Monday, June 15, 2020

Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway: Valley of Shadows by Candace West

About the Book

Book:  Valley of Shadows
Author: Candace West
Genre:  Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: March 17, 2020

Forgiving is far from forgetting.

Lorena Steen gave up on love years ago. After arriving at Valley Creek to visit her daughters, she stumbles first thing into Earl, the husband who abandoned her.

As for Earl, facing Lorena while fighting his own demons tempts him to flee town. How can he rebuild a relationship with his daughters and cynical neighbors when guilt shadows every step?

While the storm brews between them, another storm descends on Valley Creek. Will a ghost town stand in its wake?

But then the townsfolk devise a plan. All they need is a former concert pianist and violinist. A wife and husband estranged.

Can Lorena and Earl set aside their feelings to rescue a community? Even though it sweeps them back through valleys best forgotten? Especially when a forbidden love claims his right to win Lorena’s heart?

Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts:

What happens when the one who destroyed the lives of his family in horrible ways is redeemed? When the villain gets his story?

As you can imagine this was a heart breaking read yet it was heart warming as well. This is the second book in the series, it tells the story well, though I do want to read the first in the series. To see the unfolding of all that happened before his change.

Earl Steen had been an abusive alcoholic and left one day without a trace with his youngest daughter. Lorena Steen has not stopped searching for her lost child. This second story picks up sixteen years later and after Earl and Lorena's two daughters are grown. 

Lorena comes to Valley Creek to help her oldest on her upcoming birth. What she did not plan on was all the emotions she thought she had let go when she sees her husband Earl. The bitterness and unforgiveness and all the bad memories come roaring back.

Earl is no innocent and he realizes now the irreputable harm he did to his family. What should have meant the most to him. Both he and Lorena dance around each other until the whole town needs them.

As they face life's challenges and tragedies together, Earl and Lorena need to see if their shattered marriage is worth anything anymore. This was a profound second chance story with many obstacles from the past and present to overcome before these two can love again.

I received a copy of this novel from the author. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author

Candace West was born in the Mississippi delta to a young minister and his wife. She grew up in small-town Arkansas and is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Monticello. When she was twelve years old, she wrote her first story, “Following Prairie River.” In 2018, she published her debut novel Lane Steen. By weaving hope-filled, page-turning stories, Candace shares the Gospel and encourages her readers. She currently lives in her beloved Arkansas with her husband and their son along with two dogs and three cats.

More from Candace

Why I Wrote Valley of Shadows

Can a villain become a hero? When I ended my debut novel Lane Steen, I knew someday I had to discover if a kidnapper and alcoholic was worth saving. Could that same person save a town after tragedy strikes while wrestling with his own demons?

Earl Steen had a dark valley to cross.

With a destroyed reputation, Earl must prove in Valley of Shadows that God has not wasted His efforts on him. Also, Lorena, his estranged wife, has her own score to settle. How can she when the villain no longer exists?

Nothing tugs at my heart more than lost, unrequited love. My second book focuses on their lost relationship. Earl and Lorena had haunted one another long enough. Could God mend what Earl had shattered?

Sitting down to write, I returned to Valley Creek and uncovered places within Earl’s heart that I never knew existed. Lorena’s struggles became mine as she grappled with understanding and forgiving. The dark places of their past somehow had to merge with the light of a hopeful future.

Getting Earl and Lorena to rediscover their love was a journey fraught with tension, grief, frustration, and hope. Was it worth every rewrite, every long hour staring at my computer screen waiting for my characters’ next move?

You bet!

Blog Stops

For the Love of Literature, June 5 (Author Interview)
Betti Mace, June 9
Artistic Nobody, June 10 (Author Interview)
Blossoms and Blessings, June 14 (Author Interview)
Pause for Tales, June 15
By The Book, June 16 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Candace is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card, one signed paperback copy of Lane Steen and Valley of Shadows!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. This sounds like a really great read.

  2. Candace is a new-to-me author. This series sounds like one that I would enjoy. Thank you for hosting.

  3. This sounds really good, thanks for sharing