Book-signing at Mast Store Sept. 10
Native Tennessean Dr. Lin Stepp was looking for a satisfying modern read in gift shops around the Smokies and discovered the offerings were all painted against the backdrop of the 1800s.
Stepp said, "I wanted a contemporary book set in the Smokies, maybe a little romance, some mystery."
She saw the necessity for a more current genre in storytelling and decided to meet the need herself.
The Tusculum College psychology professor strategized a creative solution to her problem by mapping out a 12-book series, taking place in 12 separate locations of the Smoky Mountains.
Canterbury House Publishing, based in Vilas, was searching for regional romances set in Appalachia and so was excited about Stepp's books that it signed on for the entire series.
All of the novels are warm contemporary romances with a touch of inspiration, a dash of suspense and a large helping of Appalachian flavor. "The Foster Girls," "Tell Me About Orchard Hollow" and "For Six Good Reasons" (Stepp's latest release) are all stand-alone stories set in the picturesque areas of Eastern Tennessee.
Bestselling regional author Joan Medlicott called Stepp "a wonderful, new Southern voice."
Author Deborah Smith described the books as "warm-hearted and satisfying... painting a charming portrait of the Smokies, their people, and a wonderful way of life."
Recording artist Dolly Parton has also offered Stepp high praise, saying, "Well, I've finally come across someone that believes in all the things I do - love, family, faith, intrigue, mystery, loyalty, romance and our great, beloved Smoky Mountains. Dr. Lin Stepp, I salute you."
Stepp will visit the Mast General Store in Boone for a special book signing on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. The event is free and open to all.