Author Interview – Lin Stepp

Happy Valley Return to Edisto JustRead Blog Tour
Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for Happy Valley & Return to Edisto by Lin Stepp, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!


Happy Valley by Lin SteppTitle: Happy Valley
Author: Lin Stepp
Publisher: Mountain Hill Press
Release Date: April 2, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Escape to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee in this sweet tale of two young people who meet by chance, their paths soon overlapping and intertwining amid a cast of warm-hearted characters in the small rural community of Happy Valley.

With Grandpa suffering a heart attack, Juliette Hollander saw little choice but to head back to their Tennessee mountain farm in Happy Valley to help out. She didn’t expect, or want, to leave behind her life and work in North Carolina to return to her grandparents’ home so soon. Nor did she imagine meeting, and working with, the mysterious man she met briefly last summer and never thought to see again.

Walker Logan spent the last two years traveling the United States, seeing the beauty of the country and running from his past. But an old rock house he sees while hiking near Abrams Creek Campground unexpectedly calls to his soul. With danger close behind, he never stayed in one place long enough to put down roots. Yet now, with a new vision, he decides to take the risk.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Return to EdistoTitle: Return to Edisto
Series: The Edisto Trilogy #2
Author: Lin Stepp
Publisher: Mountain Hill Press
Release Date: April 2, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Return to Edisto Island in the rich, Lowcountry story of a young woman’s difficult decision to run from threat and danger, changing the course of her well-ordered life and, in turn, the life of the young man who loved and lost her.

It was a long trip back to Edisto Island, South Carolina, and the beach house that shaped so much of Mary Helen Avery’s early life. Now her mind flashed between anger and hurt over the difficult situation she’d left behind at the job she loved. Was she doing the right thing to leave? Should she have stayed to fight? She hoped at the quiet, beloved island she knew so well, she’d find the answers she needed and peace from all this turmoil.

J.T.’s heart took a familiar lurch when he saw the car with New Jersey plates parked at the Avery’s beach house. Even after ten years, the memory of Mary Helen Avery still tormented him. Finding her on the porch weeping lit old fires he thought long dead. Was he a fool to hope for something more between them with all their problems of the past? Probably so, but if she stayed long enough, he’d find one more chance to try.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Lin Stepp

Lin Stepp is a native Tennessean, businesswoman and educator. A New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon best-selling international author, Lin has eighteen published books, including her twelve beloved Smoky Mountain novels, all set in different Tennessee and North Carolina locations, her newest Mountain Home book, a novella in one of Kensington’s Christmas anthologies, and two novels in her new Edisto Trilogy, set on the South Carolina coast. Lin and her husband J.L. also write regional guidebooks, including a Smoky Mountain hiking guide and a Tennessee state parks book.

Stepp’s latest 2020 releases are Happy Valley, set in a quiet rural valley near the Smoky Mountains, and Return to Edisto, set at Edisto Beach, South Carolina. Lin’s previous title Claire At Edisto was the 2019 Best Books Award Winner in Fiction: Romance, sponsored by American Book Fest, her novel Welcome Back a finalist in the 2017 Selah Awards, and Lin and her husband’s guidebook Discovering Tennessee State Parks a 2019 American Book Fest Best Books Award Finalist in Nonfiction: Travel Guides and Essays.

Lin enjoys speaking for events, festivals, libraries, and book clubs, reading, hiking, exploring out of doors, and keeping up with her readers on Facebook, Twitter, and through her monthly blog and newsletter which you will find on her website at:

CONNECT WITH LIN: Website | Facebook | Twitter


When did you first know you wanted to be an author? 

As a young girl I dreamed of being an author and illustrator of children’s books. I drew and painted well as a girl and I loved doodling out little stories and poems. In school years and in my young adult years I wrote for school newspapers and later academic publications, wrote for a free lance business I ran out of my home and for the sports magazines my husband has published for over thirty years. However—busy with life, marriage, children, and work—I never pursued writing actual novels until mid life. I love the old quote: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been” because that was true for me.  When the children were grown and gone and while teaching college and working in an educational marketing job … I suddenly had a little more time and the idea for fiction books set in the nearby Smoky Mountains rolled into my mind one day. My heart returned to that old girlhood dream of being an author then.  Now, nineteen published books later … I’m still writing and loving it! Happy Valley, set in the mountains, and Return to Edisto, set in the SC Lowcountry, are my two latest books.

When you are not writing, what other hats do you wear? What do you do for fun?

Although I am a full-time author now, when I started writing I was on faculty at Tusculum College teaching a wide variety of research writing and psychology courses. I also worked part-time for an educational company doing school calls and marketing. I worked these jobs around my writing until just the last couple of years.

…For fun around my writing schedule, my husband and I love to hike and get out of doors exploring and traveling. We have two outdoor guidebooks we’ve written together The Afternoon Hiker of 110 trails in the Smokies and Discovering Tennessee State Parks describing our visits to all 56 of Tennessee’s parks. Right now, we are working on a new guidebook to SC state parks we hope to see published next year…. I also still like to dabble in the arts and paint, when I have time, I am an avid reader, and I enjoy membership in several civic organizations.

What is your favorite genre to read? What about that genre draws you?

I have four areas I alternate my reading in … and I think I love all of them equally. First, I enjoy romance books, like the contemporary ones I write, as well as historical titles. I love a romance with compelling characters in a rich setting. I also love good mysteries that take me to interesting places and keep me guessing until the end. Additionally, I read psychology and self-help books in my field that are uplifting … and I love wonderful Christian devotionals and books by ministers and evangelists I admire.

What historical figure do you admire and why?

Two historic figures that not many people might mention are President John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams … in part because both are my relatives.  I like looking back and thinking that my bloodlines link to these two admirable people who gave up so much to see that American could become a free country.  Few early Revolutionary leaders made more speeches with more vigor on the side of liberty than John Adams and he was also a great man of letters. Abigail was a strong woman, too, and I remember her especially for pushing for women’s education and women’s rights—and for running everything at home while John was involved in politics and  the war. If you sat down to talk to John today, he might say to you what he did to one of his grandson’s: “Go on and improve in everything worthy. ”Abigail might add: “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

That’s cool that you are related to President John and Abigail Adams!

In a library or a bookstore – what section do you head to first?

Romance Fiction – Contemporary and Historical.

Which character did you enjoy writing most?

I loved developing and writing about a character, Alice Graham, in one of my older books titled For Six Good Reasons. Alice was a social worker who helped to place foster children in good homes. In high school I did volunteer work in a nearby orphanage and I’ve always had a heart for those who work with children in orphanages and foster care capacities. Alice, who is single, ends up taking in six children in the same family because she can’t find anyone who will take all the children. How she gets involved with the six Stuart children … and the story of how her life changes dramatically because of it was fun to create. …And of course, Harrison Ramsey, who owns a riding stable and lives nearby ends up playing a big role in this story, too. It was a joy creating Alice’s and Harrison’s story … and getting to create six wonderful children as well.

That sounds like a book I need to check out – I’ve always had a soft spot for those in the foster care system as I have two adopted siblings.

Which character gave you the most grief?

Probably Jack Teague in my book Down by the River. Jack was a bit of a rascal and it was a challenge throughout the book to depict Jack in a realistic way while showing how he came to have many of his” less than admirable “characteristics. Of course, a big part of the story, centered around how a sensible, good woman like Grace gets involved with a man like Jack … and how all that works out. And how Jack changes.

Because I am a K-12 school librarian I have to ask – what is your favorite children’s book?

One of my favorite books growing up was Edward Lear’s A Was Once an Apple Pie, which I still can recite completely. My mother favored poetry and read many kinds of children’s verse to me … I also loved Peter Pan (and I still do!) and Nancy Drew mysteries and the Anne of Green Gables books.

Every year I organize a Young Authors Day for the kids at our school. What advice would you give to a child who wants to be a writer?

When I talk for school groups, I always tell them that most every successful author says that the most shaping factor in helping them become a good writer was in being an avid reader from the time they were small. I absorbed what makes good books and how to write well by reading. Zadie Smith wrote: “Learning how to be a good reader is what makes you a good writer.” As a professor, grading thousands of papers over twenty years of college teaching, I could always tell the students who read a lot because their papers were always the best.  A great line for kids is one by Dr. Seuss: “The more that you read, the more things you will know; the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

That is one of my favorite quotes. Thanks, Lin, for taking the time to visit with us today.


(1) winner will receive a print copy of Happy Valley & Return to Edisto, matching bookmarks, and a $25 Amazon gift card!

Happy Valley & Return to Edisto JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 23, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on March 30, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US mailing addresses only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


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  1. Hi Jane … Thanks for featuring my books HAPPY VALLEY and RETURN TO EDISTO on your site today. I enjoyed our fun interview talking about writing and books, too….. I love your “Library Lady” site name. Libraries have always been such a joy to me. I remember the first time discovering the library branch near my home as a girl, biking there with a friend and loading up my bike basket with books! … Today, I belong to our Friends of the Library here in Tennessee … and my daughter is a Media Librarian in a big high school in North Carolina. I love to read … and now, also, to write…. Best, Lin

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for being part of the blog tour for “Happy Valley” and “Return to Edisto” by Lin Stepp. Enjoyed the interview and learning a bit more about both book and author.

    Can’t wait for the opportunity to read these two books.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net


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