Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Lin Stepp & Downsizing

Posted April 7, 2021 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, contemporary, giveaway, Lin Stepp, romance / 17 Comments

Downsizing JustRead Blog + Review TourWelcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Downsizing by Lin Stepp, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! Please join me in welcoming Lin to the blog to chat about her new book!

Downsizing Title: Downsizing
Series: Mountain Home Books #2
Author: Lin Stepp
Publisher: Mountain Hill Press
Release Date: April 1, 2021
Genre: Clean/Sweet Contemporary Romance

Forced to suddenly downsize her life, and not by choice, pushes Mary Pat Latham to give up all that is familiar, to reexamine her life in every area, and to eventually open her heart to new beauty and purpose, instead of only looking back in regret.

At midlife, Mary Pat Latham has an almost perfect life—a successful husband, a beautiful home, four fine grown children, and a wealth of meaningful activities and social clubs to fill her days—so it’s a total shock when her husband walks in one day and says he wants a divorce. As if hearing a stranger talking in her own kitchen, Mary Pat listens to Russell’s reasons for wanting to abandon their long marriage and to his plans, already in place, to sell their home and move on. What will she do? Where will she go? She hasn’t worked since the children were born, her life wrapped up in home and family. Stunned, Mary Pat heads to the small mountain home she and Russell bought from her parents years ago, too shocked and humiliated to face her friends or anyone she knows right now.

Owen McCarter knew he’d need to stop by the old Jennings place, on some pretense or other, after Wheeler told him he’d seen a woman up there acting sick. After all, the house was next door to his at the end of Highland Drive. When he knocked on the front door later, it took him a minute to recognize Mary Pat, weeping and so different from the girl he’d known in childhood and fallen in love with. Owen reached out in friendship, of course, seeing Mary Pat so upset, but he felt surprised at the old memories that touched him, too. Hearing her problems and learning why she’d come to the mountains, Owen knew it unlikely she’d stay for long after the more lavish life she’d known. But he couldn’t help wishing she would.

Another Lin Stepp novel set in the Smoky Mountains … with a special “Downsizing Diet” available free to readers as a book supplement.


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Other Books in This Series

Hi Lin! Welcome back to the blog!

Q: If your new book Downsizing had a theme song, what would it be?

Lin: I’d pick “My Tennessee Mountain Home” by Dolly Parton – perfect, too, because Dolly is also a big fan of my books.

Carrie: those Tennessee mountains are my happy place, for sure 🙂

Q: Tell us four behind the scenes facts about Downsizing.

Lin: (1) DOWNSIZING, my fourteenth novel set in the Smoky Mountains, is set in the charming Arts & Crafts Community east of Gatlinburg and is full of real places readers can visit after reading about them in the story.

(2) I believe we can all “bloom” into a new life at any age of life, and the main character in DOWNSIZING, a middle-aged woman, does exactly that in this story. The book exemplifies one of my favorite quotes, that: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” [Stan Helmstetter]

(3) When forced to downsize her life, main character Mary Pat also decides to downsize herself by losing weight. This meant I needed to create a totally fictitious weight loss center and a diet for Mary Pat to follow in the book. I drew on years of teaching psych and working in counseling at a weight loss center to create an imaginary weight loss business and I revamped a diet I’ve used successfully for years for Mary Pat’s diet. Watching me lose some weight trying it out, fans began asking me to put the diet in the book, so a Free Download link is included at the book’s end, in case readers want to check out the diet and try it, too.

(4) I think everyone loves the black bears of the Smoky Mountains. I hadn’t featured black bears in previous mountain books so in DOWNSIZING a number of adventures with bears, especially a troublesome bear called Ole Blaze, play a major part in the story. Despite the fact that I live near the Smokies and hike the trails often, I really learned a lot about bears researching for this story!

Carrie: i love the arts & crafts community in Gatlinburg!

Q: Tell us four quick reasons why you love to write.

Lin: Let’s see … I love to write:

To share my stories through books
To bring readers to the Smoky Mountains I love.
To show that warm-hearted, moral books can be a joy to read,
And to know I am using the talents and gifts God gave me.

Q: What was the first book you read that captivated you like no other?

Lin: Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. … And I still love it.

“To live will be an awfully big adventure.” – J.M. Barrie

Carrie: I didn’t read that one until I was an adult…

Q: What are some books that shaped your writing journey and maybe even inspired you to write?

Lin: Some books I especially remember are:

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne Books … showed me the beauty of lovely, virtuous writing

Catherine Marshall’s book CHRISTY… made me yearn to serve and live a meaningful life

Earl Hamner’s book SPENCER’S MOUNTAIN… showed me a heart yearning and determined to write

Jan Karon’s Mitford Series… helped me see that sweet moral books could touch and sell

Carrie: Christy has been a favorite of mine since childhood!

Q: What’s your favorite quote from Downsizing and why do you love it?

Lin: In Chapter One, Mary Pat puts a quote on her refrigerator for inspiration for the changes ahead she faces. She adds a little prayer after, too …a lovely reminder that despite the trials, hurts, mistakes, and betrayals that come our way, with God’s help, we can always make changes and choices to turn our lives around for good. I hope this new Mountain Home Book will be an inspiration to many.

Here’s the quote:

Today is the first day on the road to a new you…. Lord, help me make this be the truth for my life.”

Lin Stepp

image credit Katie Riley

Lin Stepp is a New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Amazon best-selling international author, A native Tennessean, businesswoman, and former faculty member at Tusculum College, Lin has twenty-one published books, including her beloved Smoky Mountain and Mountain Home novels, all set in different Tennessee and North Carolina locations, plus a novella A Smoky Mountain Gift in one of Kensington’s Christmas anthologies.

Stepp’s latest novels, set around the Smoky Mountains, are Downsizing (2021) and Happy Valley (2019). Lin also has three novels set on the South Carolina coast in her Edisto Trilogy: Claire at Edisto (2019), Return to Edisto (2020) and Edisto Song (2021). Lin and her husband J.L. also write regional guidebooks, including a Smoky Mountain hiking guide and two state parks guidebooks for Tennessee and South Carolina.

Lin’s 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 Best Books Award Finalist in Nonfiction: Travel Guides with American Book Fest.

Lin enjoys hiking and exploring out of doors and she loves speaking for events, festivals, libraries, and book clubs and sharing about her work and interests through her monthly blog and newsletter, both on her website at:

CONNECT WITH LIN: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Downsizing JustRead Giveaway

(1) winner will receive a Tennesee gift pack including a print copy of Downsizing by Lin Stepp, The Afternoon Hiker and Discovering Tennessee State Parks by J.L. & Lin Stepp, and a Great Smoky Mountains National Park pocket guide!

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 5, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 12, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.


This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

What about you? What makes you want to read Downsizing by Lin Stepp?

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17 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Lin Stepp & Downsizing

  1. Suzanne Sellner

    I love that Mary Pat Latham has the courage to find new purpose in life and would love to read the book to discover if Owen McCarter is able to help her do so.

    • Yvette … I’m glad DOWNSIZING made you want to visit the Smokies! And if you come, be sure to drive the loop in the Arts & Crafts Community featured in this book to enjoy all the cute crafts shops, art galleries, and little restaurants there. It’s one of my favorite places!

  2. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for the Q&A with Lin Stepp. Always fun to learn more about author and book first hand.

    Can’t wait for the opportunity to read “Downsizing” which is on my TBR list. Sounds amazing! With my love of bears the cover was a grabber for me as well.

  3. Diana Hardt

    Nice cover. I liked the blurb. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

    • Diana … The Glades Arts & Crafts Community in Gatlinburg is a wonderful place to visit if you ever come to the Smoky Mountains … You’ll get a fun taste of it in this book, too.

  4. Carrie … Thanks for featuring my new title DOWNSIZING on your blog site and for the interview. Hard to believe this is my seventeenth novel set in the Smoky Mountains of TN and NC! … And I’m still loving my journey of being an author.

  5. Missy Scott

    I know I’m going to love this one. Sounds so good! (I love Christy and the Anne books, too!)

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