About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Monday, June 8, 2020

Valley of Shadows by Candace West: Review & Giveaway

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!


"For the first time in sixteen years, husband and wife faced each other."

Valley of Shadows is an intriguing story of love and forgiveness, as it explores a marriage destroyed by alcohol and physical abuse and a love that had long seemed dead. Lorena and Earl Steen are the two memorable characters who find themselves in the same small community after sixteen years of being apart and this story offers a look at learning to forget the past, looking toward the future, and granting forgiveness to those who have hurt us. I admired that, after sixteen years, Lorena still wore her golden wedding band on a chain around her neck and honored her wedding vows by not seeking a divorce. Earl understood that he had failed his family; how could I not like a man who constantly turned to God for guidance and renewal?

Author Candace West describes several incidents that alter the lives of Lorena, Earl, and the other residents of the Valley Creek community in 1910. This is an exceptional story of faith, redemption, forgiveness, and second chances and I recommend Valley of Shadows to all who enjoy Christian fiction.

I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. These are my own opinions.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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. Congratulations on your new release and thanks for sharing your great book.

  2. This sounds like a very good read.

  3. I love these two books! Whoever wins them is in for a treat!

  4. This book sounds very intriguing and like a very good page turner and it especially sounds like a Must Read! I love the cover! Thank you so much for sharing about this awesome sounding book. I would love to read it. Have a Great week. Thank you for the chance.

  5. this sounds like a really interesting book

  6. Wonderful review! Sounds like one not to miss. Thank you for hosting.

  7. After reading Lane Steen, I can hardly to read the followup to see how Earl and Lorena attempt to repair past damage. So excited!