Another Round @ The Crow Bar #4 – Apr 2017


focus-article-header-jan-feb17-christina-engela

Hello friends and fans!

March was an exciting month for us over at the Crow Bar! Hard-copies of several existing titles will soon be available via extended distribution channels alongside the ebook versions, and more! I also posted Just An Update in mid-March, so you should get a good idea of what I’ve been up to since then!

Coming up in this edition of News From The Crow Bar, another new release, and as of this month I’ve introduced a monthly spotlight on one of my books.

New Releases

That’s right, the first episode in my new sci-fi horror series called “Panic! Horror In Space” was released on Thursday 6 April, which if the scheduling tool works, should be yesterday! This series will tell the tale of the starship Mercury.

Of all the starships in the elite Terran Space Fleet, the I.S.S. Mercury is probably the unluckiest ship in history. Not once, not twice, but many times over, the same hapless crew – give or take a few dozen casualties – on a supposed voyage of deep space exploration, stumble into the weird, wake the creepy and trip over the downright terrifying and possibly even supernatural…

This first book contains the first two episodes in the series of horror misadventures in deep space, and is 182 pages long.

Get that finger ready! It’s time to panic! (How else will you hit that panic button?)

prodigal-sun-front

Still under new releases, “Prodigal Sun” book 5 in The Quantum Series was released in early March and is available on  Lulu, Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo (prices in ZAR sa-flag ), LybraryiTunesNook, eBookMall and Indigo – and in fact everywhere you can find all my books! Prices are very reasonable,  especially for ebook versions, and even if you live in good old “Souf Efrika” and pay in good old “Ronts”!

The next book (number 6) in the series, “High Steaks” – which continues the tale started in “Prodigal Sun”  –  is due to be released in June 2017.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about the story being told in “Prodigal Sun“, you can find more info here: NEW RELEASE: “Prodigal Sun” and What Readers Can Expect In “Prodigal Sun”, “High Steaks” & “The Last Hurrah”.

The Galaxii Series

 

Print copies of all three Galaxii titles already published will be made available alongside the Kindle versions on various distribution platforms. Previously print copies were only available through Lulu.

The Quantum Series

quantum-3d-covers

Print copies of all five Quantum titles already published will be made available alongside the Kindle versions on various distribution platforms. Previously print copies were only available through Lulu.

Short Fiction

I finished redrafting a short story I first wrote in 1987 called “The Curse”, which I renamed to “Mercury Rising“. Originally, the plan was to publish these in a collection of short fiction called “Space Really Sucks!“, which follows on to “Space Sucks!“, but instead (on the insistence of my other half Wendy, who enjoyed the story so much) I wrote a sequel of equal length, and both appear in the first of a new series called “Panic! Horror In Space“, just released yesterday!

Progress on other short fiction, especially the shorts due for “Space Really Sucks!” is still ongoing.

Poetry

I heard this past week, and was sent the contract for “State Capture“, a poem I wrote in 15 minutes in January this year, is being published in an anthology of poetry, articles and short fiction called “Trumpocalypse” (Horrified Press)!

Non-Fiction

Nothing to report in this section this time!

Collaborations

Nothing to report in this section this time!

Translations

Translation of my short stories into Afrikaans has taken something of a back-seat recently with all my focus having been on the final edits of “Prodigal Sun” and “High Steaks“, and new releases (“Prodigal Sun“). So far, we’ve translated “The Thirteenth Ship” and “Wiggle Room“into Afrikaans which are available for free on the shop site’s Afrikaans page.

Editing

Vampyre Bytes – voices from the South African Vampyre Community”, which I have edited for LightBearer Publishing, is still in final edits and formatting with the publisher.  Submissions are still open for “Embracing Justice” (Riot Pink). Please mail me your entries/submissions at christinaengela@gmail.com .

Competitions

There are no new competitions currently running. I may be hosting a giveaway soon though, for a paperback copy of one of my books – stay tuned!

On A Personal Note

Believe it or not, I don’t always sit at the PC every spare minute of each day, writing! I know, you’re aching to read the next episode of “Space Sucks!“, or the Galaxii Series – but I also need a little break from writing now and then! Writing these days – especially if you indie publish – is more than just writing the stories – it’s editing, it’s designing, it’s illustrating, its cover and graphic and web design – and of course, marketing – and more marketing. If not for my fiancee’ and PA Wendy K. Gloss, I’d be even more behind, believe me!

That said, I recently took a little break from writing to express my creativity in other ways, including trying my hand at canvas painting (“Bleeding Heart“) and also by getting back into my old hobby of modeling. No, not strutting the catwalk – although I did that for about two years in the early naughties, I mean model-building, silly person!

I had a couple of old model aircraft and vehicles stored away from my teenage years, which I’ve been building in the evenings while Wendy either paints or crafts – although she seems to have been bitten by the modeling bug herself! She’s built a really nice looking model castle diorama! I’ve also built several models of the starships in my stories, and taken some fairly spiffy shots of them in front of appropriate backgrounds! Pictures below!

I.S.S. Antares (“Blachart” and “Dead Beckoning”).

The Black Sunrise – a Ruminarii Hammerhead (“Black Sunrise”).

I.S.S. Mordrake (“Demonspawn” and “Dead Beckoning”).

Kilgary, a loderunner from “Mercury Rising” (in “Panic! Horror In Space”). Stern view.

Kilgary, a loderunner from “Mercury Rising” (in “Panic! Horror In Space”). Forward view.

The ancient alien derelict “Warrior Eternal” from “Demonspawn”.

  • Fan Mail & Honorable Mentions

Noticed in the past month by my long-suffering PA Wendy K. Gloss, were the following honorable mentions:

  1. Book reviewer and author in his own right, Andy Peloquin referred to me in a post on his home page in May 2015 (yes, okay I know it’s old – I just got to see it!) in which he said: “Today’s author is a Miss Christina Engela, the writer of dark science fiction/horror novels that will blow your mind and bring out the goosebumps. She’s actually quite an interesting person!
  2. Quotes Daddy seems to have a lot of quotes of me on their site!
  3. Simply Links, a free directory of South African books websites, has my Lulu shop page listed.
  4. In January 2017, my short story ‘The Thirteenth Ship‘ appeared on a list of reading recommendations by Let’s Read Women for stories written by female authors about female pirates called ‘Kickass Women Who Are Pirates‘.
  5. ProjectTransFriends used one of my quotes on their website in January 2017.
  6. Introducing Tim’s Corner And A Focus On Income Stocks used a quote of mine on their trading website on March 2, 2017.
  • Hate Mail

During March, I didn’t receive even one piece of hate mail! I know, I know, it’s actually disappointing, isn’t it?

  • Reviews & Interviews

Nothing new during this past month! If you would like to do an interview with me about my works, please do get in touch!

In the meantime though, two hard copies of the magazine that conducted an interview with me for their February issue – Christina Engela – Focus Mid-South Interview Feb 13, 2017 arrived in the mail!

  • New Videos

This past month I managed to create one new video, with the kind assistance of my PA and fiancee’ Wendy, about the delivery of hard copies of my books, high quality of protective packaging and so on.

  • New Listings

As of March, my books are now also all listed on Anobiion Bol (Netherlands) and Fnac (France).

Monthly Book Spotlight [Spoiler Alert]: Galaxii Series 01 – “BLACHART”

Blachart” is the first title in the Galaxii Series, a saga set in a distant future decades after two great wars – the devastating third world war, and the even more cataclysmic Gimp War – have changed the human equation forever. Refugees fleeing Earth in the turmoil at the dawn of the new age of interstellar travel have settled on an uninhabited world, broken all ties with Earth, and while Earth went on in the interceding years to recover and build its own thriving colonies, these lost colonists decided that it was easier to take what they need rather than to barter or to make it themselves… These lost cousins of Earth grow to become so menacing a threat to Terran fringe colonies and trade routes, that Corsairs – the name they chose for themselves – are hunted over several decades by the Terran Space Fleet – almost to no avail. For as long as the location of their home world remains a closely-guarded secret, the mighty Fleet can do almost nothing against it except to react feebly to seemingly random attacks too difficult to predict!

Blachart” tells the story of a former Space Fleet officer trying to make a living as a private loderunner owner and skipper. Mykl d’Angelo has fallen on hard times – and has just had the worst day of his life in that field. Due a minor misunderstanding, his crew has mutinied and left with his ship’s small shuttle, leaving him and two others behind to crew the ailing loderunner Pegasus – which just happened to literally lose its stardrive in the middle of the middle of nowhere! His two remaining crewmen killed by the explosion, Mykl d’Angelo awaits rescue in deep space.

In the meantime, a Terran starbase has fallen silent, and the only Space Fleet ship close enough to investigate is dispatched. I.S.S. Antares, fondly referred to by her crew as ‘the Ant-arse’, is not exactly in tip-top condition! Having been in space dock for a refit which is not entirely complete, the Antares is suffering a variety of malfunctions and system failures as she speeds in haste to investigate the sudden silence of Starbase 91. On the way, she receives a distress call from a loderunner in trouble and diverts to intercept. On the bridge, Lieutenant Commander Ripley Jones – the Executive Officer to Captain Falconer, recognizes the name “Mykl d’Angelo”.

I.S.S. Antares

After d’Angelo is rescued, the Antares resumes course and finds that Starbase 91 has indeed been destroyed by Corsairs. Meanwhile, Lt. Commander Jones and Mykl re-acquaint themselves, having known each other at the Academy years before, discussing their unpleasant history. Captain Falconer reinstates Mykl d’Angelo’s commission as a Commander in the Space Fleet and enlists him in an advisory capacity about Corsairs. Shortly after rescuing one lone survivor and putting the debris to their exhaust nacelles, Antares encounters a mysterious black ship – suspiciously like a typical Corsair raider – and fires a warning shot to get it to stop.

While leading a search party on board the mysterious ship, Captain Falconer, Commander d’Angelo and Lt. Commander Jones and a detail of security marines confront the skipper of the black ship, who it turns out is a Corsair and they have walked right into a trap!

In the ensuing fire-fight on the Corsair vessel, chaos erupts! Outnumbered and outgunned, the marines are quickly decimated and the survivors captured. Ripley escapes back to the Antares, while d’Angelo is captured by the Corsair captain known through myth and legend as the formidable “Blachart the Bloody”. Staging a daring escape, Mykl unleashes guerrilla warfare on Blachart’s Corsair crew and creates enough of a diversion for Ripley to return with reinforcements and take the ship.

The story is far from over by this point however, since on his return to Antares, bringing the sad news of the death of Captain Falconer, Commander d’Angelo is appointed by an Admiral of the Space Fleet as the new Captain! In a complete reversal of fortune, Mykl has gone from broken down space-bum to Captain of an imperial starship in a matter of days! The fact that he now has a new chance at rekindling a romance with ‘the one that got away’ is an added bonus!

His appointment as Captain doesn’t come free however, and Captain d’Angelo’s first task is to lead a daring mission into Corsair space to discover their base world – and take a team of Terran operatives down for a reconnaissance run. His goal is to lead the Terran fleet right up to the Corsair’s front door – so that the Corsair menace can be ended once and for all!

The only obstacle is, to do this successfully, he needs the assistance of the man occupying a cell in his brig, the lone Corsair survivor, Blachart the Bloody himself! Reluctantly, Mykl accepts that he has to convince Blachart to co-operate, which he eventually does – in exchange for a deal that leaves a sour taste behind. In a curious set of circumstances, Mykl and his team of volunteers find themselves deep behind enemy lines on the Corsair planet called Meradinis – often called “Turtle Island”, facing a choice of whether or not to trust him – with all their lives hanging in the balance if they do not.

In Closing

As a final note I’d like to ask all my readers a small favor. Regardless of where you buy my books – be it in paperback or Kindle format, you pay the same price, and the paperback or epub file comes from the same source – Lulu.com.

The difference comes in where the author’s royalty percentage is worked out, and where you buy the books from determines how much the author gets of that amount. In the case of Amazon for example – which basically holds a monopoly in the market – the author gets the SMALLEST percentage of the takings! That’s why I’m appealing to you, my loyal readers, friends and fans, to purchase direct from Lulu – where I get the highest percentage of the total, at no inconvenience or additional cost to you! Thank you!

Again I’d like to thank all of you out there who support me by buying and reading my books, and for your constant friendliness and positive outlook!


If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website. If you want to know what Christina Engela’s focus group or target market is, please read here. If you would like to read more about Christina’s life and experiences, please go to her Biography and the article “Timeline of Milestones, Awards & Achievements“. To leave her a message, please use the Contact form. Visit her Shop. ‘Add’ Christina Engela on Facebook (Profile). ‘Like’ Christina Engela on Facebook (Page). All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2017.

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