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Chris Heimerdinger's sequel has unique twist

Published: Thursday, Feb. 23 2012 5:00 a.m. MST

"ESCAPE FROM ZARAHEMLA," by Chris Heimerdinger, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 304 pages (f)

As a creative writer and author, Chris Heimerdinger has always prided himself in entertaining readers with dramatic material that turns the pages.

His latest novel, "Escape from Zarahemla," continues that trend, but with a unique twist.

Not only is "Escape from Zarahemla" a sequel to the novel and movie, "Passage to Zarahemla," but readers will be interested to find out how Heimerdinger combines his two Zarahemla books with his popular "Tennis Shoes" adventure series.

"Escape from Zarahemla" picks up six months after characters Kerra and Brock McConnell were reunited with their long-lost father. But Kerra misses her Nephite warrior boyfriend, Kiddoni, who returned to Zarahemla in the mystical passage.

When a flash flood washes through the southern Utah hollow, the magical passage reopens and of course the family decides to embrace the adventure of going into Book of Mormon times. Sound familiar?

There are secrets to be learned, puzzles to solve, heroes to meet, battles to fight, Gadianton robbers and jaguars to kill, and loved ones to save. For fans of the "Tennis Shoes" series, the pages will be easy to turn.

For those who followed the "Tennis Shoes" series, it will become clear as you read where Heimerdinger is going with all this, and it's not really a big secret.

“ ‘Escape from Zarahemla' is a 'Tennis Shoes' book," he said in an online interview on YouTube. "It gives some background on characters and settings in the whole 'Tennis Shoes' series, which aren't going to make sense until they get to the last 'Tennis Shoes' book, 'Thorns of Glory,' which I intend to write this year (in 2012)."

Heimerdinger said "Escape" allows him to provide important background on important characters and combine the two series into one. In the process, he also shares his passion for the Book of Mormon and basic principles of the gospel.

"Escape from Zarahemla" can be found wherever LDS books are sold.

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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