Looking for something new to read and short on money? You're in the right place, where I'll be featuring aspiring writers and their (free!) work!

This month we're meeting Shaylee Speare, author of fantasy romance Letters from an Angel. (Also, can I just point out how gorgeous the cover is?)

No one has a say in when their story ends, but we have a choice in how we spend the days allotted to us.

Aisling never expected to be diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of twenty-five, nor did she expect the death of her girlfriend. These events send her spiraling into a state of depression, and she no longer believes in love.

Alone and depressed, she turns to her website Angel Forums for comfort. While managing the site, she begins talking with a new user who goes by name of Allaryce. During a conversation, she discovers Allaryce is questioning her sexuality. She agrees to set up Allaryce on dates if she'll read over the novel Aisling has written.

When Allaryce, called Cherith in real life, is struck with a twist of unfathomable events, she is forced to comply with Zihna, Aisling's dead girlfriend. Back from the dead, Zihna is forcing Cherith to break Aisling's heart or risk her dark secret getting out.

Meet Shaylee and read an excerpt from the book below:

Tell me a little bit about your writing journey. How long have you been writing, and how did you get started?

"I don’t even know where to begin. I’ve been writing for as long as I knew how to hold pencil. I consider my call to creative writing in 2013 where I was on an app called PocketWriter. It no longer exists, but I have fond memories of writing at my then-current level."

Why did you choose to write fantasy?

"I chose to write fantasy because it’s open to imagination. I think there’s a lot of rules that can be broken in this genre and it’s created some great stories and plots."

What are your goals for your writing?

"My goals for writing are to eventually become a published author, and hopefully a New York Times best-selling author."

What inspired Letters from an Angel?

"Letters from an Angel is inspired by The Fault In Our Stars by John Green."

Who is your favorite character in it and why? Tell me a little about them.

"My favorite character is Aisling Jones because she’s this complex and symbolic character. She goes through many phases."

What was the most challenging part about writing the story?

"Rewriting is probably the most challenging part of writing this story."

Do you have anything else you'd like to say to the readers?

"Prepare for a new way of looking at literature."

In my taped-off world, there was nothing but the music, my destination, and me in sync with the guitars. Little did I know that there was a car coming towards me from my left, and someone behind me.

One second, I was by myself on the street. Then, an engine roared over my Beats in the next. The third second, I felt two hands on my shoulder pulling me back. My lungs began to heave for air. Meanwhile, a realization ran through my brain. I realized that the car could’ve hit me and killed me. But, as the blue minivan rolled by, I also acknowledged that the driver (and possible passengers) had also gotten a sense of fear. I could feel their trembling blood in my soul.

What the hell just happened?

Before the song could restart, I paused the music and turned towards the person who saved my life. My so-called savior had her hair pulled back, displaying her light brown face. I recognized her as the woman who defended James. What was her name? Oh, right. Cherith.

“I hope second impressions trump first ones,” Cherith said before I realized her fingers were still on my shoulders. She obviously recognized me. In a hoodie. How strange.

“It should,” I replied and peeled her hands from my shoulder. “You saved me after all.” It was then that silence began to fall between us. As I took in every feature of her face that made up its heart-shaped structure, everything seemed to mesmerize me. Even in a resting position, the faint, high panels of her cheeks showed. Lines down the sides of her face displayed every laugh she emitted throughout her life.

Why hadn’t I noticed this when we met at the manor? God, she was gorgeous. She was as beautiful as a nymph.

“Cherith Meyers,” Cherith said and let go of me, her fingers growing further and further away from me.

Ba-bum, ba-bum, ba-bum.

“Aisling Jones,” I replied and shook her hand. “It’s a pleasure to meet you — I mean, to have you save me.” After stammering for a moment, I used laughing as if it were the same as chewing on the strings of a hoodie. Maybe it was adorable.

“Same,” Cherith said with a bright chuckle that seeped through the morning. “Next time, however, watch the traffic lights.” For a moment, she hung her head and patted her foot against the sidewalk. “So, where are you headed?”

“Cancer Center of America,” I muttered, and the words felt firm against my lips. “I have chemo.”

“Strange,” Cherith said, brushing the side of her head. “I’m heading there, too.” As I squinted at her as if to ask what she meant, she explained, “No, I don’t have cancer, but I do work there as an intern. Paid intern, that is.”

“I guess you want to escort me there,” I surmised, “don’t you?”

Read Letters from an Angel free or follow Shaylee on Wattpad!

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My TBR list is out of control and is more of a pile now so this month's (technically February's, don't mind me being way late) book review is of a randomly selected book. Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start. I've been chased my whole life. As a fugitive refugee in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I've always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur. Now I'm done hiding. When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind. No pressure.

Review: First of all, I love the concept of this book. King Arthur in space You can't get much cooler than that. The world was fantastic to dive right into, from the tyrannical Mercer company ruling the literal universe to the ancient, wild Old Earth, combining the expected sci-fi interplanetary adventure perfectly with the magic of Arthurian legend. Throw in some absolutely incredible LGBT+ representation, a kick of comedy, and a Merlin who I want in the same way I want a puppy, and Once & Future was just so fun and exciting to read.

Writing-wise it didn't get off to the strongest start, unfortunately. While not unpleasant to read, the writing itself isn't anything exceptional and there's a disappointing lack of detail within the action that you really need when it comes to King Arthur, so if you're looking for that this may not be the book for you. Things did improve as the book went on, but never reached the truly engaging standard I was hoping for. Once & Future's real strength is the story it tells. It shines with diverse and rounded characters and a thrilling plotline that kept me dying to know what twist on the Arthur formula was coming next. If you're looking for an easy, exciting read it's a good option.

Buy Once & Future

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I survived. We're finally here. Enchanted Kingdoms is officially out! It's been such a long road but I'm so happy to see it happen. I and all the other amazing authors who joined me for this project have been working so hard to get these books out to you guys and I'm so, so excited to finally share them (and read them. I still haven't gotten the chance.)

For everybody who doesn't know: Enchanted Kingdoms is a huge project by a group of bestselling and award-winning authors. I'm so honored to have been given a spot and the opportunity to include my Snow White and the Seven Dwarves retelling, The Ruin of Snow. When you buy, you'll not only get my book but 19 other fairytale retellings, for just 99c! And best of all--all proceeds go to Puzzle Peace United, a children's autism charity!

Every girl in the House Morningspell is born with the ability to manipulate her world without ever lifting a jeweled finger. Neyva is no exception. And like all Morningspell girls, Neyva was raised to kill.

But when doubt creeps in--and her family makes her expected place clear--she sees no option but to flee. They won't be satisfied with her gone; they want her dead, and her sisters will stop at nothing to complete their new task.

Lost in the unforgiving wilderness, Neyva's only hope of survival is to ally with the cursed bandits who haunt the forest. Among them she finds clever, charming Kye, who seems to know all of Neyva's weaknesses. Secretive and deadly, it's a game of who trusts first. A game Neyva can't afford to lose. Because her secret is one that could ruin her. One that gives her a choice between death and damnation, and there are people on all sides ready to make the choice for her.

Enchanted Kingdoms is a limited time box set and will only be available until April! So don't miss your chance--buy Enchanted Kingdoms now!

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