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), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Lost Inheritance

TANNER: "My favorite character was the cat Sugar Lips."

Recently I received an advance reader copy of Lin Stepp's latest Smoky Mountain novel, Lost Inheritance. Published by Mountain Hill Press, the book will be available on April 3, but can be pre-ordered from Amazon now.

I've had the pleasure of reading several of Stepp's other Smoky Mountain novels, and I've posted reviews of Daddy's Girl,  Welcome Back, and Saving Laurel Springs on this blog. The new novel is as enjoyable as the others for many of the same reasons. Like the others, Lost Inheritance has a strong sense of place, and Stepp's detailed descriptions add to the reader's experience. The main characters are interesting and complex, and the plot has a few unexpected twists.

The back cover gives a good summary without telling you too much:

Lost Inheritance deals with themes of loss and redemption. Loss affects several characters. Not only has twenty-five-year-old Emily Lamont lost the inheritance that was promised to her, she has lost her job in the Philadelphia art gallery she expected to own. She has lost the god-parents who raised her as their own after she lost her parents in a car crash when she was ten. But she has inherited a small gallery in Gatlinburg, so that's where she goes.

Though it's been years, Cooper Garrison hasn't come to terms with the loss of his father from a heart attack or his older brother from a motorcycle accident. He's also resentful that his mother lost the opportunity to own the Creekside Gallery she's managed for years. While he's attracted to Emily, he doesn't want to get too involved.

Cooper's mother, Mamie Garrison, doesn't mind that she didn't inherit the art gallery and she real likes Emily. While Mamie's come to terms with the loss of her husband and son, she still misses not knowing who her real parents are and why her birth mother gave her to an orphanage.

ARLO: "Tanner, are you ready to share that book yet?"
TANNER: "No, I want to re-read the parts about Sugar  Lips. I like that cat's attitude."

The story eventually has a happy ending, but there are surprises and complications along the way. I won't give them away here—discovering them is part of the appeal of this book. I enjoyed the inclusion of dogs in the story—especially Emily's standard poodle Mercedes.

CHLOE: So, Tanner, how did you like the book?"
TANNER: "It was pretty good. But the cat should have helped Emily instead of that dog."
ARLO: "Shut up, Tanner! You're giving away too much!"

While Lost Inheritance is primarily a romance, it also has a couple of mysteries. One involves a traveling exhibition at the Creekside Gallery. When Emily notices someting odd about a picture in the Norman Rockwell exhibition, she starts asking questions. But if I told you what resulted, I'd be giving away too much. Ditto for the mystery of Mamie's parents.

If you like romance and mystery, the Smoky Mountains, and an interesting story, you'll enjoy Lost Inheritance.

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