On my honor and cross my heart, this story really did happen!
I was on a plane recently ...in fact a week before my book Boomerang Bride was released, and an American woman in her early 30s, with carry-on luggage (one tiny suitcase), sat down next to me. She'd flown into Sydney and was on her way to a town not too far from where I live. Now, we don't get many overseas visitors where I live because we're not a tropical climate and we're not a capital city, so the fact she was visiting intrigued me. Her reason? She was coming to marry her Australian fiance. (Blogger won't let me use accents!)
As a romance author I LOVE hearing about how people meet so I asked that very question. Turns out she'd met him on on-line. 'Really?' says I as I think about Matilda, my heroine from Boomerang Bride. 'Yes', she says. 'We met and I came out last year for a while and now we're getting married.'
I thought about the carry-on luggage. 'You've come with one suitcase?'
She had. Everything else had been packed in a container and was being shipped out. Her clothes, her furniture, her money; everything. Just like Matilda, she was crossing the world to marry the man she'd fallen in love with and starting a new life in a new country, a very long way from home.
I swallowed at this point because my Matilda arrives from Australia into the USA and finds her fiance has vanished. I wasn't going to mention that! I mean, there's nothing worse than raining on someone's parade, right, and my book was fiction. So I warmly congratulated her and mentioned I'd written a book about an Australian marrying an American after meeting him in a chat room.
Her story was so spookily similar to the start of Boomerang Bride that it blew me away. I only hope she ends up as happy in her life as my fictitious Matilda, that her finace is not a "Barry-the-Bastard" and was in fact meeting her in the next town with the marching band, flowers and a hug that says, 'I am so glad you're here with me.'
Fiona Lowe is an award-winning, multi-published author with Harlequin and Carina Press. Whether her books are set in outback Australia or in the mid-west of the USA, they feature small towns with big hearts, and warm, likeable characters that make you fall in love. When she's not writing stories, she's a weekend wife, mother of two 'ginger' teenage boys, guardian of 80 rose bushes and often found collapsed on the couch. A previous finalist in the Romantic Book of the Year award, she's writing her 19th novel. She loves to hear from readers and you can find her at her website, facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.