The Worlds of Terri Pray

The highs and lows of chasing a writing dream. From fantasy to erotica and beyond as seen through the eyes of Terri Pray.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Eternal Slave, now on sale!

Eternal Slave by Terri Pray is now on Sale from eXtasy Books

Warning this book contains strong BDSM elements, blood play and other elements that may not be suitable for all readers.


With a slow breath let out through clenched teeth, Alayna eased to kneel at the booted feet of the statue. At least this way, if someone looked in on her, or there were peepholes within the room, she’d appear to be fulfilling her duties. She intertwined her fingers, lowered her head, completing the image of a woman praying before her God. At least one thing remained in her favor--these types of offerings were normally done in silence, so no one would expect to hear mumbling words of praise spilling from her lips.

Cold seeped through her body--the linen offered little in the way of protection. Not that she had expected them to really care. First the antechamber, now here--the warmth and comfort of the other room had felt out of place. Maybe that had been why she had refused to touch anything other than a blanket.

“Or maybe you knew we were watching you?”

A man’s voice pulled her from the mix of thoughts, catching her off-guard. No one else should be in the room--she’d not heard the door open or the sound of footsteps.

“Who...?” She turned, still on her knees, searching for the source of the voice.

“Well, we were right. You’re stubborn, headstrong, arrogant and, yes, attractive. Very nice, indeed.” His words sent a chill down her spine. Where were they coming from?

“I’m right in front of you, Alayna.” The mocking tone taunted her.

That didn’t make sense. The only thing in front of her were walls and the statue.

“Ah, I see, you’re unwilling to accept the obvious answer.”

Wherever he was, his voice was smooth, silklike, yet with a cold, deadly quality that turned her stomach even as she searched for the source.

The statue moved, dust falling away from the boots, white stone turning into black leather. That wasn’t possible. Statues didn’t come to life.

“Unless they aren’t statues at all, but your Gods, child.”

Fingers twined into her hair, grasping it tightly, arching her backwards until her gaze rose to meet the now-living face. His eyes burned into hers, violet pupils, lip curved upwards in a sneer.
“Yes, I’m real, and yes, I can hear your thoughts. What else did you expect? But of course, the Gods don’t really exist, do we? We’re nothing more than an outdated concept, a product of the fears of weak-minded fools, a belief encouraged by zealots.”

“This isn’t happening.” She tried to hide the fear that fueled her words.

“Oh, but it is.” His free hand slapped her face; the only thing that saved her head from snapping to one side was the grip he had on her hair.

Pain lanced through her face; she tasted her own blood as it seeped from the corner of her mouth. Only twice before in her life had she been struck, and both those times had been that very morning. Now her face throbbed from a slap that had dazed her vision and left her trembling under the gaze of a man she feared.

“Such a delicious offering you make, Alayna. I plan on tasting you to your fullest over the coming weeks.”

His smile offered no comfort--if anything, it made matters worse, reminding her of a predator. She could see every elegant line of his face, smell the odd musky smell that emanated from him. Under other circumstances, she might have considered him attractive--dark and cruel, but not someone that most women could have ignored. Even if they had wanted to.

The grip tightened on her hair, pulling her up from her knees, still keeping her back arched as his lips lowered to hers. She tensed, expecting a kiss to claim her or a hand to move over her body, perhaps tear the linen from her form. Her breath caught in the back of her throat.
An unwanted desire gained life; even with her fear she could feel it, an odd, clenching sensation between her thighs as he closed the gap between them. A shudder ran through at the touch of his tongue against her chin, following the thin trickle of blood. She felt a need to press more tightly to him, to seek his touch even though her mind screamed no.

Only now did his hand move across her body, touching through the linen, caressing from her thigh upwards.

“Yes, you’ll do nicely.” His words brushed against her cheek. “A tender new pet at my feet, so ripe for the training I can give. All the delights I will be able to teach you as you enter my service more deeply with each passing day.”

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Without a Trace- Cyber Stalking

I tend to watch crime shows, sometimes they can be very good sources of information as well as entertainment. These days they have to get their facts straight because to not do so only causes problems. Well today’s episode brought up a very good point. Cyber Stalking and the fact it is a felony offence.

Running www.darkfantasychat.com has given me a crash course on a lot of issues, cyber stalking being one of them. We’ve had three issues of this so far, one in historical realms, the other two in Gor. All three resulted in bans, and two involved working with ISP’s and law enforcement.

So what is cyber stalking?

It can take many forms from unsolicited email, Instant messengers and live chat in IRC or HTML chat rooms, (including java rooms). More complex forms includes sending hate mail, virus attachments, email bombs and others.

Most find it hard to know where the line is between harassment/stalking and just being friendly. It’s simple. If you tell someone to stop contacting you and they continue it’s harassment. If they contact you, follow you through email or chat rooms on a continued basis (more than say 3 times) after you’ve said no, it’s stalking.

If someone enters a chat room just to single you out and make you feel uncomfortable or to toss insults at you it’s annoying. More than twice it’s harassment. Continued attempts after being told to cease and desist or the person being aware that this is not allowed on the site and it is stalking.

There is a little more to it than that, but that’s the basic rule of thumb.

Harassment is illegal.

Stalking via the net is a felony offence.

Such incidents are ones site owners have to look into. We’re bound to check it out, report it, involve the police if needed, deal with the ISP’s involved. It’s a serious issue. Stalking can destroy lives. Leave people afraid, uncertain and ruin their self confidence. It can affect a business or more than one. Never be afraid to contact site admin over matters like this.

At its lowest form harassment is bullying, and I have zero time for bullies. To me they are cowards. And as such I will deal with them to the highest extent I can when they enter my site.

World Fantasy, Kids and Site

Less than a week and I’ll be gone again, this time to World Fantasy in Madison WI. Unlike the other conventions I’ve been to of late this one is more for fun and socialization than work. Sure there will be some chances to push my work, and maybe learn a little more about agents, but for the most part I’m going there in order to have fun. To listen to the panels, meet other authors, perhaps play fan girl a bit depending on who is there.

I had a lot of fun last year at the one held in Tempe, and hoping I will be able to do the same this time around. At least I don’t have to travel via greyhound this time. We’re not sure what does it, but stepping onto Greyhound tends to leave me drained beyond anything I can understand. I turn white, sheer white, bloodless almost. But we’re now avoiding that and Scott comes to get me for the conventions. It’s extra work for him and I worry that it will be too much for him, but he’s willing to do it, and the fact I recover far more quickly helps as well.

The joys of life.

No school today or tomorrow, again. They had days off last week as well, two of them, now they have two off this week. How many teacher conference days do they need in a month? Okay, so I don’t like odd days off as it upsets Sarah a great deal She loves her school.

Jack is growing like a weed and we’re heading into Fargo to get new shoes for him this Saturday. We live some 70 miles away and have been unable to get shoes for him locally due to him having wide feet. As neither myself nor Sam have the ability to drive we have to rely on rides from family in order to do trips. So Jack has been without shoes for a while and it’s not a situation we can permit to continue with winter on our doorstep.

I had a lesson in patience last night. A small incident on the chat site I run where I ended up taking a lot of long slow breaths rather than loose my temper at someone who was attempting to bully me into letting him break rules. I don’t do well with people trying to bully me, or threaten me, but I kept my calm and will have to deal with the outcome of the incident later today. Trouble was the whole situation annoyed me and didn’t do a lot for the two admin who work with me. Not that I blame them for being annoyed, they know how much work I put into the site, and how I often set aside writing work in order to deal with problems or situations there. They know how careful I am not to explode on people, how I fight to stay calm if angered, even to the point of not booting or gagging people if they deserve it in case it looks like I’m letting my anger get the better of me.

Ah well, knew the drill when I opened the site.

Back to writing. And reading, doing some relax time in order to make sure I’m all fit and healthy in order to go to the convention next week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Endless Rules

One of the things I do is run a chat site called Dark Fantasy Chat. Now those who enter the chat do so in order to roleplay, to indulge in games ranging from vampire to fantasy, historical to games based on the works of John Norman. Now through the years the rules for sites such as mine have changed. Not just due to laws but the rules the players want.

The one realm that causes more work than any other is Gor and one room controller on another site is trying to bring in a rule that will actually cause even more work for site owners such as myself. Now keeping in mind that this is roleplay, fun, and yes there are rules in this realm about playing more than one character, which causes lots of work for site owners to police. So he wants to bring in a rule that stops people from bringing back shelved characters. Like we don’t have enough rules and work to deal with already?

I know some people abuse the idea of shelving characters, but the vast majority don’t. I see no point in bringing this rule in and even little point about the extra work it would involve. I simply won’t go there with it. I can’t. It’s a waste of time and resources.

Now whilst I can see where the few would abuse the situation most don’t. Most shelve for valid reasons, a few bring those shelved characters back for equally valid reasons. Now cracking down on the majority because of a few who abuse the situation is just going too far in my books.

A few sites might do it, I can’t see more than one site doing it in all honesty, and DFC will not be amongst the sites that follow this possible change in rules.

I already deal with rules about playing multiple characters in Gor. No cross gender characters, no avatars of certain types for certain characters. Add in the work from other sections and don’t you think that maybe, just maybe site admin and owners already have enough to do?

*chuckles* ah well, it’s over and done with. I’ll watch the situation, watch to see what happens and then hopefully it will become obvious the amount of extra work that will be added by a ruling such as this.

You know the strangest thing of all, the man who seems to be behind this drive for the new rule is the same one who doesn’t like moderators having to report boots, or rules for mods that are put in place to help site owners keep track of problem situations and cut down on work for us. Because he sees them as pointless perhaps?

Perhaps he just doesn’t see the connection? Not everyone does. Honestly if you haven’t run or been admin on a site there is no way of explaining the amount of work involved.

Sleep time for me.

Selling the Books!

So here it is, just what it takes to get books on shelves in gaming/rpg stores. Now if this is the same way it works for book stores I have no idea but I’m informed that it’s a very similar set up.

Having a book with wonderful reviews is a start, but only a start. You have to pitch it to them.

Who will the book sell to?

Why will it sell to them?

What makes it different from other books/products that they already stock?

Will it be sat on shelves for ages, is it time sensitive material and who won’t it sell to?

You have to be honest about all of this, or it comes back to bite you in the ass. You might be the worlds best writer or game creator, the shops however are interested in who, what when, how much and what you are doing to promote the book/game.

Sounds a lot like pitching it to some publishers doesn’t it? Well in many respects it is. What your publisher thinks will be great might not be what the stores are selling on a regular basis.

I had about 15 seconds to grab or loose their attention and it’s a lesson I think I learned well. Now though the book is easy for stores who order from ACD and Alliance getting them to stock it on the shelves is another matter. Very few stores will turn down special orders, but carrying stock is a whole different matter. They don’t want to be stuck with an item they are going to have to mark down in order to be rid of in a year. However price also plays a part in this, you see most distributors have a minimum order that has to be placed in order to give the store free shipping. A little like Amazon does with their $25 order, but obviously a lot higher than $25. So if they have to order $12 or more extra to get their free shipping better to say ‘oh it’s another Terri Pray, no orders for it, but it always sells’. In many respects it’s getting them to put my books in the same category as a dice order. An ‘always sells’ item. Something they know won’t loose them money and doesn’t take up that much room. As the minimum order for any store (from our end of it) is one book that also helps.

So that’s what I was doing in Fort Wayne, explaining to store owners just why they should stock my books, what benefit that could have to the store, and what the game will be like.

I had a lot of fun, got to see the new Drizzt graphic novel, picked up a White Wolf book for Sam, a Scrooge McDuck graphic novel for him and a few other bits and pieces. One of the things about trade shows is you get to see what’s coming out soon. GTS is the big one for that as I understand it.

And now you know. It’s write, sell it, market it, sell it again. It doesn’t stop and I’m enjoying learning the ins and outs of the business.

Back from Fort Wayne

I got home last night, safe and tired but in one piece and very much on a high from the events at the Alliance Open House at Fort Wayne. The trip was an eye opener, helped me learn some of the ins and outs of what it takes to sell books to rpg type stores. It's a lot more down to earth and gritty than I ever imagined. However I loved learning it.

I'll be writing up an indepth post later this week about just what it takes, but for now I'm home and still wondering if the gentleman that helped picked up the scattered Honor Harrington Calenders and flyers from all over the floor was Eric Estrada or not. He certainly looked and sounded like him, but could have been a doppleganger. However whomever it was thankyou for your kindness in helping one very nervous woman pick up the flyers before the Alliance convention.

Right now I'm exhausted and I am back out of the door in about 9 days time for World Fantasy at Madison WI. That's the last convention of the year for me, but I am looking forward to it a great deal. Then I take a break until March, to focus on writing, editing and promoting.

Eternal Slave goes on sale at the end of the month with eXtasy books, and I am sure I will have last minute edits to do there before the release. Love working with eXtasy books, very good team there. Yes sometimes it takes a while to get a book released but the time is well worth while indeed.

Time for lunch.

Terri Pray

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Artwork for Astaria!


Astaria, originally entitled Sword Sworn is going into hard cover next year and this is the artwork! Jenny does wonderful work indeed. And now I've figured out how to add artwork and images to the blog I can post them as I go along.

Seriously though, she is a dream to work with and I am very lucky indeed to be able to have a piece of her work for the first cover.

Terri Pray

Monday, October 17, 2005

New Review for Small Lesson


Enchanted in Romance has given "A Small Lesson" a 4.5 unicorn review!
"A small lesson is a story about what it means to really be a submissive and master. Both do have some control, but it's based on communication and love. I felt Danielle's confusion and Jack's hurt. Very thought provoking book. Great asset to any BDSM love story collection."

Thank you Anita of Enchanted in Romance. For the full reivew click the link below!

http://www.enchantedinromance.net/smalllesson_anita.htm

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Octowolf

Years ago, well six years ago when my husband and I first married he gained a new nickname from me of the Octowolf. As I mentioned it on the eXtasy blog I thought I’d best explain what that meant.

He’s gone by the nick names of Wolf and Old Wolf for longer than we’ve known each other but until we were together I didn’t realize that this breed of wolf game with eight hands. You know the type of high school octopus you date, that you’re always slapping away one hand only to find it replaced by another, well that’s my husband only he is definitely a wolf. He growls like one, howls (much to the delight of our children who join in the wolf pack howl now) and is very protective of me just as a wolf is of their mate.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problems with him being like this. His love, the intimacy we share, the depth in which we seem to live in each others minds is just a part of how we live. Still there are times I wonder if he has grown another hand… or two.

We all have nicknames or pet names for our loved ones, wolf, old wolf, octowolf, rogue, scoundrel, names that bring a warmth to our hearts.. what do you call your other half?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Calendar Girls

I finally got to see the movie ‘The Calendar Girls’ from the UK and I have to admit it was well worth seeing. For once there is a movie out there showing that women over the age of 30 are beautiful, sensual and brave.

It’s based on a real life story, about a group of women who are members of the Women’s Institute in the UK. Together they raise money for a sofa for the cancer ward of their local hospital but do so by posing nude for a calendar. Most of the women are 40, 50 or older and the calendar ended up raising over five hundred thousand pounds. Obviously buying a lot more than the sofa they had planned.

I love movies from home, and some of the BBC America shows have become must watch events for me, but this particular movie was wonderful. A slice of English courage and humor. A reminder of what I miss about home. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to see it again but I’m glad I was able to see it today.

If any woman thinks that just because they turn 40 they cease to be sensual, beautiful or courageous then they should watch this movie and remind themselves just who they are inside.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Memories

Edited per agreement with family review meeting.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

October Update

It’s been a while since I updated my blogger so my apologies here.

I hit the ACD event in Wisconsin at the end of September, which was a blast. Then got to see Serenity! Wow, what a movie. That was well worth seeing and the hook. What a hook. It grabbed me and wouldn’t let me look away. It’s one for the collection when it comes out on DVD.

Family Heirloom went on sale at www.chippewapublishing.com last Friday. If you want to take a look at my work and don’t want to buy a longer book then this is the one for you. A short, dark romance, science fiction story. With a very twisted little storyline.

This month also sees me with two stories at www.oystersandchocolate.com and a poem at www.justusroux.com , so it’s one hell of a month for me.

On top of that Eternal Slave is due to go on sale for Halloween with eXtasybooks.

Want more good news. Coffee Time Romance gave Focused on Love a 4 cup review!
“The beautiful and natural scenery of a forest is a fabulous backdrop for this romance. Ms. Pray paints a wonderful vision as she brings two people who are from different cultures and careers together. She mixes in a deadly plot and enough twists to keep you riveted. With final touches of erotic sex scenes that could start a forest fire, you have a fantastic story you do not want to put down.”

For the rest of the review go check out www.coffeetimeromance.com

And I’m away from about the 19th until the 24th or 25th of the month. This time the Alliance open house in Fort Wayne Indiana. It’s a busy month indeed!