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Announcing my first book with NavPress

It’s true!  I have signed with NavPress to publish my first book and I’m really excited.  You, like me, may be wondering, “How in the world?”  Here’s a little back story  (where “little” equals “more than you probably want to know, but humor me because I don’t get to do this every day.”)

1975:  My 6th grade teacher, Ms. Barbur, tries to encourage me to work more and talk less by telling me I should consider a career in writing.  This sticks with me and even though I never actually do quit talking, I grow in my love for writing.  (Ms. Barbur, incidentally, was the first woman I ever knew who was neither a Miss nor a Mrs. and it seemed very confusing and dangerous to my sixth-grade sensibilities.)

1982:  Wanting to get out of my small town, but being only 16 years old, my parents help me decide that a year or two at Bible college is a better start for me than jumping into the deep, dark waters of University life.  I just plan to kill a little time and maybe get a date or two, but one word study in the Greek and Hebrew and I’m hooked.  I don’t necessarily love college, but it is where I learn to love the Word of God like none other.  (I also got a really awesome boyfriend there who maintains that position to this very day.)

2007:  Startling discovery: blogging is a great way to get rid of a lot of extra words.  I write my first post and agonize over the prospect of sending all those words out into the world to be ravaged by wolves and agnostics and stuff.  After much searching of the soul, I take the brave leap into blogdom and my words go out to a crowd of about six.  And my mom.  To my knowledge, no agnostics were in this initial batch of readers (though I do have some who email me now and they’re generally clever, insightful and kind.)

Fall 2010:  My strong husband begins to feel very weak and we take our first, wobbly steps toward the most frightening days of our lives.  Again my blog becomes the place I go to share my heart, and the warmth and love we receive when we tell the story of Steve’s diagnosis is just staggering.  And beautiful. In the midst of these crazy, spinning days, we are approached by a literary agent who has become familiar with my blog and my speaking, with the offer of representation.  (It rarely happens this way – generally, authors have to pursue agents but I can tell you that I never, ever would have had the time or the heart or the energy to pursue anything other than getting dinner on the table during this season of our lives.   So, this connection felt very divine, very right.)

For the rest of 2010 and through the summer of 2011, I work on the book, Beautiful Battlefields – the story of how God meets us in the fiercest fights of life and makes us strong and beautiful through them.  In September of 2011 the proposal goes out to publishers and I go back to getting dinner on the table.

December 2011:  We – amazingly – receive offers from two fantastic publishing houses and after prayerful consideration, decide to sign with NavPress.  I am still astounded and so excited to be working with such a great publisher, with a rich history of providing excellent discipleship resources.

Release date for the book is set for February, 2013.  I know it seems like  a long way off – but that’s because you don’t have to edit it.  Do you have any idea how many commas and colons are going to need to be fixed in that poor manuscript?  Turns out, I have never fully grasped several fundamental elements of punctuation and have developed a love affair with ellipses that is…unhealthy.  Much work ahead!

So, that’s my story.  I’ll keep you updated as things happen.  I’ll probably whine about the process a fair amount.  But for Steve and I, at the end of the day, our prayer remains the same as it has been since our very first date in 1984:  Jesus, be glorified.  In all our words and ways.  In all our hopes and dreams.  Be the singular, shining focus of our lives.  Because only You are worthy.

Solo deo gloria,




February 20, 2012 - 11:48 am

pam - yay! yay! and yay again! <3

February 20, 2012 - 11:54 am

Taylor - Can’t wait to get my hands on one! Yay!!!

February 20, 2012 - 11:57 am

Nita Belles - … my dearest Bo … CONGRATULATIONS!!! Sharing your excitement and love for your EXCITING contract with Nav Press and for …
😉 YAY for editors! ha!

So very proud of you. I know this has been HARD work in the midst of a HARD season. God will be glorified as is demonstrated in every moment of your life. LOVE and admiration to you and team Stern!

February 20, 2012 - 12:02 pm

Karla (Ratter) Jeltema - Congrats, Bo! That is so awesome. I was thinking, about a month ago, that you should write a book. You truly have a beautiful gift with the written word. (I can’t speak of the spoken word, since we’ve never spoken.) Good luck with your editing! It isn’t the fun part…. I have a journalism degree and work at a publishing company and question my punctuation daily! Can’t wait to purchase your book!

February 20, 2012 - 12:07 pm

Lorelei Anderson - That’s so cool, Bo! Congrats! I hope Ms. Barbur gets a copy;)

February 20, 2012 - 12:19 pm

Jen Barrow - I knew this day would come! I only wish you were publishing at Nelson so I could work with you. I’m still going to hold out hope that a devotional will be in your future and that you and I will work together on it. 🙂 Congratulations!

February 20, 2012 - 12:27 pm

Heather Sutter - Congratulations, Bo! So exciting!!! What a blessing God has given you and will give to all the many people who read your wonderful words! Can’t wait to get a copy and read it ! =) Thanks Bo for all you do!

February 20, 2012 - 12:36 pm

Jane Williams - My first thought is: “It’s about stinking time.” (Which is neither a comment I’m familiar enough with you to say, nor that is necessarily true, since it’s HIS timing., and what do I know!) So I guess the better, more accurate, thing to say is: “I can’t WAIT! And isn’t it cool that God had the same idea as so many of us have had! Ha!” Yay God. Yay us. Yay you.

February 20, 2012 - 12:58 pm

Angela Coburn - Congratulations! I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been following your blog for the past six months or so, and every time I read it, I feel more energized and motivated. You are such a strong woman; my husband and I have been praying for your family since we found out about Steve’s diagnosis. My husband has been attending Westside for about 27 years, and I have been attending since before we got married…about 7 years now. I absoultely LOVE your way of speaking and writing (I’m a word nerd as well…and a 3rd grade teacher, so words come with the territory). Anyway, all of this to say that we have been blessed by your testimony and your passion for Christ, and we’re praying for you often! CANNOT wait to read your book!

February 20, 2012 - 3:44 pm

Kathy - gasp. We love you. WoW. Heart leaping for with joy. Wow again. Hugs. So looking to forward to owning a copy. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

February 20, 2012 - 3:53 pm

Adriel - this is the best news i’ve heard in a long time and i’m very, very happy about it. that is all. oh, and hooray for divine appointments. God is so, so cool. x

February 20, 2012 - 3:54 pm

Adriel - yeah!

February 20, 2012 - 4:03 pm

Teresa Brown - Congrats Bo! Such wonderful news. I can’t wait to get my hands on a personally autographed copy! But most of all I’m excited to read your wonderful writing and how I can use it in my own life 🙂

February 20, 2012 - 5:19 pm

Kristen - One word…awesomesauce.

February 20, 2012 - 5:25 pm

Debbie Vogel - Soooooo, happy and so excited for you and soooo not surprised! Blessings on your new adventures!

February 20, 2012 - 6:13 pm

Carole Nase - Love this Bo! So exciting for you and awesome that you are willing to share through the struggles. That is a HUGE blessing to so many. May you know God’s peace and excitement as He unfolds the story!

Love, Carole

February 20, 2012 - 6:21 pm

bo - Thank you, Pammy. I love you dearly.

February 20, 2012 - 6:22 pm

bo - Me too, Taylor! ; ) Hope things are well for you in Texas!

February 20, 2012 - 6:22 pm

bo - Ah, Nita – you’ve been such an example for me of tenacity and determination – thank you for all the encouragement and support.

February 20, 2012 - 6:24 pm

bo - Yes, Karla, it seems like we’ve have spoken often, but I guess we really haven’t. If I can just learn to limit the ellipses (and also to spell ellipses without the red line underneath), I will feel that I’ve acheived something significant. 🙂

February 20, 2012 - 6:24 pm

bo - Haha! I love that idea – I wonder where she is, and if she’s still Ms. Barbur. 🙂

February 20, 2012 - 6:25 pm

bo - Well, dear Jen, from your mouth to God’s ears! I would LOVE to work with you someday.

February 20, 2012 - 6:26 pm

bo - Bless you, Heather – I believe there’s a book with your name on it as well. Keep writing – you have things to say that we need to hear.

February 20, 2012 - 6:28 pm

bo - Thank you, Jane, so much. You have been wonderfully encouraging through the blog years and I’m so honored that someone as gifted with words as you are would want to read mine. Bless you, friend!

February 20, 2012 - 6:28 pm

bo - Thanks Angela – come introduce yourself sometime at Westside! I’d love to meet you!

February 20, 2012 - 6:29 pm

bo - Kathy – you never fail to encourage. Thank you so much!

February 20, 2012 - 6:30 pm

bo - Thank you, Adriel! I have no doubt that I will read your book one day as well. Love to you and your boys!

February 20, 2012 - 6:31 pm

bo - Oh, Teresa, thank you so much for the encouragement!

February 20, 2012 - 6:32 pm

bo - I really love that word, Kristen! And in addition – I love your blog.

February 20, 2012 - 6:33 pm

bo - Thanks, Florida friend – you have always been such an encourager and I’m so grateful. Love to you!

February 20, 2012 - 6:33 pm

bo - Beautiful words, Carole. Thank you so much.

February 20, 2012 - 6:44 pm

Jamie - You and words are almost as perfect of a couple as you and Steve. And not just any words, but deep, inspirational words that stir the soul and motivate the heart. I am so excited for the first of what will be many books to come! Congrats!!!

February 20, 2012 - 6:49 pm

Cathy Turk - Just my two cents… Paul’s comment after he came out of our office/den the other day, and having just read your most current blog.. He’s wiping his eyes and says “That woman can write”. I too feel that February is a long ways off, but oh how exciting! And P.S. This seems like a really cool secret you’ve been keeping… good job 🙂

February 20, 2012 - 6:56 pm

Tracy - OH so very excited! I have spent many moments wishing I could pick up a book by Bo Stern and alas my dreams will come true! How can you wait until February 2013! I’m beside myself waiting for March 2012, not sure how a whole year of patience would look! Wonderful news my friend!

February 21, 2012 - 7:23 am

ci - It is easy to say “I knew it all along,” but this time I’m finally accurate! I have enjoyed years of absorbing your beautiful written word and imagining what wisdom and humor your book would contain. I recognize too, that this has come at a high price but the truth of Jesus has never shined brighter, nor has Team Stern. I am thrilled for you and happy for all of us who will read your book!

February 21, 2012 - 7:49 am

Patty Gast - Dear Bo,
How encouraging to know that you are pressing forward with your ministry and now a book. I am eagerly waiting for your book to be released.
I am so blessed to have met you. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and willingness to reach out to me.
I pray that God continues to bless you and your family. Oh the plans He has for you. Way to go!

February 21, 2012 - 8:16 am

Donna - Congratulations from all of our family. We will be very excited to get our hands on the book.

February 21, 2012 - 8:38 am

Angelique Trono - Love it! Beautiful Battlefields. Indeed! I, like many others, am always blessed by what you so willingly share with your readers, and I can’t wait to read your first book. God’s glory is revealed as you allow Him to use you, and He uses you in ways that other’s can’t be used. Thank you for being a willing vessel and a courageous woman of faith.

February 21, 2012 - 8:50 am

Tami - That is awesome news BO! It will be a BIG HIT. Can’t wait for it to be released. I told a friend after your sermon the other night. You could stand up there and say nothing and it would be GOOD. Have a wonderful day. You are a gift!!

February 21, 2012 - 9:27 am

Joann - Wow! Congratulations, Bo!! I can’t wait! It’ll be so nice to have you and your wisdom at arm’s reach once again – without even moving back to Bend! 🙂

February 22, 2012 - 5:21 am

Cindi - Bo…I am exstatic that the LORD has decided to let more people hear your stories! To HIM alone be the glory, but you, my dear, encourage my heart more than you will ever know. I am up, getting ready to swim, but first looking to Him, in a major way because of what you shared on Sunday…touched my heart deeply…have a blessed day. cindi

February 22, 2012 - 7:36 am

Vickie - Wonderful news! Do you have a speaking schedule for this year somewhere on the web? Would love to have that – thanks!

February 22, 2012 - 8:40 am

bo - Oh, Jamie – you have been such a steady stream of encouragement and support this year. Thank you a million.

February 22, 2012 - 8:40 am

bo - Thanks, Cathy and also thank Paul for braving the female waters of my blog…he’s a blessing to me!

February 22, 2012 - 8:41 am

bo - Oh, goodness, Tracy – I’m so excited for you!

February 22, 2012 - 8:41 am

bo - Thanks, Cher, for your beautiful words and for being such a fierce fighter on my battlefield this year. I love you dearly.

February 22, 2012 - 8:42 am

bo - Patty Gast! So great to hear from you – come see us again soon, will you? 🙂

February 22, 2012 - 8:42 am

bo - Thank you, Donna! I love you guys.

February 22, 2012 - 8:42 am

bo - Bless you, Angelique – thank you for the lovely words. I know God’s glory is meeting you in big and beautiful ways as well.

February 22, 2012 - 8:43 am

bo - Dearest Tami – you are such an encouragement to me of one who is finding the beauty in the land of suffering. Thank you – for showing such a big Jesus to a watching word. Much love.

February 22, 2012 - 8:44 am

bo - Thank you, Joann. But really, wouldn’t moving back to Bend be a better idea all around? 🙂

February 22, 2012 - 8:45 am

bo - Thank you, Cindi! You’re encouragement makes the day sunny for me. Bless you, friend.

February 22, 2012 - 8:45 am

bo - HI Vicki – I don’t have one up on the web at this point. It’s on my soon-to-do-list.

February 22, 2012 - 9:11 am

Helen - One never knows the whispers of long ago that will become the clarion call of today.
Except God knew all along…the why and the when.
Congratulations and bless you as every “i” is dotted and “t” crossed.

February 22, 2012 - 2:00 pm

Tim - May that book be an inspiration to many and may they encounter the jesus of Nazereth, the Son of the Living God.


February 22, 2012 - 4:00 pm

Rayne - Congratulations – you certainly have a gift for words!

February 23, 2012 - 9:52 pm

Barbara - ellipses and m-dashes — the stuff of great writing in my opinion. Congrats to you. And lucky for the rest of us. Can’t wait.

February 24, 2012 - 6:19 pm

Gwen - Ok, now that I’ve found out about the book (your FIRST book as someone said), I’m glad that I don’t have to wait a year to hear some of your other words. I know this book will be one that has many lives as people read it, and give it to someone else who needs to read it, and it gets passed on yet again … yay for teachers who see potential and speak into young lives, potentially changing many lives for the better! love you! xo

February 24, 2012 - 8:48 pm

Vangi Taron - BEYOND excited for you, Bo! Weepy and happy tears for my beautiful, word-gifted friend. (I wish I had a better way to say “word-gifted,” but that would require extra time that is supposed to be devoted to filling in email addresses for Sydney’s wedding guest list.) 🙂 LOVE you!

February 27, 2012 - 8:28 pm

Lindsay Womack - Several months ago, after reading one of your inspiring blog posts, I wrote my Facebook status to say ” Bo Stern should write a book” Several people agreed with me. So happy for you Bo. 🙂

March 13, 2012 - 12:01 am

LeeAnn Rawlins - Cong. on writting a book- I am eager to read it. We as you know have gone down that road many times it is an adventure. i wish you God’s spead and blessing
We are staffing a writers workshop in Kona right now and we are setting up a new web site – we were told to look some web sites over. I have enjoyed yours every now ane then so I chose to look at it. There I saw the post about your book you made last month. Some day I would love to get to know you better. You have a great blog. Love and blessings LeeAnn