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Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor by Amy Reade, Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway

The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor
Publisher: KENSINGTON (April 28, 2015)
E-BOOK 250 Pages

“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…

What I Thought:

Amy Reade's writing reminds me so much of Phyllis Whitney's.  This story sucked me in and wouldn't let me go.  Once I started, I didn't want to put it down.  I enjoyed reading about Carleigh restoring Peppernell Manor to it's original glory.  This book was not boring in the least.  It kept my attention he whole through.  I liked most of the characters, of course some of them weren't meant to be liked.  It was very well written and flowed so well that you can finish it in one day.  If you are looking for an entertaining, suspenseful read, then this is the book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About This 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 or at

Author Links:
Twitter @readeandwrite.

Purchase Links:


Guest Post:

A Place of Inspiration

By Amy M. Reade

            Let me start off by saying that my work area is anything but inspiring. I use the desk I got for my thirteenth birthday (I won’t tell you how many years ago that was), and it’s very small. There’s only room on it for a computer monitor, a keyboard, a lamp, and a small area that holds a pile of papers about twenty inches high. There’s a matching pile on the floor next to the desk. Okay, there are three matching piles. Until recently, I used a chair that I bought for $10 at a junk store. Whenever I hung anything on the back of it, it tipped over, smacking the floor with a noise that would make my cats tremble for hours and send my dog into a DEFCON 4 state of alert.

            You’d think I would stop hanging stuff on the back, right?

            Wrong. I’m an incurable optimist.

            Recently I got a new chair, though. It doesn’t fit under the desk where my legs go, but it’s definitely an improvement over the last chair. It’s a Windsor-style that I painted a dusky blue to match-well, it doesn’t actually match anything, but it complements the d├ęcor of my living room.

            I didn’t mention my desk is in the living room? The room where we keep the television and video games, that is just steps from the kitchen, where my children congregate and do homework?

            No, my work space isn’t really conducive to inspiration. It faces the wall, too, so I don’t even get a nice view.

            I guess it could be a place where I’m inspired, but here’s the problem: I am inspired when I work, and I do almost all of my pre-writing work on paper, long-hand (gasp!), using a pen and pencil. My desk just isn’t big enough for me to work like that, even if I move the keyboard out of the way.

            So where do I go to get inspired? Believe it or not, the place where I get inspired best is at the library. Specifically, the stacks on the second floor where it’s very quiet and I can look outside (when I can’t get to the library, my second-favorite spot is my kitchen table).

            I do most of my preliminary research at the library, so that’s where I’m delving into the world I hope to create in my novel, where I’m getting ideas fast and furious from the things I’m reading. To be inspired, I have to be able to think, to block out the things going on around me, to focus on the task at hand. The library, not my living room, is the perfect place for that. If there are no desks available in the stacks, I use one of the study rooms. They’re not as nice because I feel like I’m in a fishbowl, but they’re quiet and they have nice, big tables where I can spread out.

            When I think of the word “inspiration,” what usually comes to mind is something that television and magazines tell us should be inspiring: a stretch of empty beach, or a misty path through the woods, or a mountaintop with sweeping views. You almost never see a library desk on television or in the magazines at the newsstand.

But since inspiration usually comes to me when I’m working, the library is the best place for me to work, at least until I’m ready to put words on the computer. When I get an idea, an inspiration, I want to be able to write it down immediately, and I can’t do that very well if I’m at the beach or in the woods or on top of a mountain. To me, those are places I go to try not to be inspired, to stop working.

Where do you feel inspired?

I invite you to have a look at my most recent romantic suspense novel, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, which I researched at the library before pre-writing at my kitchen table. 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: (my website has a page listing my appearances)







  1. The book sounds like a great read. Thank you for the review and giveaway. I have added it to my TBR list.

  2. Thank you for stopping by, Jen!

  3. Melina, thank you for hosting me today. I enjoyed writing about my workspace. And the review was a wonderful start to my Thursday!

  4. Thanks for the review and guest post. Phyllis Whitney - brings back memories and has me adding this book to my TBR list. And I love the library. Even a quick trip feels special.

  5. Thanks, Grandma Cootie! Every time I go to the library my trip turns out to be much longer than I expected. There's so much I love there!

  6. Hearing you suggest Phyllis Whitney helped give me more reason to want to read this book - thanks for the opportunity to win! It is fascinating to think of remodeling this mansion!! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

  7. Thank you, Mama Cat! When Melina says my writing reminds her of Phyllis Whitney, there is no greater compliment!

  8. I can't wait to read this one , it sounds awesome !

  9. Thanks, Kathy, for your kind comment!

  10. My interest was really piqued when it was suggested that your writing was similar to Phyllis Whitney. I loved reading her books as a teenager. Thanks for the chance to win an e copy of the book.

  11. I enjoyed Secrets and I am looking forword to this new one.

    gibsonbk at hiwaay dot net

  12. This book is on my TBR list. Thanks for the chance. rachaelb2014 (at) gmail (dot) com