WordServe December News & End of Year Update

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! It’s been a great 2017 at WordServe, and as always, exciting things have been happening this month. But first, some reflections on the year as whole.

When I look back at 2017, the best word that describes it is “Eventful.”

We started the year with All the Gallant Men (Harper/Morrow) staying on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction list for 5 weeks. It’s gone on to sell nearly 160,000 copies, so far. A great tribute for Donald Stratton’s story of surviving the sinking of the Arizona at Pearl Harbor, and then rejoining the fight a year later after his injuries and burns had healed.

And then towards the end, Sensing the Rhythm by deaf jazz singer and “America’s Got Talent” 4th place finisher Mandy Harvey (written with Mark Atteberry) came out with Howard/Simon & Schuster.

In between, we had such notable releases at Dr. Daniel Amen’s new book Memory Rescue (Tyndale), Denise George and Rob Child’s WWII biography, The Lost Eleven (Berkley/Caliber), Steve and Misty Arterburn’s The Mediterranean Love Plan (Zondervan), Christian George’s The Lost Sermons of Charles Spurgeon, Vol I and II (Lifeway), Tricia Williford’s You Can Do This (NavPress) and Julie Cantrell’s Perennials (Thomas Nelson).

The agency continued a string of great books being released and signed:

  • 60 New books released, with 10 of these by first-time authors.
  • 65 New books under contract, with 13 by first-time authors.

As we head into 2018, the WordServe family gets a bit larger with agent Sarah Freese due to have her third child in April, and agent Keely Boeving having twins in January!

In the meantime, we wish all of our WaterCooler followers a very Happy and blessed New Year!

December News

New Releases

Craig Chapman released Battle-Hardened: An Infantry Officer’s Harrowing Journey from D-Day to VE-Day with Regnery Publishing. It tells the fascinating story of an American soldier’s growth from a 2nd Lieutenant eager to prove his worth in battle to a skilled and resolute commander over the course of the Northern European Campaign as he fought against the Nazis.

Shellie Rushing Tomlinson released Devotions for the Hungry Heart with Barbour. Grounded in scripture and Shellie’s signature storytelling style, this devotional invites you to God’s table for a continual feast. With themes including Sharing, Needing, Celebrating, Praying, Surrendering, and Being Intentional, you’ll be challenged and encouraged to develop God-honoring traits in your spiritual life.

New Contracts 

Amanda Anderson signed with Nelson for her book All My Friends Have Issues. An exploration of how even flawed women — and what other kind are there? — can find safe, sane friendships in which we help each other become who God intended us to be, it will publish in summer 2019.

Jim Burns signed with Zondervan for his next book, Doing Life With Your Adult Child, which tackles the tough issues and offers honest, practical advice on parenting your adult child.

New Clients

Anne Barbour and Rob Maaddi joined WordServe this month. Welcome!

 

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WordServe News: September 2016

Exciting things have been happening at WordServe Literary this month!

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

41rajcxlqwl-_sy346_Stephen Arterburn and Dave Stoop released Take Your Life Back with Tyndale Momentum. Your past circumstances don’t have to define you, and they don’t have to determine the direction of your life. This book offers proven advice to help readers move from reactive attitudes and behaviors to healthy, God-honoring ones. Two additional resources are also available: the Take Your Life Back Workbook, and the Take Your Life Back Day by Day devotional.

51vdnmrjnklSara Davison released The Morning Star RisesBook 3 in The Seven Trilogy, with Ashberry Lane. As martial law continues in Canada in 2054, Meryn O’Reilly faces a dark and uncertain future after shocking revelations devastate her life. She is determined to follow God’s call, but her plans could cost her everything. She struggles to surrender everything to a God who is always in control, even when circumstances suggest otherwise.

51rynvgx3pl-_sx322_bo1204203200_-1Jan Drexler released Mattie’s Pledge with Revell. The second book in Jan’s Journey to Pleasant Prairie series, Mattie’s Pledge offers readers a poignant glimpse into Amish life in the 1840s, including the Amish migration west from Pennsylvania–and into the yearning heart of a character they won’t soon forget.

51qtfwstnrl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Leslie Leyland Fields released Crossing the Waters with NavPress. The gospels are set in a rich maritime culture on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, yet we’ve missed much of this perspective―until now. Leslie Leyland Fields―a longtime Alaskan fisherwoman―takes us out on the Sea of Galilee, through a rugged season of commercial fishing with her family in Alaska, and through the waters of the New Testament.

51ju4nleiplJim and Lynne Jackson released Discipline that Connects with Your Child’s Heart with Bethany House. Did you know that the way we deal (or don’t deal) with our kids’ misbehavior shapes their beliefs about themselves, the world, and God? With warmth and grace, Jim and Lynne Jackson, founders of Connected Families, offer four tried-and-true keys to handling any behavioral issues with love, truth, and authority.

scripture-doodleApril Knight released ScriptureDoodle with Cook, a 6-week devotional experience to help readers connect creatively with the Word of God. Exploring topics such as being generous, finding rest, facing grief, and more, this devotional provides inspiring exercises, prompts, and ready-to-color designs to give your heart the creative space it needs while helping you integrate God’s Word into everyday life.

41rpmextf5lKara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin released Growing Young with Baker Books. Churches are losing both members and vitality as increasing numbers of young people disengage. Based on groundbreaking research with over 250 of the nation’s leading congregations, Growing Young provides a strategy any church can use to involve and retain teenagers and young adults.

hungryShellie Rushing Tomlinson released Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce with Shiloh Run Press. Tomlinson, the Belle of All Things Southern, serves up down-home southern dishes with a healthy side of laugh-out-loud entertainment in the book, which features dozens of tried-and-true recipes complemented by entertaining stories.

New Contracts 

Chris Conlee signed a two-book deal with Baker Books. The first book, Love Works, will look at biblical love and how to put it to work in our lives, and will release at the end of 2017.

Craig Selness signed with Worthy Publishing for his book How to Manage Your Pain Without Becoming One, addressing the reality of chronic pain and encouraging and equipping the reader to endure and still thrive.

New Clients

Wendy Holtz, Gwen Ellis, and Scott Watson signed with WordServe this month. Welcome!

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What We’re Celebrating

The California Gold Rush Romance Collectionwhich includes contributions from Dianne Christner, hit the EPCA Bestsellers list for September.

Terry Brennan’s book The Aleppo Code won the 2016 Carol Award for excellence in Christian fiction in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category. Congratulations, Terry!

Sara Davison’s new release, The Morning Star Rises, received a glowing review from RT Book Reviews.

Delightful Drudgery

Three cheers for the delightful drudgery of the writing life!

Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray! Hip, hip… what was that? Hit the brakes, Hemingway.

Wouldn’t delightful drudgery be an oxymoron? Yes, I suppose so but I can’t think of anything that more perfectly describes the process of putting words on a page.

Writing is delightful.

Writing is drudgery.

Writing is delightful drudgery and I’m equally familiar with both.

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I know the drudgery of wearing the letters off my backspace key waiting for a sentence or two to show up that’s even a tad worthy of remaining on the page. And I know the delightful feeling of having thoughts tumble out until they almost seem to be writing themselves. Yet another irony of the writing life is how often those two experiences meet in the same bottom-in-chair sessions.

But, here’s the thing. I’ve decided we’re the better for it, that the delight is sweet precisely because we’ve been given the gift of staring that drudgery down, and we can’t have one without the other. And now, I’m not just talking writing anymore…

Someone once said that life is mostly about showing up. Maybe. That might be true, if voting present is the ultimate goal. But for any who want more, God gives opportunities not only to show up to life, but to put our heads down and our shoulders to the plow of whatever tasks He has given us. Not once, but over and over again we’re blessed to ignore the barren landscape and accept the drudgery that feels futile–until that day.

Until that day the seed of our very hard thing germinates and begins to sprout and we pause to wipe our brows and glance down, only to stand shell-shocked at the early shoots reaching up to meet us.

Isn’t this delightful drudgery thing something like what Christ did when He wrapped Himself in our skin? He showed us how to do the everyday things, day after day, until that one glorious day when He set everything right and reconciled us to His Father and ours on the cross. All those days He spent traipsing this earth in dusty sandals was worth it to Him because He knew He was up to more than what the casual observer could see.

This is what lights my word fire. When we refuse to begrudge the drudgery, we get to taste the delight.

Tell me about that hard thing you’ve stuck with that brought delight when all was said and done?

WordServe News: May 2015

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

Mary Davis released Winning Olivia’s Heart with Heartsong Presents, the third book in9780373487837_p0_v2_s260x420 her series with Heartsong.

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Robert Morris, with agency client Marcus Brotherton released Truly Free with Thomas 9780718011109_p0_v3_s260x420Nelson publishers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Joe L. Wheeler released My Favorite Miracle Stories with Pacific Press.download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New WordServe Clients

Jared Boyd and Karon Phillips signed with Wordserve Literary!

What We’re Celebrating!!

Cheri Fuller was interviewed on the Focus on the Family Radio Broadcast. Listen here. 

Lauren Scruggs and Lisa Velthouse’s book Your Beautiful Heart came in at #1 on the NYT Bestseller list for Fashion, Manners, Customs. See the full list here!

Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers (The Writing Sisters) are a finalist in the 2015 Selah Awards for The Shepherd’s Song in Women’s Contemporary Fiction.

Margot Starbuck is a finalist in the 2015 Selah Awards for Not Who I Imagined in Nonfiction Christian Living.

Shellie Tomlinson is a finalist in the 2015 Selah Awards for Heart Wide Open in general nonfiction!

Drag Ugly Into the Light

There’s this song, Empty Me by Chris Sligh.  The lyrics strip me down every time I play it…

“I’ve had just enough of the spotlight
when it burns bright
to see how it gets in the blood
and I’ve tasted my share
of the sweet life
and the wild ride
and found a little
is not quite enough.
I know how I can stray
and how fast my heart could change.”

It’s not that I’ve seen that much of the spotlight, just enough of it to identify with Chris’ words– to know how quickly man’s approval can become addictive.

I think you get those lyrics, too. You may not have occupied a platform or a stage, but you’ve done something at some point well enough to elicit praise. You wrote, sang, photographed, cooked, helped, coached, nursed or gave. Add to the list until you see yourself, but whatever was produced from your efforts was recognized and appreciated — and it sat well with you.

We give ourselves to man’s approval like a dog to a belly rub. And just like our pets nudge us when our attention strays and our hands grow still, we can find ourselves stretching for the next pat on the head.

At least, I can.

Allow me to swallow hard and go all first person. It’s painfully embarrassing to admit key stroke by public key stroke that I like a “You go, girl” as much as the next person, but it’s worth dragging it into the light because that part of me stands in opposition to the approval I most long to hear.

Well done, my good and faithful servant.

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I can’t reconcile the two.  They’re light and dark, flesh and spirit.

On my own I can’t even see when I’ve slipped from worshiping the I Am to the age-old battle of recognize me.  The Lover of My Soul has to call me out.  Always He gives me the option of admitting and submitting, relenting and repenting, but once I do He moves tenderly and purposefully. Under His skilled hands, the lesser things of this life are cut away and my sore hearts beats with new passion.

This last pass under His sweet healing knife came as I was preparing speeches for several upcoming events. I was moving along at a pretty good clip when I found a Rock in my road. Color me stunned when God slipped in without any fanfare and showed me that I was going about my preparations with a desire to “do well” at these events.

Do well? Whatever does that mean but to do well so I won’t be embarrassed, so I’ll be approved, to ensure further opportunities– for me…

Father and I have had quite a day. I think I know what He wants me to do and say. Oh, the speeches aren’t totally wrapped up or set in stone. God knows He is welcome to pull them and start all over should He choose, and that’s the sweetest place on earth to be.

See, there’s another line I adore from Chris’ song,

Everything’s a lesser thing compared to You.

And so, I pull all of this ugliness out into the can’t take it back written world because if I don’t know anything else, I know this: My ugly can’t survive in the Light of Who He is but a yielded spirit thrives there.

I will always appreciate a kind word from you, but I aim to live on His for they are spirit and they are life.

All that said, this coming weekend I’ll be ministering with Dr. Joneal Kirby, known as The Heart Mom, the women of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, and a host of other exceptional speakers and worship leaders at the Inaugural Heart to Home Conference in Monroe, LA! I would appreciate your prayer support. Oh, and it’s not too late for you to secure a ticket and join us. Or, if you can’t make the trip physically, you individually or your church group can participate in the simulcast. All of the details can be found here.

Hugs, Shellie

Can you share one of your “uglier” moments in this business that Father has had you drag into the light?

Top 3 Ways Launching a Book is Like Birthing a Baby!

As you may have deduced from the heading, I’ve recently given birth to a new book baby. This is a little list I put together to celebrate the arrival of Heart Wide Open. It will bring you smack dab into my world.

It hit me when I was heavy with this last literary child. Launching a book feels a lot like birthing a baby. I’ve done both. Granted, it’s been a while since I birthed my human offspring but that’s not something a girl forgets. Drawing on those delightful memories, I give you:

TOP THREE WAYS LAUNCHING A BOOK IS LIKE BIRTHING A BABY

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Number 3. When it comes time to have a book/baby, you will be thrilled because you have made it to the big day without inflicting pain on the people who use their outside voices inside to inquire, “When on earth is that book/baby of yours coming out anyway?” (The temptation to use violence will be strongest when the question is asked as if you don’t want to share your little bundle of joy with the world but are keeping him/her/it all to yourself in a fit of spite.)

Number 2. When it comes time to have a book/baby you may find yourself in a phenomena called “nesting”. It’s a sudden urge to tidy up the place before you hit the road. If you are a southern belle, this can probably be attributed to the indoctrination you received from your southern mama. She who has likely spent years warning that if you should die in a traffic accident or, heaven forbid, be knocked in the back of the head by someone up to no good while you’re walking into your hotel room, knows the whole world would then find your house in disarray. (If you are a well-raised southern girl, you will not mention to her that should you die, you would never know if someone found your dust-bunnies or not.)

And the Number 1 way launching a book is like birthing a baby–

When it comes time to have a book/baby, you may have all sorts of well-laid plans about the launch and you may have made all sorts of vows to yourself as to how you’re going to handle the details/promotion/heavy labor with grace and aplomb. Warning: These intentions might fall like a house of cards and you will wonder if and when you can have anesthesia.

I thought of more earlier, but the baby is here and she and I need our rest. I will be asleep in .02 seconds but do leave me a note. I’ll be sure and get back to you because your comments are very important to us. (Sounding like an automated recording is yet another sign that the details are getting to you.)

Happy Writing, friends.

Hugs, Shellie

Now tell me, what similarities have I missed?

Words from Another World

“Sticks and stones might break my bones but words will never hurt me!” Wrong.

As an adult I’ve long since conceded that the childhood nursery rhyme we sang to protect ourselves couldn’t be further from the truth. I no longer deny that words can inflict lasting pain but my fascination is with their power to change the world.

This ability of ours to communicate, it’s combustible.

fire

Picture if you will the disciples of Christ sitting in an upper room waiting and praying, praying and waiting. Before leaving in the clouds, Jesus had promised to send them power to take His message to the ends of the earth. He didn’t tell them what this power would look like or how long they’d have to wait for it, only that they must.

Finally, after days and nights of waiting, after all the anticipation and questions surrounding this mysterious force Jesus had spoken of, after weeks of wondering what this supernatural aid might be and how they would wield it, God’s promised fire fell “as cloven tongues of fire.”

How interesting. Fiery cloven tongues of an other-worldly origin.

I find it fascinating that out of all the body parts the writer could’ve used to describe this amazing scene when God’s fire power fell on man, he chose a human tongue. What a visual of God’s plan to employ these fleshy instruments of ours to speak from the understanding of one human to that of another, each witnessing of the consuming fire lit in his or her heart.

In light of such a mission, is it any wonder that we’re so strictly charged to monitor our tongues and the power of language? How can we allow ourselves to use whatever words we want with whomever we want whenever we want-–knowing that God has chosen these same tongues as holy messengers to take His gospel into all the world?

From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:10

For those of us who feel called to write, these questions should weigh even heavier.

My prayer is for our words and our tongues to have fire power because they’re yielded to His will instead of our whim.

Hugs, Shellie