Much has been happening this month at WordServe Literary . . . our highlights below include new releases, contracts signed, notable reviews and PR events, new authors to the agency and other news of note by clients and agents.
On July 7, 2021, Laura Stack and Freiling Publishing, released The Dangerous Truth About Today’s Marijuana: Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story.
This is the poignant life-and-death story of Johnny Stack, whose young and vibrant life ended by suicide after his descent into addiction to high-potency marijuana and cannabis-induced psychosis.
You’ll laugh and cry with his mother, Laura Stack, as she retells the story of Johnny’s joyful childhood and then takes you through the unthinkable tragedy of his loss. It’s every parent’s nightmare. But this book is much more than Johnny’s story.
Today Laura, who is a nationally recognized speaker and best-selling author, leads a national effort of parents, impacted family members, healthcare professionals, coalitions, teachers, and youth who are concerned about the harmful effects of marijuana on our children, teenagers, and emerging adults.
This book is a clarion call for parents across America to educate themselves about the risks of today’s high-THC marijuana products and to better understand the potentially devastating effects on youth mental health. Laura’s real-life story is backed by recent scientific-based research on how today’s potent THC products lead to mental illnesses in adolescents, such as anxiety, depression, paranoia, psychosis, and sadly, suicidal ideation.
This book is her vision to dramatically decrease adolescent marijuana usage, the false perception of safety, mental illness, and suicide, to allow our youth to live productive, happy lives.
On July 20, Taylor S. Schumann and IVP released When Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough: A Shooting Survivor’s Journey into the Reality of Gun Violence.
Taylor Schumann never thought she’d be a victim of gun violence. But one spring day a man with a shotgun walked into her workplace and opened fire on her. While she survived, she was left with permanent wounds, both visible and invisible. In When Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough, Taylor invites us to see what it means to be a survivor after the news vehicles drive away and the media moves on. Healing is slow and complicated. As she suffered through surgeries, grueling rehabilitation, and counseling to repair the physical injuries and emotional trauma, she came face to face with the deep and lasting impact of gun violence. As she began grappling with the realities, Taylor experienced another painful truth: Christians have largely been absent from this issue. Gun violence undercuts God’s vision of abundant life and community―and the silence of the church rings loudly in the ears of survivors and families of victims. Taylor weaves her own incredible story of survival and recovery into a larger conversation about gun violence in our country. With compassion and honesty, she encourages readers to reconsider their own engagement with the issue and to join her in envisioning a more hopeful, safer future for our nation. Move beyond thoughts and prayers and enter into grace-filled dialogue and action.
Congratulations to Larry Dugger and Fidelis Publishing for the July 28 release of Unshakable!: A 40-Day Guide to Overcoming Anxiety, Worry, and Emotional Distress.
You can be unshakable.
What is keeping you up at night?
Are you worried that God has forgotten you?
If you’re like many people, you no doubt have anxious moments. Just as Jesus faced his emotional distress head on by challenging every poisonous thought and feeling, you must so the same. What if you give God the next forty days of your life to find peace in the chaos?
You can live unstoppable. When fear holds on tight, remember God travels broken roads looking for those crushed in spirit. Wounded hearts on winding backstreets call to him. He cannot stay away. Like a storm chaser, he runs into your tornado. It’s your broken heart and crushed spirit that he can’t resist. Drawing inspiration from the last three hours Jesus hung on the cross, best-selling author and pastor Larry Dugger sheds lights on what to do when you feel trapped in a dark place.
You can trust God with the impossible. This forty-day action plan is designed to move you away from anxiety, worry, and emotional distress. It’s time for you to stop seeking the predictable in times of crisis. God is not predictable. He is so much more than stained glass. He is creative, wild, and free to do as he wishes.
Congratulations to Jennie A. McLaurin and Cymbeline Tancongco Culiat with Tyndale for the August 3rd release of Designed to Heal: What the Body Shows Us about Healing Wounds, Repairing Relationships, and Restoring Community.
Our bodies are designed to heal. We fall off our bikes and skin our knees—and without effort on our part, the skin looks like new in a few days. But while our skinned knees easily heal, it can sometimes feel like our emotional and relational wounds are left gaping open, broken beyond repair. If our bodies instinctively know how to heal physical injuries, could they also help us understand how to restore painful emotional and relational ruptures?
In their groundbreaking debut book, physician Jennie McLaurin and scientist Cymbeline T. Culiat write Designed to Heal: a fascinating look at how the restorative processes of the body can model patterns we may adapt to heal the acute and chronic wounds of our social bodies. Through engaging patient stories, imaginative travels through the body’s microcellular landscapes, accessible references to current research, and reflections on the image of God, Designed to Heal offers a new perspective for healing our social divisions. By learning how the body is created with mechanisms that optimize a flourishing recovery from life’s inevitable wounds, we are given a model for hopeful, faithful, and enduring healing in all other aspects of our lives. Our wounds don’t have to have the last word.
Congratulations to Tricia Williford and NavPress for the August 17th release of This Book is For You: Loving God’s Words in Your Actual Life.
This is a book about falling in love with the Bible . . . that feels nothing like reading a book about the Bible.
This Book Is for You will help you learn that the Bible has something life-changing to say about who you are, where you are, and the God who is in the midst of it. When you finish this book, you just might say, “I see what she did here. I didn’t realize it, but I was learning while I was laughing. She invited me into a dialogue about things I didn’t know I wanted to learn. She stirred within me a love for the Bible, but it didn’t hurt at all.”
This Book Is for You invites you into the author’s life using stories, humor, and charm, revealing how the Bible has become Tricia Lott Williford’s daily lifeline. Regardless of your notions of the Bible, Tricia will help you engage with it as a living, meets-me-where-I’m-at thing.
Tricia is not a seminarian. She is a lover of God’s Word. She is not a highbrow academician. She is educated as a grade school teacher who sometimes uses comic relief to make her point. She is not a theologian, a Bible teacher, or even a Bible scholar. Tricia is a lover of messy people; a mom of two teenage boys who are likely late for school and wearing mismatched socks. She has been known to absent-mindedly doodle in the margins of overdue library books. She has battled depression and anxiety to degrees that have nearly drowned her. She has begged the Lord for miracles that only He could provide. And somewhere in the midst of all that, she fell hopelessly in love with the Word of God as a light to her next step and the air for her next breath.
Now Tricia wants you to experience this too.
Congratulations to Angela Ruth Strong for the August 17th release of Husband Auditions: A Novel.
How far would you go to find the perfect husband? All the way back to the 1950s?
In a world full of happily-ever-after love, Meri Newberg feels like the last young woman on the planet to be single, at least in her Christian friend group. So when she’s handed a strange present at the latest wedding–a 1950s magazine article of “ways to get a husband”–she decides there’s nothing to lose by trying out its advice. After all, she can’t get any more single, can she?
Her brother’s roommate sees the whole thing as a great opportunity. Not to fall in love–Kai Kamaka has no interest in the effort a serious relationship takes. No, this is a career jump start. He talks Meri into letting him film every silly husband-catching attempt for a new online show. If it goes viral, his career as a cameraman will be made.
When Meri Me debuts, it’s an instant hit. People love watching her lasso men on street corners, drop handkerchiefs for unsuspecting potential beaus, and otherwise embarrass herself in pursuit of true love. But the longer this game goes on, the less sure Kai is that he wants Meri to snag anyone but him. The only problem is that he may not be the kind of husband material she’s looking for . . .
With droll comic timing, unbeatable chemistry, and a zany but relatable cast of characters, Angela Ruth Strong has created a heartfelt look at the reality of modern Christian dating that readers will both resonate with and fall for.
Katie Powner signed with Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, for And Then We Lived to be released July 2022.
Carolyn Leiloglou and Sarah Frazer signed with WordServe recently. Welcome!
What We’re Celebrating
Congrautlations to Jamie Sumner for the Starred Review from Kirkus:
ONE KID’S TRASH [STARRED REVIEW!]
Author: Jamie Sumner
Review Issue Date: July 1, 2021
Online Publish Date: June 16, 2021
Price ( Hardcover ): $17.99
Publication Date: August 31, 2021
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-5344-5703-4
Hugo is an only child who has been bullied his whole life because he is small; will his passion for Garbology protect him at his new school?
Eleven-year-old Hugo O’Connell has just moved to the mountains, closer to the Colorado ski resorts where his dad works long hours. Luckily, his cousin Vijay O’Connell will show him around. (The O’Connells are Irish Catholic; Vij’s mom, Hugo’s Aunt Soniah, is cued as Indian.) Hugo has been called every diminutive name in the book. Observant and smart, his watchful eye keeps him away from most trouble, except when class bully Chance Sullivan is involved. But Hugo’s powers of perception have gained him notoriety for studying the contents of garbage cans, a fascinating subject called Garbology. The story’s rich settings are vividly described: the sweaty smell of locker rooms, sparkling ski slopes, and chaotic cafeterias. Sumner perfectly captures the fickle nature of middle school social status and the gnawing pain of betrayal. With the self-deprecation of a tormented tween, Hugo expresses what he learns about friendship, honesty, and the bitter pill of revenge, for which Hugo and his friends who work on the school newsletter must pay serious consequences. This is a strong work about finding your people, learning to apologize, and the rewards of self-respect.
The pitch-perfect voice and everyday bravery of this middle school survivor are not to be missed. (Fiction. 10-13)
Congratulations to Desiree Hartsock Siegfried for her book, The Road to Roses being named to PopSugar’s June Round Up. Check out the article here: https://www.popsugar.com/entertainment/best-new-books-june-2021-48332823
CongratulationsTaylor Schumann for the outstanding Publisher’s Weekly review for When Thoughts and Prayers Aren’t Enough: A Shooting Survivor’s Journey into the Realities of Gun Violence. Check out the review here: https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-8308-3170-8
On the Spectrum by author Daniel Bowman, Jr. has been reviewed on Ruminate Magazine. Please celebrate this great review with us! Read the review here: https://www.ruminatemagazine.com/blogs/ruminate-blog/on-the-spectrum-a-review
Check out author and Freedom Rider, Charles Person‘s interview on The Today Show here: https://www.today.com/video/freedom-rider-78-talks-about-his-fight-for-equal-rights-117065285637
Be sure to pick up a copy of the entire account of the Freedom Riders in Charles Person with Richard Rook’s book Buses Are A Comin’: Memoir of a Freedom Rider