Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Valley of Shadows – A Review and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Valley of Shadows

Author: Candace West

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: March 2020

A shattered heart. A wounded spirit. A community in crisis.

Lorena Steen gave up on love years ago. She forgave her long-time estranged husband, but when circumstances bring her to the Ozark town of Valley Creek, she discovers forgiving is far from forgetting.

Haunted by his past acts of betrayal, Earl Steen struggles to grow his reclaimed faith and reinstate himself as an upstanding member of Valley Creek. He soon learns that while God’s grace is amazing, that of the small-town gossips is not.

When disaster strikes, the only logical solution is for Earl and Lorena to combine their musical talents in an effort to save the community. But even if they’re willing to work together, are they able to? Or will the shadows that descend upon Valley Creek reduce it to a ghost town.

Click here to get your copy!

Pain, heartache, and anger towards her husband tear Lorena apart inside. But Earl has changed thanks to a relationship with God. Having two grown daughters forces Lorena and Earl to spend time together. A tornado destroys much of the town and forces Earl and Lorena to work together to help rebuild the town.

Filled with love and redemption bridges are built between the two. Masterfully continuing the story started in the book Lane Steen, I have to recommend reading the books in order to appreciate the characters as well as the redemption arc. This book may be read alone, but I personally believe reading them in order creates a better reading experience.

So if you enjoy Christian historical fiction, check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All 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 graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. At 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 Arkansas with her husband and their son along with two dogs and three bossy 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

Texas Book-aholic, June 22

Inklings and notions, June 23

Mary Hake, June 23

deb’s Book Review, June 24

Connie’s History Classroom, June 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 26

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 27

For Him and My Family, June 28

Artistic Nobody, June 29 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 29

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, June 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 1

Writing from the Heart Land, July 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 3

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 4

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 5

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Candace is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card, a 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.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10dba/valley-of-shadows-celebration-tour-giveaway

Posted in Book Reviews, Celebrate Lit Reviews

Faces of Courage – A Review and Giveaway

faces of courage

About the Book

Book:  Faces of Courage

Author: Susan K. Beatty

Genre: Christian Woman’s Fiction

Release date: May 11, 2021

Faces of Courage

Fear strangles even the faithful sometimes.

Despite every attempt to be brave, fear has defined Olivia Stanford’s life: with each new foster home, when her adopted parents died leaving her all alone again, trusting and marrying her husband, Frank, and coping with his football injuries and career loss.

Without faith, fear only grows in the face of adversity.

When Frank becomes abusive, Olivia enters a terror-filled life in her upscale Southern California home. Common sense demands she dig deep for the courage to confront him–to demand change. Fear and confusion push back.

And just as courage finally blooms within her comes the terrifying diagnosis: breast cancer.

Some say courage is found at the intersection of faith and grit. How will Olivia manage to summon either in the midst of this new battle?

Click here to get your copy!

Sometimes life throws you into choices you did not choose, and such is the case for Olivia Stanford. Forced into various foster homes as a child, dealing with the deaths of her adoptive parents, football injuries for her husband, and more Olivia puts on many distinct faces with different people in different situations. This book will make you laugh, cry, and most of all recognize even when we think we might be at our lowest point, God lifts us up and walks with us.

Perhaps because I homeschooled our children, Olivia being a homeschooling mother resonated with me. This book truly forces the reader to experience a variety of emotions of joy, fear, terror, and more. The support and friendship Olivia experiences from her pastor, friends Carmen and Vanessa, her mother-in-law, and more weave together a powerful book of faith, family, and friendship. Truly, this book will move you with Olivia’s experiences with abuse and breast cancer. Her reliance on God shines through these pages. So check out this book for yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book, but it in no way influenced my review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

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“Courage: The intersection of faith and Grit”

Susan K. Beatty is passionate about finding courage through faith and grit, particularly through the trials of breast cancer. Her daughter is a metastatic breast cancer “thriver” and has been an inspiration for her writing. Susan retired from a full-time job in 2017 and is now pursuing a novel-writing career. Her first novel, “Faces of Courage,” is in revision. Susan is the author of “An Introduction to Home Education” (AKA “California Homeschool Manual”), was the assistant director of the SoCal Christian Writers’ Conference and is the president of her local ACFW-OC Chapter. She is a professional writer/journalist. Susan is proof you can begin a fiction writing career after age seventy.

More from Susan

The words “You have breast cancer” can drop you to your knees. What’s worse is when those words are spoken to your thirty-one-year-old daughter. And worse yet when they are spoken to her more than once. My daughter Melanie has had three bouts with breast cancer, the second time classified her with stage IV metastatic breast cancer of which there is no cure. Over an eleven-year period, Melanie has undergone twelve surgeries, one removing two-thirds of her sternum to be replaced by a donor bone with titanium clamps.

Melanie’s courage during these battles inspired me to write about courage at the intersection of faith and grit. True-to-life stories follow characters through cancer and other issues confronting women today.

In Faces of Courage, I wanted to tell a story like Melanie’s but not exactly Melanie’s, a story nevertheless filled with growing courage. Melanie’s journey doesn’t include an abusive husband (Praise God!), but our terrorized heroine Olivia suffers from her husband’s mistreatment, confused by her misunderstanding of how God views her, and challenged by her lack of strong faith. Just as her courage matures and strengthen through these problems, she’s thrown by those knee-buckling words, “You have breast cancer.”

It is necessarily a gritty look at domestic abuse and the realities of dealing with cancer and its various treatments. I wanted to show Olivia’s growth as a wife, how she experienced the cancer, and how, with the help of faith and grit, her courage flourished.

In many ways, this novel is a tribute to women who fight these battles with bravery, even if that valor takes time to develop. I pray the reader, by witnessing another’s journey, is strengthened in her own battles.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 21

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 22

Texas Book-aholic, June 23

Inklings and notions, June 24

For Him and My Family, June 25

deb’s Book Review, June 26

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 27

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, June 28 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 29

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 1

cats in the cradle blog, July 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 2

Rebecca Tews, July 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 4

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Susan is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10dbc/faces-of-courage-celebration-tour-giveaway