Month: November 2021

Best Fantasy Novels from Female Authors

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 30, 2021

Today we’re looking at some of the best fantasy novels that have recently been sent to our ARC readers – the ones they’ve raved about, and all of which were written by powerhouse female authors. If you’re looking to visit another world or an alternate reality this winter, add these titles to your holiday wishlist.   Hex Kitchen by Stephanie Fazio Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets The Hunger Games in this mouthwatering, magical, and murderous fantasy. Hex Kitchen is a once-a-decade tournament where contestants have to cook magical dishes that are to die…and maybe even to kill…for. Elizabeth Karmel (best-selling cookbook author, and Chopped and Iron Chef judge) writes in her editorial review, “Hex Kitchen transports you to a delicious world of culinary magic and fantastical, sometimes deadly, competition where every dish keeps you at the edge of your plate—wondering who will win the next move and what bite… Read More >

Self-pub or traditional? Which one delivers what an author deserves?

By: Ginger | Posted on November 26, 2021

Independent authors still sometimes face a stigma when it comes to their work, whether from the subset of readers that continue to believe a traditionally published book is somehow more “real” or “professional”, or from their own feelings of self-doubt that they hope may be finally quelled by the added legitimacy they’d feel from landing a trad pub contract. But is it really worth it? A decade ago the answer was a clear and obvious yes, but the publishing industry has seen some radical changes since then. To answer whether or not there are any remaining benefits in choosing traditional over self publishing, Ginger digs in to what those big companies still offer, whether it’s worth the cost they demand in return, and what still needs to change.   In November, Harper Collins and the Ian Fleming Foundation announced that British author Kim Sherwood had been selected to write the… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Sean Fletcher

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 23, 2021

Today’s interview is with Amazon-bestselling and award-winning author of YA fantasy, sci-fi, and middle grade fantasy, Sean Fletcher. We were honored to chat with Fletcher about his self-publishing journey, writing style and exciting upcoming projects. HG: To start, how would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? SF: I’m an author of young adult contemporary fantasy that’s chock full of everything from dragon-kin (dragon shifters), witches, mages, monsters, magic, mythology (lots of “M” words), and much, much more. To boil it down, I write fast-paced, twisty YA fantasy with deep, complex characters and stories, tons of magic, snark, heroes, anti-heroes, twists, and magical creatures (most recently dragons) all with some romance sprinkled in. One of my favorite things to do as a writer is create loveable heroes and heroines…and then torment them throughout my entire series. But it’s okay, they wind up okay in the… Read More >

What can Ian Fleming teach us about writing?

By: Ginger | Posted on November 19, 2021

I don’t think it’s possible to be a great author without also being an avid reader, first. In fact, while it’s often said that writing daily is the most essential habit an author should develop in order to improve their craft, I think just as important is reading as much and as often as possible. Both of those things are essential ingredients to being a successful storyteller, and there’s no better example of that than Ian Fleming, creator of the iconic character James Bond. There is a lot of benefit in studying authors like Fleming, and as someone who has done just that, Ginger is happy to share what he’s learned.   The 25th James Bond movie, No Time To Die, has hit theaters across the world. Some have hailed it as the “savior of cinema” for finally getting people to return to the movie theater after over a year… Read More >

Christmas Romance Novels You Won’t Want to Miss

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 16, 2021

Romance is the most popular genre in the Hidden Gems ARC program and our readers know that no two love stories are the same, so they scoop up new books every chance they get. With the holidays upon us we’ve recently been sending out some Christmas romance novels and have rounded up the top rated ones for you to enjoy this holiday season. ‘Tis the season for romance!   Sweet Like Christmas by Liza Jonathan If you like a little Southern-spiked humor, sweet angst, delicious tension and all the Christmas feels then you’re going to love this book! It’s perfect for fans of Laura Kaye, Kristen Ashley, Roni Loren, Jill Shalvis, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Sweet Like Christmas is set in Lewisburg, WV, and features many real shops, landmarks, and the historic Greenbrier Resort, which all enthusiastically signed on to be mentioned in this award-winning series. “This friends to lovers… Read More >

Tweak your Sales Strategy before Cyber Monday!

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 12, 2021

Every year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday seem to grow bigger as consumers save up their money for when they think they’ll get the most bang for their buck. But most of the really big deals are limited, and not everyone is looking for a new 60 inch TV or fancy espresso machine anyway.  There are plenty of consumers that don’t even know what they want, and they’ll just be browsing online on Cyber Monday for anything that catches their fancy. And that’s why authors are missing an opportunity if they don’t try to capitalize on all those new eyeballs. Here are a few ways to get yourself and your catalog ready for the biggest online sales day of the year.   For decades, America has been gripped by Black Friday fever. The day after Thanksgiving – the last Friday in November – is when department stores and retailers traditionally… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: John Christopher Frame

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 9, 2021

Today’s interview is with author John Christopher Frame. John’s passion is combining his interests in theology and social concerns to help Christians become more aware of global issues so they can better live out their faith. We were honored to chat with him about his life, writing and exciting upcoming projects. HG: How would you describe your writing? JCF: Before I wrote my first book, Homeless at Harvard, I shared some of my writing with a journalist. We sat upstairs at a small Middle Eastern-themed café near the Harvard campus. That day, my understanding of how to write began to change. The journalist told me what every future author will hear at some point: show don’t tell.  I also shared my writing with a professional editor. She told me the same thing. For years, I had written papers for professors at college. What I was learning was that writing a… Read More >

“A Novel” is not a suitable subtitle for your book

By: Ginger | Posted on November 5, 2021

As a self-published author, you have probably heard the advice not to re-invent the wheel, and that sometimes it’s not a bad idea to pay attention to current trends, in case there is something you can use to help attract more eyeballs to your own book. One example of that would be looking at the covers of best sellers in your genre to get a feel for common concepts or elements that are currently attracting attention, and then incorporating some of those into your own design. But that doesn’t mean that everything is worth copying, and sometimes you have to really consider whether something is actually a good idea, even in cases where you see other authors doing it. After all, just because Billy jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge doesn’t mean you have to, right? (Hopefully some parents get that…) So today, Ginger is here to warn you against one… Read More >

Women’s Fiction Novels For Your Winter TBR List

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on November 2, 2021

Women’s Fiction can range from flirty, and humorous to heartfelt and even suspenseful. Today we’ve rounded up 5 women’s fiction novels that Hidden Gems ARC readers got to read and enjoy first. You’ll want to add these to your TBR list this winter, we’re sure.   While I’m Gone by Ana Simons Perfect for romantic women’s fiction fans, While I’m Gone brings together two strangers whose paths cross unexpectedly. An honest and thought-provoking story about life, love and second chances. “Wow! I was hooked on this story from page one,” explains Merry J.E. in her 5-star review. “Sophie was thrown for a loop by her husband and if it was me I think I would have handled things a bit differently especially after everything came out about what he was doing. Meeting Matthew was one of the best things that could happen to her considering everything going on in her… Read More >