WordServe News September 2019

As usual, some great things have been happening this month at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month, you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ recently released books along with a recap of WordServe client news.

New Releases

Congratulations, Cindy McGovern and McGraw Hill for the September 17 release of Every Job is a Sales Job.

An essential roadmap to achieving professional and personal success―from the “First Lady of Sales”

While you may not have “sales” in your title, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to sell. Renowned sales authority Dr. Cindy McGovern believes that everyone is a salesperson, regardless of his or her job description. When you ask for a referral, network to form a new connection, or interview for a job, you’re selling the other person on an ideal version of yourself. Every Job is a Sales Job will help you learn to identify “selling” opportunities that you may have overlooked. This indispensable roadmap will show you how to take control of your personal and professional success.

McGovern shares her proven 5-step sales process to help you attract new business, retain existing customers, and spot opportunities to promote yourself and your ideas. You’ll learn how to:

•Create a plan and set attainable goals
•Identify subtle opportunities that could result in future success
•Establish trust and listen for clues to understand what others need
•Ask for what you want and move past the fear of rejection
•Follow up on your ask, be grateful, and pay it forward
•Muster up the courage to ask for referrals and references

Congratulations to Jamie Sumner for the October 1 release of Roll With It.

“A big-hearted story that’s as sweet as it is awesome.” —R.J. Palacio, author of Wonder

In the tradition of Wonder and Out of My Mind, this big-hearted middle grade debut tells the story of an irrepressible girl with cerebral palsy whose life takes an unexpected turn when she moves to a new town.

Ellie’s a girl who tells it like it is. That surprises some people, who see a kid in a wheelchair and think she’s going to be all sunshine and cuddles. The thing is, Ellie has big dreams: She might be eating Stouffer’s for dinner, but one day she’s going to be a professional baker. If she’s not writing fan letters to her favorite celebrity chefs, she’s practicing recipes on her well-meaning, if overworked, mother.

But when Ellie and her mom move so they can help take care of her ailing grandpa, Ellie has to start all over again in a new town at a new school. Except she’s not just the new kid—she’s the new kid in the wheelchair who lives in the trailer park on the wrong side of town. It all feels like one challenge too many, until Ellie starts to make her first-ever friends. Now she just has to convince her mom that this town might just be the best thing that ever happened to them!

Author Jan Drexler releases the lastest in the Amish of Weaver’s Creek series, The Roll of the Drums, October 1.

Ruby Weaver’s curly red hair isn’t the only thing that sets her apart from her Amish community in 1863. Twenty-eight and single, Ruby doesn’t believe a woman needs to be married in order to be happy. Her ailing friend Lovinia Fischer, however, has other ideas and wants Ruby to promise to marry her husband after she dies. Never imagining she’d have to fulfill that vow, Ruby agrees. And she’s not the only one. Lovinia has extracted a similar promise from her husband, Gideon.

With both Ruby and Gideon reluctant to keep their promises, a compromise must be reached. Ruby will spend her days with Gideon’s family–helping to raise the children and keep the house–but her nights will be spent at her sister’s neighboring house. But this arrangement raises eyebrows in their conservative Amish community, and it soon becomes clear that Ruby must make a decision–marry Gideon or turn her back on her friend, the children she’s grown to love . . . and their father.

Congratulations to Lynne Hartke for her contribution to the October 8, 2019 release of  Daily Guideposts 2020: A Spirit-Lifting Devotional.

Daily Guideposts, America’s bestselling annual devotional, is a 365-day devotional from the Editors of Guideposts that will help readers grow in their faith every day of the year.

Daily Guideposts 2020 centers on the theme “He Performs Wonders,” based on Job 5:9, and is filled with brand-new devotions from fifty writers. Each day readers will enjoy a Scripture verse, a true first-person story told in an informal, conversational style, which shares the ways God speaks to us in the ordinary events of life, and a brief prayer to help focus the reader to apply the day’s message. For those who wish for more, “Digging Deeper” provides additional Bible references that relate to the day’s reading.

Enjoy favorite writers like Debbie Macomber, Edward Grinnan, Elizabeth Sherrill, Patricia Lorenz, Julia Attaway, Karen Barber, Sabra Ciancanelli, Mark Collins, and Rick Hamlin.

In just five minutes a day, Daily Guideposts helps readers find the spiritual richness in their own lives and welcomes them into a remarkable family of over one million people brought together by a desire to grow every day of the year.

New October 8 release from Paula Rinehart and Connally Gilliam is…and yet, undaunted: Embraced by the Goodness of God in the Chaos of Life.

Life is hard. We often find ourselves walking through stories that don’t feel like they should be ours. And yet here we are. We wonder where our good God is in the midst of it.

But we are not left without hope. In fact―we have the greatest hope of all. Through vulnerable stories and rich insight, Paula Rinehart and Connally Gilliam point to the Larger Story that carries all the anxiety, longing, and beauty of your life. The backdrop of the big gospel story―creation (how life ought to be), the fall (how life is), redemption (how life can be), and restoration (how life will be one day)―gives context to our lives and hope for walking forward. The grand story of the gospel of Jesus Christ frames our every step.

Discover renewed strength and joy in the middle of your ache . . . and the goodness of God that will give you the courage to remain yet undaunted.

October 8, Andrew T. Le Peau releases, Write Better: A Lifelong Editor on Craft, Art, and Spirituality.

Writing is not easy. But it can get better. In this primer on nonfiction writing, Andrew Le Peau offers insights he has learned as a published author and an editor for over forty years, training, guiding, and cheering on hundreds of writers. Here are skills that writers can master―from finding strong openings and closings, to focusing on an audience, to creating a clear structure, to crafting a persuasive message. With wide-ranging examples from fiction and nonfiction, Le Peau also demystifies aspects of art in writing such as creativity, tone, and metaphor. He considers strategies that can move writers toward fresher, more vital, and perhaps more beautiful expressions of the human condition. One aspect of writing that rarely receives attention is who we are as writers and how writing itself changes us. Self-doubt, fear of criticism, downsides of success, questions of authority, and finding our voice are all a part of the exploration of our spirituality as writers found in these pages. Discover how the act of writing can affect our life in God. Whether you’re a veteran writer, an occasional practitioner, a publishing professional, or a student just starting to explore such skills, Le Peau’s wit and wisdom can speed you on your way.

Keep cool these last few days of summer with Sarah Varland’s release of the Large-Print Edition of Alaskan Christmas: Cold Case.

Christmas Under Fire…

The Ice Maiden Killer is back.

For years, a serial killer has eluded authorities—and he’s set Alaska state trooper Erynn Cooper in his sights. Erynn’s only chance at survival is to trust Moose Haven police chief Noah Dawson with her life and the truth about her past. But with Christmas quickly approaching, Erynn and Noah are running out of time to catch the murderer…before Erynn becomes the next victim.

New Clients

Sarah Sanderson, Colin Paul Cahoon, Daniel Weiss, Joshua Glaser, Jennie McLaurin, Cymbeline T. Culiat, Lucas Johnson, and Robert Weatherwax signed with WordServe in September.  Welcome!

Contracts

Cara Whitney signed with Thomas Nelson for Sharing God’s Love with Everyone, Everywhere, to be released in the fall of 2020.

Ed Norwood signed with Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. for his work, Giant Killers to be released late summer 2020.

Rebecca Siegel with Amen Clinics signed with Kensington Publishing Corporation for her work entitled, The Brain on Cannabis, to be released Summer 2021.

Tana Amen signed with Thomas Nelson for One Less Scared Child to be released early 2021.

What We’re Celebrating

Check out author, Jamie Sumner’s latest article with Scary Mommy: HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes Writing is Like Washing Eggs

I pulled the photo album from the shelf, the binder bulging from photos and story. I flipped through the black and white pages of faces unknown and known.

  • Of Mom and her siblings on the front steps of a South Dakota farmhouse.
  • Of elementary-age Mom with dark hair between her blonde-haired sisters, Sylvia and Joyce.
  • Of mom as a teenager dressed in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, next to her brother, Glenn, helping their dad with the haying on their 480 acres.

I turned pages until I came to a section of memories my mom had written before her death four years ago.

Her history. Her story.

A tale about eggs.

Yes. Eggs.

“Eggs were a year-round cash crop for the family,” Mom had written. “Many chickens were raised and eggs needed to be picked daily. Evening after evening Lillian (my grandmother) would sit in the kitchen and wash more than 200 eggs. If she missed a few days, she could have 1000 eggs to deal with.”

Every night my grandmother washed eggs. After the laundry with a wringer washer. After feeding grandpa and eight of the twelve children that were still at home. After the dishes in the small, white ceramic sink. After mopping the floor from the muddy footprints of twenty feet. After prayers and tucking into two bedrooms.

After it all, Grandma washed eggs. With circular movements, Grandma washed off the dirt, blood, and chicken poop. Sometimes she would be so exhausted, she would fall asleep while still sitting in the chair. Jerking awake, she would pick up one egg, and then another, going late into the wee hours while the cuckoo clock on the wall ticked off the minutes.

Daily. Monotonous. Un-glorious. Necessary.

Life.

I was contemplating my grandmother’s endless eggs last week while I was doing the unexciting task of editing a manuscript, taking apart sentences egg by egg. I wanted to wait until I felt inspired. I wanted to work on a creative, fun, and new project. I wanted to go clean the kitchen. I wanted to read a book. I wanted to go sort out a closet.

I wanted…(you get the idea!)

Instead, I looked at verb choice. Commas. Sentence fragments. I read my editor’s notes and made changes. I checked a reference for accuracy.

So much of writing is about washing eggs.

What eggs do you have to wash this week?

 

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke writes stories of courage, beauty and belonging–belonging to family, to community and to a loving God. Her book, Under a Desert Sky, was released in May 2017 with Revell/Baker Publishing. She blogs at www.lynnehartke.com. You can find Lynne on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Word Becoming Flesh in the Life of a Writer

 “The Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us….” John 1:14. (NIV)

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was called to carry the Word Made Flesh. Saying “yes” to that plan involved a huge surrender on Mary’s part. Obedience brought her under scrutiny and censure, not only in the public eye, but also–initially–with Joseph, whose opinion she must have valued.

“Don’t be afraid,” the angel told her, which was saying, in essence, “You are about to be shunned and ostracized in your hometown because you are going to get pregnant with God’s son and although you have never been touched by any man, nobody is going to believe your story and they are going to whisper and point at you when you walk by and call you harlot and whore and turn their backs when you enter a room.”

Sometimes the hardest part of being a Word carrier is believing the truth of The Word and not the words others speak over us.

Yes, as followers of Christ, we too, are Word carriers. Through our lives, we demonstrate Christ to those around us.

In the book Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkehr, she reflects on this time in Mary’s life and asks, “What kind of surrender is happening in you? Do you ever experience being called by a Word larger than your understanding? What is the newest Word that has become flesh in you, dwelling deep in the recesses of your being?”

As a writer, I can think of three words or phrases becoming flesh in me. 

  1. Trust is a word larger than my understanding. God is in charge, I am not. Oh, how hard this is for me to remember! I get caught up in book sales and deadlines. I get caught up in numbers! Not words. Numbers! God does not ask for the numbers to get larger in me, but His words. His life-changing words. Trust needs to expand in me.
  2. Fear not are words larger than my understanding. My college writing professor always told me that the job of the writer is to write what people cannot say or are afraid to say. “To write is to take an ax to the frozen sea within us,” Frank Kafka once said and I need those words to become larger in me. Fear not.
  3. Live real words is a phrase being made flesh in me. Not just written words. Not just paragraphs in my safe little office. A writer does not create sentences in a vacuum. Writing does require solitude and space, but words don’t leap onto the page out of nowhere. Life-changing words find their way on paper after living out the Word made flesh among His living, breathing creation. Live real words are words still being made flesh in me.

Today, on your journey of faith as a writer, I pray you say yes to the surrendering, not as a defeatist, but as one who walks one more step into life larger than your understanding, as the Word is made flesh in you. 

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke writes stories of courage, beauty and belonging–belonging to family, to community and to a loving God. Her book, Under a Desert Sky, was released in May 2017 with Revell/Baker Publishing. She blogs at www.lynnehartke.com. You can find Lynne on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

WordServe News September 2017

Exciting things have been happening this month at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ recently released books along with a recap of WordServe client news.

New Releases

Steve Arterburn’s The Arterburn Wellness Series was released by Cook. The first three books in the series include Understanding and Loving a Person with Depression, cowritten with Brenda Hunter, Ph.D.; Understanding and Loving a Person with Borderline Personality Disorder, cowritten with Robert Wise, Ph.D.; and Understanding and Loving a Person with Attention Deficit Disorder, cowritten with Timothy Smith M.Ed.

Debora Coty’s Too Blessed to be Stressed 2018 Planner was released by Barbour this month. If you’re already thinking ahead to next year, it’s time to get your hands on Deb’s funny, encouraging planner to help organize your life and transform your heart. Featuring monthly and weekly calendars, a year-at-a-glance section, pages for frequent contacts, and more, this planner offers an important reminder: God’s grace is enough for the ups, downs, and all the in-betweens of life.

Kent Hunter released Who Broke My Church? with FaithWords. Based on a survey of 75,000 people in churches from 65 denominations and thousands of interviews, Hunter gives practical direction for Christians to experience the impact every church could make on society. Utilizing seven key strategies for helping churches be more effective, it will leave readers feeling  refreshed, energized, and ready to be the change.

Jonathan McKee released The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices with Barbour Publishing. Perfect for teens, this book will help readers navigate the digital world with 21 refreshingly honest and humorous tips that will not only inform, but that also just might change the way you think about your social media interaction.

Melissa K. Norris published Hand Made with Harvest House. This modern guide to made-from-scratch living helps you open your heart to God-given rest and discover practical and tangible ways you can craft your home into a refuge for yourself and the ones you love. Tips include how to bake old-fashioned recipes, grow medicinal herbs, and make your own cultured foods at home.

New Contracts 

Andrea Gurney signed with Kregel for her book After the Ball Fall: How to Build Happily Ever After in an Age of Broken Fairytales, a compelling guide to emotional and relational health and wholeness, utilizing principles from psychology, foundational Biblical truths, and the burgeoning field of relationship science.

Jamie Sumner signed with FaithWords for Unbound: Finding Freedom from Unrealistic Expectations in Motherhood. Sumner walks readers through each chapter of her own journey to motherhood through infertility and special needs parenting and pairs it with that of a woman in the Bible, offering readers comfort, hope, companionship and honesty rooted in biblical truths.

New Clients

Jamie Erickson and Rev. Anthony Thompson joined WordServe this month. Welcome!

What We’re Celebrating

Julie Cantrell’s The Feathered Bone won the ACFW’s Carol Award for Contemporary Fiction. Congrats!

Lynne Hartke was selected to be a Voice of Hope with the American Cancer Society for 2018. Congratulations!

WordServe News: April 2017

Exciting things have been happening this month at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ recently released books along with a recap of WordServe client news.

New Releases

Steve & Misty Arterburn, with Becky Johnson, released The Mediterranean Love Plan this month. Unveiling the “7 Secrets of Passion” from some of the most romantic countries in the world, it answers age-old questions about how to keep your marriage interesting, fun, and romantic–burning with passion that stands the test of time.

Carole Engle Avriett published Under the Cover of Light with Tyndale. In 1965, Col. Thomas “Jerry” Curtis’s helicopter was shot down over North Vietnam. He was immediately captured and spent 7½ years confined in a filthy 5′ x 7′ cell at the notorious Hanoi prison camp. Now, Jerry shares the full story of his 2,703 days in captivity and what he learned about faith, hope, and the indomitable power of the human spirit.

David & Claudia Arp and Peter & Heather Larson released He’s Almost a Teenager with Bethany House. Based on tried-and-true parenting wisdom, this book shares fun, thoughtful questions and talking points that lead to meaningful, natural conversations with your son as he approaches those difficult teen years.

Sue Detweiler published Women Who Move Mountains with Bethany House. Prayer was never meant to be a recitation of requests, but rather a drawing close to the heart of God. When you learn to exchange the obstacles of life for the promises of God, you will pray with passion and confidence rather than fear or insecurity. From this place of surrender and intimacy, you will discover what it means to become a powerful, effective woman of prayer.

Lynne Hartke published Under a Desert Sky with Revell. Tracing Lynne’s experience with cancer–her own and the diagnoses of both of her parents–this lyrical work considers how even life’s most desolate experiences can bring beautiful surprises.We are never alone in our fear, and we are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God.

Marjorie Jackson published Devoted: A Girl’s 31-Day Guide to Good Living with a Great God with Shiloh Run Press. Featuring hand-lettered art pages for coloring, this devotional teaches us how to let our love and dedication to Jesus penetrate every area of our lives–so that we can be young women of God who are completely, joyfully, beautifully different.

New Contracts 

Mary Davis signed a 3-book deal with Love Inspired for a series of romances to be published in 2018.

Jan Drexler signed a 3-book deal with Revell for a new series, Storms on Weaver’s Creek, a historical romance series set against the Civil War and the Amish church’s commitment to non-resistance.

Leslie Leyland Fields signed with Kregel for the publication of Happy Over Forty, an anthology of 40 incredible women writing from their own lives, that provides a biblical, inspiring and unforgettable guide to all that God can do in and through women over 40, making the second half of our lives the most fruitful and abundant half.

Sandy Silverthorne signed with Revell for the publication of two new joke books for kids, which will include illustrations by the author.

New Clients

Paul Basden, Jim Johnson, Chris Langlois, Ross Owen, and Linda MacKillop joined WordServe this month. Welcome!

What We’re Celebrating

Tina and Dave Samples‘ book Messed Up Men of the Bible was named as a finalist for the 2017 Christian Books Awards in the Bible Study Category! Winners will be announced May 2.

A Library Located in a Village of Stilted Houses by the Sea

library-story

I loved going to the library as a girl. In the summer, after chores were done, we would go to town once a week, a trip that included a stop at the library.

I would always get the allowed quota–four books. 

At home I would sit in the tire swing under the elm tree and escape to faraway places in the pages.

I never imagined in the shadow of cornfields, alfalfa, and soy beans, that one day I would travel to a library in a village of stilted houses by the sea:

Our driver parked the van at the curve of a road on the mainland, near a dirt entrance across the bay to a smaller village of sea gypsies, the gypsy part of the name being a misnomer because they don’t move from place to place. They live there, a few hundred yards from the mainland in their simple stilted homes, because the lore of their people states that if they would leave, their skin would become diseased; they would grow sick and die.

sea library 1

“Where’s the library?” we asked our host as we passed a group of boys listening to a boombox, while laundry dried outside a simple house with a satellite dish in the backyard. As part of a literacy program we had been invited to check out the library in this small fishing village in Indonesia.

sea library 7

Our host pointed in the distance, to a destination I could not see, because all I saw in front of me was a series of rough wooden planks, nailed together in a single, rickety path above the water.

Walking the plank suddenly had an entirely new meaning as the boards weaved side to side as I shuffled across one and then another. I peered at the water six feet below as it flowed back and forth with the current. What happens when cell phones get wet? I wondered, as I took step after cautious step, on planks number three, four and five.

What happens when library visitors get wet?

My husband comes across

I was thankful for the years I spent as a child balancing on railroad tracks as I imagined being a tightrope walker on my way to our no-boys-allowed fort in a culvert under the tracks, never imagining I would need those high-wire skills four decades later.

Eventually all six of us made it across, some uttering not-very-silent prayers for God’s deliverance.

When we arrived at the library in the village school, we discovered the building was closed. School testing happened that week and the kids had a half day, an education reality that is common around the world. We stood around in the 85-degree heat with 90% humidity. The circle of sweat on my cotton t-shirt widened exponentially with each ticking minute.

“We can come into this home,” our host said, motioning us into a blue house with a corrugated metal roof across from the school.

sea library 4

“Have a seat, have a seat.” The woman and homeowner directed me to a far corner. Our group of six and a dozen children trooped in behind. Candies and other snacks hung down from the ceiling. The home was also a store.

We were invited to tell a story while the woman served crackers and bottled water. My husband told a tale of another stilted house with a boy, his noisy sisters, and their cows. It was a story about gratitude. Our interpreter echoed my husband’s hand motions and side effects, adding a few of his own, while the children listened, entranced.

The homeowner smiled as the children sang a song, moving with the tempo. More children arrived on the front porch, but there was no more room inside. 

In our culture, I hear arguments about the relevance of libraries in a digital world, but those debates were silenced for me in a stilted village where children pressed against the metal screen covering the front window in hopes of getting closer to the words, while the sea and the people swayed.

Do you have a library story?

Lynne Hartke’s first book: Under a Desert Sky: Redefining Hope, Beauty and Faith in the Hardest Places is coming out with Revell/Baker in May 2017. She blogs at http://www.lynnehartke.com.

Writing for a Superlative Culture

We are an -est society.

Happiest. Saddest. Loneliest. Hardest.

I recently returned from a trip overseas and I was asked, by various people:

“What was your hardest time?” “Give me your happiest vacation memory.”

I had to stop and ponder.

Was the happiest moment when my husband captured a photo of a monkey trying to find another banana under my hat? Was it scuba diving in the waters of Nirwana Beach off the coast of Indonesia? Or climbing the slopes of Mt. Batur for the sunrise and being served tea heated in the steam vents from this still-active volcano?

Monkey Forest

Was the hardest moment going days and days on limited sleep as my body refused to adjust to the fourteen-hour time difference? Or when a person on our team was diagnosed with dengue fever? Or the humbling moment when I realized our young guide didn’t read or write?

I found myself in a quandary as I sifted through my mind to try to come up with the -est story. Not sure if the tale I was contemplating qualified for the perimeters or was just an average, good story, I found myself silent.

We live in a culture of superlatives. Highest. Lowest. Hottest. Fastest.

Yet, as writers, the challenge remains to take what has been written a thousand times before and make it fresh. To take the mundane and ordinary and breathe new life into the sentences. To find a new way to write about a sunrise. Or washing the dishes. Or camping out under the stars.  Skill is necessary to take the images and everyday events and draw the reader into deeper emotions. To tell again the story of love. Of grief. Of redemption. Of faith.

I have lived for over thirty years in Arizona. Same house. Same church. Same husband. 

Same desert.

I have hiked the trails surrounding Phoenix and beyond. This permanence allows me to write from a deep sense of place, yet I am still discovering new things in this desert home.

Earlier this summer I was working on a piece about palo verde trees and needed a photo. The palo verde tree has green bark with each twig terminating in a thorn. The palo verde lives up to its Spanish translation of “green stick,” as the tree tosses aside all its leaves during times of drought. The tree sprouts tiny leaves after rain, but can perform photosynthesis through its green bark, even when leaves are absent.

I needed a photo of the tree after rain. I didn’t have one. Thirty years of hiking in the desert and I didn’t have a photo of a palo verde, one of the most common trees in our area. I had sunsets. Sunrises. Mountain peaks. Cactus. Wildflowers in abundance.

I had photos of the driest. The tallest. The orangest (this should be a word).  But not one picture of the ordinary palo verde with its amazing green bark. (A fact I remedied the next day.)

trunk of a palo verde tree

Thoreau once said that because he could not afford to travel, he was “Made to study and love this spot of earth more and more.” 

Ah, this is our challenge. As our readers settle into the pages, can we–through our words–make them love and study the spot we describe more and more? This story of reunion? This story of loss? This story of returning to God? 

This story of the ordinary and mundane? A story that has nothing to do with volcanoes or monkeys or strange tropical diseases.

A simple story of a tree that sprouts tiny leaves after the rain.

palo verde after rain

palo verde after rain

Lynne Hartke writes stories of courage, beauty and belonging at www.lynnehartke.com. Her first book about the faithfulness of God in the hardest places is coming out with Revell in 2017. She lives in Chandler, Arizona in the Sonoran Desert with her husband, Kevin. Their 4 grown children and 3 grandchildren live nearby.