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:
Love student/teacher romance? Check out #AnnieKelly's new book #AFTERTONIGHT: http://amzn.to/1SAsqtM
She's the teacher but he's the one teaching her a lesson! #AfterTonight by #AnnieKelly is out today! http://amzn.to/1SAsqtM
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!