For Readers

Top Rated Picture Books to Enjoy With Your Kids

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 11, 2022

If you’re looking to spend some extra quality time reading with your kids this year, you won’t want to miss this list. We’ve rounded up five children’s picture books that Hidden Gems ARC readers have recently read and adored. With delightful illustrations and touching messages they can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Consider adding these titles to your shopping list the next time you’re buying for a child you love!   Do You Want To Be A Ninja? by Mark Bacera This illustrated children’s picture book is for all the little girls and boys who love dressing up and playing make-believe. In this book you and your kids can explore the secret traits and techniques of ninjas. If you’re lucky, you may even find all of their hidden ninja tools. “So, so cute!” raves Ashley in her 5-star review. “In this story, author Mark Bacera asks, ‘Do you… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Heather Silvio

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 4, 2022

Today’s author interview is with multi-talented author Heather Silvio. Heather writes in a variety of genres but is known for her “fun, flirty, fantasy stories that make you smile.” It was an honor to chat with her about her writing style, interests outside of writing and upcoming projects. HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? HS: I *mostly* write fun, flirty, fantasy romance & mystery, with a guaranteed happily ever after. Having said that, in the beginning, I was a bit of a genre-hopper, so I also have some nonfiction, a much darker psychological thriller/murder mystery, and a sweet romance with salty language romantic comedy, among others. My joke when I do book signings is that no matter what someone reads, I have a book in that genre. Not really true, of course, but I do have quite a few! HG: Okay,… Read More >

Self-Improvement Books to Help Kick Off the New Year

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 28, 2021

With the new year right around the corner, a lot of people find themselves reflecting and setting intentions. Regardless of your goals, we are certain that there’s a self-help book out there for you. With those thoughts in mind, today we’ve rounded up the self-improvement books our readers loved the most.   Happy Mind, Happy Life: A Science-Backed Guide to More Happiness and Self-Love by Barbora Centik No matter your age or background, the tried-and-tested lessons inside this self-improvement book arm you with powerful tools and knowledge for taking your happiness into your own hands. If you want to escape the endless cycle of worry and enjoy feelings of contentment in your everyday life, then Happy Mind, Happy Life is for you. Pat M. says in their 5-star review, “Barbora Centik has written an engaging book that starts off with asking us a pertinent question – ‘What is happiness to… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Stacey Wilk

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 21, 2021

Today’s interview is with author Stacey Wilk. She writes novels about true family, steamy love, and second chances. It was an absolute pleasure to get to know more about her writing style, life outside of writing and upcoming projects! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? SW: If someone is finding my books for the first time, they should know I write broken characters. I like to make things complicated for the people in my stories. Personally, I love a good thriller or mystery, so when I can, I add those elements to my books as well. I would categorize my novels as commercial women’s fiction or romantic suspense.  HG: Where does the inspiration for your writing come from? SW: Such a great question. I believe all stories are character driven. If an author doesn’t have complex characters making choices under pressure,… Read More >

Highly Rated YA Novels to Add to your TBR List

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 14, 2021

Each great in their own way, with all the elements that make YA novels so addicting, don’t blame us if your TBR list grows after checking out these young adult favorites among Hidden Gems ARC readers!   Metallic Red by Jennifer Ann Shore From Hidden Gems favorite Jennifer Ann Shore, Metallic Red is a young adult vampire fiction book with romance, self-discovery, and a bit of blood. It is the first novel in the Royally Human Vampire series and pulls in an impressive 4.7 average star rating on Amazon. “I really enjoyed reading Metallic Red,” writes Jennifer H. in her 5-star review. “I found it to be an interesting take on a vampire novel. I liked the plot developments and the ending of the story. I liked the internal conflict that the protagonist faced going to a human high school with human friends and embracing her human side but having… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Casey Dembowski

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on December 7, 2021

Today’s interview is with award winning author Casey Dembowski who writes contemporary romance. Reviewers call her books engaging, fun, and thought-provoking. We were thrilled to chat with Dembowski about her writing journey, style and exciting upcoming projects. HG: Your debut novel, When We’re Thirty was just named the 2021 NYC Big Book Award Winner for Romantic Comedy, congrats! Tell us more about the book and why readers may enjoy it. CD: When We’re Thirty is a friends-to-lovers/marriage of convenience mashup about two friends who follow through on a pact they made to get married if they were both still single when they turned thirty. It’s a fun story and really tackles the experience of being thirty in New York City. Will and Hannah have a lot to overcome not only in their relationship but with their careers and families and the direction they want their lives to take. HG: Oooh,… Read More >

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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >