WordServe News: June 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

TheBrotherhoodTerry Brennan’s second novel, The Brotherhood Conspiracy, has come out with Kregel.

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Too BlessedDebora Coty had her 2014 Planner based on Too Blessed to Be Stressed released through Barbour.

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QueenofShebaRoberta Kells Dorr (deceased many years ago) had another of her out of print biblical novels released. This one, Queen of Sheba (Moody).

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AHeartDeceivedMichelle Griep has her first novel released through David C. Cook, A Heart Deceived.

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New WordServe Clients

Victor Watts just signed with Sarah Freese. Victor is a great writer, and we look forward to what he will contribute to the WordServe team!

Bill Donahue, leadership and community expert writing nonfiction.

New Contracts

Arnie Cole and Michael Ross signed with Authentic Publishers to write The Worry-Free Family.

Cris Krusen signed with Baker Books to write Buried Treasure: History Makers of the Faith. A look at 12-15 little known people of faith who made an impact in the world, even though they were not known as full time ministers.

Ema McKinley signed a one-book contract with Zondervan for her miracle healing story, Jesus in My Room. Cheryl Ricker is her collaborator.

Lisa Velthouse signed on with Lauren Scruggs to collaborate with her on Believing You’re Beautiful: Choosing to Be Who God Says You Are. Tyndale will publish in 2014.

Bob Welch signed with Thomas Nelson for two books: 52 Life Lessons from Les Miserables, and 52 Life Lessons From A Christmas Carol.

What We’re Celebrating!!

IntotheFreeVery happy, proud, and honored . . . for Julie Cantrell who was awarded two Christy Awards (the Christian awards for the previous year’s novels) at last week’s ICRS convention. She not only won in the “Debut Novel” category, but the Christy’s also added a new category this year: Novel of the Year. And Into the Free, Julie’s first novel, was awarded the best novel in all of Christian publishing for 2012. Wow. A starred review in Pubisher’s Weekly, a New York Time’s bestseller…and now this. Way to go, Julie! It couldn’t happen to a nicer lady.

Jan Drexler’s The Prodigal Son Returns continues to do well. She recently received news that she is a double finalist in the TARA contest. Way to go, Jan!

Jordyn Redwood’s debut novel, Proof, became a finalist in the Carol Awards in the “Debut Novel” category. Awards will be given at this September’s ACFW in Indianapolis. As we all like to say around here, “Strong work!”

What can we help you celebrate?

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WordServe News: May 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

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IslandoftheInnocentIsland of the Innocent by Lynn Morris, number 7 in the repackaged “Cheney Duvall, M.D.” series.

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drivenbythewindDriven by the Wind by Lynn Morris, number 8 and the final book in the series.

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DavidandBathshebaDavid and Bathsheba by Roberta Kells Dorr (Moody). This is the first in a series of biblical novels that are being repackaged by Moody for a new generation of readers. Roberta died several years ago, but her novels were so well written and well-researched, they were deserving of a new life in e-books and the trade.

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workingwomenWorking Women of the Bible by Susan DiMickele (Leafwood)

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CatchAFallingStarCatch a Falling Star by Beth Vogt (Howard)

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New Contracts

Joe Wheeler has signed 3 new books with Pacific Press to continue the “Christmas in My Heart” series. These books will be numbers 23, 24, and 25…the longest running series of Christmas stories ever published.

Cheri Fuller has signed with Bethany House Publishers to write What a Daughter Needs in a Mom. This will compliment her recently published book, What a Son Needs in a Mom.

Mike Yorkey signed with Destiny Image to write the next health and wellness book for Jordan Rubin.

Jonathan McKee has signed with Barbour to write a book for teen boys, The Wise Guy’s Guide to God, Girls and Google.

What We’re Celebrating!!

Jan Drexler’s The Prodigal Son Returns is #37 of 100 romances through RWA. This is Jan’s second week on the list; her book debuted at #95, so it is definitely moving on up!

Jillian Kent has her second novel in The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Chameleon, getting some noteworthy buzz. It finaled in the Fiction-Romance Category in the Inspirational Romantic Mystery/Suspense category. And it’s also finaled in RWA’s Daphne du Maurier Contest. Congratulations, Jillian!

 

Are You In the Mood?

When you’re writing a book, you have a purpose. You want to speak to your readers’ emotions, bring them into your story world, and show them ideas that may change their lives.

There are many ways to do that, and one is to be purposeful in expressing the mood of your story.

The mood is different from your setting, theme, plot, or other elements of a story. The mood is the overall feeling your reader gets from your story. It can be happy, tragic, hopeful, desperate, fearful, serene…and everything in between. Your book will have a general mood that permeates your entire story, but each scene may have its own mood, also.

How does a writer convey mood?

There are a couple of very good ways.

First is your choice of words. Consider this excerpt from “The Prodigal Son Returns”:

ImageFrom the simple white house nestled behind a riotous hedge of lilacs to the looming white barn, the Stoltzfus farm was the image of his Grossdatti’s home, a place he thought he had forgotten since the old man’s death when he was a young boy. A whisper of memory rattled the long-closed door in his mind, willing it to open, but Bram waved it off. Memories were deceptive, even ones more than twenty years old. They covered the truth, and this truth was that he had a job to do. Grossdatti and his young grandson remained behind their door.

I tried to convey the feeling of nostalgia in this paragraph, so I chose soft words like “nestled,” “farm,” “home,” “whisper,” and “memory.” As the paragraph reached its end, I wanted Bram to shake himself back to reality – at least his version of it. So I used harsher words like “rattled” and “truth.”

Read your paragraphs aloud, listening to how the words sound. What feeling do they convey? It isn’t only the meaning of words that speak to your readers – the sound does, too.

A second way to convey mood is in the construction of your sentences. Longer sentences set a softer, quieter tone, and shorter, choppy sentences convey a sense of urgency or danger.

Here’s an excerpt where I was trying to show a peaceful summer afternoon:

Once the family buggy was gone, the farm settled into a quiet that Ellie seldom heard. The early summer sun was hot, and the cows had all sought the shade of the pasture. One pig’s grunting echoed through the empty barn, keeping rhythm with the thump and clatter as he rubbed against the wooden planks of the sty.

Ellie wandered to the lilac bushes that surrounded the front porch of the big house, and she buried her face in the blossoms. They were nearly spent, but the scent still lingered. On either side of the front walk Mam’s peony bushes held round pink and green buds. Another day or two, and they would burst into bloom.

The sentences in these paragraphs are complex, with dependent and independent clauses. They are designed to slow down the reader’s pace and feel the mood of Ellie’s afternoon – hot, languorous, and even lazy.

Contrast that with this excerpt:

Kavanaugh’s lip curled in the sneer that was his trademark. “No cop is going to take me.”

The snub nose of Kavanaugh’s gun steadied as the gangster’s finger tightened on the trigger. Bram shot at the same time. His body jerked as Kavanaugh’s bullet hit his chest, and he fell into blackness.

The sentences here are shorter, choppier. Shorter sentences speed up the action and heighten the tension. The mood becomes urgent, dangerous and suspenseful. Interspersing longer sentences with shorter ones can draw out the tension even further.

So, have you thought about the mood of your book? It can be as elusive to pinpoint as your voice, but once you identify it, using these techniques can help you enhance it and will increase the depth of your readers’ experience.

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?