By day during the snowy season, Amy Sampson-Cutler makes sure visitors to Mount Peter, New York’s family mountain, enjoy an exhilarating time in the winter air. But in a parallel life, she’s giving people thrills and chills in another way – as the author of the ghostly romance novel A Shadow of Love.
The story is about a woman named Annabelle who moves into an 1860’s farmhouse that is haunted by the ghost of Christian, a poet who took his own life a century earlier. Christian tries to scare her away, but they soon fall in love. Time is short, however. His spirit has been magically cursed to be earthbound for exactly one century, and time is almost up.
“It is a story of unrequited love, and how people will go through crazy lengths for each other,” Sampson-Cutler said. “This is also a story about survival, and friendship, and magic, and the absolute power that we all have within ourselves to overcome anything.”
Sampson-Cutler is the executive manager of Mount Peter, a popular spot for skiers, riders and snow tubers. She is also a published author of short stories and poems. A Shadow of Love is her first novel. While its official publication date is May 5, the paperback page-turner is on sale in the Mount Peter retail shop for anyone looking for a gripping read to relax with after an active day in the fresh air. It can also be preordered at www.AmysHippieHut.com through the publishing house Black Rose Writing.
Sampson-Cutler grew up at Mount Peter “skiing in the winter and dreaming up stories in the summer,” she says on her website. She held various jobs at Mount Peter from when she was a teenager, and began working there full-time in 2004. On the writing side, she earned her master’s degree in creative writing from Goddard College. Spinning tales of suspense, horror and science fiction – plus some poetry – she has published works in journals including Tales to Terrify, Wow! Women on Writing, the Pitkin Review, Wellness Universe and Elephant Journal.
She sets modest writing goals for herself during the winter, when Mount Peter is open and she’s ensuring that the winter-loving families have a great time on the slopes. The words really start flowing when the snow melts.
The idea for A Shadow of Love was inspired by Sampson-Cutler’s parents’ farmhouse, where she “spent many spooked nights there growing up. Every day writing this story, I got to roam through my parents’ house in my mind.” It also helped her keep alive memories of the barn, which was torn down shortly before she finished writing the novel.
The story borne from the childhood nostalgia surprised even Sampson-Cutler, who generally writes straight horror and suspense.
“I have no idea how I ended up writing a love story,” she said. “Maybe some past resident of my parents’ house whispered it in my ear when I was sleeping.”
About Mount Peter
Mount Peter is located at 51 Old Mount Peter Road in Warwick, New York. Visitors may check the latest trail openings and conditions by calling the Mount Peter Snow Phone at (845) 986-4992. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.mtpeter.com to reserve a date. Also refer to the website for the snow report and live mountain webcam, as well as more information about the 2021-2022 season at Mount Peter.