Tag Archives: The Travelers’ Club and The Ghost Ship

The BEST Cyber Monday Deal EVER!

If you think this blog site has some cool stuff – wait till you read my awesome books!

At Kindle you can get the following awesome books for:

JUST  99 cents to read the novel The Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship – Book one in an historical adventure series.  It’s steampunk – that is science fiction adventure set in 1880.


JUST 99 cents will also get you Twisted Nightmares!  This is an awesome anthology of short poems and stories featuring horror and freaky plot lines with frightening twists.


JUST $2.99 will get you The Travelers’ Club – Fire and Ash – Book two in the series and my best written novel yet published.


Nothing makes a better Christmas present for both you, your friends and family, and for me as an author, than for you to reach in your pocket (figuratively) and buy these timeless literary treasures.



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I Will Be Signing books at Hob Nobs This Friday

I will be at Hob Nobs Cafe and Spirits in Phoenix on Friday, August 2nd, signing copies of The Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship, The Travelers’ Club – Fire and Ash, Twisted History and Twisted Nightmares.  Come join me for this First Friday event.  They will have a live band playing starting at 8 pm.  I will be just inside the entrance starting around 7:30 pm.  I look forward to seeing you there!

hob nobs

Hob Nobs – 149 W McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85003


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Birthday Present

By the way, if you are interested in wishing me Happy Birthday in a REALLY cool way…

Please check out my first book for just 99 cents on Kindle:  (That way you will give yourself the gift of a fun story as well.)  The book is an adventure story like Jules Verne, HG Wells, Sherlock Holmes, rated PG, with a fun science fiction twist referred to by many as “Steampunk.”


kindle gs


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My Interview with Ruth Jacobs – In the Booth with Ruth

I am pleased to say that Ruth Jacobs of Hertfordshire, England, “In the Booth with Ruth” has posted her interview with me.  Below is the link and the text.  Please check out her blog at ruthjacobs.co.uk and also her store.  She has novels for sale and also petitions for various human rights causes.  Thanks Ruth!



Michael Bradley

What’s your writing background? When did you begin writing and what inspired you? 

I was an abused child and escaped from reality by reading. I started reading encyclopedia at age four. I have read at least a book a week since I was twelve, and probably close to 5,000 at this point. I have always wanted to be a writer, but adults discouraged me and I went into various fields. Finally, at age forty-seven, I retired on my savings and started writing full time on April 1, 2011. 

How often do you write? And how do you manage to fit in writing among other commitments? 

I write every day and can pace up to a chapter per day. I write full time for the most part, but also do some consulting, public appearances, and teaching. I am a bit of a word processor. I have so many ideas and stories fully written in my head, that the actual act of writing feels like dictation from my own internal voice. 

In which genre do you most enjoy writing? 

I like writing the same genres I love to read. Fiction, historical fiction, steampunk, and fantasy. I write what I refer to as “pulp fiction” in that it is story and character rich, enjoyable, easy to read, and takes the reader away from the normal world. I do not try to write deep literary fiction with nuanced meanings you have to dwell on for days to understand. 

What draws you to write in that genre? 

I am a strong believer in writing what you enjoy reading. I feel you are a bit of a charlatan if you try to write something because it is popular or marketable. Ideas and writing come easily if you would want to read your own novels and stories if someone else had written them. I tell my readers honestly, that had I not written the stories, I would love to read them. 

Tell me about your current project(s)? 

I work on several things at once. For novels, my next is Blood Bank, a unique post-apocalyptic vampire novel, that is more about what it means to be human than about vampires. It is due out late summer 2013. After that, the third in the Travelers’ Club steampunk series will come out, The Travelers’ Club and The Lost City, late Fall 2013. I am working on next year’s Twistedanthology series, and on The Second Civil War, a political thriller set in 2024. Both I hope to release in early 2014. 

What are your writing plans for the future? 

My goal is to continue to release two or three books per year and a dozen short stories. My career goal is to have thousands of readers who enjoy my writing and look forward to the next story. Financially, I plan to break even, but I would trade profits for readers any day. I have stories bursting to get out and on to paper, and I just want others to read and enjoy them. 

Where can people find out more about you? 

My blog site at www.mbtimetraveler.com is a very eclectic selection of posts that interest me. Usually, I update the blog two or three times daily. Some are pictures, some are reposts of stories, some are original writing of mine. If you follow my blog, you will certainly gain insight into the unusual mix of interests floating around inside my head.

Twitter: @mbtimetraveler

My books can be found on Amazon: Twisted NightmaresThe Travelers’ Club and The Ghost ShipThe Travelers’ Club – Fire and Ash, and Twisted History. I also write movie reviews, book reviews, true science and other columns for multiple magazines, and I have had around forty short stories published in various publications.

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Excitement and Frustration

So, I am going to be at booth #1629 at Phoenix Comic Con 2013 from Thursday May 23rd through Sunday May 26th!  That is the really exciting part.  I will be selling signed copies of Twisted History, The Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship, The Travelers’ Club – Fire and Ash, and the newly released Twisted Nightmares.

My wife will be selling vintage jewelry, Gatsby like hair decorations and pop culture creations at the same booth with me, from her Susanne’s Passions craft store.  I am really looking forward to this awesome event, both as a vendor, and as an attendee.  My friend and fellow author, Chris Wilke, and his family will be helping out at the booth some as well.

pcc logo

So why the mixed feelings?  Why the frustration?

It is because the “powers that be” at Phoenix Comic Con refuse to consider me for any panels.  I will not name the person, but I write articles for the same publication as this person.  Despite the fact that I have appeared at numerous conventions and appeared on local panels at LepreCon, DarkCon, and the Wild Wild West Con, the folks at PCC won’t return my calls or emails.  They even refused to talk to me in person.

Why?  Because I am Indie-published.  Despite the fact that PCC has panels each year on how to Indie publish, their guy in charge of writers only invites those published through traditional publishers.  In fact, the panels on Indie publishing have all authors who are traditionally published.  The exception of course is Michael Stackpole, a great guy who has been a mentor in my journey, who had many books traditionally published and now Indie publishes.


It is a shame that even at a cutting edge cultural event, the old social morays still stay in place, that some how an Indie published author is a “vanity press” author.  Some of their guests in prior years I have actually outsold as an Indie, and one of them had a book deal but did not even have a book out yet.  I know we each have our own path.  I even feel petty and small for being irritated by this.  However, I have real experiences to share with authors who go to events like PCC to see a panel on “Indie publishing.”  I have been on dozens of panels on the topic, been written up in local newspapers and media, and appeared at many writer conferences to give seminars on the topic.

I am very happy for the authors who are appearing, including a great person I worked with years ago named Amy Nichols who has her first book published, an awesome Children’s book.  Also there will be Jenn Czep, who is a wonderful person with a story in Twisted Nightmares.  Michael Stackpole, Timothy Zahn, Terry Brooks and Cherie Priest are all great people too.  Sam Sykes and Gini Koch I know and enjoy as well from meeting them and being on panels together.  I don’t even care that much not to be selected – it is not even being considered because I am an Indie that is frustrating.

I don’t usually rant.  I am a very upbeat guy in general.  For some reason this just annoys the heck out of me.


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Thank You! Over 200,000 hits!

As of right now, my blog site received 201,600 plus hits!  As you regular followers know, I put a lot of work and love into posting one to three times a day with a peculiar mix of things I find interesting.  I am so happy that my weird interests are also often of interest to you as well.  I do not get any compensation or advertising dollars for the blog site, but I would appreciate you consider stopping by my store on occasion.  If you get a copy of The Travelers’ Club and The Ghost Ship, you can buy it on Kindle for just 99 cents, of which I keep 35 cents.  Obviously, not in that for the money either, I just want more readers.  Thank you for your ongoing support!



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Steampunk Style

Steampunk is sci-fi mixed with the 1830-1900 period, the Age of Steam.  It often supposed advanced technology based on steam power rather than modern oil and electrical power.  Two of my novels, The Travelers’ Club and The Ghost Ship. and The Traveler’s Club – Fire and Ash, are both steampunk adventures.  I post steampunk vehicles separately, as I do steampunk animals, steampunk insects, guitars, and steampunk people.  You can find all my steampunk related posts by typing “steampunk” into the search block on my home page.  This then, is the catch-all representation of some steampunk style.  Enjoy!


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Digital Publishing

Posted to Nerdvana at the East Valley Tribune by Bob Leeper:


Are printed books histor-E? Local authors embrace digital publishing

Posted by  on February 17, 2012 – 1:34 am

eBooks vs DinosaursDinosaurs walk among us. No, I don’t mean giant reptiles munching vegetation down on Main Street, or carnivorously carousing up the center of Central Boulevard. I’m talking about those of us who have yet to trade in our prized paperbacks and hallowed hardcover books for the new wave of Nooks, Kindles, BeBooks and other e-book reading devices.

For some of us, they will have to pull our dog-eared printed copy of Jurassic Park from our cold dead hands, but as e-books continue to grow in popularity, many local writers have embraced the medium of electronic books as an easy and inexpensive way to reach the masses with their literary efforts.

Bob Nelson is the CEO and manager of the local “media microglomerate” Brick Cave Media, an independent publisher that relies heavily on sales of electronic media. Bob was at the forefront of the ‘e’ revolution, offering books and magazines for sale online as early as 1996. He has since expanded his efforts and now publishes several local authors in electronic formats including e-books, CDs, DVDs and ‘old-school’ print.

“In 1996, myself and Joe Giunta published a literary magazine called Anthology,” Mr. Nelson said, “and the idea of being able to present readers with the magazine on their computer, as we envisioned it on page, but without the printing overhead, was tremendously appealing.” Between 2010 and 2012 Brick Cave Media has experienced triple digit revenue growth in their e-book sales, and for the first six weeks of 2012 they have done more business than in the first 5 months of 2011 combined.

Mr. Nelson explains, “As a consumer, and as a publisher, I see that some businesses ‘get it’ when it comes to e-books, and some do not. Amazon most definitely ‘gets it’ when it comes to creating an ecosystem that is pleasant to shop in and is user friendly for small-press and self-published authors to make their work available to a large audience. Some companies, like Sony, have had a hard time keeping up with the rapid changes in the industry over the last two years, while others like Apple, have embraced and pushed the medium to new heights. Others, like Google, have approached the effort in minimalist style, which can create an unfriendly user experience.”

Brick Cave BooksBrick Cave Media

Bob continued, “I always encourage people to take charge of their destiny, and this technology allows writers to do that. The challenge now is that everyone has the same access to the same technology, so you must become a savvy marketer to stand out from the crowd, and that will become more evident as more people choose to self-publish.”

While Brick Cave Media represents writers from all corners of the Phoenix Metro area, they are based out of the East Valley and sponsor many local spoken-word and writing events, including the sci-fi & fantasy writer’s workshop, at Lo-Fi Coffee in Mesa, on the first Saturday of every month. The workshop starts at 10 a.m. and includes a reading and discussion session, writing exercises and other fun activities to help you make your writing better. Authors or aspiring writers wanting to contact Brick Cave Media can email Bob Nelson at bob@brickcavemedia.com

There are also groups on the West-side of the Valley that can help aspiring authors to develop their work and get it out to an audience. The Westside Wordsmiths meet regularly and their members consist of both published authors and up-and-coming writers. Wordsmith member Michael Bradleyhas experienced e-book success with his steampunk novel The Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship.Michael says, “My own sales are steadily increasing on Kindle and in person. My fellow writers consider me a success story, but I am nowhere near where I plan to be.”

Mr. Bradley is working on starting up an Arizona Literary Guild and speaks regularly to new authors about independent publishing and its ups and downs. You can get more information on the Westside Wordsmiths and the upcoming Arizona Literary Guild by contacting Michael at email eiverness@cox.net

Here is a list of several genre books written by local authors and available online as eBooks, or for us dinosaurs, most can be ordered in print as well.

  • Escape Velocity by The Klute – Escape the Earth’s gravitational pull with poetry and musings by The Klute, including Vampire Slayer, I Never Met the Dead Man and Marketing the Planet.
  • Immortal Sherwood by J.A. Giunta – Set in the future, a computer programmer must deal with both his lost love and a sudden change of circumstance that could render his most recent programming effort to be his last.
  • The Stories of Haven by Sharon Skinner – There is nothing more dangerous than a woman scorned, especially when she can turn you to stone… The first Sharon Skinner story of Haven features the origin story of one of Haven’s first characters. If she’s a villain or a hero is for you to decide.
  • The Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship by Michael Bradley – This is not the 1880 you read about in your history books…
    Confederate sharpshooter Ashley Cooper discovers alien technologies, a world full of foes, and a showdown with zombies and other creatures of nightmare that will determine the future of mankind.
  • The Crawlspace by Darryl Dawson – There is a place so dark, so narrow and so cold that once you step inside, only nightmares matter. This collection takes you deep into that place with thirteen new tales of horror from the twisted, fertile imagination of Darryl Dawson.
  • The Egg Said Nothing by Caris O’Malley – Meet Manny. He’s your average shut-in with a penchant for late night television and looting local fountains for coins. With eight locks on his door and newspapers covering his windows, he’s a more than a bit paranoid, too. His wasn’t a great life, but it was comfortable-at least it was until the morning he awoke with an egg between his legs.
  • Spectrum by Bob Nelson – A collection of poetry by Bob Nelson, including X-Terminated, Dancing Time Bombs, Casual Indifference and Faith Based Nation. 

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Life in Victorian England

I write a lot about things in the Victorian time frame.  I am an avid researcher.  Even though I write Steampunk, which is old timey science fiction, I try to have 90% or more of my novel actual history and real people, so the sci-fi blends in nicely.  In my first novel, The Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship, some of the adventure occurs in Morocco.  I read a 512 page diary of a French party that traveled in Morocco in 1880, and a 240 page diary of Spanish travelers in Morocco the same year.  I used maybe one paragraph of information, but it gave me a feel for it.  I researched the leaders, the towns, the religions, the customs.  The pass given to my characters was the actual pass that the Sultan gave to foreign visitors, copied from a print in 1880, translated from Arabic for me by a free translator who speaks Arabic, Berber and English over the internet.  I used videos shot by tourists to show me the coastlines, old paintings and pictures.  I used Google Earth to view the ascent up Mount Toubkal, along with modern tour guide descriptions.  I looked up the weather, the position of the moon and other occurrences during the specific days and months they traveled.

Ghost Ship Cover Final Michael Special (2)

This is by way of explanation of this post.  This is one of the hundreds of sites I use to help understand and add color to the background of my Victorian stories.  Websites like this are incredibly helpful.  Enjoy!

Life in Victorian England


The industrial revolution completely changed the lifestyle of Victorian Britain. Suddenly, the focus wasn’t on tilling the soil or land husbandry to make a living. Factories and commercial enterprise was the name of the game.

When Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, Britain had already started its transformation into a world power. Agriculture was slowly being pushed aside for manufacturing jobs. By the end of the 1800’s, 80 percent of England’s population lived in cities.

Industrialization and Engineering

Steam-powered cotton factories enabled Victorian Britain to produce more than half the world’s supply of cotton. Coal-mining aroundNewcastle also expanded rapidly to meet demand.

Picnic scene

With the upsurge in railway construction, moving goods to shipping ports became easy, while ship-building itself went forward at a rapid pace.Bristol was home to “The Great Britain”, a massive steam ship built byIsambard Kingdom Brunel.

Lead by Brunel, engineering wonders were beginning to be common place during the Victorian period. Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge still stands as a testament to his expertise.

The Brunel Railway Bridge between The West Country and Plymouth is still used to this day.

Manchester and Liverpool took full advantage of the industrial revolution. Along with other cities in Victorian times, they enjoyed being part of the “workshop of the world”.

Leisure Time

With industrialization, there was more leisure time to be enjoyed. When the railway line fromLondon to Brighton was established, going on holiday began to be a regular part of Victorian life.

Thanks to the Bank Holiday Act of 1871 and the ease of rail travel, seaside resorts such asBlackpool and Torquay began to enjoy great popularity.

There was time to read a novel during the Victorian period. Charles Dickens, Robert Lewis Stephenson, and H.G. Wells are just three of the authors who were popular.

Attending the theatre and appreciating the talents of Sarah Bernhard and Ellen Terry kept the evenings busy. Melodrama was in its hey-day while the music hall was always packed with people enjoying the variety of acts presented.


Medical advances were tremendous during Victorian times. Boiling and scrubbing medical instruments before and after use was found to greatly increase a patient’s chance for survival. The identification of disease took a great leap forward.

Cholera was shown to be a product of sewage water. With the simple procedure of boiling drinking water and washing the hands, incidents of cholera dramatically drop.

Codeine and iodine made their appearance in Victorian life. Morphine helped to alleviate pain while the use of chloroform during childbirth was pioneered by Queen Victoria… and highly recommended.

Mourning the Dead

With style, great weeping, and yards of black material, the Victorian period made a fine-art out of death. Funerals were huge, many with professional mourners hired to walk in the procession.

At the moment of death, clocks would be stopped, curtains drawn over windows, and mirrors covered. Black apparel was quickly donned or if black cloth was not available, the household would quickly dye their clothes to a darker hue.

Row of terraced housesWidows from all social classes were expected to maintain mourning for a full year, and withdraw as much as possible from Victorian life. For women with no income, or small children to care for, remarriage was ‘allowed’ after this 12 month period.

As time went by, the stages of mourning gradually released their hold. Black material could be put aside for lilac or other soft shades. After approximately two years, wearing colour was no longer frowned upon.

Widowers would usually wear black for two years. However, it was their decision when to go back to work, and back into society.

Rural Life

Although much of Great Britain’s population did leave the countryside to reap the benefits of industrialization, village life did not come to an end.

Farming was still very much a part of life in Victorian Britain. With the advent of steam-power, farm machinery was easier to use and made for a faster work day. Small gardens would supplement the family’s food supply.

Some villages would specialize in an industry. Lace-making was popular. Craftsman (blacksmiths, tanners, carpenters) could always be found in a rural setting.

To maintain the huge country estates of the wealthy, local villagers would provide the servant power during the season. Some rural folk would live on the estate throughout the year, often in conditions which were cramped.

In their own homes, rural life in Victorian England was concerned with the basics – cooking meals, mending clothes, and seeing that children received the education which was mandatory by 1880.

Article by “Tudor Rose”

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Steampunk Airship Crew #6

Having just returned from the amazing Wild Wild West Con 2, the Steampunk Convention at Old Tucson Studios, I have to put up more Steampunk pictures.  I had a great panel with myself, friends Patti Hulstrand and Chris Wilke.  Kudos to Diana, Jason, and Noe on throwing a great convention that was tons of fun.  Built up some wife points when I purchased Becky the whole set of original Con versions of Lady Mechanika – yes Joe Benitez was there!  They were all signed and packaged, but he was nice enough to further personalize each “to Becky.”  There was also a booth selling amazingly well made corsets for just $60.  My wife went to get one, feeling a bit guilty after I had already spoiled her, but unfortunately they did not have her size in the color she wanted.

I met so many amazing new people there is not really time to list them all.  Thanks again to those who invited me out as a guest to speak on a panel about Steampunk and writing!  Thanks also to Davina and Kathleen, who were there at the panel, and purchased The Travelers’ Club and the Ghost Ship!  I hope you enjoy it immensely!

Now, to the aircrew.  The ones in the desert are most likely from WWWC2.  I will be sprinkling them over time.  You are now ready to pick the crew and staff for your sixth airship in your burdgeoning fleet.  Do you want a merchant vessel, an explorer, a pirate ship, a military vessel, a ship for world domination, or other purposes?  Choose your crew wisely.  You cannot pick more than eight.

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