Friday, January 22, 2016

Simmer and Smoke: A Southern Tale of Grit and Spice by Peggy Lampman Interview, Giveaway & Excerpt

Simmer and Smoke: A Southern Tale of Grit and Spice
by Peggy Lampman

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GENRE:  women's contemporary fiction

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BLURB:

A single mother who dreams of becoming a chef.

A food writer who just lost the love of her life.

Two women discover what's worth fighting for in this deliciously rendered novel that illuminates the power of food, love, friendship and family on the human heart


1. ASSEMBLE INGREDIENTS:

Shelby Preston--a young, single mother trapped in a hardscrabble life in rural Georgia--escapes her reality as she fantasizes herself a respected chef in a kitchen of gleaming stainless steel and pans shimmering with heat. Mallory Lakes--an Atlanta newspaper food writer--may lose her job, and searches for her muse in a shot glass of illusion. 

2. SIMMER:

Mallory secures her job by crafting a zealous doppelgänger to satisfy the expectations of an illusive cyber audience. This also mollifies the memories of her lover who recently bolted; no warning. Shelby persuades her mother to take care of her daughter so she can pursue her dream of going to chef school in Atlanta. She cooks them a special dinner said to bring good luck; Lord knows her family could use a pot of something good. 

3. SMOKE:

Chasing desires and ambitions, the women's lives unravel down a path beyond the kitchen, then weave together in an unsettling culinary landscape of organic farms and shadowy borders--some borders not meant to be crossed. As Mallory combats her demons with booze and pills, and Shelby battles the odds stacked against her for becoming a chef, the women discover what's really worth fighting for.


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Excerpt One:

Shelby
Ashes in a box vanished into the ground. All my life I’ve yearned for something more, something I struggle to define. An image lies in wait, appears in a flash, then gone. It’s in the brushed edge of a dream that leaves behind no memory, only a warming prickle of joy. It’s in the smell of fresh-turned soil after a frost, ancient and newborn. It’s in the taste of honeysuckle nectar—what the wood nymphs drink, I tell my child—that we dot onto our tongues every spring.
  
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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in communications, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for Hill and Knowlton, a public relations firm. She moved back to Ann Arbor, her college town, and opened up a specialty foods store, The Back Alley Gourmet. After selling the business, she wrote under a weekly food byline in The Ann Arbor News and MLive. This is her first novel.


Interview

Where are you from?

I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and now live in Ann Arbor, the town where I attended the University of Michigan.

Tell us your latest news?

My agent recently contacted me about Lake Union Publishing wanting to buying my book, “Simmer and Smoke”, and republish it in August. They would also give me an advance on a second book.

When and why did you begin writing?

I always imagined that one day I would write a novel. I bought my first diary when I was thirteen; white leather, gold embossing with a little lock. I still have it and it’s choking with pubescent angst and boy-crazed passion. Writing was as cathartic to me then as it is to me now.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I considered myself a writer when I first penned words in my diary. Professionally, I worked writing copy for a Manhattan PR firm, and later in life had a by-line as a food writer in the Ann Arbor News and MLive. “Simmer and Smoke” is my first novel.

What inspired you to write your first book?

There are experiences in life that changed me, and there was no closure until I wrote about them. But the incident that triggered the book was one December afternoon in 2010. I was vising my ancestral graveyard in Stewartville, a back-woods, confederate flag-waving town in Alabama. As I watched a young woman and child wander down the road, I wondered how a young mother could escape a town of racism, poverty and crack houses. That evening I wrote the first page of “Simmer and Smoke”.



What would you like my readers to know?

You can find more about my book, including the photographs that inspired the book, on my author page at htpp://dinnerfeed.com/simmer-and-smoke-a-culinary-tale/



Thank you very much for taking your valuable time to visit with me!  If you enjoy stories with quirky characters embarking on a rollicking ride, I think you will enjoy my book. If you enjoy stories set in the American South, cooking and food-related talk, I’m fairly certain this read will be a slam dunk.

Amazon Buy Link


Goodreads Link



Author Page


Blog



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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Peggy Lampman will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

27 comments:

  1. It's good to see another Alabaman writing about our most cherished resource: grits. I mean, grit.

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    1. Hi Richard-Roll Tide, right? My mama made a mean grits casserole that was her go-to recipe for holidays, brunch and pares-funerals. It was LOADED with sharp Cheddar cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Thanks for reminding me of my favorite soul food! Peggy

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  2. thank you for the chance to win :)

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  3. What is your favorite book of all time? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

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    1. That's a tough call, Joseph. Maybe it's the book that influenced me most when I was young, "The Magus" by John Fowles. It really stuck. In the book the protagonist, Nicolas, loses his ability to determine what is real and what is artifice. I work on this notion with my protagonist, Mallory. In fact the epigram I wrote sums it up: If reality is an illusion, then is self-perception a deceit? Two books I've read of late that stuck are Donna Tart's "The Goldfinch" and Sue Monk Kidd's "The Invention of Wings".

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  4. Thank you for informing me about this book.

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  5. Congrats on your first novel. It's going to be great.

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  6. Sounds like a great book, Peggy, thanks for sharing and good luck

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  7. Thanks to all of you for your thumbs up and good wishes! And thank you, deal sharing aunt, for hosting SIMMER AND SMOKE today. Cheers! Peggy

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  8. Enjoyed your comments. This sounds like a really unique story.

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  9. I really enjoyed the excerpt and the interview, thank you for sharing! Your mother's grits casserole sounds yummy--can't go wrong with cheese and butter!

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  10. Really great post! I enjoyed reading it, thanks for sharing ;)

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  11. Being from Michigan I really enjoy books set in the South. I love visiting Southern states as well as reading books about the South also.

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  12. Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading the interview and the excerpt. This book sounds like such an interesting and intriguing read. Totally looking forward to reading this book!

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  13. Sounds like a great read, thank you for sharing!

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  14. I'm looking forward to reading this book. Thanks for the post.

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  15. Looks good! For the author, what is your favorite food genre?

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  16. The South intrigues me even though I'm not from there.

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  17. I enjoyed the photos that inspired your book. Thank you for sharing.

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  18. I enjoyed the photos that inspired your book. Thank you for sharing.

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