Today I’m pleased to have author Candace West join us sharing about redeeming a villain in her new release, Valley of Shadows. And there’s an excerpt from the novel and a GIVEAWAY! Stay around until the end to enter!

Can a villain be redeemed? Can he become a hero in the face of tragedy? By the time I ended book one of the Valley Creek Redemption series, I had to discover if the villain could become the hero of my second story. For those who hated Earl Steen the first time, could they give him a second chance? Could I give him one?

Earl had a dark valley to cross.

Redemption is all about second chances, about reconciliation with God through His Son Jesus. Many times, this reconciliation also brings estranged people together. In Valley of Shadows, Earl must discover if this is possible for him. Even in the best circumstances, the process can still prove difficult. God forgives us. Others might. To forgive ourselves is the hardest of all.

Without God, those dark valleys in our lives stretch long and blind us to His truth unless we allow Him to lead us. Without a doubt, Earl knows he can’t cross that valley without His hand. To prove himself to his daughters, his estranged wife, and cynical neighbors will take every ounce of courage within his soul.

Like Earl, when we are at the bottom, the only direction to go is upward.

The truth is none of us are worthy to be redeemed…not the best nor the worst of us. Jesus came to redeem us from the lowest pit of sin. But it doesn’t end there. The beauty of redemption is not just the saving of our souls but our discovering God’s purpose for our lives. Just like Earl, we can’t fathom the amazing ways God will use us for His glory. The things we have shattered, God mends.

Valley of Shadows Excerpt: 

In the shadow of the woods, twigs snapped and leaves crackled under Earl’s feet until he reached a stump, mottled with lichens. The canopy above him muted the noise and soothed the throbbing in his head.

He sat, pressing his face against the palms of his hands. Warm, stinging tears dampened his wrists and flowed until they dripped onto the ground.

“Father, forgive me. I don’t deserve it from You or anyone else. I can’t fix the past.”

I will guide your future.

Earl lifted his head. Who had spoken? At that moment, he realized the words had been spoken within his soul.

“Lord, guide me to do the right thing about Lorena. I only ask that she would somehow find it in her heart to forgive me. Grant her the peace and love she deserves.” He pulled in a deep breath. “Help me not to lose my temper with George. Lord, whatever happens, give me strength to do what’s right.”

A perfect stillness surrounded Earl, a stillness unlike anything he’d ever known, calming the turbulent thoughts and emotions that threatened to overtake him.

    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Amazed, Earl rose and swiped his thumbs underneath his eyes. Nothing, no one else in the universe could calm the storm so swiftly.

      He restoreth my soul.

Restore. Jesus restored health to the sick, restored strength to the lame, restored sight to the blind. He restored innocence to the guilty.

And Earl Steen was as guilty as they came.

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. 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 bossy cats.

Connect with Candace


Author page:


Lane Steen:

Valley of Shadows:

**Now for the Giveaway! Candace is offering the winner’s choice of an e-book or print copy (US addresses only) of Valley of Shadows! Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below!

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