Monday, November 30, 2015

*NEW SERIES* The Love You Left Behind!!!

I am so so so so SO excited to announce my next series.

These four books will be novellas - shorter stories that are all independent but interconnected - that are very loosely based on my love story with my husband.

Here's the synopsis!

Jay Shumaker has spent the last fifteen years in the Army. His tours overseas have shaped him into the kind of man who is used to being alone. After two unsuccessful marriages, he’s resigned himself to the single life. He’s so committed to his life in the service that he’s agreed to another deployment – this time to Istanbul, Turkey, where he’ll be imbedded on a experimental mission.

Kimberly Fisher has it all – a successful life as a college professor and a half dozen publications to boot. However, her marriage is essentially over, despite her best intentions. Her husband, Mason Fisher, is wealthy, ambitious, and completely preoccupied with his own professional career. He and Kimberly haven’t had a romantic life in years – not to mention the fact that Mason’s wandering eye hasn’t escaped her notice.

Kimberly and Jay are two people whose paths never would have crossed if it weren’t for one thing – their fifteen-year high school reunion. Jay chooses to attend with his buddy at the last minute. Kimberly decides to go alone after Mason bails on her once again. At the hotel lobby, the two former classmates see each other and are catapulted back in time – back to a time where they had a scorching sexual encounter a few days prior to their high school graduation.

Kimberly and Jay are drawn together as though by a magnetic force. They spend the weekend discovering how much they’ve both changed in the last fifteen years – and yet, how much they’ve stayed the same. They know that this weekend might be the only chance they get to have to be together and they take advantage of that time with gusto. The problem? Well, one weekend together just might not be enough.

And here are the covers!

Sexy, right???

I can't wait to share these books with the world! Stay tuned for January for the first release!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

AFTER TONIGHT and Happily Ever After *GIVEAWAY*

In ten days, I am marrying the man of my dreams. Today, my first romance novel celebrates its birthday.

I don't think the proximity of these life events is even remotely coincidental. More like serendipitous.

When I started writing AFTER TONIGHT, it was while I was on a quest - a quest for the perfect romance that was just a little bit edgy, a little bit naughty or taboo, and yet, ultimately, a story about a woman finding herself and love all at the same time.

Falling in love is a lot like any sort of risk - jumping out of a plane, bungee jumping, and the like. In the end, there are no guarantees. You can only hope for the best.

Just as I was finishing writing AFTER TONIGHT (then called LEARNING CURVE), I ran into an old high school classmate online. As we began chatting, I learned that we probably couldn't have less in common if we tried. He was career military - I'd been a career teacher. He'd travelled to the war-torn parts of the world - I'd hardly left the East Coast. He had two girls - I had one son. He was a (gulp) Republican - I was a staunch-as-hell liberal Democrat.

But then there were things that were universally translated - things like how much he loved his daughters and how hard he fought to see them after his divorce. How committed he was to his country. How much he seemed to admire and care about me.

Falling in love with Josh was like tasting good wine after a lifetime of Franzia - it's not that there's anything wrong with the cheap stuff, it's just that it's not the kind of thing you want to immerse yourself in. My love for this man was a love I wanted to shout from the rooftops. Over the course of the last year, our courtship has been, I would imagine, disgustingly sentimental to the outside world. And I just don't give a shit.

This man makes me believe in all the things about love that matter - most of all, that I deserve it.

In AFTER TONIGHT, Cyn bears resemblance to me in that she struggles with both having a sick father and her own insane pressure to get things right. But, like me, Cyn finds that love brings out the best in her. When I revised AFTER TONIGHT for publication, my editor helped me find ways to make Cyn stronger and more forthright. In essence, to make her more like the woman I was becoming myself.

This book is so many things for me, but most of all, it's a celebration of love and womanhood and friendship. It's a beacon in my life - a strong reminder of how much love can transform our lives. It doesn't have to have a prince on horseback or evil queen to be a fairy tale.

So, in celebration of AFTER TONIGHT's publication, I'm giving away two $25 Amazon gift cards. How do you win?

Tweet about AFTER TONIGHT's release using the following hashtags:


and the following link:

Sample Tweets?

Love student/teacher romance? Check out #AnnieKelly's new book #AFTERTONIGHT:

She's the teacher but he's the one teaching her a lesson! #AfterTonight by #AnnieKelly is out today!

Or make up some of your own! Winners will be announced on Twitter on Friday, November 20th!

I look forward to sharing this book with the world and I wish you all some amazing Happily Ever Afters!

Monday, January 26, 2015

And an Annie was born! (A Ron Swanson Production)

I'm so so SO excited to announce my happy news to the world!

Per Publisher's Weekly:
Annie Kelly's LEARNING CURVE, set at an alternative high school known for being a dumping ground for troubled students and featuring a young teacher who realizes the newest member of her first period class is the guy she met–and made out with–at the bar last week, to Christina Brower at NAL in a three book deal by Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary Media. (NA)

So, a couple of things:

1. What is this romance you speak of?

My romance novels are about women in their mid-20s - women who have graduated college, who are starting their first jobs, who are getting apartments, buying cars, making messes, falling in love, etc. You know - typical mid-20s kind of stuff.
In my experience, romance novels have a similar momentum to young adult novels, but have more heat and chemistry and, frankly, pretty explicit action in the sex department. I love my YA writing,  but, let me be clear, this ain't it. There's something far more edgy and intriguing about my romance characters. They're just starting out. They're making mistakes. Their humanity is glaringly obvious.

2. Butwhy romance?

A couple of things drove me to write in this genre. First, I'm a fan of romance. A BIG fan. Like, a flailing, giddy fan. I love almost everything I read that is Romance or New Adult, but my favorite authors are Shayla Black, Cherrie Lynn, Jacie Burton, Lacey Alexander, Jay Crownover, Chelsea Fine, Cora Carmack, Sophie Jordan, Lisa DeRochers, and Penelope Douglas.

Another reason? I want to write stories about adults because I (*gulp*) sort of am one. So, while I love writing YA and I do feel like a teenager much of the time, I also really enjoy remembering the world of my 20s and writing from that perspective. 

3. Waitso, are you still writing YA?

Yup - under the name Kelly Fiore. That won't change. THICKER THAN WATER (Harper Teen, 2016) is probably more of an upper-YA novel because of the language/violence/drug content, but it's certainly YA. I'll have another book with Harper after TtW and I'm hoping to continue writing more light contemporary YA, too. And maybe some middle grade. Or literary adult. (Yes, I have a full plate. That's how I like it.)

And, in terms of my young adult books, you can still find me on HERE and HERE and HERE

4. So, how about these romance novels?


I'm so stoked that these will see the light of day. I'm completely smitten with the characters and I'm excited about working on the future books.
Learning Curve is the first book in the three book series. It follows graduate school student Hyacinth "Cyn" Hendricks as she struggles through a student-teaching internship at a tough-as-nails alternative Baltimore high school. She teaches drug dealers, former convicts, students with ankle bracelets - the whole shebang - but nothing knocks her more asunder than when Smith Asher shows up in her classroom. This troubled student is a complete enigma -- an enigma whose saw her almost-naked when they hooked up at the bar last weekend.

Cyn is caught between the very potent chemistry between her and Smith and the fact that she's completing her student teaching internship. The lines of right and wrong are blurry and even harder to define when laden with lust.
I love this book SO HARD -- partially because it has a really crazy twist toward the end that changes everything for Smith and Cyn. I'm hoping that readers will love these characters as much as I do. I'm just about to start writing Book Two and I can't wait to see them again.
So, YAY! 

I'm excited to be branching out into the romance realm and I hope I can bring you with me as readers and as friends!