Another Round @ The Crow Bar #18 – June 2018


Hello friends and fans!

Welcome to my 18th newsletter: June 2018! Coming up in this edition of Another Round @ The Crow Bar:

Regular updates, new releases, and a monthly spotlight on one of my books, this time “Blachart“.

Hello!

Is it June already? Wow, the first half of the year has just flown by! It’s been a busy month for me, and not just writing-wise. Although I’ve been busy editing and redrafting updates of four of my earliest books, I’ve also been kept busy with a few little D.I.Y. projects at home, like the wooden shutters I made for our bedroom window, and a few little hidey-holes and ladders for Ming, the cat in our lives.

This time, under new releases, I’ll be telling you about “Blachart“, “Demonspawn” and “Dead Beckoning“, and a little about the Galaxii omnibus the three appeared in previously: “Galaxii – Into The Abyss“.

On with the show!

New Releases

Blachart

In the previous newsletter, I told you at length about the re-release of this, my first completed novel.

A reformatting exercise to facilitate listing my books with Smashwords sparked off a complete edit and rewrite!

Every sentence was re-evaluated, and a stack of extra material was added in the form of character back-stories, background information and extras that would enrich and enhance the overall experience of what I had originally envisioned as the Galaxii Series! Then I designed a fantastic new cover which would also form the basis of a template for the entire Galaxii Series! I also decided to include some illustrations to make it even more attractive!

Read more about this book: Plot, synopsis etc [SPOILER ALERT].

See also:

About The Galaxii Series

Now, at over 84,000 words, Blachart is available via Smashwords (eBook) and Lulu (eBook and Print). I will also be updating the Lulu Ebook and print versions to match, soon.

Order: Paperback (Lulu) / eBook (Lulu) / eBook (Smashwords)

Details:

  • Published: Fifth Edition, May 10, 2018
  • Pages: 250
  • Words: 84,098 (Flowing Text eBook)
  • Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
  • Dimensions (inches): 6×9″ tall (US Trade)

As if that weren’t enough, I also released a new book trailer for Blachart! 🙂

Demonspawn

On the 28th of May, I was proud to announce the release of book 2 in The Galaxii Series, titled “Demonspawn“, which is also filled to the brim with extra material and color illustrations (ebook versions)! The new version has an awesome new cover and is almost twice as long as the previous edition at 51,983 words (168 pages, US Trade size)!

This title is now available via Lulu.com and Smashwords, and should be through their networks of retailers too, shortly.

The story of “Demonspawn” centers on a starship crew trapped onboard their disabled ship, the Mordrake. The situation seems hopeless, and they face imminent death due to an earlier poor decision to battle a ready foe.

Mordrake has six month’s worth of food on board, but less than two weeks of air, and things look pretty grim. Morale, although low before the incident that resulted in their present predicament, is at an all-time low. The ship is not the only thing breaking down however, and pretty soon Commander Joe Lofflin – who has perpetually faced a degree of scorn from his crew because of his sexual orientation and faces a daily struggle to control his romantic attraction to a junior crewman almost half his age – takes on the roll of acting-Captain after the untimely death of Captain Blaine, and must deal with solving a murder on top of everything else!

As if there is not enough on his plate already, just as things are looking hopeless beyond the pale, something dark and mysterious drifts into their path! An ancient derelict ship of alien origins presents an all-too convenient and timely solution to their problem, offering the desperate castaways the spare parts they need to repair their ship. Just when they think they’ve found salvation in the form of a salvage ship they hope to strip for parts – things go from bad to worse.

This is a story of survival and the fight to survive. It’s also a tale that encourages people to look at life in perspective. The challenge of coming out or admitting to a love-interest that there is an attraction is compared to the challenge of surviving combat and facing the unknown, alone in the dark.

Replete with dark, deserted and spooky corridors, a few ghosts, aliens and robotics, a horror stalking its victims in the dark, lasers, explosions, dead bodies and a murder mystery thrown in, this story pretty much has it all!

Order: Paperback (Lulu) / eBook (Lulu) / eBook (Smashwords)

Details:

  • Published: Fifth Edition, May 27, 2018
  • Pages: 168
  • Words: 51,983 (Flowing Text eBook)
  • Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
  • Dimensions (inches): 6×9″ tall (US Trade)

‘Like’ Demonspawn by Christina Engela on Facebook

Watch the brand new trailer below:

Although the first two stories in The Galaxii Series run in sequence (“Blachart” is book 1 and “Demonspawn” is book 2 in the series) both stories occur more or less simultaneously. Both tell the stories of imperial starships on the hunt for Corsair ships, with “Blachart” focusing on the crew of the ISS Antares tracking down the Corsair base – while “Demonspawn” tells the tale of another starship (ISS Mordrake) which is severely damaged in a skirmish with a Corsair ship and becomes stranded in deep space with little hope of rescue. The crew goes off on a different adventure of its own.

Demonspawn is currently on its fifth edition, newly extended and full of extra material. The ebook editions have color illustrations and photos in them, while the paperback edition has them in grayscale.

A Few Reviews:

“Christina seems to have a knack for writing villains. With the Akx she really raised the bar. I felt suspense filling my whole body while reading. It kept me reading up till late to find out what happens.

A clearly written sci-fi novella with an interesting theme on confronting fear. The characters are well done and a villain that will raise suspense. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.” –  Mr. Green.

“Christina Engela has a unique and brilliant voice that helps make this story her own as she slowly builds the tension to a shocking and tense climax.

Quite simply, Christina Engela is one of the best voices in sci-fi right now and to not read her work would be to miss a treat!

If you like classic space opera with an ultra-modern twist, you should check her out.
Having read previews of her forthcoming work, I can guarantee you the best is yet to come…” – Mark Woods, author of ‘Time of Tides’ and ‘Fear of the Dark’.

“A riveting blend of horror and science fiction laced generously with Ms. Engela’s trademark quirky humor.” – Alex S. Johnson

Read more about this book: Plot, synopsis etc [SPOILER ALERT].

See also:

About The Galaxii Series

Dead Beckoning (New Release Coming Soon!)

Coming very soon! Book 3 in the Galaxii Series, having just undergone the same treatment as the previous two titles, “Dead Beckoning” is now over 50,000 words long, containing a mass of extra material, and illustrations!

It will be coming out within the next week, along with a new book trailer video!

“Meradinis.

Turtle Island of the stars.

The former home to the once fearsome and legendary Corsairs had finally fallen to the might of the Terran Space Fleet. Justice had been swift and those living under the name ‘Corsair’ now faced relentless pursuit, imprisonment or death. After decades of living in fear, the nightmare of the Terran colonies was over at last.

Or was it?

The Terrans thought they’d caught them all, but there was still one left. The one that got away – Sona Kilroy, the most dangerous Corsair of them all!

It was up to Mykl d’Angelo – a man called Adam, and the combined crews of the starships Antares and Mordrake to stop Kilroy before he could start the terror all over again.”

Galaxii – Into The Abyss (New Release Coming Soon!)

Blachart, Demonspawn and Dead Beckoning – the first three stories in the Galaxii Series in one big volume!

Released originally in 2017, this omnibus contained the previous versions of these three stories. The re-release, which will be available soon after the re-release of Dead Beckoning, will contain the new updated versions completed with illustrations and extra material.

The new version will also be re-titled and re-covered to match the cover you see to the left!

I will post an announcement as soon as these two new re-releases become available.

Currently Available Titles:

The Galaxii Series

The Quantum Series

About The Quantum Series will give you more background about the series, its settings and characters. To get a better idea of what the latest two titles are about, read What Readers Can Expect In “Prodigal Sun”, “High Steaks”, “Fortitude” & “The Last Hurrah”.

Work on the next four titles in this series, (“Underground Movement“, “Moon Jockeys“, “Fortitude” and “The Last Hurrah“) is still pending at this time.

Panic! Horror In Space

Panic! is a sci-fi/horror series, which will have some decidedly sci-fi characters encountering some decidedly horror entities – ghosts, haunted objects, zombies, etc. along with my usual twisted brand of humor! The first three titles are available in paperback and ebook versions on various distribution platforms including Amazon and Lulu.

For Children

Non-Fiction

Edited By Christina Engela

Afrikaans Titles

Some of my titles have been translated into Afrikaans – but as you could imagine, it’s a full-time job – and when you use translation software “sickbay” comes out as “Telaxian stoofpot” instead of  “siekeboeg” – so you could imagine!

On A Personal Note

I recently learned that my short story “Wiggle Room” will be appearing in a future issue of UK author Trevor Kennedy’s “Phantasmagoria Magazine”!

  • Fan Mail & Honorable Mentions

Noticed in the past month by my shiny new wife and PA, Wendy K. Engela, (  😉  ) were the following honorable mentions:

  1. It seems that Google now shows what they call a “knowledge panel” about me with covers of some of my books “Christina Engela – author”! 🙂

I display my Fan Mail & Compliments with pride, gratitude and humility. You are always welcome to have a look.

  • Hate Mail & Horrible Mentions

The past month was (another) rather quiet on the hate mail front. (What am I doing wrong?) I’m sad to say I have nothing new to show you this time! (I may have something to show you next time though!)

(I’m rather proud of my hate mail, and you can review it here – but be forewarned, don’t do it while eating or drinking or you might choke while laughing at the ignorance, spelling and grammar errors!)

  • Interviews

If you would like to do an interview with me about my works, please do get in touch!

  • New Videos

Have a look at my videos on my Video Channel. The newly updated and totally revamped book trailers for Blachart and Demonspawn are there too!

  • New Listings

As you can see below, my books now seem to be listed just about everywhere!


CHRISTINA WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! A few nice words go a long way! Please leave your REVIEWS on Academia.eduAmazon, AnobiiApple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Bol, Book Depository, Dilmot eBookMall, FictionDB, Fnac, Foyles, Goodreads!Indigo, Kobo , Lulu, Lybrary, Nook, Smashwords, Takealot, 24 Symbols – or wherever you see Christina’s books – or just send her an email via the Contact form!

Support The Author

Although most titles listed are available in paperback and/or ebook formats through most online retailers internationally, Christina prefers readers make their purchases via Lulu. This is because while all retailers charge the same price to YOU the reader, Lulu gives the author the largest portion of the proceeds from your purchase.


Monthly Book Spotlight [Spoiler Alert]: “Blachart

“Truthfully, d’Angelo found himself unsurprised that the engines had finally packed up. Weaver – like his predecessors – had been a kind of starship ‘backyard mechanic’ and at the time of the explosion, the stardrive was all but held together by bits of wire and duct tape. Weavers mistake cost him the stardrive – and Fuller and Jang their lives. ‘Blown up’ seemed a little inadequate to describe what really happened, but the engines were now spread over the last light-year or so behind him. Now that really made his calendar cycle.

Life hardly ever turns out the way we expect it to, and for Mykl d’Angelo it had just taken a bad turn for terrible. Stranded in deep space, he is handed a chance to redeem the other shipwrecks in his life – his lost career in the Imperial Starfleet and a lost chance at a relationship with the girl of his dreams.

In order to pull this off, he must confront hordes of Corsairs, a crotchety starship captain, his former girlfriend and a particularly dangerous character called Blachart who will lead him behind enemy lines, where he will learn the meaning of trust – but very likely, never return.”

Blachart is the first title in the Galaxii Series, a saga set in a distant future decades after two great wars – a devastating 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 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 needed rather than to barter or to make it themselves… These lost cousins of Earth became so menacing a threat to Terran fringe colonies and trade routes, that Corsairs – the name they chose for themselves – had been hunted over several decades by the Terran Space Fleet – almost to no avail. For as long as the location of their home world remained a closely-guarded secret, the mighty Fleet could 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 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 are killed when the ship’s engine explode, and Mykl d’Angelo is marooned and 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”.

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 only 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 the brig of the Antares, 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.

Order: Paperback (Lulu) / eBook (Lulu) / eBook (Smashwords)

Details:

  • Published: Fifth Edition, May 10, 2018
  • Pages: 250
  • Words: 84,098 (Flowing Text eBook)
  • Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
  • Dimensions (inches): 6×9″ tall (US Trade)

‘Like’ Blachart by Christina Engela on Facebook

See also:

About The Galaxii Series

In Closing

Well, that’s all, folks! 🙂

Thanks again for all your support, friendship and interaction! Until next time, keep reading!

Cheers! 🙂


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, 2018.

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