Monday, September 12, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Author Gabrielle Bisset

Bookin’ It Reviews is honored to welcome back the fabulously talented author Gabrielle Bisset to talk to us about her Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy!  Vampire Dreams & Love’s Master were both well received and became smashing hits with readers since their release earlier this summer. And Masquerade, the third in the trilogy and available now, has hit the gates running with raving book reviews already hitting the net! And don't miss the giveaway contest with a twist right after the interview!

Please help me welcome Ms. Gabrielle Bisset here today! 

GB:  Thanks so much for having me here at Bookin’ It.  You know I love your place.

TP: Let’s get started by finding out more about you! What is a typical day like in the life of author Gabrielle Bisset?

GB:  It really depends on what day it is.  If it’s a weekday, then my day begins with teaching my 10th grader my subjects—English, history, and art.  We also are learning Farsi together, so that’s another subject.  Then after he and I are finished with school, I either go to work to teach other people’s children history or I settle in to get some work done on my writing.  Regardless of what weekday it is, I’m in my room writing by 9 pm, usually until around midnight.  On the weekends, I spend most of both days working on my books. 
TP: Do you find it hard to balance all the responsibilities you have with writing?

GB:  No, it’s not difficult, but it does mean some things have to take a backseat to my responsibilities and writing.  I don’t go out much, but that’s something I’m willing to forego for now to do what I love.

TP: Describe where all the magic happens…your writers den! ;-)

GB:  I write in my bedroom, sitting cross-legged on the bed.  I always have the television on and tuned to the music channels cable tv offers—usually the 70s.  I have a glass of iced tea next to me on the night table, or if it’s nighttime, I have a beer.  I hand write everything before I type it, so I have a notebook that rests on my lap and my trusty pen.  Then the magic happens. :)

TP: Are you the kind of writer with scribbled notes all over the house and car or do you maintain everything organized and in proper folders? And if you’re the latter, could you teach me how!!!

GB: I’m a scribbler, but I recently began using Evernote to a good deal of success.  It synchs with my cell phone and my home computer, so all I have to do is type in my ideas and they appear in both places. Since I’m never far from my phone, it works out well. 

TP: It’s time to dig in and find out more about the books! Was there any specific inspiration that brought about the creation of this trilogy that is set in Victorian times?

GBVampire Dreams came to me in a dream, just like my novels, Stolen Destiny and Destiny Redeemed.  The first scene in which the female is being chased was a dream, and when I woke up, I immediately jotted it down.  I knew I liked what it sounded like.  After that, it was just a matter of deciding on a setting and crafting a story from the first scene. 

TP: Can you take a minute and introduce us to the first two books, Vampire Dreams and Love’s Master?  

GB: Vampire Dreams is the story of Arden, a homeless young woman on the streets of nineteenth century England, and Brandon, a vampire who’s lived alone for more years than he cares to remember.  When he meets Arden, he falls for her hard, but as much as he may want her, he has to receive his sire’s blessing, and Vasilije has been known to deny his vampires what they want, especially Brandon. 

Love’s Master is set in Victorian England, right around the same time as Vampire Dreams, but it’s not paranormal in nature.  The story is about Lily, a young widow living with her brother and his family.  Her nephew misbehaves, and she takes it upon herself to find a new tutor and nanny for him.  When she sees an ad in the Times of London for a tutor willing to handle unruly pupils, she believes she’s found the solution to the household’s problem with the little boy.  What she doesn’t realize is that the ad is for a Dom looking for a sub.  She meets the Dom, Kadar, and he stirs in her feelings that she hasn’t felt since her husband died.  As she begins to visit him, she realizes her submissive tendencies, but her brother wants her to marry a military man he admires, Mason Danvers.  Lily must choose between Kadar and Mason, two different men who can offer her such different futures.

TP: Between both the heroes in Vampire Dreams and Love’s Master, did one speak to your heart more than the other? :-) I personally fell for Brandon from Vampire Dreams. His sensual nature made me fall in love with vampires all over again!

GB:  I love Brandon because he’s a romantic.  Since I’m one too, that works for me.  Kadar, on the other hand, is a man who’s all power, but I found as I wrote Love’s Master that while he’s not a romantic like Brandon, he does have a kind side he is strong enough to show Lily.  That’s sexy to me.

TP: I’ve also heard through the grapevine that there is a book planned for Vasilije, Brandon’s creator and vampire Master. (whom I found to be sinfully sexy  J)Would you like to share a brief insight into his character?

GB: Vasilije is pure pleasure.  A far older vampire than Brandon, he’s sired hundreds of vampires as his own, and he enjoys the power he possesses over them.  What Vasilije wants, he gets, whether it is sex, women, or power.  This has made him bored, though, so he needs excitement and challenge to keep him interested.  I’m making sure his story gives him just that, and the woman he meets, Sasa, is definitely a challenge for him.  It doesn’t take long for him to see her as something he wants to make his own.

TP: Now for the third in the series, Masquerade! Please tell us a bit about the last in this exciting and sexy trilogy?

GB: Masquerade is also set in the Victorian Era, but it’s set slightly later than the first two stories in 1878.  This story revolves around a young woman named Annelisa, who is being forced to marry an earl so her family can have a title to go along with its fortune.  The problem is that she doesn’t want to marry him or any other man, so she devises a plan to make the earl not want her.  The one thing he wants more than anything else in a future wife is her virginity, so Annelisa simply must find someone to relinquish hers to and then she’ll be free to go about her life.  She decides to trick a man she knows to be honorable and decent into taking the one thing the earl wants.  At a masquerade ball, she seduces Count Nikolai Shetkolov, a diplomat in the service of the Russian Tsar, but he finds out who the masked woman he made love to at the ball was and proposes marriage, as any decent man would.  Annelisa declines, offending him, and he responds by blackmailing her into continuing what began that night at the masquerade, giving Annelisa far more than she bargained for.

TP: What spoke to you and made you feel like you had to tell this story?

GB:  I had been thinking I wanted to end the trilogy with a pure historical novella, so I considered what was historically going on around the year 1880.  I knew about the reign of Tsar Alexander II and events in Europe in the last 1870s, so I began there with the basic outline and went from there.  I loved the idea of a woman taking charge of her destiny, and the story took off from there.

TP: In Masquerade we meet Annelisa. Can you share more on her and what compelled you to write her?

GB:  Annelisa is the strongest female character I’ve ever written.  She’s stubborn and smart, and I loved that from the moment she came into my mind.  She’s down to earth too, caring about the people around her, but she’s so different because she’s more modern than other women of her time.  That appealed to me a great deal. 

TP: Since I first picked up this trilogy I’ve always wondered why you chose to write it in the Victorian Era. What speaks to you about this time period?

GB:  I had a professor in undergraduate school who often explained about how the repression we believe was so much a part of the Victorian Era was, in fact, a fallacy.  All one had to do was just scratch the surface of that time period and so much of the fabled Victorian repression melted away.  It’s actually true of most periods in history when repression is seen as the norm.  Just underneath what’s acceptable is a world of sexual freedom and experimentation. That professor’s words stayed with me, and when I had to choose a setting for the first novella, Victorian England jumped into my mind. 

TP: I am amazed by the cover design for Vampire Dreams and Love’s Master, yet the mask and couple on Masquerade simply takes my breath away? What was the inspiration behind this cover?

GB:  I’m very hands on with my cover designs, probably pestering Elaina Lee far too much for her happiness.  I was looking for an image for the cover to go with the idea of a masquerade ball, so I figured I’d type in mask and see what happened.  Up popped the mask you see on the cover, and I instantly knew it was a keeper.  It just jumped off my screen, and I knew it would look incredible on a book cover.

TP: Is there a theme or message you want readers to take away from reading Masquerade?

GB:  Masquerade is a much lighter story that the first two.  I see the theme as the dance two people perform as they fall in love.  Throughout the book, Nikolai and Annelisa pretend to be what they’re not, but when they drop their masks, literally and figuratively, they are able to find happiness in one another.

TP: Is there anything you would like to share about this trilogy that we didn’t cover here today?

GB:  The Victorian Erotic Romance trilogy was a great deal of fun for me.  Oddly enough, Vampire Dreams began as a story I planned to send to Harlequin Spice Briefs, but after fate and my email stepped in and never delivered it to them, it took on a life of its own.  Each novella is different, with them joined only by the time period, but I love them all.

TP: What can readers expect next from Gabrielle Bisset?

GB:  My second novel, Destiny Redeemed, is scheduled for release in October.  It’s Amon’s story, the bad boy from Stolen Destiny.  I’ve chosen to publish it myself instead of staying with an epub, so the approach to the story will be different from the first novel.  The story is a bit darker too, with the villain in Destiny Redeemed very much not the kind of man readers will want to see happy.  Then Vasilije’s story is scheduled for release soon after that.  After that, maybe some more novellas?  I like their size, so it’s always a possibility.  Plus, I have two other novels to follow Destiny Redeemed, which are both partially completed, so they may call to me sometime soon too.

TP: Gabrielle, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to be here today on Bookin’ It Reviews! As always, it is a pleasure to spend time with you!

GB:  Thank you so much, Talina, for such a wonderful time!
Find all Gabrielle's Books Below!
List of books:

If you would like to keep in touch with Gabrielle you can find her at:

Want to send a nice note to Gabrielle? Email her at:  gabriellebisset (at) gmail dot com

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International Contest
Gabrielle is giving away an e-copy of Vampire Dreams to one winner that can finish this sentence from Masquerade:

Annelisa hoped she didn’t look as sheepish as she felt, but she could think of no one else to turn to. Damn Nikolai! Yet another person she was forced to lie to because of him. “What do you need?” One deep breath and then she said the words. ------------------------------------- Clue: Masquerade Chapter Seven

US & Canada 
Gabrielle is giving away to two winners a book swag set that includes three signed bookmarks and cover flats.

*Leave a comment on this interview to enter the US & Canada giveaway of book swag with a valid email address. 
*To enter the international giveaway email Gabrielle at gabriellebisset (at) gmail dot com with the subject line Bookin' It Contest, your name and the answer to the above contest question. Remember, please don't put the answer in the comment section. 
*You must also be a follower of Bookin' It Reviews via the GFC or Networked Blogs, and 18 or over! That's it! 
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Want to know more about Gabrielle
A mild mannered history professor by day (not really—just ask my students!), Gabrielle becomes an erotic romance writer at night and on weekends.  A love of sexy men, strong women, and steamy romance made her first try her hand at storytelling, and she’s never looked back.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her son and five cats.  Yes, five.  She’s sure the neighborhood is beginning to call her the cat lady, but can you imagine what they’d say if they found out what she wrote? 

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