LOCAL author Mel Teshco is Gympie's rising star in the arena of erotic romance, with her latest publication receiving glowing reviews internationally.
Sitting on shelves alongside erotica romance hit Fifty Shades of Grey, Teshco's Dragon Heat, part of the anthology Something Wicked This Way Comes, Volume 1, was rated five stars by USA Today.
Teshco, 41, writes paranormal erotica, and with many e-books already under her belt, her intricate plots have placed heroines alongside gargoyles, shape-shifting black panthers, aliens and vampires. She said her characters felt "more alpha when they're paranormal".
Dragon Heat follows Grace, a paranormal creature hunter who seeks solace in a sexy dragon-shifter.
The story was described by USA Today as an "intriguing subplot of manipulation and betrayal (where) readers can expect plenty of action sequences, a very seductive dragon shifter and hot love scenes".
With a growing fan base, the Gympie-based author said she believed erotica was coming to the forefront because women wanted books with a balance of story and sex. "Modern women know what they want to read," she said. "They want to watch a story grow, but they don't want to read something where it gets to the exciting bit and then the bedroom door locks.
That's why erotica is growing - it has the romance plus the sex."
Teshco, a mother of three, is aspiring to make it onto the New York Times bestsellers list. Her latest e-book, Galactic Inferno, about a woman's forbidden attraction to the alien hero who saved her, was released on June 14 to feed her loyal erotica fans worldwide.
Teshco said she loved writing and loves having a fan base.
She started writing contemporary fiction at the age of 19, but found it was not her niche.
"I've always had a sensual voice, editors told me, but not really erotic - that's something I've had to work on," she explained.
Gaining inspiration for her novels from "anywhere and everywhere", Teshco said a scene would pop into her head and a whole book cames from it, saying sometimes words came easily but other times writing was like pulling teeth.
Teschco advises budding writers to never lose sight of their dreams.
"I feel like I'm an everyday person," she said. "If you try hard enough you can achieve any dream you want."
You can visit Mel Teshco online at www.melteshco.com.