Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Simmer and Smoke by Peggy Lampman - Interview and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Peggy Lampman will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Thanks for stopping by It's Raining Books to talk to us today. Why do you write in your genre?

I write in the genre that I enjoy reading: Literary and High Concept Fiction; particularly women’s literary fiction.

What draws you to it?

Because I can relate on so many levels. I’m a woman (duh), and I love a good story, well told.

There have been experiences in my life that have changed me, and there was no closure for me until I wrote about those experiences, digging at the pain and pulling it out. When I read a piece of literary fiction that I enjoy, it’s sort of like the same experience. Reading and writing in this genre is cathartic for me.

What research is required?

The book does have bits of strangeness––metaphorical leering jackalopes, personified hogs and the like–– but it’s not fantasy/paranormal/Sci-fi. There is quite a bit of quirky imagery in the novel; particularly in Coryville and surrounding Miss Ann’s glass eye.

My husband and I have relatives that live in “colorful” communities. I have drawn tremendous inspiration from these folks that I’ve come to love, and appreciate their giving me license to draw intimately from their landscape.

I’ve worn dozens of hats in my life, have lived in big cities and small towns, and have studied and befriended various types of people. To know, first-hand, the people and community of your book, is the best research for me.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

To get back on the horse that throws me.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I’m quirky superstitious. I was raised in the Deep South and had a babysitter who scared me with tales of the Devil and his pitchfork. If I wasn’t a good little girl, he would skewer and roast me over the flames. Once my mother got wind of how I was coerced to eat my peas, the sitter didn’t last long. But not before she had convinced me of the power of numbers. I chose the number six (and multiples of six, to be my lucky number(s). To this day my heart beats in a rhythm of six. Superstitions play into the characters of my protagonists.

The pachamama I brought back with me from Peru, is my talisman. I hope she brings me color and imagination when writing my next book.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Most definitely a plotter. I work from an outline, which is in constant transition. Occasionally, I push aside the road map and let the ride rip––seatbelt unfastened–– but the light flickering at the end of the tunnel reminds me where I’m headed.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

I’m gazing out of the window in our cottage in northern Michigan. A little snow angel is sitting outside. Wait. She’s sprouting ice cycle legs . She stands. She is running though the forest, grasping at pinecones. She hurls them into the wind, as if to fight off an attacker.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Most definitely. I was just contacted by my agent, Wendy Sherman, who said she had a buyer for my book––Lake Union Publishing. They will re-brand and re-publish the book in August, and I will be under contract (with an advance!) to have a second book completed within the year.

Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes. What’s sitting at YOUR right?

Thanks very much for inviting me to your book blog! To learn more about “Simmer and Smoke”, please visit me on my author page at http://dinnerfeed.com.

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


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.


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.


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.

Enjoy an excerpt:


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.

About the Author:
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. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25826817-simmer-and-smoke?from_search=true&search_version=service_impr
Website: http://dinnerfeed.com/simmer-and-smoke-a-culinary-tale/
Blog: http://dinnerfeed.com

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

  2. Do you read while you are: Eating? Taking a bath? Watching TV? Listening to music? On the computer? On the bus?

    1. Hi Mai T. I read anytime I can get an opportunity "off" from writing. However I'm sometimes thinking about my writing when reading good books--how they are crafted, etc. I do prefer reading when I've enveloped in quiet so can focus on the author's words. Have a lovely Tuesday! Peggy

  3. On my right is a calendar on the wall. My computer is just to the left of it. I really enjoyed your comments.

    1. Hi MomJane--so the little snow angel is not chasing you? Peggy

  4. Thanks so much for hosting this tour today! I would love answering any questions you have for me. Peggy

  5. It's a fun interview!


  6. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Rita and Anonymous! Peggy

  7. I enjoyed the interview esp the comment about “colorful” communities & relatives sounds true

  8. Great post! And fun question - my couch throw pillow is to my right :)

  9. I really loved the excerpt, thank you for sharing!

  10. The research sounds like it was fun.

  11. Great interview!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  12. I really enjoyed the interview. Thank you again for sharing.

  13. Thank you so much! I am super excited to read the book and actually make a dent in my TBR. It just keeps growing@


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