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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Favorite New Tennis Shoes Excerpt (So Far!)

This is a fun excerpt. I hope readers enjoy it. I'll continue to offer the full Prologue and Chapter 1 from Tennis Shoes 12 as attachments to any new orders placed on frostcave.com or my FrostCave products on Amazon. Two posts ago (Sept. 10) I provided links to the Tennis Shoes book and audio Gift Sets, for which FrostCave offers the best price. All items autographed for Christmas!

I have an announcement. For months I've told fans that the new Tennis Shoes book would be called Thorns of Glory. Most know that this book is long enough that my publisher will likely divide it into two books. I've presumed it would be Thorns of Glory Part 1 and Thorns of Glory Part 2, sort of like the Feathered Serpent books. HOWEVER, I think I've come up with a better title for the first of these 2 books:

Drums of Desolation

Let me know what you think. Just know that Book 13 is likely still called Thorns of Glory. Nothing is set in stone until you see it on the shelf. The following excerpt is told from the POV of Marcos.


"Stop!" I screamed. "Muskah, halt!"

No more than eighteen inches stood between me and those gargantuan tusks, capped with metallic, jagged edges, as the mammoth pulled to a halt.

It hadn't wanted to stop. I wasn't certain how it physically managed to stop. Its inertia should have crushed me like a rolling pin. I don't know what compelled me to leap in its path. What authority did I think my voice would carry with this house-sized wrecking ball? I acted on impulse. On instinct. Nothing more.

And it worked! By God's grace, it worked! Nothing explained it except divine intervention. Muskah, roared again; I felt the heat of its breath. My face was sprayed with spittle from its mouth and trunk. To my consternation, I heard a question in that roar. At first I rejected this, convinced it was all in my mind.

The question was: "Why should I?"

Another impulse compelled me to reply. "Because I am your master now. And you must obey me with the same devotion."

The mammoth seemed to glower at me. It shook its helmeted head from side to side, flapping its ears like triangular flags. It grunted and chuffed—still in agitation, but in a tone much more civil. Again, I swore I heard a message in these sounds.

The creature seemed to say, "I've never known another master. My master commanded me to kill. To destroy everything I see. Especially him."

The beast had meant King Omer. Still with dominance in my voice, I repeated. "I am your master. And I say halt. Do you really want to maim and kill?"

Its agitation persisted. It stomped several times with its front pads, then made another chuff. "I want to please my master."

"Then please me," I replied. "Do as I say and be calm. Be at peace, gentle Muskah. You are mighty and strong. But you are not threatened. I mean you no harm. No one here—" I particularly indicated King Omer. "—means you any harm."

The people were hushed, breathless. They were dumfounded. Any why not? This whole confrontation seemed insane. I was talking to a mammoth! And as God is my witness, the brute was communicating back. We understood each other the same as two human beings. Unquestionably, it was some kind of miracle. But was it a new miracle? Something hinted that I'd possessed this ability all along. I'd just never had cause to exercise it.

The creature stopped swinging its head and tusks. It ceased stomping the ground. Only its ears continued flap, like oversized butterfly wings.

"Are you going to obey me, Muskah?" I demanded. "What are you going to do?"

It stood its ground another few seconds, still heaving its warm breath in my face, which smelled like cut grass, a little rancid. It began to turn, making one final snort I interpreted as, "I'm going to eat."

As Omer's company gawked in amazement, Muskah lumbered back to the place where it had been happily grazing. It resumed yanking leafy vines from the dune, unconcerned over whatever else had occurred. What's that old adage? An elephant never forgets. Maybe this also applied to mammoths. But not this mammoth. It had forgotten everything and returned to doing what it had preferred all along.

Joshua sidled up beside me, staring at Muskah, shaking his head in admiration. "You're a man of unseen talents, Marcos. Mammoth whispering. Who'd've thought? If we ever go back to an era that has television, you should have your own show."

I grunted. "Sure. If only mammoths and television existed in the same century."


  1. I love the title Drums of Desolation! I'm so very excited to read the new book!!!

  2. I think that is a great title. And thank you for the excerpt I just adore new news about this book. Keep up the good work. 8)

  3. At this rate the whole book will be available here just in chunks though.
    Also will it be released on kindle or nook at all?

  4. I love this title. It definitely hints of bleak events at Cumorah for everyone involved. I can't wait to read it.

  5. I like the new title idea, and I can't wait for the book to come out.

  6. Drums of Desolation sounds very catchy. I did notice this though:"Are you going to obey me, Muskah?" demanded Marcos. "What are you going to do?"
    Is Marcos in that sentence going to be changed to I before it gets printed?

  7. Your new proposed title implies to me that we should expect the book to be more about an impending battle...whereas I think Thorns of Glory implies something beautifully dangerous...or dangerously beautiful...like the crown of thorns placed on the Saviour, or a magnificent rose garden. I love em both Chris! Go with whatever title you think best exemplifies the book overall. We the fans only have excerpts to go off, but I promise we will love whatever title you choose! :)

  8. All great, but what is the ETA? e-book and/or print?

  9. Thank you so much for writing these books! Your passion for the scriptures is very apparent and contagious. Again thank you for sharing your delight in the scriptures and your talent for storytelling with us. I'm so excited to read the next adventure of the Hawkins family!

  10. I like Drums of Desolation for the first book and Thorns of Glory for the last book (However, Thorns of Glory should be the title of the book where the Savior is Crucified) I am a retired English teacher and I just want you to know that my 7th grade students' reading levels went up by reading your Tennis Shoe books.

  11. Seriously!!! Two books?? I've waited too long already for number 13. It's exciting though. Don't make us wait too long.

  12. pleas hurry! i'm dying to know whats next. also please don't stop writing after this adventure is over, i would die if the series finally ended. i hope many more adventures will be coming!

  13. i cant wait for the next book! im getting restless!