Another Round @ The Crow Bar #3 March 2017


Hello friends and fans!

February was an exciting month for us over at the Crow Bar!

I decided to make a few changes for this newsletter – a result of figuring out what works and what doesn’t – it’s a learning process as I’m sure you will realize! I thought that instead of “News From The Crow Bar”, something that lends itself more to a play on words relating to the Crow Bar would be more appropriate! I decided on “Another Round @ The Crow Bar” instead of “News From The Crow Bar”, so here we are – enjoying another (third) round together at the aforementioned establishment!

You may also notice the wonderful new header image at the top of the newsletter – which comes courtesy of Focus Mid-South Magazine (with thanks and appreciation to Joan Allison and Sarah Rutledge Fischer) out of Tennessee in the U.S. of A. – but more about that later!

Coming up in this edition of News From The Crow Bar, I will talk about the completion of final edits to two new titles in the Quantum Series, the release of “Prodigal Sun“, various submissions to anthologies and writing contests, and a couple of stunning reviews of my work received in the past month!

New Releases


Prodigal Sun” – book 5 in the Quantum Series is finally available! Since it has only just been released, it will at first only be available on  Lulu, but  in the next few weeks it should start appearing on Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo (prices in ZAR sa-flag ), LybraryiTunesNook, eBookMall and Indigo – and in fact everywhere you can find all my books!

I hope those of you who have been eagerly awaiting the fifth title in the Quantum Series will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

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

The Galaxii Series

As some of you might know, the covers for this series were designed by the inimitable Susan Simone – and I’m happy to say that Susan will soon be creating the cover for the next upcoming title in this series as well! I’m sure it’s going to be a stunner, just like the others!

The working title for book 4 in this series was “Overkill”, but this has since changed to “Where Darkness Softly Treads” since I felt it better fits the kind of story I will tell!

The Quantum Series

quantum-3d-coversAfter talking about it in numerous posts on Facebook and here on my website, the time is finally nigh! In anticipation of the eagerly-awaited release of “Prodigal Sun“, I thought it would help readers if I gave them an idea of what to expect in the story that will be told across three books – “Prodigal Sun“, “High Steaks” and “The Last Hurrah”. To that end, I posted an article on Feb 14 to whet your appetites! (What Readers Can Expect In “Prodigal Sun”, “High Steaks” & “The Last Hurrah”).

High Steaks” is also complete and already waiting in the wings, and will be released after giving people time to digest the first new book in the Quantum Series in a decade! “The Last Hurrah” – the next title in the series after that, is still a work in progress and I will post updates in this regard!

Short Fiction

I am still working on new short stories for “Space Really Sucks!” as time allows! I’m sure readers will enjoy “The Curse” and “Code Red”, which are newly redrafted stories – so keep your eyes open for a release date!


One evening in February, when inspiration hit, I wrote a poem I called “State Capture” in 20 minutes – within 12 hours, Alex S. Johnson had snapped it up for an anthology called “Trumpocalypse” (Horrified Press)! Even if that isn’t some kind of record, it certainly is for me! I will post links to the book when it is released later in 2017!

Also under ‘poetry’ for February, on Feb 15, 2017 I entered the “Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest“, and submitted “Ode To A Nymphomaniac”, a poem I wrote in 1991. Results are to be announced Aug 15, 2017.


Over this past month I edited and reformatted a new release of “How I Built My Home UPS System – & How You Can Too” – a tech book detailing how I built a home UPS system! It should be ready for release once I have finished the section on solar panels and wind chargers – for which I needed to actually install these items first! More about that later in a future edition!


Nothing to report in this section this time!


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.


“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 .


There are no new competitions currently running.

On A Personal Note

  • Fan Mail & Honorable Mentions

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

  1. Life and Living with Cerebral Palsy quoted me in their blog on January 26, 2017.
  2. Global Voices quoted me from my activism blog in 2010 on the topic of a woman wrongfully imprisoned who was held captive and raped multiple times in a male prison cell in Durban, South Africa.
  • Hate Mail

This month I’m happy to report that I received nothing more suspect than one solitary, sad little ‘dick pic’ – which got its sender five minutes of fame on my Facebook wall!

  • Reviews & Interviews

February was a fantastic month for me in terms of reviews! The following extract is from an American magazine called Focus Mid-South! Sarah Rutledge Fischer and I did this interview via Facebook voice chat late last year, and the article appeared on Feb 13.

Engela’s eye for the quirky humor of even the darkest situations sets her writing apart from the masses. Her fiction combines oddball humor, in the tradition of writers like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, with the best of traditional science fiction. A government agency regulates time and its manipulation against the efforts of a brilliant scoundrel. A retired space cop turned bounty hunter grumbles and grunts like a classic pulp noir detective. A glamorous retired intelligence agent moves to a new planet in the hopes of escaping the mystery and mayhem of her former life. And tucked inside her stories, like a kind of stealth activism, lurks a beast almost never seen in either mainstream or science fiction: fully fleshed out LGBT characters.

Like many of us, Engela has been frustrated with the representation of LGBT characters in mainstream fiction, where gay characters are often nothing more than superficially portrayed plot devices or worse, the object of satire and ridicule. Engela’s work breaks the trend. In her stories, a gay man may be the anti-hero or villain, but not because he is gay. A transwoman may fall in love with a cisgender straight man, and their relationship doesn’t revolve around her gender identity. LGBT characters, in Engela’s work, follow narrative arcs that occasionally intersect with their sexual or gender identity, but are more often driven by the human characteristics shared by all people—hope, fear, ambition, humor, and love.” – Sarah Rutledge Fischer, Focus Mid-South Magazine.

The header image at the top of this newsletter also comes from the above mentioned article, again with thanks to Joan and Sarah from F.M.S. Magazine!

I also received a second review , this time on Feb 19, for “Prodigal Sun“! This was a first for me, since it is a review from a a well-respected freelance South African gaming journalist going by the name of Matthew ‘Sand-Storm’ Fick, who writes for New Age Gaming magazine!

Engela’s latest work is packed with humour, challenging ideas, and science-fiction on a grand scale. It transports readers to a truly original world, filled with bizarre and memorable characters. It tackles social issues while reading like a Terry Pratchett, with some western and sci-fi elements to boot.” – Matthew Fick, New Age Gaming freelancer.

An interview I did with Steven Byrd of “Byrd is the Word” for his column “Expert of the Week” was published on Feb 22.

  • New Videos

This past month I managed to create just one new video – the book trailer for “Prodigal Sun“. On the whole I’m very happy with it, and think my technique is improving. The drawings were all hand-drawn by me and then colored on my PC in Paint, and then processed via Powerpoint and a video-editing program.

  • New Listings

As of February, my books are now also all listed on Indigo (Canada) which lists my ebooks via Kobo (Kobo also lists prices in ZAR sa-flag – that’s “South African ‘Ront‘ ” to you and me!)

In Closing

February was a very interesting month for us writing-wise over at the Crow Bar! 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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