I’m happy to join in this week’s blog tour for CJ Darlington’s second novel, Bound By Guilt, which is being released this month from Tyndale. CJ has been a blogging/writing friend of mine for several years, and I had the exciting privilege of interviewing her here last March when her debut novel, Thicker Than Blood, released.
Once again, I’m amazed at the depth of CJ’s writing. She focused her first novel on the relationship between two sisters, Christy and May Williams, showing how years of estrangement are restored through the rich bonds of sisterhood and faith. In her second book, she delves even more deeply into the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters.
Much of the action in both books takes place on a horse ranch in Colorado or at a used bookstore, Dawson’s Book Barn, which is based on the real Baldwin’s Book Barn in Pennsylvania where CJ lives and has worked as a book scout. (Didn’t even know what that meant until I read about it!) It’s an actual five-story barn, which holds over 300,000 books. I would definitely like to visit there — doesn’t that sound heavenly for all of us book lovers?
Bound By Guilt picks up about a year after the events in Thicker Than Blood. We’re now introduced to a new character, 16-year-old Roxi Gold, a girl with a troubled past, caught in a life of crime. I had a hard time putting this novel down, as CJ carefully lays out pieces of a puzzle that all come together in the end.
This novel is all the more intriguing because it involves the theft of a first edition copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I had no idea a rare book like that could be worth over $50,000! It was fun to learn about the world of antiquarian book scouting. The novel also shows how the little things we do, helping others, sharing a scripture or wisdom from the Bible, can go a long way toward giving someone hope. I really think this would be a great novel to pass along to teenagers, as well as any youth workers who spend time with teen girls.
Go CJ! We’re anxiously awaiting another book in the Dawson’s Book Barn saga!
Check out this beautiful cover and book trailer!
Bound by Guilt
by C.J. Darlington
Published by Tyndale House
Shuttled between foster homes, Roxi Gold will do anything to fit in. Soon she’s traveling the country stealing rare books from unsuspecting bookstores. Police officer Abby Dawson has seen the worst of society—and not just at work. One fateful night, both their lives are changed forever. One searches for justice, the other finds herself on the run. Will the power of forgiveness set them free?
***Here’s what others are saying about Bound By Guilt***
Great job! You kept me turning the pages.
—Francine Rivers, Internationally best selling author
C.J. is a wonderful, talented writer . . . extraordinary . . .
—Bodie Thoene, best-selling author of the A.D. Chronicles
This one engages your senses and reaches your heart.
—Jerry B. Jenkins, NY Times best-selling author & owner of The Christian Writers Guild
About the Author:
C. J. Darlington won the 2008 Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest with her first novel, Thicker Than Blood. She has been in the antiquarian bookselling business for over twelve years, scouting for stores similar to the ones described in her novels before cofounding her own online bookstore. In 2006 C. J. started the Christian entertainment Web site www.TitleTrakk.com with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. A homeschool graduate, she makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and cats. Visit her website www.cjdarlington.com