About the Book
Title: Leaving Darkness
Author: Greg Schaffer
Genre: Christian Fiction
Release date: October 31, 2018
Long-haul truck driver Lowell Ferguson is on the brink of suicide. He is haunted by the guilt of a horrible secret from his senior year of high school. Therapy and antidepressants aren’t able to lift him out of depression. At twenty-eight years old, he believes his life has dissolved into a meaningless annoyance. Only the strong bond with his lone friend—a Chihuahua named Rufus—keeps him from choosing death. But when Lowell learns Rufus may have cancer, he fears there will be no reason left to live if his beloved dog dies.
While awaiting the diagnosis, he comes across a flier for a Christian support group promising hope and freedom. A skeptic and an apatheist, he nonetheless reluctantly decides to join the group. Through this joining, he finds what he has been yearning for—a path toward leaving the darkness of depression. This first step provides Lowell the courage to do what he must to escape his guilt and finally confront his past.
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About the Author
Greg Schaffer participated in a small Christian-based group ministry in 2011 and became a facilitator with the ministry to help others find their direction toward a purposeful life. His firsthand experiences of lives transformed through such healing groups led him to write Leaving Darkness, hoping the tale of transformation through God’s grace may encourage those lost in their own darkness to reach out for help. The author of two previous novels, Greg lives in Franklin, Tennessee, with his wife and three rescue dogs.
Guest Post from Greg
As first a group participant and then a volunteer for Restore Small Groups for many years, I’ve seen firsthand the healing power of small group ministries. Many want to change but don’t know how. Leaving Darkness tells the fictional story of one lost in depression to the point of contemplating suicide who happens upon such a Christian-based ministry. Although he is reluctant at first, he gives the process a chance, and through it leaves his darkness, finds his faith, and becomes the person God meant for him to be. I was called to write this story in hope that someone with similar struggles may read Leaving Darkness and realize that there is a way out of the darkness when everything else has failed.
If the author was going for a dark story with in your face realism, he definitely achieved it. It is not an easy book to read and at times I felt darkness surround me. The author takes two people as teens that leads them on a road to destruction . It will span into their adulthood that will find them on the brink of depression and guilt.
It's hard to say why one of them carried the guilt all those years while the other buried it deep inside. Lowell is the kind of person who was a follower in his teens. He trusted that his friend Alan would do the right thing but never did. One traumatic event can have different effects on people. In this case Lowell spiraled out of control . He carried the guilt of that night with him everywhere he went. He knew that he would never be at peace until he made things right. Lowell became a very reclusive person with only one thing important to him. He had been given a dog who made him feel alive again and they became constant companions.
Alan became successful and very powerful. He is driven by money, deceit and greed. He believed that money and power were the most important things in the world. Under all that superficial fake exterior is a lonely, bitter man.
Lowell slowly changes and tries to turn his life around. He is surrounded by friends who share Jesus with him and I could see his heart changing. There are some great moments in the story where Lowell searches his heart and struggles with trusting God. Rick is someone who reaches out to Lowell and becomes like a mentor to him. I had a few reservations about Rick, but overall a good character with a big heart. There were a few times I thought the story got a bit preachy and wanted the author to not continually have Rick witness to Lowell. Sometimes we need to back off and just pray for someone.
The story is filled with alcoholism , greed, infidelity and a lack of believing in God. Two people who experienced the same traumatic event will go in different directions to run from the truth. Lowell was easy to identify with because he wanted to give his burdens to God. He was a broken man and wanted to make things right.
I felt a real tug on my heart towards Alan. He is the one that doesn't want to admit he has done something wrong. He wants to keep his reputation stellar but the past is quickly catching up to him. How many of us have tried to run from our past? We become angry and will do anything to run from our past. This story illustrates the pain someone goes through when they are lost in the world. God always has a way for us to not only deal with the past but lets us choose to forgive others, to forgive ourselves and be set free from the bondage of what the enemy has used to keep us as his hostage believing lies.
Lowell and Alan will take a journey that will either lead them to freedom or to continue a life of deceit and lies. Which path will they choose?
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
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To celebrate his tour, Greg is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link the below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/db11/leaving-darkness-celebration-tour-giveaway