Happy Valley & Return to Edisto Blog Tour – Author Interview & Giveaway

Posted March 26, 2020 by thebeccafiles in / 10 Comments

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: www.linstepp.com

CONNECT WITH LIN: Website | Facebook | Twitter


Can you share a bit about your writing journey? Did you love writing from a young age or did it start later in life?

Even as a girl I loved reading, took pleasure in the joy of “words” and liked putting thoughts on paper.  I wrote rambling sentiments in journals, penned poetry and, later, as a young married woman created illustrated picture books for my children. In a variety of business and educational arenas in sales and marketing, and as a production artist, I wrote copy, ads, newsletters, and short articles. In academia, this naturally included a diversity of educational materials. Also in my husband’s and my small business, S & S Communications, this  meant writing basically anything needed!

It wasn’t until my mid years, however, that I began to write novels set in the Smoky Mountains. My first novel came out in 2009 with Canterbury, then an imprint of John F. Blair Publishing. Readers loved my book and four more soon followed. In 2013 I was picked up by Kensington Publishing of New York and contracted for additional books. I’m still writing and loving every minute of it. My eighteenth and nineteenth novels Happy Valley and Return to Edisto publish on April 2nd. God has been wonderfully good to me, and readers all over the US and abroad have loved my stories set in the mountains and my new Trilogy set on the South Carolina coast. I am blessed to now be a New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon Best-Selling international author. Like one of my favorite quotes: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

Where is your favorite place to write?

Even though I’ve scribbled out book ideas while traveling on napkins or deposit slips … when I really settle down to write a new book it is always in my home office. Like the old line by Virginia Woolf saying ‘a woman needs a room of her own to write’… I am grateful to have a dedicated place and room of my own in which to write. In my home office are bookshelves of references and favorite titles, an old desk handed down in my family that I cherish, and a long computer desk that holds my big iMac and printer. Around the room are mugs full of pens and pencils, stacks of papers and folders related to ongoing books, and behind my desk is a big bulletin board on the wall collaged with magazine and internet pictures representing the characters and places in my ongoing book… When I come here, the world goes out. And I write.

What inspired you to write these and other stories?

From the earliest years I remember, I loved words in print. To this day, I love the sights, smells, and feel of a library or bookstore. I read extensively as a child and doodled at writing in fun ways for pleasure as I grew up.  Writing has always called to me like a misty siren and tangled me up in its embrace. … On my Facebook page recently I wrote:  “Something I love about writing novels – unlike life – you can determine what happens.”  That’s a happy truth.  It’s a joyous creative outlet for me to construct worlds, characters, stories and conflicts, and to make everything in that world turn out as I want.

For ongoing ideas, the Smoky Mountains near my home has always been a big inspiration to my novels. Most of my books are set close to these mountains. Surprisingly, although the Great Smoky Mountains is the most visited national park in America, most fiction titles are historical stories about early settlers in the mountains. One day when I’d just asked yet another bookseller if he had any good contemporary novels set in the Smokies, with a little romance or mystery, he frowned. “I don’t have any,” he complained. “This is the most visited National Park in America. You’d think someone would write some books like that.” So I did! My heart has always been to make the Smokies come alive for my readers with rich, heart-warming stories…. And now in my Edisto books, I’m also enjoying taking readers to the South Carolina island where my family has vacationed with joy since the 1980s.

Is there a character that you feel you relate to the most and why?

Professionally, I’d probably say that Vivian Delaney—in my first published book The Foster Girls—was probably the most like me in many ways, since she was both a college professor and a writer. I served on faculty at Tusculum College for twenty years teaching a wide variety of research and psychology courses … and like Vivian I also became a writer. Vivian’s and my background and past are not similar but our occupations definitely are … and many of Vivian’s small loves and delights in the book echo mine.

What is something that you would like readers to take away from these works and/or your writing in general?

I hope, in each book, that my readers will feel like they have slipped away to another world, visited and made new friends they hate to say goodbye to. For me, reading is a pleasure and an escape – and I also learn and grow from the books I read. I hope my readers will find warm escapes, too, in all my books and grow from the settings, characters, teaching, and seeds of faith planted in every story.

I think the words of fans and reviewers show better than my own words what readers take away from my books:

“I just read your book in two days, not the norm for me. What a wonderful book. I loved the plot. I loved the dialogue. Your characters quickly became real people for me and you kept me guessing about what would happen next with them. I can’t wait for the next book.  … TX fan

“Dr. Stepp … Just a note from a 60 year old man who simply adores reading your books… Thank you for making the mountains come alive even way down in the flat lands of eastern NC. I totally enjoy the characters, the settings, the story flow and the scenic descriptions… Thanks again from someone who now has ‘let Smoky Mountain smoke get in his eyes’ and Lin Stepp novels get in his heart and soul.” … NC fan

Stepp establishes a lovely sense of place … capturing the sights and sounds of Tennessee’s breathtaking Great Smoky Mountains. Woven amid the evenly paced plot are prominent religious messages and biblical scripture centered on finding a deeper faith in God and trusting that there is a reason for what happens in our lives.”Booklist

Stepp has a wonderful ability to take you back to your own youth with her characters and storytelling.An amazing storyteller.”- RT Reviews

“Well, I’ve finally come across someone that believes in all the things that I do … love, family, faith, intrigue, mystery, loyalty, romance, and a great love for our beloved Smoky Mountains.” – Dolly Parton



(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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10 responses to “Happy Valley & Return to Edisto Blog Tour – Author Interview & Giveaway

  1. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for the interview with Lin Stepp and for being part of the JustRead Publicity Tours blog tour for “Happy Valley” & “Return to Edisto”.

    Sounds like wonderful books and they are now on my TBR list. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read them.

  2. Roxanne C.

    I enjoyed reading about Lin Stepp’s writing journey and can relate to her “pleasure in the joy of ‘words’ and liked putting thoughts on paper” as a girl. I have never visited the Smoky Mountains but always books set there.

  3. Thanks so much for hosting me today and spotlighting my new books HAPPY VALLEY and RETURN TO EDISTO. I enjoyed our interview … and thank those who commented, too. …

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