Win a $50 GC - Simmer and Smoke by Peggy Lampman

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.

10 favorite places to visit

A. Sacred Valley, Peru; for the convents
B. Cappadocia, Turkey; for the fairy chimneys
C, Tours, France; for the cheese
D. Lucca, Italy; for the olive trees
E. Birmingham, Alabama; for my family
F. Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan; for the beauty
H. NYC; for the art
I. New Orleans; for the oysters
J. South Island, New Zealand; for the seals
K. Port Douglas, Australia; for the bats

What is your favorite time period?

The period in time between 1871to1914; in France this was known as The Belle Époque. I would have loved living in Paris, in particular, where the arts were flourishing. Toulouse Lautrec immortalized this period in his paintings. I would like to fall into one of those paintings and have a Sazarac with Jane Avril at the bar in the Moulin Rouge. How could I not love this place in history where Champagne was perfected and Escoffier modernized French haute cuisine?

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

I craft an outline first, which reinvents itself through the writing process. Occasionally, I let the story rip and ride, seatbelt unbuckled, but I prefer using a road map.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?

I have my stock characters in my mind when I begin a story, and as I write, they might make a friend or enemy as the story unfolds.

Pick a favorite event in time that you would like to visit. Example: Salem Witch Trials, Civil War, The shooting of Abraham Lincoln ect….. Tell us why you would like to visit them and/or would you like to visit them just to see and know what really happened or would you like to visit as a participate in the event?

As I replied in a previous question, I’d love to have a drink at a cabaret in Montmartre during the Belle Époque. But now that you mention it, the Salem Witch Trials would be fascinating…as long as I was not the witch burning at the stake!

I would like to interview the pilgrims to understand what it was exactly that caused them to kill these women. I understand they needed a scapegoat for failing crops, frigid winters, etc., but eccentric women is not a good enough answer. I’d like to get to the bottom of what it was that really frightened them about an independent woman.

Thank you for inviting me to your blog. I am continuously updating my food blog and author page. I would love hearing from you at

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:

Memos from the edge, self-help hieroglyphics, throwaway lines galloping off paper, most of them unfinished. These are the words I should have said to Cooper the day he left, bade farewell, adios, arrivederci—however you say goodbye. Itchy, my dearest friend, is returning a platter and will ignore them, assuming they are recipe scribbles. But if these tourniquets had a voice, their banshee wail would rant, rage and scream, shaking the foundations of Atlanta.

Dearest Cooper. What a splendid feast you made of me. A sprinkle of salt, a grind of pepper, you chewed me up then spit me out. Was I that abhorrent?

Visceral, grisly, teeth-gnashing words; much better script. I write, post, then return to my cutting board. Chopping furiously, I collect, examine, and discard words much too ordinary to assuage my grief. Words...words...I need more words; what words can I write that will ease the pain of what you’ve done?

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 ~ Website ~ Blog

Buy the book at Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Thanks for hosting!
dinnerfeed said…
Thank you so much for hosting! I am flying to Key West this morning (Yippee! I will be there late afternoon and will check in. Also I will try to log in at the airport. Today's the last day I'm running a .99 promotion on my book:

Happy Monday! Peggy
Ana Valente said…
Thank you for the excerpt and the opportunity to win :)
dinnerfeed said…
Your welcome, Ana. Good luck! Peggy
Anonymous said…
The travel suggestions sound particularly cool!

Eva Millien said…
Enjoyed the interview, looks like we share some of the same travel destinations, sounds like a great read, thanks for sharing !
MomJane said…
Really loved your comments. Hope you are able to go to all those places some day.
Great post! I loved your list of favorite places, I haven't been to any of them but definitely some good reasons to visit :). Thanks for sharing!!
Ree Dee said…
I loved your favorite places and the reasons why and the excerpt was intriguing. Thank you for sharing. Have a great time in Key West!
Nikolina said…
Enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!