Sassy's X-Mas Bash - Kenley Conrad! Giveaway & Interview!

Happy Monday!

My fingers are freezing while I am writing this up. Ahh..Christmas! For the first day of the bash, YA author Kenley Conrad will be stopping by the blog today!

Don't forget to head on over to the kick off post to enter the HUGE Christmas giveaway!

Title: Holly Hearts Hollywood
Author: Kenley Conrad
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
Publisher:  Swoon Romance

BUY LINKS: |  Amazon | Kobo  |
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 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 and write in her journal 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?

#1.What gave you the inspiration to write Holly Hearts Hollywood? 

I went through this stage where everything I wrote was a modern fairytale translation. I wrote a dystopian Sleeping Beauty that’ll never see the light of day, for example. I was trying to think of a fairy tale that isn’t used a lot in modern re-writes. 

We’ve seen about a thousand different “Cinderella stories”, so I wanted to do something new. Although, I think we can all agree that Hilary Duff’s A Cinderella Story is probably the greatest movie ever made. 

I realized that The Little Mermaid would be the most challenging, because of the mermaids and magic-voice-stealing witch and whatnot. Surprisingly, the concept for HHH (I’m just going to shorten the title down to make it easier for y’all) came to me really quickly. I boiled the concept of 
The Little Mermaid down to the basics. 1: A girl willingly gives up her voice to follow her dream. 2: 

A boy falls in love with the voice in an imposter’s body. Once I figured that out, everything else came easily. 

#2. Do you have any authors or books that inspired you and your writing?

If you’ve read the book then you probably already know that Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries was hugely inspirational to me. I was in junior high and high school when those books were new so the humor was very influential to me and I identified with Mia and her way of speaking and thinking. It is always nice to have a fun, fluffy, guilty pleasure book and I was kind of going for that with HHH. I didn’t want it to be too serious. 

Other books that made an impact on me are The Pillars of the Earth, Harry Potter, The Grapes of Wrath, and the Airborn series. 

#3.What are you currently reading? 

I just finished reading Outlander at a very alarmingly fast pace because I could not put that book down. I’m not currently reading anything because I’m preparing for my annual Christmas books! 

Every December I read the same three books, which are my all-time favorites. I read Jane Eyre, East of Eden, and then however many Harry Potter books I can finish by the New Year. I love this tradition. I know these books so well, but every year it is like having a reunion with an old friend and I always notice something new when I re-read them. 

#4. What is your favorite thing during the holidays?

Besides reading the books I just mentioned, I’m a huge sucker for all things Christmas. I listen to The Carpenter’s Christmas Album on repeat and try to make everything smell like apple cinnamon. 

I decorate the crap out of the tree and the house. On Christmas Eve I watch It’s A Wonderful Life. This year I’m going to see The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol. I just really really really really love Christmas. 

#5. What are three things your readers don't know about you?

1. I love simulation games like The Sims because I A) have a god-complex and like complete control and B) like to create characters from my books and have them act out the whole plot.

2. I tell everyone I hate pickles but I’ve actually never had one. I just really hate the idea of them. 

3. I like Broadway show tunes. A lot. I listen to the cast recording of Ragtime and I cry every single time. I’ll be driving down the freeway and a certain song will come on and I’ll get teary-eyed. The road becomes all foggy through my tears and everything. I’m a danger to society. 

#6. Do you have any upcoming projects you'd like to let your readers in on?

I’m working on the sequel for HHH right now! If you’ve read the book that news should be a relief. I’m hoping there will be more Holly books to come. In non-Holly related news, I’m plotting something involving ghosts and the undead. There may or may not be a cute ghost boy. I admit nothing.

Once again, thank you Kenley for participating! It was wonderful to have you stop by and I hope you have a great holiday!

Thanks so much for having me! 

I'm the author of the upcoming YA series Holly Hearts Hollywood, available now on Amazon, 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.

                                                            Connect with Kenley Conrad!  

                                                     | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads |

Instead of buying a pumpkin spice latte, buy a copy of Holly Hearts Hollywood! It’s cheaper and fat free! 

Happy reading!

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