I'm SO excited to tell you that the wonderfully talented author CJ Darlington has offered to "cover my shift" today. Some of you already know her work, but for some this will be a new introduction. Let me tell you that her wonderfully drawn characters in Thicker than Blood and( soon to be released) Bound by Guilt captured my heart, and the fast-paced and emotional stories kept me turning the pages! Today CJ has a special message for you. But first, here's a brief biography of this amazing young woman:
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.
And now here's that special message from CJ just for you:
Even though we live on opposite coasts, Candace Calvert and I share a few things in life---like wonderful Tyndale House editors and the love of flavored coffee. But one thing we've recently discovered about each other is our mutual love of horses. I don't own a horse of my own (yet), but I've been privileged to know several who've touched my heart. I'm not exactly sure what it is about horses that attracts people, especially us gals, to them. Maybe it's that amazing combination of beauty and strength all rolled into one furry package. But there's something, and I'm glad God made them for us to enjoy.
One of the joys of being a novelist is the ability to include many of our interests in our novels, and Candace and I both got to put horses in our latest books! Finally all those hours of barn time are being put to good use, right Candace? Ha ha.
Have you ever thought about how horses forgive like God forgives? How many times will we make a mistake that upsets our horse only to turn around the next day and they're nickering for us at the gate? They live in the moment, as do all animals, and it's a great reminder of how we should too. After all, didn't Jesus say to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread? Don't worry about tomorrow for it has enough worries of its own?" Horses get that. They apply it to their lives. They don't care how much money we have, what we look like, or who we are in the world. It's what's in our hearts that counts.
So while Candace is pounding away at the keyboard to bring you her next soulful drama, may we take the time to give some extra attention to the animals in our lives and remember that God put them there to bring us great joy! (Of course, our cats are there to keep us humble.) Animals aren't our whole lives... but they make our lives whole.
Thanks for letting me scrub in here, Candace! Keep up the great work, my friend. We're all rooting for you!
Oh, I SO agree about the animals . . . Thank you, CJ! Now here is an introduction to her upcoming release, Bound by Guilt:
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?
And here's Thicker than Blood, her award-winning debut novel:
Winner of the 2008 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest
Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build a career as an antiquarian book buyer. But things begin to unravel when a stolen Hemingway first edition is found in her possession, framing her for a crime she didn’t commit. With no one to turn to, she yearns for her estranged, younger sister, May, who she abandoned in their childhood after their parents’ untimely deaths. Soon Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. May’s Triple Cross ranch could be the safe haven she’s searching for, but will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it’s too late?
Trust me, both of these books are must-reads, and here's your chance to win a copy. Leave a comment below to be entered in the giveaway. I'll randomly draw two names on Monday, February 7th. One lucky person will receive my Advanced Reader Copy of Bound by Guilt. And the other winner will receive a signed copy of Thicker than Blood, courtesy of CJ.
Be sure that you leave an e-mail address so that I can contact you.
I'll post winning names here on Monday the 7th.
Best of luck to all of you. And thank you, CJ, for covering my shift!