Perfect (Bound) for Valentine's Day

"My wife hates your site." I can't tell you how many times I've heard it. Judging from the inbox, there are quite a few spouses out there who consider me the Great Enabler, tempting their husbands with pictures of expensive editions, fueling an urge that zaps disposable income that could be better spent on, say, flowers for Valentine's Day. 

I admit it. I'm a bad influence. But now I'd like to do something to make it up to the ladies. 

As I mentioned, Valentine's Day is fast approaching, and it just so happens that today, February 1, is the official launch of my novel Beguiled. I co-authored it with Deeanne Gist, a bestselling romance novelist, blending her taste and mine to tell a story their marketing folk call "romantic suspense." Publisher's Weekly and Booklist have given it a thumb's up, and the February 13 issue of WORLD Magazine will include a nice review, too

Beguiled is in stores now. As I write this, I've just returned from a trip to the local Barnes & Noble, where it's prominently displayed up front on the New Arrivals table. Believe me, that's a nice feeling. The point is, the book is easy to find. So why not get your better half a copy for Valentine's Day? For all that Bible Design Blog has taken from her in terms of time and money, here's a chance to give something back.

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Now you're probably thinking, "Plot and character is all good and well, but tell us about the paper quality and the binding!" Your wish is my command. I'm happy to report that Beguiled is printed on eggshell white paper with a luxuriously flexible paper cover. We've used the finest, um ... adhesive ... for the "perfect" binding. As you can see, it's yoga flexibility rivals the finest Bibles:

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Above: As good as the best ... as long as I crop my fingers out of the top of the picture.

But let's talk about those paper covers. Many books use hard, stiff covers that don't conform well to the hand -- but not this one! By using a thin semi-gloss stock with four-color printing, you get a cover that literally peels back from the page. Like so:

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And what about the opacity of the paper? Well, to fit so much incredible writing into one book isn't easy, but the balance of thinness and opacity is pretty good. There's some ghosting, but in good light you shouldn't notice it. Beguiled is such a page-turner that you'll be finished long before anything approaching eye strain sets in. With good margins, over-sized type (more than 10 pts.!), and generous line spacing, the reading experience couldn't be better.

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Naturally, Beguiled is set in a single-column text layout. The text is paragraphed, and while there are chapter numbers, those of you who don't like versification will be pleased to know that there are no verse divisions anywhere in the novel. 

"That's great, but how does it compare to an Allan's Personal Size Reference?" I hoped you would ask. Let's take a look at the two together:

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 As you can see, Beguiled is a little taller and wider than the PSR in red goatskin. I'd give the PSR the edge in terms of cover material, and it does have three ribbons. And, well, the content is way superior. But Beguiled has larger, easier-to-read type! 

All kidding aside, this is obviously an effort at shameless self-promotion. Buy my book for your wife, and I've gained something, she's gained something, but what does it benefit you? Here are two benefits to consider: First, if enough people buy my book, Mrs. Bertrand will be happy. If you think your wife has strong feelings about Bible Design Blog, let me assure you, mine does, too. Help me make my day job profitable and she won't begrudge me the sideline! Second, stop and think for a moment how much your life might change if your wife likes the book. What if she likes it so much she becomes a fan? What if I even become one of her favorite authors? She might stop giving you a hard time for coming here and actually start encouraging it. You never know!

By the way, you could always get a copy for yourself. I know I used the R-word earlier, but men have actually read and enjoyed this book. What better way to signal your unique blend of confidence and sensitivity than to read a book like this? (You can always put a leather book cover on if you're lacking in either category.) Not to mention that fact that many Bible Design Blog readers are female. For you, it's as simple as buying yourself a copy for Valentine's Day.

You may already have picked this up by glancing at the side column, but I have two novels coming out this year. Beguiled is out now, and Back on Murder hits the shelves this summer. It's the first volume in a series of crime novels. If you want to know more about that one, check out BackOnMurder.com, or visit my newest blog CrimeGenre.com. And if you do pick up Beguiled, for you or your wife, and end up enjoying it, post a review somewhere online and drop mean e-mail. I'd love to hear what you think.