Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Book Review: THE BROKEN HALF by Sahar Abdulaziz

The Broken HalfThe Broken Half by Sahar Abdulaziz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Still reeling from the onslaught of pages, I am not sure I can adequately express how profoundly this book has changed me, leveled me to the ground, dropped a building on top of me, throttled me through the jarring effects of an 8.0 earthquake (which I have personally experienced), or otherwise left me an inarticulate glob of human numbed by the harrowing story of Zahar Evans and what she suffered at the menacing hands of her husband Jamal. In one aspect, this is the story of a woman trapped in a difficult situation with no apparent means of escape. Yet, despite this obstacle, Abdulaziz spared no amount of obstacles firmly lobbed at Zahar at a dizzying and often breakneck speed, deftly written in an account that seemed to fly by as if the reader were watching CNN live, or some other streaming news account happening right now.
The setting is modern, and easily incorporated into the background as the story unfolds. Within this story a secondary, yet equally important layer of story paralleled the main plot. A moderate Muslim community, the masjid, the Imam, the brothers and sisters living out their faith, demonstrating their customs, and in a way that the reader can approach even if he or she has zero knowledge of the Muslim culture or religion. I found this aspect of the story fascinating and illuminating as at times characters experience the intolerance and bigotry our culture so easily assumes in the face of anything it doesn't understand. This made me want to read the book all the more.
The characters are well developed and fully realized. Of particular interest, I most loved the marriage of Tamim and Hawadah. Hawadah is a secret best friend of Zahar, and I always delighted in those parts of the story where they were included. Still, I must say that Abdulaziz gave every character a challenge to face, and spared no amount of troubles to sprinkle by the bucket full at nearly every character, beloved or not. I am not one who weeps easily or often. Very rarely, in fact. However, I found myself openly and unashamedly weeping at several times in this book.
Finally, this book addresses the issue of domestic violence in the context of a married couple, and many of the related aspects including the assumption of male supremacy over women, those who are religious, and those who live a life in reverence. Bias, bigotry, prejudice, cultural insensitivity, vengeance, retribution, retaliation, revenge, generational curses, and so on.
This is a powerful story, that may not allow you to do anything else until you sit down and read it cover to cover in one sitting. But it is one that will stay with you long after you've finished, and will call out to you to be pondered and shared. Highly recommended. A must read.

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 6, 2016

INTO THE FIRE by Kelly Hashway Cover Reveal


Into The Fire by Kelly Hashway has a brand new cover!

But before you check out the new cover, why not read the description of the story synopsis to whet your appetite for more?
from the upcoming Into the Fire Trilogy Series:
Synopsis for Into the Fire (Book 1): 
In one month’s time, seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman will die and be reborn from her own ashes…
Her life of secrecy has never been easy. She’s watched her younger brother, Jeremy, burn and rise again in a coming-of-age process called rebirth. And just like her brother, when her time comes, she won’t remember anything from her first life other than she’s a Phoenix—a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical Phoenix bird.
The last thing she needs to worry about is falling for the new guy in town—Logan Schmidt.

Cara is drawn to Logan in a way she can’t explain, but she’s not exactly complaining. Everything is perfect…except it’s not. Once she’s reborn, she’ll forget Logan. And to make things worse, a Phoenix Hunter is on the loose, and Cara’s involvement with Logan is bringing out her Phoenix qualities—the very qualities that will draw the Hunter right to her.
Desperate times call for desperate measures…

Afraid of hurting Logan, Cara breaks it off for good. But her attraction to him runs deeper than a typical high school crush. She wants him—needs him. And if he proves willing to stay by her side, their love might destroy them both.

Can Cara hide from the Phoenix Hunters long enough to survive her rebirth? And if so, will it mean a new beginning with Logan—or the beginning of the end?
YA Author Kelly Hashway
Now that you've read the description, meet the author, Kelly Hashway. Kelly is the author of several speculative fiction tiles and series, including:
YA Touch of Death Series:
Touch of Death
Stalked by Death
Face of Death
and the Touch of Death Prequels:
Curse of Death
Kiss of Death
YA Monster Within Series:
The Monster Within
The Darkness Within
YA Into the Fire Trilogy Series:
Into the Fire (Book 1)
Out of the Ashes (Book 2)
Up in Flames (Book 3)
As well as a MG series (Curse of the Granville Fortune), and picture books. For more information, check out Kelly's website:
Author Bio:
Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.
Hashway is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
Now it's time to reveal the amazing new cover for book one of the Into the Fire Trilogy, which is completely breathtaking:
Don't just stare, click the cover to place your pre-order! Okay, stare for as long as you like, then go pre-order your copy. Stunning, right? I know! The great news is there's even more content this time, and the story is even better than before. I cannot even imagine how it could possibly get any better, other than adding MORE story, which she did! I loved the first two books, and am currently reading book three, and OMG, it's amazing.
You won't have to wait long for it, either, since book 1 is coming out 2/16/16, followed by book 2 on 3/2/16, and finally, book 3 on 4/12/16. Hooray! I am so excited for this series, I can't even stand it. I am thrilled to get to share it with you and soon we can all fanboy and fangirl about it like crazy. Feel free to come back her and tell me what you think of book 1.

Into the Fire is an amazing read. Plenty of fire, lots of kissing, and scorching hot besides. Grab your copy now. You won't want to grab it Out of the Ashes. You might get singed. Get yours before it goes Up in Flames.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Preview of my Dear Teen Me Letter and Blog Tour 1/18/16 to 1/31/16
The Packing House Book Tour officially launches today. Click the banner above to check out the full schedule and make sure you stay up to date on all things blog tour leading right up to the book launch party on Facebook on 1/31/16.
Since it's a party, of course there's goodie bags and prizes. I hope you'll enter the Rafflecopter below, and check out each stop on the tour over the next two weeks to continue to enter for your chance to win a slew of books and other prizes.
For those who like to win things, the book tour will include a chance to win a signed copy of The Packing House and a signed chapbook companion titled, Fish Out of Water:
Specific to the Book Blog Tour, you can also win your pick of the following paperback books referenced in The Packing House:
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Now for a peek at my upcoming DEAR TEEN ME letter, which is scheduled to post on May 4, 2016 at

G. Donald Cribbs on graduation day in 1991 from Loudoun County High School

 G. Donald Cribbs on a graduation trip to the beach in 1991.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Follow the tour for more chances to win!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Goodreads Giveaway for The Packing House

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Packing House by G. Donald Cribbs

The Packing House

by G. Donald Cribbs

Giveaway ends January 31, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
Happy New Year!

To officially kick off 2016, I'm offering 3 signed copies of my book (and swag) to three readers. Open to Canada, UK, and Australia as well as USA. International coming soon.

Enter now to win 1 of 3 signed paperback copies of The Packing House, my Young Adult (YA) debut from Booktrope Editions, publishing 1/18/16. Giveaway ends 1/31/16 to coincide with book launch.

If you'd rather not wait to get a copy, use the link on the sidebar to the right to order your copy today. Paperbacks are available everywhere books are sold as of 1/18/16. The final page count is 286 pages, and the print cost will be $16.95. The eBook will remain $3.99.
Good Luck!

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

You Bought My Book? May I Gift You Another, Please?

So, this happened: my debut YA novel, THE PACKING HOUSE, has officially gone live for pre-order on Amazon. This is an exciting moment for me, and I'm thrilled to share the results with you.

You may have noticed from the picture above that the publication date is January 18, 2016, which is also Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Civil Rights Day. What an honor to share this book with you on such an important day from our history, and one that directly connects with the book. In addition, January 18, 2016 is also the first day of the week long event, Anti Name-Calling, or Anti-Bullying Week. I will be posting about these events as we get closer to book launch.

Of course, I would not be here without the amazing team I've worked together with over the past six months: working through final edits with my amazing editor, Jessica West, and equally stunning work with my proof reader, Kathryn Galan, and the exquisite cover art, from artist extraordinaire, Greg Simanson. Each of us have more than delivered to make this a debut worthy of your time to read, and I hope to enjoy.

Buzz has already been growing for this novel, and I couldn't be more pleased with the many 5/5 star reviews readers have given to THE PACKING HOUSE. You can add it on GoodReads here:

Since I was given the opportunity to post a pre-order, I wanted to give you, my readers, something extra special as a thank you for buying and reading my book. I met with my book manager, April Gerard, and we came up with a companion book to go along with THE PACKING HOUSE. I mean, really: what goes better with a book than another book?

In THE PACKING HOUSE, there are 12 poems introduced between some of the chapters, as they fit into the story. The poems tell their own story, growing progressively more and more specific, and directed at what is causing Joel, my main character, nightmares he can't seem to avoid.

I cannot even believe how gorgeous this companion book of poetry, a poetry chapbook called FISH OUT OF WATER, has turned out. I was thrilled to work with Michelle Fairbanks, who took these poems and made the most stunning 2-page spreads you've ever seen. It's really a special piece of art way beyond what I thought I could put together to thank you, so I hope you'll consider buying the book, since that is the only way to get one of the limited edtion chapbooks. Here's a peek at what you'll get when you pre-order the Kindle or purchase the paperback:

If you'd like to peek at more of these pages, check them out here, here, here, here, and here.

I know buying a book from a debut author is a risk. You have no idea if what I wrote is any good. Well, I've got a few options to help you resolve that problem, and take a chance on this much needed book.

Click the tab at the top of this blog, THE PACKING HOUSE Excerpt, or go to my website and sign up via email to receive occasional newsletters to stay updated on events, giveaways, signings and more. For signing up, as a thank you from me, you'll receive a chapter 1-3 preview of THE PACKING HOUSE, before you can even buy the book!

Lastly, allow me to explain the two offers available to you now to receive a limited edition poetry chapbook companion, FISH OUT OF WATER, from me as a thank you for purchasing my debut:

1. Pre-order the Kindle Version (only available for the first 50 who pre-order) and receive the PDF of the entire FISH OUT OF WATER chapbook, delivered to the email of your choice.

2. Buy the paperback of THE PACKING HOUSE on 1/18/16 or beyond (only available to the first 50 who purchase a paperback copy), and let me know what address I can mail your free autographed, numbered, limited-edition chapbook, FISH OUT OF WATER.

In order to qualify, please take a screen capture (control + alt + print screen) to copy the picture of your receipt to your clipboard, and then use Paint to paste a copy and save it as a .jpeg. Email this to me at: and let me know what email address I am sending your PDF (for Kinde Pre-orders only), or your mailing address (for paperback purchases only). Both of these offers are first come, first serve, and limited to the first fifty purchases for each format.

Again, thank you very much for your interest in my book, and watch for the GoodReads Giveaway everyone is welcome to enter (posting soon!). Good Luck! I hope to hear from you with your receipt purchases, and I cannot wait to hear how you experienced THE PACKING HOUSE and FISH OUT OF WATER.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Early Reviewer Sign Ups for THE PACKING HOUSE

If you have trouble viewing or submitting this form, you can fill it out in Google Forms.

The Packing House by G. Donald Cribbs

Early Reviewer Signup Sheet

Review copy available in your preferred format in exchange for an honest review.