Another Round At The Crow Bar: #27 March 2019

Hello friends and fans!

Welcome to my 27th newsletter!

In Brief:

Hi folks!

I’ve been really busy the last few weeks revising titles in the Quantum Series, so I haven’t been doing much else in my spare time! (Do writers have spare time?) I mean, if I’m not revising something, or creating a new cover, or editing – or at work – then I’m usually filling plot-holes or dreaming up new stories to write later!

That aside, since February I’ve re-released 4 titles in new edition formats: “Black Sunrise”, “The Time Saving Agency”, “Dead Man’s Hammer”, and “Bang, Splat!” For the next few weeks I’ll be working on bringing you revised and updated new editions of “Loderunner”, “Prodigal Sun” and “High Steaks” – and if I still have the energy after that, I’ll look at adding a few new titles to the Quantum Series!

Bear in mind that this is all being done under conditions not conducive to smooth, easy creativity – with rolling black-outs (euphemistically called “load-shedding” by our corrupt and malevolent government) destroying what is left of South Africa’s economy and investor confidence in our country.  It’s really sad and tragic to think that people in power have spent two decades plundering state resources, undermining the infrastructure and committing treason against the people of South Africa who rely on their leadership, to line their own pockets – and now sit back pointing fingers at others and making excuses while businesses fold up and the ordinary South African citizen watches their children doing their homework by candlelight while paying for services that don’t get delivered.

This past week I also learned of the dreadful terrorist attack on several mosques in New Zealand committed by neo-nazi terrorists. It’s shocking and outrageous to see some people actually praising abhorrent behavior like that, to even suggest that it’s acceptable for a person to just waltz into another’s sanctuary and start shooting people for being different to themselves – and being confronted with beliefs that support these actions – and the people who either enable hateful crimes such as these through their own inaction – and those wholeheartedly ascribe to these disgusting beliefs – makes me very, very angry indeed!

It is precisely because the general practice of sending “thoughts and prayers” for those on the receiving end of acts of terror demonstrates only inaction and capitulation, I chose long ago to DO something, which is why I became a human rights activist. While I can’t physically  or even financially “do” much to help people in New Zealand, or Uganda, or in the USA, I can do my best to undermine the hate that once again permeates our society, to work against it by speaking out against injustice, to raise my voice against bigotry and encroaching fascism, and to write inspiring tales that engender hope and fire in the hearts of the downtrodden.

Sometimes, all it takes to start a landslide, is one small pebble. I’ve always tried to be that one, small pebble. All I can ask is that you try to do the same.

On a lighter note, Kay and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary on the 10th of March!

On with the show!

New Releases

Last year I revised the entire Galaxii Series, and re-released the first three titles “Blachart“, “Demonspawn” and “Dead Beckoning” – and then I released the next new title, “Lange’s Legacy”, which had originally been a shorter novelette called “Space Vacation”. This year I’ve embarked on a similar journey of revision, this time on the Quantum Series.

Black Sunrise” is book 1 in the Quantum Series. The new 4th Edition version comes with a beautiful new cover, is over 11,000 words longer at 58,986 words – and has also been edited, grammar and spell-checked to my own exacting standard. I am very, very proud of this new edition!

Black Sunrise“, being sci-fi, is set in a distant possible future on a Terran colony world called Deanna, which has a charm all its own. Cindy-Mei Winter, a former agent for the CIA (that’s Colonial Intelligence Agency) comes to Deanna to try to forget her male past and looking for a fresh start. The rest of the universe however, seems determined to get in her way. Just hours after her arrival, a single warship belonging to Humanity’s long-absent alien foe – the Ruminarii – attacks the colony. The residents of Deanna’s capital, Atro City, are a pretty unique sort, and meet the invaders at the local space port with open arms. With the colony in the grips of confusion and thrown into disarray, the former Agent dons a black outfit, retrieves her blaster from her luggage, and jumps back into action. She enlists the aid of Deanna’s most famous son – the legendary bounty hunter Beck the Badfeller… who, legend has it, is so good at his job that he could find the missing day in a leap year. Together they set out to find the last surviving alien invader to escape the space port, and meet a few very interesting people along the way, including an alien plant called Fred the Arborian, who talks and walks about while carrying his own pot. Gary Beck is a lot nicer than his name gives away – and despite his reputation for always getting his man… will he get his girl this time?

The Time Saving Agency” is the second title in the Quantum Series, and the brand new 4th edition now stands at 53,786 words!

Each day shapes the days that follow…

The Time Saving Agency liked having fresh agents on the job, who had a clear mind and steady hand. After all, time travel wasn’t for the faint of heart. The pay was good enough, but as Johnathan Scrooby decided long ago – even if he didn’t get paid for it, the thrill alone was payment enough! Then again, the TSA realized they couldn’t afford to have disgruntled employees with the power of God at their fingertips, so the pay was very, very good indeed!

Scrooby was extremely tense. His job at the Time Saving Agency was a tough one – gazillions of lives depended on him not screwing up. Once, he’d screwed up in only a small way, and people wore those little yellow smiley faces on t-shirts for decades afterwards… And that was only a small screw up!

Things happened at a certain time in a certain way, which in a sense, is what Life was all about. If they didn’t, then things would be completely different – which was why, a week ago, the American War of Independence was fought in Mexico. Yesterday Napoleon managed to dig a tunnel across the English Channel, invaded London – and everybody at the Agency ended up speaking French for a while. Sorting that out had been… well, challenging… Mon dieu.

Something smelled funny in the Anals of History! Things were not as they were supposed to be. Someone somewhere was tinkering with the works, and it was up to Time Agent Scrooby – with a little help – to go back and fix it, or who knew what might happen next!

Now at 50,028 words, the 4th Edition new release of “Dead Man’s Hammer” is the third title in the Quantum Series.

Deanna was just another third-rate colony in the Terran Empire – and it was pretty much as boring a lump of rock as could be expected. That is, until Gary Beck, aka Beck the Badfeller ran over an obsidian crow with his jeepo on the highway to San Fedora and didn’t have a spare tire. Things pretty much went down hill from there.

An assassin had come to Atro City, an assassin with a score to settle. She was refined and pretty – but as poets might say, beauty can be deceiving – and the same poets who described Helen of Troy as the face that launched a thousand ships, might have written about Villainessa Tittle as the bitch that sank them.

As an assassin, she was the worst kind: she was absolutely terrifying, she took pride in her work, enjoyed what she did for a living – and above all, she was bloody good at it – and this time unfortunately, it was absolutely 100 percent personal.

Beck the Badfeller – Deanna’s most famous bounty hunter, was dead – and it was up to Cindy-Mei Winter, Sheriff Peg, Deputy Mike, Fred the Arborian – and Gary Beck himself – to solve it.

“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!” – Mark Woods, author of Time of Tides and Fear of the Dark.

What is a dead man’s hammer? It’s a term dating back from the early 20th century, used to describe a practice of holding a firearm – either a revolver or a semi-automatic pistol – while making the weapon ready to fire on it’s own if anything happened to the wielder.

How would that work? Well, the user would take a loaded pistol and cock the hammer. Then they’d hold the hammer back with the thumb on the hand holding the weapon, and squeeze the trigger, and hold it. Basically the weapon is ready to fire – and the only thing holding the hammer back from firing, is the user’s thumb. If the user were to let go for any reason – say after being shot – the hammer would be released, and the gun would fire.

This is where the term “dead man’s hammer” comes from, and from everything I’ve read about this practice, it was more likely to be used by someone escorting a captive – say with a gun pressed to their head or back – where this would be most effective if the captive tried to escape. Also, a dead man’s hammer could also be said to be a kind of insurance policy – to say that “if something happens to me, something will happen to you”… and truth be told, a large part of this runs through the theme of the story!

This story is about Dr. Von Gleichstein, the famed quantum physicist seen in “The Time Saving Agency” (book 2 in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela) and his little dog, Vluffy… and some mutant cockroaches, violins and a few “ozzer sings”.

Dr. Gleichstein is a quantum physicist – and as everyone knows by now, quantum physics is a little like ordinary physics, except that you spend a little more time looking for your eyebrows!

Vluffy, the Doktor’s companion, is a little gray dog who wears a flame-proof asbestos doggy jacket, and spends a lot of time hiding under things to avoid being vaporized by the Doktor’s occasional mishaps – and in their home, even the mouse holes have blast-proof doors!

But something lurks inside the house with them… something that has grown and changed and mutated from all the latent radiation and funky quantumness that has leaked into the house… nasty, vicious, aggressive two-headed mutant cockroaches…aargh! Even the mice have packed up their mousy things and left for greener pastures… They even chase poor Vluffy down the hall – whatever would the neighborhood dogs say about that if they found out? Oh, the shame!

Even the Doktor is dismayed by this new development… after all, not even tinned food is safe anymore! The mutant cockroaches begin to terrorize the Doktor and Vluffy. Something has to be done about this, of course… and the Doktor is just the hombre to do it… and so the Doktor clears his whiteboard for action! Vluffy hopes this can be solved without resorting to violins.

Innocent Minds is a “children’s story for adults” – an endearing little illustrated tale set in the Quantum Series universe created by Christina Engela.

Currently Available Titles:

The Galaxii Series

"Blachart" by Christina Engela "Demonspawn" by Christina Engela "Dead Beckoning" by Christina Engela "Lange's Legacy" by Christina Engela

The Quantum Series

 Front prodigal-sun-front high-steaks-front

Panic! Horror In Space

 Panic! Horror In Space #2 Front 


Front OKAKJLY Lulu - Front.jpg 


slide1 Front Spread Cover   

On A Personal Note

  • Fan Mail & Honorable Mentions
  1. I received the following message from a lady in Uganda: “We [our reading group] have read your book called ‘Prodigal Sun‘, oh my God it’s awesome…” “I’m really happy that we have a person like you behind us.” “…your books have and will always create a big impact in Uganda’s LGBTI community.” – Name Withheld, 24 February, 2019.

    It’s very satisfying to know there are LGBTI people living in Uganda – where it’s not safe for them to be open about who they are, or who they love – who are reading my work. I can’t do much to help alleviate their plight, but I hope I can at least inspire them through my writing!

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

  • Hate Mail & Horrible Mentions

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 it!

  • Interviews

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

CHRISTINA WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU! A few nice words go a long way! Please leave your REVIEWS on Academia.eduAnobiiApple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Bol, Book Depository, Dilmot eBookMall, FictionDB, Fnac, Foyles, Goodreads!Indigo, Kobo , Lulu, Lybrary, MoboReaderNook, 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 her website, or 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 (her website gives it ALL) – which is really, really important if you’re the author! 🙂

In Closing

Well, that’s all for this time, 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’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, 2019.


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