Author, Candace West, has the spotlight here today. Reading her debut novel, Lane Steen, I identified deeply with the emotions and experiences of the title character, her life and her family. Our circumstances were different, but the pain manifested in incredibly similar ways. It was a delight to be a very early reader of the sequel Valley of Shadows. Forgiveness and redemption are from God. Their power in our lives can bring great beauty from scattered, smudged and muddied ashes. Candace’ story telling skills are superb. It’s an honor to know her and to call her friend. These comments come from a place deep in my heart. I loved these stories! Either book stands alone, but I encourage you to read them both! Now, take it away, Candace.
It is never too late to be what you might have been.—George Eliot
A friend in my launch team shared this quote with our group because she thought it fit Earl Steen, one of the main characters in Valley of Shadows. I have to agree. Not only does it fit Earl, it also fits Lorena.
The past is Earl’s and Lorena’s enemy. Neither of them can move forward, and they can’t go back. Sometimes we can get caught in this trap as well. We feel that our best days are behind us or worse—we don’t deserve to have a second chance at happiness or love. Perhaps we wonder if God is finished with us, that our time has passed. An inner voice whispers we should give up and muddle through life as best as possible.
Those thoughts are a trap to keep us unfruitful.
When tragedy strikes Valley Creek, Earl and Lorena must decide if they can overcome animosities, doubts, and their feelings for each other to help save the livelihood of their neighbors. If they can’t help themselves, how can they help anyone else? Is it too late to fulfil their destiny in the plan of God?
Valley of Shadows shows that even though the past may haunt us and derail our hopes, God’s purpose still prevails. No matter our age, circumstances, or background, it is never too late to fulfil what our Heavenly Father has in store for us.
When we place our hand in God’s, the victory is ours.
Preorder Valley of Shadows (Releases March 17, 2020)
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 entertaining, hope-filled 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.