Archive | May, 2009

Chapter One of Amazon Ink by Lori Devoti

Posted on May 31, 2009 by

Meet Mel: Business owner. Dedicated mom. Natural-born Amazon.

It’s been ten years since Melanippe Saka left the Amazon tribe in order to create a normal life for her daughter, Harmony. True, running a tattoo parlor in Madison, Wisconsin while living with your Amazon warrior mother and priestess grandmother is not everyone’s idea of normal, but Mel thinks she’s succeeded at blending in as human.

Turns out she’s wrong. Someone knows all about her, someone who’s targeting young Amazon girls, and no way is Mel is going to let Harmony become tangled in this deadly web…

Flames Rising is proud to present the first chapter of Amazon Ink written by Lori Devoti. Lori wanted to express that she’s very excited about the debut of Amazon Ink and wanted to thank her readers for their support. When we asked Lori about what readers can look forward to, she said that you’ll read about “the story of a woman coming to grips with who she is while battling an unknown and deadly adversary. Plus magic and action and some truly tough chicks of all ages.”

We hope you enjoy the first chapter of Amazon Ink!


Free Preview of Buried Tales of Pinebox

Posted on May 30, 2009 by

People often say that there are no such things as monsters. They are wrong. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and other unnamable horrors co-exist with us. Watching us. Using us. Preying upon us.

Welcome to Pinebox, a sleepy little East Texas town with a lot more than its share of trouble. Whether it’s the haunted diner luring weary travelers, the unexplained ‘alligator attacks”, or the crone who just might be hexing neighborhood kids, trouble always seems to be hidden just below the surface. Buried, but not forgotten.

Unearth these tales of rurral horror from a dozen voices of the macabre—including David Wellington, Derek Gunn, Shane Lacy Hensley, and more.

The Buried Tales preview is available for free at


Drag Me To Hell Movie Review

Posted on May 29, 2009 by

Always treat others how you like to be treated, or else you will get a sinister Gypsy curse placed upon you. Within 3 days your life turns to hell, and then you go to there.

The movie tells the story of Christine (Lohman), a young loan officer who is struggling to get a promotion at her bank. She faces stiff competition from Stu (Reggie Lee), a conniving trainee who wants the same assistant manager position Christine wants. When the opportunity comes to make a decision that will help her career, she decides to foreclose on Mrs. Ganush’s house. Mrs. Ganush (Lorna Raver) believes Christine has shamed her by refusing to help her keep her home, and stalks Christine to her car. After an over the top fight scene involving car crashes, a fist fight involving office equipment, and a vicious gumming at the hands of Mrs. Ganush (you read that right), she places a curse upon Christine, calling on the Lamia to exact her revenge.

Review by John D. Kennedy


Martial Power RPG Review

Posted on May 28, 2009 by

The Introduction begins by discussing the true tools of a warrior: not so much his weapons and armour, but his skills and techniques. The best fighters may even be know for a particular style or manoeuvre that has become a trademark. This book is laid out so as to help you to develop such a character, one tailored to the style you wish him to have. Each of the martial character classes – fighter, ranger, rogue, and warlord – has a chapter dedicated to honing characters of that class, and the book rounds out with a massive listing of new feats which may be used to good effect. While some players may take the opportunity to build a new character from the bottom up using these resources, allowance has also been made for those who wish to revise existing martial characters in the light of what is written here.


Blood: The Last Vampire Live Action First Five Minutes

Posted on May 27, 2009 by

CthuluTech RPG Review

Posted on May 26, 2009 by

In Jaws, Roy Scheider’s character tells us that “we’re gonna need a bigger boat.” That is
the chief message underlying CthulhuTech. We’ll explore the meaning of this later on. The Cthulhu mythos has seen some amazing variations since it’s conception nearly thirty years ago. The core rules evolved through six editions, not including solid side ventures like Delta Green. One of the hallmarks of these games is the sheer horror that comes when facing something you, well, can’t really beat. Chuck your stick of dynamite, hope you blow it up before you blow your sanity roll, and get the heck out of Dodge. I’ve always felt that these games were the Anti-Dungeons and Dragons based simply on the bleak outlook of the mythos and the mindset of the players.

Review by Todd Cash


Slasher Flick – Horror Island Now Available!

Posted on May 25, 2009 by

Spectrum Games is pleased to announce the release of Horror Island, the initial adventure for the Slasher Flick RPG.

When a group of young adults travel to a supposedly deserted island for some fun and partying, they find out that the island is anything BUT deserted. Someone or something is watching their every move and starts killing them off one by one.

Horror Island is a full adventure for Slasher Flick. Included are maps, handouts and a ready-to-play group of characters to use. Presented as a late night televised movie, the book is as much fun to read as it is to play!


Orgy of Souls Chapter One Preview

Posted on May 25, 2009 by

Twenty souls for his brother’s life is a price that seductively beautiful Samson is willing to pay. Twenty souls drenched in blood, powdered with cocaine and more than one kind of ecstasy. A fair trade for the life of a brother. A fair trade for the life of a priest. And everyone he meets seems so willing to give theirs away. Samuel’s faith often wavers. Diagnosed with HIV and in rapid decline, he hides his disillusionment in the rituals of the priesthood. But when Samson brings him the first blood-signed contract for a young woman’s immortal soul, the steamy world of high fashion male models and the quiet decay of a sickly priest begin to writhe against the realities of life, death, and otherworldly power. Brotherly love is a deadly seduction, beauty a dangerous game. Come worship in the brutal temple of Orgy of Souls. Your faith will never be the same again.

Apex Publications has sent us the first chapter of Wrath James White and Maurice Broaddus’ Orgy of Souls novel to preview for free here at Flames Rising. In January Maurice Broaddus wrote a design essay for us called Religion and Horror about working on this book, be sure to check it out once you’ve read the preview.


2000 AD: Prog 1633 Comic Review

Posted on May 25, 2009 by

Comic anthologies are always tricky business, as you are never sure as to what you are going to get. You might pick up a comic because you love one character and want to read more about them, but be disappointed by the rest. Particularly troublesome is when the anthology features stories that are as widely varied as those found in 2000 AD. There are war stories, crime dramas, and even a space opera tale.

2000 AD, which has been in operation since 1977, has provided a look into alternate futures and new universes for more than 30 years. It still publishes classic characters such as Judge Dredd while occasionally publishing new characters as well. Many famous comic writers have worked for 2000 AD, including Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Grant Morrison.

Review by John D. Kennedy


“Bone Chiller” Wins Bronze Independent Publisher Book Award

Posted on May 22, 2009 by

bonechillercover-ippyBone Chiller, a comic anthology penned by R.M. Heske with illustrations by indie horror’s leading and emerging artists, received a Bronze medal at the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Horror category. The 140-page trade paperback published by Heske Horror features spine-tingling tales from the critcally acclaimed series Cold Blooded Chillers: Tales of suburban murder and malice.

The Independent Publisher Book Awards (the “IPPY” awards) are conducted annually to honor the year’s best independently published titles. This year’s awards attracted 4,090 entries throughout the US and Canada, plus most English-speaking countries worldwide. Past IPPY award success stories include The Millionaire Next Door, a winner in the inaugural 1997 awards contest, which has sold more than 2.5 million copies and spawned off-shoots including The Millionaire Mind.


Madison Games Day May 30th, 2009!

Posted on May 22, 2009 by

Play New Games. Meet New People.

Madison Games Day is a chance for gamers in and around the Madison, Wisconsin area to meet new people and play new games. Bring your friends, bring your game group, but while you’re here, sit at a table with folks you barely know—or don’t know at all—and try some games that you haven’t played before but maybe have always wanted to.

We invite everyone in the area (or willing to make the trek) to come and play some games! There will be indie and mainstream roleplaying games, card games, and board games. If you have something you’d like to play, bring it!


Horus Heresy: Mechanicum Review

Posted on May 22, 2009 by

This is Book Nine of the Black Library Horus Heresy series, the second novel of the series by Graham McNeill.

Thus far I have read the entire series. The series is overall exceptional; easily the best work but out by Black Library to date. There have been a few small “bumps” along the road. I point to Descent of Angels as the low point of the series as far as catching and holding my attention as well as staying true to the feel of the other books.

My favorites of the series so far are Flight of the Eisenstein by James Swallow and Legion by Dan Abnett. My reasons? The former is a standalone that neatly dove-tails in to the previous novels: the latter is a standalone that really challenged my own personal bias (I’ve always loathed the Alpha Legion).

Review by Jeff Preston


Witchblade #127 Comic Review

Posted on May 21, 2009 by

When I said that the “War of the Witchblades” arc might be a good place to start reading Witchblade, I was wrong.

It’s a great place to start reading Witchblade.

Now that we’re in the third issue of the arc, things are really starting to come together. The Angelus Force still hasn’t picked a host, but we see that one of the Angelus is really jonesing to be the one who will become the Angelus incarnate. But while this Angelus is the leader of the Angelus warriors — winged creatures that are similar to humans but with supernatural gifts — she’s not what you’d call a role model for the forces of good. She shows no pity, no mercy, and no patience — instead, she seems so arrogant and certain that she is destined to be the host to the Angelus that it’s certain to pass her by for someone more humble.


Blood Drive – A New Adventure for Hunter: the Vigil

Posted on May 20, 2009 by

Everything is blood.

The heartland gushes. Highways like arteries. The map darkens with spreading red. At night, it’s all a great big bloody nowhere, a yawning mouth, a hungry shadow. And you have to cross it. It feels like a bad dream. It is a bad dream. This can’t be real. This can’t be what they want you to do. Of course, you know as soon as you wake up it doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t stop the fact that tomorrow night, this dream you’re having right now becomes really real, and let’s face it, you’re probably going to die out there.

Blood Drive is available at the Flames Rising RPGNow Shop.


The Revenants Theatrical Play Review

Posted on May 20, 2009 by

revenants_final_smChicago’s Wildclaw Theatre company takes, as its mission, the restoration of horror to its rightful place on the stage. Its previous productions include theatrical adaptations of Arthur Machen’s “The Great God Pan” and H.P. Lovecraft’s “Dreams in the Witch House,” showing a solid grounding in the classics. Their newest show is the Midwest premiere of Scott T. Barsotti’s The Revenants, a drama of love and zombies.

Without spoilering anything, I can say that the play is a thoroughly successful melding of the relationship drama and the zombie apocalypse; neither component was bolted on after the fact, and each provides vital momentum and plot turns for the other. WildClaw’sWitch House also concerned apocalypse, though interestingly a less personal — and more cataclysmic — one than Lovecraft’s story. It, also, featured a relationship drama, although one cast as a parallel investigation; a despairing Thin Man story wherein Nick and Nora meet only for the catastrophe.


Opposing Top Cow Teams Collide: Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1

Posted on May 19, 2009 by

Top Cow ChoiTop Cow Productions, Inc. proudly announced today the crossover of Cyberforce and Hunter-Killer. Slated for a July 2009 release, Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1 is the first in a six issue limited series that pits each team against the other in a conflict. The event follows hot on the heels of the recent events of Fusion, which crossed Cyberforce and Hunter-Killer against Marvel Comics’ Avengers and Thunderbolts.

Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer #1 is written by Mark Waid, who co-created Hunter-Killer with Top Cow CEO and founder Marc Silvestri in 2005. Artistic duties will be performed by Kenneth Rocafort, (Madame Mirage, Pilot Season: The Core) who drew the final four issues of the initial Hunter-Killer season.


World of Darkness: Armory Review

Posted on May 19, 2009 by

In the world of darkness your character may come equipped with fangs, claws, immense strength or dark sorceries with which to engage in combat, but there will always come that time when the weapons and equipment you carry are going to save your life (or unlife as the case may be). This book purports to provide all the supplies that you might need.

It starts with an evocative description of a gunfight when some cops investigating a murder have a run-in with someone decidedly more than human, demonstrating both the strengths and weaknesses of gunplay in the World of Darkness. Then, the Introduction talks about the roles of equipment and weapons – not as a substitute for your own intelligence and skills, but as an adjunct to them. Wise words for any character venturing out into the World of Darkness, human or not.


The Strain Fiction Review

Posted on May 18, 2009 by

Why did I read this book? Because (1) I was fortunate enough to acquire an advanced copy, (2) it’s about vampires, and (3) one of the authors is Guillermo. Del Toro! That’s right, the acclaimed and quixotic director of movies like Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy 2, The Orphanage…and in a few years the much-anticipated The Hobbit.

Here’s the thing. The Strain is a vampire book, and with that comes certain assumptions; I was initially dismayed by this fact, because while I love vampires I’m not always happy with the way they’re portrayed. In fact, I wish the back cover copy of this book didn’t come right out and mention vampires precisely because it doesn’t feel like a vampire story most of the time and it would have been a nice surprise once I’d realized it. But I wasn’t disappointed. Del Toro and Hogan have changed the rules. This isn’t some lovey-dovey Twilight-like story with brooding, romantic vampires. And it’s nothing like Anne Rice’s Chronicles, either, which feature beautiful immortals with pearlescent skin and eternal youth. No way. I don’t want to give too much away, but the creatures introduced in this book are an inventive mixture of some of the more horrifying aspects of the genre.


Interview with Ari Marmell, author of Agents of Artifice

Posted on May 15, 2009 by

It is the dawn of a new age in the Multiverse. The balance of power is shifting and Agents of Artifice brings readers to the heart of a planeswalker struggle.

In Agents of Artifice, Ari Marmell re-imagines Planeswalkers, taking fans deeper than ever into the lives of the Multiverse’s most powerful beings.

In this interview Ari tells us a little about the creative process that went into the writing of Agents of Artifice and what it was like exploring the worlds of Magic: the Gathering. We also ask him about the Ravenloft serial novel Black Crusade and even get a question or two about some upcoming Dungeons & Dragons books in before we wrap things up.


Witchblade #126 Comic Review

Posted on May 15, 2009 by

WARNING: This review contains spoilers. If you’re going to read the story arc, read my review of Witchblade 125 and go pick up the series yourself! If you don’t mind being spoiled, continue on ahead.

Witchblade 126 starts to explain a bunch of the questions that began in Witchblade 125. Why does the Angelus force want to kill Sara? Who is the mysterious guy who seems to be connected to the Darkness, and to Sara? As it turns out, when the Witchblade spit, it had to split along the same axis it was created to balance: darkness and light. Sara in issue 126 reveals just how far toward the Darkness she has fallen, while Dani realizes she has to take the Witchblade away from Sara for balance to be restored (and so that Sara doesn’t destroy herself and everyone she cares about).


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