Welcome to 12 Months of Reading! Each month in 2024, I will host a different reading challenge category. These categories are broad, and, chances are, whatever you’re reading may fit in them.

To celebrate the fun of my LAM Summer Reading Challenge, I encourage you to read a book by one of this year’s Authors of the Round Table. Keep reading for links to join the challenge and learn more about all the authors, but first … allow me to introduce these nine books and their lovely authors! Click the authors’ names to visit their online homes. Feel free to explore other titles by these authors—most of them are listed on our LAM Summer Reading hub page (link below).

The Beauty Thief: Magic is long dead in the Twelve Realms. At least this is what most believed until an innocent young woman becomes the obsession of a man who defies time by stealing the only thing that sustains his life: true beauty.

Rachael Ritchey: Rachael Ritchey is a mom and home educator by day and a creative jack-of-all-trades book designer and author by night. Rachael writes with an eye toward exemplifying positive attributes, finding hope through what feels hopeless, and being courageous. Her fiction reflects these qualities with daring adventure and sweet romance that almost anyone can enjoy. Rachael lives in the would-be southern jungles of north Florida with her husband and her four young adults (aka children who aren’t little anymore).

The Existence of Bea Pearl: Sixteen-year-old Bea Pearl knows her brother isn’t dead. Even if her parents don’t agree. Even if the entire town doesn’t believe her. She knows it’s true. When orders came to evacuate Lake George due to rising floodwaters, Bea Pearl saw Jim head toward the river. She followed him. Only she returned.

Candice Marley ConnerCandice Marley Conner grew up between swamps, a river, and the Gulf Coast, so her stories emerge from gnarled cypress knees, muddy water, and salty air. She is the kidlit haint at a haunted indie bookstore (but not haunted how you’re thinking), a Local Liaison for SCBWI, and an officer for her local writer’s guild. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two children (one of whom is possibly feral).

Tiger Kingdom and the Book of Destiny:

Wishes fly & dreams be bright,
In warmth of sun & chill of night.
Lost within one Kingdom lies a tome,
Of ancient tales & futures unknown.
Hidden there, a golden sword, a secret stone,
May fairies’ wings help guide you home.
Follow Suzie & Jack as they discover Tiger Kingdom, a world of magic, mystery & dreams. Will they be able to find The Book of Destiny and return home? What dark secrets are the Tigers hiding?

Stacie EirichDaughter, mother, author, singer—Stacie is a dreamer who began writing and performing at a young age. She has written and published poetry, short fiction and a children’s fantasy series: The Dream Chronicles. She lives on the Northshore of New Orleans, where she spends her days mothering, writing and singing.

Grief Like a River:

Even if the river dries to only
morning dew and dust,
the scar of it remains in the earth.
If the circumstances were prime,
it could fill again,
and that would be okay because
I know why it flows now.
Grief Like a River bares the iterative, complex process of grief through sincere, raw poetry. Smith’s tender honesty delicately guides the reader through the human experience of loss.

Mea SmithAuthor Meagan (Mea) Smith believes love doesn’t deter hateful things from happening, but it always conquers them; so, she creates fictional content colored with hope and redemption. Her poetry is based on a true story. Always. Mea has studied the writing craft for over a decade and earned a Master’s in English along the way. You can find Mea tripping over a multitude of cats while she and her husband parent two rambunctious boys, or you can visit her online.

Mission Hollywood: A Hollywood bad boy. A pastor’s daughter. What could possibly go wrong?Mission Hollywood is an inspirational story about love, faith, and second chances.

Michelle KeenerMichelle is a wife, mom, homeschooler, writer, Bible scholar, and teacher. But before anything else, she is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ. Michelle is an award-winning and bestselling author and accomplished speaker. Her latest book, Comfort in the Ashes, is scheduled for release in January 2025 with IVP Academic.

Errant: Superpowers transform one anxious outsider into New York’s most wanted girl in this soulful, spirited YA Contemporary Fantasy. Fans of Divergent and The Darkest Minds are sure to enjoy.

MontrezMontrez began her publishing journey in 2020, creating Novel Creature Publications, an independent imprint to house and publish her works of fiction. Inspired by an eclectic mix of literature, superheroes, and anime, Montrez loves to write stories about underdogs, accidental heroes, and everyday people doing extraordinary things. A family woman and a hopeless romantic, Montrez also loves writing about love: stories that highlight family love, friendship, self love, and elements of sweet and slow-burn romance.

Remaining Aileen: Aileen was dead. At least she was supposed to be. If you could live forever, would you?

Autumn LindseyAutumn Lindsey lives with her husband and three kids in a deep, dark, magical forest in Northern California. Fluent in typo and fueled by caffeine, she writes Women’s Fiction with characters that bite. Her debut novel Remaining Aileen is available through online book retailers. She is also the co-founder of Writer Moms Inc., a community for moms who write.

Blue Sky Gone: Audrey Moretti always knew she wanted to be a police officer, but she never expected it would take her on the most harrowing venture of her life—the search for her sister on September 11, 2001 ….

J.S. FarmerJ.S. Farmer grew up in South Windsor, Connecticut. She became a police officer, spending seven years on the force, before moving on to work for a defense contractor. She now resides in northeast Florida with her husband, two daughters, and dog Jackson. Her favorite place in the world is the beach, where she enjoys searching for shark teeth and relaxing in the Florida sun.

Long Dance Home: Cece Camden has a plan—for work, for love, for life—and she believes she is right on track. But on her 29th birthday, her grand plan begins to unravel, and the disciplined, former ballerina’s life is turned upside down.

Julie Mayerson BrownJulie Brown is a California girl, originally from the San Fernando Valley, eventually landing in Palos Verdes (near the port of Los Angeles) where she and her husband raised her two sons, rescued many dogs, hosted countless backyard BBQs, and chased away hundreds of wild peacocks. When not writing, she’s doing laundry, gardening, baking, rescuing dogs, and giving her grown-up sons advice.

For a chance to win swag from some of these authors, sit in on live chats with them and have a summer full of bookish fun, head to the LAM Summer Reading hub page to join. It’s as easy as 1-2-3! https://joyerancatore.com/summer-reading/

I’d love to hear which book (or books) you read! Drop a comment below to let me know what you’re reading. Mark your calendar for July 5 at 8:00 p.m. (CDT) and plan to join my virtual LAM Book Club to share your favorite bits with fellow readers. Plus, meet these authors at one of two Zoom chats: July 6 and July 28 at 7:00 p.m. (CDT).

What will you read? Comment below with your choice. Return once you’ve finished to share your review and thoughts. Remember to #ShareTheRead! Tap the graphic below to download each month’s graphic to share on your social media. How many reader friends can you bring to the party?

Calendar showcasing all the reading categories for the 2024 12 Days of Reading

Tap the image above to download each month’s graphic. Share on your social media with #ShareTheRead and #12MonthsOfReading and tag @joyerancatore!

Multi-Genre Indie Author Joy E. Rancatore hosts a monthly virtual, interactive Book Club Chat. Join now!

Tap the graphic above to join LAM Book Club for an extra way to #ShareTheRead with fellow readers! No set book. Meet virtually once a month. Share what you’re reading or ask for recommendations.