Books by C. J. Darlington:


Running on Empty

When you’re running on empty, sometimes you do things you later regret.

Del Mangini is a lonely, down-on-her-luck young woman who can barely afford her next meal. When a private investigator blindsides her with the revelation that she was adopted and has a birth mother named Natalie he is looking for, she doesn’t know whether to believe him. How could her parents, who died heroes when she was a teenager, have kept this vital piece of her identity from her?

Then eight-year-old Callie shows up on her doorstep claiming to be her half sister. She can’t bring herself to turn the girl away, yet how can she possibly provide for a kid when she’s already three months behind on her rent?

Del and Callie soon find themselves living out of a car in the small town of Elk Valley, Colorado. Who can they trust, and why is someone following them? The only person who might have answers is the one woman they can’t find—their mother. But secrets, lies, and a political machine could destroy them before they discover the truth about their mother’s past and their own future.

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Ties that Bind Ties that Bind

When Brynn Taylor is released from prison she decides to fulfill her mother’s dying wish and find her father, a man she’s never met. Armed with a bus ticket, a backpack, and her grandfather’s gun, her search leads her to Elk Valley, Colorado. She’s prepared to face the man who broke her mother’s heart, but when she discovers she has two sisters who have no idea she exists, her plan begins to unravel.

Too ashamed of her record, she can’t bring herself to reveal her identity to her sisters until she gets her life together. Instead, she tries to fit into their busy lives of horse training and bookselling, hoping they won’t suspect who she really is.

But an unexpected death sends Brynn into a tailspin. How can she win her sisters’ love if she can’t even keep her former drug addiction under control? Will her past catch up with her before she gathers enough courage to tell her sisters the truth?


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Bound by GuiltBound by Guilt

Roxi Gold feels like a throwaway. Shuttled from one foster home to another for most of her life, she longs for a real family and a place to call home. She’ll do anything to fit in and please her new guardian—even if it’s against the law. Soon she’s traveling the country in an RV stealing rare books from unsuspecting bookstores even as guilt hounds her.

Police officer Abby Dawson has witnessed the worst of society, and not just at work. Her high-powered attorney ex-husband has wrested her daughter away from her in a bitter custody battle, and she’s lucky if she sees her daughter at all. The job she once loved has become a chore, the world isn’t any safer, and her life seems to have no purpose.

One fateful night a botched robbery changes both Abby’s and Roxi’s lives forever. While Abby searches for justice, Roxi finds herself on the run in the small town of Elk Valley, Colorado. Will the power of forgiveness set them free, or will they both remain bound by guilt?

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Thicker than BloodThicker than Blood
Winner of the 2008 Jerry B. Jenkins 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 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?


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Jupiter Winds'Jupiter Winds

Ever since Grey Alexander’s parents disappeared five years ago, she’s had one goal—to keep herself and her younger sister Rin alive. But surviving in the North American Wildlife Preserve isn’t easy, especially for the unconnected who can be shot on sight by border patrol robot drones. Through the guidance of their eccentric old neighbor Mrs. March, Grey and Rin get through by smuggling contraband into the Mazdaar government’s city zones.

But when Grey is captured by the merciless General Evangeline Yurkutz and is forced to become bait for her mother and father, she questions everything she thought she knew about her life in the Preserve, her missing parents, and God. Is it possible Jupiter isn’t uninhabitable? And could this planet, whose sky swirls with orange vapors and where extinct-on-Earth creatures roam free, hold the key to reuniting her family?

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Bound by GuiltJupiter Storm

Only a week ago Grey Alexander thought she and her sister were orphans. And like everyone else she believed Jupiter was uninhabitable. Now she’s standing on its surface, reunited with her mom and dad and on the brink of an interplanetary war. The government of Mazdaar is ruthlessly determined to claim Jupiter like they already have Earth, but Grey has joined her parents and Commander Fleur March in the Yien Dynasty’s resistance effort. Jupiter, where extinct animals roam free and seem to have an uncanny ability to communicate with her sister, is the last hope for the freedom of mankind.

When Mazdaar unexpectedly descends with a fleet of their terrifying Triangle jets, Grey and her family barely escape with their lives. Cut off from reinforcements and traveling in a ship full of strangers, who can they trust? Surely not Dana Yurkutz, the traitorous prisoner who even though she inexplicably saved Grey’s life is still loyal to Mazdaar.

Deception is their enemy’s most powerful weapon, and light and darkness soon blur on this new frontier. Nothing is as it first seems, and Grey and Dana must each choose sides before it’s too late.

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Advice for Novelists112 Christian Authors, Editors, and Publishing Professionals Share Their Best Advice for Novelists

Ebook exclusive

The most recognized names in Christian publishing share their personal answers to the question, “If you could say one thing to aspiring novelists, what would you say?”

Includes advice from Karen Kingsbury, Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker, Jerry B. Jenkins, Josh McDowell, Liz Curtis Higgs, Francine Rivers, James Scott Bell, Terri Blackstock, Randy Alcorn, Melody Carlson, and many more!
1st chapter

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Out of Time Out of Time


Ebook exclusive

A busy woman blindly rushing through a grocery store.A hard-working man with a pink slip. A desperate teen girl who has a terrible secret. All are running out of time, and the choices they make will change their lives forever.

Each short story is approximately 1200 words in length.

1st chapter

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