Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), and several Kindle ebooks.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Daddy's Girl

The other day, I was privileged to receive an advance copy of Lin Stepp's lastest Smoky Mountain romance, Daddy's Girl. I've posted about some of Linn's books before—Saving Laurel Springs and Welcome Back. Both of those books were about women returning to places where they grew up.


Daddy's Girl, however, is about a woman who never left the small North Carolina town where she was born. Olivia Benton's mother died when she was a child, and her grandmother died a few years after, so Olivia becomes the one who looks after her father, cooks his meals, and looks after the family home. She especially enjoys taking care of her grandmother's lavish garden in back of the house. Later, she buys a florist shop a florist shop and loves running it.

Tanner: "I'll read it after I see what'sgoing on outside."

Meanwhile, her friends in the popular clique to which she'd belonged in high school are going to college, getting married, etc. Even her childhood next-door neighbor and best friend, the nerdy out-cast Weird Warner Zachary—the target of much high school bullying, goes to college in New York and gets married. While Olivia dates off and on, she never gets serious. She is, after all, Daddy's Girl—even though Daddy had started dating the widow of one of his colleagues.

Arlo: "I'll put it at the top of my to-read stack."

Ten years after high school, when Olivia and her three ex-cheerleader besties are having lunch in the same Bryon City drugstore where they've been meeting since high school, a black Mercedes pulls up out front and a well-dressed guy comes in. He's handsome W.T. Zachary, a well-known author famous for his Geeky Gilmore series of books for young people—but he used to be Weird Warner. Olivia has always loved him even though she once rejected him, so awkwardness ensues. He's been widowed a year now, so much of the book deals with W.T.'s and Olivia's off-again/on again relationship.

But it deals with more. A sub-plot involves Olivia's employee Patti and her son who suffers at the hands of bullies. Patti is a relative newcomer in town and seems to have some secrets in her past. But she won't talk about the past. Then there's a vandal who spray-paints messages on buildings in town, but no one has been able to catch him.

Alfreda: "What I liked best is that this book had a cat in it."

I won't give away anymore of the plot, except to say it has some twists and turns, and everything works out in the end. It's a clean, up-beat book that will appeal to women of any age. Since it addresses some of the choices a young woman must make, it would be a great book for a mother to read with her teenage daughter.

One of the things I really like about Lin Stepp's books is the richness of detail in her setting, and the map that she provides. Bryson City is a real town, and she mentions some of the real places. She gives the reader a wonderful glimpse of small town life.


She has created believable characters that are not without flaws, and some of those characters will likey remind you of someone you went to high school with or someone you've met.

Another plus is the study guide she included in the book. Daddy's Girl could provide a book club with much to discuss. The book debuts on April 1, 2017, but you can preorder a copy from Amazon.

For more information about the author or her book, visit her Amazon author page or her website, www.linstepp.com.


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