This is the first time I’ve actually ever attempted novel aesthetics for any project of mine, and I have to say it was so much fun.  I used CANVA and had a blast collecting the pictures for my first young adult project, PICTURE US GONE.  It’s a genre-bending mystery that takes place 50 years in the future, and has soft science fiction and speculative elements.  It was a blast to write and I quite like how the collage turned out!



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It’s time for this summer’s YA Dash!!!

Welcome to my website, and thanks for visiting!  I’m Lee Kelly, author of:

CITY OF SAVAGES, a post-apocalyptic thriller that takes place in a Manhattan re-imagined as a prisoner-of-war camp, and

A CRIMINAL MAGIC, an alternative Prohibition-era thriller, where magic instead of alcohol has been prohibited.  Here’s a little visual teaser of A CRIMINAL MAGIC 🙂

ACM board

This year, participants in the DASH need to visit all fourteen authors and tally the answers to the featured question. Simply put, you need to count how many authors chose A, B, C, D, E or F as their answer to the featured question. The most popular answer will ‘unlock’ the rafflecopter and enter participants into the prize pack draw. Please note, only those participants indicating the correct answer will be eligible for the prize draw. Participants can find the rafflecopter for the YA DASH prize pack draw at (and check out more about the Dash at

So what’s my favorite way to kill a character?

  1. Gun
  2. Poison
  3. Buried Alive
  4. Drowned
  5. Strangled
  6. Fire

The answer is A — Gun.  Yikes, I think in my two books combined, I’ve killed a total of a dozen characters by gunshot.

Check out Gretchen McNeil’s answer on her blog,, and best of luck!!



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I am so, so thrilled to share that Warner Bros. TV optioned my second novel, A CRIMINAL MAGIC, for a potential series!  News broke on Friday and I’m still beside myself. From Publisher’s Marketplace:

Lee Kelly’s A CRIMINAL MAGIC, a crossover fantasy novel set in an alternate Roaring Twenties where Prohibition has outlawed magic and the underworld is run by sorcerers and their gangs, optioned to Warner Bros for a TV series, by Hotchkiss and Associates on behalf of Adriann Ranta at Foundry Literary + Media and Wolf Literary Services.

Would be so cool to see Alex and Joan on TV (one can dream :)!

Cover - A Criminal Magic




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I want to do something fun with reading this year — not just a “how many books can I read” challenge, but a challenge that pushes me to really keep track of what I read and diversify and branch out of my reading comfort zones.  I stumbled on this PopSugar 2016 challenge and I am all in!

The List:

1.  A book based on a fairy tale.

2.  An NBA winner

3.  A YA bestseller

4.  A book I haven’t read since high school

5.  A book set in my home state (NJ)

6.  A book translated to English

7.  A romance set in the future

8.  A book set in Europe

9.  A book that’s under 150 pages.

10.  A NYT bestseller

11. A book that’s becoming a movie this year.

12.  A book recommended by someone.

13.  A self-improvement book.

14.  A book I can finish in a day.

15.  A book written by a celebrity.

16. A political memoir.

17. A book at least 100 years older than me.

18.  A book that’s more than 600 pages.

19.  A book from Oprah’s book club.

20.  A sci-fi novel.

21. A book recommended by a family member.

22. A graphic novel.

23. A book that is published in 2016.

24.  A book with a protagonist who has my occupation (writer or lawyer)

25. A book that takes place during summer

26. A book and its prequel (x2)

27.  A murder mystery.

28.  A book written by a comedian.

29.  A dystopian novel.

30.  A book with a blue cover.

31.  A book of poetry.

32.  The first book you see in a bookstore.

33.  A classic from the 20th century.

34.  A book from the library

35.  An autobiography

36.  A book about a road trip.

37.  A book about a culture I’m unfamiliar with.

38.  A satirical book.

39.  A book that takes place on an island.

40.  A book thats guaranteed to bring me joy.

First up — a book with a BLUE cover — HOODOO by Ron Smith!!

Happy 2016 (and happy reading) everyone..

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I was lucky enough to team up with the amazing Hafsah Faizal on a preorder incentive for my new novel, A CRIMINAL MAGIC (February 2016).  She designed an absolutely BEAUTIFUL limited edition, custom journal which captures the spirit and magic of the book’s quote “Pure magic only lasts a day, but its hold on you lasts far longer.”   Order a copy of the novel today and you will receive one of these fabulous journals for free — all you need to do is provide proof of purchase to, plus your shipping address!  More information is below on Hafsah’s website!

Cover - A Criminal Magic leejournal

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Expressyourself-player-wideI had the pleasure of speaking with Henna Hundal and Rachel Glass, the wonderful hosts of the teen show EXPRESS YOURSELF! on Voice America.  Our segment focuses on writing, pursuing your dreams and taking risks — if you want to tune in, it airs tomorrow at NOON PACIFIC!  Was such a great experience!


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A Criminal Magic is my second novel, and takes place in an alternative version of my favorite time period, the Roaring Twenties. It involves gangsters, undercover cops, family spells and magic elixirs, and at least in my head, looks something like this:

pic1 pic2 pic3 pic4 pic5 pic6

Hope you have as much fun reading it as I did writing it :-)!.

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