Another Round At The Crow Bar #39 March 2020

Hello friends and fans!

Welcome to my 39th newsletter – March 2020!

In Brief:

February was very busy for me as I was back at work – and also spending most of my time working on a new book! I’ve also had a few other things fall onto my plate, like restarting jujitsu classes (two nights per week – although I missed a few nights too) and having to upgrade my home UPS system to keep up with “load-shedding”, replacing the old equipment and fitting the new stuff to the house!

All in all, it’s been a pretty good month and I’m really happy with the 5 new releases I’ve already put out this year! Seems when I said in my recently updated author blurb ‘2020 is going to be a very busy year’, I meant it! Whew!

Also, Smashwords is having a 7 day sale, starting on March 1, to the 7th – I’ve marked ALL my books to 50% of their normal pricing – and made one or two FREE! – pop along there and see what you can pick up!

Right – now let’s take a look at this month’s items!

Current Writing Projects 

In the past month – after I released the four new books I told you about in last months newsletter – I went ahead and worked on another one! No, I haven’t stumbled onto some energy potion or an endless supply of gummy-berry-juice – though it would be nice, wouldn’t it? Especially now I’m at the start of a new month and wondering how I’m going to lift my ass off my chair!

It’s been a hard road and a taxing one, but I’ve finally finished redrafting one of my earlier books from the years B.C. – that’s right, Before Computers! I explain the journey in more detail here. At any rate, the book that started it all: “Galaxii” – that’s right, the one I named the series after but never published – finally saw the light of day as “Best Served Cold” – a story of revenge which stands up completely on its own and has no ties to the series, other than having been used as a reference guide for the historical backstory of the Galaxii Series!

Rather than having the good sense to lie down and rest (or just die), once I’ve finished a project, I immediately start thinking about the next one *eye-roll*. In case you’re interested, I’ve already started working on several more, and will let you have more detail anon.

In the meantime, I’m also looking for more submissions for a horror short story anthology that will be published through Moon Books Publishing! Details here.


Four new books were released on February 01, 2020 in eBook format, available via Amazon, Lulu and Smashwords! A fifth was released on…..February 2020.

Duck Blind” 

Things aren’t always as they seem. Neither was Charlie Branson.

Outwardly, Charlie appeared to be the successful, respected, somewhat over-paid Captain of a commercial space liner. Charlie loved his job, and not just because being a semi-silent partner in Intersteller Vacations LLC paid well – but also because the uniform was a babe-magnet!

In truth, it was 2025 – space liners did not yet exist, Charlie was just a roleplayer after bumming out as an aspiring porno flick extra – and the space liner Freedom was really just a very expensive set – a fancy simulator for wealthy clients! For 3 years, the company had taken passengers on simulated cruises into deep space to forget the real world for a while, to get away from it all – and they loved them for it!

Trouble was, in an atmosphere where people were locked away from reality for weeks at a time, and cos-playing and roleplaying redefined ‘normal’, telling fact and fantasy apart became more complicated than expected… For those who preferred the pleasant escape from the harsh realities of life outside, like Charlie, wishing it could all just be real became something almost like a prayer.

As it turned out, someone heard him.

The answer wasn’t quite what he expected.

“Duck Blind” (and “The Next Room”, the companion-story to this novella) tells part of the same larger story of opposites from the perspective of a different set of characters in different dimensions and times!

The Next Room

Things aren’t always as they seem. Neither was Andy Niksn.

Outwardly, Andy appeared to be the successful, respected, somewhat over-paid Captain of a commercial space liner. Andy loved his job, and not just because it paid well and the crisp white uniform gave him an opportunity to show off his assets – but also because it meant seeing his best friend Jim every day!

Trouble was, Andy felt trapped! He was in a relationship with Mandy Fringle – another colleague – a dead-end partnership that had no future and promised both even less happiness. Jim Sykes had never returned Andy’s affections – and on top of that, Jim had died recently, leaving Andy in the darkest place he’d ever been – and he didn’t mean space!

Andy, who felt that life had turned into a living, waking nightmare – wished he could just wake up to a different reality where everything could make sense again! It became something almost like a prayer!

As it turned out, someone heard him.

“The Next Room” (and “Duck Blind”, the companion-story to this novella) tells part of the same larger story of opposites from the perspective of a different set of characters in different dimensions and times!

When Darkness Calls

Ghosts. Hauntings. Disembodied voices. Malicious entities that make it their goal to destroy their victims utterly. The things that go bump in the night… They’re real.

Sometimes the most unlikely of people find themselves under attack by supernatural entities – and usually no-one will believe them. If they say anything, they risk becoming the butt-end of countless jokes about the paranormal. Worse still, some will place the blame for their predicament squarely on the victims themselves!

Who would help them? The church? A priest – or pastor? And if not, who else? Who would get involved?

Would you?

In the case of Tracey, it was her closest friend – and a small unlikely group of dedicated associates. Together they would face the awful darkness inside the mansion on the hill – the one people sarcastically called “the white house”.

Space Sucks Too!

Launch into space, the future and beyond! Enjoy another humorous look at life in space in this second collection of unique sci-fi short stories by Christina Engela, spanning everything from adventure to suspense to comedy and then back again!

In Space Sucks Too! you will meet little green men, an alien in a human suit turns up at a radio station for a midnight talk show, a couple of vampires make out in a bar, the long-awaited alien invasion finally happens – and the inventor of the matter transmitter has an out-of-body experience!

All titles in Galaxii, Quantum and Panic! Horror In Space are available in paperback format via Moon Books Publishing and can be obtained on Amazon!

The Galaxii Guide To Corsairs & The Black Fleet was released on January 06, 2020 as the newest free download guide to expand on the background for my readers!

Meradinis! The very name of this dark world grabbed the imaginations of young boys and girls, and universally mesmerized dreamers and romantics alike. That is, when they weren’t terrified – because the truth is always far less romantic – and as reality so often demonstrates in real life – rather ugly and brutal.

Behind the legend of the Corsairs and their sinister culture of plunder and violence lay a history fraught with a desperate, brutal struggle to survive, a vengefulness and a cruel streak – and a drive to survive by any means necessary – chiefly of which was their predation upon other worlds… And it was their predatory nature that struck fear into the hearts of neighboring fringe worlds – and, some whispered – in the hallowed halls of the Terran Congress itself.

This guide compiled from numerous articles written by the author herself to promote the Galaxii series, some drawn from the books themselves, is intended to brief the reader about the Corsairs as a group, their culture, origins, general practices and of course, ships and other equipment.

Best Served Cold” was released on February 20, 2020 as a free-standing novel.

Revenge. Getting even. Fighting back. Whatever it’s called, it’s supposed to warrant two graves – or at least, that’s how one old saying went – usually, in the case of mere mortal Human beings. In the case of the Human race as a whole, it was less about that and more about survival.

Having just survived the Big Nuke twenty years before, a recovering Earth just beginning to reap the rewards of interplanetary colonization was suddenly attacked by an alien race that didn’t communicate, didn’t negotiate – and seemed absolutely intent on taking the entire solar system for itself.

The only option the war-weary people of Earth, Mars and Luna had, was to beat their plough-shares back into swords – and fight back! In the first six months, the best the fledgling Earth Defense Fleet could manage, was to push the savage Gimp back to the asteroid belt. For four long years since then, it was all they could do to maintain the stalemate, with each side waiting for the other to make a fatal mistake.

Sooner or later the war would end, one way – or the other.

For Alex Nikolls, a pilot fighting in the blackness of space on an almost daily basis, it couldn’t come soon enough!

Just a reminder: Smashwords is having a 7 day sale, starting on March 1, to the 7th – I’ve marked ALL my books to 50% of their normal pricing – and made one or two FREE! – pop along there and see what you can pick up!


I’ve no more news about the audiobooks at this time – and I’m just as eager to hear them as you are!


Static“, book one in the Panic! Horror In Space series received a lovely 4 star review from UK writer and reviewer Lee Hall on the 13th of February!

Page turning space sci-fi full of chills and fun from beginning to end…

“Christina Engela delivers a fun but chilling book that contains many of the familiar horror story tropes only now they are in space and on distant planets of the haunted/abandoned persuasion.

For what reads and feels like an anthology of shorter stories they are all linked by their events and of course ‘Captain Stuart Flane’ who by the end of it all has probably seen it all. From space ‘zoms’ to possessed dolls and ‘toys’ all the way to an abandoned formerly colonized planet that’s now inundated with ghost types playing havoc with furniture; our hero ‘Flane’ can only explain this stuff to the higher ups in the least absurd ways possible.

Those who are fans of classic and recent horror stories will find this to be a read in somewhat familiar territory while much of the events come unexpectedly and on the fringes of laugh out loud comedy. There’s mystery, suspense, a lot of fun and of course that element of the unexpected which will keep readers turning the pages. Many of the sub genres of horror are represented with hauntings, zombies, possessions and urban exploration all of which are set in the science fiction universe of the ‘Panic! Horror in Space series’.

4 Stars – Thank you to the author for providing an e-copy. Reviews left via Goodreads and Amazon.”

Awesome Indie Book Rec’s

…/ My next rec’ comes in the form of sci-fi by South African author Christina Engela with ‘Static’ which is a fusing of chilling horror and so much more. Those who have been tuning in for a while here at the Hall of Information will know that I’ve read and reviewed her stuff before; last year I took on the wonderful ‘Quantum’ series. (Book 1 review here.)

‘Static’ is a part the ‘Panic! Horror Space’ series and combines elements of horror with comedy which I thoroughly enjoyed. You can expect a review for the next story in the series soon!

Recent review:

‘Those who are fans of classic and recent horror stories will find this to be a read in somewhat familiar territory while much of the events come unexpectedly and on the fringes of laugh out loud comedy.’ /…” – Lee Hall, UK writer & reviewer, March 02, 2020.

Poetry by Wendy K. Engela

In August 2019 my wife and partner in all things weird and wonderful, Wendy published her first book – a collection of her Gothic poetry called “Season’s Change“!

This collection is now available as an eBook via all the expected places, Amazon, Lulu, Smashwords, and all their distribution partner sites.

Season’s Change” is a collection of poetry by Wendy Keran Engela (neé Gloss), who has all the right qualifications, skills and experience to be regarded as a Gothic artist and poet, including being an incorrigible grammar-Nazi, having the prerequisite dark existential outlook, depression, a twisted sense of humor – and having survived at least one (official) suicide attempt. Give it a try – it’s great poetry! (It’s also now available via Moon Books website!)

You can find out more about Kay and her activities on (Raven’s Flame).


Below are links to a few of my most recent posts on my website since my last newsletter:

If you want to see more, just click on the category links below:

Anyway, let’s move on to some more news!

Currently Available Titles:

I currently have 28 unique titles available in 4 series (not including the 16 free promotional items). You can view all of them on my author website!

Alternately, you can view my books at Amazon, Smashwords, Lulu, Kobo or Payhip.

Some titles are also available in other languages: Afrikaans.

Just a reminder: Smashwords is having a 7 day sale, starting on March 1, to the 7th – I’ve marked ALL my books to 50% of their normal pricing – and made one or two FREE! – pop along there and see what you can pick up!

On A Personal Note

  • Fan Mail, Reviews & Honorable Mentions

I found the following items to display in this months issue:

    1. I found one of my articles, “A Treatise On The Psychic Abilities Of The Common House Fly” on Odd Mag, posted on February 02, 2020.

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

  • Hate Mail & Horrible Mentions

I’ve had nothing exciting in this department over the past month – I must be slipping! Perhaps I need new haters?

    1. Piracy is also hateful towards writers, isn’t it? A Russian website called “Bookinistika” masquerading as a “cheap” eBook store online, tried to sell a FREE eBook of mine, “The Quantum Guide To Deanna”, for $4.89 without any agreement between us! I took the time to report their salty arses to their hosting company AND the FBI on the 18th of February, and was happy to see that they were taken down the same day!

I’m rather proud of my hate mail, and you can review my collection here – but be forewarned, don’t do it while eating or drinking, or you might choke while laughing!

  • Interviews

All my interviews are linked to from this page. If you would like to do an interview with me about my work, please do get in touch!

In Closing

Well, that’s all for this time, folks! 🙂

Thanks again for all your support, friendship and interaction!

Feel free to email or message me via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn if you have any comments or questions!

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’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to or use the Contact form.

Show your appreciation for Christina’s work!

All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2020.

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