I don’t have a great singing voice, but I love to crank up somebody else’s and be swept away. Three of my siblings sing, one hopes to make music her career. And that’s not even mentioning my extended family. When I heard about a book about a singer in the be-thin-or-else industry, I knew I wanted to be a part of this tour!
Seventeen-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?
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens are some of Julie Andrews’ favorite things, but what about the cast of characters in Holly Hearts Hollywood? Author Kenley Conrad was kind enough to stop by to tell us!
1. Favorite TV Show?
Holly—I’ve seen every episode of Criminal Minds there is. Twice.
Grayson—Have you seen The Walking Dead? Man, that show’s the best!
Lacey—Project Runway is my go-to show if I have some free time.
Serena—Oh jeez, that’s a hard question. It’s an even tie for me between The X-Files and Twin Peaks. I obviously love 90’s television.
2. Favorite color?
Holly—I guess pink. I mean, it seems like a clichéd answer but it is such a cute color. Everything looks good in pink.
Grayson—Have you seen my Escalade? It’s parked right outside. Yeah, that pearl white paint job is my favorite color.
Lacey—I prefer scarlet reds or corals since they don’t wash me out.
Serena—Wow, that’s an uninspired question. I guess I’d have to go with tangerine orange or maybe vermillion.
3. Favorite fashion designer?
Holly—Is that a joke? Oh, it’s not. Um, well I’m new to this whole scene so I’m not really sure. Can you come back to me later?
Grayson—Tom Ford has great looks for me. I especially love his shoes.
Lacey—Designer as in singular designer? Only ONE designer? I love Christian Sirano, and Chanel, and Dior, and Stella McCartney, and Alexander McQueen, and—
Serena—I love getting creative with my clothing so I don’t really like to be a “designer” only kind of girl. I met this homeless girl on the boulevard the other day and she gave me this really cool t-shirt she had cut up with some scissors and I thought, “Cool!”
4. Favorite thing to order at a restaurant?
Holly—Dessert all day every day! If I could skip dinner and go right to dessert I would be so happy.
Grayson—A nice steak does it for me. Medium well, of course. And the best steaks don’t need steak sauce. They should be expertly seasoned. If there’s steak sauce on the table I won’t eat there.
Lacey—There’s a place in Manhattan that makes duck breast in white truffle oil with orange peel garnish on top. It is divine.
Serena—I usually just tell the chef, “Bring it on” and let him surprise me. Who wants to order off the menu? How much more conformed could you be? Make up your own menu.
5. Favorite season?
Holly—I love Fall! I love cool air, orange leafs, pumpkin pie, and wrapping myself up in sweaters. Although Fall will be so different now that I’m in Los Angeles. Do they have hay rides in downtown LA?
Grayson—Summer for sure. I can go to the beach and lay out by my pool all day.
Lacey—New York Fashion Week is a season, right?
Serena—Spring! It represents rebirth and change, which is something I’m always going through. Who wants to stay the same all the time? Not me!
Thanks so much for stopping by Kenley!
I’m the author of the upcoming YA series Holly Hearts Hollywood, coming 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.