Food for the Soul
3/11/14 at 10:07 AM 0 Comments

Novel Considers the Destructive Nature of Secrets and Regret

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Thomas Nelson

What can’t be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Everyone has a past and has made mistakes, but what happens when those secrets grow and control our lives? “We can all be hampered by our pasts, but that in no way negates the power of choice that’s available to us all. We can choose to become more. We can choose to live better.” Billy Coffey knows life isn’t easy, and like the characters in his latest release, The Devil Walks in Mattingly (Thomas Nelson / March 11, 2014 / ISBN: 9781401688226 / $15.99), he hopes to guide those who are shrouded in the darkness of regret to the hope and light of redemption.

“Redemption is a big theme in all of my novels, but to find that is to start out in a bad place and fight and struggle, lose and win your way out,” Coffey says. He wants his readers to face life’s tough questions and live better as a result. “The burdens we carry can rob us of joy and peace, and grace is what allows us to lay them down.”

All is not as it seems for three people in the quiet town of Mattingly, for they are bound by the haunting truth buried 20 years ago. Philip McBride didn’t kill himself that day — he was murdered. Redemption is what they long for most but the last thing they could ever hope to find, leaving them lost in the shadow of their sins.

Jake Barnett is Mattingly’s sheriff, a calm, strong and confident man the town trusts, but he is a shell of the man he once was. His wife, Kate, spends her days helping those less fortunate, hoping instead to wash the blood from her hands. And Taylor Hathcock condemns himself to life in isolation high in the mountains, with only hatred and fear as his companions. No one can escape the truth.

Philip is back, haunting Jake’s dreams and warning that he is coming for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . between truth and lies.

For those struggling with regret like the characters in A Devil Walks in Mattingly, Coffey hopes they will discover the only freedom is through the unearned and free forgiveness from God. Subsequently, people must learn to forgive themselves. “We’re taught to be merciful to others, show them grace. We understand there isn’t a soul in this world who isn’t fighting a great battle every moment of every day. Yet when it comes to ourselves, all that teaching and understanding goes out the window. We can’t grow up until we screw up,” Coffey explains.

About the Author

Thomas Nelson
Billy Coffey

Billy Coffey dreamed of being a published author ever since high school but vowed he would never be a novelist. Four novels later, God had a different plan in mind. Coffey’s novels tackle faith’s big questions against the backdrop of the rural South, where history is long and things are seldom as they seem. He aims to remain as true to reality as possible — the reality that we experience pain, loss and confusion. Coffey doesn’t want his readers to escape reality, but embrace life and live it better. He also uses his blog, “What I Learned Today,” to reflect on life’s lessons offered in small moments, people and everyday life. Coffey’s fifth novel, Heart of the Dark Wood, is scheduled to release November 2014. He lives with his wife and two children in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

For more information about Billy Coffey and his books, visit his online home at, become a fan on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

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