Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Grady's Halloween Party - ROAM Extras


Grady’s cheeks burned, and he cleared his throat as he took a step away from the lustful vampire, grasping desperately for something to say to distract him.
“I…love your suits. You’re both very dashing,” Grady finally managed.
“Oh, these old things?” Dacey laughed and rolled his eyes. “Please. We’ve literally had them for a century. Added the goggles, though, as they seem to be in vogue amongst the creatives these days. I always do enjoy a good subcultural trend. Although, Marcus made the valid point that they are extremely frivolous.”
“Well, what’s the point in wearing a costume if you’re not going to be frivolous?”

“That’s exactly what I said!”
________________________________________________________

ROAM is a great Autumn read, seeing as it takes place in October. Near the end of the book, Dr. Grady Hunter hosts his annual Halloween gathering; inviting all of his supernatural clientele to celebrate at his home. And now you're invited to join the party!



WHAT TO WEAR

What's a Halloween party without costumes? While dressing up is encouraged, we do recognize that some guests are proud of their supernaturally frightful nature and we welcome you just as you are!



GUESTLIST

It's Shady Pines' biggest paranormal shindig of the year! So, expect to see all of your favorite local ghosts and ghouls, vampires, werecreatures, and more! They're all looking forward to gossip, appetizers, and boos.



ON THE MENU

Speaking of appetizers, don't be embarrassed to remind others that you are not here for nibbling. It does get confusing for some. Especially to those who don't drink...wine.



FESTIVITIES

Along with food and banter with banshees, you can also look forward to parlor tricks, fortune-telling, communion with dark spirits, and seances to welcome those traveling long distances. Live piano music will also be provided by this year's special guest, Ethan Roam.



BEWARE

While we hope you have a magnificent night full of devilish delights, we caution you to avoid inviting any of the other guests home afterward. They have a tendency to become permanent roommates...



Have a fangtastic Halloween and celebrate at your own risk!

Dr. Hunter's Halloween Hostess,
Dez

[Photos from Pexels & iStockPhotos]


AVAILABLE NOW

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

New Short Story | Thrift Store Vampire


Happy Hauntings, Darklings!

I have an early Halloween treat for you all.  My new short story, THRIFT STORE VAMPIRE (Winner of the WattpadVampires contest), is now up and free to read on my Wattpad page!
TSV is a Vampire Comedy with:
๐ŸŽƒ
Halloween Party Vibes
๐Ÿฆ‡
Newbie Vamp Girl
๐ŸŽฉ
Cursed Costumes
⚰️
To-Die-For Puns

Enjoy this "spoopy" story, and have a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

13 Favorite Films To Watch In October


Everyone has their go-to Halloween films for the month, so I thought I'd take a moment and share my Top 13 Favorite Films to Watch in October!  These aren't the only ones I like but they're the ones I gravitate toward watching the most.

Compiling this list, it was easy to see what settings and tropes appeal to me most.  I'm also very much drawn to great character performances and atmospheric storytelling.



Bram Stoker's Dracula

I like to start the month off with this one because it's such a perfect mood setter.  It cleanses your palette of the summer and shifts you into Autumn mode effortlessly.  Every frame is a work of art.  Also, Cary Elwes is a bonus.




House On Haunted Hill

Honestly, any Vincent Price film will do.  I just tend to end up watching this one the most.




Halloween

Dr. Loomis really makes this whole film for me.  It wouldn't be the same without him and I probably (definitely) wouldn't like it as much.  He's one of the classic characters that has had an influence on my work (you can probably see bits of this character type in both Grady and Arthur from my ROAM series).



Dracula

My favorite of the classic Universal Monster films!  There are some truly great moments in this one and a few hilarious lines as well.  Ultimately, it's another character performance that really wins me over.  Dwight Frye's Renfield will forever be a favorite.



Victor Frankenstein

Okay, so I openly admit there are a lot of flaws in this film.  I also hate the ending (lol). That being said, I still love to watch it.  The cinematography appeals to me and it's incredible fun most of the time.  The cast is a huge selling point.  James McAvoy, Daniel Radcliffe, Mark Gatiss, and Andrew Scott (who is as marvelous in this as he is in all things).  Ignore the missteps and embrace the spirit.



Crimson Peak

By far my favorite del Toro film!  The beauty and cruelty of this Victorian gothic romance is everything I could ever want in a horror romance movie.



Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray is my favorite book of all-time and there have been a number of film/television adaptations of the story/character.  Even though this one strays from the novel, I still feel that it's one of the best adaptations in terms of staying true to Dorian's actual character (minus the physical differences; book Dorian was a blondie).  Ben Barnes creates dark magic in this film, Colin Firth is the perfect Lord Henry, and I will never to able to imagine a better Basil than Ben Chaplin. I'm forever grateful this film exists to rewatch to my darkling heart's content.



Rocky Horror Picture Show

If you don't love this film, we can't be friends.



Young Frankenstein

I adore this one more and more every year.  Gene Wilder really set the bar.



What We Do In The Shadows

Watch on basghetti night.



Hocus Pocus

I know, I know.  It's horribly cliche' at this point.  But I will never pass up the chance to watch the "I Put A Spell On You" scene.



The Nightmare Before Christmas

These last few picks are totally predictable, but I mean, I think we all share a love for them in some way.  Nightmare Before Christmas; great soundtrack and a must-watch on Halloween night (preferably right before bed to prepare you for the coming season).


Ghostbusters (I, II, and the Real Ghostbusters)

Ghostbusters has been my favorite film since childhood and I've been a Ghostbuster for Halloween (and other occasions!) multiple times in my life.  I got my start in writing with GB fanfics.  Obviously, I watch both I & II religiously.  And The Real Ghostbusters series is a great addition to your viewing list for October!



Bonus Watch:






Penny Dreadful

Not a film but worth the viewing hours!  Oh, how I miss this series.  If I ever had time to write fanfics again, I would probably start with this one because I wasn't at all ready for it to end.  If you haven't seen it and you love classic Victorian gothic literature then I highly recommend it!  All your faves are there doing all sorts of diabolical things.  Every episode is a true bloody treat.


Well, there you have it!  Now I'm curious to know, what films are your October viewing staples?


Your Fiendish Film-Loving Friend,
 - Dez


Want to be the first to know things?


OUT NOW
Haunted Road TripThe third Dead Oaks novella!


Available on Amazon


COMING SOON

DREAM WEAVERThe fourth and final ROAM novel. March 9, 2020.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

ROAMiversary! One Year Later


One year ago today (Oct. 1st), ROAM had its first traditional publishing through NineStar Press!  Previously, the book had been self-published.  And this past April, its sequel, HUNTER, was also released through NSP.

I'm happy to say that the ROAMverse is still going strong and I'm so excited for everything to come!  Thank you all for joining in on the adventures of my band of paranormal Dreampunk misfits.


Some Fun ROAM Extras:




What's Next For The ROAM Series?

DREAM WEAVER, the third ROAM book will be headed your way in March 2020!  This will complete the main trilogy and tie up the end of Ethan and Grady's story.  Eventually, ROAM will also be released in Spanish through NineStar Press.  It's in the works but no date is set yet.

Future ROAM Plans?

As you may know, The Revelation of Dacey Sinnett is a prequel to ROAM.  In a similar vein, I have also been sitting on plans for a short story prequel series about Grady's life before moving to Shady Pines.  I can't give you any real timeframe for when I might write these because I have a number of other projects that I really need to focus on and I also haven't decided the best way to go about releasing something like this yet.  I'm considering doing it as a supporter project through Ko-Fi but I'm still on the fence.  HOWEVER, I do have plans to write more stories in the ROAMverse, focused on new characters which will more than likely include cameos from some old favorites.

Until then, be sure to keep following this blog and join me on Twitter!  I'll be posting more ROAM-related things very soon.

Yours, always dreaming up new stories,
- Dez


Want to be the first to know things?


OUT NOW
Haunted Road TripThe third Dead Oaks novella!


Available on Amazon


COMING SOON

DREAM WEAVERThe fourth and final ROAM novel. March 9, 2020.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Haunted Road Trip: Fun Post-Release Things


Well, friends--

Haunted Road Trip has been out in the world for a week now!  You're probably in the midst of reading, already finished, or plan to read it soon.

To celebrate, here's a round-up of Dead Oaks related things:

Tony Sandoval Character Profile
Excerpt From Haunted Road Trip
The Dead Oaks on Pinterest
The Dead Oaks Playlist on Spotify


I've Finished Haunted Road Trip!  
What Should I Read Next?

It's seasonally too early, but according to craft stores--there's no such thing!  If you dig the M/M Paranormal Romance genre then you should give my Yule short story, The Julbock, a read.



So, You've Finished Haunted Road Trip?
I Love Reviews!

If you have some free time and would like to show your support for my work then please consider leaving a review.  Not only will it absolutely make my day but it also helps promote my books to new readers.  They don't have to be articles; you can write anything as short as one sentence to a couple of words.

Haven't read Haunted Road Trip?  No problem!  I have plenty of other books you can leave reviews on.  Seriously, reviews are the greatest gift you can give an author.

IMMENSE GRATITUDE

I want to thank all of you who bought Haunted Road Trip!  This was actually a milestone for my writing career.  I sold more units of a self-published title in one week than I ever have before!!  You all are amazing and it means the world to me that you love my stories.

Gratefully Yours,
Dez


Want to be the first to know things?


OUT NOW
Haunted Road Trip: The third Dead Oaks novella!


Available on Amazon


COMING SOON

DREAM WEAVERThe fourth and final ROAM novel. March 9, 2020.



Sunday, September 8, 2019

Haunted Road Trip Release & FAQ

Haunted Road Trip releases tomorrow!


I hope you're excited to rejoin Jasper and Wesley for more haunting adventures with the Dead Oaks Paranormal Society!  There are colonial ghosts, high-stakes auditions, frights, and maybe even a hell hound.




Haunted Road Trip is available in e-book format on Amazon!  You can also add it to your Goodreads reading list.



Here are the answers to some common reader questions so far:

Is this the last book in the Dead Oaks series?

No.  The Dead Oaks will continue with at least one more book after this one!

Will it be available in print?

For now, no.  I have this series enrolled in KDP on Amazon and since they are novellas, I'm planning to wait until the series is complete and then create an omnibus of all of them in print format.  Please don't wait around for that, though.  It will probably be a couple of years before I'm able to put that together.

What are you working on next?

DREAM WEAVER (the final book in the ROAM series) is releasing through NineStar Press on March 9, 2020!  I'm currently in the development process for my next book which I will be referring to as "Secret Novel Project" for the time being.  Be sure to visit my website and sign up for the newsletter to receive updates!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy Haunted Road Trip!

- Dez

Friday, August 30, 2019

Exclusive Excerpt from Haunted Road Trip


The Dead Oaks returns in less than two weeks!  Here's an exclusive excerpt from the first chapter of the new book, Haunted Road Trip:


“It's always so loud in here!”
Jasper wasn't opposed to live music. Not at all. He loved that he'd reached a point where his nights could be spent hanging out with friends at Neon Flux instead of just binge eating junk food and streaming movies online; not that he was opposed to that either. It was just nice to finally have friends.
But at the moment, Wes attempted to shout at him from across the table. They were crowded into a corner booth with Liv Robles, Caroline Strathers, Pheobe Tแป‘ng, and Martin Chopra. Between the din of guitars and drums pounding out an obscure sub-genre of heavy metal that reminded Jasper of his cat, Zener, screaming for canned whitefish, and the cheers of the crowd, Jasper had no idea what on earth Wes was trying to say.
Exasperated, Wes kicked Jasper's foot underneath the table and motioned for them to leave.
Jasper nudged Pheobe and Martin who had no qualms letting him out of the booth. They took the opportunity to hit the dance floor and bust some seriously embarrassing moves which Jasper was thankful he wouldn't have to witness.
Wes grabbed his energy drink off the table in one hand and took Jasper's in the other. As soon as he was in earshot, he shouted, “Let's go outside!”
Jasper didn't want to blow out his vocal chords so he simply nodded and followed behind Wes as they pushed their way through the crowd and out the front door.
Even though the night air was warm, it still provided a nice reprieve from the heat of bodies building up inside of Neon Flux.
They walked to the side of the building where broken bricks jutted out and Wes hopped onto them like a makeshift bench. Jasper opted to lean against the building so they were eye level with one another.
Wes swept his loose black hair back out of his face and let the night breeze cool him off.
“Remember when I suggested we should go on a trip together this summer?” Wes took a sip from the can and provided Jasper time to recall the event as though it was on offer he'd easily forget.
Jasper's heart leaped but he didn't want to seem too overzealous. He tried his best to mask his excitement. “Are you finally ready?”
“More than ready!” Wes grinned so big his smile practically filled his entire face. “I've got it all planned out. All you have to do is pack your things.”
Jasper relaxed and let himself be thrilled. “Awesome! Where are we going?”
He had daydreamed a few times about where they'd take their first romantic getaway. He often pictured them on a beach; which was definitely a fantasy because he'd never actually been to the ocean before. He wondered how soon he'd need to be ready because he still needed to buy some new swim trunks.
“On a haunted road trip!” Wes proclaimed. His eyes lit up at the exact same moment Jasper's clouded with confusion.
“What is it, JJ? Not what you expected?” As always, Wes could see right through him.
“I maybe imagined something with a little more sand and sunsets.”
“Sex on the beach?” Wes raised an inquisitive eyebrow and offered a wicked smirk.
Heat immediately rose to Jasper's cheeks, “Or, you know...swimming.”
Wes shrugged it off. “We have all summer to swim. I've already booked our stops. We're taking a little tour of our home-state and hitting up every haunted dive within driving distance this weekend! So you'd better run it by your parents ASAP.”
Jasper was definitely surprised but nothing about Wes' idea sounded the least bit romantic. “Let me re-frame this for you. We're finally getting a weekend alone together and every night we'll be focusing on ghosts?”
I love ghosts. You love ghosts. What could be more perfect?” Wes looked at Jasper as though he'd traded bodies with someone else.
Dreams of underwater sexy-times and sandy beach bums immediately dissipated from Jasper's mind. They were now replaced by cheesy tourist attractions and haunted hotel rooms. At least there would still be a hotel room involved. Maybe. Hopefully. Perhaps Wes had planned for something romantic in there after all.
“It sounds perfect. I'll run it by them first thing in the morning,” Jasper agreed.
Sucked in by Wes' enthusiasm, Jasper leaned over to steal a kiss.
Triumphant, Wes hopped off the bricks. “We'd better head back inside before the others ask too many questions and find a way to turn this into a packed Mystery Machine adventure.”

Join Wes and Jasper on their next adventure September 9th!  Pre-orders are available now!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

New Book + New Character

Don't worry.  This post is spoiler-free!



The Dead Oaks: Haunted Road Trip introduces a new character to the group of small town ghost-hunters: Tony Sandoval!

 “He's my dad's personal assistant.”
And an intern at the local news station, HWCT. Wes says you're going to be investigating paranormal activity? Well, now you've got a professional cameraman to capture it all.” Tony patted a black nylon camera bag that hung off his shoulder.
“You look more like a bodyguard than a cameraman.” Jasper couldn't help but glance at the outlines of muscles that contoured Tony's skintight black athletic shirt.
Tony kept grinning. “Maybe that's why Mayor Shain hired me to protect his son.”

“Don't listen to him, JJ.” Wes leaned on the open passenger door. “Tony's sixty percent talk and forty percent hair gel.”




As stated, Tony Sandoval is an intern at Hazelwood's local news station and also works as Mayor Shain's (Wesley's father) personal assistant.  Upon the Mayor's insistence, he's delegated to chaperon the D.O.P.S. team on their haunted road trip.  While Wes, Jasper, and Liv are less than thrilled about the supervision, Tony may end up proving himself to be a valuable addition to the group.

 Wes quickly turned to Liv. She nodded and squinted at whatever came through for her on the screen. “There's an anomaly. I'd say it's about the height of a child.”
“You want to play?” Wes coaxed the spirit.
Tony interjected, “Please stop saying that.”
“Play...” the voice came through again.
Wes grinned.
“Hangman.” the voice said next.
Wes frowned.

“Maybe you should've listened to Tony,” Jasper said.

I can't wait for you to meet Tony and explore haunted Connecticut with D.O.P.S. when The Dead Oaks: Haunted Road Trip releases on September 9th, 2019!




Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Haunted Road Trip Cover Reveal + Release Date Announcement

Cover Reveal


THE DEAD OAKS
Book Three: Haunted Road Trip

Wesley Shain is college-bound for a life in the theater, just as everyone always expected. Lately, though, he's been thinking paranormal investigation is a better career path. He just needs one weekend to prove it.

A haunted road trip wasn't exactly the romantic getaway Jasper Jelinek had hoped for but with a few friends, ghostly frights, and one steamy summer night, it might turn out to be precisely what his relationship needed.

Available
September 9, 2019

Thursday, August 8, 2019

The Dead Oaks Revisited + Info On Haunted Road Trip



On the edge of the quaint, historic town of Hazelwood, Connecticut lies a sprawling relic of dead trees that surround the woods.  A playground for wildlife, hikers, and--most recently--ghost hunters.  And it's basically Jasper Jelinek's backyard...

Welcome to The Dead Oaks!


We're hitching a ride on a haunted road trip with Jasper Jelinek and Wesley Shain!  I'll be revealing the cover for The Dead Oaks: Haunted Road Trip and announcing a release date sometime next week so keep an eye out!  Be sure to sign up for the newsletter on my website to see it before anyone else.

If you're already a fan of the series, you can look forward to:

๐Ÿ’€ Haunted Inns
๐Ÿ’€ Spooky Cemeteries
๐Ÿ’€ Steamy Summer Nights
๐Ÿ’€ Fights & Frights

If you're new to the series and curious to know what it's all about then here's a quick overview!


The Dead Oaks is a YA LGBTQ Paranormal novella series about a group of teenage ghost hunters.

Book One: Ghost Stories

Blurb:

Jasper Jelinek believes in ghosts. Probably more than he believes in himself. After living a life of relative solitude and misanthropy, he suddenly becomes saddled with some unexpected new friends. Their obsession with the paranormal forces them to face the thing they've been avoiding most: Life. Together they learn that there's more to being haunted than just ghost stories.

Where To Get It: Amazon


Book Two: Midnight Monsters

Blurb:

The Dead Oaks Paranormal Society finds themselves on their first official case. A haunted house seems like a promising place to capture conclusive evidence that the paranormal is real; but like all plans, nothing goes the way that they intend.

Unwanted tagalongs, misunderstandings, and a malicious not-so-ghostly entity all collide to put the strength of Jasper and Wesley's bond to the test. This monster hunting sleepover could end their team, and possibly their lives, faster than they'd come together.

Where To Get It: Amazon


Book Three: Haunted Road Trip will be dropping soon!  I'll post more sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes tidbits leading up to the release.

Until then, Happy Haunting and remember that it's always more fun if you bring a friend!

- Dez -



OUT NOW


HUNTER (ROAM, Book Two)
AMAZON | B&N | NSP

LGBTQ Dreampunk series about a gay Sandman, his dapper bisexual occultist boyfriend, and scheming supernaturals determined to turn existence on its head.

Have any questions?  Ask Dez