New Sequel To Sci-Fi Romance, Syphons is Coming In 2020

Photo of Jellyfish by Mathieu Turle via Unsplash

Solstice Bellatrix and her friends are returning in 2020 with a brand new story in the sequel to Syphons (2019).

The story is currently in the Oh-My-God-There’s-So-Much-To-Revise stage and will be released sometime in mid-to-late 2020.

As I get closer to releasing book two, I will be sending updates through my email newsletter, and of course here on my blog, don’t forget to follow!

In the meantime, there’s currently a Giveaway under way. Don’t forget to enter for your chance to win either a Starbucks gift card or your copy of Syphons.

More amazing updates will be shared in the coming weeks. And, I can’t wait to present the cover designs in the future. (Maybe, I’ll turn that into an artist’s contest.)

Oh well, we’ll see.

Thanks for reading!

1st Annual Bloggiversary Giveaway!

Winners Will Be Chosen on Friday, November 8th, 2019.

Hiya Literary Fans,

It’s been a few months since I had a Giveaway of this magnitude. Life is treating me good. So, I want to share the positive vibes with some freebies, gift cards, and other goodies.

Here’s how to enter to win:

1) Follow this blog (if you’re already a loyal follower, then move on to the next step.)

2) Like this post.

3) Sign up for my blog’s newsletters here!

Easy Right!?

Who can enter:

1) Open to International literary fans who can win a free copy of Syphons (e-book only).

2) U.S. literary fans can choose free copy of Syphons (paperback or e-book) or 1 winner receives the Starbucks gift card.

Don’t worry, you get something out of this even if you don’t win. Many will enter. But…., everyone will get a free copy of my short story Stolen By The Ash, A Fox-Shifter’s Story just for signing up for my blog newsletter.

This contest is not sponsored or affiliated with any other businesses or social media outlets.

Follow ALL 3 steps and you’re entered to win. Miss one, and well, you know what happens.

Thanks for reading!

Fun in the Sun With D. A. Smith Writes – Goals Update

Hiya literary fans,

As I write this, I’m sitting at Sunset Park. Sunlight sparkles down on the dancing waves. Boats and wave runners are filling the relative silence with the growl of their motors. The sky is bright, blue, and clear. And, the breeze brushing against my skin is unexpectedly cool, but refreshing for mid-April in Florida.

Image by D. A. Smith

Why exactly am I at the beach?

More like why not?

First, it’s a beautiful day, it’s one of my goals on my writer’s life bucket list.

Sitting at the beach, working on a book, with a fruity drink (okay a lime-flavored ginger ale, but still fruity) has always been a dream of mine. And, with Syphons my debut sci-fi novel out in a few days, I have more goals in store for that novel.

Image by D. A. Smith

Besides the giveaway (if you’d like to get in on it click here), I’ve got fun writing activities lined up for myself these next few months:

First, I plan on attending the Keep St. Pete Lit – SunLit Festival. For almost the entire month of April, there are fun literary happenings going on around town. From author readings to poetry slams, it’s going to be lit (pun-intended).

I entered to win their annual story contest. It’s one of the first writing contest I’ve entered, and though I’m not sure about the competition, I’m just glad to say I participated. After judging takes place and the dust settles, I’ll post my short story here. Hopefully, it wins ;D.

Next, there’s the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair coming up. I’ll be attending that to learn how other authors sell books and also to pick up a few good reads of my own. I haven’t been to a book fair since the Scholastic Ones back in grade school. So, I’m pumped for it!

Also, I’ve been working on a cool new book trailer for Syphons. And, I will be sharing that with you lovely readers soon! I just have to do some final edits.

Finally, I just discovered that one of my local libraries is having a book fair in the middle of summer and all local authors are invited. If I sign up for the book fair, this would be my first opportunity to sell my debut novel to the masses and get personal with a few local authors.

So, that’s my plan after publishing Syphons. I should add as a side note, I have about three regular job interviews lined up, one seems really promising. I hope to find something that allows me to keep up with my literary goals and dreams!

I hope you’re having a fantastic day and soaking in the sun rays whenever you can. If not you can enjoy my pics above.

Thanks for reading!

Don’t forget Syphons A Novel is available for pre-order for the temporary low price of 99-cents. Yes, the entire novel is only 99-cents and it will not stay that way.

Check out the blurb here.

or

Grab your Kindle Edition Copy by clicking the button below.

A Brief Update on D. A. Smith Writes Blog


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Hiya Literary Fans,

It’s been forever since I’ve created work that isn’t related to a giveaway or one of my novels, here. I miss posting some good ole’ blog posts.

Anyway, here’s a quick update, I feel like a busy bee down here in Florida. Y’all up in the cold states, I hope you aren’t freezing your butts off too bad! I’m sending you love, sunshine, and hot cocoa from my screen to yours (no hard feelings, please).

So a quick update on ME!

I’m getting over some health issues, thanks to a health condition I’m learning to deal with. I’m slowly getting back into a routine.

My mom had a serious procedure on her back, so she’s healing from that and she’s not happy patient. Ugh. But, I love her still!

I’m working on scheduling emails and blog posts to send to my email newsletter subscribers and to my followers here at my website.

Luv ya guys for subscribing and following!

If you want to be one of my email subscribers and get first dibs on freebies, join here. I’m happy to interact with new people from all over the world. And, if you’re a newbie author like me, I might give you a shout out on my socials and possibly a complimentary book review *wink, wink*.

An update on Syphons, A Novel!

I’m so freaking happy.

I found a local book cover designer from the website Reedsy. So, a scrumptious new book cover will be available soon. I’ve been designing the cover myself, now I have a little more time to focus on writing.

On top of that, while stumbling through Twitter, I found a reasonably priced editor who’s willing to review my work and proofread it for me. That’s one extra stress off my shoulder.

Those two things are what I have so far.

A New Giveaway! Yay!

I also have a giveaway going on (surprising, I know):

If you want to win either an Amazon Gift Card or Starbucks Gift Card via a random drawing just click here. Along with an entry for the drawing you will receive a copy of my first e-book published last November: Stolen by the Ash, and a bonus first chapter preview of Syphons, A Novel (on Pre-Sale February 3rd/Release Date May 3rd)!

Finally,

Keep reading.

Keep dreaming.

And, I’ll be back really soon.

Ciao!

*One* Starbucks Gift Card Giveaway!

Support my #Scifi #NewAdult #WIP: Syphons, A Novel

Thirsty?

One $20 Starbucks #Gift Card Giveaway in Support of My #scifi #newadult #WIP: SYPHONS, A #NOVEL

Giveaway Starts 1/4/2019.

Check my blog for more details on #Friday Morning!!

☕☕☕❤☕☕☕


For Beginners: Write That Sci-Fi As Easy As Pie (Part 1)

Photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

So, you want to write science-fiction?

Well, good for you. But, seriously, do you want to write in a genre that is saturated with novels, and that has been around since the beginning of storytelling? (i.e. Ancient Greek Myths).

I mean, why even write genre fiction. Wouldn’t it be more admirable to write a memoir or a book about a cat with a facial deformity?

No, you want to write sci-fi still? 

Okay then, keep reading. 

Let’s start with the basics, what is science-fiction. 

Depends on whether we are talking about hard sci-fi or soft sci-fi

Hard Sci-Fi

This type of sci-fi is created by someone who knows their stuff. A good example would be The Martian. There’s heavy science. Some historical data sprinkled in. And, the author may make sure that his book can hold up on both the bestseller’s list and possibly a scientist’s laboratory. 

Hard Sci-Fi doesn’t mean you can’t sprinkle fiction in your writing. But, it does mean you need to know your audience might be a Ph.D. or someone who can prove your writing is not only improbable but downright impossible.

Soft Sci-Fi

I believe science fiction experts may differ on what they consider soft. I believe this involves pseudosciences, almost paranormal (minus the vampires and werewolves). 

Soft Sci-Fi may follow basic principals and scientific laws. But, the science is loose and may be plausible, but not possible. A good example of soft sci-fi might be Gini Koch’s Touched by An Alien. Sure, aliens could exist, but will they really share human DNA and be able to reproduce with humans with little to no-genetic issues?

Possibly not.

What about the rules?

Now, I’m sure there are sci-fi novels that don’t follow the rules. The best thing about sci-fi and most genre novels is the fact that you don’t need to follow a lot of rules, when you are first starting out. Just focus on creating in these early posts. We’ll worry about following rules later.

Plotter or Hit-the-Ground-Running Writer?

Do you have a plot outlined or are you a hit-the-ground-running writer?

If you want to sit down, start writing, and not worry about creating an outline, then that means you prefer to hit-the-ground-running. I will create a separate post for folks like us. ;D

If you prefer neat details and plenty of notes prior to writing your first draft, then these next few items might appeal to you.

What is your book about?

One way to help keep track of what your book is about is to create a quick sentence or theme of the novel. You never know, whatever you create may be the first line of your pitch or synopsis.

Do you need a theme to start writing? No. But, while you develop your draft the premise of your novel should be in the back of your mind.

Example: Young hybrid alien discovers she is on an enemy’s hit list, and her life is in danger. (Based on a real novel idea)

So, can you start writing, now?

Well, hold on… 

Do you need to research some locations?

Brainstorm some unique alien names, (complete with hyphens and missing vowels)?

See the idea here?

RESEARCH!

Do you have an idea what you want your creatures to look like?

Have you found out the gravity of the moon?

Before you write, or while you are writing your first draft, create a portfolio filled with research. Don’t over do it. You can always research during the rewrite. Find out all you can, and store your data in a separate document on the cloud. 

See, it’s almost like you’re a scientist preparing research for a thesis.

So, are you ready to write? I think so, but first, lets recap.

What have we covered in this post?

  • Hard Sci-Fi
  • Soft Sci-Fi
  • Determine Your Writing Style
  • Research For Your First Draft
  • Write!

Here’s Part 2 for Your Reading Pleasure!

How Kickboxing Kicked My Work In Progress Into Shape!(***Exciting Update on New Adult/Sci-Fi WIP***)

Read excerpt below!!

Photo by Kayla Harris on Unsplash

Jab.

Cross.

Hit. 

Uppercut.

Repeat!

Matt, my trainer taught a class of 20 of us. He was muscular and filled with high energy. The heat inside of the warehouse style dojo surpassed the heat of a humid Florida summer. We sweat. Punched. And, held our lunches down.

The advanced students pummeled heavy swinging sandbags, while us novices tried to follow our instructor’s lead without missing punches. 

I attended this HIIT cardio class nearly every weekday, with little air flow, for 45 minutes. As I jabbed, crossed, and cut the bag, I thought about what the main characters in my novel was doing.

This isn’t a blog post about crossfit or bootcamp classes. But, it is a mini-intro to my Work In Progress. YAY!

I believe working out helps with creativity. But, I didn’t find out until after a difficult day at the gym, I noticed I wrote better fight scenes.

My characters felt more alive. When someone was body slammed in my first draft, I imagined their muscles being slammed onto hard concrete and then crushed by the weight of their opponent’s bulk.

Thankfully, my kickboxing class wasn’t hand-to-hand combat. But, it was intense. The HIIT not only melted fat, but forced my creative muscles to tone up. 

As I flexed my writing muscles, I stopped trying to be a full-on pantser.

I researched the locations for various scenes.

I studied my character’s choice of enertainment, (anime!).

And, I learned all I could about parasites and their favorite foods (us!).

My motivation for the characters improved. Without a good reason to confront an enemy or commit that crime, the character falls flat or just looks like a maniac. 

So, does kickboxing show up in my latest Work In Progress?

You’ll just have to read the un-edited, raw, excerpt below (more info about new release after excerpt):

*********** Excerpt ********* 

I wondered how much damage this ‘Entity’ did to me. And, what did AJ mean that it attempted to devour me? I wasn’t sure if everything AJ told me was the truth, but I needed to make sure that I didn’t faint during his story either.

I turned on the tap, washing the bluish blood from my hands. I stared up at my reflection and my attacker stared back at me. His head turned in the wrong direction, his tentacles twisted like gnarled roots. I didn’t scream. I dropped everything, bolting out of the bathroom into AJ’s arms. He gripped me as if he knew what I just saw.

“It’s okay.” He said.

My face twisted and I shook. “I-It’s…,”

“He’s not here any longer. You’re safe now.”

Those words sounded so familiar. When I closed my eyes, I could imagine him saying them to me before.

“I know what happened traumatized you. But, you will get through this.”

My eyes shot open and I looked at him, brows furrowed at the center.

“I didn’t say anything,” I said, in a soft whisper.

“You didn’t have to.” He tapped his forehead twice with his index finger. “You shared your thoughts with me.”

I shook the guy off.

“I didn’t…. You’re not making sense.”

“Solstice, I highly doubt this is your first time running into an Entity.”

I bristled.

“I never told you my name.”

“I know.” He said. “You didn’t need to. I learned everything I needed to know about you, by tasting your thoughts.”

Sickness washed over me. I put space between AJ and me. And, as soon as my bottom bumped into the wall, my mild headache transformed into a full-blown migraine. I doubled over, grasping my skull, and I felt AJ’s hand rest on my shoulder. He stood close, and I looked up at him, his eyes flickered with the deep blue flame within them.

“You need to sit down.” He said.

“I’m fine, I used to get migraines all the time in my teens. I just need some aspirin.” And, my own bed.

“I know you want to go home.”

“H-How are you doing this?”

“I tasted your thoughts.”

“I don’t know if I’m following you,” I said.

“Sit here. I’ll grab you a cup of coffee, and we’ll talk more.”

He set a cup of coffee, brewed fresh in front of me. He set up a spread of cubed sugar, both liquid and powdered creamers (both hazelnut flavored) and a couple of spoons. I cradled my mug of black water. I didn’t care for coffee and preferred heavy cream, heavy sugar, and a lot less coffee.

“When I told you I can taste thoughts, I meant it. The best and only way I can describe it is that each thought that enters my mind from an individual has a particular flavor. Thoughts that are wrapped around emotions such as anger, sadness, and the like have flavors that one would imagine such as spicy represents anger, and acidity is bitterness. Then, there are the complex flavors. Ones that are formed due to particular thought patterns…,”

“Hold on. You can read minds?”

“I’m still explaining.” He said while lifting up the liquid creamer and pouring it into my mug. I held my hand over the cup.

“How did you know I wanted creamer?”

He blinked twice, setting it down.

“You don’t like coffee, but you don’t mind having coffee as long as it’s incredibly sweet and creamy.”

“Did you get this from reading my mind?”

He sighed through his teeth.

“I’m not a mind reader. I don’t see the words popping into your head. I don’t see them falling out of your mouth either. That’s not how this works. I was explaining it before you interrupted me.”

“And, I don’t see how you can sense or taste or whatever with my thoughts when that’s not exactly an ability normal human beings have!” I said in a clipped tone.

He tapped his finger once on the table and drew his hand into a clenched fist. I glanced up from his hand into his eyes.

“I know what you’re going to ask.”

My lips clenched.

“Then give me an answer,” I said after a moment.

He closed his eyes and sighed through his nostrils.

“I’m an Entity.”

I stood up from the table.

“You need to sit, the blood loss isn’t helping your migraines and memory.” He instructed.

“I need to go. I-I don’t want to be here anymore. Just tell me where my stuff is and I’ll be out of your hair.”

“I’m not a threat.”

“I don’t know you. This crap about Entities and tasting my thoughts. I just don’t…,” My migraine stirred, and I gripped the table, causing the mug to tremble and the contents to splash out. He grasped my side, and heat washed over me as his fingers touched my hips. Part of me wanted to shove him away, keep him from touching me. Another part of me liked it.

He returned me to my seat.

“Last night, you were attacked by an Entity who attempted to feed on you. His goal to rip your head open, and slurp your brain out with just his syphons. The second he pierced your skull, you attacked him, ripped his syphon out of your head, and you fought ferociously. By the time I reached your side, you managed to snap his neck, severing his spinal cord, and end his vessel’s life.”

“You’re lying.” I cupped my ears, careful not to squeeze the wounded one too tight.

“I wouldn’t have any reason to lie to you. You seemed to be in shock until I touched you, and you were ready to defend yourself to the death. I got the upper hand before you could do more damage to yourself or anyone else. However, something happened during our interaction. I don’t know how it would’ve happened if I didn’t believe you were like… me.”

I let my hands drop, my eyes landed on him, and I frowned. “Like you?”

He nodded and drew his chair closer to me so that we ended up on the same side of the table.

“You’re not human, are you?”

I snorted. “Sure, dude, whatever you say.” I grabbed the spoon and started scooping cubes of sugar into the brackish drink.

“When I put you to sleep. I saw an old memory. The first time you awakened your abilities.”

The spoon clanked in the mug and I stared at my fingers. They trembled.

“I don’t know what happened to you that night. But, you became one of us. And, I believe last night may have triggered your suppressed nature…”

“Shut. Up.” I said. “You just go on and on. Maybe you should practice silence.”

“I struck a nerve.”

“Yeah, my eardrums. Look, AJ. I don’t know you. You don’t know me. I have a life, a home, and people who care about me. I think you need to stop trying to feed me crap I don’t care about. What happened last night, happened. I can’t control it, and…”

He shot a fist towards my throat. I grabbed his wrist and flipped him onto his back.

I stared at my trembling fingers. My nostrils flaring. He laid on the ground, looking up at me, then he pushed to his feet.

“Do you know where you learned that move?”

I shook my head.

He threw another punch square at my head. Had he gone insane? I caught his fist, my wrist trembled, and I thought he was going to shatter my bones.

“A piece of me flowed into you. And vice versa. Last night, we swapped energy. Your memory loss isn’t because of the Entity that attacked you. It’s because I siphoned it out of you. And, you siphoned some of my muscle memory.” He said. “You’re not denying that Entities exist, which means you know something about us.”

“You’re still talking way too much.”

I released him, staring at the palm of my hand. It tingles with pent-up energy.

“Are you going to admit that you know what I’m talking about or continue to play dumb?”

My jaw clenched. I closed my palm into a tight ball…

If you’ve enjoyed my sci-fi work-in-progress excerpt, please let me know in the comments.

More updates will be given in later blog posts.

****If you’d like to find out about the future release date, or gather more info about giveaways and pre-orders of the e-book do the following:****

  • Send me an email to dasmith@dasmithwrite.com.
  • In the subject line write: “I’m ready to be a host!”
  • Don’t be afraid to share this info with your friends, how else will the Colony be able to grow.

Free E-Book – Stolen by the Ash: A Fox Shifters Short Story

It’s currently on sale at Amazon, but because everyone is in such a giving mood this time of year, the short story will be available for FREE!!

Zoe’s in trouble thanks to the local Ash Wolf Pack.

The Pack has taken the fox-shifter hostage, and adds her to the menu for their full moon hunt.

She’s not about to let the pack sink their fangs into her without snapping right back at them. 

Zoe must run for her life or risk losing it.

But, she’s not about to suffer alone…. 

Galvin is the disgraced lone wolf of the Ash Pack. He goes rogue after setting his gaze on the tender vixen in the red fur.

Will Zoe survive? And, can she really trust Galvin?

Keep reading to find out….

Excerpt:


Raw meat, drained of nutrients, bathed in chemicals, and served on a ceramic plate slid under the door of my prison cell. The only source of sunlight to flow into the room came from that crack under the door, and now a set of shadows blocked the glow on the other side.

It’s been days since I’ve eaten a hearty meal. And, hunger nipped at my sides. If it weren’t for the occasional field mouse, sneaking into my cell to steal materials for bedding, I’d be forced to consume the odd-scented meat.

I stared at the raw meat on the plate. Store bought meat. What an insult to a fellow shifter. They should’ve let me starve.

But, the vixen wasn’t having it. She wanted us to feed.

“Eat Zoe.” Her voice hissed in my mind.

I crawled towards the plate.

“Feed. We need strength. Moonrise is near.”

My inner voice was right, I needed to eat. We needed to survive tonight.

I picked up the plate of meat. And I lifted it to my nostrils. Before I dug in, that acrid scent of the meat made my nostrils twitch. Again, the scent of chemicals overpowered my instinct to feed.

I ran my fingers over the meat. It felt slick, true enough, but when I touched my thumb to my tongue. Bile rose in my belly. No, I refuse to eat it.

I added it to the pile of excrement in the shadowy corner of the shed. Now, no matter how badly I wanted to gobble it down. It’ll remain grotesque and out of reach.

Poison. The meat is poisonous. My vixen reluctantly agreed, and its anger eased a bit, though hunger remained…

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to review my e-book on Amazon or share this free e-book with your friends. Don’t forget to comment below.

**Reviews welcomed!**