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Month: June 2022

Sci-Fi Novels You’ll Love This Summer

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 28, 2022

It seems that now more than ever, science fiction has taken center stage in mainstream entertainment. So if sci-fi novels full of wonder are up your alley, and you’re in search of your next futuristic adventure, take a peek at these titles our Hidden Gems ARC readers loved recently. Taken: Arcadia Book Two by Mary Brock Jones With an astounding 4.9 average star rating on Amazon, Taken is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered! It is the second book in a three book series, and reviewers note that you do not need to read the first book in order for it to make sense, but you most likely will find yourself scrambling to read its prequel, Torn, after devouring this sci-fi novel. Rann provides a rave five star Amazon review, as well as an excellent summary, “Taken is not merely a great sci-fi adventure. It combines a futuristic… Read More >

Speak Directly to your Readers by using Avatars

By: Ginger | Posted on June 24, 2022

Having a small group of fans willing to read early drafts of your work (or even Beta Readers) can sometimes be helpful towards making sure you’re hitting your mark, because you’re not just writing for yourself, you want to have your story appeal to a wide variety of other people as well. So what do you do if you can’t (or don’t want to) share an early version of your story with others? It may seem like a radical or strange idea at first, but Ginger is here to propose his own alternative, taken from his personal experience working with user experience designers. By imagining a small group of readers that represent the audience he wants to connect with, he uses these personalities as a sort of focus group of Avatars that help him ensure his story is connecting with the types of people that he thinks will be reading… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Elle Otero

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 21, 2022

Today’s interview is with talented self-published author Elle Otero. Elle writes post-apocalyptic fiction that entertains readers from all walks of life. It was an honor to get to know more about her writing style, life outside of writing and the upcoming projects we can look forward to. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? EO: I would describe my current writing as speculative survivalist fiction. The In Caves & Catacombs series began in 2016 as a “what if” scenario about a devastating viral pandemic, and is all about surviving in a drastically changed world. The stakes are high, and the characters respond as reasonably as they can in an unreasonable new reality. I tend to focus on women in my writing, and motherhood is another theme you’ll find in the latest release, The Cave. HG: Oh, fantastic. Has author always been your… Read More >

What can Lee Child teach us about writing?

By: Ginger | Posted on June 17, 2022

With each new book we publish, our writing improves and we become better authors. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from others, as well. By standing on the shoulders of giants, we might even be able to speed up that process, not to mention learn a new trick or two. And when it comes to thriller writing, Lee Child towers above all the rest, which means he might be the best person to teach us a few things. That’s why this week, Ginger is digging in to what makes Lee Child so successful and breaking it down for us in a way that makes it easy for us to use in improving our own writing. Amazon Prime has a hit on their hands. The first season of their streaming series Reacher, based on the character and books by Lee Child, became the first Amazon production to ever win the… Read More >

Children’s books to add to your story time rotation

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 14, 2022

Are you looking for new stories to add to your nighttime reading routine? Maybe you’re looking for books to occupy young readers while traveling for summer vacation. Our Hidden Gems ARC readers loved the following titles, and we bet the young reader in your life will love having them added to their story time rotation as well. Nelican’s Lemons by Riya Aarini Nelican’s Lemons by Riya Aarini is recommended for readers aged three to seven. This new release with cheery illustrations tells the story of Nelican, a pelican who lives on the island of Welican. Readers will enjoy following along with Nelican, as he and his friends try to find a way to enjoy the sour lemons which have appeared on their island. Paul Y. highlights in his five star Amazon review, “There is an old saying about lemons and this engaging and delightful story by Riya Aarini plays on… Read More >

You can no longer buy books through the Kindle app

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 10, 2022

Last week, Amazon announced that they were ending the ability to buy books or manage your subscriptions through the Kindle app – meaning readers will have to go to the regular Amazon website. Why did they decide to do this? And what impact will it have for authors and readers alike? You may have seen a bunch of articles this week about Amazon’s decision to end purchasing through their Kindle app. It comes as a result of Google charging 15% for all transactions (of digital products) made through apps available on Google Play, and apparently Amazon weren’t having it any longer! That being said, this move isn’t a surprise to many people. Apple have blocked in-app purchases that bypass their payment portals since 2011 – and go even further, by not allowing links that redirect to a third-party hosted webpage for payment, either. But what impact will this have on… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Amy Bernstein

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 7, 2022

Today’s interview is with multi-talented author Amy L. Bernstein. Amy writes stories across many genres, all sharing common themes about social injustice and human rights. It was an honor to learn more about Amy’s work and future projects to look forward to! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? AB: I refuse to limit myself to writing in a single genre, so I can’t be pinned down as a writer who specializes in a certain kind of material. That said, whether you read my paranormal romance, mystery-thriller, or magical-realist mermaid book, they all share common themes about social injustice and human rights, in one form or another. I try not to hit you over the head with that stuff, but it’s there. HG: Awesome! Tell us a bit about your publishing journey. Has author always been your dream job? AB: I wouldn’t… Read More >

Emotions vs Feelings – the difference is character depth!

By: Ginger | Posted on June 3, 2022

A couple of weeks ago we featured visionary fiction author Stefan Edmunds on our podcast, and he outlined a really interesting concept in storytelling – the difference between feelings and emotions. Stefan argued that characters can only reach the triumphant conclusion of their story arc if they allow one to conquer over the other. But is that true? Ginger has done a deep dive into this subject to find out, and he’s here to take us through what he’s found. He even lays out a few examples that are a big help, because when it comes to emotions vs feelings, the differences can be hard to see at first.   To many of us (myself included, until recently) the meaning of the words ‘feelings’ and ’emotions’ have been synonymous. They’re both the same thing, right? Wrong. Or, at least, that’s what I’m here to argue. In one of our recent… Read More >