Archive | October, 2010

Monica Valentinelli

Free Halloween Flash Fiction

Posted on October 31, 2010 by

I am pleased to present you with a free flash fiction piece as my Halloween treat to you. This story is entitled “A Different Kind of Treat.” For more about my games, stories and books, visit www.mlwrites.com.

A Different Kind of Treat


Blood-red shafts of sunlight filter through a dirty cabin window, kissing a row of colorful glass bottles. One by one the bottles shine with anticipation as they reveal their grisly contents. Three eyes spin in a green flask; a pair of wings beats urgently in another.

“What’s that, Momma?” A child’s finger points to a jar of wrinkled entrails sitting high on a kitchen shelf. The boy, who stands about three feet tall, is covered in dust and flour. His skin is marred with muddy blisters.

Halloween Night | Courtesy of sxc.hu“Oh nothing special, Alwin,” Belinda replies airily as she pulls a frilly apron over her head. “Just something I cook with now and again. You hungry?”

“Want candy.” Alwin rubs his bloated stomach. “Chocolate, ‘specially.”

She flashes him a crooked grin and picks a small book off the burnished wood counter. Has it really been a year since she last used her recipe book?

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Nancy’s Brief Overview of Halloween

Posted on October 31, 2010 by

Flames Rising Reviewer Nancy Greene offers up a brief overview of Halloween. She shares a bit about Samhain and a few links to fiction and zines that are definitely worth checking out!

Halloween is a time for mythological creatures, figures of fantasies and nightmares. They walk the streets; they invade every corner of ordinary life. And over the past few years the popularity of the holiday has risen like a zombie out of a poorly-dug grave.

Here are some popular creatures of the holiday, as well as some brief (probably already well-known) info on the origins:

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Flames

Play Dirty: Happy Halloween

Posted on October 30, 2010 by

Just in time for Halloween, FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with advice on terrifying your players from veteran game designer John Wick. Games that John has designed recently include the Lovecraft-inspired CURSE OF THE YELLOW SIGN and HOUSES OF THE BLOODED. For more about John, visit his website located at John Wick Presents

Play Dirty: Happy Halloween

Every Halloween, I run Call of Cthulhu.

It’s a tradition. Something I’ve rarely broken. Every year, I dress up in my “Man in Black” outfit (black pants, black shirt, black vest, black jacket, black tie, black hat and Yellow Sign pin) and I tell a story of man’s futile attempts to understand the universe.

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Preston DuBose

Halloween and Fall Fest in Pinebox, Texas

Posted on October 29, 2010 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with a look at how the fictional small town of Pinebox, Texas celebrates Halloween. Dubbed “Fall Fest,” find out how these residents get into the spirit of the season. For more about Pinebox and the games and stories that take place there, visit 12 to Midnight.

Fall Fest in Pinebox, Texas

While East Texas lakes lure hordes of sport fishermen every Summer, most travelers find Autumn the best time to visit the region. By October, one or more cold fronts have swept through the lower states and pushed out the high humidity and higher temperatures. Temperate weather makes it easier to enjoy the beautiful piney woods, the lakes, and “local flavor.”

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Jason Thorson

I “Heart” Haunted Houses: Confessions of a Self-Proclaimed Hauntophile

Posted on October 28, 2010 by

Creepy House | Abandoned House by Night_Fight at sxc.huI’m a fan of most Halloween activities, but there’s one that I hold a little nearer and dearer than the rest.  I love visiting haunted attractions!  When done well they’re fully immersive, interactive, and live action horror stories – the ultimate sensory stimulation and overall inspiration for horror fans and horror artists alike.  My enthusiasm for the haunt manifested at an early age.  I grew up in Beloit, Wisconsin – the quintessential post-industrial Midwestern city.  Not a lot to do, but when October shambled around every year my fellow citizens got outright giddy about celebrating the time of year when everything dies, and frankly, resembled more closely our lovely little city.

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JLaSala

The Foreshadows Equation, Part 2

Posted on October 27, 2010 by

Foreshadows: The Ghosts of Zero is a 19-story anthology of dark science fiction intertwined with a 19-track album of songs and soundtrack music, created collaboratively by a veritable shadow gallery of speculative fiction authors and musicians, under the banner of the Very Us Artists, to be published by Blindsided Books.

In this essay, editor and author Jeff LaSala tells us what sort of stories are contained therein…

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Flames

Pariah Preview and Artwork

Posted on October 27, 2010 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with a preview of modern horror zombie novel PARIAH, by author and artist Bob Fingerman. Bob wrote an essay for us entitled “Confessions of a Boy Fraidy Cat where he talked about his personal experiences with the horror genre as a kid. Today, Bob offers us original artwork and a preview of his zombie novel PARIAH, which was released from Tor Books.

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Top 10 Halloween Songs and Soundtracks

Posted on October 26, 2010 by

FlamesRising.com contributor Eric Pollarine blogs about horror music and horror artists in this colorful post about his top ten Halloween songs, albums and soundtracks.

It’s time for Halloween again, that most special of holidays for nerds, RPG folks, fan boys, Goth kids, and freak shows such as us, where we are able to come out come out from wherever we normally hide and celebrate openly, without fear of persecution, our collective weirdness. From the food court in the mall to the back room of the comic shop, from our mother’s basement to the diner down the street, no-not that one, the other one down the street.

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Shanghai Vampocalypse Player’s Guide (Savage Worlds) RPG Review

Posted on October 26, 2010 by

What do you give the Savage Worlds’ character who has everything? In an earlier review, I suggested Suzerain, which permits players to take their characters to the demigod level and opens up, well, all the other game books on the bookshelf at home. This is becoming quite the trend as massive gaming collections fail to the get love they deserve. Eden’s under-appreciated Odyssey Prime tried this (with D20 and Unisystem no less). John Wick has an interesting take on it with his Flux game while Suzerain tries to work from one system (Savage Worlds) to make all the setting fit into place. The designers at Savage Mojo could have stopped with the core book, leaving readers to fend for themselves; however, they instead have created a series of settings intended for demigod powerhouses. To paraphrase the game, fighting a few vampires is good work for a hero. Fighting an army of vampires is what you get when you attain Suzerain status.

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Flames

White Wolf Halloween Sale!

Posted on October 25, 2010 by

Halloween is coming and White Wolf is celebrating with a huge sale on tons of titles. Calling all trick-or-treaters!

Have we got a sweet deal for you! If you love games that go bump in the night, then grab your flashlight and slink on over to check out White Wolf Publishing’s Halloween Sale!

This sale includes Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Hunter: the Reckoning, Demon: the Fallen and more! Enjoy twenty-five percent off books from the original World of Darkness. What a treat!

Sale ends on Halloween so don’t wait until the last minute. Break out your fangs, your claws and your dice today! Check out all of the titles on sale at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop!

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alanajoli

What Book to Wear for Halloween

Posted on October 25, 2010 by

I remember thinking when the Harry Potter series was drawing to a conclusion that Halloween was changed forever. After all, who in their right mind would just be a generic witch anymore? With the wizarding world so well known via J. K. Rowling, being a regular ol’ witch would be so passé — get out those graduation robes and a scarf, and you’re officially a wizard or witch associated with his or her house from the old alma mater, Hogwarts. While working in a bookstore cafe, I wore my Gryffindor colors proudly — not because I would test out as a Gryffindor (nearly every Sorting Hat application on the Internet puts me in Hufflepuff), mind you, but because the colors were easier to find in my own wardrobe. I went with a necktie instead of a scarf, which I wore with a v-neck jumper and black pants. Close enough to a school uniform to pass, I’d say!

But to be perfectly honest, I’ve been dressing up as characters from books and movies for a long time.

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Flames

Have a Spooky Halloween with Sony Online Entertainment’s Online Games

Posted on October 25, 2010 by

Sony Online Entertainment will be summoning the spirits, spooks and skeletons with the upcoming Halloween-themed activities and in-game events taking place in several of its hit online titles including, Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Free Realms™, EverQuest, EverQuest II and Star Wars Galaxies.

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures: Sith O’Lanterns and Battle Droid Scarecrows have taken over the Jedi Temple! The inaugural Halloween celebration in Clone Wars Adventures adds plenty of creepy-crawlies around the virtual world. Players can participate in the daily Mask Handout to collect a new iconic mask each day, including Yoda, Jar Jar Binks, Padmé and Grievous! Players can also dress up their characters and droids and decorate their houses with festive items available for purchase in the Marketplace. R2-D2’s Rocket Rescue minigame celebrates with a special spooky Halloween-themed level, complete with a ghost costume for R2-D2. Clone Wars Adventures Halloween celebration is scheduled to begin October 22 and run through November 5. Live in-game Halloween “Emissary Events” are scheduled for October 27 and 29 and November 5 at 3 PM PST/6 PM EST.

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Flames

History of the Tarot: Part Three – Modern Day

Posted on October 24, 2010 by

Halloween is right around the corner, and many people read tarot cards to celebrate the holiday. In this three-part series of articles, FlamesRising.com turned to tarot card expert Paula Dempsey to talk about the history of the tarot. In the last article of this series, Paula discusses tarot and how we use and think about it in our modern day.

The History of Tarot: Modern Day

Finally, this whistlestop tour of the tarot brings us to the twenty first century. My question for modern times is: Is the tarot still truly occult? There are hundreds, possibly thousands of modern tarot packs, many of which are easily obtained from bookstores or online retailers. Books on how to read the cards may be borrowed from public libraries and tarot courses are offered in most cities. For those uncomfortable with the occult connotations, there is even a Jesus Deck.

The broken-hearted or inquisitive amongst us can phone or text a tarot hotline at any time of the day or night and instantly get an answer to “Does she love me?” or “Will I get that great new job?”

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Flames

The History of the Tarot: Part Two – Occult Revival

Posted on October 23, 2010 by

Halloween is right around the corner, and many people read tarot cards to celebrate the holiday. In this three-part series of articles, FlamesRising.com turned to tarot card expert Paula Dempsey to talk about the history of the tarot. In this first article, she discussed its mysterious origins. Today, she talks about the occult revival.

The History of Tarot: Occult Revival

The late 18th century saw Western society immersed in the Age of Enlightenment and on the verge of the Industrial Revolution. Paradoxically, this era of scientific rationalism also saw a rebirth of magical traditions. Druidry was reinvented in Great Britain by William Stukely and others. The end of the Witch-craze in Europe and the USA meant that those claiming to practice magic could do so without fearing a noose around their necks and to many, magic had an undeniable romance to it.

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Flames

The History of the Tarot: Part One – Origins

Posted on October 22, 2010 by

Did you know that Halloween is a popular time of year for divination? One way that many people celebrate the holiday is to have their tarot cards read. In this three-part series of articles, FlamesRising.com turned to tarot card expert Paula Dempsey to talk about the history of the tarot. In this first article, she discusses its mysterious origins.

The History of Tarot: Origins

Once Upon a Time…

… in 48BCE to be exact, when the Roman Empire was at its height and Julius Caesar’s troops laid siege to the Egyptian city of Alexandria. The custodians of the Royal Library of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, knew they didn’t have much time before enemy forces broke through and destroyed their precious scrolls forever. Fortunately they had made a plan. Decks of cards were small and portable, so they prepared special decks rich in symbolism carrying much of the spiritual and magical guidance from the Library, if one knew how to read them.

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Fluorescent Black Graphic Novel Review

Posted on October 22, 2010 by

A visceral ride through a bio-punk future where life is cheap and death is the only way out. Welcome to 2085, the year of the rabbit. Fluorescent Black takes the reader into the hard-hitting dark future of South East Asia where gene-tech has divided humankind into two races: the rich, healthy Superiors and the sick, crazy Inferiors. These two races live in neighboring cities separated by a heavily fortified border. A superior named Nina is the test model for cutting edge genetic designs. She is a paragon of physical and mental health: her brain and body represent billions of dollars worth of corporate research and development. During a bio-terrorist attack, Nina is kidnapped by a street gang and taken across the border into a ghetto full of man-made splice animals, psychopathic hookers, drug addled freaks, deadly insects, poisonous ecosystems, and abandoned tenements. When the corporations tighten their dragnet, the gang quickly discovers that this is no ordinary captive… but she may be the key to solving all of their problems.

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Monica Valentinelli

Free Halloween Movies at Crackle.com

Posted on October 21, 2010 by

Crackle.com Halloween Movie CollectionCan’t wait for Halloween? Love scary movies as much as I do? Here’s a way to watch horror movies for free!

Get a head start on celebrating all things spooky by checking out the broad selection of free horror movies for Halloween at Crackle.com. Every year this legal, free movie site hand-picks a special Halloween collection of horror flicks for you to enjoy.

In addition to their broad selection of free horror films, this year Crackle.com’s Halloween movie collection includes over twenty-five movies.

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Flames

DriveThruComics.com to Support Pakistan Flood Relief with Digital Comics Charity Bundle

Posted on October 20, 2010 by

DriveThruComics.com, the first digital comics retailer, announced today that it is supporting the flood relief efforts of Doctors Without Borders by offering a charity
bundle of digital comics and e-books. For a $10 donation, customers will receive $170 worth of products. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the charity bundle will be donated to Pakistan flood relief.

“We’re happy to have this chance to help out a great cause like Doctors Without Borders. ” said Matt M McElroy, Publisher Relations Manager for DriveThruComics.com. “We have some very cool titles from a variety of publishers donated for this bundle.”

The DriveThru sites, which includes digital gaming retailer DriveThruRPG.com, raised over $175,000 for the Haitian Earthquake relief efforts earlier this year. DriveThru has renewed its commitment to Doctors Without Borders because of their tireless dedication to provide medical assistance and aid all over the world.

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Eleven Twenty Three Review

Posted on October 20, 2010 by

Former high school history teacher Layne Prescot and his girlfriend Tara are returning home from teaching English in China for Laynes’ father’s funeral. While they wait to board the next flight back to his sleepy and economically depressed hometown of Lilly’s End, Florida they meet a mysterious “professional courier” named Mr. Scott, and from there the adventure, terror and conspiracies are just beginning. Because on arrival back home they find that the mysterious man has left Layne his briefcase, and at exactly 11:23 the townspeople start going mad and committing unspeakable acts of violence towards both the people they love and themselves. While the two and their friends try to find a way out they quickly realize that the town has come under strict quarantine, been cut off from the outside world and that death isn’t picky.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Discussing Gauntlgrym with author R.A. Salvatore and Contest!

Posted on October 19, 2010 by

Drizzt joins Bruenor on his quest for the fabled dwarven kingdom of Gauntlgrym: ruins said to be rich with ancient treasure and arcane lore. But before they even get close, another drow and dwarf pair stumbles across it first: Jarlaxle and Athrogate. In their search for treasure and magic, Jarlaxle and Athrogate inadvertently set into motion a catastrophe that could spell disaster for the unsuspecting people of the city of Neverwinter—a catastrophe big enough to lure even the mercenary Jarlaxle into risking his own coin and skin to stop it. Unfortunately, the more they uncover about the secret of Gauntlgrym, the more it looks like they can’t stop it on their own. They’ll need help, and from the last people they ever thought to fight alongside again: Drizzt and Bruenor.

In this interview, FlamesRising.com editor-in-chief Matt M. McElroy sits down with best-selling author R.A. Salvatore to discuss his new book entitled GAUNTLGRYM. After the interview, uncover a vital clue to help you win a contest for a signed copy of the book and a trip for two to D&D Experience in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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