Makin’ Miracles by Lin Stepp

  • Makin' Miracles (Dec30)Title:  Makin’ Miracles
  • Author:   Lin Stepp
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction; Christian
  • Published:  December 30, 2014 – Kensington
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Zola Devon has always been a little different. Half Tahitian, with long black hair and dark eyes, she’s especially distinctive in the mountain town of Gatlinburg. She even stocks her gift shop, Nature’s Corner, with items that reflect her island heritage and tantalize tourists. But it’s her spot-on intuition that truly sets Zola apart. When she gets a hunch about a person, she’s almost always right. And when the surly photographer who owns the gallery next door starts meddling in her business, she can only hope that, for once, her instincts are wrong.

The one thing Spencer Jackson loves more than his camera is the majestic scenery of the Smoky Mountains. Reeling from his painful past, he’s settled in a cabin in the woods to train his lens on the breathtaking landscape. A woman as uniquely beguiling as Zola could only throw his simple, uncomplicated days into chaos–and force him to lay bare his darkest secrets. But as their lives become unavoidably intertwined, they both may discover the beauty of the truth, and the joy of the unexpected.  (publisher)

My brief take:  This is the second of Lin Stepp’s novels I’ve had a chance to read. I love the Smoky Mountain setting, the characters who seem so genuine, and her themes of people learning to forgive, trust, and love. Pertinent bible references are woven into the story in a relevant and natural way.

I had issues with Spencer. He seemed almost immature in his attitude toward his problems with his family and his willingness to let go of the past. It made him moody and rather annoying. I couldn’t understand why Zola kept seeing him. But she did. I really liked Zola. She had such a wonderful outlook on life and a great sense of who she was. She looked for and found the goodness in people. It was easy to understand why Spencer would be attracted to her.

Makin’ Miracles is a story of drama, mystery, romance and family dynamics. I enjoyed the pace and was satisfied with how Stepp wrapped things up. Recommended to fans of Christian Contemporary Fiction.


Down By the River by Lin Stepp

down by the river by L. Stepp (May27)

  • Title:  Down By the River
  • Author:  Lin Stepp
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction; Christian Fiction
  • Published:  May 27, 2014 – Kensington
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  While on a visit to the Smokies, Grace Conley makes a stunning decision: she’s going to walk away from her busy life in Nashville to move to tiny Townsend and open a bed-and-breakfast. There’s a beautiful old inn for sale along the Little River that will do perfectly. Of course, Grace’s family is scandalized. After all, she’s a middle-aged widow! And as a career homemaker, she’s always been available for babysitting, chauffeuring, and generally being the peacemaker among her grown children. Has Grace lost her mind? She begins to wonder the same thing once she finds herself attracted to the local ladies’ man. But the surprises don’t stop there…

To further complicate her move, Grace’s daughter, Margaret, has grudgingly come to live with her. Having just graduated from college, remote Townsend is not where she envisions her future. Yet the handsome young minister next door is convinced he and Margaret are meant for each other. As life choices abound, soon both women will discover that the biggest decisions require confidence, a sense of humor—and a deep, abiding faith.  (publisher)

My take:  The serene cover and then the synopsis are what first drew my attention to this novel. I’m pleased to tell you I enjoyed Lin Stepp’s story as well. I like a book with main characters in my age demographic (50s) who are smart, strong and fairly confident in themselves – not ditzy comic relief or overbearing parents.

After making the move to Townsend both Grace and her daughter Margaret begin to find themselves on the road to love and deeper faith – Grace with the local ladies’ man Jack Teague and Margaret with the young minister Vincent. I found their stories quite entertaining. There’s also a storyline involving a stalker that, while it added mystery, I’m not sure was necessary. Maybe that’s because I don’t enjoy the mystery genre all that much. Other readers may like this aspect.

Overall, I enjoyed Stepp’s characters and their romantic and faith journeys. This is Christian fiction and is heavier on the Christian than other books of the genre I’ve previously read. I enjoyed it very much. I would definitely read more by this new-to-me author. My thanks to the publisher for sharing a review galley.

Note:  There is a readers’ guide included.