Man proposes to girlfriend with original children's book

North Carolina couple Paul Phillips and Erika Ramos get engaged in their local library. (Laura Ingram)

Some book proposals fetch an author a hefty advance. Well, this book proposal got Paul Phillips a fiancée.

Phillips, who lives in North Carolina, wanted to surprise his girlfriend Erika Ramos with a marriage proposal she would never expect.

The imaginative Phillips wrote an original children's book about a giraffe and a gorilla that represented their own relationship. He found an illustrator online who brought the story to life. The book was titled A Tall Tale, and featured a proposal at the end of the story.

After he printed the book, it was placed in the kid's section of their local library, which is where Phillips took Ramos on the premise that he had to return some books before going to dinner.

While they were there, Philips suggested they browse the kids' book section because they often look for fun reads for nieces and nephews. When the couple "spotted" A Tall Tale, Phillips had her read it to him.

"When she got to the right page I got on my knee and asked if she would marry me. She never saw it coming," Phillips wrote in a post on Reddit.

She accepted. And loved the book.

"She loves giraffes," Phillips said of his new fiancée. "We spend a lot of time going to zoos and it is her favorite part. I am clumsy and big like a gorilla. So I played off that in my writing."

Local photographer Laura Ingram was in on the act, actually putting the book in place and pretending to browse the section while waiting to capture the happy moment. You can see more photos from the proposal on her Facebook page.

The happy couple. (Laura Ingram)