For C.J. Darlington, a used bookstore is a veritable treasure trove—in fact, hanging out in these dusty confines is a passion that dates back to her teen years.

As such, it’s no surprise that rare books make their way into her second novel, Bound By Guilt (Tyndale House). “When I began writing, I started with this scenario,” C.J. says. “What if a character stole rare books from unsuspecting bookstores and then sold them for a profit? Interestingly enough, this idea is based on real-life book thievery that occurred in California.”

This clever book-lover posed as a customer, returning to a bookstore several times. “He also managed to get into locked display cases. Sometimes he purchased a low-value book while hiding a stolen book under his shirt. He hit bookstores all over the country, and because of his All-American good looks, quiet manner, and knowledge about antiquarian books, he didn’t arouse suspicion from owners—just like some of my characters.”

The theme running through the pages of Bound by Guilt is the need for forgiveness. “There are characters in the story who desperately need to forgive, and there are those who desperately need to receive forgiveness,” the author shares. “The wonderful thing is, like the Scripture one of my characters shares, God can not only forgive our sins, but He can forgive the guilt of our sins, too.”

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About The Author

C. J. Darlington won the 2008 Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest with her debut novel, Thicker Than Blood. In 2006 C. J. started with her sister, Tracy, and has been actively promoting Christian fiction through book reviews and author interviews. She's a regular contributor to FamilyFiction.