Doug Starr - Labor of Love + Contest
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Feed. Prey. Love.
by Doug Starr - http://www.dhstarr.com
I’m thrilled to announce the release of my newest novel, Feed. Prey. Love. which is available through Ai Press, but can also be purchased at amazon.com, Barnes & Nobles, and All Romance. While you may suspect I’m thrilled to announce its release because I want you to run out and purchase it (which I wouldn’t complain if you did) that is actually not the case. This is actually the first book I’ve written where I truly don’t care if it sells beautifully or if people don’t like it that much. This book came from someplace deep inside and it reflects a huge amount of work, self-exploration, and frustration.
Paranormal stories are probably my favorite genre. The world-building, suspension of belief, and sheet creativity are amazing to me and I find it much easier to get lost into those tales. But writing paranormal is nothing like reading it. The worlds which others seem to create effortlessly, tortured and teased me. Each round of edits revealed a new hole which needed to be filled (naughty people I’m talking about gaps in the creation of my world…LOL).
Then, once I thought I had ironed out the kinks in my world, created just the right blend of the contemporary feel with rules governing the co-existence of paranormals and humans, new plot holes emerged. Well, not so much plot holes, but elements my publisher wanted to have fleshed out or further developed.
With each new round of edits, I found myself becoming more and more frustrated, but I trust my editor with all my heart and therefore, pushed myself to move forward. I’ll admit, as I have to Sedonia Guillone on many occasions, that her pushes drove me a bit batty at times, but she’s a pro and she gets what I love to write.
I had walked away from the manuscript for about 9 months, just too darn tuckered out from trying to make it work. It wasn’t until I took a trip down to Asheville, NC and visited with my good friends Eden Winters and Ally Blue, that I broke out the story and started reading the opening to them. To my utter surprise, they were transfixed and told me this book must be shared with the public. So, I buckled down and began the arduous process of re-reading the entire document with new eyes. The break was probably a blessing in disguise because new twists emerged and fresh ideas of how to handle my characters and their stories seemed to materialize out of thin air.
What has resulted is a story with the rich characters I love to write and their tortured angst as they struggle to find their way to happiness. But something more has evolved from this process. I’ve come to better understand the nuances of merging believability into stories which have unbelievable elements. As challenging as it was, the end result is a book I am extremely proud of.
The world I have built is set in contemporary times. I have created a residence called Whispering Hills. It is the first of its kind where paranormals and humans live together in harmony. In this place, paranormals can feel accepted and humans, the ones who have always felt on the fringe, finally have a place where their differences are celebrated. This story is planned to be a 4 story arc. The next installment will be The Omega’s Mate.
So, with that being said, here are my guys and an excerpt teaser for you. I provided Thorny with the full prelude and with the beginnings of a scorching hot sex scene and I’ve left it to him to decide whether to post the tame one, the hot one, or both.
Barnes and Noble
Talib is one of the heroes of the story. He’s a 200 year old vampire, originally from Palestine, who has experienced disappointment after disappointment in terms of the people in his life. But no disappointment was harder to accept that his failure when he lost control one fateful night and turned a human into a vampire. Having been turned against his will, Talib swore he’d never do the same to another. This failure sends Talib into a life of seclusion. He feels it’s better to live in isolation where he can’t hurt anyone else, rather than risk making another mistake.
Conley is a handsome human with a sculpted body. Men lust for him and Conley is never at a loss for attention, but the attention is surface, shallow, and ultimately leaves Conley feeling even more alone. What drives Conley is his fierce intellect. He loves books, etymology, and above else, he’s a master at the meaning of names. Whenever he meets someone, he can’t help but share with them the meaning of their name. Of course, once he opens him mouth, the physical interest of his potential lovers fizzles like air rushing out of a balloon. When he meets Talib, someone who immediately appreciated Conley for who he is, not just how he looks, something awakens within Conley. The problem, Talib doesn’t want to be tempted by another human.
Jonah is the vampire Talib turned nearly a century ago and is the reason he has kept himself in seclusion. As a human, Jonah was fiercely intellectual, a professor at Harvard, and extremely arrogant. When he set eyes on Talib, he knew the man (or vampire although he didn’t know it at the time) was someone he wanted. After Talib turned him, his arrogance intensified, his superficial needs and desires bolstering him to a place where humans were merely food, toys to be played with before killing them. After Talib spurns him, Jonah slinks into the shadows, waiting for his chance to exact revenge. That time comes the moment Talib lets his guard down and begins to love Conley.
At Whispering Hills where mortals and paranormals coexist peacefully – and romantically - love really does bite!
Talib Eldridge is a vampire who lives with guilt. 100 years ago, he accidentally turned a human to a vampire and has been afraid to get close to anyone for fear of ever losing control as he once did. When he meets Conley Berillo, his commitment to living in isolation is challenged. Immediately drawn to the human, he can’t help but fall in love.
Conley has always felt out of place. Never fitting in with others, he too has lived in isolation. When the existence of paranormal creatures is finally acknowledged, he feels an immediate affinity to the outcasts, still feared and hated by humans. Moving to Whispering Hills in Providence, Rhode Island, he knows immediately that he belongs to this new world. When he meets Talib, that conviction is only solidified.
When Jonah Townsend, the human Talib had turned about a hundred years earlier, re-enters the picture, Talib and Conley’s newfound happiness is threatened. Conley becomes the tool that Jonah uses to get back at Talib and Talib is forced to make a choice. Fight for his own happiness and risk Conley’s life, or put Conley’s safety first and sacrifice what he’s searched and struggled for over two hundred years!
Pretty hot sex scene stopping right before the heavy action gets going.
Without waiting for the server, Talib deposited a twenty on the table and grabbed Conley by the arm, yanking him into a standing position. “Let’s go.”
The walk up the hill involved far less talking than the trip down to breakfast had. By the time they reached the front doors of Whispering Hills, Conley was winded. “Hurry up,” Talib said, leading the way into the building.
Once the door to his apartment closed behind him, Conley grabbed Talib and pressed him against the wall, sliding his hands along the vampire’s taut stomach and chest muscles, pinching Talib’s nipples until they hardened under his touch. He dipped his head into the crook of Talib’s neck and inhaled, taking in the fresh scent of soap which remained on his skin, and then he sealed his mouth to a cord of muscle, running his tongue in circles along the smooth flesh.
Talib moaned, an ahh escaping his mouth, causing his neck to vibrate under Conley’s tongue. “My God, I can feel that all the way down to my toes. You found the most sensitive spot on my body.”
Conley pulled away from Talib’s neck only to whisper one incredulous question, “The most sensitive spot?”
Talib responded by placing his hand on the back of Conley’s head and forcing his mouth back to his neck. “Yes, the most sensitive spot.” He then reached down and grabbed Conley’s ass, pulling them together so straining erection rubbed against straining erection.
After several minutes of kissing and grinding, Conley pulled away from Talib, taking him by the hand and leading him to the bedroom. Pushing him flat onto the mattress, Conley stood and started pulling off his own clothes, stopping only long enough to stare as Talib watched him undress. “What the hell are you doing? Strip.”
“Don’t want to. Enjoying the show too much.” Conley smiled and continued taking off his clothes. As he pulled his shirt over his head, he allowed his body to torque and twist, accentuating each muscle to its fullest. The Adidas pants had an elastic band, so he slid his thumbs underneath the material and slowly worked it lower on his hips.
Talib reached down to rub at the growing bulge at his groin, but he never diverted his eyes from Conley. Encouraged, Conley continued. Rotating his hips like a belly dancer, he used the motion to lower the pants inch by inch while turning at the same time. Once his back was to Talib’s front, he lowered his pants the rest of the way, exposing his ass and the sweet pink center that Talib had used the night before.
The time between Talib’s gasp and his hands gripping Conley’s hips seemed instant, an impressive task since Conley was stripping from six feet away. “The show just got too hot. I’m an audience volunteer. Is there anything I can do to assist?”
Conley chuckled, stepping out of the pants bunched at his feet. Turning in Talib’s arms, he felt his mouth pull up into a smirk and leaned in to give a gentle kiss on the lips. “Yes. Put on a show for me now.”
Talib locked gazes with him, ice blue eyes burning with desire. It took every ounce of willpower Conley possessed to turn and walk toward the bed. Even then, he could practically feel those eyes boring into his back as he took the few steps to his destination.
Safely on the bed, he folded one hand behind his head to prop it up on the pillow and reached down with the other to stroke his now exposed, hard cock.
Talib’s eyes followed the motion of Conley’s hand for a split second then a smile tugged at his lips. Starting with the shirt, he lifted the hem slowly over his torso. While Talib was not bulky like Conley, the cords of muscles interweaved, forming and disappearing in an intricate design along his abdomen and up and down his sides, feeding the fire raging within Conley.
Taking in each new sight, Conley gasped as Talib’s face disappeared beneath the fabric, leaving his entire upper body exposed. The ridge where his pecs connected was accentuated since both of his hands were over his head, yet even stretched out, the perfectly formed chest expanded with Talib’s breathing, the creamy-coffee colored nipples pebbled, standing at attention.
Once again, Conley needed to use all of his energy to keep from dashing off the bed and taking those hard nubs of flesh into his mouth. When Talib finally removed his shirt he had a slight flush to his otherwise alabaster skin.
Silky black hair gently swept Talib’s collarbone, framing his angular face, a perfect complement to his brooding, dark good looks. Conley’s cock lurched in his hand, now fully hard, as a single pearl of precum escaped from the tip. Rubbing his thumb over the clear fluid, he slicked the head and began to run the moisture in circles around the glans. Each pass of his finger sent shivers through him, causing his toes to curl.
Once again, Talib’s eyes darted to Conley’s cock, but he quickly continued the show, fanning Conley’s arousal. With painstaking deliberateness, Talib popped the top button of his jeans. A faint wisp of dark hair appeared on his skin, not quite making it up to his navel. When he opened the second button the dark hair fanned out, cresting at the base of his cock, now visible. Conley followed the line of Talib’s bulge, from the revealed base down his pant leg where the confines of his jeans forced it to lie.
When he looked back up at Talib’s face, he was caught once again by a piercing gaze of blue fire. Stepping forward, Talib pushed his pants over his hips. Once they passed over his ass, they fell to the floor.
Conley gripped the base of his cock, straining almost to the point of pain, afraid he might come from the sudden vision of beauty before him. Talib’s body was a work of perfection, each muscle perfectly aligned to form a square frame. A combination of strength and delicacy. The slight cant from shoulder to waist, the subtle bulge of ass, rounding into upper leg gave him the appearance of strength and masculinity. The expanse of smooth thigh muscles naturally led the eye down to admire solid calf muscles, legs like a gazelle, designed for speed and beauty. That was Talib. Strength and delicacy, all wrapped in one gorgeous package.
Talib smiled then pounced, and Conley found himself pinned on his back, staring up into Talib’s eyes. Before Conley could say or do anything, Talib lowered his head, sealing their lips together. Conley opened, mouth invaded by a hungry tongue, slick and purposeful, massaging, feeding his desire and need.
Pulling out of the kiss, Talib caught his breath then lowered his head once again, placing gentle kisses to Conley’s cheek, neck, collarbone, and then further down, capturing one nipple in his mouth.
The sharp scraping of teeth against his skin caused Conley to lift his head and stare at what Talib was doing. When he saw the lust in those blue eyes, his cock surged up between them with renewed energy. It was the sight of fangs, ever so slightly descended, that caused Conley’s heart to race. “Oh my God. That is so fucking hot. Nibble at me again.”
Talib lowered his head and bit down on Conley’s nipple once more, careful not to draw blood. He then released the taught flesh and gazed at Conley, his fangs shrank back to their normal length. “I can’t feed on you. If you want a shot at me blocking your thoughts, I can’t feed on you.”
For a moment, a debate raged within Conley. The idea of Talib feeding on him was so arousing he thought his skin would catch fire, but he didn’t want to begin a relationship where every passing fancy traveled directly to his new lover. “Okay, I understand.”
“But there are things I can do which are just as good.” Talib lowered his head once more and kissed a trail down Conley’s abdomen, hot breath washing over his skin. When soft lips touched his cock, Conley thought he might come just from the anticipation, but Talib lightly gripped the base, squeezing tightly to prevent his impending release.
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