Jilly Cooper has contacted the Evening Advertiser in a bid to track down a Swindon woman whose story features in her latest best-seller Pandora.

The novelist, who got chatting to the "delightful and elated woman" on a train, thanked her in the book's acknowledgements.

Two weeks ago the mystery woman, believed to be called Moira, wrote to Jilly saying that she was thrilled to feature in Pandora. But Jilly has lost the letter and is now desperate to trace her.

She said: "I would love to find her and thank her in person. It was a such wonderful story which just had to be written."

They first met two years ago when Jilly was travelling back from London where she had been doing research for Pandora in the courts.

Jilly, 66, who lives in Bisley, Stroud, with her husband Leo, lurcher Hero and five cats, was captivated by the woman's story.

She said: "Moira, I think that was her name, told me about her daughter's boyfriend who longed to be married before he hit 40.

"The relevant families hatched a fantastic plot to make this dream come true."

The would-be husband went to a pub where he discovered a message telling him to get to church quick smart.

"Everything was waiting for him upstairs. So he got ready, walked down the aisle and the couple are now blissfully married," Jilly said.

In Pandora, Jilly changed the sex of the person who experienced this romantic scenario.

Instead of a man, who wanted to wed a woman, it was a beautiful girl called Emerald who thought she would be on the shelf if she wasn't married by her 27th birthday.

Emerald believed that Jonathan, the man she was madly in love with, was her brother so they could not tie the knot.

"But after great skulduggery and unravelling, it transpires that they are not siblings and can get married," she added.

"This is where the story told by the lovely woman on the train comes in at chapter 78."

Before exchanging contact details, the woman got off the train at Swindon.

Only after reading Pandora did she discover how inspiring their conversation proved.

Jilly said: "Having read the acknowledgements, she realised it really was her story."

Delighted to be mentioned, she wrote to Jilly suggesting they meet for a drink at The Bear in Bisley, Jilly's favourite pub. Somehow this invitation has been mislaid, much to Jilly's disappointment.

She said: "I really want to thank her in person. So if that lovely lady on the train is out there, please get in touch. I owe her a drink."

If you are this woman, or know of her, call newsdesk on Swindon 528144.

Pandora topped the charts

Pandora was number one in the best-seller list for four weeks running after its paperback launch on June 2 this year.

The novel, hailed by critics as a rivetting romance, was first published in May, 2002.

It is still in the top 10 bestsellers. The celebrity novelist has written many other number one bestsellers including Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous, Appassionata and Score!

Her love affair with romantic novels began in 1975 and today she has 38 books to her name.

They have have sold more than 11 million copies in the UK.