The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor by Amy M. Reade
Synopsis:“Do you know what stories Sarah could tell you about the things that happened in these little cabins? They’d curl that pretty red hair of yours.”
Outside of Charleston, South Carolina, beyond hanging curtains of Spanish moss, at the end of a shaded tunnel of overarching oaks, stands the antebellum mansion of Peppernell Manor in all its faded grandeur. At the request of her friend Evie Peppernell, recently divorced Carleigh Warner and her young daughter Lucy have come to the plantation house to refurbish the interior. But the tall white columns and black shutters hide a dark history of slavery, violence, and greed. The ghost of a former slave is said to haunt the home, and Carleigh is told she disapproves of her restoration efforts. And beneath the polite hospitality of the Peppernell family lie simmering resentments and poisonous secrets that culminate in murder—and place Carleigh and her child in grave danger…
About the author:Amy M. Reade is also the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, a book set in the Thousand Islands of northern New York, where Amy grew up. After graduating from Cornell University, she went on to law school at Indiana University in Bloomington. She practiced law in New York City before moving to southern New Jersey, where, in addition to writing, she is a wife, a full-time mom and a volunteer in school, church and community groups. She lives just a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean with her husband and three children as well as a dog and two cats. She loves cooking and all things Hawaii and is currently at work on her next novel.
Visit her on the web at www.amymreade.com or at www.amreade.wordpress.com.
1. Who or what inspired you to start writing?
In the back of my mind I think I always wanted to write a book, but I was really inspired to get started by Annie Kelleher, a writer who gave a three-night workshop at a local library. I attended with the intention of just getting out of the house for a while, but I found that I was hooked from the first homework assignment she gave the class. She asked us to write down all the words we could think of that evoked summertime. By the second night, I had come up with an idea for a novel and started building it up.
2. What do you do to help you get over writer's block?
I write something else. If I’m working on a novel and there’s a temporary impasse, then I turn my attention to my blog or to a post I’m working on for someone else’s blog. If I don’t have a blog post to write, then I read something completely different from what I’m writing, like a cookbook or a magazine. It helps me to take a step back from my own writing when I hit a speed bump.
3. Do you have scheduled writing time or a certain amount of words you write each day?
I set a goal for myself of 2,000 words a day, but I consider the day a success if I write 1,000 words. I write at any and all times of day—early morning, mid-morning, afternoon, evening, middle of the night, you name it. Whenever I can.
4. Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I really don’t know. They just come to me. I like to set stories in places I love, so the setting is always what I come up with first. The stories grow organically from the setting. I grew up in northern New York, near the Thousand Islands, and I never made a conscious decision to set my first novel (Secrets of Hallstead House) there. But when I was thinking about the plot, all the action in my head just took place in the Thousand Islands. Same with my second novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor. I knew I wanted the book to be set near Charleston. The story grew from the culture of that part of the South.
5. When you are not writing what do you like to do?
When I’m not writing I like to read and cook and travel. I get way more reading and cooking done than traveling!
6. What one piece of advice would you like to give to aspiring writers?
I would tell aspiring writers that the best time to start marketing their work is when they decide to write a book, not once the book is written. I received that advice way too late and didn’t set up any social media accounts, let alone begin blogging or design a website, until I had gotten my first rejection from a publisher. In fact, the reason that publisher gave for not accepting my book was that I didn’t have an “online presence.” I learned very quickly that I had to fix that problem.
7. Who is your favorite author or book that you would like to recommend to your readers?
My favorite author sometimes changes depending on my mood, but the same people always populate my top four. They are, in no particular order, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, M.C. Beaton, and Phyllis A. Whitney.
I would recommend anything by Phyllis Whitney or Daphne du Maurier. They both have an amazing ability to write romantic suspense and to make a place come alive for a reader. Specifically, I would recommend Black Amber (Whitney) and Rebecca (du Maurier).
8. If you could meet any famous person dead or alive who would it be and why?
I would like to meet Doris Day, but if you ask me the same question tomorrow I might say I’d like to meet Abraham Lincoln. It depends on the day (no pun intended)!
9. If you could visit anywhere in the world where would you like to visit?
I’d love to visit the Scottish Highlands. I’ve been to Scotland once, but we didn’t go too far north of St. Andrews.
10. 5 interesting facts about yourself
· I used to practice law.
· I couldn’t stand it.
· I love chocolate—any kind, anytime, anywhere.
· I’d love to learn to paint.
· I have the entire boxed set of the “I Love Lucy” series and I’d rather watch those shows than anything else on television.
I invite you to have a look at my most recent romantic suspense novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor. As you may have guessed from the title, the novel is set at Peppernell Manor, an antebellum plantation near Charleston, South Carolina, that has seen better days. But when its owner hires restoration specialist Carleigh Warner to oversee its return to grandeur, disagreements over the property’s future threaten to tear the Peppernell family apart. Carleigh is swept unwittingly into a whorl of secrets that she must face to protect her future and her daughter’s life.
I also invite you to visit me online, where I love connecting with readers. You can find me at the following places:
Website: http://www.amymreade.com (my website has a page listing my appearances)
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April 27 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Interview, Giveaway
April 28 – View from the Birdhouse – Review, Giveaway
April 28 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Guest Post, Giveaway
April 29 – Jane Reads – Review, Giveaway
April 29 – Christa Reads and Writes – Guest Post
April 30 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
May 1 – Teresa Trent Author Site – Review, Interview
May 2 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
May 2 – readalot – Review, Giveaway
May 3 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review, Giveaway
Giveaway:This giveaway is for one copy of The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor by Amy M. Reade. It is only open to the US. I will choose a random winner using rafflecopter, the winner then will be emailed and given 24 hours to respond. If there is no response within the time period then a new winner will be chosen.