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Spotlight & Giveaway: The Virgin Hunt Games by Mel Teshco | Harlequin Junkie | Blogging about Books Leave a comment


Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Mel Teshco to HJ!
Spotlight&Giveaway

Hi Mel and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Virgin Hunt Games volume 1!

 
Thanks so much for having me here, what a great place to hang out 🙂
 

Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:

Take one six story tower set inside a huge amphitheater. Then add 10 alien men (hunters) and ten women (hunted) – one of whom is a human, and set them loose inside the tower, where each level has different backdrops and dangers. This makes the Virgin Hunt Games, a deadly once-every-four-years event where only the brave or the desperate enter. If they survive to tell the tale.
 

Please share the opening lines of this book:

Prince Damon Banscott of Saberlynth scowled as he peered out through bamboo shutters from the first floor of the central tower’s holding room, where he and nine other hunters were confined.
The sun had long since burned through the chill of dawn, its egg-yolk brilliance pulling free from the uppermost level of the surrounding amphitheater to illuminate a ninety-thousand strong audience.

 

Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • The opening scene started from a dream
  • I too often type Virgin Hung Games instead of Virgin Hunt Games
  • Some of my character names are taken from a variety of cats I have fostered.
  • Though the book has been compared to an adult version of the Hunter Games it was never my intention (not that I’m complaining!)
  • Book 1 was set to be released as “Defective”

 

What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

The hero, Damon, first sets eyes on Melody (she has silver-blonde hair, a very rare feature in the future) when she steps out onto the hunted platform. He knows immediately she is the one he wants.
Melody senses someone’s eyes on her but she has no idea which hunter until Damon steps out onto his platform alongside the other nine hunters. All her instincts clamor that he was the man watching her. That she is attracted to him, too, is all too apparently thanks to her body’s instant response.
 

Using just 5 words, how would you describe Hero and Heroine’s love affair?

Deadly. Dark. Obsessive. Passionate. Intense.
 

The First Kiss…

Her concentration lapsed for a moment and she overbalanced, dropping into the water. For a split second she froze, and panic roiled through her, nearly suffocating her. Memories flooded through her of another time and place where she’d been dragged down, down…
Then Damon lifted her effortlessly from the water, his chuckle filling her ears as she launched herself at him and clung to his back like a mollusk. Her mouth brushed against the side of his neck, inhaling his dark scent of wood and amber that was uniquely alien, uniquely Damon. At once the horrid flash from the past faded, replaced by something far more carnal.
More shivers pulsed through her. This reality was so much nicer. And at least the dunking had washed away any blood. With a breathless sigh, she leaned close to him and pressed a deliberate kiss to the top of his throat, the tip of her tongue touching the strong column, tasting his slightly salty male skin.
He stiffened, his breath hissing sharply as he twisted to face her. His eyes glittered, and one of his big hands clasped her ass, his other hand cupping the part of her jaw that wasn’t bruised. With a groan he bent his head and kissed her gently, a merging of lips and tongue that gave him free rein to taste and explore.
She was glad she still clung to him, because her legs certainly wouldn’t support her. They were weak and getting weaker by the second as she succumbed to his intensity, kissing him back and savoring his breath, the very taste of him. Like the finest whiskey overlaid with spices.
This was their first kiss, and its intimacy was as raw as sex, yet as profound as breathing.
At length, he dragged his mouth free so they could suck in some oxygen. “Jesus, Melody,” he said hoarsely. “I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting you.”

 

Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?

I have so many! But if I was to choose just one it is where Melody faces the hard truth of why Damon entered the Games.

I have my own agenda for being here. Like you, I was enticed with something irresistible. But unlike you, it wasn’t credits. I have more than enough money.”
Her pulse skyrocketed, instinct telling her that whatever he was about to say would change everything. “What is your agenda?”
For a moment, he didn’t answer. Then he conceded fiercely, “To make Bastion Legada suffer, and then kill him.”
She froze, for a moment her every emotion unable, unwilling to comprehend the truth. When she finally found her voice, it came out harsher than gravel. “You used me to get to him?”
His arm tightened around her. “At first,” he admitted softly. “But then I got to know you and discovered how much I wanted to be with you—”
“Liar!” she snarled. “You chose me not because you liked me, or were even attracted to me. But because Bastion drew my color. You wanted to rub our relationship in his face. Not to mention it gave you a perfect excuse to kill him.”
When Damon didn’t deny it, and she sensed him look away, her heart broke in a million tiny pieces. Her voice lowered. “No wonder you were fine seeing me with other hunters. You really didn’t care about me at all.”
“You don’t believe that.”
She pulled away from him to sit, but dizziness from learning the truth as well as the blackness pressing down on her kept her immobile for a little longer. “I’ve been such a fool.” She shook her head.
“I can’t be with you.” She rose to go…anywhere else.
He caught her arm and kept her in place. “You’re not leaving me. Not now. If I have to force you to stay, I will.”
She stiffened. “I’m not your prisoner, Damon. Don’t make me hate you. We agreed when the time was right, you’d let me go.”
His laugh was throaty, amused. “Do you really think I’d allow another hunter anywhere near you now you know the truth? And you’ll never hate me, blondie. I’ll make sure of that.”
“What do you—”
She jumped at his touch between her thighs. Goddess help her, even fully clothed, the press of his hand on the most intimate, needy part of her was thrilling

 

If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?

It would have to be the setting. The six story tower with all the different and dangerous levels, as well as the huge amphitheater for the live audience.

A huge screener behind the crowd lit up and showed snatches of the rapt audience—human, alien, male, and female. There were even some teenagers amongst them, staring wide-eyed up at the huge tower where the hunters and the hunted stood and waited.
The same tower inside which the Games would take place for seven days. She’d heard the colossal tower contained six vast floor levels, each elaborately set up with a different environment, showcasing six dangerous scenarios for the contestants to overcome.
A slick-looking male presenter pushed past Melody and the other women, then slid open a small side door and stepped out onto the main platform into the crowd’s view. A floater camera moved through the air to hover just yards away from Mr. Slick. The moment the screener showed him up close and personal, the roar of the crowd intensified, raising the hairs on the back of Melody’s neck.
The presenter put his hand up for silence. His stylishly-coiffed silver-gray hair was brushed back from his arrogant face, his white jacket gleaming under the bloated sun that was slowly rising in the cloudless sky.
“Earth and alien people, I am Jackson Conway, and I’m pleased to welcome you all to the Virgin Hunt Games, the biggest show in the galaxy!”
The applause and shouts were thunderous, the anticipation from the audience so thick it was palpable.

 

Readers should read this book …

if they loved the Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, and if they also enjoy sex being an integral part of the story.

 

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

I’m working on volume six of The Virgin Hunt Games, with each book in the series showcasing all new characters with different settings on each of the tower’s levels. I’ve also recently released Mutant Unveiled, a post apocalyptic story where humans are the bad guys and mutants are the good guys who are hunted down. I am also close to finishing a contemporary story, Resisting the Firefighter. My hero is one of three brothers. Two author buddies of mine are writing the other brothers’ stories. We love working together and I think that is reflected by the success of our boxsets.

 

Thanks for blogging at HJ!

 

Giveaway: a 10 dollar Amazon gift card (for best original defective power reply)

 

To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Thinking outside of the box, if you had a (defective) power that might help protect you against other hunters and hunted inside the tower, what would it be?

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 

Excerpt from The Virgin Hunt Games volume 1:

Melody Simmons gazed numbly into the gold-framed reflector as half a dozen attendants polished her into one of the ten goddesses who would soon be the proverbial meat to slake the hunter males’ sexual hunger.
In Melody’s everyday life, she’d have cared less that her waist-length silver-blond hair was trimmed of dry ends, her nails painted green—the same color her soon-to-be hunter would draw—and her face made up until she was barely recognizable. But enhancing her looks meant improving her chances of fucking as many hunters as possible, which also meant more credits landing in her bank account and her family rocketing free of near poverty.
The downside? Billions of viewers from all parts of the galaxy would be watching her fall from virtue with avid interest.
But it was too late to back out now. She was ruined for life now, anyway. For better or worse, she’d signed the contract, and she intended to make use of her charms. Once the Games were behind her, she’d be wealthy enough never to have to endure sex again.
She resisted tugging the lapels of her robe tighter over her otherwise naked body as yet another attendant juggled at least a dozen different outfits, holding each one against Melody and looking at her expectantly for approval. She grimaced. She’d better get used to showing off her body.
Sick of all the fuss, she eventually nodded at a one-piece sleeveless black pantsuit that buttoned together at the front. It was practical, wouldn’t get in the way during a fight, and it had deep pockets that she could stuff anything useful into.
The dark thigh-high boots presented to her were also a good choice. The boots laced up at the front, and she could use the laces for many things, not just strangulation. The spiked heels would make sharp weapons and weren’t so high that she couldn’t run in them.
A statuesque woman—another hunted—in the chair next to her own quietly sobbed. “I was going to be joined with my mate in three moon days,” she lamented. “I’d saved myself for Skyheart. But after this he’ll never look at me again, and I don’t blame him.”
An assistant blinked down at her. “But you said Skyheart encouraged you to be here.”
She nodded. “Yes, he was excited to start our life without fear of hardship. But how will he ever look me in the eye again knowing some other male fucked me first?”
Melody frowned. When had a woman’s virginity become the essence of her whole life, the arbiter of her future? She wished now she had broken her hymen with one of the many village men who’d lusted after her. Then she wouldn’t have felt compelled to become a hunted at the Virgin Hunt Games.
She was glad her parents and neighbors didn’t own a screener to witness her loss of innocence. And yet, another part of her hoped they did know she’d been captured by the scouts, so they didn’t suspect even worse foul play…like being kidnapped and sold into one of the many harems around the universe, or taken to one of the black-market platforms where innocents were auctioned off to the highest bidder.
An attractive Earth virgin wasn’t only valued for these Games. There were plenty of twisted alien males who secretly coveted women of other races, despite the stigma attached. She didn’t even want to imagine how the women were treated who were sold illegally.
She shuddered. It was bad enough scouts bribed women to sign a contract to participate in the Games which, according to universal law, wasn’t a criminal offense like prostitution. The women had even been vaccinated against sexually transmitted diseases and injected with birth control, which meant they had nothing to worry about when they were captured by their drawn hunter.
Other than figuring out how to escape. Because while the hunters got more credits by pleasing their captive mate sexually, the hunted women received more by finding their pleasure with any of the hunters who weren’t their assigned mate.
A woman could become famous, wealthy, and sexually fulfilled, if she so chose. Melody only aimed for one out of three. She just had her eyes on the wealth.
The hairdresser finished cutting her hair and stepped back, while another assistant nodded approval. “The aliens will love her, just as much as the human crowd will.”
Melody glared. “I am human.”
The assistant smirked. “Not according to our blood profiles and your background checks.”
Of course they’d know everything about her. Or thought they did. Not only had the doctors examined her to ensure she was a virgin, they’d taken five vials of blood and did a full health panel. All unnecessary, really, what with the full-body scan that detected any abnormalities. Yet, it was all too evident their assessments weren’t foolproof.
“I can assure you, I’m human,” she said with steel in her voice.
“If you say so,” the hairdresser soothed. “Either way, everyone will love you.” She ran a hand through Melody’s hair, her voice wistful and a little envious. “Natural blond is so rare now, especially this platinum color. It all but glows.”
Did they truly think she gave a damn? She wanted none of the crowd to like her, to fixate on her. She wouldn’t be here, period, except she was desperate to get her family out of near financial ruin. The sudden, alarming drop in prices for their farm’s medicinal herbs might not make sense to her, but participating in these Games most certainly did.
Of course, the hairdresser and assistants would say anything to stop her from glaring and looking less than perfect. Or perhaps fear governed their tongues because they knew of her formidable skill as a fighter.
All Melody had ever wanted was to be a law enforcer—almost unheard of for a female villager. But she’d never let that stop her. She’d trained until her hands had blistered and bled, and her limbs had burned with fatigue.
But thanks to these damn Games, she’d now missed her final exams at the academy, both the physical simulations and the theory assessments. Her stomach knotted. She’d have to wait until the next round to enroll again, and that might be ages down the road.
A few months ago, she’d been approached by scouts who apparently spent many years unobtrusively studying potentials. Women who were beautiful, athletic, and intelligent, many of whom were also skilled at fighting or weaponry. But the most important trait in a prospect was that she was a virgin.
Melody had checked all the boxes.
She forced a smile at the women who fussed over her hair. “I’d like my hair pulled into a topknot, please.” The hairdresser exchanged a look of askance with the assistant. It wouldn’t do to have one of the virgin hunted not looking her very best.
Too bad. Melody held their eyes when they turned back to her. She wouldn’t allow loose hair strands to sabotage her chance at eluding her assigned hunter. He could too easily hold onto them while he thrust into her, taking away her innocence. But eluding her hunter was paramount. The longer it took him to claim her, the more credits she’d bank.
She pressed her lips together. Keeping her hymen intact was not on the cards. Besides, she’d get far more money by having sex with any one of the other nine hunters who didn’t draw her name. Which was the whole point of being here.
“Fine,” the hairdresser said with a sigh, quickly getting to work dragging the thick blond mass up behind Melody’s head. “You’ve got the facial bone structure to pull it off, anyway.”
With her hair quickly and efficiently done, the assistants stepped away. A faint mechanical whirr sounded, and her chair tipped back until she was almost horizontal.
“Lie back now and relax,” a male doctor in a white coat rasped in a no-nonsense voice. She immediately stiffened. The man with his dark hair turning gray at the temples managed a smile as he held out his gloved palm to reveal a tiny round disk. “This device will fuse below your clitoris.”
Alarm shot through her. “Why? What is it for?”
The attendant sent her a knowing look. “Believe me, you’ll be glad of it. The device reads the number of orgasms you have once a hunter captures you and sends the information to the orgasm meter, which will tally credits to your account. Orgasms equal pleasure for you, as well as possible bonus credits for you both, depending on which hunter it is.”
The hairdresser leaned in smugly. “Unless it’s your assigned hunter, of course.”
Melody couldn’t hold back another glower. “That hunter won’t get near me.”
The attendant’s smile faltered. “It’s inevitable that your mate will catch you sooner or later. No hunted in the history of the Games has evaded capture from her drawn hunter for the full seven days, if he was alive.”
Melody’s confidence wilted just a little, even as she gritted out, “There’s always a first time.”
The assistant shook her head, her gaze hardening. “Dream on. All the men are seasoned hunters and warriors, many of whom have unique powers because of their species. This group is the best we’ve had yet. As for their sexual prowess—all of them excel.”
“Spread your legs,” the white-coated man said in a stern, uncompromising tone.
Melody reluctantly did as he asked, her robe falling apart. She and the other nine hunted had already had a listening device inserted into an ear, so they could hear whatever the millions gathered at their screeners heard as the Games unfolded.
The doctor’s eyes gleamed at the visual of her spread pussy laid out in front of him like a damn buffet. But she took comfort knowing she wasn’t the only woman being subjected to the indignity. Better to get it over with and not to fight. She’d only be held down, anyway.
She’d save her strength to evade her so-called mate, the hunter who would draw her name in the opening ceremony.
Five minutes later, she stood ready to enter the viewing platform along with the nine other women behind a set of tall, ornate shutters that allowed them limited vision of the audience, but concealed them from prying eyes. Nerves, self-doubt, and a whole lot of other messed-up shit suddenly filled her head.
She didn’t belong here. She wasn’t ready for whatever these Games entailed. What had she been thinking? No amount of wealth was worth the humiliation.
In all her twenty-three years, she’d watched a screener no more than a handful of times in the city of Alpalla, ten hours’ drive from her own village of Teslam. Despite the Virgin Hunt Games’ immense popularity, she’d never seen a screening of it and had little idea of what to expect. All she knew was the rumors she’d heard, all secondhand knowledge. Who knew if any of it was true? Misinformation was the last thing she wanted filling her head and making her even more anxious.
She glanced around at the other women, feeling totally inadequate. Holy hell, not only did it look like she was the only human among them, at five feet seven she was easily the shortest woman there, and most definitely the least muscled. Her build was slender, the only fullness her damn breasts.
She took a deep breath and told herself to chill. She’d be fine. She was quick on her feet and had the instincts of a street fighter. Not that she’d be fighting off any hunters other than her assigned mate.
Even so, she wished she weren’t so…human, so weak and fragile compared to everyone else. Especially the aliens with special powers. She’d love some kind of attribute that would give her a more equal footing. Instead, she had to rely solely on her law enforcement training and being able to entice at least a few of the other hunters into abandoning their own hunteds long enough to have sex with her.

Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
 
 

Book Info:

EARTH, YEAR 2324

Melody Simmons desperately needs to fill her bank accounts with credits that could help her family climb out of near poverty. And in the Virgin Hunt Games, that means enticing as many hunters as possible to bed her. The downside? Billions of viewers from all parts of the galaxy would be watching her fall from virtue with avid interest.

Alien Damon Banscott despises everything about the Virgin Hunt Games. Except the fact he can now legally destroy his enemy in the games. He is in this only for revenge. Then Damon sees one of the beautiful hunted and, for a moment, his heart stops beating. He’ll fight to the death before allowing another hunter to touch and deflower Melody.

But while the hunters get more credits by pleasing their captive mate sexually, the hunted women received more by finding their pleasure with any of the hunters who weren’t their assigned mate.

The hunt is on…
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads |
 
 

Meet the Author:

Mel Teshco loves to write scorching paranormal, sci-fi and contemporary stories. Not easy with five cats, two dogs and a fat black thoroughbred vying for attention, especially when Mel’s also busily stuffing around on Facebook. With only one daughter now living at home to feed two minute noodles, she still shakes her head at how she managed to write with three daughters and three stepchildren living under the same roof. Not to mention Mr. Semi-Patient (the one and same husband hoping for early retirement…he’s been waiting a few years now…) Clearly anything is possible, even in the real world.
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