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  • Writer's pictureKryssie Fortune

5 Fact Thursday Five Fact Thursday - The Guy from the Park by Birdie Song #SweetRomance #Australian

The Guy from the Park is a contemporary Australian sweet romance novelette, featuring two 20-somethings in the midst of rebuilding their lives on their own terms when a chance encounter brings them together.

Somerville Downs is a fictional four-suburb area inspired by a real-life group of suburbs on the outskirts of Perth. You don’t have to travel far out of the city to be around nature and wildlife here. Even the inner-city is peppered with parks, native trees and the occasional wetland (natural or manmade).

In chapter 3, Sabrina considers learning a language she didn’t hear while growing up. It’s not unusual for Southeast Asian kids to grow up around several languages. For example, in my own household, I could expect to hear up to eight languages spoken around me although, much like Sabrina, I only picked up one.

Sabrina eating ice-cream with Dan and Josh may be the most fictional element in this book. One might even say it’s bordering on fantasy given that over 90% of people with East Asian heritage are lactose intolerant. My body is certainly no fan of a full-sized soft serve cone from an ice-cream truck. But let’s pretend the one in this book is run by hipsters offering a variety of non-dairy and vegan options.

In chapter six, a pair of low-flying magpies interrupt Sabrina and Dan’s conversation. They come away unscathed since this book is set during our summer season, but had their romance unfolded just four months earlier, it might have been a different story. Springtime is breeding season for our local passerine birds, and you may catch sight of fearless, almost aggressive, behaviour and terrified children.

Little Marlee Lake, the body of water near where Sab meets Dan is the “little brother” of Marlee Lake, the larger lake inside the bushlands beside the park where Su-Li and Chris shared a heartfelt moment in The Guy from the Flower Shop (currently free on Kobo, B&N and Apple Books until 30 July).

The Guy from the Park

Summer days and new beginnings.

Off the back of a bad breakup, Sabrina Chen is getting her act together. But reinventing yourself isn’t easy at twenty-four, especially when you don’t know who you are. For starters, does she want to be the kind of person who fancies that grumpy random guy from the park? Daniel Ryce certainly doesn’t seem like vision board material, but since when does life go according to plan?

The Guy from the Park is a short and sweet “meet ugly” story, set in the world of Somerville Downs.

Excerpt from The Guy from the Park

Dan fiddled with his earbuds and watched them leave. There was something nice about her, a carefree energy he missed at their first meeting.

It wasn’t until they neared the edge of the park that he noticed their ball still by his feet. He called after them and Josh’s aunt raised her hand, asking for a pass. He lined up a kick, ready to land it a metre short so it would roll the rest of the way.

But it left his foot wrong. He could tell the instant he touched it. The ball sailed over her head, bounced off the road and landed in someone’s front hedge. Josh’s aunt laughed at him.

“Nice one, Messi,” she called back. “Don’t give up your day job.”

“That’s one for one!” He wasn’t about to be outdone by some random at a park.

“I won’t give mine up either!”

Dan chuckled and pocketed his belongings. Running seemed superfluous now after such a friendly exchange. It almost seemed like flirting. Not that he’d ever presume that, but that playful conversation that just rolled… it’d been a long time since he shared that with someone.

A heavy feeling tugged at his heart as he strolled along the footpath. With each step, it grew heavier and dipped lower—taking his mood with is—until it sat solidly in his gut.

The feeling was guilt. He knew full well why.

Maybe he would keep running after all.

About Birdie Song

Birdie Song is an Asian-Australian writer. She pens sweet stories featuring hopeful characters and optimistic endings (spoiler alert!).

She believes love is more important than labels, integrity is a person’s most attractive quality, and that no one should be judged for putting pineapple on a pizza.

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