Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Return of Cassandra Todd by Darrel Nelson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Return of Cassandra Todd
Realms (February 5, 2013)
Darrel Nelson


I am a schoolteacher by profession and have taught school for (thir—ahem!) years. I grew up in Raymond, Alberta, and attended the University of Lethbridge after graduating from high school and serving a two-year mission to Japan. During university, I met and married Marsha Smith, and we are the parents of four children, which has grown to include their spouses and our ten grandchildren.

I have always loved to write. 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). But as I have grown older, I have discovered that the real inspiration for me is exploring the theme of love and how it can make such a difference in the world.

I’ve had an article published in Lethbridge Magazine and have written several dramatic plays, two of which won provincial recognition and were showcased at a drama festival. I won the CJOC radio songwriting contest two years running, and have had one of my songs receive international airplay. I have written four novels intended for the juvenile market. They are unpublished as yet, but I read them annually to my fourth grade students and my students tell me they love them, the darlings.


When the girl he hated in high school suddenly reenters his life, little son in tow, and asks for his help, Turner must put the past behind him if they are to survive.

Turner Caldwell works at a local motel as a handyman while attending college full-time. On his way to class one day, he passes the bus depot just as Cassandra Todd and her young son arrive. He is shocked to see her, remembering how cruel she was to him in high school. She was the popular head cheerleader and he the target of her mean-spirited pranks. Turner could never have imagined that the outdoor training and survival skills he learned at Camp Kopawanee, a summer youth camp where he worked three years as a leader, would one day become so crucial. But when Cassandra and her son check into the motel where he works and she asks for his help in eluding her abusive husband, Turner finds himself entangled in a situation that will require every skill he has in order to survive.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of The Return of Cassandra Todd, go HERE.

My review:

    I almost passed on this book for review. The original description of the book didn't sound extremely promising, but since it was a male author, I requested it, hoping it was a guy book.

   The book far surpassed my expectations. There was much more suspense in it than I had anticipated - and I love suspense. It had a great fast-moving plot with very likable characters. I totally got into the book, possibly because I identified with Turner's high school experiences, and truly could not put the book down until I finished it.

  This is a great story, but it also deals with some important issues. Though fictional, it does a great job of showing the very real issues of bullying and spousal abuse and the long term effects they have. Darrell Nelson is a fairly new author. This is his second book, and the only one I have read, though I was scheduled to review his first book (I think the tour got canceled). I enjoyed this one enough that I plan on reading his first and any others he comes out with. I highly recommend this book. Definitely worth reading.


Darrel Nelson said...

Mark, I'm grateful you didn't pass on reading my book too. Thanks for the positive review. I really appreciate your kind words. Hopefully, you'll also enjoy my future novel, Following Rain.