Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Lin Stepp, Happy Valley & Return to Edisto

Posted March 27, 2020 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, contemporary, giveaway, Lin Stepp, romance / 13 Comments

Happy Valley Return to Edisto JustRead Blog TourWelcome 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
Series: Mountain Home #1
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.


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a little about happy valley

by Lin Stepp

A little known fact behind the book

The idea for this book came to me while my husband and I were hiking on the Cooper Road Trail in the Abrams Campground Area of the Great Smoky Mountains. To get to the trail, you drive through a scenic rural valley between the Chilhowee and Smoky Mountains which is actually called Happy Valley.  I’d always loved the area, dotted with old farmhouses, barns, and small historic churches… and coming back down the hiking trail that day I laughed and told J.L. I’d just gotten a great idea for a new book. J.L. added some further fun ideas to help me out and the plot line for HAPPY VALLEY was soon on its way.

The setting of the story and why I chose it

In all the books I’ve written set in the Smoky Mountains, I try to take my readers to a new place they might not have visited before. Before we started hiking in the mountains, I’d never visited the Abrams Campground side of the mountains or driven through Happy Valley. I knew once readers discovered this quiet picturesque side of the Smokies that they would love it as much as I did.

A short word-sketch of each of the main characters

Juliette Hollander comes back to the valley to help her grandparents after her Granddad has a heart attack. She often finds herself torn between her work as an artisan quilter in North Carolina and her old homeplace in Happy Valley where she was raised by her grandparents.

Walker Logan has been traveling and on the run for two years but feels called in some way to finally settle down in Happy Valley, a quiet, remote place where he thinks he might be safe. He feels drawn to the valley and to build a country store there and renovate an old house he likes, but he hasn’t counted on how all the people of the valley will change his life.

Something interesting I learned while writing the book.

Happy Valley is rich in history, and the wonderful people in Happy Valley reached out and shared all sorts of stories about the valley’s families and history, many of which found their way into my book. J.L. and I were enveloped in warm friendships while I worked on this book and were even invited to the annual Homecoming at the Missionary Baptist Church in the Valley.

By Brian Stansberry – Own work, CC BY 3.0

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.


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a little about return to edisto

by Lin Stepp

A little known fact behind the book

While at Edisto several years ago, I broke my arm tripping over an old wire buried in the sand. Not one to waste even a somewhat negative memory, I decided a character in the book could deal with a similar experience. When you read this part of the book, you’ll know it was based on a true experience!

The setting of the story and why I chose it

The Edisto Trilogy books are set on a small island on the South Carolina coast about halfway between Charleston and Beaufort. Our family has vacationed here since the 1980s and I filled the book with the wonderful memories and scenes we’ve enjoyed in this special place. Unlike many busy vacation spots at the beach with multi-storied hotels and trafficked streets, Edisto has remained a quiet place where hotels are not allowed. The beach at Edisto still belongs to the people and there are beach access points every four blocks, quiet shady bike trails, sleepy beach homes and villas, quaint shops and family-owned restaurants, a state park and many other scenic places to enjoy.

A short word-sketch of each of the main characters

Mary Helen Avery first came to Edisto at nine years old with her mother and sister after her father died unexpectedly.  Being at the beach proved to be a healing time and now with her life a mess she comes home hoping for the same. The earlier nine-year old Mary Helen is now a tall brunette with brown eyes, a strong-willed woman readers will love as much as the earlier young girl.

J.T. Mikell has lived at Edisto all his life and now works in his family’s island rental business. As a boy he and Mary Helen played together and later were sweethearts. An easy, comfortable man, J.T. has often wished things hadn’t gone sour with Mary Helen Avery and hopes her visit to the island might give him a chance with her again—despite how stubborn and headstrong she is.

Something interesting I learned while writing the book.

In any book I write I work hard to take my readers into the setting of the book. Although we’d vacationed at Edisto again and again through the years, working on this book took us to new places at Edisto and in Charleston and Beaufort. And delving into Edisto’s history, I learned more about the island’s past that I’d ever learned before, too. A short island timeline history at the first of the book shares some of those facts with readers and a two-page map shows readers all the places they can expect to see.

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

Happy Valley & Return to Edisto JustRead Giveaway

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

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!


*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

What about you? Which would you rather visit – the Smoky Mountains & Happy Valley or Edisto Beach & Return to Edisto? (Note: BOTH is an acceptable answer lol)

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13 responses to “Guest Post (and a Giveaway!): Lin Stepp, Happy Valley & Return to Edisto

  1. Diana Hardt

    They both sound nice. I love the beautiful covers. I liked the synopses. They sound like wonderful books. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Vivian Furbay

    Thanks that commenting on your blog is so easy! i tried on another blog but couldn’t. Would enjoy reading these books.

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