Sarah Palin is returning to the Twin Cities, the place where her national political shooting star was launched.
The Republican Party's 2008 nominee for vice president will be at the Mall of America on Friday signing copies of her new book, "Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of America."
Palin will be in the mall's rotunda starting at 6 p.m., and there are many guidelines for people to follow in order to get a book signed and to meet the former Alaska governor. Most notably, attendees must buy the book at any Barnes & Noble to receive a wristband that earns a spot in line to see Palin. Also, according to the mall, any photos with Palin must be taken by her photographer. Prints will then be available for sale, ranging in price from $15.99 for a 5-by-7 to $29.99 for an 11-by-14.
While signing events routinely require attendees to buy the latest book in order to meet the author and get an autograph, it is highly unusual to require payment if attendees want their photo taken with the writer.
Mall spokeswoman Sarah Schmidt described the pay for a photo option as a "rare occurrence" for book signings. And, yes, there are more guidelines for this latest stop on her book tour. They can be read in full at bit.ly/1jmiZvA.
"We are expecting a large turnout based on the last two appearances by Palin" for similar events at the mall, Schmidt said. "She has a lot of dedicated fans."
Palin's latest book is described by promoters as a revisit to "the traditional roots and the true meaning of Christmas. She calls on readers to defend and openly celebrate the joys of their Christianity, and say to one another, 'Merry Christmas!' " Palin won her party's nomination at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul as John McCain's presidential running mate.
Paul Walsh and Laurie Hertzel
Billy Graham back in the hospital
Nearly two weeks after celebrating his 95th birthday, the Rev. Billy Graham is back in the hospital for respiratory problems. The Charlotte-born evangelist, who lives in Montreat, N.C., was taken to Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C. "Mr. Graham is in the hospital with a respiratory congestion issue, similar to what he had a few weeks ago," said Graham's spokesman, Mark DeMoss. "As was the case then, we expect he will be able to return home in a day or two." Graham's son, Franklin, who runs the Charlotte-based Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, is in Thailand to headline a festival, or crusade, this week. He is not altering his plans, DeMoss' office said.