For Readers

Author Spotlight Interview: Ivy Smoak

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 5, 2022

Today’s interview is with Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon #1 bestselling author Ivy Smoak. Her books have sold over 2 million copies worldwide. It was an honor 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? IS: I’m a total weirdo. I think if I was normal my books would be super boring. Everyone is a little weird and it’s so much more fun to embrace it. Writing has really helped me embrace my true self. I don’t want a normal life. I want an extraordinary one. And I give all my characters extraordinary lives too. HG: I love that response. What inspires your stories and why is that important to you? IS: Everything. I pull a lot of inspiration from my life with my husband… Read More >

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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >

Women’s lit books to read this summer

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 31, 2022

Women’s lit (or Women’s Fiction/Literature) are terms used for women centered books that focus on women’s life experience, and are targeted towards female readers. With summer just around the corner, if you’re looking for some great new women focused books to spend your time on reading in the sun, here are a few titles that our ARC readers loved.   Glory Unbound by Deborah L. King Glory Unbound is a sequel to Glory Bishop; our reviewers recommend reading the first book before diving in, but promise it’s worth the read. Thrust into a gilded world of wealth, society, and privilege, Glory struggles to overcome the guilt of loving her new life. With this new reality comes unexpected complications and temptations. Follow Glory Bishop in her search for freedom and independence as she strives to be her own savior. Glory Unbound is loved by readers, with Deborah D sharing in her… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Laura Heffernan

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 24, 2022

Today’s interview is with romantic comedy author Laura Heffernan who also writes cozy mysteries under the pen name of Ada Bell. Her books are light and fun providing the perfect escape for readers. It was an absolute pleasure getting to know more about her writing and what she has planned! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? LH: I write light, fun books about smart women with unusual interests. My main characters like everything from pole dancing to board games to biology. Reading is an escape for me, so I want readers to feel like they can escape into my books. HG: That’s awesome. What led you to have two pen names? Was that always the way you saw it going? LH: I always planned to write and publish under my own name. Part of it is ego. Part of it is… Read More >

Scary stories to keep you awake at night

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 17, 2022

Snakes. Clowns. Bats. What fills you with dread? While the horror genre can be one of the most harshly critiqued, Hidden Gems readers have been fortunate to have plenty of horror tales to choose from over the past few months, and this is a round-up of some of the most popular and well liked page turners. Which ones will you be adding to your to-read list?   Legacy Of Ashes by Sean Deville For the near extinct vampire race, starvation has been a way of life for centuries. That is about to change. With a respectable 4.2 average star rating on Amazon, Legacy of Ashes is the first book in the Homo Vampirous Chronicles, an apocalyptic vampire horror tale. Rebecca S. raves in her five star review, “This author has an amazing knack for weaving non-fiction elements and ‘conspiracy theories’ into tales of dystopian horror. He expertly creates characters so… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: J.C. Benthin

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 10, 2022

Today’s interview is with charming and creative author J.C. Benthin. J.C. writes young adult and children’s novels that entertain and inspire. It was our pleasure to chat with J.C. about her writing style, future projects and life outside of writing! HG: How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet? JCB: Given my experience in writing screenplays, I tend to write more cinematically with dialogue driven characters.  HG: Makes sense! You began writing as a young girl. Has “author” always been your dream job? Tell us a bit about your publishing journey. JCB: I am giggling as I write this because it took me a long time to even consider myself an author. I started my first romance novel in 3rd grade. I hand wrote it in cursive on blue lined paper and I never finished it. My writing continued in my journals, documenting moments… Read More >

Humorous books to Tickle Your Funny Bone

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 3, 2022

They say laughter is the best medicine. Need a prescription? We’ve rounded up a list of humorous books our Hidden Gems ARC readers loved. What makes you LOL?   Strange Currents by J.C. Bruce Recommended for fans of Hiassen, White, and Hall, Strange Currents is book four of five in The Strange Files. The series chronicles Alexander Strange as he lives and works aboard a fishing trawler in Naples, Florida writing about news of the weird. J.B. raves in his five star review, “I’ve read all of the Strange books and this is the best! It’s got the most-sophisticated plot, the most-developed characters, the most-memorable settings and the best dialogue. And it is strange, which is what makes J.C. Bruce’s series so unique and readable. As a veteran of numerous trips to Key West, the authentic, recognizable setting was an added treat. Bruce fills his books with uniquely-interesting characters and… Read More >