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'(Enter your name here),' he sighed, 'you're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen'

By: Liza Cooperman
January 10, 2000

[Enter hero's name here] stood watching as the fading sunlight caught the ends of her [enter hair colour here] hair, turning them a golden hue. The whole time they were together, the feelings that had been hidden for so long suddenly came rushing back to life. Every turn of her head, the brush of her arm, even the sound of her laughter, made him want to hold her and smother her with kisses. And those breathtaking [enter colour here] eyes.."

If you've always dreamed of being a character in a romance novel swept off your feet by the airbrushed arms of Fabio (or standing in Fabio's place, for that matter), here's your chance. And all it takes is a few clicks of a button. Romance By You, a division of Book By You Publishing is a London, Ontario - based company that offers personalized romance novels, co-written by none other than you. Fill out a questionnaire on the company's Web site ( and select names, features and places to personalized. You can even include your pet.

The plot of the story, titled Love's Next Door, revolves around four main characters: the heroine, her best friend, the hero and a female villain.  In addition to the character names, there are more than 30 characteristics to personalize, such as hair colour, eye colour, nickname and favourite drink. For those who can't think of a nickname, the Web site offers a few generic suggestions: Bubbles, Fizzle, Love-bug or strangely Beano. (It's in your best interest to pick something. If you leave it blank, they'll use "Cuddles" as a default.) Can't think of a female villain? Why not try a few of their suggestions: Sharon Stone, Lorena Bobbit, Yoko Ono or everyone's favourite Monica Lewinsky.

Once the order is completed it takes two to three weeks (or perhaps a little longer in the rush before Valentine's Day) you will receive a 140-page, professionally bound novel, which also has a personalized front cover and spine. The company, whose motto is "live the fantasy," describes Love's Next Door as a magical tale of filled with comical antics and practical jokes that tells the story of true romance." All this for a mere $29.95 plus $2.95 shipping anywhere in Canada. These books will be shipped via priority mail. To order your book, visit the company's Web site at, or order by phone at 1-877-659-4844. The cutoff for Valentine's delivery is February 4.

Reprint courtesy of the National Post.

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