Friday, April 1, 2022

Book Tour, Author Interview & Giveaway: Light the Way by Lin Stepp

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Light the Way
(The Lighthouse Sisters #1)
By Lin Stepp
Christian Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 292 Pages
April 1, 2022 by Mountain Hill Press

In this new coastal series, Lin Stepp transports her readers into the rich, colorful lives of Burke and her sisters, Lila, Gwen, and Celeste, who grew up at the Deveaux Inn and Lighthouse on a windswept island, accessible only by boat. Get ready to be introduced to the ups and downs, joys and sorrows, challenges and adventures of a Lighthouse Keeper.

Life had grown hard for Burke Deveaux at the family inn and lighthouse since her father died. She missed his warmth and still expected to see him walking into a room, his big laugh booming. Burke and her mother were gradually adjusting to the change, and Lila had come home this winter to help, but the workload was heavy. With spring coming and tourism picking up in the South Carolina Lowcountry, Burke welcomed Hal Jenkins’ request for his son Waylon to work for them. Waylon, retiring early from the Navy, knew the island and the lighthouse, having grown up nearby. Burke also knew Waylon well since they’d grown up together. He’d always been older, and she wondered how he’d see her now.

Waylon had been away from Edisto Island for over twelve years now, traveling around the world in the military, but it felt good to be home. He’d hated learning Lloyd Deveaux was gone, the warm-hearted Lighthouse Keeper he’d followed around as a boy. But he liked the idea of coming to stay at the lodge at Watch Island to help the Deveaux family with the inn, lighthouse, and nearly five-hundred acres of land the Lighthouse Station occupied. He knew Burke had picked up many of her father’s old tasks and he looked forward to seeing her again. He’d kept feelings for her clamped down for years but one look at her brought them surging back. How would he handle that with them working together?

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“This book feels just as tranquil as Edisto and has a wonderful, laid back flow, like beautiful ocean waves lapping up on the shore … you can’t help but fall in love with every facet of this novel.” – Christ F. JUST READS Review

“From the stunning backdrop of the South Carolina Lowcountry … this book was like going home.” – Kim Standridge Boykin, Bestselling Author of Palmetto Moon

“Each book showcases Lin Stepp’s natural gift as a novelist for originality and narrative driven storytelling.” – MIDWEST REVIEW 
Interview with Author Linn Stepp

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

A native Tennessean, I’ve lived most all my life in Knoxville, TN, not far from the Smoky Mountains I love. I believe there is always a place that feels like “home” to you, and this spot, on God’s lovely earth near the mountains, is that special place for me. I’m blessed to have known a happy childhood in rural suburbia where I could freely roam the hills, fields, and neighborhood. I’ve always loved to read, study, and learn new things so it’s little surprise I ended up as Dr. Stepp, with three degrees. I taught psychology and research courses at Tusculum College for twenty years and often worked in educational sales positions on the side. I met my husband while at college and we are still a happy team, with two children now grown and gone from home. It wasn’t until mid-life that I began to write books and, to my joy, readers loved them. To date I have over twenty published books, most of my novels stand-alones set in the Smoky Mountains plus my new beach books set at the South Carolina coast. My husband and I also write regional guidebooks together and have also written a 365-day devotional guide. I really love being an author and I’ve been blessed to hit the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Amazon and other bestseller lists with my titles.

What do you do besides writing?

My husband and I love to hike in the Smoky Mountains near our home and we love to explore new places. We’ve hiked trails all over the TN and NC mountains and described many in our hiking guide The Afternoon Hiker. Additionally, we’ve visited all the state parks in Tennessee and in South Carolina and have written two parks guidebooks, Discovering Tennessee State Parks and Exploring South Carolina State Parks. We’ve enjoyed filling all three of these guides with our color photography to enhance them, and we are already planning more future adventures visiting parks in two other nearby states. The publisher of our hiking guide used some of my illustrations in the book, also and as another side interest I love to draw and paint.

What was your favorite part of researching for this book?

I love lighthouses, and have always been fascinated by them, so I really enjoyed researching the history of lighthouses and learning how lighthouses operate for LIGHT THE WAY, the first title in my new Lighthouse Sisters series. This book is Burke’s story … one of four sisters who grew up at the Deveaux Lighthouse and Inn on the coast. Like my earlier Edisto Trilogy books, LIGHT THE WAY is set at Edisto Island, South Carolina, a small, quiet island halfway between Beaufort and Charleston. Edisto is our favorite vacation spot … and it was a joy visiting the island more than once to research for these books! Although we’d been going to Edisto since the 1980s, I discovered many new wonderful places and bits of local history that are finding their way into my stories.

Do you have images you can share that come close to how you picture your characters? Do you like to find visual inspiration for your characters before or during your writing process?

As an artist as well as an author, I am a very “visual” writer. I always want visuals for the books I write … especially pictures of the places and all the book characters that will be in each novel. After “imagining and seeing” in my mind all the characters, pets, houses, businesses, and more that will people my books, I find pictures for them as I begin to plot a new book. I stuff these into folders along with brochures, local maps, and pages of scribbled down notes and ideas. I also draw setting maps, which my publishers have always included in the front of my books, and I create a “collage bulletin board” of the main people and places who will be in my story right before I begin to write a new book. Below is the board I made for LIGHT THE WAY and the Lighthouse Sisters books.

What are some songs that you listened to or inspired you while writing your book?

I know authors who like to listen to music while they write, but I can’t work with music or noise in the background. Whenever I write, I head into my office and shut the door to work in the quiet. The “music” in my head of all the characters talking is enough noise and distraction for me as I work on a book. Occasionally I might go online to find the lyrics to a song that weaves its way into the lives of a character, but that is the only time music playsny part in my writing process. I am much more inspired by places, by travel, by people, and by ideas picked up in reading than from songs.

What message would you like readers to ultimately take away from the book?

I read for joy and pleasure all the time, around writing my own books. Books are a beautiful way to escape, to enter into other lives I might not know, to travel to places I might not otherwise ever see. I love rich, warm-hearted books that make me feel like I know the characters in the story, that I get involved with and hate to say goodbye to at the end of the story. I like books that teach me something I didn’t know, inspire me in some way, lift my faith in the goodness of people despite all the problems in our world. I hope my readers might find this kind of pleasure in reading my stories … and smile and sigh at the end, wishing the book didn’t have to end so soon.

What can we look forward to coming from you in the future? 
Now that I am retired from college teaching, I write two books every year. My readers love my new coastal books but they also love my books set in the mountains, so I try to write a book set in the mountains and a book set at the coast every year. My mountain title this year, that readers can also enjoy, is titled Eight at the Lake. It’s a delightful, fun story set in the charming historic town of Dandridge, TN, near the Cosby side of the Great Smoky Mountains. The books I’ll be finishing for next year are the second book in the Lighthouse Sisters series titled Lighten My Heart, Gwen’s story, and a new mountain title set in Cherokee, NC, called Seeking Ayita. After that, two more Lighthouse Sisters books will follow, along with more mountain titles and two new regional guidebooks to the state parks of North Carolina and Georgia. Between book publications, readers might also enjoy reading my monthly blog posts, always on one interesting topic or another and full of photos. These and my monthly newsletter can be found on my author’s website under the “Blog” or “Newsletter” tab. I hope you’ll check those writings out as well as reading about all my published books on my website at:

About the Author

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 twenty published novels out now, including her twelve beloved Smoky Mountain novels, all set in different Tennessee and North Carolina locations, three Mountain Home books, a novella in one of Kensington’s Christmas anthologies, and four South Carolina coastal novels, including her three Edisto Trilogy books and her first release in the new Lighthouse Sisters series. Lin and her husband J.L. also write regional guidebooks, including a published Smoky Mountain hiking guide and a TN and a SC state parks guidebook, all filled with hundreds of color photos. Stepp’s latest 2022 releases are Eight at the Lake, set in Dandridge near the Smoky Mountains, and Light the Way, set at the SC coast. Writing and adventuring are her joys and more novels set in the Smokies and at the beach are on the way, as well as more colorful regional guidebooks. Lin’s title Claire At Edisto was the 2019 Best Book Award Winner in Fiction: Romance, sponsored by American Book Fest and her novel Welcome Back a finalist in the 2017 Selah Awards. Lin enjoys speaking for events, festivals, libraries, and book clubs. And she loves reading, hiking, exploring out of doors, and keeping up with her readers. Look for her pages on Facebook and Twitter and follow her monthly blog and newsletter, too, that you will find on her website at:

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive print copies of Light the Way, Claire at Edisto, Return to Edisto, and Edisto Song by Lin Stepp, and bookmarks (US only)

Ends April 6, 2022

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