Women’s fiction to read on snow days at home

A woman has to confront a whole lot of issues surrounding her in one day in “Golden State” by Michelle Richmond.

Dr. Julie Walker’s world is completely changing. Not only does she live in a world where California is voting on leaving the United States and she may find herself living in a new country, but her estranged sister is back in town, pregnant and getting ready to deliver. And she wants Julie to be the doctor. At the same time, Julie is going through a painful divorce that she didn’t want and the loss of the foster child she had hoped to adopt. While on the way to help her sister, she learns a former patient of hers (and onetime lover) has taken staff members hostage at her work and wants to talk to her. As Julie must help her sister and talk to her former patient, hoping to save her friends’ lives, she must confront her past as well. This is a thoughtful book about how past circumstances change us into the people we are today, for the good or bad. Julie is a sympathetic and relatable character, and readers will definitely feel for her as she goes through her life-changing day.

“Golden State” is published by Bantam Books. It is $15 and 268 pages long.

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New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen tells another story of everyday magic in “Lost Lake.”

Kate has finally “awoken” after spending the last year being numb and being lead around by her mother-in-law after her husband’s death. Suddenly no longer content to let her mother-in-law call the shots and take advantage of the family’s pain in order to further her political career, Kate takes her daughter and decides to go see her Aunt Eby. Eby owns a slowly dying vacation property in Georgia known as Lost Lake, and it is the site of Kate spending one eventful summer when she was an early teenager. Eby, who is faced with closing the property down, has invited several long-time guests, Bulahdeen and Selma, and is thrilled to see her long-missed niece one more time before the place closes. Kate and her daughter enjoy recapturing the magic of the area and Kate reconnects with an old friend, Wes. Is Lost Lake truly lost forever? Will Kate and Eby find a new start?

This is a romantic and dreamy story of love and second chances. The characters are warm and appealing and will immediately hook readers.

“Lost Lake” is published by St. Martin’s Press. It is $25.95 and 304 pages long.

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A young Amish woman finds her crush wanting her to help him woo her best friend in USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray’s “Hopeful.”

Part of the Return to Sugarcreek series, this book follows Miriam Zehr, a good natured girl whom everyone in town loves, but who has found love yet. Working at local restaurant, she is a bit sad everytime one of her friends leaves her behind for marriage and children. Having long held a crush on Junior Beiler. But when Junior wants to speak to her privately, Miriam wrongly assumes her dream has come true – he wants to court her – and instead finds that he wants to court her new friend and newcomer in town, Mary Kate, and wants tips on how to do it. Miriam agrees to help, but finds Mary Kate isn’t interested in dating after a troubling experience that lead her to move to Sugarcreek. Will Miriam get a chance at love herself?

Miriam is a sweet character that readers will enjoy (and may even be mad at Junior for not realizing how great she is!) I also enjoyed the setting being our nearby Amish country.

“Hopeful” is published by Avon Inspire. It is $12.99 and 225 pages long.

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New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster tells the tale of a self-help guru who made need a little help of her own in “Twisted Sisters.”

Reagen Bishop is a TV psychologist starring on a cable show promoted by Wendy Winsberg (think Oprah) giving people the “push” they need to change their life. But Reagen might just need a push of her own – her boyfriend and she are on a “break,” none of her friends want to go on a free Hawaiian vacation with her, her show has been sold to a network and the new boss is a pushy pain in his own way and though she is successful, her parents seem to lavish all their attention and praise on her youngest sister. Her own friend is the “mystic” guru on the show, Deva, who ends up helping Reagen find a way to save her career through body swapping…

A funny book with an “unreliable” narrator who seems to have it together, and the further the story goes the reader finds does NOT, it also shops the ups and downs of sibling relationships.

“Twisted Sisters” is published by New American Library. It is $25.95 and 306 pages long.

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New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart returns to the Chesapeake Diaries with “At The River’s Edge.”

After finding her job in jeopardy the same day she finds out her boyfriend is cheating, Sophie needs to get out of town. So she decides to visit her brother in St. Dennis and get her head together. There she finds life in the small town may just be what she needs – and is captivated by the rundown restaurant and the dream of opening her own. Her brother also needs help in his small law practice and asks for her to consider working there. Sophie is also drawn to neighbor Jason Bowers, a landscaper who had his own plans for the land the restaurant is on. Land aside, the two begin a warm friendship that seems like it could turn into something else. But when Sophie’s ex shows up in town wanting another chance, will she grant it?

This is a cozy story that will warm hearts and keep readers burning through pages with two very likable characters.

“At The River’s Edge” is published by Ballentine. It is $7.99 and 396 pages long.

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com