True Believer

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True Believer
Also by Nicholas Sparks
The Notebook
Message in a Bottle
A Walk to Remember
The Rescue
A Bend in the Road
Nights in Rodanthe
The Guardian
The Wedding
Three Weeks with My Brother (with Micah Sparks)
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True Believer
For Rhett and Valerie Little, wonderful people, wonderful friends [pic]
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As always, I have to thank my wife, Cathy, for her support while writing this novel. All that I’m able to do is because of her. I also have to thank my children as well: Miles, Ryan, Landon, Lexie, and Savannah. What can I say? I was blessed the moment that each of you came into my life and I’m proud of you all. Theresa Park, my agent, deserves a long round of applause for all that she does for me. Congrats on your new agency—Park Literary Group (for all you aspiring writers out there). I’m honored to call you my friend. Jamie Raab, my editor, deserves my thanks, not only for the way she edits my novels, but for all the trust she places in me. I don’t know where my career would have ended up without you, and I’m thankful for your generosity and kindness. Larry Kirshbaum and Maureen Egen are friends and colleagues, and it’s been my privilege to work with them. They are simply the best at what they do. Denise DiNovi also deserves my thanks, not only for the films she’s made from my novels, but for those well-timed phone calls, which always brighten my day. Thanks also to Howie Sanders and Dave Park, my agents at UTA, as well as Richard Green at CAA. Lynn Harris and Mark Johnson, who helped to make The Notebook into the wonderful film that it was, also deserve my gratitude. Thanks for never losing your belief in the novel. Special thanks to Francis Greenburger as well. He knows why— and I owe him one. And finally, thanks to those people who work so hard behind the scenes and have become like family to me over the years: Emi Battaglia, Edna Farley, and Jennifer Romanello in the publicity department; Flag, who did another fantastic job with the cover; Scott Schwimer, my attorney; Harvey-Jane Kowal, Shannon O’Keefe, Julie Barer, and Peter McGuigan. I’m fortunate to work with such wonderful people. True Believer

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Jeremy Marsh sat with the rest of the live studio audience, feeling unusually conspicuous. He was one of only half a dozen men in attendance on that mid-December afternoon. He’d dressed in black, of course, and with his dark wavy hair, light blue eyes, and fashionable stubble, he looked every bit the New Yorker that he was. While studying the guest onstage, he managed to surreptitiously watch the attractive blonde three rows up. His profession often demanded effective multitasking. He was an investigative journalist in pursuit of a story, and the blonde was just another member of the audience; still, the professional observer in him couldn’t help noticing how attractive she looked in her halter top and jeans. Journalistically speaking, that is. Clearing his mind, he tried to focus his attention on the guest again. This guy was beyond ridiculous. In the glare of television lights, Jeremy thought the spirit guide looked constipated as he claimed to hear voices from beyond the grave. He had assumed a false intimacy, acting as if he were everyone’s brother or best friend, and it seemed that the vast majority of the awestruck audience—including the attractive blonde and the woman the guest was addressing—considered him a gift from heaven itself. Which made sense, Jeremy thought, since that was always where the lost loved ones ended up. Spirits from beyond the grave were always surrounded by bright angelic light and enveloped in an aura of peace and tranquillity. Never once had Jeremy heard of a spirit guide channeling from the other, hotter place. A lost loved one never mentioned that he was being roasted on a spit or boiled in a cauldron of motor oil, for instance. But Jeremy knew he was being cynical. And besides, he had to...
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