Spring Into Reading

Where does time go? Is it really March already? It’s hard to believe we’re standing on the doorstep of spring, hay fever tickling our noses, awaiting the warmer weather. Or in the case of people on the other side of the world like me, autumn is setting in, providing a cool reprieve from the long hot summer, and finally a chance to pull out some sweaters. I love sweater weather. 

The authors here at JL are spread all over the world, but we came together in this blog post to talk all things books: what we’re currently reading, some recommendations, and some upcoming releases we’re excited about. Have you read any of these? Have any recommendations? Let us know in the comments!

What we’re currently reading: 

Katelyn Barbee is currently reading a historical biography: Eleanor of Aquitaine by Alison Weir. 

AE McKenna is currently reading Deadly Spells by Jaye Wells, a gritty fantasy thriller, and the third novel in the Prospero’s War urban fantasy series. 

Mari LaRoche is currently reading a sci-fi thriller: A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel. Mari has been a big fan of his since reading the Themis Files Series. 

Matthew Dewar is currently reading YA contemporary fiction, The Boy from The Mish by Gary Lonesborough and listening to sci-fi novel, To Sleep in A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Hanna Day has three books on the go. She is re-reading epic fantasy Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, historic military fantasy The Poppy War series by R.F. Kuang, and the epic fantasy graphic novel series The Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. 

Another graphic novel reader in the group is J.E. Klimov who is currently reading The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy, declared book of the year in 2019 by Barnes and Noble. 

M.H. Thaung has just finished reading How to Defeat a Hero by J. Bennett, a superhero book with interesting social commentary.

Kristy Perkins is being entertained by Cursor’s Fury, by Jim Butcher, the third book in the Codex Alera series. She’s also getting into Season of Storms, by Andrzej Sapkowski, from the Witcher series. 

For those looking for a new read, here are some of our recommendations:

For lovers of epic fantasy, Mari LaRoche recommends The Demon Cycle series by Peter V. Brett, The Sacred Throne series by Myke Cole, and Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. 

More fantasy recommendations from Melion Traverse include The Book of Three and The Fellowship of the Ring.

YA fantasy lovers should check out Allie May’s recommendations: All the Stars and Teeth Duology by Adalyn Grace and To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo.

In the new adult fantasy genre, AE McKenna recommends Three Mages and a Margarita by Annette Marie.

Renée Harvey recommends Gossamer by Lois Lowry for those who like thought-provoking works and I Know a Wee Piggy by Kim Norman for those with young kids.

Elise Edmonds recommends One Thousand and One Days by Renee Frey, a romantic retelling of the classic Arabian Nights story; Bad Luck Genie by AE McKenna, a fun urban fantasy read; and Penny White series by Chris Cymri, an urban fantasy series about a female vicar who liaises with dragons in a parallel world. 

Heather Hayden recommends Fire Bringer by David Clement-Davies, an epic fantasy about deer with gorgeous prose; Where Carpets Fly by Elise Edmonds, a fantasy adventure featuring a strong female heroine in a Middle Eastern-inspired setting; and The Voyage of the Arctic Tern by Hugh Montgomery, a thrilling ghost story wrapped in an illustrated verse novel.

S. A. Edwards recommends the YA Alex Rider series written by Anthony Horowitz, especially Scorpia and Russian Roulette. She also recommends the MG fantasy series, Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull.

What new release titles we’re excited for: 

AE McKenna is excited for Witchshadow by Susan Denard, book 4 in the Witchlands fantasy series. 

Matthew Dewar is excited for Anything but Fine, a debut contemporary romance by Tobias Madden. 

Mari LaRoche is excited for The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison, the sequel to steampunk fantasy The Goblin Emperor

Renee Frey is excited for historical fiction A Wider World by Karen Heenan. Her first book in the trilogy, Songbird, won a couple of awards and is such a fun, fresh new take on Tudor England. 

Katelyn Barbee is always on the lookout for awesome new YA fantasy or interesting non-fiction

M.T. Wilson is excited to read The Unbroken by C. L. Clark. It’s a Sapphic fantasy set in a North African-inspired world that follows a princess and a soldier who both have divided loyalties.

We love everything reading and writing here at JL and are always on the lookout for new books to read. Let us know your favourite reads and the new releases you’re most excited for!


Everyone who comments on this blog or related social media post (Twitter and Facebook) will be entered to win an ebook copy of A Wider World by Karen Heenan, which is being released on April 25th, 2021, by Authors 4 Authors Publishing. You have until March 18th to enter. A winner will be drawn on March 19th, 2021.

Matthew Dewar

Matthew is a Western Australian local who somehow manages to find time to write between working as a physiotherapist, teaching group fitness classes, and getting distracted with his dog’s incessant demands for attention. Matthew enjoys reading and writing a wide variety of genres, but there will always be a special place in his heart for anything magical.

Follow Matthew: Facebook, Twitter, Website
Published works: Nightmare Stories (YA Horror Shorts), JL Anthology Vol. 1, JL Anthology Vol. 2, JL Anthology Vol. 3, JL Anthology Vol. 4, JL Anthology Vol. 6, JL Anthology Vol. 7


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