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 Del’s doorstep with her dog 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 learn the truth about their mother’s past and their own future.

A story of family and resilience, past secrets and present mysteries, written with a sure hand by C. J. Darlington. It will hook you from the start.
—JAMES SCOTT BELL, bestselling thriller author and writing coach

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About The Author

C. J.'s love of reading began when she was a kid dragging home bags of books from the library. When she was twelve she started dreaming about becoming a published author. That dream came true when her first novel Thicker than Blood won a national writing contest. It became the first book in the Thicker than Blood series, which also includes Bound by Guilt, Ties that Bind, and Running on Empty. She has also written Jupiter Winds and Jupiter Storm the first and second books in the Jupiter Winds series. Her children's fantasy Alison Henry and the Creatures of Torone has also been well received. C. J. lives in Pennsylvania with her whippets, two tabby cats, and a Paint mare named Sky.

Books by C.J. Darlington

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