2024 covers

Welcome to the Dark Side!

We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Thursday 15 April 2021

Magic Thursday: Our Life Journey with Mel Teshco

One thing that always fascinates me as a writer is how our upbringing, our culture and our parents’ behaviours can influence and impact us for the rest of our lives. Not only that but how one decision can change the course of our future, how a move to another city, town or country can transform our beliefs and ideals so dramatically, or how meeting one single person (friend or lover) can change everything. As a child my family of six (Mom, Dad, 2 brothers and a sister) were constantly moving from one place to another. I was seriously introverted as a child and was both crippled by anxiety at having to make new friends at another new school, and exhilarated by the adventure of starting at a new place. I made many wonderful friends and met others who opened my eyes to how mean human nature can be (not that I was perfect, either). As for my upbringing…it was different to say the least. My father was deeply religious with a mental health problem (a not so nice combination), and my mother was busy trying to cope with hiding his condition from everyone including us kids. 

Perhaps that is what attracted me to write my current series, The Virgin Hunt Games. Not only are many of my characters aliens, they come from diverse backgrounds, cultures and environments that ensure each individual is really just that – totally individual. Many of these characters have dangerous flora and fauna or live in barren worlds with not much at all. Others have been at war with another alien world, which makes them tough and hardened. And yet despite all that a few of these characters have overcome their hardships to remain at their core decent human beings/aliens. These are the characters I most love, the optimists who, though hardened on the outside, are quite different on the inside. They are more complex than what you first see. The many layers of a character that as an author I get to peel back for my readers.

In Volume 3 of The Virgin Hunt Games, my heroine, Violet, has no memory of her parents or her planet after being sent to an Earth orphanage via a space pod (which was close to running out of oxygen). No one wants to adopt her thanks to her weird looks (hair, skin and eyes) until a husband and wife from a skin clinic decide she’d be the perfect tool (free advertising) once they change her skin colour back to “normal.” When they fail, she not only feels trapped inside her own skin colouring, the fact she was trapped inside a space pod has left a lifelong fear of the dark and enclosed spaces.

Prince Zel has no problem with his looks. His whole viewpoint is ruled by the fact that as the youngest prince he is considered royalty, and yet he means nothing in the bigger scheme of things. It’s only his amazing career as a combat pilot, along with an endless supply of beautiful and willing women that keeps him happy. Then, in a moment of foolish drunkenness, he accepts a dare to be a hunter in the dangerous and fucked-up Virgin Hunt Games, where he meets his drawn hunted, Violet. He takes one look at her on the other platform and suddenly everything makes perfect sense in his world…

I’ve love to hear what influence/destination/upbringing (or anything else) happened to you, which drastically changed their life.

The Virgin Hunt Games Volume 3


Life isn’t fair. Just ask Violet who mysteriously arrived in a space capsule at an orphanage as a baby. She has one goal—to find her biological parents, and winning the Virgin Hunt Games will ensure her face is plastered on every screener across the universe. Surely, her family will recognize and come for her? If she can only stay away from her Mate, the one man she must elude at all cost to win. But naturally, he’s also the only one she wants to surrender to.

Prince Zel Oscar is used to getting what he wants. But accepting a rival’s dare to be a Hunter in the infamous sexploitative Virgin Hunt Games was a terrible and possibly life-altering mistake. But then he meets his Hunted, Violet...delicious perfection wrapped up in a gorgeous package. Too bad she is totally indifferent to his kisses, his exploits, and his lofty title. He’ll do whatever it takes to break down her steely resistance...but will his subjects see him as a hero, or a total degenerate for having kinky sex in front of billions of viewers?

In the end he must make an impossible choice—keep her love, or his kingdom?


Buy links


Mel Teshco grew up in Australia, where her seemingly gypsy dad and ever patient mother saw her living in many areas of the East Coast, along with her sister and two brothers. Each new home stimulated an already over-active imagination, where she spent as much time dreaming about fantasy worlds as the real world - the fantasy sometimes being much better.

Now living on a small rural property with three horses and a handful or two of cats, she is happily married with three children of wide-spread ages and loves writing gritty, sizzling paranormals and the occasional contemporary with darker tones.

You can visit Mel at her website: melteshco.com


  1. Fascinating interview, Mel. This is a great series. Really enjoying it.

    1. Thanks Cathleen! These books aren't for everyone that's for sure :)

  2. Thanks for sharing, Mel. Looking forward to reading this series!


check out all our books on our dsdu-books shelf:
DarkSide DownUnder's book lists (dsdu-books shelf)