Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Downsizing by Lin Stepp

Downsizing JustRead Blog + Review Tour 

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Downsizing by Lin Stepp, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!



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.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository



Russell looked away. “I’m simply not happy with you anymore. I want a different life.”

Mary Pat sat quietly for a few moments, hurt down into the marrow of her bones and trying to absorb all he’d said. How could this be happening?

“It might have been nice if you’d tried to talk with me about these things before now,” she said finally.

His eyes met hers. “I did try.”

She searched her memory. “I don’t seem to remember any of those times.”

“That’s because you never paid any attention to me, shrugged off my words. I finally gave up.”

“That’s hardly fair, Russell, and not true either.”

He made a face. “Well, look at you and look at your life. It says enough, doesn’t it?”

Mary Pat wanted to throw something at him but instead she tried to stay calm, to think reasonably. What in the world was going on with Russell to make him act like this, so mean and hateful? It wasn’t like him. Granted, he hadn’t always been the most attentive, kind husband—frequently busy and distracted with his work—but never like this. What had suddenly changed him so much, made him think he wanted a divorce? Surely they could talk about this, work things out. If she got angry and screamed at him it would hardly help. What should she say to try to turn things around? …

“We can work on this, make things better. As I said, I had no idea you were unhappy in our marriage or with me. We can talk, go to counseling if you like.”
He shook his head. “No, I don’t want to go to counseling or talk. I just want out. I’ve bought a condo over near the hospital. I’ve talked to a realtor about selling the house. She’s found a buyer who wants to write contract.”

Mary Pat felt her mouth drop open. “You want to sell our house?” …

His words cut. How could he talk to her like this? So mean, as though she was a stranger or something? … She stared at him, trying to figure out where the husband she knew had gone and who this new man was.


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


(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!

Downsizing JustRead Giveaway

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.


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Thank you! - JustRead Tours

  2. Jolene ... Thank you so much for spotlighting my latest Smoky Mountain book on your blog. Best and happy spring to you ...Lin Stepp, Author