Please call 801-870-2070 to order

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I did request one minor change to this current version. I wanted the bottom tagline (or subtitle--which is barely visible here unless you enlarge it by clicking on the image) to read "The Thrilling Sequel to Passage to Zarahemla" and then either italicize or bold the title Passage to Zarahemla. But overall, I think this is MUCH better. Compare for yourself. And then PRE-ORDER the doggone thing! I've gotten orders on books, but no lucky soul has yet pre-ordered the very first audio CDs. I will sign that product as, "First audio CD of this book EVER SOLD!" which, as of this moment, would be quite accurate.

To pre-order, go to:


OR! http://www.frostcave.com/shop/

Or just call me at 801-495-0555 and we'll use my merchant account. So call now! But not tomorrow. ANY day but tomorrow. I'm sort of having a baby tomorrow.

Oh, aw-right. You can leave a message tomorrow and I'll call you back. :)

Copyright, July 2011, Chris Heimerdinger

Monday, July 25, 2011

Movie Review: 17 Miracles

Sometimes when I've read movie reviews I've thought, "If the reviewer understood a little about actual movie-making, they might know what they're talking about." Well, as far as LDS cinema, I'd have to say that I feel somewhat "qualified."

Unfortunately, since the phenomenon of LDS cinema began (arguably with God's Army in 2000), I've personally followed the same behavior pattern as most other LDS consumers, i.e., I was very excited at first and saw them all--mostly in theatres, and often the day they were released! Then, after feeling like I'd been burned one too many times, I sort of became indifferent. I waited to hear the opinions of others before I saw much of anything. And even when others' reviews were marginally good, I generally waited to see an LDS movie on DVD. Despite a rash of high-quality, low-budget projects out of the gate, I finally came to the conclusion that it just wasn't worth spending my hard-earned $7-10 price for a theatre ticket on a movie that cost under a million to make, especially when I had the alternative of paying for another movie of equal length, in a neighboring theatre, that cost as much as 100 million or more. Maybe it had to do with a long string of relatively poor quality LDS films. Maybe the newness of the phenomenon had simply worn off. Most likely it was a little of both. And sadly, I'm still stuck in that rut, because despite the fact that 17 Miracles had been in theatres since June 3, I only broke down and bought a ticket for it last night, and that was only because we'd already seen (as a family) Captain America the night before and Emily and I couldn't find any other movie for our weekly date night.

Everyone has their favorites as far as LDS films. Peoples' favorites are normally the ones that most touched their hearts. I'll leave my own film off such a list. Not because I'm not proud of the acheivement. But for the same reason I'd leave my own books off such a list. When I'm the creator, not the consumer, I'm simply too close to the project to judge. So with that in mind, my personal favorite LDS film has always been The Best Two Years. Why? Well...I guess, more than anything, because of that single scene where Brother Rogers (K.C. Clyde) bore witness to his investigator, Mr. Harrison (Scott Christopher). That scene really got to me. Yes, there were other fine parts of that movie. If there hadn't been, the really GREAT scene wouldn't have worked. But that single scene really reignited all the feelings associated with my own testimony. Thus, I'll never forget it. Those are the kinds of things that determine our "favorites," right? Well, for me, personally, no other LDS film had quite achieved such a moment. However, finally, with T.C. Christensen's 17 Miracles I can happily report that an LDS filmmaker has once again "got to me." 

T.C. has been around a long time. He's always kept a hand in directing, but over the years he's probably become better known as one of the finest cinematographers in the Mountain West, having shot such LDS projects as Emma and Forever Strong. With 17 Miracles I think he has broken his own mold and written, directed, and produced what I think now stands as one of the strongest examples of LDS cinema.

He shares his writing credit on this story, although I think he is the sole author of the screenplay. It may be in the writing where this movie's true genius shines. Not in its wittiness or clever dialogue (though there are examples of both) but primarily in its simplicity. It's honesty.

We've all heard the spiritual anecdotes surrounding the Martin and Willie handcart tragedy for most of our Church lives. I also enjoyed Gerald Lund's historical novel Fire of the Covenant, sat through numerous firesides, and sent about half of my children on the now-traditional handcart treks celebrated by LDS stakes across Utah (and beyond) every four years. Still, the information and storytelling in 17 Miracles  struck me with such freshness that it was as if I was hearing these accounts for the first time. The genius, I believe, lies in the choices that T.C. and his co-writers made. Unlike other recountings that I've heard or read, T.C.'s story focused less on history and more on (as emphasized by the title) the miracles. Some of these miracles were new to me, such as the rage-filled husband who failed to recognize his converted wife and children when they were escaping on a train, or the "angel" (played by Bruce Newbold who also happens to be a veteran of Passage to Zarahemla) who provided meat to the starving pioneers and then "disappeared." Perhaps such incidents have been told to me before. Perhaps I'm just growing old and senile. Or perhaps T.C.'s movie dramatizes such events in a way that finally, permanently, seared them onto my memory and into my heart. I'd like to believe that it's the latter.

From the very opening scene the scriptwriters offered a profound comparison between the Donner Party that met a most tragic end in the mountains of California, and the members of the Mormon handcart companies, who might very well have succumbed to the same pressures, but didn't. The reasons why they did not sink to such depths of depravity was, I believe, the main point of the film, and it left viewers with much to ponder. It was this comparison and its inherent themes that, I believe, offered the fresh perspective which made the film's impact particularly strong. It was further emphasized as I read one of the final placards at the film's ending. This historical note informed viewers that the percentage of fatalities experienced by these two handcart companies was not particularly higher than what was experienced by other pioneer parties on the Oregon Trail. If this point is true (and I guess I'd have to brush up on western history to confirm it) it makes the story of the Willie and Martin Handcart companies all the more sublime--the fact that they did NOT succumb to the same savagery as the Donner Party and other groups who endured similar hardships. Instead these Mormon pioneers were bound together by their faith in a common purpose--the desire to follow the Lord's command and reach that magical destination called Zion--and by the abundant miracles that attended them because of their faith.

My congratulations to all involved in this project for injecting a much-needed shot in the arm to LDS cinema. It is a reaffirmation that the "thing" many LDS films have been missing is not big budgets, 3-D  effects, vertigo-inducing cinematography, or snappy editing, but a sincerity of storytelling born of simplicity, conviction, and testimony.

I urge all weary consumers of LDS cinema to give this one a chance, particularly before it leaves the big screen. I regret that I waited seven weeks to see it, if only because I could have written this review a little sooner. The fact that 17 Miracles is still in regional theatres after seven weeks and during such a hyped summer box-office season might be considered the 18th miracle surrounding this production. Or perhaps not. The fact is, this movie--because of its fine performances, veteran skills, and poignant storytelling-- sincerely deserves the attention and success that it is acheiving.

@ Copyright, Chris Heimerdinger 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pre-Sales Begin For "Escape From Zarahemla"

To pre-order Escape From Zarahemla for shipment in October, call 1-801-495-0555. Ask for Chris.
(other ordering options listed below)

Okay, what you're looking at here is only the "preliminary" cover for Escape From Zarahemla. The main reason I went a little psycho and told the publisher they couldn't go this direction was because it features three Gadianton characters who are DEAD!! All three of these guys died in the first novel and movie Passage to Zarahemla. I also didn't like the smiling, lighthearted expressions on Kerra and Brock. Reminded me too much of something like The Buttercream Gang. So I explained to the artists that this was an INTENSE STORY with wall-to-wall action and the character's expressions should reflect such. Thus, we went back to the drawing board, found MUCH better character images, and changed things up quite a bit. The new cover will (I'm told) feature Nephites instead of Gadiantons, and a jaguar. I'll reveal the final cover as soon as they finish it. 

None of this matters, of course, when pre-ordering the book or audio CDs. We've already discounted both products from the publisher's suggested retail prices ($16.99 and $27.99.) If you order directly from me by calling 1-801-495-0555, shipping will be a little cheaper. If it's more convenient, you can also order from Amazon, but those who know Amazon know that shipping is $4.00 for every single item, so if you want, say, the book AND the audio CDs, or two books, or whatever, then you should DEFINITELY order directly from me or from http://www.frostcave.com/. Also, if you want a personalized autograph for the purposes of a gift, etc., ordering with my merchant account makes that process much simpler.

So here are the three ways to pre-order the newest adventure:

1. Call me direct at 801-495-0555 with a Visa or MC. Ask for Chris.
2. Go to: http://www.frostcave.com/shop
3. Use Amazon. For the BOOK, go to:
                          For the AUDIO CDs go to:

My sincere thanks to all my fans and readers through the years. I hope the feedback in October confirms my instincts that Escape From Zarahemla is one of the most exciting and satisfying Book of Mormon adventures I've written. :)

To see other great AMAZON sale items, scroll down to the bottom of this webpage!!

@Copyright 2011 by Chris Heimerdinger

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Edge of Our Seats!

In an event filled summer, with a new book at the press, research for the next book underway, a new 15-passenger van in my driveway, my father's 80-th birthday, 4 kids at EFY, a dozen other Church, ward and stake activities, etc., etc., the most profound, extraordinary and magnificent summer event is scheduled to take place in less than ten days. Namely, the birth my new son, Hunter Helaman!

It's a daunting prospect to say the least. I haven't had a brand new baby for six years. Additionally, I haven't had a SON for 17 years! As I recall, it is much more difficult having a baby son around the house than a baby daughter. I'm not playing favorites. (Actually, the roles sort of reverse in complexity as they become teens!) but as babies and toddlers, girls (at least in my experience) are much easier to handle. However, my wife, Emily, appears eager and up to the task, despite her perpetual discomfort, Braxton hicks, and inability to ever get comfortable enough to enjoy a full night's slumber. The baby is due in early August, but actually being induced on July 28th (to avoid certain medical complications). So in 9 days, our lives will once again be filled with diapers, spit-ups, late night pacing, and continuous Sacrament meeting interruptions. And you know what? This is my last one. I know it. I've fully digested this fact, and because of it, I plan to cherish every moment--from the crying to the puking to the disposable "blowouts" (only an experienced parent would fully know what that term means in this context).

So in the midst of all this, one might wonder, what about Tennis Shoes Book 12?! Yes, I still get an average of 5 emails per day wanting to know about the novel's progress. I'll only say this: ideas are hatching, plots are thickening, and breath-taking climaxes are being orchestrated. Sadly, no matter what else is happening in my life, I can never totally turn off the spigot of my imagination. It's actually a bit of a peculiar, distressing thing. Even as I witness the sacred birth of my child, my mind will occasionally--inevitably--ruminate upon some plot point or character from whatever new project is dominating my attention. If I could help it, I assure you, I would. Such is a curse of being an artist. Or maybe just the curse of having a personality plagued by A.D.D. Either way, a part is my mind is forever bouncing like a pinball, desperately searching for a place to land. I suppose the only respite I have from this "disease" is the moment that I actually complete a novel, or a movie, or a song. Even so, the moment lasts only about 45 seconds. Then it's off to my next fantastical wonderland. But ohhh!, what a golden 45 seconds of freedom those precious seconds truly are! They are worth all the creative effort that came before.

In a day or two I will begin to offer pre-orders for Escape to Zarahemla, still scheduled for an October release. I now know the price--both of the book and the audio book--and I have seen the first mock-ups of the cover design. Honestly, I didn't like my publisher's first efforts at a cover. But with a little extra work I think we've finally found the needed images of Kerra, Brock and other characters, plus a gnarly face-forward image of a jaguar, which is very "story appropriate," as readers will discover soon enough.

Don't call me quite yet for pre-orders. Give me another day or so. I may have to post the "mock-up" cover for now and the final cover next week. Today I'm actually working with the editor on a final draft of the manuscript. The more I read my own words, the more satisfied I am with the pure adventure this story offers. It's quite breathtaking at moments (if I do say so). The Book of Mormon has been a source of inexhaustible inspiration for me throughout my career, and Escape to Zarahemla is no exception. I truly believe readers will be immersed in the Nephite world in ways that have never yet been explored or imagined. In any case, it's a much more engaging (and longer) read than Passage to Zarahemla. My hope is that readers will grip the edge their seats with enthrallment, just as with the most intense moments of any other Tennis Shoes adventure. Then, when this novel concludes, both book series will magically blend together in perfect and poetic way that should surprise and please the most discriminating fans.

When the time comes (let's say Friday), you can pre-order from me directly by phone, or you can simply go to this blog's companion site at http://www.frostcave.com/. Lastly, you can go to my Amazon account called FrostCave found at:


Shucks, you can go there now if you have a hankering and see hundreds of great LDS titles that came into my hands earlier this year--most of them brand new and in mint condition. Take special note of the price on Tennis Shoes sets--books and/or audio. Honestly, no one else can touch the prices that I can offer--even including shipping!!

So for now, stay tuned! Not merely for the pre-sale of Escape to Zarahemla. Mostly for the announcement of the long-awaited arrival--on July 28th--of the planet's newest occupant: Hunter Helaman Heimerdinger.