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Thicker than Blood (Thicker than Blood series Book 1) by [Darlington, C. J.]
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Thicker than Blood (Thicker than Blood series Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

Christy Williams finally has her life on track. She’s putting her past behind her and working hard to build her career as a buyer for a large used bookstore. So far she’s been able to keep her drinking problem at bay, but everything changes when she lands a DUI on her thirty-third birthday.

When she’s accused of a crime she didn’t commit at work, she has nowhere to turn. She yearns for her estranged family, especially her younger sister May whom she hasn’t seen for fifteen years. Now the owner of a failing cattle ranch in Elk Valley, Colorado, May couldn’t possibly want a relationship with the big sister who didn’t even say good-bye all those years ago, could she?

Soon Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her abusive ex-boyfriend, and God. Could the Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she’s searching for, or will May’s new-found faith give her even more reason to reject Christy?

Thicker than Blood is Book #1 in the Thicker than Blood series. All books stand alone entirely and can be read independently of each other, but for the best reading experience, we suggest reading them in order:

Book #1: Thicker than Blood
Book #2: Bound by Guilt
Book #3: Ties that Bind
Book #4: Running on Empty

About the Author

C. J. got her big break in publishing when her first novel Thicker than Blood won the Christian Writers Guild 2008 Operation First Novel contest. She hasn't slowed down since and wrote and published her second and third contemporary novels Bound by Guilt and Ties that Bind. Her newest novel Jupiter Winds is a YA/dystopian/space adventure. In 2013 C. J. went indie and started her own publishing company, Mountainview Books, LLC, with her mom and sister. The goal of the press is to publish fresh fiction to inspire your faith. A homeschool graduate, C.J makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs and a paint horse named Sky.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 802 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 098916215X
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Mountainview Books, LLC (Sept. 4 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EZE38GA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,752 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Tyndale Fiction
Pages: 372
Source: Personal Copy
Category: Christian Fiction

Christy and her sister grew up with loving parents. However, alcohol and financial issues caused their parents to distance themselves. On Christy's 18th birthday, her parents pass away in a tragic car accident. Christy blames herself since they were coming home to celebrate her birthday. Her younger sister May idolizes the ground she walks on, and Christy can't take the pressure of sticking around and disappoint her sister. May is sent to live with their aunt, and Christy runs off with her boyfriend the first chance she gets. Years pass, and the girls don't contact each other. May is not even sure if Christy is alive. They now live very different lives, May has turned to God working hard on ranch she co-owns while Christy is struggling with alcoholism, an abusive boyfriend and a job she loves but may loose at any minute. After a close relative passes away, the two sisters are brought back together. Christy is in a dire situation, and reluctantly returns to her sister.

I really enjoy this one. Unlike a lot of Christian fiction these characters are realistically flawed. May struggles with her faith in God when she's not sure what to do with her sister or the feelings of abandonment. Christy literally looses everything and turns to her sister for help. 'Thicker than Blood' is a captivating read. I did have a hard time connecting with May but as the plot progressed I really enjoyed both sisters. Christy's storyline starts off with a bang and continually gets more and more interesting. I don't think this is your typical Christian fiction novel. It may seem a little preachy, but it's definitely worth the time. If this is a debut novel, I can't wait for another one.
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Each year renowned best-selling Christian author Jerry B Jenkin's Christian Writers Guild selects a novel as the winner of their Operation First Novel contest. Aspiring writers of Christian fiction worldwide who have yet to be published submit their carefully assembled words, hoping that they will become the first published novel from their pens. In 2008 C.J. Darlington's Thicker than Blood was chosen as the prize-winning entry, and it has been published by Tyndale House this month.

As a contributor to the Christian entertainment website she co-founded, I had some mixed feelings about agreeing to review Darlington's work. What if I didn't like it? Would my review affect our working relationship? And after all, Thicker than Blood isn't written in one of my favorite sub-genres. Ultimately I proved unable to resist the opportunity to read a story revolving around a fellow bibliophile, and the newly published words of a woman I've come to respect. Thankfully, I needn't have worried; Darlington's debut has made a fine showing under my critical appraisal.

I've read a handful of Operation First Novel winners in the past. Some have been good, some have been lacking, but Darlington's entry into the world of Christian fiction is interesting and solidly written. Borne from a premise that's been fomenting in her mind since her first efforts to put it on the page as a 15-year-old homeschooler, Thicker than Blood is a story of estranged sisters drawn together by desperate circumstances.

Tapping into the ongoing vein of novels about book-lovers, Darlington's protagonist ' the down and out Christy Williams ' works for a used books dealer, and is cutting her teeth in rare, antiquarian titles acquisitions.
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Format: Paperback
I couldn't wait to get my copy of Thicker Than Blood because I'd heard lots about it on various blogs. Author C.J. Darlington won the Christian Writers' Guild Operation First Novel Contest for the novel, which she says she's been working on since she was about 14. One thing that intrigued me immediately about the book was Christy's job in a bookstore and her work in acquiring valuable books for the store. I was surprised to learn what made a book more valuable (first edition, dust cover, autographs, etc) and what the value of some of those books was. Readers looking for romance in this book may be disappointed. Other than Christy's ex and a hint of romantic interest from another fellow, there is no love story; instead, the story focuses on the sisters' relationship. I liked that. Overall, Thicker Than Blood was a fun, easy read, and I look forward to seeing C.J.'s next books.
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It was a good book for a first novel. I did have difficulty getting involved in the story. It seemed to move slowly but about half-way through it picked up and by the end I was definitely involved with the characters. The author has shown a familiarity with both bookstores, book antiquities, and ranchland living at the edge of the Western mountains, two very diverse cultures. The characters are believable and their reactions to their circumstances understandable within the context of the story. The raw emotions and flashbacks of the one sister contrasted nicely with the peaceful but frustrated emotions of the other sister who was trying to learn who her sister really was under the walled layers. I look forward to C.J.'s second novel.
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