Month: July 2019

Hot and Steamy Summer Romance Reading List!

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 30, 2019

There’s nothing better to enjoy on a hot summer day than a similarly steamy romance story. But whether you prefer things sweet or scorching, clean or raunchy, you’ll get your pick of the latest releases delivered direct to your inbox, for free, as a subscriber to Hidden Gems. For those that do like their romance on the spicier side, here are a few stand-out titles that we sent to our readers this summer and that fans went nuts for overall. Baiting the Royal by Nancy Corrigan Pennsylvania-based author Nancy Corrigan has earned a loyal contingent of fans with her sizzling Shifter Romances; which feature tortured heroes, feisty heroines, and edge-of-your-seat excitement paired with a guaranteed happily-ever-after. In this title, you’ll meet Lyla and Uri; and ride along as they fight for their lives against a brutal killer – and find love along the way. “Love all of Nancy’s shifter books,”… Read More >

Writing Believable Science Fiction

By: Larry N. Martin | Posted on July 26, 2019

Science Fiction readers often categorize books into one of two camps: Hard SF and Soft SF.  Hard SF generally means that the story focuses more on the science and making all of the SF elements plausible and realistic, while Soft SF doesn’t delve as deep into the details of how something works or even worry about whether it’s theoretically possible.  But whether you write hard or soft science fiction, the story itself has to be believable (even if the science itself isn’t), which means not forgetting to pay attention to more than just the weird and wonderful world you’ve come up with.  Today, Science Fiction author Larry N. Martin takes us through his process of weaving a believable story within his futuristic universe. There is no single answer to the question of how do you write believable Science Fiction. Readers are as unique as writers in what draws them to… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Kristen Echo

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 23, 2019

In our continuing series of author interviews, we’re chatting to Canadian romance novelist Kristen Echo – the talent behind the hockey-themed Puck Battle Series, and the steamy Single Dad series. With more fast-paced, emotionally intense romance on the way, it’s great to be able to catch up with Kristen and find out what motivates her to write, publish and entertain with her richly-imaginative stories. HG: First off, who is Kristen Echo? I know a bit from your author bio, but how would you describe yourself to readers who are only discovering you for the first time? KE: What you see is what you get with me as a person, and it’s the same with my books. I’m a voracious contemporary romance reader and avid sports fan. I love reading steamy scenes with passion so hot it sizzles off the pages, and I strive to write love stories that often make… Read More >

Making Sense of Amazon Advertising

By: Ginger | Posted on July 19, 2019

Amazon Advertising – until recently known as Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) – is an increasingly important part of any self-published author’s strategy but many authors are confused by how it works and how to interpret their results. Fortunately, Hidden Gems advertising expert Ginger is here to walk us through the basics – how to get started, what some common problems mean and how to solve them, and how to make it all work for you! The ability to have your book displayed as a clickable link on the product page of similar authors – presented to Amazon customers already searching for books to read – is a game-changer. However, Amazon Advertising has a notoriously steep learning curve, and successful advertisers need to keep a constant eye on their campaigns. In this post, we’re going to try to answer some of the more common questions would-be advertisers have, and help translate… Read More >

Fight the Heat of Summer with these Five Ice-Cold Thrillers

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 16, 2019

If you’re looking for a can’t-put-down summer thriller, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve gathered five of the top-rated thrillers we’ve offered to subscribers this summer, each one full to the brim with red-hot action and ice-cold thrills. Bringing Hell by Larry Igbon British author Larry Igbon brings the gritty realism of London’s underworld to life in this tough-as-nails novella, featuring a Royal Marine out for revenge after the East End Mob murder his brother. Reviewer clairbear gave the book 5-stars, writing: “This is my kind of revenge story. The protagonist is arrogant, strong, and capable. The bad guys? Love to hate them. It’s a well-paced story. A very satisfactory ending. I’m a big fan of revenge movies or books and this book was spot on.,  Dono writes: “Quite a bit of violence and fighting, but not over the top. Look forward to this starting a series. Although this was… Read More >

How I Became a Sensitivity Reader

By: Patrice Williams Marks | Posted on July 12, 2019

Messing up a few historical facts in your novel is probably going to earn you a few emails or even a handful of bad reviews, but far worse is if you come off as ignorant, biased, or even racist against diverse or marginalized groups that you included in your book but didn’t know enough about. That’s where Sensitivity Readers come in, and who better to discuss the topic than Patrice Williams Marks. Not only is she a successful author and screenwriter, but she also runs her own business as a professional Sensitivity Reader. If you’re writing about groups of people that you don’t have first hand knowledge of and aren’t already familiar with the idea of using Sensitivity readers, this is a must read! I grew up for the most part, in Washington State. I was one of only three African-Americans in the entire student body. My sister, Phyllis was… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Vanessa Cuccia

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 9, 2019

Today we interview author Vanessa Cuccia, the groundbreaking creator of Chakrubs and author of Crystal Healing and Sacred Pleasure. Featured in O – The Oprah Magazine, New York Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Elle and Allure, and appearing on notable digital platforms such as Buzzfeed and VICE, Chakrubs has also been featured on TV shows such as The Doctors and Conan. We were thrilled to chat with Vanessa and learn more about her unique book and company. (Author Photo: Daniel Murtagh)   HG: My first question is to tell me about the book! What is it about, and what inspired you to write it? VC: I founded the company Chakrubs in 2012, and published my first book in 2018. In the early stages – when Chakrubs was just a concept – I had a notebook in which I’d scribble all my ideas. It wasn’t solely about the product, but the philosophy behind the product…. Read More >

Pantster or Plotter? Let Your Characters Decide!

By: Ginger | Posted on July 5, 2019

  “Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing Whether you’re a ‘pantster’ or a ‘plotter’ – one of the best pieces of advice about coming up with a story is to let your characters take the lead. When it comes to writers, there are generally two breeds. There are the ‘plotters’ who carefully outline each stage of their book, sometimes right down the chapter, so they know exactly where the narrative thread is going. This is widely acknowledged as the ‘right’ way – and I’ll admit that I very rarely experience writer’s block when I’ve spent time plotting out exactly what happens on every step along the character’s journeys. However, the ‘pantster’ is the other breed of writer – who just “writes by the seat of their pants”… Read More >

Great Women’s Literature For Summer Beach Reading

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 2, 2019

Summer beach reading is almost as essential as sunscreen and a swimsuit – so we’ve scoured some of the recent women’s literature books shared with Hidden Gems subscribers to find you five top-ranked summer recommendations. And, remember – you’ll get the opportunity to download FREE books just like this when you sign up to the program, plus titles from 15 other genres. On the Road to Love by Melissa Baldwin  Bestselling romance author Melissa Baldwin spread her wings with the Love in the City series, which blends the romantic elements she’s so famous for with satire and literary flair. The result is romcom-meets Sex in the City, with tales of firm friends navigating love, loss, family, and career in the Big Apple. On the Road to Love is the first in this series, and a natural introduction to Melissa’s writing. The book sees Manhattan accountant Stacy facing the breakup of her… Read More >