Monday, April 23, 2018

Jessica Pennington Author Interview

Photo Content from Jessica Pennington

Jessica Pennington is no stranger to the combination of love and drama. She’s a wedding planner, after all. A writer since the age of ten—when she sought publication for her poem about a tree—Jessica likes the challenge of finding the humor in a sad situation or highlighting the awkwardness in a romantic one. She lives in a Michigan beach town suspiciously similar to the one in her novel, with her husband Josh and their son, Rory. Love Songs & Other Lies is her debut novel.

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (April 24, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765392275
ISBN-13: 978-0765392275


“Reading Cam & Vee's past and present romance reminds me of This is Us! This is going on my keeper shelf.” ―Simone Elkeles, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author

“Fun and full of heart, with a hero who stole my heart!” ―Katie McGarry, author of Long Way Home and Pushing the Limits

“Boys in bands, second chance romance, and pitch-perfect chemistry. Love Songs & Other Lies hits all the right notes!” ―Gina Ciocca, author of Last Year's Mistake

“A music-infused romance about a pair of perfectly imperfect teenagers who will have readers rooting for their happily ever after. Equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful, contemporary young adult fans won’t be able to put this debut down!” ―Katy Upperman, author of Kissing Max Holden

Tell us your latest news.
I have so much news, you’ll be sorry you asked! Love Songs & Other Lies is out today, which is the most exciting news ever, and this week I also found out I’ll be at Denver Comic Con in June, and the Twin Cities Book Festival in October, so I’m thrilled I’ll get to meet more readers! Plus I just turned in copyedits on book 2 (When Summer Ends) which will be out less than a year from now.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Music influences my writing a lot. I’m always listening to music while I write, so it’s very common for lyrics or the sorry within a song to leak into my writing, even if it’s in a very obscure way that maybe only I would see.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I hope it reminds them of what it feels like to fall in love, and to put your heart in someone else’s hands.

Did you learn anything from writing LOVE SONGS & OTHER LIES and what was it?
I think I realized just how much I connect with music, and also that I have the ability to create characters that people I don’t even know can connect with and relate to, and that’s really cool. I feel really lucky whenever I hear that someone has connected with Cam or Vee, or any of their friends.

For those who are unfamiliar with Virginia, how would you introduce her?
Virginia, known to most as Vee, is strong and passionate, and really driven. But she has a very specific plan for her future, and veering off of that is terrifying for her.

What part of Cam did you enjoy writing the most?
I loved writing the scenes where Cam is trying to win Vee back. Because while Cam is swoony and sweet and amazing, he also screwed up and has to deal with that. If he hadn’t, they wouldn’t be EXES trapped together on a tour bus!

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I love writing about girls who have some sort of need for control, so I’d love to introduce Vee to Olivia, the main character from my next book, When Summer Ends. Olivia could learn a lot from her!

What book would you recommend for others to read?
My two favorite reads so far this year are Nothing Left To Burn by Heather Ezell, and The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman, which comes out this summer.

Choose a unique item from your wallet and explain why you carry it around.
I have a charm in my change purse that says “She believed she could so she did,” which is one of my favorite quotes. It used to be a necklace, then the chain broke, and I’ve just carried it around ever since!

What is your favorite restaurant in town and why?
There’s a little Italian restaurant called Vivi’s that I take my 2.5 year old to every Tuesday. It’s our date day, and we stop at the bookstore to pick up whichever books came out that day that I have on order (and usually grab a picture book for my him), and then we go to lunch! We go early so we’re almost always the only ones there and the waitress knows us, and we have our own table. It’s lots of fun!

What is your favorite day of the year?
I love January 1st, just because I love making lists of goals and looking back at the year and what I accomplished (or didn’t). I love the fresh start it brings.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I probably would have learned to play piano when I was younger. I really wish I could play the piano, and now I’m so busy it doesn’t feel like something that is feasible to tackle!

What's the worst summer job you've ever had?
I worked at a garden center where I had to water plants out in the sun all day, and load people’s cars up with bags of dirt and mulch. It would have been even more miserable if I hadn’t worked with a bunch of my friends.

Where can readers find you?
Tonight (April 24th) I’ll be hosting a virtual launch party on Twitter with a bunch of author-friends (and giveaways!) at 8:00pm (EST). Join us by following #LoveSongsLaunchParty

And here are all the places you can hang out with me every other day:

1. “You were the missing lyrics to a song I didn't even know I was writing.”

2. Sometimes you don't know what you want until you just do. It hits you like a wave, knocks you underwater, and when you surface, all you want is this one thing. It's like gasping for air.

3. “Congrats on the tattoo. . . and the fish.”

4. Cam feels like a perfectly styled photo shoot, every prop in its place, every angle checked and rechecked. He doesn’t belong in Riverton any more than I belong in a band.

5. Who just ups and leaves everything to join a band tour for three months?

6. “Oh, yeah, laugh it up. One person wears flannel, okay. Fine. But all of you show up in flannel, and you look like those freaking animatronic bears from Disney World who play banjos and wear suspenders and scare the kids.”

7. Every note of this song feels like it’s slicing into me, opening old wounds, taking me back to a different version of me.

8. Everything around us seems unbearably loud in its quietness. The click of seat belts, the ding of the blinker, the gentle swish of breath past lips—it all feels like it’s being projected through a megaphone, filling my car with deafening sound.

9. “You really are like a personal taxi service, huh? Rides in the morning, rides at night. You’re going to spoil me and give me inflated expectations of your awesomeness, Cam Fuller.”

10. Something strange happens after midnight. It’s like this invisible flip is switched, and everything that happens automatically feels heavier and more emotional. Like the walls that we spend so much time holding up during the day are just too heavy to bother with at night.

It's summer romance and second chances, the songs that stay in your head, and the boy you'll never forget.

Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.

Breaking Vee’s heart was never Cam’s plan. All he wanted senior year was a new life, in a new town, uninterrupted by the tragedy he left behind. Then Vee swept him into a whirlwind of friendship, musical adventure, and a love he didn’t expect or want. Now, he has a second chance to make it right. But things get complicated when ratings-crazy producers, cameramen, and fans are involved. Can he rewrite their love song with the whole world watching?

Sometimes the last note is just the beginning. Love Songs & Other Lies is the debut romance from Jessica Pennington that Katie McGarry calls "fun and full of heart with a hero who stole my heart!”

You can purchase Love Songs & Other Lies at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you JESSICA PENNINGTON for making this giveaway possible.
5 Winners will receive a Copy of LOVE SONGS & OTHER LIES by Jessica Pennington
APRIL 24th TUESDAY Twirling Book Princess EXCERPT
APRIL 25th WEDNESDAY Movies, Shows, & Books TENS LIST
APRIL 26th THURSDAY Swoony Boys Podcast INTERVIEW 
APRIL 26th THURSDAY Reading for the Stars and Moon REVIEW
APRIL 27th FRIDAY She Dreams in Fiction EXCERPT

APRIL 28th SATURDAY We Live and Breathe Books REVIEW
APRIL 28th SATURDAY Underneath the Covers EXCERPT
APRIL 29th SUNDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW 
APRIL 30th MONDAY Casia's Corner REVIEW 
MAY 1st TUESDAY Captivated Reading EXCERPT 
MAY 1st TUESDAY Blushing Bibliophile REVIEW 
MAY 2nd WEDNESDAY Here's to Happy Endings REVIEW


  1. My first love was a boy from high school that I married.

  2. "Who was your first love?" A mysterious stranger!

  3. My first love was a boy I met when I was fifteen. Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. A guy I dated for a month our Sr. year of high school.