Episode 57
Muckwhip's Guide to Capturing the Latter-day Soul
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Latest Excerpt from "Thorns of Glory"

 Sep 05, 2018

In Jerusalem's Upper City...

Since it's the most common question I'm asked, I wanted to give readers a better idea of where I'm at writing Tennis Shoes Volume 13 (14?): Thorns of Glory. It won't answer when I'll be finished to anyone's satisfaction, because I'm unsure myself, but it might provide perspective. This is from the point of view of Joshua: 

We worked our way through the wealthiest parts of the city. Walls and hedges were high. Windows were higher. The smell of cut flowers was thick. It seemed too early in the season for flower gardens, yet flower-sellers had been plentiful at the gates and throughout the city.  Imported, I presumed, from a warmer place. It wasn’t the pungency of flowers that most revealed the upper-class status of the neighborhood. It was the absence of tents. Considering the density of pilgrims in every other part of Jerusalem, city authorities must have labored overtime to keep this quarter uncontaminated by squatters. We avoided a smattering of Roman sentries and Jewish policemen. Otherwise, we saw very few pedestrians. Voices wafted from windows and doorways, but the streets themselves were eerily empty. 

“Why is everyone inside?” Melody wondered. She’d directed the question at no one in particular. Presumably, since the four of us knew little about Jewish customs, particularly events on the evening prior to the actual Passover, an answer wouldn’t have been expected.

Hamira whispered, "It’s pre-Seder. Not every year is Passover a day before shabbat. Shabbat and high shabbat. Two shabbats together. Or . . . so it was explained."

I confronted her. “How in the name of Kisin do you know so much about how things are done in Jerusalem?”

She replied petulantly, “Keep your voice low! Someone told my brother and my brother told me. What’s wrong with you? We’re very close!” As she faced back up the street, she repeated, “We’re very close.”

Our journey continued. Did I say we followed her like sheep following a shepherd? I was starting to think it was more like sheep to the slaughter when, all at once, she drew to a halt. Slowly, almost like an apparition, she lifted a single finger and pointed toward a building about two-dozen yards ahead.

It appeared to be a residential home, typical of other residences in the neighborhood. The front of the building was cast in thick shadow, but I perceived a low containment wall and an inner hedge, somewhat higher than the wall. Despite these impediments, I also perceived, beyond the iron gate, a split entryway with one door that led into a ground floor room, and a stone or plaster stairway to its left that climbed to an upper chamber. Like many residences in this quarter, there were no windows on the first floor, but a faint light flickered from a window of the upper room.

Upper room. Was that the actual phrase that entered my mind? I couldn’t claim to have ever read or studied the New Testament, but what LDS kid didn’t know the term “upper room” or what it meant? Or what was said to have taken place inside it?

I felt a chill—no, a warmth—enter my heart and then sweep outward across my body, seeming to exit my fingers and toes in little waves.



  • Edward L. Shult

    Sep 18, 2018 11:12 pm


    Reply from Chris: Well, it's not finished yet. Eventually, you can get it from me. 801-870-2070
  • Ryan Watson

    Sep 23, 2018 2:41 pm

    I saw the comment about Part 2; is Part 1 of Thorn of Glory finished?

    Comment from Chris: I suppose, but since it doesn't really have a logical endpoint, I'll just finish both volumes and figure that out later.
  • Thomas Sevy

    Oct 23, 2018 8:23 pm

    Honestly, my whole family would just buy the double sized last book if it was just one book for Thorns of Glory.
    I have been reading the series literally my whole life and I was able to get my wife hooked too. We love the story and are excited for the conclusion. We would pay for the larger book, and most likely buy the whole series for our personal collection again.
    We understand it is hard and the market is not what it was like in the late '90s and early 2000s but we wait excitedly for the epic conclusion to Jim and Garth’s story.
    Thank you for all the amazing moments.

  • April Smith

    Feb 1, 2019 8:53 pm

    Please release soon!!! I need to know what happens!!! :)

  • Apr 19, 2019 4:07 am

    This is killing me! I so look forward to the book.

  • Derek M Brown

    May 1, 2019 9:37 am

    When will book 13 come out?

    Reply from Chris: Very shortly after I finish it.
  • Andy

    Jun 28, 2019 2:11 pm

    My name is Andy, and I have really enjoyed reading the Tennis Shoes Among The Nephites series. I have to figure out what happens after the twelfth book! Do you have a guess as to when the thirteenth and fourteenth books will be out?

  • Meg

    Nov 5, 2019 7:39 am

    I remember reading your first books in elementary school and fell in love. I think the only reason my siblings and I survived our family road trips, very squished together in a car, was because we loved to listen to your books in the CD player. The only problem became that when we arrived at our destination we didn’t want to leave and just wanted to finish listening to your books! I still love re-listening to all your books and am very excited for the last two. Thank you for all you’ve done in bringing joy through your books (and keeping my family alive on long drives haha). Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • Jennifer Duce

    Nov 9, 2019 8:46 pm

    We are anxiously waiting for the final 2 books to come out. I have all of the series and we’ve read them several times. Really hope you release them soon. Do you think it’ll be in 2020?

  • John Pack Lambert

    Mar 9, 2020 12:47 pm

    I know I will get demerits from some questioning the use of “LDS kid” in the Nelsonian era. Latter-day Saint kid would to me be better. I know people will tell me lots of reasons why Nelsonian era issues are not at play here.

    It has been too long since I applied myself to the chronology of Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites to figure if I could claim Joshua should be Nelsonian or not.

    I like these teaser snippets, but they are more teasers than I realized.

    I might have to break down and buy everything from Book 1 on on my kindle and reread it to figure out what is going on here. I totally do not remember who Hamira is, although I remember Joshua Plympton well enough.

  • Gionna

    May 22, 2020 12:14 pm

    I’m with everyone else waiting on this book! I received the first four 20ish years ago for Christmas and reread the entire series every time I get a new book. I NEED the final chapter to wrap everything up. I just read books 1-7 again and am hesitant to open 8 because I’ll end back at that cliff hanger. Closure soon please!

  • Melanie

    Jun 17, 2020 2:06 pm

    I just re read/re listened to all the cds of every tennis shoes series. And I am so ready to find out what happens in thorns of glory. The title and where Jim is in the last book are very exciting for this books fate. ❤️????. Ready for another adventure with the others as well. Especially to see what is going to happen with gid and kiera:)

  • Angie Tillapaugh

    Jul 1, 2020 4:13 pm

    I was introduced to the Tennis Shoes Books when my kids were little. This month my youngest is getting married! We used to listen to your books in the car all the time when they were growing up. I think I go through the series of books at least once a year. I still love them! They have really helped me understand the scriptures. Made them more real for me. Thank you for that! I know the ending will be fantabulous! I’ll be waiting!

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