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For Readers

5 Infectious Non-Fiction Reads

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 31, 2020

With the engine of the world grinding to a halt in the face of COVID-19, we thought our regularly-scheduled list of recommended books might be a good place to explore some of the most infectiously immersive non-fiction books about plagues, pandemics, and all manner of other biological unpleasantness. While none of those will make you feel comfortable, they’re all valuable reads when it comes to understanding just how devastating infectious diseases can be – and how modern society is often ‘whistling past the graveyard’ in the face of an inevitable infectious apocalypse. And what better time to read about these than when you’re stuck in home quarantine anyway? Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present and Future by Michael B. A. Oldstone AIDS, influenza, polio, and smallpox make up a chilling cast of characters – with the last in that list responsible for 300 million deaths in the 20th century alone. In… Read More >

Turn Your Little Reader into a Writer

By: Bradley Charbonneau | Posted on March 24, 2020

Last week I had an opportunity to speak on a podcast with Bradley Charbonneau about a variety of topics, but what interested me most was how his Spark program was helping parents and kids write an actual book together, and even publish it on Amazon – in just a month! Obviously this was something I wanted my readers to hear about, and I can’t think of a better time to do this than now when so many parents are looking for projects to do with their children, and have the time to do them!  You don’t have to be a writer, or even know how to publish on Amazon – Bradley walks you through all of that. You just have to have the time and interest in creating a great memory with your child, and while you’re at it you may just teach them that not only do they have… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Samantha A. Cole

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 17, 2020

Today, we continue our series of author interviews by speaking to USA Today Bestselling Author Samantha A. Cole, creator of Knot a Chance, Don’t Shoot the Messenger, and Entertaining Distraction. We spoke to her about the path that led her to publication, her inspirations, and the process behind crafting her bestselling books. HG: So, WHO IS Samantha A. Cole? How do you describe yourself? Obviously, we can read your bio on Amazon – but who is Samantha A. Cole to readers who might not have heard of you before? SC: I’m an extroverted introvert lol. I’m a bit of a homebody. My favorite adventures are when I’m traveling, especially to places with history, but then I love to come home to my two pups and just chill. HG: You sound EXACTLY like me. I’ve been traveling a lot recently, but it drains you and you long to come home. So,… Read More >

5 Books for Kids – For Bedtime or Beyond

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 10, 2020

When you subscribe to Hidden Gems, you’ll have the opportunity to select from over 15 different genres of books to receive FOR FREE, sent straight to your inbox for you to read and review. This week, we’re looking at some of the top-rated books for kids that have been enjoyed by subscribers – ranked according to their popularity and reviews. When Dinosaurs Go to Bed by Josh Bluman How do dinosaurs go to bed? It’s a legitimate question – and one I bet they never taught you the answer to in school! In this beautifully illustrated children’s classic, author Josh Bluman explores the possibilities – and gives young readers a fun way to learn all the names and attributes of everybody’s favorite retro-reptiles. “Just WOW!” Praises reviewer NabooksSL in a 5-star review. “Any dino-mad kid (or adult) will absolutely LOVE this. The colors are so vivid and cute. I can foresee… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Morwenna Blackwood

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on March 3, 2020

This week’s author spotlight interviews is with a soon-to-be-published author who took the traditional route of seeking out a publisher, rather than going it on her own. Morwenna Blackwood kindly indulged us with her thoughts on the journey that led to seeing her debut novel, The (D)Evolution of Us, hit the bookshelves. HG: Okay, so WHO IS Morwenna Blackwood? As in, how do you define yourself? Where do you live, how many cats do you have, etc. etc.? MB: I live near the sea in Devon, Britain, with two crazy kittens and a fat ginger tom. And a husband and son, obviously! Can I define myself as a questioner of everything? I’m not sure what I believe from one day to the next, but it makes for an interesting life- and some interesting stories! HG: Okay, next question – how did you get into writing? What inspired you to put… Read More >

5 Future Classics for Young Adults

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 25, 2020

Each and every month, Hidden Gems subscribers get the opportunity to read and review dozens of new books from over fifteen different genres. As reflected in the publishing industry at large, Young Adult novels continue to be one of the more popular genres; and so we’ve compiled a list of a few of our subscriber favorites from the last few months. The Fae & The Fallen by Brittni Chenelle This book blew me away with its fresh, spicy new take of high school gossip and drama. The tale takes place at the mythical Gifted Fae Academy – a Hogwarts for fairies, I guess – and sees an un-magical girl find herself drawn intoxicatingly toward the most dangerous guy at school… literally.   In her 5-star review, Pinkwitch5 praised the author’s writing: “The author uses a unique way of story telling that had me immediately invested in the welfare of all the characters…. Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Christian Angeles

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 18, 2020

While many of our author interviews are of interest more to readers of that author or that author’s genre, this one may have some particular interest to other authors – especially those that are interested in scriptwriting. Today, Ginger sits down with scriptwriter Christian Angeles to chat about his focus on the ‘mono-myth’ and how it has impacted his writing and career. Ginger has some particular experience with Christian, as he explains below. A while ago, we wrote about the importance of socializing with other writers, and it was being part of a writing group that led me to discovering the all-important Dan Harmon Story Circle – which has proved to be a game changer for my writing. Today, I’m excited to interview the man who taught that segment to our writing group – scriptwriter, reviewer, and reporter Christian Angeles. In addition to articles in New Brunswick Today and his… Read More >

5 Magnetic Mysteries for the New Year

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 11, 2020

At the end of 2019, Hidden Gems subscribers were treated to a myriad of mysteries to read and review for FREE – and we’ve cross-referenced the ratings and reviews to select five of the most compelling. It’s always tough to pick from all the great reads authors share with us, so if you’re a fan of the mystery genre, don’t hesitate to sign up and enjoy them all! Wings and Broken Things by Trixie Silvertale Trixie Silvertale‘s Mitzy Moon series are a unique blend of paranormal and cozy mysteries – with a frisson of romance thrown in for good measure. In this book, the third in the series, we really see our determined psychic hit her stride as she tries to track down who ran down her beloved veterinarian. “Another wonderful book by this author!” Darla writes, in her 5-star review. “Mitzy has two cases to solve. The local vet… Read More >

Author Spotlight Interview: Clayton Graham

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on February 4, 2020

Continuing our series of author spotlight interviews, this week we chat to British science fiction author Clayton Graham, author of the Milijun series of books, which ponder the question of what first contact with aliens might really be like. Now living in Australia, Clayton braved the time difference so he could let us know what inspired his writing, and what he was working on next. Clayton Graham’s colorful life led him from the cobbled streets of Stockport, in Great Britain, to a new home in Southeastern Australia. A former aerospace engineer, Clayton continues to look skyward with his writing – penning a thrilling series of novels based around the achingly plausible realities of a potential alien invasion – and the very human questions it forces us to answer. Clayton was kind enough to chat to us about his writing and his inspiration. HG: My first question is – who are… Read More >

Five Favorite Fantasy Novels

By: Hidden Gems | Posted on January 28, 2020

Hidden Gems subscribers were in for a treat over the holidays, as we offered up the chance to read a plethora of fantastic fantasy novels, delivered to their inbox FOR FREE! It was hard to choose from the dozens we sent out over the last few months, but based on reviews and engagement, here are the hottest titles from the last quarter of 2019. A Company of Monsters by Shami Stovall Fellow history major Shami Stovall has already won over fans with her range of alternative history science fiction and fantasy novels, and A Company of Monsters is one that will instantly appeal to anybody who enjoyed Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula. Set in a twisted 1917 – with the Russian Empire on the verge of collapse – this World War I-set tale sees feisty female sorcerer Florence embark on an adventure behind enemy lines in order to prop up the Russian… Read More >