Simmer and Smoke: A Southern Tale of Grit and Spice

by Peggy Lampman

3.63 · 8 ratings · Published: Jun 25th, 2015  | 

Simmer and Smoke: A Southern Tale of Grit and Spice by Peggy Lampman
Kirkus Reviews on this deliciously rendered novel that illuminates the power of mother-daughter relationships, forgiveness and hope: “A sweetly told saga, bubbling with appealing characters and food-related talk…A poor country girl and a fashionable city woman learn about life in a tasty novel that blends romance and recipes.”



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.

10% of net proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to The Southern Poverty Law Center.

Hungry for more? Scroll up and on the top, left-hand side of the page, click the “Look Inside” button to get a taste of the tale for free! “Simmer and Smoke” also includes an addendum of well-tested recipes that correspond with the story.

Women’s Fiction Categories:
>Family & Relationships
>Women’s Friendship & Sisterhood
>Southern Fiction

Sponsored links

'Simmer and Smoke: A Southern Tale of Grit and Spice' is tagged as:

  • contemporary 5
  • Add topics

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