Author | Matt-M-McElroy

Matt-M-McElroy

Matt acts as the “Editor-in-Chief” of Flames Rising, which usually means writing reviews, setting up interviews, posting news and checking out the latest Horror & Dark Fantasy products from a variety of publishers. He also recruits reviewers, posts previews and works with publishers to explore new ideas for promoting the genre.

Matt occasionally dabbles in freelance writing and game design. Recently he worked on the Ghostories Enhancement Pack for Precis Intermedia and the novella "Time to Burn" in the Tales of the Seven Dogs Society collection from Abstract Nova Entertainment.


Matt-M-McElroy

Dresden Files Audio Promotion!

Posted on January 14, 2009 by

We have a special deal for our readers today!

Buzzy Multimedia is offering 10% off any purchase to Flames Rising fans for a limited time. Drop by the Buzzy website to check out some very cool deals on Dresden Files audio books read by James Marsters (Spike from Buffy: the Vampire Slayer).

Get 10% off any purchase at the Buzzy Multimedia Store until February 28th. Simply type “FR10” in the coupon code section during your checkout to get the deal.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Interview with Artist Jeff Preston

Posted on January 6, 2009 by

Jeff Preston has been working in the RPG industry as a freelance illustrator and concept artist for several years. His art has been featured in products released by Chaosium, Atlas Games, Catalyst Game Labs and many others.

Recently Jeff was one of the featured artists in the Halloween Horror series here at Flames Rising. Jeff has also been busy working on some of the Shroud products with the folks at One Bad Egg.

I recently had the chance to ask Jeff a few questions about his work…

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Matt-M-McElroy

Happy New Year!

Posted on January 2, 2009 by

Happy New Year to the Horror and Dark Fantasy fans of Flames Rising! We had a great 2008 that included: Winning a Silver ENnie at GenCon. October’s monstrous Halloween Horror series. A collection of fantastic Design Essays from several creators. The launch of the Reviewer Rewards Program. Tons of Reviews, Interviews and a whole lot […]

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Matt-M-McElroy

After Twilight Fiction Review

Posted on January 1, 2009 by

After twilight, when the morning comes and the sun rises, will anyone be left alive?

Travis Adkins follows up Twilight of the Dead with a new adventure for the surviving Black Berets and the citizens of the walled town of Eastpointe. This book picks up the very next morning and continues the story after the characters confrontation with the mad Dr. Dane from the previous novel.

I’m going probably going to have some major spoilers in this review, so don’t read any further if you want to discover these story elements on your own. You’ve been warned…

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Matt-M-McElroy

Matt’s Horror Book Gift Ideas for 2008

Posted on December 17, 2008 by

Buying books for avid readers is never easy, they often head out and scoop up their favorite authors as soon as new books hit the shelves. So, what do you get them for the holidays? They probably already have the latest Stephen King hardcover or Briane Keene paperback. The trick is to turn them on to new authors and get them hooked on titles they might not see on the shelves at the local bookstore.

Let’s take a look at a few 2008 titles that I think every horror fan should have on their shelves.

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Matt-M-McElroy

A World Torn Asunder Review

Posted on December 11, 2008 by

A World Torn Asunder is the first book in the Vampire Apocalypse series by Derek Gunn. Secretly vampires have existed alongside humanity for generations, hunting and killing from the shadows. A series of events, including a fuel shortage, allows the vampires to step out of the dark corners of modern society and forcibly take over vast areas of the world. They and their minions slaughter any humans that resist and build caged cities for the rest.

This book focuses on the efforts of a small group of resistance fighters that hope to stage a last-ditch attack on the local vampire lord and rescue some of the citizens trapped behind the walls of the city. They face a number of threats, including the minions of the vampires, called Thralls, who have superior weapons and some supernatural abilities.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Backup (Dresden Files) Fiction Review

Posted on December 8, 2008 by

One of the great elements of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series is the large cast of interesting characters that Harry Dresden encounters throughout his adventures. Friends, foes and fellow wizards make up a variety of supernatural (and a few “normal”) beings in the Dresden-verse. One of the most interesting characters is Harry’s half-brother Thomas Raith, who also happens to be a vampire.

Although the marketing for this tale makes claims of it being a novella, I’d have to say it is more of a short story with great art. Without the fancy hardcover or the illustrations by Mignolla this would fit just fine in one of the urban fantasy anthologies we’ve seen other Dresden Files tales in (My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding for example).

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Matt-M-McElroy

Abstract Nova’s $10 Sale!

Posted on December 1, 2008 by

Abstract Nova is having a huge sale on some very cool products that you should not miss out on. For the next few days, stop by the store page over at Key20.com and get these books for only $10!

Exquisite Replicas

Exquisite Replicas is a role-playing game of paranoia and horror where intolerable choices collide with the fragile hope of what it means to be human. The war must be won, but it is up to the players to decide at what cost.

Read Monica Valentinelli’s Initiation to Exquisite Replicas design notes right here at Flames Rising for a behind the scenes look at the writing. We also have a detailed Review for more information.

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Matt-M-McElroy

A Dirty World and Reign by Greg Stolze

Posted on November 26, 2008 by

Author and game designer Greg Stolze has two new products available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop. First up is Reign – A fantasy game of dominion and leadership. I picked this book up at GenCon 2007 after an entertaining demo run by the Mr. Stolze himself. It uses the One Roll Engine, so if […]

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Matt-M-McElroy

Firstworld “wovel” by Jemiah Jefferson

Posted on November 21, 2008 by

Underland Press has the first few pages of Jemiah Jefferson’s “wovel” up on their website:

Firstworld

Like me, you were probably wonder “What the hell is a wovel?” Conveniently enough, they have a What is a Wovel? page just for us. The author posts part of the story the readers vote and things continue from there. They make claims that it is the first of its kind, but I’m not so sure that is true (for one example, Tim Buckley from Ctrl+Alt+Del did the Idiots in Space series earlier this year).

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Matt-M-McElroy

The Knight Strikes in Winter

Posted on November 18, 2008 by

Fans of E. E. Knight, author of the Vampire Earth and Age of Fire series, have some new books to look forward to.

First up is book four of the Age of Fire:

Three dragon siblings are among the last of a dying breed, and the final hope for their species’ survival. AuRon, Wistala, and Copper find themselves at odds over the coming human war. AuRon thinks dragons should have no part in the affairs of humans. Wistala believes dragons and man can peacefully co-exist. And Copper has designs of his own on the world.

And the civilized humans who have turned to Copper for assistance against their savage enemies have just given him the perfect opportunity to fulfill his plans…

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Matt-M-McElroy

Cthulhu Rises…and rolls some dice.

Posted on November 17, 2008 by

It is a good time to be a Cthulhu Gamer. Lots of very cool new stuff has hit the shelves in the last couple of weeks. I did a review of the new Cthulhu Rising board game from Twilight Creations last week.

The fun does not stop there, the Great Old One has been spotted all over the gaming world recently…

Everyone knows I’m a big fan of Skirmisher Publishing’s Cthulhu Live series and we have a handful of reviews on the site including The Old Man of Damascus and the 3rd Edition Core Book.

Well they just came out with a new script called Sight Unseen, which looks very, very cool.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Justin Achilli’s Demimonde Now Available!

Posted on November 16, 2008 by

Game Designer and author, Justin Achilli, (Vampire, Changeling, Scion) has a new novel available now at DriveThruFantasy.com. Sex, drugs, and theological schisms…. Demimonde is the story of Brandon Arthur, a freelance industrial designer whose introduction to a glitzy, invisible subculture precedes a holy war that tears this secret society asunder. As the conflict worsens, Brandon […]

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Matt-M-McElroy

Torches and Pitchforks Card Game Review

Posted on November 10, 2008 by

The Card Game of Monster Movie Mayhem!

This is a funny card game from Green Ronin with spoofs on various horror classics ranging from Frankenstein to Dracula with ghosts, beasts and other monsters mixed in to keep things interesting. The local townsfolk team up to destroy these monsters and deal with mayhem along the way.

There are three decks in this game, Townsfolk (representing the local “citizens” that are battling the monsters), Mob (including weapons, actions and other enhancements) and Monster (which also includes events that are often detrimental to the heroes).

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Matt-M-McElroy

Worlds of Their Own Fiction Review

Posted on November 7, 2008 by

Fans of “shared world” fiction will find many of their favorite authors in this collection, however they won’t find any characters from Forgotten Realms or Warhammer here. This collection is all “creator owned” and explores new worlds by these authors. Some of them have been expanded into other works such as RPGs (Demon Wars and Reign for example). These stories have appeared before in various magazines or anthologies over the years, but it is pretty cool to have them all collected together in one volume.

I read Jeremy Jones’ interview with James Lowder back in June and was immediately hooked on the concept of the book.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Cthulhu Rising Game Review

Posted on November 6, 2008 by

The stars are right and the time has come to summon Cthulhu from the watery depths…

A new fast play game from Twilight Creations feature the classic theme of cultists vs. investigators for two players. This particular game is quick to learn and plays pretty fast. The entire rules fit on a single sheet explaining different turns and victory conditions for each side.

The game board is simple with some fairly classic Lovecraft-inspired artwork.

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Matt-M-McElroy

David Wellington Interview

Posted on October 29, 2008 by

David Wellington is the author of several successful horror novels, short stories and web serials. The Monster Island zombie series and 13 Bullets vampire fiction are very popular with horror fans, who can’t wait to see what happens next.

Vampire Zero, the third book featuring Laura Caxton and Jameson Arkeley was recently released. I had the chance to talk to David a bit about the story and some of his other projects.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Halloween Horror: Lost Girl

Posted on October 22, 2008 by

My own contribution (with a little help from Brad McDevitt) to the Halloween Horror series is available today. I decided to take the “ghost story” and give it a little bit of an edge. There is more to this tale if folks are interested. You’ll have to let me know…

What are ghosts afraid of?

Lost Girl

Created by Matt M McElroy
With art by Brad McDevitt

“This one here, the blue folder…” the boss had said while pointing to the files on his desk.

I remember picking it up from the stack and flipping through it while the boss rambled on about how things used to be in the city, something about respect and a hard days’ work, I honestly don’t remember at this point.

What else do you remember from that day?

Well, um, I think there were a couple of witness statements and some scans of old newspaper articles. Nothing conclusive. I do remember looking up when the boss turned away from the window to tell me something else.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Munchkin Bites 2: Pants Macabre Review

Posted on October 21, 2008 by

Plenty of new cards, bad jokes and all, are included in this expansion for the Munchkin Bites card game from Steve Jackson Games. The set we got did not have any additional rules for the game and we did not run into any problems with the new cards (after all the information on the cards usually explains everything you need to know).

Expanding on the jokes in the core box, Pants Macabre has plenty of puns from horror films and horror RPGs (and LARPing). Most of the jokes are fairly predictable, but worth a good laugh if the player manages to add a little style to the delivery.

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Matt-M-McElroy

Rose-Bride’s Plight RPG Review

Posted on October 15, 2008 by

The Rose-Bride’s Plight is a new adventure for Changeling: the Lost from White Wolf Publishing. Written by Jess Hartley and Developed by Eddy Webb.

This particular adventure can be run as a stand alone game or worked into an ongoing chronicle. There are tips and tricks provided for both types of games including suggestions for connecting existing characters to members of the local Courts and possible motivations for getting involved in local events.

This adventure contains some new materials that will be useful for Lost games beyond this particular story, including a new system element, Unwitting Pledges, as well as a new Goblin Fruit, The Myrsina.

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11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

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