Monday, January 25, 2010

Thicker Than Blood, C.J. Darlington

It's been a while since I've read a book marketed as "Christian fiction" that actually WAS Christian fiction. Well I found one. It's Thicker Than Blood by C.J. Darlington. This novel is a beautiful story of reconciliation.

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, whom she abandoned after their parents’ untimely deaths. Soon, Christy’s fleeing from her shattered dreams, her ex-boyfriend, and God. Could May’s Triple Cross Ranch be the safe haven she’s searching for? Will the sisters realize that each possesses what the other desperately needs before it’s too late?

What I love best about this book is that it does a good job of depicting the love of Christ. The message of reconciliation is a powerful one that Paul ministered to early day Christians in his epistles, and C.J. Darlington does it through this beautiful narrative.

Some impressive endorsements:

With careful attention to detail, emotion, and scene-setting, C.J. Darlington scores with her debut effort. Here is a special writer you won’t want to miss.
--Jerry B. Jenkins, New York Times best selling author

If you love a good read filled with adventure and ultimately redemption, I encourage you to brew the tea, settle into your favorite chair and pick up the page turner that is C.J. Darlington’s imaginative new novel of a modern day sisterhood that triumphs over separation and the raw challenges of life to find the real endurance of both family ties and God’s amazing grace.
--Rebecca St. James, Grammy award winning Christian singer and bestselling author

With Thicker than Blood, C.J. Darlington proves she's a novelist for the long-haul, a strong new voice in Christian fiction. This book speaks to the heart, from the heart, about the heart. Readers will not soon forget it.
--Sibella Giorello, Christy award-winning author of The Rivers Run Dry & The Clouds Roll Away


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Sweet By and By

The Sweet By and By by Sarah Evans describes a hurting woman who is trying to do what so many people do. We go on a journey with Jade. Jade is trying reach for her future without letting go of her past. She looking forward to marriage with Max, but hasn’t told him all of the hurtful things of her past. She wants to forget it instead of deal with it, but, of course, she ends up having to deal with it instead.

The Sweet By and By is a sweet book, but in no way did I get an impression that it was Christian from reading it. It should not be marketed as a Christian book, there were some very faint religious tones, but even those were general and could appeal to a large non-Christian audience. I was highly disappointed. If this book were written devoutly Christian, with specific references to the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, then I would have much better enjoyed this book!

Voices of the Faithful

Let me start off by saying, I really like Beth Moore! When I saw her name on the cover of Voices of the Faithful I was excited to read this book. This is a good book. While not all of the writers in here are my favorites, there are a lot of good nuggets throughout. Some of the stories of inspiration were more sad than inspirational. And some of them were kind of drawn out. I think this book is a really good book for occasional reading. I would not make it a daily devotional, but I think it’s just fine for “reading on the porch when it’s raining” kind of situations. There were stories of hope and strength and power and that was encouraging. I look forward to other books like this one in the future.

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