WordServe News: April 2013

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

TestedArnie Cole and Michael Ross Tempted, Tested, True (Bethany House)

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ConfessoinsAmanda Jenkins Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist (Tyndale House)

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StressTestRichard Mabry Stress Test (Thomas Nelson)

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DiscipleshiftJim Putman with Marcus Brotherton Discipleshift (Zondervan)

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New WordServe Clients

Jennie Atkins signed with Sarah Freese. Excited to have her join our other wonderful WordServe authors!

New Contracts

Judy Morrow signed with Regal Publishing for her devotional titled Listenings.

Keith Robinson signed with Regal Publishing for his non-fiction book titled Is Anybody Out There? 

Rachel Moore signed an ebook contract with Cook Communications for her novel titled Language of Sparrows.

Barb Stoefen signed with Zondervan for her memoir titled A Very Fine House: A Mother’s Story of Love, Faith and Crystal Meth

Mike Yorkey signed with B&H Publishing to write the story of Tampa Bay Devil Ray infielder Ben Zobrist, along with his wife Julianne, who is a budding Christian singer.

Dr. Kara Powell from the Fuller Youth Institute signed with Zondervan to write The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Unique Family.

Michelle Griep signed an ebook contract with Cook Communications for her novel, A Heart Deceived.
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What We’re Celebrating!!

Julie Cantrell is a finalist in the “new author” category for this year’s Christy Awards for her debut novel Into the Free.

Jordyn Redwood for her debut novel Proof, which was a ForeWord Reviews finalist for religious adult fiction.

And Julie and Jordyn both made the Inspy Award Short List for their debut novels.

Maureen Lang’s book Bees in the Butterfly Garden hit the ECPA fiction list again, this time at #6.

A Higher Call by Adam Makos continues to stay on the New York Times hard cover nonfiction list, having made it in the top-15 every Sunday in April.

Thank you to Writer’s Digest magazine for naming the WordServe Water Cooler one of their 101 best websites for writers for 2013. We are honored!

What can we help you celebrate?

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WordServe News: March 2013

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary!

On the final post of each month you’ll find a list of Water Cooler contributors’ books releasing in the upcoming month along with a recap of WordServe client news from the current month.

New Releases

FinallytheBrideSandra Bricker, Always the Baker, Finally the Bride
(Abingdon Press)

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TheProdigalJan Drexler, The Prodigal Son Returns
(Love Inspired)

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UnburdenedSuzanne Eller, The Unburdened Heart (Regal)

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RealValorSteve Farrar, Real Valor (David C. Cook)

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AnsweringtheCallKen Gire, Answering the Call: The Story of Albert Schweitzer (Thomas Nelson)

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ANobleGroomJody Hedlund, A Noble Groom (Bethany House)

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TheEasyBurdenPatty Kirk, The Easy Burden of Pleasing God (IVP Books)

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AllinGoodTimeMaureen Lang, All in Good Time (Tyndale House)

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VoicesofthePacificAdam Makos, with Marcus Brotherton, Voices of the Pacific (Berkley Hardcover)

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RenewedLucille Zimmerman, Renewed
(Abingdon Press)

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New WordServe Clients

None…we’re standing pat with our great group of authors for now!

New Contracts

Tracie Miles signed with Bethany House Publishers for a book titled Your Life Still Counts: How Your Past Has Equipped You for Your Purpose.

Susie Shellenberger and Kristen Weber signed with Barbour Publishers for A Girl’s Guide: Guys, God and the Galaxy.

Gillian Marchenko signed a contract with T.S. Poetry Press for her memoir. Yay, Gillian!

What We’re Celebrating!!

A Higher Call by Adam Makos continues to hit the New York Times list. On March 31, it will be #6 (again) on the Hard Cover nonfiction list. It’s been in the top-15 for 9 weeks!

Bees in the Butterfly Garden by Maureen Lang, hit the March CBA list at #5 on the fiction list and the #40 on the top-50 in sales list.

What thing on your writing journey are you celebrating today?

Is it my whim or God’s Will?

I’m often either asked this question or have discussed this with other Christians. With so many gray areas in life—where doing a variety of things would fall inside the will of God—we long to know the choice God would have us make. What’s the best path?

 

I’ve met a number of aspiring writers who wrestle with this issue, too. Many people “have a book in them.” Perhaps they start writing as an experiment to see if they can really get some words down on paper. At this point it’s more of a whim. Some people give up relatively quickly; they find the idea of writing more fun than writing. They never make it a priority, letting other interests in life take precedence. For them, writing is probably a whim.

 

But there are others who find writing exhilarating. They delight in exploring and expressing what’s on their heart, something they’re certain will benefit others. At some point they become convinced God is blessing their efforts, and they want to share what they’ve written on a larger scale, often through publication.

 

So at this point does it cease being a whim and become something they’re just beginning to realize was God’s will all along? Has God called them to be a writer?

 

I’ve heard it said there are only three answers to our prayers: Yes, No, or Wait. But even when we get clear answers, the results aren’t always what we expect.

 

Sometimes when we think God is leading us in one direction and we come upon a closed door, we might think that means No. For example, if publication doesn’t happen is God saying no to your writing efforts? Every writer I know, regardless of how talented, has been rejected in one way or another. I know one writer who worked toward publication for twenty years. How many of us would have given up on a goal long before that?

 

I’m in the midst of a wonderful Beth Moore Bible Study right now, and one of the personal examples she gave included how she seeks God’s will for her own life. They include these ideas:

Begin by making a really specific prayer request. Don’t be shy when asking God for direction!

 

Look to Scripture for an answer. The Bible is how God talks to us these days. It’s always amazing to see how timeless the Bible is; people who lived two or three thousand years ago really aren’t much different, at least on the inside, than we are today.

 

Ask God to help us recognize the answer. Staying in the habit of being in continual communication with God is always a good idea!

 

Ask God for confirmation.

 

Did you notice a couple things? All of these steps demand a certain amount of time, as well as a lot of prayer.

 

I would add one more thing. I’ve always thought it a good idea to consult other trusted Christian friends. With writers, it’s important that we seek outside input with our projects—from trusted and experienced eyes. Is the input from others confirming the direction we feel led to take?

 

So what kind of methods do you use to determine whether your next project, the next turn in life, the choices you make, would be a whim or God’s will for you to follow?

Can You See Your Lion?

Recently I read that antelopes in captivity are not only healthier, but more reproductive when they can see and smell lions, their primary predator. I found such an observation fascinating. Does that mean a bit of stress makes an antelope’s life better?

Which of course led me to consider what a completely stress-free life would look like. Heaven? Or . . . boring? Evidently the antelopes are in the second camp. So boring, in fact, they find little reason to live a productive life without a reminder of some of life’s challenges.

As an author, I took some odd comfort in that. What writer, at any stage in their career, lives without stress? Maybe stress, at least in a manageable dose, isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Let’s face it, if getting published—or staying published—was stress-free then everyone would be doing it. But it’s neither easy nor stress-free. While the self-esteem movement wants everyone to be a winner (and undoubtedly there is something good about reminding us of our value) the bottom line is all of us do lose at one time or another. What accomplishment can we celebrate if every time we set out to do something we succeeded? Either our bar is too low or we’re fooling ourselves, because grown ups face disappointment all the time. In fact, overcoming stress and the accompanying feeling of failure make our successes all the sweeter.

All of this has me considering stress in a new light. I’m not saying all stress is good, or too much stress is good. Maybe there’s a difference between good stress and bad stress, although to an antelope I can’t figure out what’s good about having a lion in the neighborhood. Maybe if we don’t have some lions to look at in our distance—a reminder of the challenges that are out there—we might not have a reason to grow and improve. Maybe without those lions looming we might not even want to get up in the morning.

So next time you’re rushing to meet a deadline, or you receive a rejection, a disappointing contest result or a bad review, remind yourself without these lions in your life, living would be too dull to matter. At least that’s what the antelopes think.

What about you? Is there a fine line between good stress and bad? At what point do the lions in your life make you want to try harder, grow and improve before feeling there are too many lions in your life?

Note: Lion Photo compliments of Amanda Neilson, Neilson House Photography