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Thirty Scary Tales

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Thirty creepy, atmospheric horror stories by Rayne Hall.

These stories are 'quiet' horror, not overly violent and gory, although there are some graphic moments.

Please note: these stories have been previously published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies as well as in the Six Scary Tales collections.

British English.

262 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 1, 2013

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About the author

Rayne Hall

109 books1,436 followers
Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction, some of it quirky, most of it dark. She is the author of over sixty books in different genres and under different pen names, published by twelve publishers in six countries, translated into several languages. Her short stories have been published in magazines, e-zines and anthologies.

After living in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has settled in a small Victorian seaside town in southern England. Rayne holds a college degree in publishing management and a masters degree in creative writing. Over three decades, she has worked in the publishing industry as a trainee, investigative journalist, feature writer, magazine editor, production editor, page designer, concept editor for non-fiction book series, anthology editor, editorial consultant and more. Outside publishing, she worked as a museum guide, apple
picker, tarot reader, adult education teacher, trade fair hostess, translator and belly dancer.

Currently, Rayne Hall writes fantasy and horror fiction and tries to regain the rights to her out-of-print books so she can republish them as e-books.

Her books on the writing craft (Writing Fight Scenes, Writing Scary Scenes, The Word-Loss Diet, Writing Dark Stories, Writing About Villains, Writing Short Stories to Promote Your Novel, Writing About Magic, Twitter for Writers) are bestsellers.

Rayne Hall is the editor of the Ten Tales anthologies:
"Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires"
"Scared: Ten Tales of Horror"
"Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts"
"Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates"
"Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft"
"Spells: Ten Tales of Magic"
"Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies"
"Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance"
"Dragon: Ten Tales of Fiery Beasts"
"Cogwheels: Ten Tales of Steampunk"
with more titles coming soon.

The stories in her Six Scary Tales series and the Thirty Scary Tales collection are subtle horror: suspenseful, creepy atmospheric, unsettling. Although they contain little violence and gore, they may not be suitable for young readers. Many of these stories have been previously published in other books or magazines.

British English: All Rayne Hall's books use British words, spellings, grammar and punctuation. If you're allergic to British English, avoid them. ;-)

Mailing list:

Website: http://sites.google.com/site/raynehal...

YouTube "Ten Random Facts about Rayne Hall" (2 minute video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXR4T...

Contact Rayne Hall on Twitter
@RayneHall follows back writers and readers. http://twitter.com/RayneHall

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 77 reviews
Profile Image for megHan.
604 reviews84 followers
November 2, 2013
This is the last of the short story compilations by this author that I received in exchange for my HONEST review.

It also begins with a well done introduction, one that I think people reading this story should make sure to read through. She gives a lot of pertinent information in it that explains where she's coming from and her stories. She also includes more information at the end of her stories which are worth reading.

"Fear is personal. The same story may constrict one person's chest and set their heart racing, yet send only a mild tingle down another readers' spine." ~Rayne Hall

This also had some of the stories that I had already seen in the 6 Scary Tales Volumes 1-3.

Greywalker - A very good story. Events that I didn't expect. One of my favorites of all of hers.

Prophetess - Another good story. A look at the fall of Troy to the Greek. I really like her explanation at the end of this one of what led her to decide to do a story like this.

Earth Stone, A Life - A powerful story with an unexpected ending.

By your own free will - Another one of my favorites. It really makes a lot of sense. A look at what a woman is willing to do to get the man that she FEELS is the man of her dreams. The ending, ladies, will really make you think.

The Bridge Chamber - A really creepy story. If you are claustrophobic, this may not be the story for you. (But then I have an issue with sharks because of the Jaws movie and my mom's best friend's son. It doesn't stop me from watching Shark Week or reading books about sharks - but I will not watch that movie, not for anything.) I also like her explanation at the end of this one too.

Terre Vert and Payne's Gray - A creepy and well-written story.

They say - An interesting little short, which only takes up a page.

Tuppence Special - I like this one, but then I have a thing for spooky amusement park rides haha

Normal, Considering the Weather - Not one of my favorites (and the only story I can really say that about in this collection). The bug part does give me the heebidy jeebidies, but the story fell flat for me.

Disturbed Sleep - Because of this story, I don't think I will ever live alone again haha.

Arete - An interesting look at the Greek version of werewolves.

(I didn't review all of the stories here - only the ones that I had not previously reviewed in her other collections.)
Profile Image for Matt Kruze.
Author 3 books18 followers
October 8, 2013
Understated, classic chillers

A treasure chest replete with dark, wickedly enticing gems, Thirty Scary Tales is a collection of short thrillers set against a melange of backdrops from medieval fantasy to the modern-day, real-life scenarios we’ve all found ourselves nearly immersed in. The entwining theme though is the kind of chilling horror that shows more than it tells, and invests its readers like icy water: if you get through one of these stories without a shudder, you’re a braver reader than I am!

I can’t possibly do justice to all thirty stories here but among the most deliciously disturbing is ‘Beltrane’, a very short story of just under two pages, delivered with the stealth and efficiency of a dagger blade. Mave is a girl just matured to adulthood, sent on a seemingly harmless errand to buy apples from the village’s blind fruit vendor. But she is part of a sinister design, seemingly apparent to everyone in the village but her. I won’t give the ending away but once you see what’s coming, the story seems to gallop towards an inevitable conclusion that has you grinning and grimacing all at the same time. Like all of Rayne Hall’s stories, the writing draws you in to the world in which they are set, with the kind of imagery you want to jump into (or away from!) I found myself needing a drink of water after a desert scene, or closing the window after picking my way across dark railway sleepers on a wind-swept Welsh railway line.

Speaking of railways…if you’re claustrophobic, stay well away from ‘The Bridge Chamber’! This is one of the collection’s most terrifyingly gripping entries, and relates the story of three children who go exploring an old, dark tunnel, set into the hillside as part of a railway bridge. Think of a long chamber, dark as pitch, that gets ever narrower as you crawl further into the bowels of the earth, and then imagine getting somehow blocked into that tiny, cold, dank tunnel. In the author’s capable hands you’ll be delivered into their chilling world with terrible realism; I can still feel the moss-covered bricks and smell the damp stone now. I was put in mind of a caving venture where I actually did get stuck in one of the narrowest chambers, unable to go backwards or forwards. Thanks, Rayne, for bringing that memory back in such a chilling deluge…If you’ve ever had an experience like that, or if you fear enclosed spaces in any way, don’t read this story. You have been warned…

Almost all of the Thirty Scary Tales have the kind of irresistibly dark ending that leaves you at once chilled and satisfied, but for something engagingly touching, try the ghost story ‘Through the Tunnel.’ Allie is stranded in the rain-strewn Welsh countryside after a spat with her boyfriend. Miles from the nearest town, she tries the railway station, only to find a non-existent weekend service. She is left with the prospect of walking the wind-swept wet roads to the closest from of civilisation - ten miles away - or else hitchhiking the journey. But with not a single passing car in half an hour, she gives up. There is another option though…the railway tunnel, just beyond the station, will cut through the hills and in less than a mile bring her to a small village with a pub - and a public telephone. The tunnel is a risky prospect though, lightless and unsafe in the event that a passing train should come through while she’s in it. Moreover, she is approached at the station by a local, Steve, who counsels her against taking the treacherous short-cut. In spite of his warnings, Allie plunges into the dark mouth of the tunnel, if nothing else keen to get away from this mysterious stranger - who pursues her into the darkness. The ending, though, is not what you might expect.

At this point I want to say, ‘You’ll like Thirty Scary Tales if you like such and such’ or ‘If your literary fodder tends towards so and so, this is for you,’ but actually whatever your favoured genre, you’ll be gripped by this compilation. I devoured all thirty without encountering one that didn’t have me hooked, so compelling are they in their chilling engagement of those darkest fears. Some I could relate to personally, others I couldn’t, but all reached out for me with their long, gnarled fingers, and dragged me in…
Profile Image for Denise Bartram.
64 reviews2 followers
October 14, 2013
Rayne Hall kindly sent me a copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review. I originally didn't know what to say for this review when I first finished the book. I enjoyed it, I just didn't know how to word what I wanted to say, but here goes:

When I settled down to read this book, I was a little apprehensive as I am not a horror fan. I'm not really fond of blood and guts and gore and I am fairly squeamish - I close my eyes at the bloody bits when I am watching "Bones" on TV LOL. Regardless, I started to read.

My original rating for this book was going to be a four star one because I wasn't scared by any of the stories. I was able to read them without flinching, which disappointed me. I was expecting to find myself squealing in disgust or horror or something.
I changed my mind when I scared the bejeepers out of myself out by recalling one of the stories - "The Devil You Know" - whilst using an empty, unlit, public toilet one night about a week after I read the book.
My hubby was waiting outside on some benches so rationally I knew I was safe. However, whilst sitting on the toilet, my mind wandered and I started recalling this particular story. Remembering how "Lucie" felt whilst she tried to sleep on a bench on an empty train station platform, I found myself peering around and checking the top of the stall to make sure no eyes were watching me. I didn't feel at ease until I had hubby back in view and those public toilets were well behind us LOL.
That is what makes a scary tale good and that is why I gave the book a five star rating.
To me, if a scary, creepy story which I didn't really get creeped out at while I was reading the book, comes back and bites me in the ass, it deserves a high rating.

Each story was well written, each character brought to life. Each tale is as creepy as the one before it. None of the stories were boring. I read each and every one and like another reviewer said, I was also pleasantly surprised by the little notes at the end of each tale. Especially when I knew most of the locations as I live within an hour's travel of them. Each tale was like a 5 minute movie and not a crappy 5 minute movie either.

Is this book worth reading? Yes it is. It may not be bloody and gory etc but it is creepy enough to lodge itself into your sub-conscience and jump out and shout BOO!! when you least expect it.
Profile Image for Deborah.
406 reviews35 followers
December 30, 2013
4.5 stars

Thirty Scary Tales is one of the best single-author short story anthologies I have read. Rayne Hall's scope as an author is breath-taking; in this collection, she has given the reader stories of psychological and supernatural horror; stories written in the first, second, and third person; stories in past and present tense; stories expanding upon or referencing well-known mythological characters and stories set in the fantasy world she created for her novel Storm Dancer.

Of course, as in any anthology, some stories were better than others. I particularly liked "The Painted Staircase," "The Colour of Dishonour," and "Terre Vert and Payne's Grey"; "Seagulls," "Night Train," and "Take Me to St. Roch's" were less impressive. Nevertheless, every story was well-written, and none received fewer than 3 stars.

My favorite story was "Normal, Considering the Weather," although I suspect for reasons Hall did not intend. I heard echoes of both Stephen King's "The Fog" and Tim LaHaye's Left Behind series, and those associations added additional layers to the story for me.

I try to avoid reading single-author anthologies in one fell swoop because the stories usually start to sound the same. While each story in Thirty Scary Tales shared an identifiable sensibility, each also stood on its own merit. I have found a new horror author to watch, and I will be checking out Storm Dancer as well.

I received a copy of Thirty Scary Tales from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Daniel J. Weber.
Author 4 books8 followers
October 28, 2013
Review originally posted at: http://digerbop.ca/2013/10/thirty-sca...

Thirty Scary Tails… oops… I mean Tales. (Although thirty scary tails would be exciting too, I imagine.)

Mature-Content Rating: PG-13 (disturbing images and sexually mature scenarios)

There are a few numbers that can cause fear or trepidation. A common number is “13,” being avoided because it is “evil” or “unlucky” to the point where, in some countries, floor 13 is omitted when building high-rises. Some people are afraid of the number “4″ because of similar reasons, and it is equally omitted from elevator buttons and staircase labels. My favourite number fear is “666.” All three of these fears have specific terms to go along with them, which I will not bore you with, but the word for “fear of the number 666″ is so incredible, I must share it. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia – and don’t ask me to pronounce it!

Rayne Hall has written a collection of scary tales. Not 4. Not 13. Not 666 (maybe she has a mild case of Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia just thinking about writing that many…). The number to be scared of here is 30. Thirty Scary Tales is a wonderful title that tells the reader exactly what is lying beneath that cover. Hall brings a great variety of horror styles to the eyes and hearts of any who dare pick up this collection. Hidden in the darkened depths is everything from a foreboding realism of the things that go bump in the night to the grotesque, macabre style of Victorian horror. If you can name it, think of it, be scared of it, its here: ghosts, zombies, psychological thrills and chills – some modern day, some Victorian age, and some in fantasy worlds. Some of the stories are based on real events, others are retellings of children’s stories or fairy tales, and still others are completely fresh ideas sprung from the creative juices flowing in the darkness of Rayne Hall’s imagination. Each story is accompanied with a brief note from the author concerning the inspiration for the writing and telling, which adds a unique and delightful touch.

The Good:

Before reading this book, I had heard of Rayne Hall, but never sat down and cracked open a cover with her name embossed (digitally or otherwise) thereon. It may be some time before I may that mistake again. As the cover is lifted, those words bleed out, and the beginning of a story unfolds, I was immediately drawn in with wonder. Though it is hard to do each story justice through a simple review, I will try to reach across the pages with ever-broadening strokes. The best way to discover the magic behind each story, each page, and each sentence is to read the book.

Hall uses an interesting stylistic descriptive format that helps build suspense while, at the same time, painting scenery around the story and characters. The action builds, fear is swelling, and Hall fires off punctuated descriptions in the midst of it all, striking the reader like a bullet from an unseen gun. The world is empty, the unknown darkness filling readers and characters alike with mounting trepidation, until pieces of scenery begin to fall like a driving rain, locking into place from some unknown realm beyond. Often slow and drawn-out descriptions can be masterfully done, but their use is more suited for tortoise pacing than the sprint of a rabbit through shrubs, running away from the fear rising like a cloud behind it (or is that just the dust kicked up by its quick escape? ;) ). Punctuated descriptions fit the mood, describing scenes with wonder-filled emotion, making every scene come alive with fear.

A lot of the stories have well thought-out back stories for the characters therein. The stories are not bogged down with too much information of the past, but just enough to build the scene, informing the reader of why they are where they are, and why they are so afraid. This is coupled seamlessly with a delightfully rich use of internal monologue often forgone is shorter stories. Hall builds fear by letting the reader process through each moment, the characters and their emotions coming alive as fears become reality in their minds.

The Bad:

It is hard to be picky with such a vast collection of stories. Some of them fell short of my expectations/preferences, but others were engaging and well-developed. The collection (as a whole) has a lack of focus, just being a bunch of stories lumped together with a cover on top. Some potential magic, through more integrated connections between the stories, was lost because of this choice of formatting.

Some of the stories weren’t as satisfying as others. This is a point concerning personal preference, and not necessarily the writing style or quality as a whole. Every reader will experience this collection differently, each story speaking individually to personal fears, being seen through different eyes.

For the most part, the stories did not scare me because I saw what was coming. Though the internal monologue was great, a lot of the time it was easy to tell what was going to happen and how it would effect the character(s) is question because the reader is so invested in their thought processes. The ability to discern what is going to happen through reveals in the writing takes away some of the edge-of-your-seat thrills that are often prevalent in the horror genre. Sometimes the internal monologues were so blatantly pointing the reading toward the obvious conclusion that it almost felt silly.


This collection of short stories is worth a read no matter who you are. There is something in here for every flavour of reader. The scenes are punctuated and fresh, stories coming alive with character motivations and the fears lying beneath their skin. Many of the fears are predictable, but satisfying none-the-less. Maybe four of the stories will really scare you, maybe thirteen, maybe all thirty. Find out by cracking open the cover, and let the words bleed into your imagination, filling in those cracks of horrific desire. If you like horror of any flavour, this book is for you.
Profile Image for Kaitlyn  .
209 reviews2 followers
September 28, 2014
I received this ebook as a promotional item on Tomoson.

When I first saw this book was up for promotion, I applied right away. I was so excited when I got approved.

This book wasn't as scary as I thought it'd be, but I loved that it was made up of short stories that the author had created based on real life experiences with a twist. The stories had real life experiences with an added creepy or scary twist that many people have had their imagination scare them with. I also like that at the end of the story, the author includes where they had gotten the idea of the story from.

I loved how relate-able these stories were. I've had my imagination run wild and think of similar scary moments or ideas like some of these stories had.

Some of my favorites include:
Scruples - Alditha and John are at the house where John works. A terrible storm is brewing. John wants Alditha to tie him up and steal the riches. Then together, once John is free, they'll be rich. The house splits due to the storm and being on a cliff. John is in trouble and wants Alditha's help. Alditha has other plans. (I loved this one because of how this could truly happen. It wasn't Alditha's behavior that creeped me out. It's the fact that the house was on a cliff, it split, and part of the house went into the water. Houses on cliffs have had that issue before during storms. Perhaps I'm just weird and have a fear of houses on cliffs.)

Through the Tunnel - Allie had her boyfriend leave her at a train station. A young man, Steve, comes asking if the train has left yet, but there's no train on the weekends. They decide to take a short cut into the next town by going through the tunnel. When Allie gets to the pub in the other town, she finds out who Steve really is. (I love reading ghost stories, but this one had a nice twist. Still, who would want to go in a dark tunnel in the middle of the night. Creepy!)

Black Karma - The main character, who has Hindu beliefs, is being followed by a black, stray dog. The dog looks scary, but hasn't tried harming her. After a few nights of being followed, she finds out who or what the dog truly is and it's intentions. (I love ready stories about other religions if they're written well. This one had a very pleasing twist with the Hindu belief of reincarnation based on how the person behaved in that lifetime.)

Four Bony Hands - Estelle is practices wiccan and has recently come across a little boy and girl in the forest. They have run away from home, so Estelle takes them in to take care of them for the night. The boy believes she's a witch based on what he's seen on tv or in movies. The boy and girl try to protect themselves from Estelle, even though Estelle is only try to help them. (I love that this story is a different point of view on Hansel and Gretel. Many people know the story of Hansel and Gretel. This story basically shows that just because we have heard of Hansel and Gretel's version of the story, it doesn't mean that it's 100% what truly happened.)

I couldn't sit down and read this book all in one go, but it was a book that I kept wanting to go back to to read a few more stories out of it. There were many of the stories that I wanted to go on, to know what happened to the characters or how the story could continue.
Profile Image for D.B..
Author 8 books19 followers
November 20, 2013
Thirty Scary Tales - A Book Review

Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall

Author, Rayne Hall, has combined thirty, well written, scary short stories to make a book of horror. While these stories are not full of blood and gore, they do carry a lot of creepy, spooky, and spine-tingling terror.
Personally, I enjoyed this book immensely. Rayne Hall’s stories carry a vivid imagery that drew me right in. I loved that after each story, Rayne Hall has written a brief note telling about her inspirations for each story and a little history, when needed. The notes allowed me a brief respite, before going on to the next story. There was truly nothing that I didn’t like about this book.
I enjoyed each of the short stories, but some hit a cord in my psyche, more so than others. Some of my personal favorites include: Each Stone A Life and By Your Own Free Will; both with a surprise ending. Then there is, Tuppence Special, which took me on the ride of my life. I still think about it.
I recommend, Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall, to anyone that enjoys reading Horror.

NOTE: I received a PDF copy of this book for free in return for an honest review.

Visit: http://mauldinfamily1.wordpress.com/c... To read more Book Reviews.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
160 reviews18 followers
October 21, 2013
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and was very pleased that I did. I don't generally read many short story anthologies unless I've been reading related work by the author; they often seem too short to me and don't always wrap up the tale in a way I'm happy with. I'd seen a few teasers of Rayne Hall's work before and decided this was a great opportunity to give her a shot.

As the author states in her introduction, fear is personal. What might scare one person may not even get a thrill out of the next. I admit that I haven't been scared by a book in ages (save anxiety you feel when you worry a character you like will be offed). Probably I read too many horror stories! That is why I take my hat (if I wore one) off to the author for giving me a sweaty chill when I read "The Bridge Chamber". The claustrophobic in me imagined this a little too well!

Rayne Hall's grasp of relating atmosphere is superb and I really fancied the small additions at the end of each short story, giving you a little insight into where her ideas came from for each. This lady sounds like she's lived a colorful life, to the reader's benefit for sure.
Profile Image for Jacquelyn Smith.
1,261 reviews
October 16, 2013
Thirty Scary Story by Rayne Hall
I was given a given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.
What's inside of your mind....?
I am a fan of The Twilight Zone, so this book was a hit with me. Five little short stories that feeds your deepest fears. WOW!!!
They are just in time for Halloween or teaching someone not to trust someone that they meet. This little heart pounding thrillers start off slow, but your heart will beat fast and out control by the end out story.
There is something for everyone that likes horror, for example in Each Stone, a life give, the series killer give a false sense of caring to his female partner, before her end.
Rayne Hall makes the reader feels they are one of the characters in the story.
Ms Hall reaches into the darkest and the scariest part of the reader mind to write her stories.
This was one amazing set of short horror and a must read for anyone who like
excitement. Take this home for a Halloween treat today!!!
A scary 5 stars~~~

Profile Image for Andrea Cooper.
Author 42 books328 followers
October 14, 2013
4.5 Stars

I really enjoyed this collection of scary tales. To me, they remind me of a mixture of the Twilight Zone TV show and Tales from the Crypt. They are perfect for reading alone, or to a group for a scary night. Halloween is coming up and any of these would make a good tale while waiting for costume kids.

Even if you don't want to be scared, many of these tales have a message that can teach the young people of our day: Like The Devil You Know, Greywalker, By Your Own Free Will, Double Rainbow, and Turkish Night.

Rayne Hall brings emotion, description, and spooky tales alive to the read. I especially liked her comments after each tale saying what inspired the story.

I was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for John Hennessy.
Author 34 books232 followers
November 2, 2014
Terrific collection of stories that have more highs than lows. In fact, only two of the stories could be considered below par, five or six average ones, the rest, really great and actually rather creepy!
Enjoyed..now you go and enjoy them!

If you are short on time, try 'The Painted Staircase' - I think that was easily my favourite!
Profile Image for Cage Dunn.
Author 37 books15 followers
October 5, 2019
These are the tales we used to hear around the fire on a camping trip. Frightening, but not gory. They get you when you're sleeping.
I enjoyed them, but to make them stand out, I would like to see a 'big moment', a 'holy-shmoly' moment for the character. It's the only thing missing, in my view.
I enjoy scary tales, witty stories, smart and well-written. I just want a bit more of a jolt.
And I'm very happy that not all scary stories involve blood and guts (which almost always, are not scary as much as they are messy).
Profile Image for Roxie Prince.
Author 9 books63 followers
August 11, 2016
Read this review and more on my blog at [Roxie Writes].

Thirty Scary Tales: Creepy Horror Stories by Rayne Hall
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 4/5
Finished on August 4, 2016
Read with Kindle Unlimited Subscription
FREE with Kindle Unlimited | $.99 on Kindle | $13.99 in Paperback

This collection of thirty horror stories by Rayne Hall is eclectic and truly unsettling. With each story, you get something different, something equally surprisingly creepy. These stories aren't gory or violent, so if you're the sort of horror fan who goes for that sort of tale these might not be for you, but if you like atmospheric tales that delve into the human psyche, Hall's Thirty Scary Tales, will probably be right up your alley.

This collection includes the tales:

The Devil You Know
Each Stone A Life
By Your Own Free Will
The Bridge Chamber
Only A Fool
Four Bony Hands
The Black Boar
Double Rainbows
Druid Stones
Night Train
Through the Tunnel
Black Karma
Take Me To St. Roch's
Turkish Night
Never Leave Me
The Colour of Dishonour
The Painted Staircase
I Dived The Pandora
Terre Vert and Payne's Grey
They Say
Tuppence Special
Disturbed Sleep
Normal Considering the Weather

I read this collection as part of my #yearofindiewomen.

Now, typically when I review a collection of short stories I do a short review of each story in the collection, but since this collection contains thirty tales and I don't want this review to be super duper long, I am just going to pick my five favorite pieces from this collection and tell you a bit about them. Sound good? Okay, cool.

I loved "The Bridge Chamber". This story really spooked me. It's about a group of kids who decide to crawl into a tunnel (the closest thing I could equate it to in the states is a culvert pipe, but I could be completely off from what Hall is actually describing in the story as she's writing about something in the UK. But still, scary as hell!) and they get stuck. No matter who you are, I think that's a primal fear in all of us, even if you're not claustrophobic (I'm not. I actually prefer small spaces to large ones.), the thought of getting trapped in a tight space you cannot get out of is absolutely horrifying.

I also really liked "The Devil You Know". One of the things I especially enjoyed about this collection was how Hall could put a twist on a lot of tales we are familiar with, turning them into something unique and intriguing. She did this with "The Devil You Know". This starts out as a typical tale of a woman fleeing an abusive relationship, but turns into something much more unexpected.

"By Your Own Free Will" is probably my favorite story in this collection simply because it plays on the things I hold dearest. It's about an extremely intelligent woman -- a MENSA member, in fact -- who desires nothing more than the love of her co-worker, so she seeks the help of a witch. She asks this witch to concoct a love potion for her, but in exchange, she has to fork over points of intelligence for the witch's mentally disabled son. This story puts up the question of which is more important -- intelligence or love? I have always held my intelligence as extremely valuable, so reading this story and, at the beginning, when she's faced with the question of helping a disabled child and possibly getting the love she so desires, but dumbing herself down in the process, would I do the same? I don't know if I would. That might not seem scary to some, but it's truly scary to me, let alone the downward spiral of the rest of the tale.

"Tuppence Special" is downright frightening. First of all, it's about a guy who pushes a girl to do something she doesn't really want to do, which always rubs me the wrong way, but he gets what's coming to him in a way. I love roller coasters, always have, but for some sick reason, I also love stories of roller coasters gone wrong.

And finally, there's "Seagulls". Birds have always creeped me out. I don't know if I was just another person traumatized by Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds or what, but as cute as I find videos and pictures of birds online, when I'm around them in real life and they start flapping their wings and screeching, my anxiety goes from zero to one hundred real quick. I automatically assume I'm going to get my eyes pecked out or my hair ripped out. So, if I were Josie and I had moved into a new place with these birds perched and pecking right outside my window like that, I'd be breaking my lease, real dang quick! NO THANK YOU!

One final thing I'd like to mention that I really liked about this collection is that Hall included a little snippet after each story about how/why she wrote each tale. I like when authors do this because I always enjoy seeing a little bit into their process and the birth of the stories. Pretty cool.

So, yeah, if you have Kindle Unlimited or $.99 to spare and you're in the mood for some spooky tales, pick up this collection. It's a good way to spend a weekend, for sure.
Profile Image for Heather.
113 reviews7 followers
September 19, 2013
I was absolutely thrilled when given the chance to review Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall. One of my favorite things about fall beginning is I know it won't be too terribly long before the horror movies start hitting the screen. I am a total fear junkie and have been since I was a teenager. The scarier the better... I want to be in such a frenzy over how scared I am that I'm not sure if I am going to pee my pants, pass out, or scream. I also enjoy reading scary books; the problem, I tend to feel let down because they are never scary enough...at least not for me.

I have to admit, this book fell short for me. Anytime I see the word SCARY in a book's title I begin to get nervous because authors have a difficult time delivering on such a promise. Scary really isn't the word that I would use to describe Hall's book. Some of the stories are eerie, and a few are a little "spooky" but overall... not scary. The themes are dark and thought provoking and I still enjoyed the book; I just didn't find it "scary." There were a few stories that I really enjoyed so as Halloween approaches I plan on taking one of the nights that I stay up late, turning off the lights, and sitting in complete darkness while I read. That MAY up the fear factor but.... that is yet to be determined.

I want to be sure to point out that I DID enjoy this read. Despite the fact that I don't find the storylines scary, they are well written and Hall has a flair for drawing her reader in. I wasn't bored with a single story and actually took the time to read this book, all 250+ pages, in one sitting. I can easily see the tales that Hall shares becoming part of a storytelling event around a campfire with S'mores. I can also see a younger crowd passing this book around at a sleepover as they are curled up in their sleeping bags with flashlights. This is a good read... again, just more thought provoking versus scary.

I received a complimentary copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review. Please note, the opinions expressed are my own and I am not required to provide a positive review.

Please check out our FULL review by visiting us at Griffin's Honey http://www.griffinshoney.com/book-rev...
106 reviews1 follower
September 19, 2016
Whilst incredibly well written I struggled to really enjoy these stories.

I personally wouldn't classify a single one of these as a scary or horror story. But they definitely play on fears that some people may find scary. The stories weren't exactly boring, but they didn't particularly grip me either.

I really enjoyed how at the end of each story the author provided the reader with some insights as to what inspired the story. Over all a decent effort, with the majority of the rating based on how well they were written.
September 19, 2013
As a kid, I loved horror stories. I can remember sitting in fear in my living room watching “Nightmare on Elm Street” and loving every minute. I can’t say that I’ve changed a whole lot since then. I love a good scare now and then and although this book lacked the blood and gore of the stories of my youth, it has it’s own brand of fear.

“Thirty Scary Tales” by Rayne Hall is a collection of short stores designed to instill a subtle fear into the reader. The stories aren’t your traditional horror stories where violence and gore reign supreme. The author has created stories that appeal to the reader’s personal fears.

All to often when I read short stories, I am left wanting more…more details, more character development, just more everything. This wasn’t the case with these stories. The author has taken great care to make sure that each story is complete and can stand alone on it’s own merit. I love how at the end of each story the author has included a commentary on each story.

There is a story here for everyone. My personal favourite is “Prophetess”, which is the story of Cassandra from Greek mythology. When she spurned the love of the god Apollo she was cursed. She can see into the future, and would be compelled to tell the truth but never to be believed. The story focuses on how she uses this “gift” to a dramatic end.

Ms. Hall uses every day language to weave her stories and draw you into a world where your imagination and personal fears can take flight. The ending to each story is not always what you would expect. Ms. Hall has compiled a great collection of stories that are bound to put a little fear into the most fearless reader!

This book isn’t for someone who is looking for a horror story that is full of blood and gore, but is more directed at readers who are looking for stories that are more subtle in their horror.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
Profile Image for Nada Sobhi.
Author 3 books210 followers
October 27, 2013
Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall is a collection of short stories encompassing an array of settings, narration styles and topics with theme of ‘scary’.

There are tales of vampires, ghosts, magic and dreams and other supernatural elements. They are all beautiful and enjoyable but do not compare to the pleasure and intrigue I experienced while reading The Grey Walker, Arete, Through the Tunnel, The Colour of Dishonour, Burning and The Painted Staircase – just to name a few.

There are a few stories set in Rayne Hall’s dark epic fantasy novel Storm Dancer such as The Colour of Dishonour, The Grey Walker, and Each Stone, A Life. Each of these stories is exceptional in its vividness, creativity and unfathomable twists! You have no idea what you’re up against!

Thirty Scary Tales boasts a ton of stunning imagery in this collection, whether scary or just plain beautiful. The reader cannot help but highlight and enjoy. The author also uses an array of settings for tales ranging from Germany to England to Turkey, and extending from Ancient Greece to the Middle Ages to modern times.

One of the Storm Dancer-set stories is The Colour of Dishonour with its layers of puns and irony (“I have blood on my hands”). I still cannot shake off the admiration (for Hall) and the horror (for the Captain). The Colour of Dishonour is a 10-star story.

By Your Own Free Will makes you think: How far would you go for love? How much are you willing to sacrifice to be noticed by one man? Would you trade your IQ for it?

Special thanks to Rayne Hall for creating and collecting this set of stories in a single volume and for sending me a free copy of Thirty Scary Tales for a Halloween review. I enjoyed reading them all. As for the Storm Dancer-set stories, this collection has prompted me to begin reading the dark epic novel as soon as I can.

For the full (extended) review: please click here (no spoilers): http://nadanessinmotion.blogspot.com/...
168 reviews1 follower
January 15, 2015
I received this product free from Rayne Hall through the BuView review program in exchange for an honest opinion. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

I have mixed feelings about this book of short stories. I think from the get go I was expecting horror stories (I hear that word and I think of Stephen King type horror). I would classify the stories overall more so of a I don't even know the word for it. Maybe suspenseful to a small degree but I think it would have been better titled Thirty Tales! To me, these weren't scary or terrifying prolly due to the fact that I'm an avid Stephen King reader.

The stories themselves are easy to read, they're short stories (obviously) so you can read one or several in a single sitting or more. I HATE reviews that give spoilers so I refuse to do that. So, I just want to talk about the short stories in general. I really liked the fact that after each tale, the author gives a brief personal account of how she came up with the idea for that story or some back history of the influence for her on that story. It made the reading more personal in that regard. What I didn't like, was that in several of those personal accounts....she kept mentioning references to a book she had written.... several of the short stories have characters from that book and I don't know, it bugged me to reference something I haven't read. Perhaps those tales would have more meaning to me if I had read the book. I don't know

Some of the stories I liked, some I didn't care for.... a couple of them.... I actually wish they had been longer or carried past where she ended it. . . a couple left me wanting more.
Profile Image for Edmund de Wight.
Author 29 books4 followers
April 7, 2015
As the title says, this is a collection of 30 stories. While they're supposed to be scary, not all are - of course the author warns you of this in the opening. What scares you may not scare me and vice versa. They all however are very evocative and thoughtful. Well written fiction that is worth your time to read.
The tales are rather short - which is exactly what they are supposed to be. It provides perfect bite sized reading options for when you're short on time but want to be entertained.
Rayne's tales range in time from ancient Greece up through Victorian London and into modern day Europe with forays into her fantasy world. It's a fun range of milieus.
This is not a book of bloody slashers as so many horror stories have become. The horror ranges from psychological to horror realized in the actions of others. There are a number of ghosts and monsters as well so it's not just in someone's mind. The atmosphere of the stories is the scary part where glowing eyes in the dark or screeching gulls or rotting mansions set the tone. Very old school, very good.
I loved some of the nearly poetic descriptions of sounds and sights in some tales.
I think my favorite story was a different version of Hansel and Gretel where we learn that the survivors tell the stories and they may not be exactly what we believed.
I do believe the most disturbing tale in the entire book was the last one about a fire. It reaches into the darkest part of petty human souls and reveals the greatest monsters on the planet.
Not every story is for everyone but then again, that's the beauty of a large collection. You can find something in it that will speak to you even if others do not.

Profile Image for Wulfwyn .
1,101 reviews99 followers
August 1, 2016
Loved It

I chose to read this book a tale a night for the month. There were times that I wanted to read another but I kept to my idea. I'm happy that I did so. The author knows how to tell a good story! Each tale was eagerly anticipated. I wondered about it during the day. I thought about the previous story. There were days when I couldn't imagine the nights tale would be better than one I just read. I was proved wrong repeatedly. It was deliciously delightful! I felt like a child again, eager for the next tale, yet shivering from the last, my imagination in overdrive. At the end of the book there is a note from the author. She asks which tale was your favorite. That is a question I truly cannot answer. I sit here and think oh! It was this one. But then rapidly comes to mind another favorite. I cannot choose. I do believe the author saved her best for last. She did an amazing job tackling a tough subject. It is a subject that has held a firm grip from the beginning of man. Through the years, the faces have changed but sadly the story hasn't. If she had asked which tale do you think is most important, hands down it would be this final tale. There isn't really gore and extreme violence to be found in this book. The terror comes more from our own imagination. The author is a truly talented writer who presents us with creepy stories that stoke our imagination. She dances in our nightmares. I plan to read this book again, the same way, in October. Well, perhaps I'll put the titles in a plastic pumpkin and draw a story slip each night just to keep the anticipation going. I recommend this to readers that enjoy mixing creepy tales with their own imagination.
Profile Image for Neil.
Author 21 books21 followers
July 3, 2014
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via the Goodreads group "Lovers of Paranormal" Read 2 Review program.
These 30 stories are mostly gems, full of suspense, twists, and comeuppances.
The author is equally at home in the modern world, historical times, mythology re-imagined, or a fantasy world of her own making. She has real depth and substance to her characters, and you inevitably find yourself connecting with them.
Her "Storm Dancer" world provides the setting for #2 Greywalker, #4, Each Stone, A Life, and #16 The Colour of Dishonour, and it is in these stories that her imagination is really in its own element.
#6 The Bridge Chamber was the most horrifying for me, as it tapped into one of my own deeply seated fears.
There was only one dud for me in the whole collection, and that was #20 They Say, about kraken infested waters. Whether it is the shortness of the piece or that I missed the significance of something, I don't know. It is the *only* one of these stories that I didn't enjoy.
All the other stories share a thread of realism and tension, showing how human beings lead themselves astray without them even realizing, and how human beings are often all the evil the world really needs.
There are a couple of typos and formatting oversights, but these are few and far enough between to not mar the overall high quality of the work.
My rating is a solid 4+
BONUS - there is an excerpt of "Storm Dancer" at the end, which I look forward to reading soon!
Profile Image for Kitty-Lydia Dye.
Author 12 books12 followers
July 5, 2014
I received this book in exchange for an honest review (LoP or Lovers of Paranormal)...

Rayne Hall's Thirty Scary Tales are more disturbing than scary. They aren't overtly gory, which is a plus for me as I much prefer horror which plays with your mind rather than makes your stomach churn, and leaves you with a sense of dread.
I really enjoyed reading the stories and as they are short I could read one when I had a spare moment then read another story later. My favourite stories were 'Each Stone, A Life', 'Prophetess' and 'Burning'.
The reason I liked reading these stories so much was due to the slow build-up of unease and dread: in most of the stories I had an idea of how it was going to end but I kept on reading, it's like being stuck on a train where you know there's a bottomless pit at the end of the track but you can't get off. There's lots of different scenarios too so there's bound to be something that will appeal. Some of the stories are set in the Storm Dancer universe, another of Rayne Hall's books, but the stories can be read without having any knowledge of the Storm Dancer universe.

I did think some of the stories ended too abruptly, such as 'The Painted Staircase', while the mish mash of modern and historical stories felt a little muddled. I would have preferred it if there was one section for modern stories and another for historical stories. However, these are my only complaints.

This is a great read on a dark night when you want to feel unsettled.
Profile Image for Lou.
323 reviews3 followers
September 22, 2014
Disclaimer- I was given a copy of Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall in exchange for nothing other than an honest review. All opinions and thought expressed in this review are entirely my own.

I really enjoyed reading Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall, but I can't help feeling a little bit let down, maybe my expectations were too high I'm not sure, but I definitely didn't find this book scary. Creepy at times yes, but scary not for me. Maybe I've read too much horror and have become desensitised to it? Either way this is still a really good book, that I have enjoyed reading.

Each story has its own variation on a dark theme that are creepy enough to provoke thoughts that can make you glance around the room or over your shoulder.

Rayne Hall has the knack of drawing the reader into the story. Her writing style is really good, the stories all have a good flow and pace to them. Each contained enough information to allow me to create images in my own head. The stories are clear and well thought out.

Overall I enjoyed reading these tales and I think that there will be something in here for everyone. As Rayne says at the start of the book:
"Fear is personal. The same story may constrict one person's chest and set their heart racing, yet send only a mild tingle down another reader's spine." (loc 55 kindle)

This book is a good read and I would definitely recommend giving it a shot. 3.5*
Profile Image for Theta.
169 reviews1 follower
September 17, 2015
I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book. The fact that they were thirty smaller stories and not one huge long story made it easy to read. As she stated at the start, a story that is scary for one person may not be scary for another person. My personal favourites are:

Seagulls. This is one of my favourites. I hate birds, and I'm scared of them, so I could really imagine myself in Josie's shoes, never being left alone by seagulls.

The Bridge Chamber. I am claustrophobic, and being stuck in a tiny tunnel is one of my worst nightmares. Add that to Garnet's problems come the end of the story, and that is my fear. I really felt for Garnet in one way as the reader never knows what happens to her, it is left to their imagination. On the other hand, Garnet was being a show off and trying to impress Nesta and Baldwin, which eventually led to a horrific ending for some of them.

I like the cliffhangers that were at the end of most stories, as it left the reader to finish the book in whatever way they wanted. At the end of each story, in bold text, Rayne Hall explains how she got the inspiration for each story, and a lot of them are based on true events that she witnessed or experienced herself, and I personally liked hearing how each story came about.

I would definitely read Rayne Hall again, as she is a talented author.
Profile Image for Angie.
89 reviews47 followers
October 28, 2014
Awwww... There is nothing I love more than Halloween... Unless, maybe, it's a bunch of creeptastic stories to read in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Yes, that might be better. Psyching myself up, working up the creep factor in my life before it's time to actually go out and get scared.

I received Thirty Scary Tales by Rayne Hall via my Kindle App free via Tomoson, but I'm going to give you my 100% honest opinion. I really enjoyed it. The horror is subtle, but just enough that after each tale ends you're left with a little bit of shock and a whole lot of wondering... Wondering what happened next... Wondering where the character goes from there... But, not enough wondering that it's not an enjoyable and wonderfully creepy ending.

I especially loved this author's twist on zombies. It wasn't your same mindless brain-eating machine every other zombie seems to be, but it's a gray walker... A sort of mythical zombie who is aware of what he might do, and what he eventually ends up doing-and he's fueled by emotion and thoughts and witches magic. It was fantastic!

I highly recommend you read these scary stories. Currently you can get it free on Kindle or you can purchase it for only 99 cents! It's worth it!

I'm only giving it 4 stars though because it could use some editing. I found a few typos.
Profile Image for Debbie Christiana.
Author 11 books108 followers
October 6, 2013
Just in time for Halloween, Rayne Hall's Thirty Scary Tales is a perfect mix of dark, spooky and supernatural. I've read and enjoyed quite a bit of Rayne Hall's work and while these stories aren't `keep the lights on at night" scary (to me, but everyone is different) they are satisfyingly creepy and will keep you guessing until the twist at the end you never saw coming.

I enjoyed them all, but a few stood out for me. "Greywalker", a unique zombie story set in the Bronze Age, is one of the few stories in this collection with a minor of amount of gore and a great read. I had previously read "Burning" in "Six Scary Tales, Volume 1" and it was just as riveting the second time around. In "Each Stone A Life," the author brings back the sadistically evil character Kirral, from her Dark Fantasy, "Storm Dancer". Kirral is one of my favorite characters from that book and once again proves that human beings can be pure evil and more terrifying than anything supernatural.

A nice bonus: At the end of each tale, Rayne Hall gives us a brief explanation of her inspiration for the story. I liked this. It's always interesting to find out where an author gets their muse.

Pick up a copy of Thirty Scary Tales...perfect for this eerie time of the year.
Profile Image for Carol March.
Author 25 books20 followers
October 26, 2013
I love short stories, and these did not disappoint. Although not particularly scary, they were all weird, strange, and thoroughly delightful in the slanted perspective they provided. Most were quite short and covered territory from ancient Greece (the fall of Troy from Cassandra’s perspective), in Prophetess, to the present day. Some, like Each Stone, A Life, could be classified as fantasy, while others, The Bridge Chamber, Seagulls, and Normal, Considering the Weather, border on horror. None is so horrific as to be off-putting, though, for which I was grateful, since I dislike gore.

Many of the stories are set in the UK and I enjoyed the tidbits of British society that I picked up from this collection. The author is versatile in both her subject matter and her style. She has a great ability to bring alive many types of characters and situations. My favorite stories in the collection were Black Karma, about a ferocious dog working off its karma and the last story in the collection, Burning, which captured a child’s empathy for the victims of tragedy in the face of the racist indifference of adults.

This collection is recommended for anyone who enjoys intelligent dark fantasy.
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 4 books18 followers
August 30, 2013
Having read several of Rayne Hall's books before I thought I knew what I was getting, but I was wrong. This collection shows how masterful a story teller she is. In all honesty I enjoyed each one, some made me smile, some made me cringe and some got under my skin. As a bonus Rayne explained how each story was conceived, which only added to my enjoyment of the tales.

Three of my favourites :
Each Stone a Life : This tale took us back to the world of Storm Dance (a dark fantasy novel which I throughly enjoyed) and showed us just how cruel one man could be. Just when I thought I knew where the tale was heading I was pleasantly thrown of course.

Turkish Night : Dreams may come true and in this case Rayne takes that idea and turns it on its head with a delightful tale filled with music and dance.

The Colour of Dishonour : Again we are taken back into fantasy and are shown just what can happen when the feelings of guilt take over your life. A cruel man who believes he is worthy of promotion is shown the error of his ways.

If you like to be scared, entertained and amazed then I suggest that you invest in this book, or any other of Rayne Hall's collections.
Profile Image for Autumn.
2,158 reviews38 followers
September 26, 2014
I received this book via Tomoson and author.

Now to me the stories weren't overall scary but they were a bit creepy. Out of all the scary tales I have to say I only had 2 favorites. The Bridge Chamber and Four Bony Hands.
The Bridge Chamber literally had my chest constricting being as it is a story of a couple of teenagers going in a tunnel but then there is no way out. Small space and with other people around not good for this girl right here. Now Four Bony Hands is a twist on the old Hansel and Gretel and it was one that I didn't even think about being a twist until the end.
Each story is unique in its on way, and I love how the author told us how the story came to be after we read each story. I think this book has a little bit of everything for everyone, so even if one story is not your forte than maybe another story would be.

Overall all the stories were greatly written and not too long so you didn't get immersed into the story only to be disappointed. You got the beginning, middle and the end all wrapped up into each story which is a good thing, because I don't like to read short stories only to be left hanging and wondering what else could happen.
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