Gabrielle Bisset

Monday, January 30, 2012

Blood Avenged-Book Of The Day at

Welcome to Monday!  Blood Avenged is the Book of the Day at today, so I'd love it if you'd head on over and show it some love.  And if you could post about it on FB and tweet about it to help other people know too, that would be great. :)

The main character, Vasilije, was a joy to write.  Never have I had a character who was so completely hedonistic. Everything about him is sensual and earthy.  When I was searching for images for the cover art, it took me forever to find just the right model.  (I'm meticulous like that about my covers.)  They all looked too nice, too sad, too cute. 

Then I found him. In his original form, before Talina worked her super cover art mojo, he looked slightly different, mostly due to his surroundings.  But the model himself was perfect.  Open, sensual, dominant...he was Vasilije. Now as I write Blood Betrayed, anytime I write a scene with Vasilije, I think of the male on the cover.  He is Vasilije now.  

In other news, Rafflecopter has chosen the winners of the Shameless Giveaway Hop.  June Manning won the $10 Amazon giftcard, and Terri won the copy of The Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy.  Congratulations to both winners!  Keep an eye out for more giveaway hops coming up.  A list of future hops is in the left sidebar, so be sure to check it out.

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday News-Lovin' The Villain

I've grown to quickly love Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester since I have no classes or work on those days. After school with my son, I have the entire afternoon and evening each day to write and revise. I can't think of a better way to spend an afternoon. :)

Progress continues on Blood Betrayed, but I have to admit Saint is difficult to write sometimes.  I think I was spoiled with Vasilije because his story came so easily.  Hedonism is far easier than tortured soul.  The thing is, though, that Saint's story has a lot of themes to explore, which makes it even more difficult to write him. In many ways, he reminds me of Amon because of his past continuing to haunt him, but whereas Amon was almost flippant about what he'd done, Saint is far more troubled and cognizant of his actions and the man they've made him into. 

Amon is on my mind today because Laurie from Bitten By Paranormal Romance listed him as the best villain in her Top Picks from 2011. More than anything else, I appreciate this because I know from talking to her that he had an effect on her.  As an author, there's no award or sale or review that can beat a simple line in an email saying that a character you created was so memorable that he or she stuck with a reader.  Thanks, Laurie!

Regarding Vasilije and vampires in general, I'm over at Paranormal Freebies today talking about why I think we love the paranormal.  Stop over and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Blood Avenged. 

I'm off to do some schooling and then a whole lot of writing of my tortured bad boy.  Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Researching The Romance

I read a bunch of books in my genres over the holidays, and while some of them were pretty good, the main issue a few had was that they didn't do their research into the many facets of their story.  It should go without saying that historical romances require research, but that doesn't seem to always be the case. And paranormals and contemporaries require some kind of research too.

Other countries' histories and cultures are far different than the United States'.  Particularly, our social structure is quite fluid and has been for the most part of our history, so someone from the lower classes could conceivably be with someone from the upper classes, even in our earlier days.  This is not the case of England in centuries past.  A woman of the nobility would never be with someone who is employed as a house servant in any capacity, except for stolen, secret moments.  A man who held no title would not be an appropriate suitor for a lady.  This is a huge research mistake.

I admit historical gaffes may be easier for me to see because I have a background in the subject, but a mistake on that level makes me think amateur.  For me, research is one of the most enjoyable parts of writing, but again, this may be because of my background.  I spent a good portion of Saturday making sure my details were correct concerning the Battle of the Somme.  And what is that doing in my erotic paranormal romance, Blood Betrayed?  A lot and not much at all. 

The main character, Saint, and his brother Teagan were made vampires by their sires Kir and Vasilije on the battlefield after the British attack on the German lines in the Battle of the Somme, which began on July 1, 1916.  As is my habit, I researched everything from what the battlefield looked like, to the division the Irish brothers would have belonged to (the Ulster 36th Division), to the towns around the river.  This takes time, and if you aren't interested in the First World War, it can get quite dreary.  I'm a fan of that time period, so for me it was quite enthralling.

I won't include much of what I learned in my research, but it will flavor Saint's past and give readers more subtle clues to who he is.  So readers won't get to know all that I know about the Battle of the Somme, but they will know how it felt for him to lie there for hours as he waited to die alongside his injured younger brother, who he'd promised his mother he'd look after.  They'll get a sense of what it was like to listen to others dying around him and then be offered the chance for a new life by two strangers who appear out of the night air.  In the end, the Battle of the Somme will be just one episode in a long life for Saint, but the scene's symbolic value will be quite important to understanding who he is and why he behaves as he does.

No matter what type of romance I write, research into the various facets of the characters' pasts, the locations of the setting, the clothes of the time, and especially the social mores are steps in the process that can't be missed.  When they're missed or done incorrectly, the result is a story that strikes out when it could have hit it out of the park. (Sorry for the baseball reference, but I just heard it's 5 weeks until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training! Happy, warmer days!)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Grab Some Shameless Goodies!

Welcome to the Shameless Giveaway Hop!  There's no blushing about sex or naughty parts here.  Hosted by Jen at Red Hot Books, Brie at Romance Around The Corner, and Michelle at Michelle's Book Blog, this hop is to celebrate sexy.  Here's a little something to get you in the mood. ;)

The inspiration for my current WIP, Blood Betrayed


I'm happy you stopped in because I'm giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner and a copy of The Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy, including the first chapter of my newest erotic paranormal romance novel, Blood Avenged, to another lucky winner. Just fill in the Rafflecopter form, doing as many of the optional entries as you'd like.  The only mandatory one is that you leave a comment with your email, but I'd love it if you'd do the others too. 

There are so many other great blogs with terrific prizes too, so don't miss them. The hop will run through January 27, and the winners will be chosen randomly on January 28 and informed by email.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cover Love x2

Before I came down with whatever plague has been attacking me, the wonderful Talina Perkins and I had been quietly working on the covers for the next books in the Sons of Navarus series and today I get to unveil two of them.  Yes, two!  I'm feeling better already. 

First up is Blood Betrayed.  The main character of this book is a vampire named Saint.  Nicknamed that by other vampires because he only sleeps with humans, Saint's real name is Declan and he's been an outcast since he was found guilty of betraying one of the most sacred laws of the vampire world involving the relationship between sire and vampire.  Here's how his book begins:

I am everything forbidden.
I am a haunted creature.
I am darkness and shadow.
I am vampire.

Blood Betrayed is scheduled for release in late spring/early summer. 

And next on the menu is Blood Spirit.  This one focuses on Terek, a much older vampire than Saint or Vasilije.  Turned in the 1300s by an Arab trader just before the Black Death ravaged Europe, Terek was a monk in his human life.  As a vampire, he's shed his monk ways, but he's kept the mystical side he had as a human.  And can you guess who that is on the cover?

Here's how his book begins:

I am everything you seek.
I am a whisper in your soul.
I am secrets and mysteries.
I am vampire.

Blood Spirit is scheduled for a fall release.  And the answer to the question of who that is on the cover?  Jimmy Thomas.

Thanks to Talina for having such a fantastic creative mind and making covers I love. And can I tell you how much fun it is to search for hot models for covers?  Now that's a job I can dive into. ;) Now we have to work on the print cover for Blood Avenged, but then it's on to the next two Sons, Dante and Ramiel. I better get back to writing. No more sick time for me!

Have a great one!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Interview with The Queen

I'm over at Queentutt's World of Escapism for an interview about Blood Avenged and all things writing with the fantastic Ronda who runs that yummy blog (her ratings are a must see!)  Stop over for a chance to win a copy of Blood Avenged and to find out a little more about yours truly.  And leave a comment or a question too.  I'll be stopping over throughout the day.  Before you go, read the excerpt of Blood Avenged for a better sense of what the story's about.  (Not for at-work reading or around the kids.)

It's Friday the 13th, and I'm not exactly sure what that means to me, but some people have a fear of the 13th falling on a Friday.  I think I have a bigger fear of that guy in the hockey mask!  Aaack! 

It's snowing here in Northeastern PA, a bad thing in my opinion since I don't like the snow, but that means I'll be in all weekend writing Blood Betrayed, so that's a good thing.  It's a glass half-full thing, I guess.  Not that I couldn't write just as well in 80 degree and sunny weather.  As my daughter says, "Everyone's thinking it.  I'm just saying it."

Have a great weekend, and for those of you in sunnier climates, I'm green with envy.  :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Author As Distributor

This post was supposed to be about something else, but an email from Amazon this morning changed my mind.  In that email, Amazon informed me that my book, Destiny Redeemed, is not exclusively for sale at Amazon, as I'd believed, but in fact is still for sale at Sony Ebooks.   And the reason they're selling my book Vampire Dreams for $.99 when I changed the price to $1.99 at all the outlets I've uploaded to over a week ago is because Sony Ebooks and Apple Itunes are still selling it at $.99.  One problem:  I never uploaded anything to either Sony or Apple.

As an indie, I have many choices as to where my books can be purchased.  Anyone who thinks that indies are limited to Amazon and Barnes and Noble is in for a big surprise.  My books are there, 1 Place for Romance, All Romance eBooks, in addition to Smashwords, which if my book is approved for its premium catalog, it goes out to all sorts of places.  It's rather impressive, actually.  It's also quite unnerving to know that as the author and sole owner of the work, you have no idea where the hell  it's actually selling. 

Smashwords is a wonderful resource, but this isn't the first time I've gotten an uneasy vibe from using it.  There's just something I don't trust about it, and today's email is why.  I checked out the links Amazon sent and there the books are, one where it shouldn't be because it's supposed to be with Amazon exclusively, and the other for less than it should be priced.  I took Destiny Redeemed down from Smashwords in mid-December, so why is it still for sale in one of its distribution channels?  And I changed the price of Vampire Dreams a week ago.  Why is it still the other price? 

To be honest, I sell very little at Smashwords itself.  I use it more as a place to store my books so I can offer a coupon when people win them in giveaways. However, it's the premium distribution channels that are more important.  The problem is that they're so far away from the author who is also the distributor that it's difficult to keep on top of them. But isn't the whole damn point of Smashwords to make things easier?  Isn't it supposed to make getting your book to those places easier for an indie?  I think it might just be too easy.

But this issue brings home the idea every indie author must remember:  As the distributor, you have the responsibility for everything regarding your book.  So if you thought that writing, getting cover art, formatting, and uploading were it, here's another job you need to attend to.  I still wouldn't have it any other way (unless NY is feeling free with some cash and ebook rights and wants to talk!), but it's a reality that must be handled.

I think it's time I added another resolution to 2012's list.  In addition to being smart about marketing and more aggressive about selling, I think I need to add being more attentive to where my books are out there in ebook land.  My gut tells me if I don't, I'll regret it. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday's Book News

Yesterday I returned to my day job after a month off.  Who knew talking for three hours could be so exhausting? LOL  To be honest, my schedule this semester is only three hours every MWF afternoon, so I'm not exactly slaving here. 

Today I'm over at Fangtastic Books talking about why even though there are some really great paranormal characters around, vampires aren't going to be leaving us any time soon.  And Readaholics Anonymous has given Blood Avenged a fantastic review.  Head on over there to check out all the wonderful things Dana said about it. 

On the writing front, I've been so busy with getting ready for the new semester that I haven't done much in the past few days, but that should change this week.  I'm currently in Chapter 5 of Blood Betrayed, and the scheduled release date is still soft but planned for late spring (May/early June). 

My wonderful cover artist has been working on the covers for Blood Betrayed and the next book in the series, Blood Spirit.  They should be ready to reveal to the world in the coming weeks.  And I've begun the formatting of the print version of Blood Avenged.  That is scheduled for release by April. 

These Sons sure do know how to keep a girl busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Hope you're all having a great one today too!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Author Nicki J. Marcus Guest Post

Dressing the Vampire: From Pantaloons to Punk

Thank you, Gabrielle, for having me over to your blog. I was ruminating on what to write about when it occurred to me that I should base my post on vampires since you and I both write stories featuring them. From there, I found myself thinking about the different ways vampires are portrayed, in particular with regards to costume.

Vampires have been a major part of popular culture for many years now and yet ideas about them can vary wildly. How should they look? What should they wear? Back in the days of Hammer Horror, it was all about Dracula and swirling capes, but in this decade people expect them to sparkle. To consider the exciting variety of vampiric vestiture, let me offer a handful of examples.

Dracula Films

Ah yes, the count. I think everyone would recognise the stereotypical Dracula-vampire: widow’s peak, pale skin and blood red lips, swirling cape and long finger nails. This is a man stuck in a time-warp. Dress yourself like this for a Halloween party and you identity will never be in question.

Interview with a Vampire Film

In the film version, based on the Anne Rice novel, Lestat and Louis offer us the best in frilly cuffs and cravats, bringing a sense of elegance to the table. You get the impression through the film and the books that these are vampires willing to move with the time; vampires who would follow the fashion trends of any century.

Saint-Germain Novels

How I love these books by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. Her vampire hero is always immaculately attired. He wears the current fashions blended with items of clothing he has acquired from his travels around the world. Since he is thousands of years old, he’s had plenty of time to decide what he likes and build himself a decent wardrobe.

The Southern Vampire Mysteries/True Blood

Being set in the modern day, these vampires are real trend-setters. Having come ‘out of the coffin’, they have two faces: private and public. In public, at the many clubs and bars they own, they wear Goth get-ups intended to draw in punters. In private, they each have their own fashion preferences ranging from jeans to twinsets.

The Lost Boys Film

To be a vampire in this film, you need to get yourself a really bad 80’s haircut and plenty of denim and leather.  The lads in this film favour an almost punk look, so stock up on the hair gel and get ready to groove to the 80’s beat.

The Twilight Saga

So, here we are. We’ve hit sparkle time.  Twilight vampires don’t stand out much in the costume stakes (haha); although, they are always nicely dressed and turned out. Get them in the sun however and they’ll show you some serious bling!

So, it just goes to show you that not all vampires are made equal —at least not in the clothing department. When you are dressing your own vampires, consider what you are trying to achieve. Are you after classic horror appeal (Dracula)? Perhaps you’d prefer old-world refinement (Interview with the Vampire)? Are you vampires classy and moving with the times (True Blood)? Or are they just stuck in the 80’s (Lost Boys)? Clothing can say a great deal about a character, so it’s worth paying a bit of attention to it.

One thing is certain: Whether you want capes, cravats or Calvin Klein, there’s a vampire out there for you!

Nicki J Markus – Biography

Nicki J Markus was born in England in 1982, but she now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist, having studied several foreign languages. She has completed a BA (hons) English with French from the University of Greenwich, London and a PGDip in Translation from the University of the West of England, Bristol. She is currently studying for diplomas in Editing and Publishing.

Nicki J Markus launched her writing career in 2010 and her fiction work has been accepted for e-book publication by both Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing. She has also done editing work for both these publishers.

In her spare time, Nicki J Markus also enjoys many other creative pursuits including music, theatre, photography, sketching and web-design. She also has a keen interest in history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling and travel.

 Day-Walker Blurb

When Darci spots a mysterious stranger at her latest concert, she is instantly smitten. Will is the perfect gentleman and seems to be everything she has been waiting for. But Will has a terrifying secret and soon Darci finds herself in grave peril. Will her love for him give her the strength she’ll need to prevail against overwhelming odds?

Will is drawn to Darci Madison from the moment she steps out onto the stage. He knows he shouldn’t approach her, knows his secret could put her in danger if he gets too close. But he also realizes that he cannot live without her. When his enemies learn of Darci’s existence and emerge from the shadows, Will must fight to save the woman he loves ... even though it may require the ultimate sacrifice.

For deep in the night, creatures are stirring in the darkness; creatures that long to infiltrate the light.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Sweetness

Hi all!  It's my last Friday of vacation before I have to return to the day job, so I'm enjoying it for all it's worth. I'm over at author Tam Quijas' place talking about the mythology of my vampire world, and my vampire Vasilije is wrapping up the week at Riverina Romantics with an interview with the wonderful Megan.  He swore he was on his best behavior, so check out if she's made it through the interview without coming under his spell.

In the spirit of loving the good things in life, here's the wonderful Ray Charles singing Georgia On My Mind.  It doesn't get any better.  Have a great one!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thursday Roundup: A New Cover, A Trailer, and A Great Review

It's almost the weekend, but there's still a little more to do before we get there.  Today, I've got a new cover, a trailer post, and a fabulous review all for Blood Avenged.  Let's get started with the new cover.  The incredible Talina Perkins and I got together because I'm doing an ad campaign later this year, and she worked her magic to create the new cover for Blood Avenged.  Take a look:

It's similar to the previous cover, but now it includes the Sons of Navarus series info.  Yours truly searched out the graphic that looks like a weapon that flanks the sides of the info.  It's meant to symbolize Hades, the Greek god of the Underworld, whose daughter plays an important part in the vampire world.  One of his weapons was a two-pronged spear similar to the one on the cover. Next up:  Blood Betrayed. Look for that cover coming soon! 

And Blood Avenged's book trailer is in the spotlight over at Readaholics Anonymous today, so if you haven't checked it out, hop on over and take a look!

Last, but not least, Megan at Riverina Romantics has given Blood Avenged 4.5 out of 5 stars, calling it "yet another example of excellent writing by Gabrielle Bisset" and saying, "This book is grittier than Gabrielle's other works. I must say, she does gritty good."  Thanks, Megan!  Head over there to read her whole review.

And have a fantastic Thursday! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Interviews, Vampires, and Reviews, Oh My!

Today begins a 4 day event for Blood Avenged over at Riverina Romantics.  I'm there today with an interview, and through the rest of the week, there will be an interview with Vasilije, an exclusive excerpt from the book, and the event will end with a review.  I'm giving away a copy of Blood Avenged, so be sure to enter when you stop over.  Thanks to the wonderful ladies of Riverina Romantics for having me over again! 

I'm in the middle of writing the follow-up book to Blood Avenged, Blood Betrayed.  This is Declan's story, and even though I promised myself I'd take December off, he had other ideas.  So instead of beginning it now, I'm four chapters in.  If Declan, the muse, and I don't run into any snags along the way, Blood Betrayed should be out before summer rolls around. 

And then there are reviews.  The Pen and Muse reviewed Blood Avenged, giving it 4 stars, and Night Owl Reviews tackled Destiny Redeemed, giving it 4.75 out of 5 stars.  Selling books is terrific, but reading that someone saw in your work what you hoped readers would is fantastic.  It doesn't always happen.  One day you're the Louisville slugger, and the next day you can be the ball.  Reviews are merely one person's opinion and it's important to not put too much stock in them lest your head get all puffed up, but it's still nice to read that someone enjoyed your story you love so much.

Hope your Tuesday sees you as the Louisville slugger!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Destiny Redeemed and The Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy Available In Paperback

UPDATE:  Just after I posted this Amazon listed both books for sale there too.  So readers can find them at Amazon and Createspace. 

Now that the holidays are over, I put my nose to the grindstone and finally approved the paperbacks for Destiny Redeemed and The Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy.  Both are available now at Createspace.  So for all of you who have asked if my books would ever be available in paperback, this is for you. :) 

Here are the links for both books:

Destiny Redeemed (348 pages) and at Amazon

The Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy (324 pages) and at Amazon

And I've gotten inquiries about whether or not Blood Avenged will be in print any time soon.  I hadn't planned on it, but I'm considering it now after being asked by so many people.  I'll let readers know as soon as I decide what I plan to do.