Author Guest Posts

The 12 Books of Christmas


The 12 Books of Christmas

Janet Gover’s new book follows a young woman who a inherits mobile library full of books from her birth mother and sets out on a journey to the small town of Wagtail Ridge to learn more about the woman she never knew. To celebrate its release in December Janet tells us about 12 books you should put on your TBR this Christmas.

Although I am very fond of swans a swimming, turtle doves and gold rings, for the 12 days of Christmas I think the best presents are books. Lots and lots of them.


So, here are my suggestions for great Australian books to read over the holidays.

  1. For kids, The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay. I once stayed in a hotel with a magic pudding fridge – open all day and stocked with never-ending puddings. All free. Albert the magic pudding would have loved it there.
  2. Also for the kids, Blinky Bill by Dorothy Wall. The classics may not slot easily into today’s world, but they still have magic.
  3. The entire Silver Brumby series by Elyne Mitchell. As a pony-mad kid I loved them. I still have my original copies. Whenever I’m in the Snowy Mountains, I keep my eyes peeled for a flash of white among the trees.
  4. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough is still fabulous. It also still makes me cry, and that’s the best compliment I can pay.
  5. Any and all books by Alissa Callen. I started with the Woodlea novels. But wherever you start, they’re all great rural stories.   
  6. I recently discovered I have a convict ancestor, which sent me to For the Term of His Natural Life by Marcus Clarke. It’s not a light read, but let’s never forget how so many of us came to this country we love.
  7. Outback Ghost was the first Rachael Johns book I ever read and I loved it. I still come back to it as a comfort read. Thank you, Rachael.
  8. I have never solved the mystery of Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. I chose not to read the final chapter that was published later, although that doesn’t really solve the mystery. If you ever figure it out, let me know.  
  9. I know I said great Australian books – but I have to add Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series. I was lucky enough to meet her in the US some years ago. I read my first Virgin River book that week and have now read every one. The TV series is just icing on the cake. 
  10. And, if I may be so bold, there’s my own new book – The Library at Wagtail Ridge. Yes, it’s a book about a library and books and people who love books. It’s also a story about love … a mother’s love for the child she had to give away and the kind of love that grows when two people are just right for each other.   

Of course, I already have all these books, so if I’m making a new wish list for myself for Christmas, I’m open to your suggestions … put them in the comments below.   

I hope the festive season brings the best of times for you and yours.

Merry Christmas,

Janet xx


Janet Gover grew up in outback Australia, surrounded by wide open spaces, horses … and many, many books.

When her cat lets her actually sit in her chair, she writes stories of strong women, rural communities and falling in love. Her novel Little Girl Lost won the Epic Romantic Novel of the Year Award presented by the Romantic Novelists’ Association in the UK, and she has won or been shortlisted for awards in Australia and the USA.

As Juliet Bell, in collaboration with Alison May, she rewrites misunderstood classic fiction, with an emphasis on heroes who are not so heroic.
Her favourite food is tomato. She spends too much time playing silly computer games, and is an enthusiastic, if not always successful, cook.

and don’t miss Janet’s new book The Library at Wagtail Ridge!

An unexpected and unusual inheritance sets a young woman on the road to discover her mother’s deepest secret. A charming and heartfelt rural romance perfect for readers of Rachael Johns and Karly Lane.

When Lou Taylor inherits a quaint country cottage and a mobile library full of books from her birth mother, she heads to the small town of Wagtail Ridge to learn more about the woman she never knew. Curiously, the last piece of the bequest is a handwritten letter, the first of many Luca left scattered along the library’s route in hopes of finally sharing her secrets with the daughter she had to give up.

The townspeople of Wagtail Ridge flock around Lou, wanting to share the stories of Luca’s life, but she knows she must learn about her birth mother in the way Luca intended. Jake Barnes, her new neighbour, offers to help her follow the trail, but weighing on his conscience is a promise he made to Luca – a secret that now stands between him and the woman who’s slowly capturing his heart…

As the kilometres fly by, Lou gradually untangles who her mother was and what lay behind the choices she made. At the same time, she finds herself drawing ever closer to kind, handsome Jake. But will it all be enough to keep her in Wagtail Ridge when she has another happy life waiting for her in the city?

A captivating story of love, family and belonging from award-winning romance author Janet Gover.

Find it here

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