Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Holly Hearts Hollywood" by Kenley Conrad

Holly Hearts Hollywood
by Kenley Conrad

Holly Hearts Hollywood is currently on tour with YA Bound Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an interview with the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Sixteen-year-old Holly Hart wants to be a star. She moves to Los Angeles from the small town of Cedar Junction, only to hear she’s too fat and ugly to be a famous singer.
But when Shell Shocked Records looks past Holly’s plus-size and less-than-graceful-personality to offer her a recording contract, Holly cannot believe her good fortune. On closer inspection, however, the record execs want Holly to do all the singing, and a thinner and more beautiful girl, Lacey, would lip-sync and get all the credit. Holly goes for it because after all, she wanted to sing.
Contractually bound to secrecy, Holly is more than happy to sit backstage while Lacey shimmies in the limelight and basks in the fame. Before she knows it, Holly is friends with Serena, the pop-star daughter of a music-mogul, flirting with an intern, and developing a strange half-friendship with Lacey.
When Grayson Frost, the biggest country star in America, and coincidentally, a former school bully begins dating Lacey, Holly hopes that he won’t recognize or torment her.
Through a series of embarrassing and weird events, Holly gets to know Grayson and learns that he is much nicer and more mature than he was four years ago. Holly is horrified when she starts falling for him. When Grayson admits he fell for Lacey's voice, what is a girl to do when she can’t legally tell the truth at the moment when the truth matters the most?

Interview with the Author
Hi, Kenley. Thanks for stopping by today to discuss you new book, Holly Hearts Hollywood.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book I wrote when I was in third grade and it was about a magical horseshoe that transported a girl to a world where horses talked. It was inspired by my weird interest in horses (what ten year old girl didn’t go through a horse-crazy stage?) and The Chronicles of Narnia. My first "real" novel was a dystopian re-telling of Sleeping Beauty that will, for now, never see the light of day. I have a huge weakness for re-imagined fairytales.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Is sarcasm a writing style? I don’t like to take myself too seriously. I’ve tried to write deep, dark, sad books and in the end it just made me feel sad. It is hard for me to maintain my writing motivation if everyone in the book is going to die. I like to keep books fast moving, clever, witty, with lots of dumb references to pop culture. I also love diversity! I’m all about characters from every walk of life. I want them to be unlike any other character you’ve ever seen. If that’s your thing, I’m your girl!
Sounds good! How did you come up with the title Holly Hearts Hollywood?
I’m a slave to alliteration and really dumb puns. I love to make a play-on-words. Believe it or not, I named my main character Holly Hart before I came up with the title. The quickest way to my heart is horrible, corny puns. Please email me, tweet me, or carrier pigeon your worst puns to me.
OK, I'll try to remember that! Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m all about positive thinking and learning to love yourself. That is definitely a strong theme in Holly Hearts Hollywood. Holly struggles with this a lot, and while she can give herself a hard time, she’s on a journey just like the rest of us. It is not an easy road to learn how to be confident and proud of yourself, but I hope that this book ignites some conversation or inspiration for others!
How much of the book is realistic?
Imagine me, laughing with tears rolling down my cheeks. I did not design this book to be realistic. There’s a time for realistic books and this is not one of them. If you are looking for a fun, silly, far-fetched book you’ve come to the right place. The only element that is real and that anyone can relate to will be the constant need to fit in, love yourself, and love others. That’s a major part of Holly’s life, and I think it will be relatable to many.
Who designed the covers?
My amazing friend, Divine Michelle, designed the cover! She’s been reading Holly Hearts Hollywood since it was in its original draft, back when Holly had a twin brother, her dad was still alive, and the ending was totally different. You can find her at!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read everything. Expand your horizons. Try to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Find something that makes you special, and don’t be frustrated if it takes a while to "find yourself". Keep at it. Keep trying. Don’t give up. I’m so glad I didn’t give up.
Great advice, Kenley. Thanks so much for visiting us today.

Featured Review
Ever wanted your fifteen minutes of fame and posted a video of yourself on Youtube ? Holly Hart has an amazing singing voice and has always dreamt that one day she will be a star. Turns out that her voice is going to be a star but not her per se as she is offered a recording contract . Holly Hart though does not fit the singer profile but her voice is amazing so Holly's family and her move from their small town Cedar Junction in Iowa to LA and Hollywood where she signs a contract to be the voice. Soon Holly finds all her dreams coming true including making new friends and famous ones at that and becoming a star - well sort-of. As the novel goes along though, Holly starts to wonder whether being famous is all that it is cracked up to be and then finds herself stuck in the middle as she doesn't know whether she should be lumped with the interns as she's technically not an intern or hanging out with the real "celebs" as she's not officially famous.
Holly Hearts Hollywood is a nice teen read with a feel that reminds me of The Princess Diaries crossed with A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song. It is also a book where the main character starts to find herself and who she really is and climbs out of her shell.
If you are looking for a fun read that has a musical note to it , then check out Holly Hearts Hollywood. The content in this book can also classify it as a Clean teen read.

From the Author
I'm the author of the YA series Holly Hearts Hollywood, released September 2014 by Swoon Romance. I'm a twenty-something cat lady who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. When I'm not working my office day job or writing books, you can find me either singing and dancing or binge-watching TV shows on Netflix.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.