Open Book with Julie Pennell

Julie Pennell is my book and pop culture bestie from another lifetime!  We had the best chat over on Zoom (head to my Facebook or Instagram page) and I am thrilled she ALSO participated in Open Book!  Her latest Louisiana Lucky is the most delightful read and perfect for this dreadful pandemic.  She is so lovely and it most definitely transpires to the pages of her books ❤

Louisiana Lucky Cover

via Amazon ~

From the critically acclaimed author of The Young Wives Club, a “heartwarming story about friendship, heartache, and self-discovery” (Karen White, New York Times bestselling author), comes a charming novel reminiscent of the works of Mary Alice Monroe and Kristy Woodson Harvey, about three sisters who win a huge lottery prize and learn what it truly means to be lucky.

Lexi, Callie, and Hanna Breaux grew up in small-town Louisiana, and have always struggled to make ends meet. For years, they’ve been playing the lottery, fantasizing about how much better life would be if they had the money.

For Lexi, it means the perfect wedding; for Callie, it means having the courage to go after her career dreams; and for Hanna, it means buying a house that isn’t falling apart and sending her bullied son to private school. When the incredible happens and the Breaux sisters hit it big—$204 million dollars big—all their dreams come true. Or so they think. Because it’s actually not a cliché—money isn’t the answer to everything, and it often comes with problems of its own.

Heartfelt, engaging, and featuring characters you’ll root for from the first moment you meet them, Louisiana Lucky is a satisfying page-turner from a rising star in women’s fiction.


Julie Pennell Photograph by Riser Vance Photography

1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you
want to have a bookclub with?

Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon and

2. Current binge series?


3. Last favorite book?

“Feels Like Falling” by Kristy Woodson Harvey. It’s
such a heartfelt book, as all of hers are! I also really enjoyed it because
while I read it, I felt like I was transported to the beach for the summer,
which was exactly what I needed.

4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation? 
Where is it?

Sunscreen, book, and swimsuit. Right now, any vacation
would be nice (ugh, pandemic!) I love beachy places but I don’t necessarily
want to sit on the beach itself (unpopular opinion, I know, but I hate the
sand). Give me a luxe pool with an umbrella-shaded lounge chair that
overlooks the ocean.

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

I feel like now more than ever I am glued
to the news, so Sunday NYT is probably where I’m at more right now,
however US Weekly is a nice escape when I need a break.

6. Last movie you saw?

It’s been a while since I’ve had a stretch long
enough to watch a whole movie (just had a baby so my days and nights
have been extra busy), but I think the last one I got to enjoy uninterrupted
was, “To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” on Netflix.

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

I’m not sure if I’ve ever
read a book and wished I was the one who wrote it. What makes reading a
book so magical is that you get someone else’s story and perspective.
Although, I guess I do wish I could have come up with something like Harry
Potter since I don’t think my books will ever get their own amusement park.
8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

Alot of my teachers had a big impact on my career. One in particular stands
out, though. I took a short story writing class in college, and that’s where I
really learned the basics of writing fiction, so I thank him for that and I made
sure to acknowledge him in my book! (Thank you, Mr. Smith!)

9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

I can’t listen toanything while I write. It’ll distract me too much. But when I finish up a
tough scene or chapter, I sometimes turn on my Taylor Swift Pandora
station and have a quick celebratory dance party.

10. Describe your writing space?

In my dreams, I’d be writing at a beautiful mahogany desk, looking at oversized windows with views of sunny blue skies and the ocean. In reality, I’m usually writing on my living room sofa or in my bed, whichever space isn’t occupied by my kids.

11. Tell me your coffee/tea order?

Iced latte. I’m the kind of girl who drinks iced coffee year-round.

12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

All of my friends are having babies now so I’ve been buying lots of copies of “Goodnight Moon.” It was one of my favorites when I was a kid. I secretly think it’s a miracle book for sleep too. I’ve read it to my older son every night before bed for two and a half years (yes, the book is falling apart, but I love it), and he’s been the best sleeper (knock on wood!)

13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

I read this book called “The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance” by Kristy
Greenwood when I was living in England a few years ago. It had me
laughing out loud the whole time. I feel like it would make a cute movie.

14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what
would it be and why?

“Today Was a Fairy Tale” by Taylor Swift. When Ising it I feel happy and whimsical, exactly how I want my ordinary day tofeel.

15. Must have beauty product?

Lip gloss

16. Royals- yes or no?  If so, who is your favorite?

I like the royals. Fun Fact: I used to have the biggest crush on Prince William when I was younger and even found a way to do my social studies fair project on him in middle school. It was a good excuse to cut out pictures of him from Tiger Beat for school. Ha!

17. Favorite Instagram account?

My friend Amy Seder (@amyseder) has a travel Instagram, and her pictures are insane. She and her boyfriend (now fiancé) quit their jobs a few years ago to travel full-time, and I’m so happy/impressed with how they’ve managed to make their dreams come true. Plus, their pictures give me serious wanderlust.

18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you
call it and what shade would it be? 

Ha, fun question! Let’s go with “Rich Rouge” for “Louisiana Lucky”

19. Current #TBR pile?

“Hello, Summer” by Mary Kay Andrews, “Musical Chairs” by Amy Poeppel, and “The Book of Lost Friends” by Lisa Wingate are just a few on my long list!

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Everything my mom has told me through the years. She’s kind of like my personal therapist. Any time I need advice I go to her.


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