For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook or just see my events page, you’ve seen a familiar name keep popping up time and again: Jen Calonita. Jen and I have done a bunch of events together and besides being one of my favorite people, she’s also one of my favorite authors.
I first met Jen back in 2006 when I was Director of Publicity at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. LBYR was getting ready to publish Jen’s debut novel, Secrets of My Hollywood Life. Right away I knew that I was going to love Jen from reading her book. Secrets follows 16-year-old Kaitlin Burke, an actress on one of TV’s hottest shows. But the pressures of fame were getting to Kaitlin so she decides to enroll (undercover) at a normal high school. I don’t want to give anything away to those who haven’t read it, but surprisingly enough, sometimes the pressures of high school can rival those of being a teen starlet. Reading the books makes you feel like your best friend is telling you a story. Plus, every chapter reveals a Hollywood secret (Jen spent years as an entertainment journalist and has interviewed tons of celebrities) so you feel like a total Hollywood insider.
Over the past five years, I’ve gotten to see Kaitlin grow up and tackle the paparazzi, problem co-stars, crushes, Broadway, her Momager, among many others through her six books. This past month, the last Secrets of My Hollywood Life book, There’s No Place Life Home was released (it’s my favorite of the series!). It was bittersweet to say good-bye to Kaitlin, but luckily for readers, Jen is working on a new series, Belles, which is coming out next spring (and if you can’t wait until then, check our her other novels: Reality Check and Sleepaway Girls).
It probably won’t be hard to guess that Jen and I are already talking about what we’ll be doing together for the release of our next books. We are tour buds for life!
I also want to say that Jen is one of the most generous people I’ve ever known. When I finally revealed to her my deep dark secret that I was working on a novel, she was so supportive. She was the first author to give me a blurb for The Lonely Hearts Club and I really feel honored to do events with her.
So in honor of Jen and the Secrets series, I wanted to do something special for my readers. So I have a SIGNED copy of Secrets of My Hollywood Life for one lucky reader!
All you have to do is answer this question in the comments section below: Who is YOUR secret (or not-so-secret) Hollywood crush? I’ll choose one person from random on Sunday evening (EST). (And sorry – for US residents only!) Please note, my comments section has been recently re-opened so I do have to approve all comments, so it may take a few hours for your comment to show up, but don’t worry, I’ll approve them all (even if I think your crush is icky – kidding!).
UPDATE: Thank you all for participating, I really loved reading your entries (you all have FABULOUS taste in boys!). Drumroll please! The winner (chosen by the lovely folks at random.org) is Kristen Shealy! Congrats Kristen – I just sent you an e-mail!