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 held my first official book signing on Saturday, June 23, at Chapters in Lethbridge, Alberta. I was naturally a little nervous about it, but once things got going, it was a lot of fun. We had put an article in the local newspaper in advance, and quite a few friends and acquaintances came out specifically to see me. The sales went better than the store manager expected, which was encouraging. He invited me back to hold as many book signings as I want. I'll definitely do it again.
I had a banner printed and then wrapped it around a frame to simulate the novel. I'm going to put it on a float for our community parade in July and hold a book signing afterward.
What a special surprise I received in the mail on Monday, when I went to the post office. There was a packet from my publisher, and based on the size and shape, I thought they might have sent me a document or something. But when I opened it, it was an advance copy of my novel “The Anniversary Waltz.” I had been trying for over thirty years to get a novel published, and had made many trips to the post office, only to come away empty-handed. But not Monday! It was an absolute thrill to finally see my first novel in print. I hope to have other novels published in time, but I suspect nothing rivals the very first time an author touches his or her first book.
I am a schoolteacher by profession and a writer at heart. I have always loved to write, be it stories, poems, songs, or novels.