New Releases March 2010

Below are new books from March 2010 which our agency represented.
(In alphabetical order by author. Descriptions are from publisher’s web sites).

March 2010

Lady Carliss and the Waters of Moorue
– Chuck Black
Multnomah
Determined, smart and a master of both the sword and the bow, Lady Carliss has proven herself as a veteran Knight of the Prince. Returning from a mission of aid, Carliss is plunged into adventure once again as she searches for the marauders responsible for kidnapping a friends’ family. Along the way she is reunited with Sir Dalton and discovers that the struggle in her heart is far from over. When Dalton falls to the vicious attack of a mysterious, poisonous creature, Carliss finds herself in a race against time. As Dalton clings perilously to life, she must find the antidote in the distant and strange city of Moorue.

While there, Carliss uncovers the master plot of a powerful Shadow Warrior that will soon overtake the entire Kingdom. Her faith in the Prince and her courage as a knight are tested as she faces evil Shadow Warriors and a swamp full of dreadful creatures. The lives of many, including Dalton’s, depend on Carliss. But she cannot save them all, for time is running out.  She faces an impossible choice: save Dalton, or let him die so that others may live.


On Guard – William Lane Craig
David C. Cook
Do you worry that someone will ask you a question about your faith that you can’t answer?

Have you tried to learn how to defend your faith but gotten lost in confusing language and theology?

Do you struggle with times of spiritual doubt yourself?

This concise training manual by a renowned scholar is filled with illustrations, sidebars, and memorizable steps to help you stand your ground and defend your faith with reason and precision. In his engaging style, Dr. William Lane Craig offers four arguments for God’s existence, defends the historicity of Jesus’ personal claims and resurrection, addresses the problem of suffering, and shows why religious relativism doesn’t work. Along the way, he shares his own story of following God’s call.

This one-stop, how-to-defend-your-faith manual will equip you to advance faith conversations deliberately, applying straightforward, cool-headed arguments. You will discover not just what you believe, but why you believe—and how being on guard with the truth has the power to change lives forever.


Into the Wilderness – Traci Depree
Guideposts
When Kate and Paul Hanlon’s daughter Rebecca arrives in Copper Mill for a surprise visit with her new boyfriend Marcus, they are delighted to see her-but something about her handsome actor beau doesn’t seem right. Paul is about to embark on a camping trip with men from church, and rather than cancel his expedition, he brings Marcus along.

What starts out as a good time of bonding soon turns into disaster when they end up lost in the wilderness. Two mysterious men from Marcus’ past are particularly interested in making sure Marcus is found quickly, and Kate, desperate for answers, must use all of her detective skills to bring her husband home alive. Meanwhile, Livvy Jenner tries to teach her son the importance of responsibility, and Rebecca finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about love. With time running out, everyone is reminded that faith is their best guide.


Forget Me Not – Vicki Hinze
Multnomah
Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family.  Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away.  His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith.  Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too.  Why had he survived?  He’d failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help—a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan.  A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill.  Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly.  Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?Forget Me Not is edge-of-your-seat suspense. Each page left me breathless with anticipation for the next page. This book is non-put-downable.”
–Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Written with equal parts grace and passion, Vicki Hinze’s latest thriller Forget Me Not delves deeply into a the chilling world of twisted loyalties, amnesia, and the struggle of a woman to expose a terrorist plot. Romantic, suspenseful, and ultimately uplifting, this story proves that what is buried in the past never stays buried forever. A great read by a writer who continues to amaze”
–James Rollins, New York Times bestselling author of The Doomsday Key

 


 

Dead Reckoning – Ronie Kendig
Abingdon
Dead Reckoning is the story of a young woman anxious to abandon the crushing effects of her father’s espionage career only to find herself tangled in the very web of mystery and intrigue that consumed his life. Underwater archeologist Shiloh Blake is consumed with passion for the water and inflamed at the injustices of life, blaming her secret agent father for her mother’s death. When her first large-scale dig traps her in the middle of an international nuclear arms clash, she flees for her life and is followed by an unknown man. Who is he? How is he always one step ahead?

Reece Jaxon is a former Navy SEAL, who now serves his country as a spy. His mission is threatened by the beguiling Shiloh Blake as he hunts down the sources to a nuclear dead drop in the Arabian Sea. The only way to end this nightmare and prevent a nuclear meltdown is for Shiloh to join forces with Reece. Will Shiloh violate her vow to never become a spy like her father?  Will she reconcile with her father? Will her trust issues destroy her chance for love? And will she allow God to help her through this ordeal?

 


 

The Complete Guide to Biblical Prophecy
– Stephen M. Miller
Barbour
Wondering if the end of the world is near? Check out The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy for a fair and thoughtful review of various end-time theories. New from Stephen M. Miller bestselling author of Who’s Who and Where’s Where in the Bible, this guide introduces readers to all aspects of prophecy—from Old Testament predictions made and already fulfilled to end-times prophecies of events yet to come. Written in Miller’s casual, balanced, journalistic style, this book is a fascinating survey of mysterious biblical passages and their various interpretations. Lavishly illustrated, with gorgeous charts and graphics, The Complete Guide to Bible Prophecy will help you sort out the truth on this vital topic.


Face-to-Face with Elizabeth and Martha:
from Generation to Generation
– Janet Thompson
New Hope Publishers
Mary knew she needed another woman to relate to, someone who could understand her situation – a spiritual mother. This 5-session study is one in a series developed by Saddleback Church’s Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry for individuals in mentoring relationships. You can do this study with a family member, friend, or small group. It includes a leader’s guide and prayer and journaling pages.


Face-to-Face with Euodia and Syntyche:
from Conflict to Community
– Janet Thompson
New Hope Publishers

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New Releases January & February 2010

Below are new books by our clients which released in January & February 2010 (in alphabetical order by author and descriptions from publisher’s web sites). January 2010 Dreams That Won’t Let Go – Stacy Hawkins Adams Revell Indigo Burns is excited. Her wedding preparations to the man of her dreams …

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A Volatile Industry

Yesterday’s blog linked you to some fascinating articles about the publishing industry. One friend wrote an insightful comment on the blog and cited the article where Boris Kachka proclaimed “The End” on September 14, 2008 in New York Magazine.

To illustrate how volatile this industry is, let’s look at two of the people featured in the article. Jane Friedman is no longer the CEO of HarperCollins (which she was at the time of the original meeting) and Bob Miller resigned today as the head of HarperStudio. HarperStudio was creative with a unique financial model (see the article for the gist of it). But on a web site set up to answer questions about this development HarperStudio wrote this:

“Of our ORIGINAL goals, I’d give us a 6 [out of 10]. But there were other goals that cropped up along the way that were unintended benefits.”

Founded in April 2008, it has already changed in less than two years. Their first year was developmental as it takes time to acquire and produce new book titles. 2009 was a tough year for the economy in general and publishing was not immune. Thus the changes. They stop short of saying it didn’t work very well, but the tone of their answer page is very much a “let’s wait and see what the future holds.”

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Is This the End of Publishing?

You owe it to yourself to read the following links and then watch the embedded video. We are all quite aware that the book publishing industry is in the throes of considerable change. Sales channels are shifting and marketing channels have splintered.

Some folks are dismayed by this, and others see it as opportunity. But, as usual, a middle ground can be found. And that middle ground is displayed in the video below.

But first, the articles to read:

The New York Magazine proclaimed “The End” on September 14, 2008 in an article by Boris Kachka.

Publishers Weekly agreed on January 5, 2009 in an article by Peter Olson, former chairman and CEO of Random House .

Mike Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson, chimed in on December 10, 2009 in his insightful blog.

Richard Nash continued the assault on January 5, 2010 in an interview on GalleyCat. More was added the next day.

The below video originally prepared for a recent Penguin sales conference by the UK branch of Dorling Kindersley Books. Watch the entire piece without interruption.

Let me know what you think!

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Is Print Dead?

There is an unsettling myth being perpetuated about the death of print books. The news of print’s demise is simply not true. It sounds a bit like Mark Twain having to write a note to a reporter saying “The report of my death was an exaggeration.”

To fully explain I need to start with the music industry.
The impression is that all sales are now digital. And iTunes has killed the physical CD. This is not true.

Approximately 12 songs fit on a CD. And since individual songs can be downloaded, the only way to compare physical CD sales with download sales is to divide the number of songs downloaded by 12. That way you have a one-to-one comparison.

With that assumption in place, Apple is the #1 retailer of CDs in America. No surprise. The surprise is that they only comprise 25% of sales. Walmart is #2 at 14% and Best Buy is #3 (my guess is that Amazon.com is #4 but wasn’t mentioned in the article).

Why is that surprising? Because that means 75% of all sales are still “hard copy.” Physical CDs. It is significant that Apple’s share has increased as a percentage of all sales from 21% in 2008, up from 14% in 2007. But it still means the physical product is outselling the digital by 3 to 1. (In total dollars, across all forms of music, digital downloads comprise only 35% of all music sales.)

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Incoming Proposals

To your left is an actual picture of the pile of proposals our office has received since December 1, 2009. About 30 days worth of incoming mail…during a slow time of the year. The stack of books next to the pile include books sent for review (consideration) and recent publications that I want to look at.

That does not include the myriad of email submissions we get (many simply ignoring our guidelines regarding email submissions)…inquiries from those who use the contact form on our web site (many of those ignoring the request to “Please do not copy and paste your entire manuscript into this form.“)

Or the poor soul that failed to proofread their email before sending this sentence, “I would like to send you my quarry letter….”

Nor does it include those that do an Internet search and call us. Recently we got a call that went something like this:
Agency: This is the Steve Laube Agency…
Caller: What kind of agency are you?
Agency: We are a literary agency.
Caller: What does that mean?

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A Year in Review

This is one of my favorite times of the year. The Christmas glow is still present and since the publishing world is, in essence, on vacation, it is a perfect time to to reflect on the past twelve months.

This was a hard year for many as the economy touched everyone in some way. And yet, despite the ominous cloud of doom and gloom, there were many exciting things to celebrate.

On a personal level our middle daughter was married at the end of June. What a joy to see God at the center of the ceremony. And our oldest daughter had a blast playing keyboards for Alice Cooper (singing “School’s Out”) in front of 50,000 people at the ASU graduation ceremony in May.

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Art of War for Writers

Periodically I plan to recommend a title or two for you to read. I’ve always enjoyed this form of “word-of-mouth” marketing, thus I will “pay it forward.” 🙂

Yesterday afternoon I received James Scott Bell’s The Art of War for Writers: fiction writing strategies, tactics, and exercises (published by Writer’s Digest Books). With interest I took the book home and devoured it. Not literally of course, as I’m not sure what the pages would have tasted like with extra cheese. But I could not keep from turning the pages with delight.

James Scott Bell has done an immeasurable service to writers everywhere. This little book is chock full of sage advice. Loosely based on the ancient classic The Art of War he consistently nudges the reader with nuggets of wisdom that are hard to assail.

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Do you Facebook?

The following article appeared in the UK on November 5th, “Facebook Users Spend Three Solid Days a Year on the Site.”

Three full 24 hour days on Facebook per year! Or nearly two full work weeks if you count a work week as 35-40 hours a week. And I suspect the statistics hold true in the U.S. as well.

Not all writers are full-time. Some must juggle day jobs or home-life responsibilities around their writing. So let’s say the average writer is cramming 20 hours a week of actual writing into their craft.

Thus if you are a writer AND you “Facebook” (is that a verb now?) this would mean the average writer is spend nearly a month’s worth of work time…on Facebook.

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The Wave of Digital Creativity in Books

I went to high school in Hawaii (I know.. a rough life) where I learned the joys and perils of body surfing. That experience is a great metaphor for the new “waves” of digital revolution we are seeing in the publishing world.

The key to great body surfing is waiting for the right wave and then time your push just right. The ride is exhilarating (I still remember riding inside the tube of a perfect wave off the beaches of Kauai). BUT if you catch the wrong wave or mistime the push, there is no ride. Or worse, catch a wave that throws you wildly into a bunch of rocks…

But unless you are in the water and making attempt after attempt you will never achieve the perfect ride.

I see this metaphor applied to the new world of digital publishing. It is really fun to play a small part, but even more fun to watch others be extremely creative in their experiments. There are some very bright and exciting people trying new things in merging the traditional book with all things “interactive.”

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