Tuesday, September 15, 2020

VALLEY OF THE SHADOWS - Candace West - One Free Book

Bio: 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.


Welcome, Candace. I was born and lived in Arkansas until I was a junior in college. Then my faily moved to Texas, and I transferred to a Texas school. I didn't transfer again when they moved to New Mexico the next year. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.


Even though a little bit of myself exists in my characters, I enjoy discovering their differences and looking at the world through their eyes. They need to be distinct and unique. The challenge is learning how they react to situations, how they think, and feel.


What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Often during my teen years, I donned an old fashioned dress, grabbed a book, a quilt, and spent the afternoon in a hay field reading. I pretended I was Anne of Green Gables.


When did you first discover that you were a writer?


I was twelve. My family and I were on a long car trip to visit my grandparents in Colorado. As we drove through Kansas, I grabbed my notebook and penned “Following Prairie River” to pass the time. Through those rolling hills, I created a western adventure of an orphaned brother and sister.  


Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.


I read either clean or Christian books. Historical fiction is my first choice, hands down, but I read contemporary romance and some suspense as well. I love the classics and British literature. I also enjoy reading biographies and autobiographies of historical figures, particularly American ones.


How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?


All my life, I’ve been a homebody and a country girl. Spending time with family is therapeutic for me. When things get too busy, I step back and spend time with them. Also, spending time with the Lord keeps me grounded and resets my focus.


How do you choose your characters’ names?


That’s a funny question because when I first started writing, I opened a phone book. Remember those? I thumbed through the list of names and picked the ones I liked. Now, though, I search through old fashioned names on the internet. Sometimes, if I hear an unusual name, I’ll jot it down for future use.


What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?


That’s a hard question because often I don’t feel I’ve accomplished much. My hope and prayer is that the Lord will use my life somehow for His glory. Ever since I had my son, my desire is to be a blessing to him, to teach him what it is to walk with the Lord.


A very worthy endeavor. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?


What a fun question! I love animals of all kinds, but I especially love cats. They’re comfortable in their own skin, confident. They’re master tree climbers. And most importantly, cats know how to nap!


What is your favorite food?


Mexican and southern home cooking. Enchiladas with white cheese sauce, beans, and rice is my favorite Mexican dish. At home, during the summer, I could eat fried okra and fried squash every day. And let’s not forget purple hull peas. Now, I’m hungry!


I love okra, squash, and purple hull peas. The best way to cook okra without frying it is to cook it whole on top of purple hull or blackeyed peas. There's no slime that way. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?


Time. During my twenties and mid-thirties, I had little time to write. After marrying and starting a family, I found even less time. Stories filed away in my head for some day. In 2018, I made up my mind to publish Lane Steen. The way I overcame not having time was to make time. It’s a daily thing.


Tell us about the featured book.


How does a villain become a hero? Valley of Shadows is a second-chance story of an outcast and his estranged wife, both former concert musicians, working together to save a community and rebuild their life. But will the shadows from their past forever darken their future with failure?  


Sounds interesting. I love second-chance stories. Please give us the first page of the book.

September 2, 1910

The torrent swept away Lorena’s well-devised surprise into the muck. Coal-black clouds hurled sheets of rain upon the surrounding Ozarks and against the little train station huddled under the trees.


Stranded. Lorena was five miles away, but she might as well be five thousand miles from Valley Creek. No one knew she was here. Father told her to wire first, but she wanted to surprise her daughters. Lorena shook her head.


Edging back farther on the covered platform, Lorena winced as rain thundered down the tin roof, splattering mud on the bottom step as it pounded the ground. A burst of lightning swept across the sky and the hills. A sudden flood of color assailed the next moment with gray. Thunder  crashed and rattled the station’s windows.


“Ma’am.” The stationmaster poked his whiskered head around the door. “You ain’t got no one to pick you up?”


“No, I was planning to walk to Valley Creek. I guess it’ll have to wait for now.”


I want to know what happens next. I'm sure my readers do, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?

Please connect with me. I love becoming friends with my readers!

Subscribe to my Newsletter: www.candaceweststoryteller.com

Facebook Author page: www.facebook.com/inspirationalnovel

Follow me on BookBub! https://www.bookbub.com/profile/candace-west-afcba060-cca9-4d77-9dc8-23c330b29f9b

Twitter: www.twitter.com/candacewest111

Instagram: www.instagram.com/candace.west.posey.10

Scrivenings Press: https://scriveningspress.com/candace-west/

Purchase Valley of Shadows at Amazon here: https://scrivenings.link/valleyofshadowskindle



I’m also coming soon to the Mosaic Collection of authors. https://www.mosaiccollectionbooks.com/


Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)


Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.


The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.


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Candace West Posey said...

Thank you again for having me, Lena. I'm looking forward to interacting with your readers!

Amanda said...

I have learned a little more about you my friend . I really enjoyed reading up on this . Looking forward in the next book to come out .
Hi this is Amanda Gardner from a small country town where they grow cotton and corn. Cherokee Alabama.

petite said...

I enjoyed learning about the author. This captivating story interests me greatly. I live in NM.

Candace West Posey said...

Amanda, your friendship and encouragement never ceases to amaze me. I'm glad you stopped by. One day, we'll have to finally meet!

Candace West Posey said...

Hi! Stories of lost love, forgiveness, and restoration are among my favorite to read and write. We're broken people in need of healing, just like the characters in this story. Thank you for stopping by!

Melanie Backus said...

I am intrigued!
Melanie Backus, TX

Robin in NC said...

Poor Lorena! Got to find out how it all turns out! Thanks for sharing.

Robin in Raleigh, NC

Wendy Newcomb said...

Sounds like an interesting story, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Wendy in Nebraska

wfnren at aol dot com

Elly said...

I hadn’t heard of this book or author. They’re both on my radar now!πŸ˜‰
Elly -Indiana-

Sarah Taylor said...

Thank you for sharing this is a New Author to me Sounds like a great book! Blessing from Sarah in Ohio.

Candace West Posey said...

I appreciate your interest. Thank you for taking the time to stop by, Melanie!

Candace West Posey said...

Lol! You said it best! Blessings, Robin!

Candace West Posey said...

Hi Wendy, thanks for taking the time to get to know me and the story a little better! God bless!

Candace West Posey said...

Hi Elly! Connecting with readers like you is a blessing. Thank you for your interest. I'm currently working on book 3 in this series. They are all connected because they share the same characters. But they can each be read as a stand-alone. Blessings!

Candace West Posey said...

Hi Sarah, I'm sending you a big hello and blessings from way down in Arkansas. Thank you for taking the time to stop by!

Abigail Mitchell said...

This cover is gorgeous, I want that dress!!! 😍😍😍😍
Abigail in VA

Lucy Reynolds said...

Interesting interview. I enjoy second chance stories. Thank you for sharing. Blessings from WV.

Connie Porter Saunders said...

So intriguing and definitely worth reading! Thanks for sharing.
Connie from Kentucky

Melissa M. said...

Love this story idea!

Melissa from TN

Candace West Posey said...

So do I, Abigail! The background photo with the tree is an actual place in Arkansas. Thanks so much!

Candace West Posey said...

Thank you, Lucy! Second chance stories are my favorite. I'm glad you stopped by. Blessings!

Candace West Posey said...

Many thanks, Connie! Your friendship is a blessing to me!

Candace West Posey said...

I'm so glad, Melissa! It's a part of a series (Valley Creek Redemption), but each book can be read as a standalone. Thank you for coming by!

Needful Things said...

Fantastic cover FL

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Candace West Posey said...

Thank you! This story is set in the Arkansas Ozarks, and the background photo is an Arkansas scene. Blessings!

Candace West Posey said...

I'm so glad you're interested! Good luck! Thank you for stopping by, Sharon.