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Authors: Kenley Conrad

Tags: #social issues, #young adult, #love and romance, #self esteem, #contemporary romance

Holly Hearts Hollywood

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Kenley Conrad



HOLLY HEARTS HOLLYWOOD is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.


Copyright © 2014 by Kenley R. Conrad.



All rights reserved. Published in the United States of America by Swoon Romance.

Swoon Romance and its related logo are registered trademarks of Georgia McBride Books, LLC.


No part of this e-Book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


Cover Design by Divine Michelle Jiminez

Cover Copyright© 2014 by Swoon Romance








Kenley Conrad




This is for all of the girls who have ever been told that they aren’t good enough

You’re beautiful. Shine on.

January 31
, 8:15am—Homeroom


I’m one of the unluckiest people I know. I’m the girl who gets a pimple on picture day or starts her period at a pool party with cute boys. Nothing goes my way, and I’ve always been okay with that. So when I posted videos of me singing Carrie Underwood cover songs on YouTube, I didn’t think my luck would suddenly change.

I’m just so embarrassed! They emailed me for
two weeks
, but I kept ignoring them. The emails sounded so suspicious—was I really supposed to believe I was being offered a
? I wasn’t going to fall for another email con artist. My sister still makes fun of me for believing that the Prince of Aruba was having financial problems. Finally, they asked to talk to my mom and proved they were actually the head honchos of Shell Shocked Studios through a video chat session. Before I knew it, Mom bought two plane tickets to Los Angeles. I’ve never left Iowa before, and now she’s talking about
to LA. I could just die. I really could.

The worst part is the fact that I can’t really tell anyone about this. I mean, I
but I know the kids at school will make fun of me, instead of congratulating me. None of them would believe that Holly Hart, that girl who always gets in trouble for writing in her journal during class, would get a record deal. I’m not even in
. Whoops, Mrs. Holland is looking my way.



Later, 10:00am—American History


Amanda says my fear of drawing attention to myself is a misguided attempt to appear humble. She says there’s a Holly, deep down inside, who’s proud of her singing voice waiting to get out. Then again, Amanda has Psychology for her first semester elective, and she’s kind of gotten carried away.

Don’t get me wrong, I
to sing. I just don’t love to sing in front of other people. But the moment I’m alone in my room or in the shower, you can’t stop me from singing. I only feel confident when I’m singing. I’m just afraid that if I sing for other people, I’ll find out I’ve been wrong about my skills, like those people on
American Idol
whose parents told them they were great.

On the other hand, Meredith says it’s smart to not tell the whole school about my potential record deal. If it doesn’t work out, then it’ll give everyone more reasons to make fun of me.

The Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4
, 1776. The thirteen original colonies declared independence from Great Britain.

Oh, what’s the point? This is why I don’t actually take notes in class. Didn’t we learn this stuff in fifth grade? Isn’t this supposed to be my senior year of high school? I can’t wait to go to college and learn something useful.

Then again, I might not even get into any of the colleges I applied to.

Ugh, thinking about it makes me feel sick.



Later, 1:45pm—Study Hall


Just when I thought people couldn’t find any more reasons to tease me, my best friends became a lesbian couple. My new nickname in school is “third wheel.” The other day in Chemistry, Rachel Pritchard flipped her bottle-blonde hair at me and asked if I get “freaky” with my “lesbo” friends. I wanted to slap her in the face, but my spinelessness responded, “Actually, the term ‘lesbo’ is really offensive,” instead.

Amanda and Meredith have been dating since the beginning of the school year! You think the shock of it would’ve worn off and people would’ve started to take it easy by now, but it’s getting even worse with the Valentine’s Day dance around the corner.

Meredith is on the school’s newspaper staff and hoped to be editor-in-chief this year, but it looks like her chances were ruined because of our narrow-minded classmates. They assigned Meredith to the lunch menu instead. The
As in she copies-and-pastes the menu the lunch ladies email her into the paper.

“You were the most qualified person for the job,” Amanda said, furiously shoving Greek yogurt into her mouth, “your parents should sue. It’s obviously discrimination.”

Meredith was looking down at her mashed potatoes sadly. Or, as she put it in this morning’s edition of the
CJHS Crier,
“creamy mashed potatoes with your choice of brown gravy or a pad of butter!” She’s obviously talented.

“I don’t know,” Meredith said glumly. “I don’t want to get in a fight with anyone about it.”

“I’d be more than happy to punch someone in the face for you,” Amanda said firmly.

“Hey look,” Rachel Pritchard shouted as she and her other cheerleader cohorts slunk by, “it’s the lesbos and friend. When are you going to make Holly your sister-wife?” The cheerleaders cackled in delight at Rachel’s joke before prancing off to eat their lunches.

Amanda may be petite—she’s only a couple inches over five feet—but I’m pretty sure she could knock Rachel’s teeth out if she wanted to. “I’m still praying for the day she physically touches me, so I can punch her and say it was self-defense,” she said through gritted teeth.

Meredith smiled at Amanda and kissed her quickly on the cheek. “So, Holly,” she said and pushed her dark, curly hair out of her face. “Are you excited to go to Los Angeles tomorrow?”

“No,” I moaned. “I’m so nervous. How am I supposed to think about meeting some Hollywood hotshot tomorrow when college acceptance letters are around the corner? How do teachers expect us to get anything done? Senior year feels seriously useless.”

Amanda smiled at me knowingly as she munched on a potato chip. “You must be nervous about your meeting if you’re talking about college. You wouldn’t think about college acceptance letters if your life depended on it.”

“And it does,” Meredith added jokingly.

“Don’t remind me,” I grumbled. I tried to change the subject to Meredith’s first detention of the school year, but I could tell they were going to want to talk about it later.

I don’t even want to write about this trip in my journal. I’m
uninterested in thinking about it. I’d rather think about my freshman year of college, and that gives me heartburn.



Finish questions 1-10 at the end of page 34.

American History:
Finish timeline of American Revolution.

Ask Amanda.



Later, 3:45pm—Home


When I got home, there was a message from Mrs. Hill, the academic counselor, on the answering machine about my “college future” and wanting to “get together for a chat.” I deleted it before I’d even heard all of it. Heartburn or not, Los Angeles is my immediate future and college is still a foggy event in the future. I have to get ready for LA whether I like it or not. I don’t have time to think about my academic future when I have to worry about where the top half of my swimsuit is.

Mom got home a little while ago and tried to be maternal, which has never really been her forte. She looks too young and thin to have a child who looks like me. It’s too bad I didn’t inherit Mom’s thick, dark hair and rocking body.

“Is everyone at school jealous?” she asked as she dropped canvas bags of orchid clippings on the kitchen counter.

“Oh yeah, super jealous,” I lied.

I am the worst.



Later, 5:45pm—Home


How am I supposed to pack for this trip? I’ve never been to California. I have no idea what the weather is like! Do I bring a jacket or a swimsuit? Do people wear overalls in California?



Later, 5:50pm—Home


The Internet told me that no one wears overalls anymore.



Later, 5:55pm—Home


I’ve been wearing overalls for years and looking like an idiot. Everything I’ve thought is a lie.



Later, 6:00pm—Home


But I don’t have time to buy anything else to wear and overalls are 90% of my wardrobe.



Later, 6:45pm—Home


I tried to tell Ivy about the overall thing, but she said I was being ridiculous. Her reasoning was: “If they weren’t fashionable, then why can you still buy them at The Clothing Barn?” My sister does make sense sometimes. Whatever, I’m going to pack some anyway.



February 1
, 11:45am—Home


Today is the day; I’m getting on a plane and my whole life could change. By this time tomorrow, I could be getting
to sing. Maybe I’ll get to meet Carrie Underwood! She’s my favorite! But it’s still weird to think about. I’ve never been this far from home before. I’m going to be miles away from my friends, my grandparents, and my collections. But I’m sure I’ll get all kinds of great stuff from California to add to them. I haven’t gotten anything new for my seashell collection in a while. I really wish Dad were here to see this.

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