling thunders, she asked "And a'n't I a woman? Look at me! Look at me! Look at my arm! (and she bared her right arm to the shoulder, showing her tremendous muscular power). I have ploughed, and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And a'n't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear de lash a well! And a'n't I a woman? I have borne thirteen chilern, and seen 'em mos' all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And a'n't I a woman?"
    (text from: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/sojournertruth/a/aint_i_a_woman.htm)

    raydeen219@yahoo.com

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  25. It's a hard choice they are all wonderful...but, if I had to choose it would be Hypathia. Her tragic end makes her story all that more heartfelt. Congrats to you Heather and I wish I could of made it to the book signing in St. Louis...sick kids!
    Thanks and good luck!
    Jennifer Bernard
    tyandnoahsmom@hotmail.com
    Festus, MO

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  26. I am LOVING everyone's suggestions! I am planning to use my blog to celebrate smart women (once all of this release day fun slows down...) and you guys are very inspiring!!!

    Thank you very much for all of your wonderful comments!

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  27. I think it would have to be Hypatia for daring to think that women can be intelligent. We are a force to be reckoned with -- startling heroine or not.

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  28. Wow... this is a great post. All these women are amazing. I'd have to say I'm partial to Ada Lovelace. If I remember right she had a real tough childhood healthwise, and was bedridden quite often. She didn't wallow in misery or rely on a fragile persona at all but overcame all that. And to think... what that she did back in the 1800s boggles my mind.

    sharocks13@yahoo.com

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  29. I love a historical novel with an intelligent woman, especially one with a career. I think all the women listed are fantastic, especially Marie Curie.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

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  30. My favourite smart heroine is Claire Fraser.

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  31. I would say one of my favorite Marie Curie. I love science.

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  32. Marie Curie! When I was in 5th Grade, I chose todo my history report on specifically because she was an intelligent woman who made history due to her work.

    shardan01 at aol dot com

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  33. Danica McKeller who played Winnie Cooper in The Wonder Years. She studied mathematics at UCLA and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She's written a book called, Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail. She wrote the book to show young girls that math is relevant and exciting and to do away with the thinking that girls can't succeed in math and science.

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  34. Ada Lovelace--so much more interesting than her rapscallion of a father in many ways! A great giveaway!

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  35. I would Marie Curie. She was the one I most remember from chemistry class and to work with radioactive chemicals that have helped our lives is pretty amazing.

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  36. My favorite's Marie Curie. Heather's book looks great!

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  37. Rosalind Franklin, whose contribution to the discovery of the DNA's double helix is often overlooked. She also passed away too soon due to cancer.
    I didn't know about Ada Lovelace - so fascinating. Thanks for a great blog.

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  38. Yes, Jillian, thank you so much for this fun post in honor of my chemist heroine, Liliana!

    And thank everyone who came by and left a comment!

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  39. So I probay missed out...thats what I get for nights in a busy neonatal unit! But I loved the information on Ada Lovelace. To think that she overcame what was at that time a big thing(a questionable and controversial father), she wrote a computer program some 100 some odd years before they were actually invented, how cool is that?

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  40. I like Temperance Brennan, both in book and TV form. She is literally a genius, but needs a bit of help sometimes in the emotion department.

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  41. Marie Curie would probably be my fave. She did some amazing work during her life.

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  42. I was going to choose Madame Curie, until I read about Hypatia. Congratulations on your debut.

    penfield716(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

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  43. I would pick Marie Curie, although I always felt sad that the work she did eventually killed her.

    pageturner345@gmail.com

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  44. I enjoyed your post. I would pick Marie Curie.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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