Sunday, January 1, 2017

Query: THE PACKING HOUSE


 

THE PACKING HOUSE is an uppper YA contemporary complete at 83,000 words, which took five years to get just right before its brief publication to the now closed publisher, Booktrope (1/18/16 to 5/31/16). Rights have reverted back to me as of 6/1/16. This is book one of a planned duology. I believe lightning can strike twice and I ask for your consideration of a novel IndieReader gave 4 stars, describing it as: "an enthralling and important piece of fiction that tastefully and honestly addresses the topic of sexual abuse of minors."
 
The book is also still listed on Amazon (out of print) and GoodReads with many 5 star and 4 star reviews. One of my favorite reviews is from NYTimes Bestselling author, Brendan Kiely, who gave The Packing House a 5 star review:
 
"In his debut novel, G. Donald Cribbs has written an emotional wallop about the courage and bravery of a young survivor. The Packing House is a tapestry of nightmares--the images that haunt Joel in his dreams and memories woven together with the painful experiences of a frayed and fractured family life, the take-no-prisoner bullying of adolescence, and the agony of loving and not knowing if it will ever be returned. And yet, Joel's story is one of strength and resilience as he hunts down the source of all this pain--a story Cribbs captures with sharp-eyed and utterly clear veracity. Three cheers to G. Donald Cribbs for endeavoring to tell this tough story and doing it so well."
 
--Brendan Kiely, author of The Gospel of Winter, and co-author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, and now a NYTimes Bestseller.
 
 
Intended Market:
 
THE PACKING HOUSE is suitable for upper YA readers, particularly those who read books similar to FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, THE GOSPEL OF WINTER, and SCARS. Topically, this book addresses important social issues teens and their families face in today's world such as child sexual abuse (CSA), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), surviving trauma, questioning sexual identity, and sleep paralysis. As regularly as these social concerns are highlighted in the news and media indicate a greater need to have books and resources available for these readers.
 
When The Packing House was given a pre-order status on Amazon, I commissioned a poetry chapbook, Fish Out of Water, with gorgeous 2 page spreads for each poem to be given (either in ebook or print format to match the purchase format) as a thank you to my readers and to boost sales. The 12 total poems are spread throughout the novel, between the chapters. They tell a sublevel story of their own, parallel with the main storyline.
 
Query:
 
When sixteen-year-old Joel Scrivener has a raging nightmare in study hall and someone records it on their phone, he awakens to a living nightmare where everyone knows he's been sexually assaulted, a fact he's not ready to face. This is a secret he's avoided for ten years, mainly through dissociation and suppression. Reeling from a series of bullying incidents posted on YouTube and an ill-timed mid-year move, Joel takes to the woods, leaving the bullies and his broken home behind.

However, life as a runaway isn’t easy. Joel finds it difficult to navigate break-ins, wrestle hallucinations, and elude capture. He races to figure out who his dream-world attacker could be, piecing clues together with flashes of remembered images that play endlessly inside his head. Besides these images, the one constant thought occupying Joel’s mind is Amber Walker, the girl he’s been in love with for years. Amber sees little beyond the broken boy Joel has become, despite the letters they’ve written back and forth to each other. But Joel is stronger and more resilient than he looks, and it’s time he convinces Amber of this fact, before he runs out of chances with her for good.

Logline:

The Packing House is about a teen who must choose between protecting his dignity and exposing the person responsible for his debilitating nightmares.

 

 

 
Read an excerpt of the first chapter HERE.

Read a prelude to THE PACKING HOUSE HERE.



Contact me at: gdcribbs@gmail.com


In the comments below, please let me know your thoughts. Would you open to the first page and start reading, or put the book down?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cover Reveal: Dragon's Posterity by Kandi Wyatt and Rafflecopter Giveaway!

To begin, I'd like to welcome author, Kandi J. Wyatt, to the blog to discuss her latest reveal in the Dragon Courage Series. Welcome, Kandi!
 
Author Kandi J. Wyatt
 
Author Bio:
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.
 
Find Kandi elsewhere on the web:
 
 
Before the Cover Reveal of Dragon's Posterity, Book 5 of the Dragon Courage Series, here's a quick recap of the first books in the series. Click the book titles to get your own copy, some at discounted rates (99 cents) as a part of the cover reveal and book launch.

Dragon's Future: Book One

Every child of Woolpren dreams of becoming one, but only a few are chosen. Now, ten-year-old twin brother and sister, Ruskya and Duskya, have been selected to join an elite group of riders: dragon riders. Full of awe and excitement, the twins leave their mother, and their home, to train for their new lives.

Fifteen years later, dragons are becoming extinct and riders are rare. One day, Ruskya is at the general store in town when a man announces that he is recruiting new dragon riders. Ruskya goes undercover, and discovers that there is another colony of riders with their own agenda--a quest to find a mysterious plant that could restore the dragon population, or destroy it. When a battle erupts between the two colonies, it's up to Ruskya and his friends to fight for their dragons' future, and their lives.


Follow Ruskya's quest as he finds courage and friendship in this exciting middle grade fantasy series by Kandi J Wyatt.




Dragon's Heir: Book Two

In the ten winters since Kyanos was defeated, Rider Braidyn and his dragon, Turqueso, have made a place for themselves in the sleepy Boeskay colony. But when two nestlings are stolen from the hatchling cave, Braidyn’s sense of justice leads him on a quest to find the person responsible.

After recovering one nestling, Braidyn recruits his old friends Ruskya and Carryl to help. The friends travel to a faraway desert colony where they find a group of riders with different customs, and meet a beautiful young woman who could be the key to finding the missing nestling. Can Braidyn learn to temper justice with mercy, or will he risk losing everything?

Journey along in this exciting fantasy world in the spellbinding second installment of the Dragon Courage series, Dragon’s Heir, by Kandi J Wyatt.




Dragon's Revenge: Book Three

In search of his place in the world, Kyn visits his new friend, Ben’hyamene. Together, they meet an ailing dragon rider from the marshes of a land called the Carr. The rider recounts a people beset by anger, depression, and despair. After befriending and healing the rider, the group travels to the rider’s home. There they discover a breed of wild dragons, called drakes, which have been at war with humans for four hundred years.

One sleepless night, Ben’hyamene uses his new abilities to communicate with the lead drake. This sets Kyn and Ben’hyamene on a path that could bring peace to a conflict that’s nearly destroyed a whole people. Can revenge be set aside and enemies be called friends?

Find out in the exciting third book of the Dragon Courage series, Dragon’s Revenge by Kandi J Wyatt.


Dragon's Cure: Book Four

Serena’s been hurt before, but not like this. He had gone too far this time, and she knew it. When she sets out on her own, she’s unsettled by the ominous noises that seem to follow her. Scratches and huffs that couldn’t have been made by any animal she had ever heard of. With wonder, she discovers that the noises are not the stuff of nightmares, but a baby dragon. And along with it, an intriguing dragon rider named Carryn.

While Serena begins training as a dragon rider, she struggles to trust her trainer and her new friends, including her dragon. When her future is put in jeopardy by dark forces, Serena must fight her greatest enemy: herself. Can she fight through the past to form a true friendship and avoid being enslaved again, or will her distrust cause her to lose the security she so desperately longs for? Will bitterness be set aside and broken hearts be healed?


Follow the tale of friendship, courage, and hardships of Serena and Carryn in this powerful middle grade novel by Kandi J Wyatt.


(This is a middle grade novel, but has the subjects of human trafficking and abuse.)




Dragon's Posterity: Book Five

Is there really a right way to braid leather? Ruskya doesn’t know anymore. Is it worth fighting over? Twenty-one winters ago, he was ready to take on the turquoise dragon rider, but now he fears facing his oldest son.


Kyn, Ruskya’s youngling, wonders if he’s going crazy when an image begins haunting his dreams. Soon, he realizes it may be the key to helping not only Ruskya and his son Ardyn, but all younglings and their trainers as they adjust to growing up.


Will Kyn be able to help Ruskya, Ardyn, and the other young riders? Follow your favorite characters from the exciting Dragon Courage series as they empower the next generation and give dragons to their posterity.

 

Win a Dragon Courage ebook set, Dragon pin, and Elodia’s Dragon

 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Here:
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Before you go, don't forget to comment below with your favorite cover in the series, and what makes it your favorite of the five. Thanks for stopping by. Good luck! I hope you win.

Monday, September 19, 2016

BEFORE TOMORROW by Pintip Dunn--Cover Reveal!

I am so excited to share with you the cover reveal for BEFORE TOMORROW by Pintip Dunn, a FORGET TOMORROW novella from Logan's POV!

before-tomorrow

Title: Before Tomorrow

Publisher: Entangled TEEN

Release Date: Oct. 31, 2016

In a world where all seventeen-year-olds receive a memory from their future selves, Logan Russell's vision is exactly as he expects—and exactly not. He sees himself achieving his greatest wish of becoming a gold-star swimmer, but strangely enough, the vision also shows him locking eyes with a girl from his past, Callie Stone, and experiencing an overwhelming sense of love and belonging.

Logan’s not sure what the memory means, but soon enough, he learns that his old friend Callie is in trouble. She’s received an atypical memory, one where she commits a crime in the future. According to the law, she must be imprisoned, even though she's done nothing wrong. Now, Logan must decide if he'll give up his future as a gold-star swimmer and rescue the literal girl of his dreams. All he'll have to do is defy Fate.

Add BEFORE TOMORROW on Goodreads!

But what if you don't want to wait until Oct. 31?


No problem. Pre-order REMEMBER YESTERDAY, book 2 in the FORGET TOMORROW series, and register your receipt here, and you'll receive a copy of BEFORE TOMORROW to read before anyone else! Plus, U.S. residents will also get a bookplate and bookmark!

Want to learn more about FORGET TOMORROW and REMEMBER YESTERDAY? Click here.
REMEMBER YESTERDAY buy links:
Pintip cropped
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.
Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. Her other novels include THE DARKEST LIE and the forthcoming REMEMBER YESTERDAY. She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Review: Love Blind by Christa Desir and Jolene Perry

Love BlindLove Blind by Christa Desir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book I didn't want to end, which surprised me, because of the many twists and turns this novel takes with off again, on again friends Hailey and Kyle. At first, you might think Hailey's in your face and poke the bear approach to friendship is a bit off putting, but I found her demeanor and personality one that grew on me. Hailey often seeks to get a rise out of mumbly, nonverbal Kyle. He says very little, and is a clear introvert. No hidden extroversion anywhere. Despite her encroaching blindness (she's legally blind heading toward black blind), Hailey is able to get a true read of Kyle, and sees something she likes and worth pursuing in friendship. What Hailey perceives as control and the upper hand, however, soon unravels into a twisty turny story that is like a trainwreck you can't look away from.

Much of the story centers around the fear lists of Hailey and eventually Kyle, and the way facing these fears parallels the kinds of unspoken fears inherent in relationships, especially from two very broken people. Hailey is adopted by her two moms, and struggles with facing actual feelings and dealing with them when they happen, often leading her to make poor decisions, such as pursuing a hot bouncer dude over Kyle and then regretting her choice. By stuffing pretty much all of her feelings, she initially fails to sort out her actual growing feelings for Kyle, which leads to some rocky areas of their friendship. Kyle believes he is a bad friend to Pavel, who is now homeschooled after a traumatic incident Kyle witnessed but couldn't prevent from happening. Kyle finds himself taking the brunt of a series of attacks from guys seeking an easy target, leaving him bruised and withdrawn even more. He believes he is a bad friend to Hailey, and struggles with his growing feelings for her, which are at first completely driven by hormones and lust, but eventually mature into a desire to be a good friend, and in response to true care and concern which manifests as genuinely seeing her and knowing her better than anyone else does. Kyle's deepest struggle is with his mother, and the guilt he harbors for telling his father to leave and never come back after his father cheats on his mother for the umpteenth time. Kyle is ten, and his father leaves. This is a fear he places on his list, and each of the fears on Hailey's and Kyle's lists have a way of being faced before the story is over. The question is: can their friendship survive such a tumultuous journey?

What kept me reading was how each risk was brought into the pages, and dealt with in a way that either deepened the connection Kyle and Hailey felt for each other, or stripped away the lies, filters, and misperceptions each of them struggled with. It's heartbreaking, endearing, and a hot mess, all rolled together and complicated by two beautifully complex characters. Both of them failed to see themselves as fully as the other was able to see them. It's a long ride, spanning several years, but one worth the risk if you'll read it through to the end and commit to face despite the imminent blindness.

A powerful read unlike anything I've ever read. A love story as haunting as a song, as terrifying as every fear you can think of, and worth the risk.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 5, 2016

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Simon Spier. He's adorkable and charming, and the sort of imperfect friend who's still trying to figure himself out and how he fits into the world. I love that he's into music, and theater, and Oreos, and in being as authentic as he can, even if he has to keep a large portion of himself private to protect himself and the boy he loves over email.

I could not put this book down. I literally gobbled it down like Oreo anything and loved every minute of it. Simon has a great group of friends and a surprisingly supportive, yet hipster family. Their love is as fierce as Bieber, their family dog. As Simon navigates the complicated world of coming into himself, he realizes his feelings for his mystery guy, Blue, may be the very thing that makes him brave enough to want to come out and be himself fully with everyone, friends and family and all. Simon makes an important point, the Homo Sapien Agenda, where it seems only those who are gay have to struggle through the additional challenge of coming out or staying closeted in their sexuality. Why shouldn't others have to declare their sexuality, whether straight, gender fluid, LGBTQIA, or other? It would level the playing field and make finding oneself less awkward.

This book will steal your heart, cause your stomach to do all these fluttery, flippy things as you gobble it down shamelessly, and leave you wanting more. This gave me some serious book hangover. I'm still coming back down from that ending, especially the kissing. Thank you, Becky Albetalli, for writing such an important book with such heart and soul and music poured into every page. Also, your grammar is impeccable. Highly, highly recommended.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Book Review: Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E. K. Johnston

Exit, Pursued by a BearExit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. That ending. I have not read such a perfect ending in such a long time. It took my brain a few minutes to process and fully receive the impact. I must have been twirling through the air in a perfect basket toss, positioning myself to be caught by my teammates. Once I stuck the landing, everything snapped into focus and I realize everything had been flipped.

Incredible, impeccable writing throughout. Thoughtful and detailed characterization. I felt like I was on a full cheer squad without mistaking the two Susans, thanks to the pacing and timing by Johnston. The subject of rape and its aftermath may be brutal, yet expertly handled by Johnston as the story unfolds.

At center stage is Hermione and Polly. Two friends who stay true through thick and thin, their senior year and both find ways to have each other's backs in more than one occurrence. Johnston delivers on all fronts, giving air to just about every conceivable aspect of rape and its aftermath, the slow unraveling of one girl's recovery journey. And yet, she leaves room to make the point that there is much more to Hermione Winters than just the facts, whether by police report, or news reporter. And she sure as hell is much more than the rumors, and the victim blaming, and the shaming. To the very last page, Johnston keeps the reader turning pages.

Cheerleading is about precision, execution, and decision. Hermione may have to lose herself to find she was never that far away. As the story comes full circle, she finds within herself the ability to face her past and pave the way for her future based on one simple decision: to use her voice and speak up, when rape robbed her of that choice before. Go ahead. Poke the bear. See how silent the bear is. Bravo. Bravely told. A must read. A powerhouse of a book.

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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Book Review: The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent KingThe Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Glittering Read of Snakeskins and the Way We Shed Them for Something Greater

Zentner offers not one, but three stories, deftly woven, braided together. Three friends who face the unknown, where life begins, and who they will become, which is just as important as where they come from. Despite and in spite of their families, and the many ways life delivers both fairness and unfairness, often simultaneously, The Serpent King touches on a coming-of-age story so true, so painfully true, the reader cannot help but weep, laugh, scream, and hope while reading this captivating story. I found myself struggling to put the book down, wanting to read it in one greedy sweep of pages fluttering. What an exquisite read. I learned a few new vocabulary words and I loved how those words stayed in the book. YA readers aren't dumb, and it's high time authors took them as seriously as Zentner. Looking forward to the next novel as well. Zentner made the short list of auto read authors, at least for this reader. Highly, highly recommended.

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