Another Round At The Crow Bar #46 October 2020

Hello friends and fans!

Welcome to my 46th newsletter – October 2020!

On A Personal Note

September was a fairly quiet, uneventful month… actually, no… who am I kidding? There were a few things that made September an interesting and busy month! Aside from the editing work I’ve been doing on the sideline, I also had to undertake the Herculean task of migrating my website from WordPress.com’s hosting to a new home. The newly migrated site is pretty much sorted out now, but if you find any glitches, like broken links or missing images etc. please do let me know! I also added a ecommerce functionality to the site – now that I’m able to use plugins – and visitors can buy eBooks direct from the shop page now without having to go to other online shops – isn’t that nice? 🙂

On the social side, I had a brilliant email interview with fellow South African author Simon Corn this past month, you can read that from the link further along!

Further afield, I indulged my love for woodworking this past few weeks, and finally got round to building that bookshelf I longed for to complete the feel of the ‘study’ corner of our lounge! As you can see in the photo, it’s in the corner (which makes it stronger – a must to hold all that weight haha) and it’s filled with an array of some of my favorite books – fiction and non-fiction! Our Star Wars collection of memorabilia fills the gaps quite nicely too! The shelf above the window is home to the bulk of my collection of antique telephones, and beneath the shelf – on a cupboard you can barely see in the photo – are two antique typewriters, a 1939 Remington, and a 1952 Olivetti, both in good working order!

This year’s almost over – and with the entirety of the last week of September being taken up by my website migration, I’m looking at the remainder of 2020 a little bleary-eyed! I still have some work left in the writing department for this year – aside from the editing projects I’m doing for clients – and as always, I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

Moving on, let’s take a look at the usual list of goodies!

Art

I also indulge in painting from time to time – and no, I don’t mean walls! The following paintings are in my portfolio:

You can read more about my art projects on the Art page.

What do you think of them? Feel free to let me know!

Music

Yes – I also make music from time to time!

A selection of music tracks I made using eJay and other similar apps between 1999 – 2008 are available on my YouTube channel.

You can read more on the Music page on my website!

Activism

For those of you interested in my activism-related posts and activities, you can follow them at “Sour Grapes: The Fruit Of Ignorance“.

Current Writing Projects 

For the past few weeks, I’ve been dividing my time between performing editing and formatting work for Moon Books Publishing, and writing new material for Galaxii Book 4, which I haven’t formally named just yet! Operating under the working title of “Dreams of Innocence” – from an old draft I’d worked on a long time ago and which set the background foundation of this otherwise entirely new story – this book will once again be looking at the Corsair menace.

Set a short time after the collapse of the Corsair home world Meradinis, the story focuses on the starship I.S.S. Munray – a ship crewed by ill-disciplined misfits barely one step away from court-martial and dismissal, filled with bitterness, resentment and axes to grind with anyone in authority – and the Captain’s the worst of the lot! His career has soured and he ‘works the system’ to get himself removed from command and assigned to an easy desk job at a starbase – but the powers that be have other plans…

A new Captain is assigned in place of the malingering Captain Polluk – a young, ambitious up-and-coming and capable officer – and Sonia LaBelle is the literal new broom! She manages to overcome all the obstacles in her path; a ship in a poor state of repair, an uncooperative senior staff, negative hopeless crewmembers – in time to meet the deadline set by Vice-Admiral Beens.

Meanwhile, a couple of extremely dangerous high profile Corsair convicts escape from an isolated, virtually escape-proof prison complex, which sets the cat among the pigeons! The Munray is diverted from a routine space patrol to pursue the escaped Corsairs, an exercise which will push the already strained interpersonal relations among the crew – and between the crew and its new Captain – to the limit!

At least, that’s more or less the broad overview of the fourth book in the Galaxii series! I’m quite excited about it, since I haven’t really worked on that series since I last revised all the titles back in 2018! Book 4 doesn’t feature any of the characters of the previous books (at least not as yet) but I might still be looking at drawing in one or two later, I’ll see how the story progresses and where it takes me!

Editing

I recently completed editing “Avenging Aranis” by UK writer Steve McElhenny – a sci-fi tale for Moon Books – and the first part of a trilogy! Currently I’m editing “The Darkness Within Me”, a dark fantasy novel by South African author Anya Louw, also for Moon Books.

I’ve also recently started offering my editing services on a freelance basis to interested parties. More about that here.

Marketing – The Dreaded “M” Word! 

Portfolio 2020!

I thought it would be nice if I could produce a neat, organized catalog of all my books that interested parties could download and browse – a free, distributable and shareable catalog, and so I created “Portfolio 2020!” – a listing of all my currently available titles!

Portfolio is more than that though, because it also contains a biography as well as synopses for most of my titles – and I have a plan to update it regularly, perhaps on an annual basis! Portfolio 2020 is available as a free download from my website.

Videos

I’ve nothing new to show you here this time, but feel free to browse through the videos on my YouTube video channel!

Sales

Sales for September have been holding a constant trend, with figures for 2020 indicating that I’ve already doubled the total for 2019! Things have been slow in progressing, but at least they’ve been consistent, with a gradual improvements across the board – accompanied by an increase in distribution as well as with the addition of external marketing on the part of my publisher, Moon Books Publishing, who’ve been doing their own marketing of my titles! That tells me things will get better!

Additionally, having migrated my website to a new hosting service (where I can actually install plugins!!!) I’ve installed ecommerce and set up direct purchasing options for interested visitors, so I’ll let you know how that goes next time!

Publishing

These are the books I’ve released so far this year!

Between January and September 2020 I released eight new titles! Of these, two – “Duck Blind” and “The Next Room” have been replaced by one combined title, “Mirror, Mirror” which includes both of them. Of course, this reduces my count back to 30 again – but when you already have 30 or so books to your name, what’s one here or there?

New Releases:

I’ve nothing new to show you here this time!

Audiobooks

On September 11, 2020, “Malice!” was released as an audiobook, narrated by Michelle Innes!

Malice!” is a collection of my horror tales. Read more about the book.

Details:

    • Published: June 25, 2019, audiobook September 11, 2020.
    • Words: 21770
    • Pages: (6×9 Paperback)
    • Duration: 02:10min (audiobook narrated by Michelle Innes)

Book Trailer Video:

Buy now: eBook Paperback Audiobook

Coming Soon

In the meantime, here’s a look at the covers for hot new audiobooks currently in the pipeline:

Stay tuned for updates!

Reviews

You can see all my previous reviews here.

Currently Available Titles

I now have 30 unique titles available in 4 series (not including books I’ve been the editor for, and my 16 free promotional items)! My books are available in three different formats: EBooks, Paperbacks and Audiobooks. Click the links or images below to view titles available in these formats.

Communication

Below are links to a few of my most recent posts and articles since my last newsletter:

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

Interactions

  • Fan Mail, Reader Reviews & Honorable Mentions

I have the following awesome items to show you this month!

    1. I found this share of one of my articles “A Treatise On The Psychic Abilities Of The Common House Fly” on Odd Mag from February 02, 2020.
    2. “Christina Engela is an excellent editor. She helped me open my mind to a different perspective, to see my work through the eyes of the reader. Most importantly she taught me more about writing than any teacher in my entire 12 years of education! I’d rate her at 100 out of 10!” – Anya Louw, author of “The Darkness Within Me” and “Normanwood” (Aug 28, 2020).
    3. “I recently had the pleasure of an editorial experience with Ms. Engela. As an entry level author and with some trepidation, I submitted work to Ms. Engela for editing, uncertain of what to expect from the process. Ms. Engela read and corrected my work. Her approach is professional, encouraging yet precisely on point. There was not ever a need to query the work she did on my script. I was also particularly impressed with her turn around time. I would strongly recommend her editorial services and I look forward to a time when I can work with her again.” – Cedar J. Lockheart, author of “Skinwalker” (Aug 28, 2020).
    4. “In running Moon Books Publishing I know the value of a good proofreader and editor. Christina is a proven author who has released over 30 books, so she knows the ins and outs of writing. I’ve discovered that not only is she witty, bright and verbose in her writing, but she is also meticulous and professional in her proofreading and editing skills. You won’t find a more professional proofreader and editor than Christina. That is why I will ALWAYS choose her to handle proofreading and editing at Moon Books Publishing.” – Brandon Mullins, publisher, CEO Moon Books Publishing (Aug 29, 2020).
    5. A fantastic, swashbuckle through space. “While Fantasy is my primary love in literature, I have always enjoyed a good science fiction yarn and when this one came to me via the narrator I figured it may just satisfy an itch I’d been having of late.

      Sheesh, where to start with this book? Simply put, it has everything! There’s adventure, space battles, fistfights, pirates and, of course. romance.

      The story revolves around Mykl, ex-combat pilot turned down-on-his-luck cargo captain who begins the book afloat in space after most of his crew, for reasons unknown, mutiny and fly off in the ships sole shuttle. Shortly afterwards the starships drive explodes, killing his two remaining crew and leaving him marooned in deep space with no hope of survival. That is, until a ship full of marines rescues him from certain death only to then get into a battle with a ship full of space pirates, Mykl has to rely on his military training to survive and capture the dreaded Blackhart!

      It’s only now that things really start to get bad when his military contract is reactivated and he’s tasked with a critical, possibly suicidal mission into enemy territory.

      Every primary character in the book, from Mykl to Ripley and Blackhart himself are extremely well fleshed out, interesting and fantastically voiced by Nigel Peever, each given a real sense of identity and more than a little snark. In addition to the reading, there is the addition of sound effects and some incidental music which is just enough to add atmosphere without distracting from the reading like often can happen with this in audiobooks.

      There’s so much in this story that I could talk about but I don’t want to spoil anything but do strongly suggest that, if you like Buck Rogers, Firefly or Pirate stories you give this book a go as I thoroughly enjoyed everything it had to offer.” – Ryan Pascal review “Blachart” Audible UK, August 29, 2020.

    6. “Christina performed a fantastic editing service for my novel. I was blown away by the pace she worked at, her accuracy, and the improvements she made. It would be no understatement to say she went above and beyond what I expected and was incredible value for the more than reasonable cost for her services. I look forward to using Christina again in the future as I know I’ll be in safe hands.” – Steve McElhenny, author of “Avenging Aranis” (Sept 07, 2020).

    7. Blachart. A good read. Well written good story line. Well narrated. All in all a good listen.” – Richard Davis, Audible UK, “Blachart”, September 09, 2020.

    8. Spotted on the internets… Brandon Mullins of Moon Books Publishing made and shared this awesome meme to market my audiobooks:
    9. Quotefancy shared a quote by me, found on September 22:

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

  • Hate Mail & Horrible Mentions

  1. 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!
    1. Apparently I’m unhinged and need help? LMAO… Oh, won’t someone please help me?

  1. Interviews

    1. A Moment With Christina Engela – I had an interview with Simon Corn on his author blog – it went live on September 28.

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! 🙂


Catch me on social media!


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 christinaengela@gmail.com or use the Contact form.

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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2020.

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