Saturday, 12 October 2019

Why Netflix's "Haunted" is NOT the Ghost Show for Me

Hi. I'm Foxglove and I write ghost stories.

Why do I write ghost stories?  Because I love them. I just can't get enough. I can't tell you how many ghost shows I've binge-watched.  And once I'd watched everything available, I started creating my own--books, not TV shows. I'm only one person! 

When it comes to what I term "ghost shows," there's a plethora available--never enough, but lots.

How do I define a "ghost show"?  

Well, the ones I gravitate toward purport to be TRUE. That's the main attraction, for me, as a viewer. Strangely enough, I don't care whether they are, in actuality, true or entirely manufactured. That part is irrelevant. This is entertainment, folks. As long as I can at least pretend what I'm seeing is real, I'm happy.

So basically what I'm looking for would be classified as documentary or reality (non-fiction), as opposed to drama (fiction). The formats I enjoy are investigation (like the shows I feature in this post) or reenactment, where a real person tells a true tale of ghostly encounters and actors create the visuals. Examples of this style include Paranormal Survivor, A Haunting, and countless others. 

Unfortunately, though there are about a million different ghost shows on the planet, the vast majority are not on Netflix. 

That's why I was really excited when Netflix created their own Original Series: "Haunted."

I watched the first season when it was released. It didn't resonate with me. It should have.  It had everything going for it: the right style, the right format, all that beautiful greased-up Netflix money... and yet, the show just didn't work for me.  

There weren't that many episodes anyway, so I forgot about the show until yesterday, when the second season went live.

I watched three episodes, and I'm now able to articulate why Netflix's "Haunted" is not the ghost show for me:


It's Too Good

What does that mean, "Too Good?" Well, in this case, it means: too polished, too cinematographically sophisticated. When I watch a ghost show, I want it to be borderline bad. I want the acting to be laughable. I want to see the zipper. I want it to have been filmed on location in Oshawa, Ontario (I've got family there). This Netflix series is too beautiful for my glazed-over eyes. It's also too dark--visually. Am I getting old, or is it impossible to actually see what's going on?  

It's Too Scary

A ghost show is not a substitute for a horror movie, for me. They're different animals, and "Haunted" too closely replicates the style of a horror flick. It's not what I'm after.  I watch ghost shows when I'm seeking a frisson of fear, not when I want to poop my pants (I never actually want to do that... and I never have... moving right along...)

It's Too Adult

The internet's got plenty of sources for sex and violence. When I'm watching my ghost shows, I'm not in the market for gratuitous adult content. I loved ghost stuff when I was an innocent, apple-cheeked 13-year-old, and watching ghost shows now takes me back to simpler times. For me to love a ghost show, it's got to be suitable for my 13-year-old self. My thirtysomething self can find nudity without your help, thank you very much. I mean, like... on the internet. 

It's Got Too Many Feels

This is the big one. I've saved the best for last--or, if not BEST, at least the most pertinent point: some of these stories are just too intense for me to handle in this particular context. I'm not always psychologically prepared to hear stories about rape, torture and childhood sexual assault. In fact, one of the big reasons I watch ghost shows is to get scared by something otherworldly. The real world is full of awfulness coming at you so fast you don't even have time to deal with one traumatic incident before the next one is upon you. 

I watch ghost shows as an escape, not as a reminder of the world's many atrocities. I watch them to feel mildly frightened, not terrified out of my wits. 

"Haunted" gives me all the wrong feels. It's not what I'm looking for in a ghost show. I'm not telling anyone not to watch it, obviously--you live your life as you see fit--but I would like to caution anyone who is triggered by anything that you will absolutely need to call a hotline after watching this series. I know that sounds jokey, but I'm being serious, here. I'm telling you that my experience of watching just three episodes of this new season has left me feeling pretty destroyed, psychologically.

Last week I found old episodes of Rescue Mediums on YouTube. I think I'll stick with that. They always end with a cheesy joke and, after watching "Haunted," I need all the cheese I can get.


While I'm here, I should also mention that Volume 3 of Queer Ghost Stories has just hit the market. October's always a good month for the ghosts. 

This collection includes my stories Nightmare Heights (one of my absolute favourites--and based on a true story, though wildly embellished), Spooky Little Girl Like You, and fan-fave Off with the Fairies. All these stories involve death--murder, suicide, and the kind where you just stop breathing because you're old--so if you're avoiding death at the moment, be forewarned. 

Find Queer Ghost Stories Volume Three at Kobo and pretty much any other retailer where you buy books.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Queer Ghost Stories Volume One: 4 Tales of the Paranormal

Who needs sleep? Not you! You’d rather stay up late reading these spine-chilling ghost stories!

Throughout four tales of the paranormal, queer characters meet with fates beyond their wildest imaginings as they are confronted by spirits from all walks of life… with shocking results.

In THE WITCH OF THE WINTER WOODS, Nicole couldn’t be more nervous about meeting her girlfriend’s parents this Christmas. On her way to their house in rural Maryland, she nearly collides with a barefoot old woman standing in the road. Strange things happen: a chase through the snow, a stone cottage in the woods, a raging fire. Will Nicole make it out alive?

Tucker and his boyfriend are the best in their field in THE FUTURE IS DEADLY. They organize estate sales, using their keen eyes and marketing know-how to earn big bucks for their clients. But when they’re hired to clear out a mysterious gothic manor house, Tucker discovers a set of vintage sunglasses. Through their shaded lenses, he sees a murder that has yet to take place. What lengths will he go to in order to keep the victim safe?

What could follow in our series of supernatural stories? Why, it’s GHOST RADIO, the tale of a transgender teen spending the summer with her cousin. When the pair finds a mysterious radio in a dilapidated shack in the woods, Emily can’t get enough of the music it plays. There are tales, in town, of a ghostly DJ who draws teens to their deaths. Could Emily be next on his list?

In GHOST GALLERY, Xan has just landed his dream job at a prestigious art gallery. There’s only one problem: the place is haunted. When Xan stays late to meet his favourite transgender artist, will he come face to face with an apparition from another time? And, if he does, can he finally solve the mystery of the gallery ghost?

Dive into four tales of the paranormal in Queer Ghost Stories Volume One by Foxglove Lee.

Get the ebook from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PSLR3JC
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/929346?ref=RainbowCrush
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=p2mNDwAAQBAJ
Or one of many other ebook retailers: https://books2read.com/u/bpjweE

Find the audio version at Audible: https://www.audible.com/pd/B07QDNRVCB/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-147633&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_147633_rh_us
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Foxglove_Lee_Queer_Ghost_Stories_Volume_One?id=AQAAAEBM03uTJM&hl=en
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/queer-ghost-stories-volume-one
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/audiobook/396769514/Queer-Ghost-Stories-Volume-One-4-Tales-of-the-Paranormal
Playster: https://play.playster.com/audiobooks/1001800000001001448/queer-ghost-stories-volume-one-foxglove-lee

And keep an eye out for the paperback--coming soon!

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Go Back in Time with Ghost Stories from the Victorian and Edwardian Days

If you enjoy classic ghost stories as much as I do, I know you're going to love these audiobooks narrated by Madeleine Mayfair. You might know her as the narrator of my audiobooks!  Well, she's a huge fan of ghost stories--just like you and me.

Check out these spooky stories from the early 1900s. You'd think they'd feel antiquated, seeing as they were written over 100 years ago, but they're incredibly entertaining. MadMay's done a great job with them.

Haunted Houses of England and Wales
A Collection of Ghost Stories

Prepare for a scare! This collection of bone-chilling ghost stories from England and Wales is certain to send shivers down your spine. Settle in for more than four hours of haunted tales from the early twentieth century—that’s more than four hours of audio!

Listen at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/haunted-houses-england-wales-collection-ghost-stories/id1450618101?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Elliott_O_Donnell_Haunted_Houses_of_England_and_Wa?id=AQAAAEDMgGrAtM&hl=en
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/haunted-houses-of-england-and-wales
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/audiobook/398022786/Haunted-Houses-of-England-and-Wales-A-Collection-of-Ghost-Stories
Playster: https://play.playster.com/audiobooks/1001800000001001697/haunted-houses-of-england-and-wales-elliott-odonnell


Scottish Ghost Stories
Victorian and Edwardian Tales of the Supernatural

From castles to country houses to the battlegrounds of a bygone era, Scotland boasts an impressive host of haunted locales. This impressive collection of bone-chilling ghost stories is certain to send shivers down your spine. Travel from Edinburgh to Aberdeen to Glasgow and all points in between with nearly twenty tingling tales of ghostly encounters from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Settle in for more than five hours of audio and get ready for a scare!

Listen at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/scottish-ghost-stories-victorian-edwardian-tales-supernatural/id1449910637?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/audiobooks/details/Elliott_O_Donnell_Scottish_Ghost_Stories?id=AQAAAEBMyz6LYM&hl=en
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/scottish-ghost-stories-17
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/audiobook/396891679/Scottish-Ghost-Stories-Victorian-and-Edwardian-Tales-of-the-Supernatural
Playster: https://play.playster.com/audiobooks/1001800000001001536/scottish-ghost-stories-elliott-odonnell


The Invisible Hand and Other Ghost Stories

Ten haunting tales from the book of True Ghost Stories compiled by Hereward Carrington in 1915. Included in this audio collection are the following Victorian and Edwardian stories: The Cut Across the Cheek, “Julia, Darling,” Face to Face, Willington Mill, The Invisible Hand, Face Slapped by a Ghost, Alone with a Ghost in a Church, A Haunted House in France, I Am Shot, and Shaken by a Ghost.

Listen at Nook: https://www.nookaudiobooks.com/audiobook/256756/invisible-hand-and-other-ghost-stories-the
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/audiobook/invisible-hand-and-other-ghost-stories-the
Audiobooks.com: https://www.audiobooks.com/audiobook/invisible-hand-and-other-ghost-stories/360166
Playster: https://play.playster.com/audiobooks/1001800000000256756/the-invisible-hand-and-other-ghost-stories-hereward-carrington

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Foxglove's Top Three Go-To Ghost Shows

Now that I'm writing ghost stories for your entertainment, I figure I ought to share some of the ghostly things that entertain me. I'll start by revealing my top three go-to ghost shows.

When I say "ghost shows" I'm talking about TV series featuring the paranormal.

One of the main reasons I started writing ghost stories is that I just can't get enough ghost shows! Once you've watched them all... what then? You need more spooky entertainment, and where do you find it? Well, I started writing my own ghost stories featuring queer characters. If you haven't read them, I hope you'll dive right in... after you've discovered my top three go-to ghost shows!

3. Ghost Adventures

If you've never heard of Ghost Adventures, it's an hour-long documentary style television program produced by Travel Channel. Ghost Adventures features paranormal investigators delving into paranormal phenomena in a variety of locations. But that could be said of many shows of this style (and there sure are a lot of them!), so what makes Ghost Adventures special?

I'm not sure I have an answer to that question. It just seems to work. The show is creepy. I get chills watching it. The boys seem to capture a lot of paranormal activity using a variety of techniques and technologies. It's entertaining, start to finish.

What do I like about Ghost Adventures? Well, let's start with the fact that there are about a million episodes. At this point the show's been on for, what, something like 17 seasons? If there's one thing that appeals to me about a TV show, it's having lots of episodes under its belt.

2. The Other Side

The Other Side is another documentary style paranormal investigations show.

This one is a half-hour-long and produced in Canada by APTN, the Aboriginal Peoples' Television Network.

The Other Side features a team of Indigenous investigators who pair technologies we're familiar with from other similar shows with traditional teachings and knowledge.

What do I love about The Other Side? The audience gets to view paranormal investigations through an Indigenous lens, which is so uncommon in the landscape of ghost shows and so, so refreshing!

If you've never seen The Other Side, check it out for sure.

You won't regret it.

1. The Dead Files

I could watch The Dead Files every hour of every day and never get tired of it. The Dead Files is another hour-long Travel Channel production, but the investigation style is totally different from a series like Ghost Adventures.

Amy is a medium. Steve is a former cop. She investigates a property by talking to the dead while he investigates the same property by talking to homeowners and doing research into the house and its surroundings. At the end, they come together to let the homeowners know their findings.

What do I love about The Dead Files? Again, there are plenty of episodes to binge on. Amy and Steve are both charismatic, lovable, and entertaining to watch. Plus, the program has followed precisely the same formula since the very first episode, and you really feel at home with a show like that. You always know what to expect, but at the same time every episode blows me away. I'm always surprised and creeped out by Steve and Amy's findings.

So those are my top three go-to ghost shows. If you've never seen them, check 'em out. If you've seen every episode of every show and you're still craving more paranormal entertainment, be sure to read my Queer Ghost Stories! There are plenty to choose from!

I'll be back soon with another post about great ghostly entertainment, so don't forget to visit.

And thanks for reading!

Foxglove Lee

Thursday, 13 December 2018

A Teacup for Trilby: A Heartwarming Holiday Story

We all have different needs, when it comes to the kinds of stories we want to hear around the holiday season. 

Some readers love escaping into a land of sugar and spice that in no way resembles real life. Other readers feel isolated by sappy-happy stories because they don't see themselves and their lives reflected. 

There's a place for the sappy stuff. There's a please for stark realism. Both are valid forms of entertainment.

Growing up as a queer kid in a situation of domestic violence, I hated the feel-good Christmas movies my mother loved. All the happy smiling people just reminded me how rotten my little life was. I wanted representation. I looked for fiction that was darker, fiction that reflected the fear I was experiencing in my own life.

As an adult, I appreciate the need for escapism more and more. As I write this post, I'm watching some kind of musical family Christmas special on TV. Little me would be rolling her eyes, big-time. But the world is just so awful sometimes. It helps to absorb other families' joy, even if it's fictional.

Having said all that, I would like to introduce the story I've written for you this Christmas.

A Teacup for Trilby sits somewhere between those two extremes of happy-sappy and stark realism. It's about a little girl spending Christmas at a shelter for women and children escaping domestic violence. 

You might think a story about being homeless for the holidays would be a total bummer, but I'm hoping that's not the case here. My main character, Amelia, befriends Trilby, a lovely older trans woman, and they pretty much adopt each other as grandmother and granddaughter. When Trilby is wronged, Amelia is the first one who wants to stick up for her. But what good can she do? She's only a child.

These characters experience great challenges, but, in the end, they are rewarded with love and acceptance. And I think that's something we're all looking for, especially this time of year.

Start a new tradition today by reading A Teacup for Trilby, a heartwarming holiday story from me, Foxglove Lee, for you, with love and affection.

A Teacup for Trilby
A Heartwarming Holiday Story
By Foxglove Lee

Amelia and her family are homeless this Christmas. How can their days be merry after they’ve lost everything?

When Trilby arrives at the shelter just in time for the holidays, Amelia’s family takes the older trans woman eagerly into their hearts. Trilby reminds the young girl of her late grandmother, who was always so loving and supportive. Everyone is over the moon when a wealthy benefactor arranges a festive shopping trip for the shelter’s residents, but the evening goes sour when a cold-hearted shop assistant denies Trilby the only gift she really wants. Can anyone set things right? And can they do it in time for Christmas?

You can purchase the ebook at many retailers, including:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L7L62G5?tag=foxglovelee-20
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/911689?ref=RainbowCrush
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=wxN-DwAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/a-teacup-for-trilby-a-heartwarming-holiday-story
Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/b/3yDA1n

You can also find it at the following and other subscription sites:
Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/395417647/A-Teacup-for-Trilby-A-Heartwarming-Holiday-Story
Playster: https://play.playster.com/books/10009781370260881/a-teacup-for-trilby-a-heartwarming-holiday-story-foxglove-lee

And at Radish: https://radish.app.link/yrljelwZzS

Monday, 19 March 2018

We're Here! We're Queer! We're Ghost Stories!

There's nothing I love more than a spooky story. 

I grew up watching Twilight Zone re-runs. When my younger brother watched Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark? on TV, I found some excuse to be in the room. I was too old for kid shows, so I couldn't admit I wanted to watch them. Now I'm the total opposite: I'm not too old for anything, and I'm not ashamed to tell you I watched every episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? that I could find on Netflix, and I'm working my way through Goosebumps as we speak.

Ghost stories are the greatest.  That's why I've started a new series called Queer Ghost Stories, paranormal tales featuring LGBTQ characters. These stories are perfect for those of us who grew up loving Goosebumps, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The X-Files, Tales from the Crypt, all that.  

If you like spooky stuff, this series is for YOU!

To be totally honest, I started writing my Queer Ghost Stories just to entertain myself. It was a totally selfish venture. But I think that's when an author's writing is at its best.

You can expect one new queer ghost story every month, and you'll find a listing of my ebooks at this special page: https://foxglovelee.blogspot.ca/p/queer-ghost-stories.html

As with episodes of The Twilight Zone and Goosebumps, you can enter this series at any point.  The stories all work independently of one another, so read them in any order.

If you love ghost stories as much as I do, I invite you to enter the world of Queer Ghost Stories today!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Nostalgia, Nirvana, the Nineties: Top Ten Ways to Die

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=vKp3DgAAQBAJ

When I hear myself saying my latest release is close to my heart, I have to laugh a little. Because I say that about ALL my books, don't I? But when I described my new novelette Top Ten Ways to Die to my sister, she said, "Wow, you really put a lot of yourself into this one."

It's lesbian fiction. It deals with the death of a parent. It incorporates plenty of arguments with Mom--about Nirvana, about clothing, about whether that goth girl Tara is a bad influence. It reverberates with the shock a whole class feels (teacher included) when one student tries to commit suicide.

There's a lot packed into this piece. And did I mention it's set in 1994? What else is new, right? In case you haven't memorized my back list, it just so happens my book Sylvie and the Christmas Ghost is also set in 1994, as is Gayboy (also known as And Plaid All Over).

Why 1994?

Well, here's the thing: I tried really hard to set this story in any other year. Any year but 1994! But when I got into research mode, I soon discovered one of the essential elements of Top Ten Ways to Die (Kurt Cobain's suicide) occurred in... you guessed it... 1994. Turns out I can't get away from this year.

As much as Top Ten Ways to Die is fiction about teenagers, I can't help but wonder if I didn't write it more as nostalgic fiction for my own generation--for people who want to stroll down memory lane, relive the 90s from a teenage perspective. I find that whenever I write young adult books set in the 80s or 90s, the readers who really eat them up are the adults who came of age during those decades.


When Jess’s dad dies unexpectedly, her world is turned upside-down. The only good things left in life are her girlfriend Tara and Kurt Cobain’s tortured grunge sound. But when a classmate attempts suicide, Jess goes into a downward spiral. Her mom is afraid she’s obsessed with death, and doesn’t want her hanging out with Tara or listening to Nirvana. What’s left for Jess in Hicksville if everything she loves is taken away?

I invite you to grab a copy of Top Ten Ways to Die right now from one of the following retailers:


https://www.amazon.com/Top-Ten-Ways-Die-Foxglove/dp/1544787332?tag=foxglovelee-20
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/top-ten-ways-to-die-1
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=vKp3DgAAQBAJ
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1219652964

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/top-ten-ways-to-die-foxglove-lee/1126005406
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713853

Instafreebie: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/SO4le

Tell your friends!

You can also purchase Top Ten Ways to Die in print from Amazon. I highly recommend it, but, then, I would, wouldn't I?

While I'm sharing links, here's where you can buy the ebook from Amazon:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XRZTWFQ?tag=foxglovelee-20
Amazon Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06XRZTWFQ
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06XRZTWFQ