Transport Empire – Facebook Game


You can find this game on Facebook

Every once in awhile, you find something interesting in the side frame of Facebook. This game caught my eye because of the trains in the image. Love Trains… lots of trains… okay, so you get the picture.

The game focuses on three types of transportation – TE03

Trains (the first mode)

Then Steamboats

And finally airships.

While there is a good ‘tutorial’ of sorts. All it does is lead you through the first series of ‘quests/assignments.’ It’s helpful, don’t get me wrong, but you have to feel your way through when to buy new carriages to transport items/resources.

TE01The characters that talk to you, to assign quests and have their little small talk are pretty squarely Steampunk in their visual appearance.

I admit I don’t read their conversations… not a lot of storyline in the first few, so I just click the SKIP in the upper right hand corner.

TE04Another facet of the games are the towns connected by the railroad tracks and steamboat lines. In the towns are factories, markets, administration buildings, warehouses, and train stations.

Not sure how long I’m going to play this game. I want to get to the point where I can finally use the airships… after that, we’ll see.



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On the Radio – in the Ether with “Facing the Modern World”

airshipsautomatonscovercropThanks to some wonderful folks in the UK, my story Facing the Modern World from the Of Airships and Automatons Anthology has been produced as a Radio Serial

The first part of the story will be broadcast this Friday, August 14, 2015 at

21:00 UK

10:00 a.m. Hawaii Time – just click on the LISTEN NOW button

The following week, it will be on a podcast –

so excited!

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What’s in a Name…

An old friend of mine posted on his blog on the theme of ‘Naming Characters’ – You can find his post here Zombie Ranch – What’s in a Name

So, where do character names come from?

From the dark recesses of my mind… no, seriously.

Well, sort of seriously…

I’m going to tackle this in a few parts… including the ‘NOT how to NAME’ Characters issue. For this post I’ll deal with a little of both.

First, a disclaimer, I am a fan of Westerns.

“What?” You recoil in confusion. “But… but… you’re from Hawai’i… you’re Asian…”

“I know,” I sigh, long and suffering from the impossibility of it all, “how is that possible?”

louislamourcherokeetrailOne of my favorite books is “Cherokee Trail” written by Louis L’Amour. It’s been made a few times into TV movies/episodes, and I like a lot about it. Like the name of the lead male.
Temple Boone – nice. Temple – strong – long lived – mysterious Boone – ‘good’ – wild – strong (brings to mind Daniel)

A few other Names with interest:
Scant Luther – short – sub par – beneath – you can tell he’s not a hero
Wilbur Pattishal – Stage Driver – older – reliable – trail smart

Now for the names of the characters that I just… I just didn’t warm up to.

Mary Breydon- the main female – also “Mother” and “Mum” – She’s come to take over the running of the station from Scant
Peg – her daughter (short for Margaret)
Matty Maginnis – an Irish woman needing a job
Mark Stacey – the Stage Company agent

M – M – M M – M – That’s what stuck with me throughout the entire thing… TOO MANY M’s

The names all seemed to find the time period, but other than that, the repetition of Ms made it hard to separate the characters. My mind sometimes jumped to thinking about another character. Focus, reader, focus!

The ‘colorful’ names seem to be settled mostly on the male characters. The women have spark and interest in their actions, but there are quite a few scenes with Matty and Mary and *hangs head* it got old fast…

Still, I enjoyed the story… just wish the women had more to their names.

Hmmm… now, what other character names come to mind…

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International Pickle Week – May 14 – 25

pickles1So, it’s International pickle week!

I’m all for this holiday! Pickles were not something I enjoyed as a child, but thanks to an amazing woman and her inviting Cafe in Eagle Rock, CA… I love pickles! The Cafe was just a few streets down from my college and I discovered it one day when it was raining. The first pickle that caught me interest was the ‘bread and butter’ pickle. Delicious!

Take a moment and follow this link to the site for information on pickles.

OR – click on the Pickle Picture to visit another post from this site that has a period receipt for Pickles!

(Keep in mind that any receipt on this site is only for research purposes. I have not tested the taste or safety of the dishes.)

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Review from Dayreader Reviewer Niketa


Click on the link below to read the review for
Carried Away by Dayreader Niketa

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“Springing the Trap” – 3rd Place at The Were-Traveler

So kind of The Were-Traveler to mention me –
“Here are the ten stories that made it past the first round, and the top 3 stories are the winners. Congrats to Ray Dean for her 3rd place story: Springing the Trap. A damn good read. A bit Austen meets Poe.”

The Were-Traveler

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Limelight Definition from


a : a stage lighting instrument producing illumination by means of an oxyhydrogen flame directed on a cylinder of lime and usually equipped with a lens to concentrate the light in a beam
b : the white light produced by such an instrument

Click on either of the images below this to find information on the history of this Theater Device



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New Release – Gears, Gadgets & Steam Anthology

TT1GGS book cover20percent It’s live!

The new anthology from Harren Press is available.

Gears, Gadgets & Steam includes a short story of mine, “The Sound of Her Fury.”

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Ray Dean – Author “Gears, Gadgets, & Steam”

cowgirlauthorRay Dean
Name of Your Story: The Sound of Her Fury

A short summary of your story:

In one terrifying moment Mariette lost her entire world. Mother and father gone. What was left in her world was pain and a blinding rage that was easily turned to thoughts of revenge. Using her talents as a jeweler and adding in her father’s scientific knowledge, she puts her plans in motion.

Is this your first foray into Steampunk?

TT1GGS book cover20percentNo, but this is a genre that I really enjoy. I have five Steampunk stories published in anthologies and I’m always working on more…

What other stories are you writing?

I have several stories set in the Old West and a few others in various genres. Always looking for more ideas… and hoping for more time to get them done.

What are your writing plans for the rest of 2015?

Having just debuted a story in Kindle Worlds, I am working on a few more of those to keep the trend going.

I’m making a concerted effort to write more. I have several works in progress of Novel length stories and of course more shorts.



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R.A. McCandless – Author “Gears, Gadgets, & Steam”

RobHeadShotR.A. McCandless

The Name of Your Story:

Grenadiers and Dragon’s Fire

A short summary of your story:

Grenadiers and Dragon’s Fire engages gas lamp technology with fantastical elements bringing to vivid life airships and clockworks. The thrilling adventure of a battle charge up a fortified hill and into unknown danger. With nail-biting storytelling, R.A. McCandless has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

Is this your first foray into Steampunk?

TT1GGS book cover20percentNo.

if Yes, What inspired you to take on the genre?

if No, Where did the inspiration for this new Steampunk story come from?

Steampunk allows modern sensibilities coupled with the gilt, filigree and glamor of an era of adventure and exploration. Grenadiers and Dragon’s Fire delivers on the promise of a world filled with amazing advances in technology that allows for dragons and airships to make an appearance.

How is it different from your other Steampunk Stories?

I like any world where a woman is as strong or stronger that most of the men around. Personally, I prefer a woman who can go toe-to-toe and sword-to-sword with anyone else. I also prefer a gender-balanced society to those that have definite places based on clothing options. Grenadiers and Dragon’s Fire gives a look into what that world would look like. This short also provides a glimpse into the backstory of Constable Aubrey Hartmann, who starred in And into a Watery Grave from the In Shambles anthology.

What other stories are you writing?

Hell Becomes Her, a second angelpunk novel, is just wrapping up now. Constable Hartmann will return in a feature length book of her own, her first chronicled adventure under the gas lamps of Aqualinne. Finally, The Second Cut finishes the unknown history of Tomoe Gozen, historically the only female samurai.

What are your writing plans for the rest of 2015?

Telling a good story well and hitting some epic high note moments. It’s hard to not to get carried away from the reality of, say, a sword fight or a battle scene, and into the unrealistic. Keeping the physics of actions and reactions on target is something I really strive for and enjoy. This is especially enjoyable when readers catch the effort that went into making a fight scene exciting, but still within the realm of the real.

R.A. McCandless’ Website
R.A. McCandless’ Facebook

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