Hello Friends and Fans!
I wanted to give an early Christmas gift to my readers by posting the opening chapter of my newest novel, Escape From Zarahemla. For those who are not aware, this is a sequel to the book Passage to Zarahemla. I suppose you could also consider it a sequel to the movie, but more particularly it's a sequel to the book. Honestly, the movie follows the novel about 90%. That's the advantage when the novelist is also the film director. But little things are different. For example, in the book, Sakerra is a blonde. In the movie, she's a brunette. You are perfectly welcome to imagine Summer Naomi Smart in the role of Sakerra since I believe she gave a wonderful performance. But technically, she's a blonde in the sequel, just like in the original novel. Not that it matters since the opening chapter doesn't really discuss that issue anyway.
I'm actually a good four or five chapter beyond what I have posted here. The novel is coming along swimmingly (I love that word). If all goes as planned, I'll finish it this spring and submit it to the publisher ASAP. Then I'll dive into Thorns of Glory, the 12th novel in the Tennis Shoes series. However, as I have reported to numerous fans (particular at autograph signings) when you read the entire novel of Escape to Zarahemla you will fully understand why I had to write this book before I wrote Book 12. The two novels will carefully tie together the two "worlds" and certain Zarahemla characters will become Tennis Shoes characters in Thorns of Glory. Confusing? Nah! For readers I actually think they'll find it to be great fun.
I know many people have not yet read Sorcerers and Seers. Chances are, you won't even dive in until you open your gifts on Christmas morning. But I will tell you that there is a moment--somewhere toward the end of Sorcerers and Seers--that offers a strong presentiment of the eventual interweaving of these two stories. But I'll leave it to readers to figure where that "hint" appears.
In the meantime, I hope my fans have a great and glorious Christmas. Especially, I hope that everyone finds an opportunity to perform a special act of service for some other person or family to make their Christmas, or their lives (or both) a little more special. Opportunities are countless. A little prayer and a little inquiry (from your bishop or other leaders and family members, as well as the Lord) will make the opportunity obvious. Remember, we can never find ourselves in Heavenly Father's debt, and I believe our nation and its citizens could use all the blessings that the Lord can bestow.
Well, enough preaching. Here's the link. I hope you enjoy Chapter One of Escape to Zarahemla. And don't worry about typos, etc. Likely the chapter will experience one or two major overhauls and rewrites anyway before the final version is published. Enjoy! Link