On October 31, 2006 the first (and now extremely rare) ashcan edition of Black Womb hit the Newfoundland independent publishing scene with just 500 copies. The publishing company, Engen Books, saw its full release in 2007 with the release of Transformations in Pain at the second annual Sci-Fi on the Rock convention.
In the 10 years since, Engen Books has become a force to be reckoned with in the indie publishing market. It has produced over thirty titles in that time and brought over two dozen Atlantic Canadian authors to print. The original Black Womb series completed its 10 book run, as intended, as spun off into the Xander Drew series. The Infinity series was launched, as well as the broader Engen Universe with light|dark, and the From the Rock series, which highlights local upcoming and established talent side by side.
And we’re just getting started.
The Engen Books 10 year anniversary starts tomorrow with the release of The Six Elemental, the first book in a powerful new YA Fantasy series by Ali House, whose short fiction work has seen acclaim in the Halifax-inspired Bluenose Paradox collection, as well as 2016’s short prequel story to the novel, Twenty-One.
The story features a introduction to House’s stunning new world, where there is a legend that in times of great need, a person wielding the power of all six Elements will come forth to bring peace to New Earth.
The myth of the Six-Elemental is almost seven hundred years old, and the possibility of someone having the power of more than one Element has been thoroughly disproven by science. None of this matters, however, when Kit Tyler receives the power of all six Elements on her twenty-first birthday.
The eBook is available for preorder now and goes live tomorrow, as well as orders for print copies. Anyone looking to meet the author and obtain a signed copy can first do so at the 2016 Hal-Con in just 4 days at the Halifax World Trade & Convention Center, as well as meet guests such as Gates McFadden, Phil LaMarr, Christopher Walsh, and Natalina Tena.
The first of what will currently be three novels released a year apart, the series draws heavily from Newfoundland settings, culture, and iconography to tell the uniquely special tale of twins Alex and Ben, who get into a fight while at sea, when Ben disappears. Determined to find his brother, Alex begins the biggest adventure of his life, armed only with a mysterious musical talent and the help of a local girl named Meg. But his best hope just might come from the same place as a song he’s been hearing since childhood ― the alluring and dangerous girl he finds amidst the frothing ocean waves.
Advance Praise for the novel includes:
“A mysterious figure in the ocean, a suspicious loss in the waves, a riveting treasure hunt, and surprise after surprise, how could anyone not want to read this novel?”
~Alice Kuipers, author of 40 Things I Want to Tell You and Life on the Refrigerator Door.
“Call of the Sea is a vividly imagined novel of folk lore and legends smoothly mixed with realistic, colourful characters of an East Coast village. Amanda Labonte’s paranormal coming of age story effortlessly lifts you along with Alex’s journey to the brink of suspended disbelief…”
~BR Myers, author of Asp of Ascension and Girl on the Run.
Also in 2017, Black Womb, the novel and series that started it all, will be released in an anniversary edition along with its first two sequels, Transformations in Pain and Smoke and Mirrors, detailing the extended origins of Xander Drew, Engen, and the all-too mysterious town of Coral Beach.
“It is the writing of it’s generation: visual, to-the-point and in-the-moment.”
The Northeast Avalon Times
“LeDrew’s work is horror that emerges from the urban fantasy tradition — the introduction of a fantastical element into a true-to-life, modern setting.”
The Telegram, Aug 13, 2010
“Evil corporations, faceless villains, people with mysterious identities/pasts… when done right these are powerful archetypes. I love potboiler mysteries, horror and scifi… I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy this series.”
Jay Paulin, author of Emma Awesome
“It takes you on a rollercoaster and ends with a bang… I enjoyed every moment of it.”
A Neon Village, Dec 2, 2010
“The writing in Black Womb is seamless and to the point, without robbing you of the details or over baring you with them either.”
42 Webs, Feb 15, 2012
“Black Womb was suspenseful and intriguing from beginning to end with breathtaking twists and turns that kept me hooked and guessing until the end!”
Andrea Edwards, “Scarlett” author
Septembers 6, 2012
“Perhaps the best way to dilute the book’s premise down to a single sentence would be to call it “a bizarre fusion of horror film and superhero gimmicks.”
Mark Pellegrini, Adventures in Poor Taste
November 29, 2012
“Black Womb is an exciting horror story full of action and introducing a bunch of interesting characters. The story flows quickly and is a great read for a first-time novelist.”
June 04, 2013
The book will be titled Fantasy from the Rock and see the return of editors Erin Vance and Ellen Curtis who made the first collection the breakout success of the 2015 season. Submissions don’t close until December 31 2016 so authors out there can still get their stories in!
Despite official announcements not happening until January 2017, submissions of original stories have already been received from six established authors and many promising entries from indie authors new to the world of genre publishing! The collection looks to be again one of the highlights of the year!
Finally, Engen Books returns to its horror roots with the release of Paul Carberry’s epic thriller, Zombies on the Rock: Outbreak. The first novel in a new series depicting a worldwide zombie apocalypse from the point-of-view of those on Newfoundland’s west coast, Carberry’s work fuses genre and setting to create a unique entry into both the world of zombie horror and Newfoundland fiction, adding to both and taking away from neither.
It is set in the near future and stars an ensemble cast of likeable, identifiable characters as they deal with the very early onset of a zombie outbreak (hence the novel’s subtitle). Characters like Hank, Chris, Eric, and Cathy must navigate the astonishing and brutal landscape of this not-too-distant future in order to be among the survivors as the island of Newfoundland — and the entire world — is plunged into an apocalyptic nightmare.
… And even all that is only what we’re ready to announce now. Stay tuned as the 2017 anniversary extravaganza continues! Never Look Back!