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Month: April 2019

Author Spotlight Interview: D Pichardo-Johansson

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 30, 2019

In our continuing series of author interviews, we got to chat to the incredible D Pichardo-Johansson – who balances a career as a board certified physician and a successful career as the romance novelist behind popular titles like Faith is Fearless and Just For Joy. We were thrilled to learn more about her incredible story, and share it with you here. HG: Perhaps the best way to begin this interview is with D Pichardo-Johansson’s own words – from the email in which we first asked her to be interviewed. Here’s how she described herself: DPJ: I’m a physician. I started writing mystery (how to murder someone and leave them with a negative autopsy) but soon realized that my favorite part of writing a story was not the mystery, but crafting a connection between unique characters. I now focus more on romance. I truly believe in romance and happily-ever-afters, because I found… Read More >

Word Count Tracking – A Quick and Simple Spreadsheet Tool

By: Ginger | Posted on April 26, 2019

A couple of weeks ago, we published a post about Word Count Tracking – the method most-often attributed to Ernest Hemingway, which was the source of his notorious productivity. This week we’re sharing a free, quick and simple tool we’ve put together to help you get started tracking your own words! One of the most common pieces of advice our guest authors have written about is the importance of writing every day. It really is the secret to being a productive writer – as in, actually producing the written word – and the discipline really helps with many other aspects of a writer’s life. I doubled-down on that a few months later in one of my own guest posts, in which I stressed the importance of setting the time for and keeping to a daily writing session. I outlined my daily routine – and, as you will see, the first… Read More >

The Hidden Gems Best Mystery Books for 2019

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 23, 2019

Sign up for Hidden Gems and you’ll be sent the opportunity to read books from over 15 different genres each and every day – including titles from top authors. This year, we’ve already featured some of the best mystery books around – from the cozy to the creepy – and here are a few of the top-rated of the year so far!  Student Body by Charlene Tess and Judi Thompson Big city cop Chance O’Brien and FBI Agent Macy Adams burst onto the bookshelves with When an Angel Whispers, and Student Body is the eagerly awaited follow-up. When a beautiful high school cheerleader is found murdered, all clues point towards local coach Jake – but are the clues too perfectly aligned? That’s what Chance and Macy start to suspect, as they peel back the layers of seedy corruption in this small town to discover a sinister truth. Sandra’s Book Reviews… Read More >

Writing Against Time – Avoid Anachronisms

By: Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban | Posted on April 19, 2019

No matter what type of story you’re writing, getting the details correct is a key component to creating an immersive reader experience. If you’re making up your own world or society, you also get to make up the details – but when your settings are based on real events and different time periods, you have to be much more careful.  Those aren’t rules and norms you can easily break – and author Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban is here to explain why and what happens when you do. As a writer of historical fiction, I am aware of the importance of adding well researched details to bring a past period to life. If the story takes place in the present, readers will have their personal experiences to draw from when imagining the characters’ daily lives, but when it is set in past times, it’s the writer’s responsibility to recreate in their minds a world… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Audrey J. Cole

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 16, 2019

In our continuing series of author interviews, we speak to Audrey J. Cole, author of intense thrillers The Recipient and Inspired by Murder. Recently returned to the west coast after years in Australia, her medical-themed murder mysteries are winning over many fans with their perfect blend of taut thrills and procedural panache.     HG: So, first off, who is Audrey J. Cole? I saw that you just returned from years living in New South Wales to your original home in Washington state! What took you all the way across the world? And what’s it like to be back? AC: I’m a registered nurse who is fascinated with true crime and thrillers, so I put the two together and write crime and medical thrillers set in Seattle. I have a one-year-old and a three-year-old (and a cat, ha). I’m from the Seattle area but lived in Port Stephens, Australia for the… Read More >

Word Count Tracking – The Secret to Productivity

By: Ginger | Posted on April 12, 2019

There are many tools and tips that writers can use to try and increase their overall productivity, but the one thing that is the most effective – and has been used at least as far back as Hemingway – is daily word count tracking. Today, Ginger breaks down what makes it so effective and shares how he uses it to improve as a writer. Unless you’re one-hit-wonder Harper Lee, the fact is that you’re never going to become a successful writer unless you write and publish a lot. Authors like Ernest Hemingway and Stephen King are celebrated for their prolific publishing schedule and it’s certainly part of the reason for their success.  We’ve written before about how you should write every day and that’s certainly fantastic advice. I know from a personal perspective that any day I manage to commit words to paper, I feel better about everything – and it also… Read More >

Hidden Gem’s Best Young Adult Books of 2019… so far!

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 9, 2019

Young Adult books remain one of the most popular and exciting genres of fiction, and subscribers to Hidden Gems were in for a treat during the first quarter of this year; with some awesome YA novels offered to them. Here are the top-ranked Young Adult books of 2019 so far – and if you’re interested in reading books like these for FREE, plus titles from 15 other genres, you can sign up to become a member of our review program! Sword and Shield by Holland C. Kirbo Author Holland C. Kirbo’s The Legends of Aewyr series has shades of C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia to it – with the author creating a vividly-realized fantasy world that mirrors the values of Christianity. In Sword and Shield, the series continues following the exploits of strong female protagonist Lakyn, as she prepares to face the vengeful god Maal as he prepares to conquer the continent of Perravia…. Read More >

A Writers Life – Mistakes I’ve Made Along the Way

By: M.G. Crisci | Posted on April 5, 2019

After over 30 years in advertising, M.G. Crisci got a late start to his writing career, but has already published a dozen books in the last decade. Along the way, he’s managed to distill his vast pool of knowledge, pulled from both his successes and failures, into a set of life lessons that can help both young and experienced authors figure out who they are and where they’re going. There’s a bit of advice on a wide variety of writing related topics here, which means almost everyone will find something useful from reading his words. My story is the same as so many authors, and yet quite different, since I didn’t complete my first book until the age of 61.  It’s ten years later, and I think I’ve learned a thing or two along the way that might be worth a read. KNOW WHO YOU ARE When you are about to… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Brock Heasley

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 2, 2019

Today we’re excited to chat to another author – one whose debut book was extremely well-received by subscribers to Hidden Gems. Brock Heasley is a real renaissance man – a filmmaker, artist and writer – and his first novel Paper Bag Head has been described as “Ocean’s 11 meets The Breakfast Club.” HG: When I first heard about you, I described you as a renaissance man! You’re a writer, an artist AND a filmmaker too! But how would you describe yourself?   BH: Um, busy? But, really, I’m just a storyteller who likes to work in as many mediums as they’ll let me, whether that’s books, comics, or film. HG: So, tell me about yourself and your life. BH: In a previous life I was a Graphic Designer and an Art Director, but just over four years ago my wife and I both lost our jobs within 24 hours of each other, sending us both on wildly… Read More >