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Cover Reveal: EVERY TIME YOU HEAR THAT SONG by Jenna Voris

Cover reveal time, and this one’s for you country music fans! Dumplin’ meets Daisy Jones & the Six in Every Time You Hear That Song by Jenna Voris, a split-POV love song to country idols, romantic road trips, and queer love. Coming to shelves April 9, 2024!

They say to never meet your idols. But they never said anything about upending your life for a quest designed by one.

Seventeen-year-old aspiring journalist Darren Purchase has been a lifelong fan of country music legend Decklee Cassel, who’s as famous for her classic hits as she is for her partnership with songwriter Mickenlee Hooper. The same Mickenlee who mysteriously backed out of the limelight at the height of their careers, never to be heard from again. Now, Decklee’s televised funeral marks the unveiling of her long-awaited time capsule. But when it’s revealed to be empty, a long trail of scavenger hunt clues unfolds, leading to a whopping cash prize for whoever finds the real capsule. Darren knows there’s a story there—and she’s going to be the one to break it. Even if it means a spontaneous road trip with her coworker, Kendall.

Flashback to 1963, where a young, runaway Decklee has her sights set on fame and glory. As she claws her way to the top over the years that follow, it’s Mickenlee’s lyrics that help rocket her to stardom. But as their relationship evolves beyond the professional, it threatens everything Decklee has worked for. What else will she sacrifice to hold on to her dreams?

Told in alternating perspectives, Every Time You Hear That Song is a queer coming-of-age story celebrating country music, complicated women, and living authentically. There’s more to Decklee’s story than Darren ever could have guessed, but the real story she has to tell is her own.

Scroll down to see the cover and read a sneak peek, and remember to preorder your copy!

Cover art by Louisa Cannell

Cover design by Kristie Radwilowicz

I’m distantly aware of the customers still hovering around me—the cool interior of the gas station and the fact that I should definitely be working right now. But I can’t move. I’m stuck in the aisle, watching the funeral continue as I grip the edge of the freezer, fingers slowly going numb with each pass­ing second.

It’s Kennedy Grasso, Decklee’s goddaughter, who concludes the ceremony eventually. She’s been sitting up front the en­tire time, wiping her eyes and nodding in time to each musical guest, and as she stands, I wonder if she thinks the eulogies sound genuine. It’s hard to capture someone like Decklee Cassel with words. I haven’t seen one article get it right. It’s always lists of accomplishments and accolades, a character in shoulder pads and sparkly boots; none of the things that make her feel vi­brant and rich and real.

I think I could write a story like that one day, if someone let me.

The church quiets as Kennedy looks up from the podium, a smooth copper box clutched in her hands. My fingers curl around the phone in my pocket and I wonder if Mom is watch­ing at home, perched in the middle of our couch, right where the cushions dip down. I should be there with her. We should be experiencing this together. But when I tear my eyes away from the TV, I realize I’m not alone at all.

Ms. Rapisarda blinks back tears as she presses a hand to her chest. Paul the librarian has a bottle of Gatorade clutched in one hand, like he can’t quite remember what he came here for in the first place. I swallow over the lump in my throat. Community. That’s another thing Decklee was always good at creating, and I’m grateful for it now, for how it makes this singular pocket of Mayberry feel a little more like home.

Then Kendall looks up and, because he has this complete in­ability to read a room, asks, “What’s in the box?” so loudly half the gas station jumps.

“Shhh.” Ms. Rapisarda swats him with her purse before I have the chance. “It’s the time capsule!”

I wipe my palms on my jeans, suddenly sweaty despite the frigid air-conditioning. I picture Mom doing the same, leaning forward on the couch, caught in the spell of Decklee Cassel’s legacy.

“Thank you all for being here,” Kennedy says, voice crackly on the old gas station TV. “I really think Decklee would have loved this. She loved when she could bring people together. That’s what she wanted her music to do and that’s what she wanted this to do.” She taps the box. “For the last fifty years, she’s been tucking things away in here. She wrote journals dur­ing every tour, kept photographs and ticket stubs, and even recorded an entire brand-new album with the explicit instruc­tion to release it only after she was no longer with us,” Kennedy continues. “And even though that day came sooner than any of us would have liked, I’m comforted by the fact she found peace in this project. That she found joy in the music.”

I can’t stop my toe from tapping a nervous rhythm on the li­noleum floor. This time capsule isn’t a secret; Decklee talked about it all the time. She called it a mosaic, a visual scrapbook of her life, and even though I, too, wish the situation was differ­ent, the idea of new Decklee music soothes a bit of the ache in my chest.

New songs for me. New songs for Mom.

It’s been eight years since the last Decklee Cassel album. She still made music after Mickenlee left and every record was objectively a hit, but it never quite replicated the magic of her old stuff, the songs I knew were born on Tennessee porches, in smoky bars and old church pews.

Kennedy slides a key from the chain around her neck and slips it into the time capsule’s lock. When it turns, I swear I hear it click from where I stand, five hundred miles from Nashville. No one in that church breathes as her hands hover over the box. Then she lifts the lid and we all lean forward. Even Kendall cranes his neck to see from behind the counter. The lid falls back, the cameras zoom in, and I suck in a sharp, bewildered breath.

Because there isn’t an album at all. There aren’t crisp tour journals, piles of black-and-white photographs, or letters penned in Decklee’s familiar, looping handwriting.

The time capsule is empty.

Penguin Teen