The Return of Cassandra Todd


The dreams of a high school nerd come true. Turner's secret crush who turned out to be so cruel to him in high school is running away from a very bad man and needs his help. So far so good. The story starts out truly gripping and I really like the inner dialogue of Turner's as he works fixing a faucet or some other maintenance problem at the motel where he works.

Then the story drifts a bit after he recognizes Cassandra. But that is in the prologue!

I have never, ever liked head jumping as Randy Ingermanson calls it. To get inside the head of each character takes truly great skill. Not many have it, or the patience for it. You have to take the time to introduce a character and develop the character before you go jumping somewhere else. It is a sad mistake that so many newer fiction writers do, and I'm not at all sure it is their mistake. I think the editors share a large part of the blame. But, when an author not only head jumps, but uses flashbacks as well. Unless done extremely well, you've got stew not a story.

Now... all this happens in the prologue as I mentioned before. Another thing that I drives me crazy is the constant repeating what's gone on before. Then add to that a really stupid female and you've got something that literally drives me crazy.

However, Nelson deals with an issue that I wish more authors would tackle. Spousal abuse is rampant, but it is always shoved under the rug because it isn't a nice subject. Nelson tells Cassandra's story in a way that is not formulaic, and there are some really good turns of phrase that are not story flow stoppers, just pleasant gems for wordsmiths.

I give this novel 2 stars. It isn't horrible, but it isn't great. It's readable, and there are far too few out there that are unreadable.
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.


The Treasure Seeker by Teena Stewart



One of the toughest women's issues is that many women, even the most outwardly self-assured ones, wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness. Though women want to believe they have value, messages bombard them daily, telling them that if they don’t look a certain way, dress a certain way, drive a certain car, weigh a certain weight, or work in a certain type of career, they have little value..

Stewart casts God in the role of a heavenly Treasure Seeker who knows every woman’s true value and will stop at nothing to recover her, His cherished one. He longs to come into a close, loving relationship so that she can not only feel cherished but also cherish Him, the greatest treasure of all.
Through practical truth this Christian Living book will draw women closer to the Treasure Seeker who takes on the role of Master Jeweler who: lovingly shapes, refines, polishes, even incorporating her flaws, to transform her into a jewel of stunning beauty. He will help her find her remarkable true worth so that she becomes the dazzling gemstone she was meant to be.

Unique accompaniments:
  • Intriguing treasure stories
  • A study of the "Lost" parables including the lost coin, the lost sheep, the prodigal son, the treasure hidden in a field, and the pearl of great price
  • Points to ponder at the end of each chapter for reflection and discussion
  • A chapter highlighting gemstone attributes allowing readers to determine which gemstone they are most like
  • A Treasure Seeker Jewelry line created by author/artist Teena Stewart available at a discount through her website when you purchase the book



Teena Stewart is an author and artist whose work reflects the spiritual message of being broken and yet valuable in God’s eyes—a message incorporated in her book The Treasure Seeker: Finding Value and Love in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father (Wine Press). When she isn’t creating up-cycled treasure (artwork and jewelry) from discarded and found objects, she is writing articles and books or leading ministry for Java Journey, an innovative coffee shop ministry in Hickory, NC.

Teena understands firsthand what it means to go from something of seemingly little value to a beautiful and valuable treasure in God’s eyes.

Q:  Why Did You Write The Treasure Seeker?
A:  I guess you could say I discovered hidden treasure I wanted to share.  As I studied the Bible I couldn’t help but see a treasure theme that reoccurs.  It’s all through the old and new testaments. We see it in Jesus’ teachings and especially in what I call the “lost” parables. But as I studied these I realized that in some of the parables, such as the lost coin, the lost sheep and lost son, that we are the thing of great worth that is lost. God sees us as something very valuable and he’s earnestly trying to recover what he’s lost because it’s so precious to him.  In two other parables, (the pearl of great price and treasure hidden in the field) we are the treasure seeker who needs to recognize a lost treasure of great value-- a relationship with God to be had-- if we will just grasp that. 

So, there’s this mutual seeking. When we understand just how important it is to be in this relationship with God it is life altering. Imagine in your mind a scene played out in slow motion like in a movie where two people in love have been separated from each other for a long time. They run toward each other and meet in an embrace and passionately unite.   

That’s what it’s like but it doesn’t end there.

Once we unite with God, he moves into the role of a Master Jeweler who takes us in all our roughness, and shapes and reworks us into something even more remarkable. To really realize our true worth we have to stay in that relationship and allow him to refine us. So, to answer the question, why did I write the book? I want everyone to know they can have this incredible relationship that will make them  feel treasured and valued and that by having it they will become even more so.

Q:  Who is Your Target Audience?
A:  I wrote it with women in mind—women who are spiritually seeking and Christian women who want to grow more mature spiritually. I consider it a Christian Living book.

Q:  Is it Meant for Individuals or Groups?
A:  I originally wrote it for self-study, in fact, I include Points to Ponder at the end of each chapter to help readers reflect on the main theme of that chapter and consider where they might need to grow. But I’ve had people who read the book tell me they think it would make a great group Bible study.

Q: What are Some Unique Features that Set it Apart from Other Books?
Well, first, the treasure stories, other than the parables, that I includeThat was another thing that made me want to write the book. Over time I’ve heard and collected some intriguing stories about lost treasure and I wanted to share those, but I do so to tie into a point. 

The book also has gemstone trivia just for fun and I included a section on specific gemstones and a bit of their history. Readers have the opportunity to decide what gemstone they think they are most like and what their strengths and weaknesses are. The back of the book includes a spiritual gifts assessment because I want readers to understand a bit more about who God made them to be and how they can use that “gemstone” package to serve themselves and God best.

I also created a Treasure Seeker jewelry line and have designed necklaces and earrings based on these particular gemstones. Those who purchase my book can also order these handmade—for a 10% discount when they purchase my book. More info on that at

Q:  If There is One Message You Want Reader to Come Away With From This Book, What Would You Say That Is?
A:  The importance of a deep relationship with God & Christ. It will be the most fulfilling thing they have ever been a part of.

Q:  What is the exact book title and where can people purchase it?
A:  It is called The Treasure Seeker: Finding Love and Value in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father.  It comes in paperback or ebook version and is available on Amazon and through my website and most bookstores.


Her writing website

Twitter @TeenaStewart1

Her art website

Her art blog
Get widget