ElisabethEganGlamour magazine book editor Elisabeth Egan (above) visits River Road Books on Thursday to read from and sign copies of her recently published A WINDOW OPENS…while fellow first-time novelist Barrie Levitt Knee arrives later this month to promote her debut book PLAIN JANE (below).

plainjaneTwo new novels; two stirring stories of contemporary women at a crossroads of life-choices. Both written by authors who are new to book-length fiction, and both the subject of special events at Fair Haven’s River Road Books here in October, a month when we shake the sand from those “beach reads” and find something a little more fireside-appropriate.

But don’t break out that Snuggie just yet, as one of the visiting authors might just inspire you to take it outdoors for one more cool-weather marathon.

While Elisabeth Egan is certainly no newbie in the world of books — her many credits include serving as book editor for Glamour magazine, as well as a reviewer for the Star-Ledger and other print or pixel publications. But with A Window Opens, the critic turns first-time novelist in her own right, a move that’s landed the New Jersey native on People‘s Best Books of the Summer list.

Addressing the perennial question “Can women really have it all?,” A Window Opens presents one Alice Pearse, a wife and mom who’s suddenly faced with the professional opportunity of a lifetime — and the hard decisions that come rushing in when that window is thrown open. The author visits River Road on Thursday to read from her story of a woman who “begins to question what she really wants.” Signing copies of the book will be available for purchase at the 7 p.m. event, and advance reservations may be made by calling (732) 747-9455 or emailing riverroadbooks@verizon.net.

The evening of Wednesday, October 28 brings another special event to the Greater Green’s only indie bookstore; this one spotlighting a work titled Plain Jane, the debut novel from author Barrie Levitt Knee — herself a running mom, avid reader and entrepreneur behind the Kover Ups line of children’s bed accessories.

Pitched as a story of “strong, loving characters with everyday struggles… and one big secret,” Jane unfolds in the head of the title character as she runs a four-and-a half-hour marathon — an interval during which is revealed a secret that “Plain” Jane has kept from her family for seven years.

Each of the book’s chapters is keynoted with a classic rock or pop song that Jane listens to while running, with the lyrics tying into the stories that Jane tells about herself, her family, and her BFF Gaby. As a bonus feature, Jane’s 64 songs are listed at the end of the book, making “a great playlist for those that run a ten-minute mile like Jane.” Light fare and refreshments will be served at the 6:30 pm event with author Knee, and signing copies of Plain Jane will be available for purchase, with advance reservations through RSVP@belfercom.com.