Yesterday I promised you a list of my five favourite books, but wandering the shelves this morning I found it impossible to get the number down so low! So here are just five of my favourites for now, and the rest will follow in later posts  :)

The Provence Cure for The Broken-Hearted by Bridget Asher.

Oh. My. God. I adore the story, the characters, the descriptions, everything. Made me laugh and cry. This book tells the story of widowed Heidi who travels with Abbott, her troubled eight-year-old son, and Charlotte, her jaded sixteen-year-old niece, to spend the summer repairing their family home in a small village in the south of France. The rundown stone house in Provence has been in the family for generations and the family tells and retells stories of the magical properties entwined around the old stones. But soon Charlotte makes a shocking confession and Heidi learns the truth about her mother's 'lost summer' -- a time Heidi and her sister had learned not to ask about many years ago. And as three generations collide with one another, with the neighbour next door who seems to know all their family secrets, and with an enigmatic Frenchman, they'll journey through love, loss, and healing amid the lavender fields, warm winds, and the delicious pistou soup of Provence. Who could resist? A delightful, heart-warming read.

Angel of Ruin by Kim Wilkins.

This book has also been published in the UK under the title 'Fallen Angel', and both are now hard to find, but I'm telling you to track it down wherever you can! A wonderfully thrilling and lush story about journalist Sophie who sets out to research an article in modern-day London and soon discovers herself being drawn into a story of three sisters in 17th-century London, whose love for each other was torn apart by an angel. Not plague, nor Paradise Lost, nor the Great Fire of London can prevent the youngest from trying to save her sisters as they sink deeper and deeper into the angel′s seductions. And Sophie herself passes the point of no return... Wow. Just - wow.

A Discover of Witches by Deborah Harkness.

This is a glorious story about history, wicthes, and alchemy. When historian Diana Bishop opens an alchemical manuscript in the Bodleian Library, it's an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordered life. Though Diana is a witch of impeccable lineage, the violent death of her parents while she was still a child convinced her that human fear is more potent than any witchcraft. Now Diana has unwittingly exposed herself to a world she's kept at bay for years; one of powerful witches, creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires. Sensing the significance of Diana's discovery, the creatures gather in Oxford, among them the enigmatic Matthew Clairmont, a vampire genticist. Diana is inexplicably drawn to Matthew and, in a shadowy world of half-truths and old enmities, ties herself to him without fully understanding the ancient line they are crossing. As they begin to unlock the secrets of the manuscript and their feelings for each other deepen, so the fragile balance of peace unravels... and what happens next? You won't be able to put this book down until you find out.


Let Me Sing You Gentle Songs, by Linda Olsson.

Gentle, lovely, beautiful beautiful writing. This is a story about Veronika, a writer in her early thirties, who rents a house in the Swedish countryside to finish her novel and hide from her past. She befriends Astrid, a reclusive older woman who's lived in the village all her life. We see the flowering of their unusual and tender friendship, while the powerful presence of the Swedish landscape measures the progress of the relationship - as the icy winter and bare trees give way to spring and then summer, the women's friendship deepens. As they share the tragedies of their past and hope for the future, they grow closer, and find peace within themselves. Gorgeous.

Valley of Grace by Marion Halligan.

Another gorgeous lovely book (that seems to be a theme for today!). Set in Paris, it's the story of a group of characters, some who know each other, some who don't, yet they all end up intertwined in the most touching way. I adore this book and was thrilled to meet Marion Halligan a couple of years ago, soon after I'd read it. I don't mind admitting that I went a bit fan-girly and speechless trying to tell her what this book means to me! She's the most charming lovely lady, and talking to her was an honour I think of every time I see my signed copy on the shelf at home.

That's it for today in the favourite book department, but before I go I want to show you this - photos of our new shopfront at Helensvale!

Talk about bright and shiny! And no more A&R green anywhere. We just love it, the glowing heart at the top especially. Big thanks to Kane and his team at Open Projects.

Finally, we're expecting more glowing hearts tomorrow when the one and only Jamie Durie stops by the Helensvale shop at 4 pm. Would you like to meet him? Come on by, grab a copy of his new book '100 Gardens' and have him sign it!