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

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.

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


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


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 -



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