Thursday, May 13, 2010

MAGNA and MAKING WAVES - Nicole O'Dell - Two Free Books

Welcome back, Nicole. Why do you write the kind of books you do?

I have a heart for teen girls. I had a rough time as a teenager—by my own doing. I understand the turmoil they’re in due to hormones, peer pressure, and confusion. These days parents don’t try hard enough to keep them innocent, so they are faced with adult issues and choices far younger than ever before. My goal, in writing my books, is to try to open their minds up to the inevitability of the moral dilemmas they’ll face, and to help them pre-determine their choices. It’s easier for them to decide what they’ll do when they aren’t staring peer pressure right in the face. Each book also has a contract and a prayer designed to help them commit to their choice.

Here’s a link to a podcast where I talk about my books:

And here's the book trailer:

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?

The day my triplets were born and I knew they were safe. The births of all six of my kids were amazing, but the weeks preceding the birth of the triplets were so scary that seeing three perfect and healthy, albeit tiny, human beings come from my body was such an incredible relief and answer to so many people’s prayers—WOW!

How has being published changed your life?

More than anything, it has clarified and validated my dreams. Let’s face it, I didn’t wake up a superstar, my bank account hasn’t changed all that much (lol), but I do have a much clearer understanding of what God has in store for me—what He’s called me to do. Being published validates that calling. Each contract that has followed spurs me on to the next thing He has for me. It seems like every time I start to doubt myself, He drops a nugget in my lap: a new book contract. . .signing with my dream agent. . .the invitation to join a tiny, select group of writer-sister-friends that changed my life, etc. He’s good to me like that.

What are you reading right now?

William Henry is a Fine Name by Cathy Gohlke.

What is your current work in progress?

I’m working on a YA series called Diamond Estates that is geared to a slightly older audience than the Scenarios books—more info on that coming soon. I do hope to write at least two more Scenarios books, though. Watch for books five, High Stakes, and six, Essence of Lilly, in 2011…seven and eight to follow those, Lord willing.

What would be your dream vacation?

I have two. The first would be a trip to Disney World with the whole family, and a Cruise following it. We’re actually taking that trip on June 9th of this year. I can’t wait!

The second trip would be a cruise of the Greek Islands or an Alaskan cruise with my husband. No immediate plans for that one.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

They are usually loosely based on places I’ve been. I seldom use an actual place, though. The state or general area might exist, but the town is usually fictitious.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?

I’d say my husband, but I already get that privilege all the time. Other than him, I’d have to pick my writer-sister group. I know that’s not just one person, but I couldn’t choose from among them for anything. I’d love to sit at a nice big table in some really great restaurant, enjoying their company from appetizers all the way through the third cup of cappuccino. I also have some crit partners that I’d love to meet in person—ACFW conference is coming soon! This will be my first year there and I’m looking forward to the exact scenario I just described.

I look forward to seeing you there, too. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?

I’m a student working toward a secondary education degree. I also lead the youth group at my church with my husband. My hubby’s and my favorite outdoor activity is biking. Since I had the triplets, it’s been a bit of a challenge to get out for rides, though. Our favorite bike ride is 50-mile trip from Chicago’s Navy Pier, up the lakefront and into Evanston and the university area.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?

Time. With a large family, including my 18-month-old triplets, time comes at a high premium. You asked how I overcome it…I’m not quite sure that I do. My husband and I work together to make sure I get the writing time I need. But, you know how it is, it’s never enough. With writing, schooling and prepping my teaching for youth group, I require a lot of computer hours. Sometimes I just have to take what I can get at midnight or very early in the morning. It’s okay, though. I’m fully aware of how fast this time with my kids goes by and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?

Read and study. There is so much I wish I’d learned before my first books were written. I’ve come so far and all it’s taught me is that I have so far yet to go.

Tell us about the featured books?

Magna: Molly Jacobs isn’t sure what she should do: Should she follow through with stealing some clothes for her friends from Magna the trendy girls clothing store where she works? Or should she do what she knows is right, even if it means losing her friends? Girls ages 10 to 15 make the choice in this interactive story and see how the consequences change Molly's life. Includes a contract and prayer to remind the reader of the importance of making godly decisions.

Making Waves: Kate Walker joins the swim team and becomes obsessed with practice and making it through the championships with flying colors. With a scholarship on the line and pressure from everyone, what will Kate do when she’s faced with pressure from her teammates to take an illegal substance that will help her swim multiple events in their championship meet? Girls ages 10 to 15 make the choice in this interactive story and see how the consequences change Kate s life. Includes a contract and prayer to remind the reader of the importance of making godly decisions.

Please give us the first page of the books.


“Purple and yellow polyester gym clothes? This school needs a new wardrobe!” Molly looked at the locker room mirror in disgust as she pulled her shirt off. “They’re so ugly, and we have to wear them every single day.”

“Plus, it’s so gross that they only let us take them home once a week to wash them.” Jess wrinkled her nose and pinched it with the tips of her fingers. She dropped the sweaty gym uniform into her duffel bag, careful to touch as little of it as possible.

“I know.” Sara gestured over her shoulder to an unkempt girl seated on the bench down the row. “Some people should wash their clothes a lot more often than that.”

Molly looked at the girl—her clothes way too small and her hair obviously unwashed. She has more pimples than I have freckles. But still, why does Sara have to be mean? Molly turned away to swipe some gloss on her lips and changed the subject. “Forget about gym clothes for a sec. What about the rest of our clothes? You know, we’re in high school now. I don’t know about you, but I’m having trouble finding cool stuff in my closet. Everything is so junior high.” Her voice trailed off in a whine as she tied her long blond hair back in a ponytail and fluffed her bangs with her fingertips.

Making Waves:

The picture had been shot only six weeks before; but the edges were already tattered, and fingerprints smudged the image. Kate peeled it from the scrapbook page for what seemed like the hundredth time. She leaned back to lie on the floor and raised the picture above her head in one fluid motion—the rotating ceiling fan made the picture wiggle.

Three generations of Walker women stared back at her. Her silver-haired grandma sat elegantly, unsmiling, in a high-backed brocade chair; and her mom stood just behind, grinning. Kate’s sister, Julia, looked regal with her ivory-lace wedding dress fanned out around the group like a moat around a castle. She wore her brown, velvety hair swept up in an elegant clip, revealing her long, graceful neck. Kate sat at her mom’s feet just outside the moat, her legs twisted to the side as she tried to remain graceful, careful not to touch the ethereal hem of her sister’s garment.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

I’m at  which can also be accessed with .

On twitter, I’m Nicole_Odell and on facebook, you can find me at .

Pop by my blog when you get a second. On Mondays, I post a message to Mom and Dad. Tuesday’s is my Girl Talk day—my daughters and I answer readers questions. Wednesday I write about something happening in the writing world—book reviews, etc. Thursdays are for a devotional or testimony. Friday’s posts are simple fun. You can access my blog through my website or directly at .

I also want to mention that I’m the new YA book reviewer for . I’ll be reviewing there on the last Wednesday of every month.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Lena! This interview was a blast!

And we enjoyed the time you spent with us, Nicole.

Readers, here are links to the books. By using these links when you order you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of one of the books.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


hippmom said...

I've been wanting to get these books for my pre-teen daughter ever since I heard about them. What a terrific idea! Love to win these.

angelahipp (at) charter (dot) net

apple blossom said...

I'd love to win this book. Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Katrina said...

I would love a copy!

Jan Cline said...

I cannot imagine trying to write with so much on my plate! You are blessed with determination. I'd love to give the books to my granddaughters.

Mozi Esme said...

Would love to read these!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Marla said...

I would love to win these books for the teenage girl I am caregiver of. She has a hard time getting into a book, but I think she would really enjoy these. Thank you for the giveaway.


Lady Araujo said...

I'd love to win this book.
Thanks for this giveaway.

Judylynn said...

I'd love to win one of these for my daughter. Please enter me.


Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview. Please enter me. Thank you!

Nicole O'Dell said...

Thank you for having me here, Lena.

And, thank you all so much for the lovely comments!

Lisa Harris said...

My eleven year old daughter would love these books. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for sharing from your life!

Unknown said...

It is truly amazing that you have time to write with six children to take care of. And I love the idea of the prayer and contract you include in your books. Would love to win one for my niece. God bless you.

Nancye said...

I would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win one of her books.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

rbooth43 said...

Any of these books sound great. I am looking forward to the Diamond Estates series.
God Bless You!


Anonymous said...

Thank you I enjoyed the interview. I am looking for books for my pre teen granddaughter and these are wonderful books that I am getting for her. Its hard to find good books for preteen girls. I know she is going to enjoy these. Thanks again,



Edna said...

would love these for my 14 year old granddughter, I would read them first LOL


Coolestmommy said...

LOVE IT!! I'm so glad to see decent reading material for my baby girl (almost 4) who will be a teen before I know it.

Have fun on the Disney trip/cruise. We've done Disney but I do want to add that cruise someday.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com said...

I would love a copy of the book!
dancealert at aol dot com

MaureenT said...

Thanks for the opportunity to win one of these books!


RoseMillsOhio said...

Thank you for your interview!

I teach 5th grade Sunday School and I am looking for appropriate reading material for them for the summer. Your books are perfect for the girls!

rubynreba said...

If I keep entering one of these days I'll be the lucky one - thanks for all the great book giveaways!

Cindy W. said...

I would really love this book. I commented earlier in the week and it appears here but I know you said all the comments disappeared and to re-enter.

Cindy W.


Judylynn said...


Please enter me in this giveaway - Thanks!


Martha A. said...

My sister loved your books and I actually did too, even as an adult! One of the nicest teen girl books I have seen! i did not know you had triplets!!! One of my sister's is expecting identical is scary and i could relate to your comment. martha(at)lclink(dot)com