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?
PRAISE FOR LIN STEPP AND HER RICH SOUTHERN NOVELS:
“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
What was the inspiration for this new series?
Our family has vacationed at Edisto Island, South Carolina, since the 1980s. Although I write mostly books set around the Smoky Mountains, along with regional guidebooks with my husband, my editor at Kensington at the time thought my idea to take readers on a little book vacation to my favorite beach an excellent one. So I wrote the Edisto Trilogy set there, and to my joy the first book CLAIRE AT EDISTO won the 2019 Best Book Award in Fiction: Romance in American Book Fest’s huge contest that year with over 2000 publisher entries. I was off to a good start and soon found my readers loved the beach as much as the mountains. They also began to ask for more beach books as well as mountain books….So while at Edisto and walking down the beach at Botany Bay, I looked across the Townsend Inlet toward a small island, separated from the mainland, and envisioned a lighthouse sitting right there, looking out to sea. I’d always wondered what it might be like to grow up at a lighthouse and the idea for a new series quickly blossomed into a new book series to research, plan, and write.
What is it about lighthouses that makes them seem so magical?
D.L. Moody once wrote: “Lighthouses blow no horns, just shine.” The concept of lighthouses lighting the way to save ships and guide people home appeals to most everyone. As George Bernard Shaw said, “They were built only to serve,” an altruistic notion we all love. Plus we love the concept of a lighthouse’s beams sweeping out into the darkness, giving light, showing the way. Lighthouses are constant and true, continuing to shine, even in the storms of life—a lovely parallel for our lives as Christians and inspiring many hymns and songs like “This Little Light of Mine.” Lighthouses make us think of many verses in the Bible, too, like “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:16].
What kind of research did you have to do for this book?
The answer is a lot more than I expected to!! … I had to create an entire Lighthouse Station on my lighthouse island, which meant researching the history of lighthouses extensively to create the history for my Deveaux Lighthouse and the Deveaux Inn. I needed to learn when lighthouses began, about early and later lighthouse keepers, and what happened to most of the U.S. lighthouses when they were decommissioned. Besides creating the past and current history of the lighthouse I created. I also had to create the family that lived on the island, caring for the Light and running the Deveaux Inn—which was once the old keeper’s home. In addition, I had to learn about island living, birds, fish, the marshes, and the entire coastal area. I hope I artfully tucked in bits of this research while keeping this wonderful story going!
To which character do you best relate?
Sometimes I think I best related to Etta Deveaux in this story, the mother of the four Lighthouse Sisters. She’s had to be a very strong, reliable, responsible woman, dealing with the diversity of people who come to stay at her inn. I admire her ethics and the strong, talented, and very individual daughters she’s raised in an unusual setting. I found, too, that I liked how she handled the situations she faced with knowledge and artful diplomacy. In my life, these are roles I’ve often had to play, too, drawing on these strengths and dealing with a broad variety of people as a professor, business woman, and author.
What do we have to look forward to in this new series?
There are three more lovely books to come in this series, each featuring one of the four Lighthouse Sisters. Because I am a thorough planner whenever I write a book, I’ve already roughly outlined all the next books in the series that follow the lives of Burke’s sisters Gwen, Celeste, and Lila. The sisters are very different in personality … and all have left the island to create other lives before coming back together in this book LIGHT THE WAY. I think readers will find each new book rich with new story, interesting places, and rich, likeable characters along with more surprises and suspense to keep them guessing and wondering how everything will turn out at the story’s end. The next book to come is LIGHTEN MY HEART, Gwen’s story.
What is a question no one ever asks you that you have always wanted to answer about you or your writing?
My Question: What signs in your childhood hinted that you’d be an author one day?
Many signs in my childhood might have alerted those in my life that I might one day be an author, but most didn’t have the eyes to see them in that light. I read all the time, loved books and stories, and created all the play dramas for the imaginative games my friends and I played indoors and out-of-doors. My dad helped me build an extensive dollhouse for all my character dolls, and the dolls all had creative names, full backgrounds, and unique personalities. I made scrapbooks of pictures to represent each of them and created endless stories my friends and I could act out with all the dolls. From an early age I had a gift for writing, wrote stories and poems, wrote articles for the school newspaper and later for other publications. One of my cherished memories is when the Dean of Women at my high school called me into her office to tell me she thought I had a strong writing gift she hoped I would develop….I wish she was still alive so I could tell her I did.
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: www.linstepp.com
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