What a fall Nicholas Sparks is having. Heck, what a life he's having. Every book he writes becomes a blockbuster bestseller, and some become blockbuster movies as well. His latest blockbuster movie, "Nights in Rodanthe," starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane, has just been released, and his latest blockbuster book, "The Lucky One," has just been published.

Sparks will be here Tuesday, signing books at the Mall of America.

"The Lucky One" follows the path of most other Sparks books. A beautiful woman and a hunky guy are drawn together, then forced apart, and just when you think you have the ending figured out, there's a surprise twist. In this case, Logan Thibault finds a picture of a woman in the sand while he's serving in Iraq. Once home, he sets out walking across America, determined to find her.

Meanwhile, the woman, Elizabeth, is living a quiet life as a schoolteacher in North Carolina, raising her 10-year-old son.

Thibault is a classic Sparks hero: handsome, capable and sensitive. He likes kids, dogs and Hummel figurines, but don't think for a second that he's a wimp: He's also an ex-Marine who can kick your cretin ex-husband's butt. Which comes in handy when he finds out who Elizabeth's ex-husband is. I'd say more, but that would be telling.

Laurie Hertzel • 612-673-7302