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This Valentine’s Day, be a character in your very own romance novel

Kathy and Fletcher Newbern started YourNovel in 1992 when they were still dating. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Newbern)

This Valentine’s Day, instead of the usual flowers and candy, how about giving your honey a romance novel, customized just for you two?

“Our special service is we will put you and your sweetheart in your very own personalized romance novel,” said Kathy Newbern, who started YourNovel with her husband Fletcher in 1992.

“Together, Fletcher and I have written 26, and we now have other writers, so we’re past 50 different titles now.”

You can choose from mild or wild, depending on how sexy you want it to be, and they’ll put your photo on the cover. Then it’s like a game of Mad Libs; they’ll fill in the blanks with things like your first and last names, your hair and eye colors, the perfume you wear, your favorite color of lingerie, what cars you drive, and what you do for work.

“My favorite little thing in there is your sweet little nicknames,” Newbern said. “Like, Fletcher calls me Honey Bunny. Sometimes I call him Sweetie Pie. We get some interesting ones from customers, as you might imagine.”

Larry Emerick has ordered his wife, Wanda Emerick, a new YourNovel every year for 28 years of their 33-year marriage.

“I’m never allowed to not get her her book on Valentine’s Day,” he said. “Mostly she reads it. If I can’t watch it on the TV, I’m not too interested.”

The books are pretty steamy and campy, like any good romance novel should be.

“A tingling of deliciousness flowed over him as her hand found its way closer to the source of his ever rising desire,” Newbern reads an excerpt from Another Night In Paradise, the first book she and Fletcher wrote together, a story based on their honeymoon.

“I’m pretty sure they were peeking in on me, that’s where they got the idea for the scene in the book!,” joked Larry, as Wanda giggled.

Newbern says they learned right away, after their first book came out, that people want more sex scenes.

“Our writers, Marcy Thomas and Thomas Marcy, their latest book, Wild West Love Fest, [they put a love scene] on like, page two or three and we were like, ‘Oh baby, you didn’t!’ And yes, they did! They’re campy, they’re fun, they’re tongue and cheek, they’re supposed to be a romp,” Newbern said. “But we really feel like our novels do help spread love. We make sure, in all of the books, he is speaking romantic things to her, she is saying loving things back to him, and they’re expressing not only the sexy, gooey parts, but appreciation. We think that’s a real uplifting thing for a couple.”

Wanda says Larry is very romantic.

“Oh my gosh, yes. On Valentine’s I get my breakfast, he makes heart shaped toast, heart shaped eggs. I get a rose for every year we’re married, so he’s up to paying mega bucks now. His friends call him Mr. Romance,” she laughs.

Newbern says she and Fletcher also do sweet things for each other every day.

“Between the travel, writing — 72 countries and 81 cruises so far — and starting a company together where my romantic husband and I write together, work together, the combination is a dream come true,” she said. “I’m serious about that, it’s the best job description in the world.”

There’s still enough time to order a book before Valentine’s Day. Enter RADIO10 to get 10% off.

Listen to Rachel Belle’s James Beard Award nominated podcast, “Your Last Meal,” featuring celebrities like Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Rainn Wilson, and Greta Gerwig. Follow @yourlastmealpodcast on Instagram!

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