I would like to announce the release of my new novel, The Return of Cassandra Todd. Like my debut novel it is a love story, but it is a bit of a departure. Set in modern-day Denver, The Return of Cassandra Todd addresses the issue of spousal abuse and its effects on the lives of the principal characters.
The back cover reads:
When the popular girl whose friends bullied him in high school suddenly reenters his life, little son in tow, Turner Caldwell must put the past behind him if they are to survive.
Turner Caldwell works at a local motel as a handyman while attending college fulltime. On his way to class one day, he is shocked to see Cassandra Todd and her young son in town. The sight of her brings back powerful memories of being bullied in high school—she was the popular head cheerleader and he the target of her friends’ mean-spirited pranks.
When Cassandra and her son check into the motel where he works and she asks for his help in eluding her abusive husband, he finds himself entangled in a dangerous drama that will require him to forgive and draw on every skill he has if they are to survive.
I was honored to have Lena Nelson Dooley write an endorsement. She said: “I loved Darrel Nelson’s debut novel, but The Return of Cassandra Todd is even better. The multilayered characters, complex relationships, and strong suspense thread kept my attention until the very last page. This one is a keeper.”
Ace Collins was kind enough to write: “This tale of suspense builds page by page as a wife and little boy must depend upon the wits and courage of the ultimate underdog to escape the wrath of a man consumed by hate born of ego and desperation. This is a book that is impossible to put down and a story that lingers long after the final page has been read.”
And Eva Marie Everson wrote: “I became riveted by the story line, the characters’ dilemmas, and the real-life dialogue. I read every free minute I had, often so fast I could hardly keep up with myself because of the heart-stopping action and emotion. In other words: I loved it! I’m a forever fan.”
I appreciate the positive endorsements and hope readers will not only enjoy the book, but think about the issues addressed in the novel and be uplifted as well as entertained.
I’m a schoolteacher by profession and a writer at heart. I’ve always loved to write, be it stories, poems, songs, plays, or novels.
I started writing stories before I was old enough to realize I was writing stories. It seemed a natural thing to pick up a pencil and paper and create a world simply by using words—worlds of adventure in steaming jungles (Tarzan was an early influence on me) or realms of adventure in outer space (Buck Rogers).
In high school, I discovered an interest in songwriting. I’ve written hundreds of songs and snatches of song since then (maybe I’ll put a few on my blog sometime) and have even had two songs professionally produced and played on local radio. That was a thrill. I think I made a grand total of $13 in royalties!
After university, I began teaching high school. I discovered an interest in writing one-act plays and musicals for the drama club. It was a thrill to direct my plays and have them presented to the public. We took several plays to provincial drama festivals and had a lot of fun.
I moved from teaching high school to teaching elementary school and discovered a love of writing juvenile novels. I’ve written four such novels, and I read them to my Grade Four students annually. It’s something personal I share with them, and I appreciate my students’ support and encouragement to write more.
The Anniversary Waltz is my first novel to be published. It’s intended for the adult readers’ market. I’m excited to think that after years of writing stories, plays, songs, and juvenile novels, a publisher is willing to produce one of my works. And who knows? Maybe I’ll do better than $13 in royalties!
I am a schoolteacher by profession and a writer at heart. I have always loved to write, be it stories, poems, songs, or novels.