Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Lin Stepp, The Interlude, and Claire at Edisto

Posted March 28, 2019 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Lin Stepp, romance / 10 Comments

Take your Pick blog & review tour

Welcome to the Blog & Review Tour, plus Giveaway, for two books by Lin Stepp – The Interlude and Claire at Edisto, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

With Spring Break upon us, author Lin Stepp wants to know: Where do you love to go on vacation – the mountains or the sea? Don’t worry – she’s got a book for you, no matter what you decide! Both books release on April 2, 2019, so pack your virtual bags and head to the destination of your choice. And the beauty of travel-by-novel is… you can easily visit both!

Today Lin is here to give us a behind-the-scenes peek into both books!

the interlude goodreadsTitle: The Interlude
Series: Smoky Mountains #12
Author: Lin Stepp
Publisher: Mountain Hill Press
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2019

In this gentle, inspirational romance, Lin Stepp reveals the healing touch and deep peace the beauty of the Smoky Mountains can bring to a hurt and troubled heart.

Too much work, too much pressure, and too much heartache can lead even a strong young woman like Mallory Wingate to the edge of a nervous breakdown. Now her doctor and employer have insisted she take a space to heal and rest—so like it or not, she’s heading to her grandparents’ resort in the Smoky Mountains. Hoping to sleep and rest on the flight home, Mallory is entertained instead by an unexpectedly charismatic stranger, making her forget many of her problems and even making her feel deliciously female again.

Lucas James, flying home from a pro golfing event, hadn’t expected to enjoy an interlude of flirting with a pretty stranger on the plane. A stranger he never expected to see again but who turns out to be the granddaughter of his boss at The Millhouse Resort. Worse, he quickly learns she’s passed through a recent history of emotional problems that remind him all too painfully of his past wife. The last thing Lucas wants is to get involved with anyone like Cecily again. Surely it won’t be too hard to keep his distance while Mallory is at the resort.


Five Behind the Scenes Facts about The Interlude

1. With each stand-alone novel set around the Smoky Mountains, my readers get to visit a new place in the mountains. In The Interlude I take readers to the Greenbrier and Pittman Center area between Gatlinburg and Cosby.  Pittman Center is a charming, little-known, small town set in a broad valley along a fork of the Little Pigeon River. The area is lovely, holds a rich, colorful history, and I enjoyed introducing readers to this community, its history and scenic spots, and to the lovely Greenbrier section of the Smokies nearby.

2. There are two covered bridges in the Smoky Mountain area, and I spotlighted one of these, the Emerts Cove Bridge, in The Interlude. My readers often love seeking out and visiting the real places I highlight in my books and I imagine many will look for this historic bridge on the West Prong Little Pigeon River the next time they are in the Smoky Mountains. The long covered bridge with its colorful, green roof is named after an early settler and Revolutionary War soldier Frederick Emert.

3. The Interlude is set on the fictitious Millhouse Resort. The resort—located in the Greenbrier/Pittman Center area of the Smokies—resembles many of the old resorts set around the mountains, all delightful to visit. I created a lavish history for the Millhouse Resort with its rustic stone lodge, restaurant with scenic mountain views, golf course, historic millhouse, old family homes, cemetery, and scenic trails. Main character Mallory Wingate comes to stay with her Wingate grandparents, who own the resort, for a needed break and she is soon reminded again of the resort’s charm and beauty—the same feelings I hope readers will feel as they visit.

4. My husband J.L. and I are avid hikers and have hiked most of the trails in the Smoky Mountains in full or part. We spotlighted 110 of our favorite hikes in a jointly written, and best-selling, hiking guidebook titled The Afternoon Hiker. Knowing the trails as I do, I often enjoy taking my readers on a hike with my book characters, and in The Interlude, main characters Mallory and Lucas hike the Ramsey Cascades Trail. This hike in Greenbrier leads to one of the tallest falls in the Smokies—a 90-foot magnificent waterfall tumbling over the mountain rocks into a big pool below—a trail well worth hiking.

5. As a psychologist and past professor of psychology and counseling courses, I often saw—in teaching my students—their limited understandings of mental health conditions people wrestle with and suffer from. So in The Interlude, I introduced main character Mallory Wingate, who’d suffered a nervous breakdown. As the story progresses, the reader learns of two other mental health conditions, touching book characters’ lives and showing how mental health problems impact not only the individual struggling with them but the lives of those around them.

claire at edistoTitle: Claire at Edisto
Series: Edisto Trilogy #1
Author: Lin Stepp
Publisher: Mountain Hill Press
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2019

Set against the alluring backdrop of coastal South Carolina, CLAIRE AT EDISTO takes the reader on a sweet and gentle journey showing that love and new beginnings can often bloom from the deepest sorrows.

Standing in grief and shock at the grave of her young husband, Claire Avery wonders what she and her young daughters will do now. They live in the church parsonage they need to vacate. She hasn’t worked since her marriage twelve years ago. Old issues and complications hinder relationships with her family. Struggling for answers, Claire accepts her brother-in-law’s offer to stay at his beach house at Edisto to give her a season to heal and think. But even the peace and beauty of the coastal island bring new problems along with unexpected joys as Claire seeks to find her way.

Parker Avery always promised his brother Charles he would look after Claire if anything happened to him. Charles stood by him three years ago when his wife Ann died and Parker is determined now to be a help to Claire and the girls. As time passes, instead of feeling like a hero, he feels like a heel instead as he realizes he’s developing feelings for his own brother’s widow. To make things worse, he watches with pain and jealousy as Miles Lawrence waltzes into Claire’s life. What can he expect though? It hardly seems right that Claire, even after a season of mourning, would ever fall in love with her own brother-in-law.


Five Behind the Scenes Facts about Claire at Edisto

1. As of this spring I have twelve published stand-alone novels and a novella set in the Smoky Mountains, plus two regional guidebooks to Smoky Mountain trails and Tennessee parks. Despite my love for the mountains near where I live, I also love the beach so I decided to take my readers “on a little vacation” to the coast. The setting I chose for this trilogy of beach books is the quiet island on the South Carolina coast where my family has vacationed since the 1980s. Claire at Edisto, the first in the trilogy, is set in the 1980s, while the next two sequels are set in more contemporary times. I hope readers will fall in love with Edisto just as we did and enjoy “vacationing” at the beach.

2. In the early 1980s when my children were small—Max five and Kate only three—I got one of those calls saying we’d won a weekend vacation to a nearby resort. Knowing we would need to view property to receive our free vacation, I laughingly told the caller that if I wanted to seriously consider buying vacation property it would be at the beach rather than in the mountains where I lived. “We have a beach property where I can send you,” he said. “It’s at Edisto Island, South Carolina.” It was the first time I ever heard of Edisto. I accepted with the idea that we’d catch the extra days there while heading to another nearby beach we often visited for the rest of our vacation. However Edisto stole our hearts from the first. Even the children begged to stay on, and like old homing pigeons we have returned year after year to this lovely, small, quiet and unspoiled island halfway between Charleston and Beaufort. It is my years of happy memories that inspired Claire at Edisto.

3. It’s a vulnerable time to lose a husband when a woman has young children to care for. Death is always hard when a loved one is lost—but Claire Avery, in my new book Claire at Edisto, is a stay-at-home mom when her husband Charles dies unexpectedly. She has not worked since she married and she lives in the parsonage belonging to the church. In Claire’s case, her family and friends all seem to be pulling her in different life directions after Charles’ death and she is uncertain about which direction to take. So much of Claire’s story in this book is not only about her recovery from loss—but about Claire finding her own way and more of her own identity.

4. There is something about the beauty of the ocean that seems to draw every heart, and there are many lovely beaches along the South Carolina coast where Claire at Edisto is set. The main story in this book is set on Edisto Island but scenes in the book also take readers visiting to nearby Charleston and Beaufort. My many visits to this area and the research I did for several years gathering information for these books will hopefully bring this gracious, Southern setting fully alive to readers.

5. While all my previous novels are stand-alone books, Claire at Edisto is the first in a new three-part sequel. The first book is about Claire Avery’s life after her husband Charles dies and the next two books, Return to Edisto and Edisto Song, follow each of her daughter’s lives as they become grown women. All three books are completed… and the one thing I can say in a “writing sense” is that writing series books is much harder than writing stand-alone novels. In a continuing series the characters, facts, timeline, and events must carry over with accuracy from book to book. Additionally, because the timelines for the books took place in specific years in the past, I had to accurately research names of places, streets, and other data with care to get all area facts correct. I am still grateful for all the old maps and brochures I kept from past Edisto, Charleston, and Beaufort visits and for the help I received from locals, who shared their area history and memories with me. I hope readers will love this new series.


Lin Stepp is a native Tennessean, businesswoman and educator. A New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon best-selling international author, Lin now has sixteen published books, including her twelve beloved Smoky Mountain novels set in different locations of the Tennessee and North Carolina mountains, as well as a Smoky Mountain novella in one of Kensington’s Christmas anthologies. In addition, Lin’s first novel in a new Edisto Trilogy recently released, set on the South Carolina coast. Lin and her husband also write regional guidebooks, including a Smoky Mountain hiking guide and a Tennessee state parks book.  Stepp’s latest 2019 releases are The Interlude, set in the Greenbrier and Pittman Center of the Great Smoky Mountains and Claire at Edisto set at Edisto Beach, South Carolina. Lin enjoys keeping up with her readers on Facebook, Twitter, and through her monthly blog on her website at:

CONNECT WITH LIN: website | Facebook | Twitter

take your pick giveaway


(1) winner will win:

  • your choice of The Interlude OR Claire at Edisto (print, US only)
  • $10 Amazon gift card

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight March 24, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm March 31, 2019. Void where prohibited by law. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

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Launch at JustRead Tours

March 24
Britt Reads Fiction
The Power of Words
Heidi Reads…

March 25
For the Love of Christian Fiction
Christian Bookaholic

March 26
Reading, Writing and Stitchmetic

March 27
Reflections From My Bookshelves
Pacific Northwest Bookworm

March 28
For Him and My Family
Reading Is My SuperPower

March 29
Hallie Reads
Kat’s Corner Books

…and these reviewers!
Amanda Holmes
Christi Flores
Jamie Bass
Kimberly Werntz
Sonnetta Jones
Susan Dyer


Which do you like best – the mountains or the sea?

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10 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Lin Stepp, The Interlude, and Claire at Edisto

  1. Tracey Hagwood

    I love the mountains and the sea, but have spent more vacations at the beach. I live 30 minutes from the beach and 4 hours from the mountains, so I really don’t have to choose, I can have both 🙂

    These books sound so good, but I love a good beach read and that premise of falling for your sister in law is interesting!

  2. Kay Garrett

    Thanks for introducing me to a new to me author and for being part of the book tour.

    Both books sounds like great books and I know I would love the opportunity to read them.

    Love the mountains! After all, we retired to the Ozarks. 🙂 Even though we have taken vacations to the ocean (once going the entire coastline of Maine), I still prefer the mountains.

  3. Jackie Tessnair

    I vacation mostly in Pigeon Forge Tennessee. I love the Smoky Mountains. I have visited Emert’s covered bridge. It is beautiful there.

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