The Lucky One - By Nicholas Sparks


Writing is never a solitary effort, and as always, there are many people I have to thank for having the energy and ability to complete this novel. There are many ways to honor these people for their efforts, of course, so I thought I’d throw in a few different ways to say thank you—at least according to the list I “Googled” right before writing this. (Without looking them up, can you name all the languages offhand?)

At the top of the list, of course, is my wife, Cathy. More than anything, she keeps me centered and focused on all the things in life that are really important. I tell my sons they would do well to marry a woman much like her one day. Thank you!

The kids come next: Miles, Ryan, Landon, Lexie, and Savannah, all of whom have been immortalized (in a teeny-tiny way) as the names of characters in my previous novels. To receive their hugs is to receive the greatest gift of all. Muchas gracias!

And then? My literary agent, Theresa Park, always deserves my gratitude. The agent-author relationship can be tricky at times—or so I’ve heard from other agents and authors. In all honesty, for me it’s been nothing but fantastic and wonderful to have worked with Theresa since we first spoke on the phone way back in 1995. She is the very best; not only is she intelligent and patient, but she is blessed with more common sense than most people I know. Danke schön!

Denise DiNovi, my friend and movie-accomplice, is another of the many blessings in my life. She’s produced three of my films—including Nights in Rodanthe, Message in a Bottle, and A Walk to Remember—which makes me one of the most fortunate authors in the world. Merci beaucoup!

David Young, the fabulous CEO of Grand Central Publishing, has been nothing but supportive, and I’m lucky to work with him. Arigato gozaimasu!

Jennifer Romanello, a publicist and friend, has made publicity an endlessly interesting and enjoyable experience for the past thirteen years. Grazie!

Edna Farley, my telephone friend, schedules nearly everything—and handles every problem that crops up—while touring. She’s not only fantastic, but endlessly optimistic, something I’ve grown to cherish. Tapadh leibh!

Howie Sanders, my film agent and friend, is another member of the “I’ve worked with that author for a long time” club. And my life is better for it. Toda raba!

Keya Khayatian, another of my film agents, is terrific and always generous with his time. Merci! or, if you prefer, Mamnoon!

Harvey-Jane Kowal and Sona Vogel, my copy editors, are incredibly patient, considering I’m always so far behind on deadline. They have to catch all the little errors in my novels (okay, sometimes biggies, too), and unfortunately, I seldom give them much time. So if you find an error (and you might), don’t blame them. Blame me. They’re fantastic at what they do. To the both of you: Spasibo!

Scott Schwimer, my entertainment attorney, is one of those guys who make you frown at lawyer jokes. He’s a great person and an even better friend. Liels paldies!

Many thanks also to Marty Bowen, Courtenay Valenti, Abby Koons, Sharon Krassney, Lynn Harris, and Mark Johnson. Efharisto poli!

Alice Arthur, my photographer, is always ready at a moment’s notice and takes a fantastic photo, for which I’m always grateful. Toa chie! Or Xie xie!

Flag has yet again designed a wonderful cover. Shukran gazilan!

Tom McLaughlin, the headmaster at The Epiphany School—a school that my wife and I helped found—has made my life richer and more full since we’ve been working together. Obrigado!

And finally, to David Simpson, my fellow coach at New Bern High—Mahalo nui loa!

P.S. The languages are: English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese, Italian, Scottish Gaelic, Hebrew, Farsi (Persian), Russian, Latvian, Greek, Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese, and Hawaiian. At least according the site I found on the Internet. But who can believe everything there?


Clayton and Thibault

Deputy Keith Clayton hadn’t heard them approach, and up close, he didn’t like the looks of them any more than he had the first time he’d seen them. The dog was part of it. He wasn’t fond of German shepherds, and this one, though he was standing quietly, reminded him of Panther, the police dog that rode with Deputy Kenny Moore and was quick to bite suspects in the crotch at the slightest command. Most of the time he regarded Moore as an idiot, but he was still just about the closest thing to a friend that Clayton had in the department, and he had to admit that Moore had a way