Welcome to the Blog Tour for Eight at the Lake by Lin Stepp, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOKTitle: Eight at the Lake Series: Mountain Home Author: Lin Stepp Publisher: Mountain Hill Press Release Date: April 1, 2022 Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance Set in the charming historic town of Dandridge, Tennessee, on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains, Lin Stepp’s sweet and touching story follows the unlikely romantic attraction between two characters with nothing in common but an undeniable zing. Samantha King, a nationally known storm chaser with Weather First, is covering a hurricane hitting the Florida Panhandle when a sign slams into her, tossing her over a wall and into the pounding surf. Accidents demand recovery and Samantha reluctantly heads to her Aunt Dixie’s in Dandridge, Tennessee, for a needed rest. The only plus, besides time with Dixie, is sharing time with her sister Andrea’s children, taken in years ago by Ford and Laura McDaniel when Andrea and her husband were killed. Samantha has spent little time with the children over the years, due to her demanding work schedule, but she is purposed to get to know the children better while in Dandridge. Ford McDaniel, with a busy veterinary practice and part ownership in his family’s lakeside resort, often wonders how in the world he ended up with eight children on his own. Yes, he and Laura agreed, as godparents to their best friends, Andrea and Adam Bradley, that if anything ever happened to them they’d raise their kids, but who imagined that scenario would ever occur? Still, he and Laura seemed to manage okay until Laura died, shattering his world and leaving him with eight small children to raise on his own. Now Andrea’s celebrated sister Samantha is in town for a while and it’s hard for Ford not to resent her carefree life—or to ignore his attraction to her, a relationship he clearly knows can only go nowhere. PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub
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(1) winner will receive a print copy of Eight at the Lake and Light the Way plus bookmarks for each book!
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 4, 2022 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on April 11, 2022. 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.
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
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And…an author interview with the fabulous Lin Stepp!
I was just thrilled when I had the opportunity to interview Lin. She’s a thoughtful and highly readable author, whose characters are easy to love and sympathize with. I found myself cheering them on and hoping for a wonderful ending for them. Here are my questions, along with the author’s answers. Get to know Lin a bit by reading them!
- Lin, I’ve known Tennessee gals and always been struck by their voices and pronunciations. Do you say “Knocks–vul” when you say “Knoxville” with a charming Southern accent when you speak of your alma mater, University of Tennessee at Knoxville?
Although most folks might think we’uns here in Knocks-vul and around the Great Smoky Mountains are all backwoods hillbillies with moonshine jugs, bare feet, a few teeth out, and married to our cousins … I’m sure-enuf sorry to tell you fer a straight-out fact it just ain’t so! …
I may have a distinctive Southern accent and sometimes use old Appalachian terms when I write, but no, I don’t say “Knocks-vul.” I think all the years of education becoming Dr. Stepp, teaching college for twenty years, giving presentations and speeches for educational organizations, and working in the business world knocked any colloquial speech right out of me—except when sprinkled into one of my talks for humor! Most colloquial speech is picked up through cultural and family upbringing, and my parents were well-educated and seldom used what many think of as Appalachian or Hillbilly speech. We were also called to task for using incorrect grammar like “ain’t” or “she don’t.” I later learned in my educational and business career fields that careless speech habits tend to sink your chances to make a positive impression and can give you negative labels you might not want. People often assume those of us who live near the Smoky Mountains talk and act in a sort of Hillbilly way, but these concepts are only cultural stereotypes and not true of most of the people who live here in my part of the world.
- As an avid hiker, what are a couple of trails you haven’t hiked yet that are on your to-hike list?
Most of our hikes have been taken in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and Western North Carolina. My husband J.L. and I wrote about 110 of these shorter trails in our guidebook The Afternoon Hiker. There may be a few trails we missed in the Smokies and might yet like to explore … but next on our “to-hike” and “to-explore” list are more state park trails. J.L. and I discovered wonderful hiking trails working on our two state park guidebooks Discovering Tennessee State Parks and Exploring South Carolina State Parks … and we’re eagerly planning two more state park guidebooks to come in North Carolina and Georgia. There are already piles of tourist brochures, maps, and books on our dining room table about North Carolina and its parks, and we hope to get started traveling to see those parks and to hike the trails in them after we finish the Book Tour for our latest titles.
- Your book characters have definitely encountered some fascinating experiences. What gives you your ideas for these; is it your psychology and counseling background?
I love bringing my readers to the places I love around the Smoky Mountains and now at the South Carolina coast. Creating the characters for my books is always a joy. As I begin to plan the concept of a book, my book characters seem to walk into my mind, and I develop each one in more and more depth as I plan the book’s story. I actually go hunting for pictures on the internet or in magazines to visually represent my book characters and I plot out in depth what each character is like, what they love and hate, the experiences they’ve had in their lives, their problems, their hopes and dreams. I think an author brings all their life experiences into the creation of every story, along with their knowledge gained from all the books they’ve read over their lives. But I also simply have a rich, vivid imagination!!! In addition, I am consummate planner in writing any book so before I begin writing even the first words of a story, I’ve fully developed the characters, setting, and plot for my books, and roughed out a story outline to follow as I write. I admittedly love developing rich personalities and life experiences for my characters. To me as an author, the worst possible thing would be if my books began to feel predictable to my readers or that the characters, settings, and adventures in each story wouldn’t feel fresh and exciting every time.
- Was there an experience that first drew your heart to writing?
As a girl, I always loved to create stories and I dreamed of someday writing or illustrating books. I scribbled out poems, wrote articles for the school newspaper and for other academic publications later, but then life led me off in other directions. I married, raised children, worked in business capacities and as a publication artist, and taught college. Not until my children were grown and gone did the idea to write books surface again into my life. My husband and I had begun hiking, and working on a hiking guide, and along the way the idea for contemporary novels set in the Smokies slipped into my heart and mind. I decided to map out time to write around my other jobs and I soon had several novels finished. With some pushing from my daughter, home for a holiday, I began to seek for a publisher, connected with an imprint of John F. Blair out of North Carolina, and my first Smoky Mountain novel published in 2009. You never know if readers will love the books you write, but I’ve been blessed that they have, and I now have 24 published titles. If you carry an old dream in your heart, keep in mind Shad Helmstetter’s words that “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
- Do you have a “favorite” character in your new book, “Eight at the Lake,” and if so, what do you love about them?
I loved every minute of writing my book Eight at the Lake and especially in bringing my two main characters Samantha King and Ford McDaniel to life, along with the eight children in the book. My heart went out to Ford, who as a busy veterinarian and part owner in his family’s lake resort, was also trying to raise eight children on his own. How Ford ended up with these kids, and ended up alone to raise them is a part of the story, but you can’t help but love him for how he loves the kids and for simply what a good man he is…. Samantha King captured my heart, too, a plucky, gifted woman working as a weather chaser for a major television network. What a fascinating life! She never would have come back to Dandridge if she hadn’t been forced to rest from an injury occurring on the job during a Florida hurricane. Creating the attraction and interaction between these two very different characters was so much fun. Both are passionate, smart, and dedicated people and it was easy to imagine the conflicts they faced, with their lives and goals so different. And creating the children, with their unique personalities, was wonderful fun, too. … A quote I love by Stephen King says: “A story should entertain the writer, too” and that is always true for me. I hope everyone will enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Thanks so much!
I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Lin Stepp as much as I have. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway above for a chance to win two of her books plus other goodies.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.