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Month: February 2019

The Difference Between Bad Reviews and “Bad” Reviews

By: Craig | Posted on February 26, 2019

Everybody’s opinion differs, which means that even when writing a review that’s critical of a book, you should try to explain what you didn’t like about it – or what you did like if it’s a positive review. This is because not all ratings are created equal – and what one person hated about a book another reader might actually like. It’s also worth remembering the impact and power you have as a reviewer – and whatever you feel about a book, a review should always be based on the book itself, and not written as a way to take a stab at the author who wrote it. We’ve discussed what goes into a good review in the past, but let’s look at it from the other side this time. While no author wants a bad review on their book, most will eventually get them – some more than others…. Read More >

Combined Knowledge: You and Your Subject Matter Expert

By: Robin Reardon | Posted on February 22, 2019

We’ve published articles in the past about the importance of writing what you know vs writing to market, or about using personal experiences to fuel your stories – but what about when you want to step outside of your comfort zone? In that case, you need to do your research. Author Robin Reardon has a lot of experience with this, and today she’s giving us her advice on when you can research something on your own, or when (and how) it’s better to find and contact a subject matter expert.  There’s a maxim fiction authors hear all the time: Write what you know. That’s fine, as far as it goes. But does it go far enough? Not for me. But sometimes I need help. Because while much of fiction writing is making up stories, many novels are grounded in real world settings, touch on historical events, or include characters with a… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Nikky Kaye

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 19, 2019

In the latest of our series of author interviews, we got to chat with the delightful Nikky Kaye, author of heartwarming romances like Happy New You and No Excuses. With a loyal and ever-growing legion of fans, Nikky delights thanks to her unique turn of phrase and quirky characters; and we’re thrilled she took the time to sit down with us. HG: Okay, so who is Nikky Kaye? Where does she come from? When you get up in the morning and look in the mirror, who do you see? NK: Who am I? I hadn’t realized we were going to get existential off the bat! Well, the boring details are: I’m a 40-something Canadian woman with ex-pat parents and twin boys (currently 8-years-old). I try not to look in the mirror when I get up, because usually I’m trying to get the boys to school! I’m ambitious, anxious, complacent, guilty, creative, addled, frustrated,… Read More >

Mastering Your Mind & Life: Overcoming the Hurdles to Writing – Part Four

By: Ginger | Posted on February 15, 2019

Over the past four weeks, author Ginger has been addressing the practical and tangible issues that can prevent a writer from putting words on the page. In this final part of the series, he examines the external factors that can affect aspiring writers and offers suggestions about how to address them. You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you. Or, rather, you can if you will be ruthless enough about it. But the best writing is certainly when you are in love. I started this series with an Ernest Hemingway quote, so perhaps it’s fitting that I end it with one as well. Over the past four weeks, I’ve written about the real-life, tangible issues that impact your ability to get pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write.  After all, you’re a writer. A writer writes. You might do other stuff as… Read More >

The New Year’s ‘Hidden Gems’ – Romance Edition

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 12, 2019

We’re only a month into 2019, but already subscribers to Hidden Gems have had a plethora of fantastic books to read and review. We offer FREE reading copies of books from over 15 genres, but today we’re going to take a look at the perennially-popular romance category and highlight five titles that subscribers have identified as true ‘Hidden Gems’ of the category. Exposed: A Miseducation Romance by Lulu Baxter Sometimes it’s nice for romance to be sweet. Sometimes you prefer it steamy. The latter is definitely flavor of the month in this thrilling stand-alone romance, in which aspiring romance writer Prynne stumbles into the hotel room of a sexy exhibitionist – and allows him to take her on an erotic and romantic journey that pushes the limits of all her secret desires. In her 5-star review, kingsfan writers: “Rhys and Prynne are alike and so much different. The is the… Read More >

Mastering Your Mind & Life: Overcoming the Hurdles to Writing – Part Three

By: Ginger | Posted on February 8, 2019

In this third installment of our series on overcoming the hurdles to writing, Ginger explains the importance of having a routine and building habits – and then goes through some proven techniques on how to make those part of your own life. It’s another step towards breaking down the barriers keeping you from putting words down on paper, and moving you closer to achieving all of your writing goals. In the first post of this series, I discussed how there are a host of practical and tangible issues that can get in the way of a successful writing career – and they go much deeper than just writer’s block. One of the most important steps you can take is to acknowledge your frustration, but hold yourself accountable to finding a solution to it. In the second part of the series, I wrote about how you can supercharge your focus and productivity… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Melissa Foster

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 5, 2019

Every few weeks, Hidden Gems tracks down an author to try and gain some insight into their career, inspirations and plans for the future. Today we’re thrilled to be interviewing the inimitable Melissa Foster – a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author with an incredible catalog of books to her name, and a fiercely loyal following of fans. In addition to being a brilliant writer – we even cited her in this article on using locations in your writing – Melissa is funny, sweet and interacts with her fans to create an even closer bond between writer and reader.   HG: So, who IS Melissa Foster? Where do you come from and how did you get into writing? MF: When I think of myself, what I see is probably different from what others see! I’m a wicked tomboy, raised with six brothers, some of whom are very protective. I’m fiercely… Read More >

Mastering Your Mind & Life: Overcoming the Hurdles to Writing – Part Two

By: Ginger | Posted on February 1, 2019

Overcoming writer’s block is one thing – but sometimes there are more tangible obstacles to getting your writing done – like taking care of your body and mind. In the second of a four part series on overcoming the hurdles to writing, Ginger continues his plan to get you focused on writing and clear your path to success! Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. So said John F. Kennedy, 35th President, an avid reader and (unknown to many) once a respected writer for Hearst Newspapers. It’s a thought shared by many creative people – and some of the most successful writers have managed to get that way by understanding that their body isn’t just a sack of meat they inhabit, but a living, breathing machine that can play an important part… Read More >