Port Elizabeth, South Africa (PRWEB) December 26, 2005
The daughter of the late Theo Engela – whose short stories became well-known on the local Springbok Radio in the 1960’s and 70’s - Christina Engela has unleashed her first book on an unsuspecting world, entitled Blachart (pronounced ‘black-heart’) along with three others (Black Sunrise, The Time Saving Agency and Dead Man’s Hammer) simultaneously in conjunction with Lulu (http://www.lulu.com), the world’s fastest-growing provider of print-on-demand books.
“Life is full of second chances,” says Tina smiling “even the worst people can start over if they are given the opportunities to change for the better – and take that chance. For too many years I put off finishing my stories, I’m a terrible procrastinator. Sometimes I never finish what I.”
Blachart has been described as ‘Laugh, cry, giggle & smirk!’ and ‘Intelligent & not-so-subtle humor, cleverly written. A really fun read!’ by visitors to the site in the last three days since it became available. All four paperback books are available on Lulu for download or P.O.D. (print-on-demand).
“The others, although shorter than the first, are funnier I think. I had more fun with them.” The tall blond says she has the most fun when she’s deep in the throes of writing. She is currently busy with two new books, one a sequel to Blachart, called Demonspawn – and another called Loderunner which follows onto the trilogy of shorter books, all three of which she completed in their entirety in the second half of 2005. There is also a compilation of short stories called Space Sux on its way. She has plenty more ideas where that came from and sees no end in sight just yet.
Blachart is a story about redemption and second chances. It falls in the sci-fi fantasy genre, like most of her work and as such, is packed with her off-the-wall sense of humour. It is set in the late 22nd century, around the year 2153. There are three main characters, Mykl d’Angelo, Ripley Jones and a rather shady character called Blachart.
Mykl d’Angelo is a former officer of the Imperial Starfleet. He left the service a few years prior to this story due to personal reasons stemming from a hostage situation in which he lost several close friends. Since then, he moved into the private transportation field, becoming the owner/operator of a small cargo ship known as a loderunner. He soon ran into hard luck, having to face labor negotiations, breakdowns and other difficulties. At the beginning of the story, he becomes stranded in deep space – alone on his disabled ship, as his two remaining crewmates are killed in the accident. He is rescued by an Imperial starship, the ISS Antares.
Onboard is a former sweetheart of his from their Academy days - Ripley Jones. She is buried deep in her demanding career as Captain Falconer’s Executive Officer. The two meeting again by sheer coincidence brings about a minor confrontation. Both still bear the scars of their past relationship, and each still considers the other ‘an old flame’. For Mykl, the encounter reopens many deep wounds as for him; she was the ‘one that got away.’ In the beginning, Falconer distrusts d’Angelo and he is even suspected of being a Corsair – one of the space pirates who have been terrorizing the Terran colonies for decades.
The situation with the Corsairs raiding human colonies and the mysterious silence of a nearby starbase is the catalyst which throws them all together. They encounter the legendary Corsair Captain – Blachart.
Blachart is a colorful character with a mysterious past. He is known for his ferocity and his name is feared by colonists in general. But soon, it becomes clear to Mykl as they start to work closely together, that the man himself is not really so bad – but that he merely did what he had to do in order to survive – and that given this second chance, he longs for a peaceful night’s sleep, without having to keep a gun under his pillow.
The trip to the Corsair planet – ‘Meradinis’ – is tense, and the landing too. There is some introduction to the strange criminal society and some of its more amusing aspects, such as a trip to a local night club where Mykl gets some first hand experience in Corsair social etiquette.
Link to Publication*: http://www.lulu.com/tinagirl
Christina Engela lives in the sunny seaside South African city of Port Elizabeth (known as the Windy City, where she enjoys watching birds fly backwards) – a tourist haven whose mascot symbol is a Jackass Penguin – which should give you some idea. She attributes her weird sense of humor to her strange family and friends and perhaps having too much time to herself as a child.
At school she was known for her quirky poetry and weird sense of humor, which came in handy while directing a school play (which involved, incidentally, 3 toilet rolls, a walkie-talkie and a hammer marked ‘exhibit A’).
After completing high school in 1991 at the tender age of 18 she enlisted in the Army (ordinary work being scarce at the time) - and spent the next fourteen years wondering what the hell it was all about anyway and why is that fat man with the red badges shouting at me?
In 1999 she qualified as a computer technician (A+) and moved into the network support environment, where she gathered a lot of experience in Conflict Resolution and Self Control - and using Solitaire to teach people how to use the mouse without inflicting self injury. Traveling 5km just to push a power cable back into a monitor became a genuinely fulfilling experience.
She has spent 14 years working for the Military, where she says she finds 90% of her inspiration and also a great deal of story material. She still works there as a multimedia specialist, making corporate videos and other interesting projects - sometimes even stranger than the things she writes. She has always enjoyed writing her stories (and re-writing them till she felt she got it right) until someone shoved a keyboard into her hands and suggested that she try typing them instead… (Which made editing a LOT easier for one thing.) She says she likes to write from personal experience.
Founded in 2002, Lulu is the world’s fastest-growing print-on-demand marketplace for digital do-it-yourselfers. Please see http://www.lulu.com for more information.
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