Tag Archives: horror short stories

The Captivating Flames of Madness by Jeff Parsons Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Jeff Parsons takes readers on an exhilarating and chilling journey through 22 short stories that explore the moment that everyone in life finds that changes the course of their personal journeys forever in the book, “The Captivating Flames of Madness”.

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The Synopsis

This book’s title comes from the reality that – like a moth to the flame – we’re all just one event, mishap, or decision away from things that could change our lives forever.

What would you do if fate led you astray into a grim world where you encountered vengeful ghosts, homicidal maniacs, ancient gods, apocalyptic nightmares, dark magic, deadly space aliens, and more?

If you dare, why not find out?

Read for yourself the twenty-two gloriously provocative tales that dwell within this book – but be warned, some of my dear readers have experienced lasting nightmares…

The Review

This was a memorable and engaging collection of short horror stories. The author has such a great command of atmosphere and tone, as each story strikes a balance between haunting atmosphere and captivating character growth. The unique structure of these stories and the range of sub-genres that this collection holds gives a wider range of readers a chance to sink their teeth into these amazing stories.

The heart and core of this collection have to be the theme, which the main underlying theme the author delves into is the concept of one key event changing the course of one’s life in an instant. The characters range from shockingly sympathetic and relatable to terrifying, and yet each story delivers a well-rounded narrative that captures the passion and imagination the author delivers consistently while also bringing some depth and thought-provoking material to the horror genre overall.

The Verdict

Haunting, chilling, and entertaining, author Jeff Parsons’s “The Captivating Flames of Madness” is a must-read horror short story collection. The brilliant imagery and thrilling storytelling made this collection just fly by on the page, and readers will be hard-pressed to put down this eclectic and mesmerizing collection. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!


Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jeff is a professional engineer enjoying life in sunny California, USA. He has a long history of technical writing, which oddly enough, often reads like pure fiction. He was inspired to write by two wonderful teachers: William Forstchen and Gary Braver. In addition to his book Algorithm of Nightmares, he is published in SNM Horror Magazine, Bonded by Blood IV/ V, The Horror Zine, Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine, Chilling Ghost Short Stories, Dystopia Utopia Short Stories, Wax & Wane: A Coven of Witch Tales, The Moving Finger Writes, Golden Prose & Poetry, Our Dance With Words and The Voices Within.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJeffParsons/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Parsons/e/B00FIOQCY6%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6860100.Jeff_Parsons

Twisted Reveries Volume II: Tales From Willoughby by Meg Hafdahl Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Meg Hafdahl takes readers on a twisted and macabre journey into the secretive town of Willoughby in “Twisted Reveries Volume II: Tales From Willoughby”, the sequel to Twisted Reveries. 

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The Synopsis

Suspense author, Meg Hafdahl, delivers another collection of spine-tingling stories in this second volume of the Twisted Reveries series. Inspired by the first book’s Willoughby and Moira Kettlesburg stories, Meg takes us on a journey into the mid-western town of Willoughby where forgetting is a way of life. Delve into its macabre history and origins. Explore the strange and unsettling events that plague Willoughby’s unsuspecting citizens in this new collection of thirteen horrifically outstanding tales. 

The Review

This was a truly incredible, emotional yet terrifying collection of short stories. The horror genre is alive and well in this collection, with threats and dangers that sway from monstrous beings hiding in the shadows to more sinister and everyday human evils that the town of Willoughby draws towards it. Although this is my first foray into the author’s work and the Twisted Reveries series of short stories, the author does an amazing job of crafting narratives that feel both isolated and well contained on their own while also connecting to a more broad and small-town vibe and mythos.

What stood out to me as a reader was the well-balanced and captivating protagonists found within the story. Each story had characters that readers could either get behind and cheer on to stop the threat they were facing, or grimace as the tables turned and the protagonist quickly became the antagonist. The complexities of each story’s protagonist and their backstory felt worthy of a short film or television anthology, and the twists and turns these stories take will have readers talking long after the final page drops.

The Verdict

Gripping, exhilarating, and thoughtful in its approach, author Meg Hafdahl’s “Twisted Reveries II: Tales From Willoughby” is a must-read collection of horror short stories that readers are not going to want to miss out on. The overall theme permeating this collection follows how every small town, every city, and even every person, no matter how beautiful and picturesque they may appear on the outside in the light of day, has the potential to hide great darkness and hardship within their foundation, which waits for night to descend to roam free to draw others into its web. A truly haunting collection of stories, this is one short story read you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Bram Stoker Award nominated Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of three popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the three novels; The Darkest Hunger, Daughters of Darkness, and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. Meg, also the co-host of the podcast Horror Rewind and co-author of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King, The Science of Serial Killers, and the upcoming The Science of Witchcraft lives in the snowy bluffs of Minnesota. 

https://www.meghafdahl.com/