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?”