For Readers

The Magic of Music and Storytelling

By: Rebecca E. Neely | Posted on June 15, 2018

There is a lot of overlap between music and books, both being rich and powerful forms of storytelling. It’s not often that we really stop and think about how closely they’re intertwined, and how one can be used to enhance or improve the other. Rebecca Neely is an author that has been affected by music her whole life, and is here to tell us about how she now uses it to help inspire her work as a novelist.  Since the beginning of time, people the world over have embraced and celebrated the phenomenon of music in all its diverse forms. In turn, it embodies the essence of people by encompassing, reflecting, recording and communicating their diverse heritage, traditions, cultures, customs, races, ethnicities, languages and religions. Even geography, climate, economics and the use of technology contributes to the creation, artistry and performance of music. Indeed, as a whole it’s not only… Read More >

5 More Books Like ‘The President is Missing’

By: HGB Author | Posted on June 12, 2018

Want 4 more years because you can’t get enough of ‘The President is Missing’, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson? Here are five more presidential thrillers that’ll take you on a similarly wild ride. The President is Missing is poised to become one of the biggest runaway best-sellers of the year. Penned by superstar author James Patterson, with narrative direction by 42nd President Bill Clinton, it’s a taut thriller about the Commander-in-Chief’s desperate battle to save America from cyber-terrorism. Louise Penny, the bestselling author of Glass Houses, perhaps described the book best when she said it was “heart-pounding, gripping, terrifying. As I read, ferociously turning the pages, I kept asking myself, ‘Could this really happen’?” As is the problem with all good reads, even at a whopping 528 pages, The President is Missing is over all-too-quickly. The book itself is set over the course of just five days, after all…. Read More >

Characterization and Setting – It’s All in the Details

By: Naomi Bellina | Posted on June 8, 2018

When done properly, writing with rich detail and characterization is something a reader doesn’t even notice. It just pulls them into the author’s world and allows them to image the people and places that they visit.  But how do writers create such vivid pictures? There are many techniques, and we asked Naomi Bellini to break some of them down for us. What she delivered is a great behind-the-scenes look at how it’s done that is interesting to both readers and authors. Don’t you love to fall so deep into a book you lose track of real life, and stay up way past your bedtime, because you have to read just one more chapter? Or look up from the page and totally expect to see the scenery and characters you were reading about? As authors, that’s what we hope happens when you read our stories. One way we accomplish this is… Read More >

Amazon Slams the Doors to Kindle Worlds

By: Jen Talty | Posted on June 1, 2018

First Amazon shut down the Kindle Scout program.  Now, about a month later, they’re doing the same to Kindle Worlds. The issue affects both readers and writers alike, and Hidden Gems has been lucky to have worked with two prominent KW authors in the past. Jen Talty and Casey Hagen are speaking up to share their view and perspective on what exactly went down and what it means to the future of everyone affected. As the behemoth of the book world, what Amazon creates, it can decimate… Hundreds of authors with novels and novellas published within Kindle Worlds were notified by Amazon that Kindle Worlds would be no more. Finished. Kaput. This has a huge impact on both the seed authors, the author whose world was licensed with Amazon, and the authors who gave up time, energy, and their copyrights so they could play in the seed author’s sandbox. We… Read More >

Reviewers Locked Out by Amazon’s Latest Glitch

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 29, 2018

Last week, many Amazon customers were greeted with an ominous sounding message when they tried to leave reviews. It was just the latest in a long line of glitches affecting book reviews, but because the issue was so widespread and absolute, it caused rumor and speculation to fly into overdrive. Fortunately, your Amazon book reviews are still safe. What it really demonstrated, though, is how easily information can be distorted – especially when the company at fault refuses to acknowledge the issue publicly or to their own employees.  Now that it’s all behind us, let’s look at what happened. The Timeline Beginning on May 22nd, we were alerted by some of our HG readers that they were being greeted by the following message when they tried to leave reviews on Amazon. Sorry, we are unable to accept your review of this product. This product currently has limitations on submitting reviews. This… Read More >

Finding Kids Books Online

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on May 14, 2018

If you have a young child in your house, then you’re probably used to reading them stories. Whether at bedtime or during the day, reading together is not only a great bonding experience but opens your child’s mind to new thoughts and ideas.  But while repetition is comforting to the little ones, you need to add some variety as well.  Even if it’s just for your own sanity. Trips to the library can be fun when your own collection starts to run thin, but they aren’t always practical.  Especially when you have a cranky child waiting to begin his or her nightly adventure – a problem that the internet was almost designed to solve. What are the options for kids books online, then? Turns out, there are plenty – including us here at Hidden Gems! However, while the internet is filled with rich content for young minds, it’s important to… Read More >

What Makes a Good Book Review?

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on September 15, 2017

At Hidden Gems, book reviews are what we’re all about – and although we aren’t writing them ourselves, we’ve seen enough from our readers, and heard from enough authors, to have a pretty good idea about what makes a good book review. If you’re one of our ARC reviewers, or even if you’re reviewing on your own or for someone else, here are a few ideas on what authors are looking for, how to be fair, etiquette, and just overall tips for writing a helpful review. No One-Line Book Reviews As much as an author loves to hear that you “Loved this book!”, that’s not really a review.  While your opinion is important to helping support the author, it’s a lot more helpful when it is more detailed in regards to the particular book being reviewed. A one-line review might also look fake to other readers, or even Amazon. Especially… Read More >

Becoming an ARC Reader: Because who doesn’t love free books?

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on July 11, 2017

Getting free ARC books and becoming a book reviewer has never been so easy, and now you can do it for all genres and without the hassles of the past! If you scour the web in search of book reviews and becoming an ARC reader, you’ll find plenty of articles describing how you can contact publishers or authors directly, sign up for their various mailing lists, and hopefully get free books from them whenever they actually release one (usually not more than once a month or two). That was certainly the best way to go about it in the past. But things are different now, and we’d like to think we helped pave the way to change. Hidden Gems has been sending out ARC books for authors for about two years now (our first one went out in October 2015) and since then we’ve grown from 2 or 3 a… Read More >

10 Bad Boys You Hate To Love

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on June 7, 2017

Bad Boys. You know you should stay away from them, but you’re inexplicably drawn. Is it the tattoos? The attitude? The washboard abs? Whatever it is, you can’t resist… These are the men that you should avoid at all costs – they’re powerful, often with a strong sense of self or an attitude that the world owes them something and they’re willing to take it by any means necessary. The last thing you should do is fall for them, or get caught up in their world. Here are 10 of the hottest bad boy romance novels around. Each is well reviewed by hundreds of other women that couldn’t resist their charms. Go on and click on these hard-bodied bad boys. It’s no use fighting it… you know you want to! Then, when you’re done, why not share this link with others so that they can enjoy these bad boys, too?… Read More >

10 Sexy and Single Daddy Novels

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on April 7, 2017

Whether a father’s best friend, a teacher, a boss, or simply a man that likes to role play, our recent look at romance trends would be remiss if we skipped the fresh surge of sexy dad books that have been roaring through the Amazon charts lately. While not for everyone, it is interesting to note that these books never have any sort of actual incestual couplings but rather are just essentially older man/younger woman romances that usually involve some sort of power dynamic. At most, they involve a consensual daddy/daughter role-play situation, but often just involve a man who happens to be a single dad. Whatever the case, reading them can often be a guilty pleasure – or just provide you with a new and interesting twist – so here are the top 10 daddy based romance books we’ve found. Like these types of books? Then let us know – we won’t… Read More >