Dear Reader,

For most of my life I’ve been sensible and made wise and measured decisions, but I can recall a couple of instances when I made some really dumb ones and they still make me blush. I think if we’re really honest we can all remember things we’ve done that have put us in ‘the danger zone’. Sometimes it’s a split second decision, sometimes our thought processes are derailed by grief or stress. Fortunately for me, my dumb decisions and poor choices haven’t landed me up on the front page of the newspaper, in court or worse.

For Matilda Geoffrey, the Boomerang Bride, it was family folklore that put her in the ‘dumb thing danger zone.’  She grew up in outback Australia, raised on the great love story of her grandmother and the oft retelling of her journey as a World War Two war-bride, crossing the Pacific to marry her Yankee GI. Usually sensible, but in a moment of grief, Matilda left Australia for love and marriage, only to find that love over the internet is a big-time con and she’s giving up the dream for good. Now she’s stuck in a wedding dress in small town Hobin, Wisconsin, at Thanksgiving, without a cent to her name, and not even a jar of Vegemite to keep her warm. 

Twelve years ago, Marc Olsen, New York City architect escaped his needy family and he only ever comes back to Hobin for a quick visit at Thanksgiving. But this year his sister is seriously ill and needs him to stay and care for her and her moody teenage son, pulling him right back into the heart of a family and a town he wants to avoid. The first thing he sees as he pulls into town is a bride holding a wedding cake and standing on a deserted main street.

Both Marc and Matilda are trapped in Hobin. Can he use this crazy boomerang bride to be the carer his family needs and keep them at arm’s length, and can she use him to survive in a country without leaf tea and where no one understands a word she says? But most challenging of all, can they both keep their hands off each other, their hearts intact and both remain dependent-free?

I guess you have to read Boomerang Bride from Carina Press to find out!

Harlequin Blaze author, Sarah Mayberry writes, “Boomerang Bride is a hot, heartfelt read with lots of laughter.”

I had so much fun writing this story and revisiting the wonderful years I spent living in Wisconsin and I hope you enjoy it too.  For more information on Boomerang Bride, to hear the music and see the pictures which inspired the story, and to learn about my other novels, please visit http://www.fionalowe.com

Happy reading!

Fiona xx



Excerpt from Boomerang Bride

© Fiona Lowe


Norsk’s had been a Hobin institution for as long as the oldest resident in town could remember, and then some. With its high pressed metal ceilings and deep wooden booths, plus extended hours from six in the morning until ten at night, it was the unofficial town hall where the most important deals—both financial and social—took place. Plus it sold the best food in town and was famous across the state for its potato lefse.

Marc opened the door and ushered Matilda inside, checking that the door didn’t jam the dress before she’d moved through. She’d come this far with her madcap scheme, the least she deserved was to have a clean dress. The aroma of hot, strong coffee combined with the deep-fried scent of fat and brown sugar washed over him, immediately making him smile. As a kid he’d saved his pennies and bought the mouth-watering Norwegian rosette pastries by the bagful.

A cry of surprise greeted him, followed by the bang of a swing door and brisk firm footsteps. A big-boned woman, her buxom frame covered by a huge old-fashioned white apron, rushed toward him, her arms outstretched. Astrid was the current owner of Norsk’s and a good friend to his mother. She was also the woman who knew everything there was to know about everyone in Hobin and the tri-county area.

She wrapped her arms around him. “Marc, you’re home. Your mama said you were coming and here you are.” She pinched his cheeks as if he was seven and her scent of soap and spices enveloped him, taking him back in time when he’d been small and the most complicated thing in life was to make the difficult choice between gingerbread and chocolate-chip cookies.

Astrid admonished him, “It’s been too long. You really should come more often. Your mother worries.”

He gave an understanding shrug, having had the same conversation every November for years. “She’d worry about me if I lived here.”

“True, but she’d worry different.” Astrid’s pale blue eyes studied him closely, as if he might disappear again before she’d had her fill. Slowly, her gaze drew away from him and she caught sight of Matilda. Her hand immediately shot to her throat. “Oh, as I live and breathe, I never thought I’d see the day.” She spun around so fast that her bun of carefully wound gray hair wobbled. “Listen up, everyone,” she shouted in her “order-up” voice. “Marc Olsen’s home and he’s brought a bride.”

Heads turned, legs of chairs scraped against the floorboards and the jukebox fell silent. People rose to their feet, surprise shining on their faces and comments tumbling from their mouths.

“How wonderful.”

“No way.”

“Who’s going to tell Sue-Ellen?”

“She gave up on him years ago and married Brent Larsen. You went to the wedding remember?”

Hobin loved a bride and loved a wedding, and that enthusiasm seemed to blind them all to the fact he was in casual wear and his so-called bride was wearing a gown clearly from five decades earlier. Not to mention the combination of her pale face with run mascara that made her look like a Goth. Nonetheless, Marc’s back was slapped, and hands pumped his own as he raised his voice, trying to speak above the noise before the story went from “just married” to “they’re expecting a baby and moving back to Hobin.”

“I’m not marrying him.

The hands dropped away and the chatter stopped instantly as Matilda’s Australian accent silenced everyone.

He’d noticed she often ended her sentences on a high note and in this case it made her sound like marrying him was the worst possible thing in the world. But ego aside he shot her a grateful look as he caught sight of the clock. It was time to sort this out so the bride and groom could be reunited and he could get to Lori’s.

“Everyone, this is Matilda Geoffrey and she’s just arrived from Australia today to surprise her fiancé, Barry Severson. But there’s some confusion over his address so can someone give Matilda directions?”

“Barry Severson.” A murmur went around the diner while blank faces stared back, oscillating between the Australian bride and himself.

Ray Peterson, a local farmer, chipped in. “There’s Barry Everett just out of town on the highway. He runs the agricultural equipment co-op and he’s single. Perhaps he’s your man.”

“Barry Hillestad just opened that Sparkle Clean carpet business.” John Wolf tugged thoughtfully at his beard. “And he’s been advertising for staff. Mind you, he could do with a wife,” he added helpfully.

Marc swallowed a groan and glanced at his watch. At this rate they were going to be subjected to the occupation and marital status of every Barry in Hobin.

Matilda agitatedly tucked some hair behind her ear with one hand while she straightened her dress with the other. “Barry’s got a business in town importing giftware.”

“Peggy Hendrix has the only gift shop in town, dear.” Astrid’s brows pulled down into a V of concern and she shot Marc a questioning look.

Matilda’s expressive hands fluttered out in front of her. “It’s more than a shop and I think that’s the confusion. He’s had the shop for a while but now he’s leased a large warehouse in the business park so I think he must have moved everything there and is concentrating on expanding his business.”

Business park? A sinking feeling settled in Marc’s stomach. He might only visit once a year but his sisters’ emails would have mentioned something as huge as a business park starting up in town. An empty shop had just been joined by a fictitious business park.

The mutters amongst the customers started to sound concerned.

Marc drummed his fingers against the diner’s counter as he tried to marshal his thoughts. “Matilda, when did you last speak to Barry?”

“Two days ago. I rang him on his mobile just before I got on the plane...” She must have caught his confused expression and immediately corrected herself. “I called him on his cell phone but he couldn’t talk because he was entertaining clients at the microbrewery.”

The closest Hobin got to a microbrewery was Ray’s homebrew. Not that it wasn’t a legendary drink, it was. Every year for the last decade Ray had taken home the State Fair blue ribbon for the best-tasting milk and his not-so-secret ingredient was giving his Holsteins a sip of his beer while they were being milked.

Astrid shoved her hands deep into her apron pocket, gazing at her feet for a moment before looking up and opening her mouth, only to close it again. The usually plain-speaking woman inclined her head toward Marc as if to say, “You have to tell her.”

Fantastic. Just great. He swore under his breath, his plans of leaving Matilda with Astrid unraveling faster than rope being pulled by an anchor. He should have just stayed in the car. Now he had to tell a woman of doubtful emotional status, who’d traveled halfway around the world to get married, that her fiancé’s story about his business and life in Hobin was a pack of lies, and that no one in town had heard of him. Oh yeah, he really wanted to put his hand up for that.

He remembered the tears of his sisters when they’d been dumped by boyfriends. Boyfriends not fiancés. The chances that anyone would take this news well were slim. Especially a woman who’d got on a plane with an ancient dress and a cake that wouldn’t pass a breathalyzer test. Crazy didn’t seem strong enough a word.

The urge to turn and walk out the door made his feet tingle. He could still do that. He could walk away. After all, she’d find out soon enough on her own without him telling her. If she had any sense at all—which he sincerely doubted—she’d have started to put the pieces together and work it out all by herself. Besides, he was now seriously late for supper at Lori’s.

Oh yeah, like that’s ever worried you before.

“Marc.” Astrid’s tone said it all.

He had no choice but to break this woman’s heart.


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Contest!


To celebrate the release of Boomerang Bride published by Carina Press, Fiona is giving away great prizes in a contest exclusive to Newswire readers.

To enter the draw just answer these two questions:

What does Matilda call the trunk of the car?
How old was Marc when he left Hobin to go to college?


Then email us at staff@authorsoundrelations.com with your answer by midnight on August 15th, 2011. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address and please mark the subject heading as 'BoomerangBride'.

1st Prize: $25.00 gift card from Amazon along with fun Fiona Lowe goodies
2nd & 3rd Prize: $10.00 gift card from Amazon and fun Fiona Lowe goodies!

Good luck!

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