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Paperback row: What's new in January

Crystal Patriarche is the Director of Parenting Content for SheKnows and oversees the SheKnows Book Lounge. She's a mother, a life-long book lover, an Arizona State University journalism and public relations graduate and entrepreneur. ...

5 Hot reads in paperback

Just in time for winter -- the perfect time to curl up with a good book -- we've got the scoop on five hot books just out in paperback in January.

Bloodroot

From the seasoned favorite like Kristin Hannah to the stunning debut of Amy Greene, we've got your lineup of great paperback releases you won't want to miss in January.

#1 Bloodroot by Amy Greene

The accolades for this debut novel go on and on from Entertainment Weekly to USA Today and The New York Times. In Amy Greene's stunning debut, Myra Lamb is a wild girl with mysterious, haint blue eyes who grows up on remote Bloodroot Mountain. Her grandmother, Byrdie, protects her fiercely and passes down "the touch" that bewitches people and animals alike.

When John Odom tries to tame Myra, it sparks a shocking disaster, ripping lives apart.

Bloodroot is the dark and riveting story of the legacies -- of magic and madness, faith and secrets, passion and loss -- that haunt one family across the generations. For more, visit author Amy Greene's website.

#2 Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden

Meredith and Nina Whitson are two adult sisters who, throughout their lifetime, were denied any real affection from their steely immigrant mother, Anya (who seemingly saved all her love for her husband). While the girls' father was a warm and loving man, Anya held her daughters at arm's length, never letting down her icy Russian reserve.

The only connection Meredith and Nina enjoyed with Anya was the occasional Russian fairy tale she would tell them as children.

Only after the death of their beloved father, when the sisters are forced back into the company of their rapidly declining mother, are they motivated to make one final attempt to learn who Anya is -- who she really was. For more, visit author Kristin Hannah's website.

#3 The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow

Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on their Chicago rooftop.

Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way.

It's there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity.

This portrait of a young biracial girl dealing with society's ideas of race and class is the winner of the Bellwether Prize for best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice. For more, visit author Heidi Durrow's website.

#4 Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt

Pictures of You

If you love Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve, you'll love the way this book unfolds -- a bit of mystery and a lot of family dynamics and personal relationships. Two women running away from their marriages collide on a foggy highway, killing one of them.

The survivor, Isabelle, is left to pick up the pieces, not only of her own life, but of the lives of the devastated husband and fragile son -- Charlie and Sam -- that the other woman, April, has left behind.

Together, Isabelle, Charlie and Sam try to solve the mystery of where April was running to, and why. As these three lives intersect, the book asks: How well do we really know those we love and how do we forgive the unforgivable? For more, visit author Caroline Leavitt's website.

#5 Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can't seem to get it right.

After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service and she pockets it just in case.

Arranged

When her best friend, Sarah, announces she's engaged, Anne can't help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man.

But Anne soon discovers the company isn't a dating service; it's an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service.

She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it -- and the company's success rate -- the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn't it work for her?

A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out -- until Anne learns that Jack and the company that arranged their marriage are not what they seem at all. For more, visit author Catherine McKenzie's website.

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