This comes too late for Valentine's Day 2009, but here's an intriguing idea for whichever romantic holiday arrives next: You can become the star of your own romance novel.
Husband and wife writing team Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher are the authors behind 14-year-old company yournovel.com. They have written 19 books with a variety of story lines set in exotic locations from Tahiti to the Caribbean to New Orleans. You send them details about the starring couple (you or anyone else you'd like to surprise) such as names, hair and eye color, where the two live, where they work, their best friends, favorite music, how they met, and so on.
Paperback versions of the books sell for $50. A deluxe version (hardcover, with the photo you send them on the cover) costs $85.
Newbern and Fletcher say they sell about 2,000 copies of the books on Valentine's Day alone. But perhaps the most surprising thing about the concept: About half the buyers are men.