Food, friendship, family, and a fresh start.
Shelby Preston, a young single mother, is at a crossroads. She feels suffocated by her hardscrabble life in rural Georgia and dreams of becoming a professional chef. Lord knows her family could use a pot of something good.
In Atlanta, Mallory Lakes is reeling from a bad breakup. The newspaper food columnist is also bracing for major changes at work that could put her job at risk. Determined to find the perfect recipe for how to reinvent herself, she gets involved in the growing farm-to-table movement. But an emotional setback threatens to derail everything she’s worked for.
Shelby and Mallory couldn’t be more different. But through their shared passion for food, they form an unlikely friendship—a bond that just might be their salvation.
This heartwarming and lyrical tale reminds us that family isn’t necessarily whom you’re related to—it’s whom you invite to your table.
This is a new release of a previously published edition titled Simmer and Smoke; it contains twenty delightful recipes.
Peggy Lampman is the award-winning, best-selling author of THE PROMISE KITCHEN (released prior as SIMMER AND SMOKE: A SOUTHERN TALE OF GRIT AND SPICE). She was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan. After graduating, 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 store, she wrote under a weekly food byline in The Ann Arbor News and MLive.
One December afternoon in 2010, Ms. Lampman was visiting her ancestral graveyard in Stewartville, a backwoods, Confederate flag-waving town. As she watched a young woman and child wander down the road, Lampman wondered how a young mother could escape a town of poverty, racism and crack houses. Her imagination took flight; that evening she wrote the first page of THE PROMISE KITCHEN.
Forever a Bama girl, she, her husband and kids, divide their time between Alabama, Ann Arbor and a house on the shoreline in northern Michigan. She's currently working on THE WELCOME HOME DINER, which will be published in 2017 by Lake Union Publishing. Free time is spent indulging in her barbecue addiction with Big Green Egg cult cookery.
THE PROMISE KITCHEN is her debut novel.
Q. What inspires your writing?
My husband and I have relatives that live in colorful communities. I’ve drawn tremendous inspiration from these folks that I’ve come to love, and appreciate their giving me license to draw intimately from their landscape.
As well, I’ve worn dozens of hats in my life. I’ve lived in big cities and small towns, have raised children, and have studied and befriended various types of people—especially those folks in the food industry. To know, first-hand, the people and community of your book, is the best inspiration for me.
Q. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
The freedom, the knowledge gleaned when writing my stories, and the cathartic feeling I receive when pouring out my soul in my characters. I also savor the time spent alone when crafting my novels.
Q. What is the toughest part of being a writer?
Twittering, Facebooking, Instagramming and other marketing aspects. They are quite necessary but can detract from writing.
Q. If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
Hmmm. Even when I owned a gourmet shop, I wrote for the newspaper. I’ll always write, whether I market it or not. Oh wait—there is something. I’d love being a photographer for National Geographic! That would be splendid!
Q. What would the story of your life be entitled?
No Stone Unturned.
Q. What is your favorite book of all time?
I gravitate towards literary fiction, particularly fiction set in the American South. Think authors like Sue Monk Kidd, Pat Conroy and Rebecca Wells. I also love Ann Patchett and Donna Tart.
So many writers have influenced me and my life through the years. John Fowles is a brilliant writer, and his book, “The Magus”, might be my favorite book of all time. It inspired my epigram: “If reality is an illusion, then is self-perception a deceit?” In this book, which I first read thirty years ago, the protagonist, Nicolas, loses his ability to determine what is real and what is artifice. I work on this notion with one of my protagonists, Mallory, in “The Promise Kitchen”. It’s bold to compare my work with his masterpiece, acknowledged, but his writing did influence me.
Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?
Sidda Walker in The Divine Secrets from the Ya Ya Sisterhood.
Q. What character from all of your book are you most like?
The Promise Kitchen is my first book and I definitely am most like Mallory. I’ve finished the first draft of my second book, The Welcome Home Diner” and I’m a bit like Addie, as well.
Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”
Q. What is your favorite season?
Each season has something beautiful to offer. Right now I’m enjoying the wonderful apricots, cherries and tomatoes August is offering in my favorite summer recipes, I also love summer as I don’t have to bundle up when I go outside, and that I can swim in Lake Michigan.
Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
My editor has the initial and final say, but with my input. They would, hopefully, appeal to women who enjoy cooking.
Q. Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
My electronic book was released yesterday and the physical and audio version won’t be released until the end of September—I have promotions on the docket for this winter but, to date, none under my belt.
Q. Are you working on something new?
I’m under contract to write “The Welcome Home Diner”, which will be released in 2017.
Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
Thank you for taking the time to stop by! I’ve had an author/ food blog that I started when I was a food writer. If you love to cook, you may enjoy my blog: http://dinnerfeed.com