WordServe News: January 2014

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

ScrapsBarbara Cameron released Scraps of Evidence (Abingdon Fiction).

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ForgivingLeslie Leyland Fields released Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers (Thomas Nelson).

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WintersPromiseKen Gire released Winter’s Promise (Harvest House Publishers).

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FleshHugh Halter released Flesh (David C. Cook).

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HandsofDarknessHeather James’s Hands of Darkness (Kregel). This is book #2 in the Lure of the Serpent series.

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ShakenKariss Lynch’s debut novel, Shaken, releases February 4th (Charisma Media).

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The KnightTara McLary Reeves and Amanda Jenkins released The Knight and the Firefly (B&H Kids).

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YouFoundKeith Robinson released You Found Me (Regal Books). His first book!

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RethinkDave Stoop released Rethink How You Think (Revell).

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WayfarerJanalyn Voigt released WayFarer (Harbourlight Books). This is book #2 of the Tales of Faeraven series.

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LifeComesBackTricia Williford released And Life Comes Back with (WaterBrook Press). Her debut book!

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New WordServe Clients

Linda Kuhar, miraculous cancer survivor, Certified Christian Life Coach, and teacher on Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies’ Executive Leadership Team signed with Alice Crider.

New Contracts

Arnie Cole and Michael Ross, in combination with Back to the Bible Ministries, have signed a 13 book contract with Barbour Publishers to launch a series of books in the “goTandem” line, primarily direct-to-church, in support of the goTandem Bible engagement app being launched May 1st of this year.

Tami Weissert signed with Authentic Publishers for a book with a working title of Off the Page (and into your heart), 12 stories of how women in different stages of life engage with God’s Word.

What We’re Celebrating!!

FlightCongratulations to Capt. Dale Black and Ken Gire. Their non-fiction book, Flight to Heaven, made the New York Times Best Seller List!

Wounded Women of the Bible co-author Dena Dyer was recently honored with two “Best Of” awards for her articles on The High Calling, an online magazine sponsored by The Foundations for Laity Renewal. The two articles, chosen out of hundreds which ran on the site in 2013, were Resting my Mind in the faith category and Confessions of a Homeschooling Mom in the family category.

Amy K. Sorrels, author of soon-to-be-released How Sweet the Sound, received a wonderful review in Publishers Weekly: “Debut inspirational novelist Sorrells opens her story powerfully, with a rape and double murder within the Harlan family, who grow pecans in Bay Spring, Ala. This strong stuff is Southern gothic, but it’s also biblical, a retelling of the story of Tamar, who is raped by her brother, a son of King David. The story of this event and its tangled consequences is narrated alternately by Anniston, who is 13 and has seen her father murdered, and her aunt Comfort, the rape victim. The family’s secrets emerge, even as healing, propelled by faith, begins. Sorrells’s ambitious work has beautiful elements, chief among them the strong voice of Anniston. Others need work: Princella, the Harlans’ matriarch, could use more development and subtlety, and so could the prose (“The haze of quiet sunlight floated into the room like a slow dance between dreaming and waking up”). Sorrells will likely move many readers of faith, and she’s worth watching. Agent: Sarah Freese, WordServe Literary Agency. (Mar.)”

Lucille Zimmerman got a guest post gig on Michael Hyatt’s blog. Here is the link to her thoughts on “The Placebo Effect.” How’d she get it? She asked. Great lesson, Lucille. Remember, the worst anyone can say is “no.”

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Already Loved: Encouragement for This Writing Life

file9431319827916Another rejection. My agent gently relayed that though my dream publisher had said “yes” to a proposal all the way up the chain of command to the last committee, they finally decided to nix it.

As I hung up the phone, tears spilled down my cheeks. Two years of canceled book contracts, low sales figures, and repeated “thanks but no thanks” emails had left me discouraged, frustrated, and confused. Writing—and the marketing tasks necessary to be a professional writer—now seemed like drudgery, not play. No matter how many marketing rules I tried to follow, my efforts failed.

I felt like a failure, too.

I still believed God wasn’t through using me. But I couldn’t help but wonder, Will I ever get another book contract? And what happens if I don’t? Is God trying to tell me something?

Later that day, I sat at my desk, playing a computer game with my three year-old son. As Jackson sat in my lap, I kissed his ear and inhaled his little-boy scent; a combination of milk, grime, and chocolate. Nearby sat a copy of my first book, which I had referred to earlier in the day for a radio interview. Jackson looked at the illustration of a frazzled mom on the cover and asked, “Is that you?”

“No, sweetie,” I said, “but I wrote that book. See, mommy’s name is on the cover. It says, ‘by Dena Dyer.’ “

“Oh!” Jackson said, grinning up at me. “I love Dena Dyer!”

Stunned, I blinked back tears. “I love you, too,” I murmured.

After a few minutes more at the computer, I found a quiet corner and prayerfully pondered Jackson’s simple expression of love. He didn’t care if I published books or not. He simply loved me for me. He loved me the way God does.

In all my disappointments, I had thought more about selling books than surrendering my heart. It was painful to admit that somewhere in the midst of trying to serve Jesus, I’d become goal-driven instead of God-driven. I seemed to care more about what the publishing powers-that-be thought than what my Heavenly Father thought.

Satan is crafty. He takes our God-given talents and twists them into temptations. Gradually, my calling had become an idol. Who I was became less important than what I did.

“Lord, I’m sorry,” I prayed, crying for the third time that day. “My heart is so full of sin. I know you couldn’t care less how many books I sell. You just want ME.”

In the weeks and months to come, as I asked God to help me believe the truth of His unconditional acceptance, I began working freely and joyfully again instead of writing just to be published. God continued to close some doors, and another book proposal was rejected, but He gave me other opportunities–ones I hadn’t even known to pursue.

The truth is, though, I will probably always have a tendency to think I must perform to be loved. So I’ve ask God to whack me upside the head (as we say here in Texas) before I get too far off track.

If experience is any teacher, He’ll be faithful to do just that.

(This article first appeared at The High Calling. Used by permission)