Release Day Fun!



I never thought I would be nervous walking into a bookstore, but yesterday, as I opened up the door to Barnes & Noble, my stomach was in knots. Book launch day is an interesting time, at least it was for me. Excitement is definitely there, but then there's that feeling of, "Oh gosh, people are actually going to read it now."

But as I walked in, the nerves dwindled as I spotted her, sitting on the New Paperback Fiction table in the front of the store. Soon enough I was on an adrenaline high, signing books with the signature I had previously practiced in a notebook like a middle school girl with a crush.

A post shared by B&N Union Square, NYC (@bnunionsquareny) on



That's my friend Ryan photo-bombing me. This pic makes me laugh.
The book in the window at PowerHouse Arena in Brooklyn, where I'll be having my launch party on February 16th.
Another fun part of release day? The social media love! Thank you all for your tweets, Instagram pics, and Facebook posts. My notifications were like little boosts of energy all day. They kept me going. It was also really fun seeing your pictures with the book (some spotted them at bookstores, others snapped pics of the books that came in the mail.) I want to plaster my walls with them!

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your support throughout this adventure. If you're looking for more ways to support me, here's a really amazing article by an author I know about what you can do for a friend's book -- while a lot of this seems tongue-in-cheek, please, please do it all!

Shameless Plug: Click here to buy the book!

Here We Go!


I walked into a meeting with my publisher yesterday, and there she was... THE YOUNG WIVES CLUB, displayed beautifully on an easel for all to see (I know I should have taken a picture but I was too overwhelmed from seeing my final book in person for the first time to think about that).

Last night she and I had our first photo shoot (see our selfie above). She loves the camera, by the way.

It's so surreal holding this book in my hands and knowing that it's going to be in bookstores around the country on February 14. Just knowing that people are going to read it is both terrifying and exciting at the same time.

Some people have read advanced copies, though, and they're saying really nice things which makes it a little less terrifying and more exciting as time goes by.

Some of my favorite snippets from the latest reviews:

"I could not put it down... I honestly could have read a full-length novel about each one of these young women and not have gotten bored." - Books For The Living

"I turned the last page and closed the book with a huge grin on my face, with the idea to start giving the book as a bridal gift!" - Romance Rewind

"Heartwarming, light hearted and an all around good story about four friends who are there for each other through thick and thin! Reading The Young Wives Club by Julie Pennell was very enjoyable and such a delight!" - Books and Boys Book Blog


"This sweet (but not too sweet) page-turning debut will appeal to fans of warm southern women's fiction like Rebecca Wells and Mary Kay Andrews. A really delightful book." - Booklist

The book is available for pre-order now, or you can buy it in bookstores when it comes out. Either way, thank you for all your support and I'm so excited to have you on this adventure with me. 

GIVEAWAY! Win an advance copy of The Young Wives Club

As you may know -- since I like to talk about it a lot :P -- my first novel The Young Wives Club is coming out on Valentine's Day. I can't wait for you to meet Laura, Claire, Madison and Gabby. I spent a LOT of time with these girls through the years that they feel like friends to me (this happens to all authors, right? I'm not crazy?)

Anyway, two months feels like forever away, so to keep things moving along, my publisher is giving away 5 advance copies of the book -- right now! If you want to hang out with the girls at the Sea Shack, laugh with them over awkward interactions, cry with them over heartbreak, and get the warm fuzzies in your stomach thinking about first loves, this giveaway is for you!

Head on over to Goodreads.com and enter to win. The last day to enter is December 23.

Also, some early reviews are starting to happen. Here are a couple that had me smiling from ear to ear:

Thanks for all your support through this journey! Couldn't have done this without you guys! xoxo

Nerding Out at a Taping of "The Big Bang Theory"


Pumpkin spice, cozy sweaters, and good TV are three of the things I love about fall. And since all of the new shows are finally in full swing, I thought it'd be fun to share our adventure of visiting the set of "The Big Bang Theory" during a recent trip to Los Angeles.

We went to a taping of the CBS sitcom thanks to an amazing hookup from my sister's fabulous mother-in-law who has worked on the series since the beginning -- she's a stand-in and extra, so it's always a fun game to see if we can spot her as we watch the show! (Note: anyone can get tickets to the show through this site, although it can be difficult to score them since it's so popular.)

I've never been to a sitcom taping so didn't really know what to expect. When we got there, a DJ was spinning some music and the show's warm-up guy was already getting the crowd screaming with excitement. Earlier, someone had likened the taping to a party, and that's exactly what it felt like.

 
Before the cast came out, we watched the never-before-seen previous episode so we'd be caught up with the plot for the one they were taping. Then, the stars were introduced and came out like the rockstars they are (spotlight, fun music, and lots of cheers from the crowd.)

Diving Into a Pool of Sprinkles: A Visit to the Museum of Ice Cream


On our way to the Museum of Ice Cream in New York, my friend Jamie was reiterating how lucky we were to get tickets. "It's like the new Hamilton," she joked. "Hottest ticket in town." For someone who missed the boat on seeing Lin-Manuel Miranda live on stage in 18th century garb and continues to enter the Broadway show's daily lottery much to no avail, I couldn't help but flash a wide grin at the thought of getting to do something that was so coveted.  


The museum is a temporary experience in the Meatpacking District, a pop-up shop of sorts that runs until August 31. The $18 tickets apparently sold out in five days -- all 30,000 of them. Thanks to my eagle eyes on Facebook trending topics, we snagged ours the first day. 

Big News! I Wrote a Book and It's Being Published

I've been waiting to announce this news technically since I was a little girl when I started writing my first book called "Paradise Pink" (inspired by a paint chip color I found while my mom was doing some shopping at Home Depot.) My writing has evolved a lot since the "Paradise Pink" days. I don't even remember the plot of the book, but it was something to do with a girl re-doing her bedroom (so cutting edge, really I mean, it was even before HGTV!) I've had a few other attempts which I call "practice books." But I never submitted them or even actually finished them.

Anyway, I'm burying the lede, as my journalism professor would say. I'm excited to announce that I wrote and finished a novel called The Young Wives Club, and it's actually going to be in book stores next February thanks to the wonderful Emily Bestler at Simon & Schuster and the amazing team at Alloy Entertainment!


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When Christopher and I were making the decision to move to Oxford, it wasn't just about his career I wanted to do this for mine, too. I started writing the book over there, and it was such an awesome experience. Even though it takes place in small-town Louisiana, the Oxford landscape was a perfect place to write it. Fun fact: there are a couple of things in the book that randomly were inspired by my cafe experiences and/or the people that I met over there. I can't wait to point those out when the book is out!

Here's the announcement that went out today:


Pretty neat, right?! I'm really proud of this baby and I can't wait you to meet these characters maybe because they're a figment of my imagination, but I'd totally be friends with these girls and hope you'll feel the same way.

Stay tuned for more info on the book! I'll keep you updated here (sign up for emails so you'll never miss a post) and on Twitter. And thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support. I couldn't have done it without such a loving community of friends and family. Cheers!


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Do You Believe In Magic?

The first magic trick I can remember witnessing was in my grandpa's living room. He swiftly put his hand behind my curly blonde hair and grabbed a shiny quarter from my ear. Eyes wide and jaw dropped, I demanded, "How'd you do that?!" He explained to me it was magic and left it at that. A part of me still really wanted to know the explanation, but another part of me was satisfied with the answer. Magic. It sounded pretty enchanting.

Since then, I've loved magic tricks. So, when I heard about magician Steve Cohen's standing show "Chamber Magic" at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, I knew we'd have to pay a visit. Christopher's parents came into town this weekend for his birthday, and we thought, what better a way to celebrate?

The evening takes place in one of the grand suites in the luxury hotel. The room--decked out in classic mahogany furniture, lavish gold hues, and a sparkly chandelier--holds about 50 people. The audience dons cocktail attire, and Steve, who's been doing this particular show for 16 years, is wearing a dapper three-piece suit. He makes a point to thank the audience for dressing up.


He explains that he got his start with magic by watching his great uncle do tricks, and that this intimate setting is kind of a tribute to that. He invites those who can't see to the front of the room to watch him do some card tricks--you know, just to make sure he's not trying anything funny. We all watch with focused eyes as he manages to guess one of the cards in an audience member's hand. And he does it every time--without fail, no matter how much the cards have been shuffled by different people.