Monday, March 21, 2011

SWEPT AWAY - Nicole O'Dell - Free Book

Welcome back, Nicole. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?

Oh, Lena, I don’t even know where to start with this one. I’m so humbled by all that He’s done. I’m still at the beginning of two three-book series that I’m doing for Barbour. With those projects and a few non-fiction things, I’m tied up for a couple of years. What an amazing feeling for a writer—especially these days. I feel so honored and truly humbled that God has decided to funnel His words through me, and I pray that I listen well.

I know what you mean by that, being in the same kind of place. Tell us a little about your family.

Ah, my favorite topic. I’m a slobbery mom. I just love to kiss on my kiddos—the backs of their necks. Their sweet little feet—well, until they turn three. My son Erik is 19, and, believe me, I have nothing to do with his feet. His are clad in military boots as he is off serving his country in the Air Force. Natalie is 13 and Emily is 10. We’re doing a neat book together called Girl Talk, based off an advice column we have on my blog. Readers write in, and my girls and I answer their questions. Next year, those questions and answers will come out in a book.

I also have a set of two-year-old triplets. Oh, my sweet Jesus…those babies are a piece of heaven right here on earth. Logan, Megan, and Ryleigh. Ahhh. You’re making me want to go wake them up for some cuddles.

I would love to feature Girl Talk on this blog. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?

Yes. I read much less. It’s an unfortunate byproduct of the science of division. X amount of hours in the day divided by the tasks on the to-do list = very little free time for Mom. But I do try to read at least two books a month.

What are you working on right now?

I’m continuing on in theDiamond Estates series and the Drama Ensues series. I’m also wondering why I named them both DE? Isn’t that a strange coincidence? They’re very, very different series—I hope you check them both out. Diamond Estates deals with troubled girls in a group home, to state it very simply. Drama Ensues has a different style—quirky, drama club—yet it’s compelling in its coverage of the issues.

What outside interests do you have?


No, seriously, I love what I’m doing. I’m living my dream. I’ve given up a lot of outside things to give more time to my passion. How many people can say that about their work? I’m grateful to God for what he’s given me and I happily give my spare moments to my writing. I do exercise. Sometimes. Oh, and I speak at events, lead a local writing group, and teach a publishing course at the community college.

How do you choose your settings for each book?

I wish I could say it was based on my travels. But it’s more based on the characters. They speak to me. I tried to have Carmen from The Embittered Ruby (coming soon) hail from Virginia. But try as I did, that girl was from New York, no matter how hard I tried to make it otherwise. I love it when that happens!

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

My grandfather? I know, you’re probably asking about war figures, past presidents, disciples of Christ. But, really, my grandpa was my hero, and there was no disciple who served their Jesus with any more vigor than my Papaw. I’d just love to be with him for some time.

There is no expected answer for that question. I'm trying to let readers get to know the real you. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?

Honestly, what comes to mind is the one thing I’m glad I didn’t know. I had no idea how difficult the process was supposed to be. I didn’t know about people enduring years of rejection letters. I didn’t know that many writers had unpublished manuscripts gathering dust in the corners of their offices. I hadn’t heard the stories of pitches and near misses. I just had some stuff to write. So I did.

I often wonder if the results—or even my efforts—would have been different if I’d known how rough it was supposed to be? I’m thankful I was protected from both the knowledge and the experience.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?

Be confident – timidity will get you nowhere in this business. Trust God to be your ambassador and let Him shine through you.

Take a chance – nothing is gained by not trying. What do they say? You miss out on 100% of the chance you don’t take.

Be yourself – Don’t try to fit yourself into a mold just so you can have a “brand.” Let that brand develop and evolve organically. Otherwise, it will feel unnatural and contrived to both you and your readers.

Tell us about the featured book.

Well, all three of these releases contain two of my Scenarios for Girls Interactive Fiction books. They each have alternate endings that allow the reader to make an important moral decision for the main character and follow the consequences of her choice.

Dare to be Different contains Scenarios for Girls books one and two: Truth or Dare and All that Glitters.
Risky Business contains Scenarios for Girls books three and four: Magna and Making Waves.
Swept Away contains the never-before released Scenarios for Girls five and six: High Stakes and Essence of Lilly.

Please give us the first page of the book.

This is the first bit of High Stakes, which is one of the two books found in Swept Away, the book I’m offering for giveaway.

“You might have to get out and push.”

Amber groaned and rolled her eyes. “Very funny, Dad. The scary thing is, one of these days, it’s going to be true.”

Dad chuckled. “Ah, she hasn’t failed us yet.” He rubbed the faded steering wheel.

“Well, there’s a first time for everything.” Amber sulked down in the cracked vinyl seat and covered her eyes with her forearm. Her friends all had fancy new SUVs or expensive sedans. But no, her parents never wanted a car payment or— gasp!—a lease payment. Nothing but a complete waste of money when they already had a perfectly reliable vehicle—or so they said. If she had a dollar for every time they’d explained the horrors of a lease agreement. . .

The brakes squealed as Dad pulled the twelve-year-old Toyota into the garage. He smiled and patted the dashboard. “You did it, girl.” He’d somehow ignored the putt. . .sputter. . .putt sounds the car had made all the way up the driveway.

"Yeah, Dad. We made it home. But what about tomorrow? What about the next day? When will we ever be able to get a new car now that you lost your job?” Amber squeezed her eyes shut, holding back the tears that threatened to spill.

“Now, Amber.”

Amber steeled herself against the coming speech that she knew by heart and caught the sigh before it escaped her mouth.

Dad’s lips moved in what looked like prayer for a few moments. He took a deep breath and turned her chin with his hand until she lifted her watery eyes to meet his. “God has always provided everything we’ve ever needed and much, much more. I have no reason to think He’s going to stop now.” He let go of her face and rubbed her arm. “Sweetie, give Him a chance.”

“Yeah, yeah. I know.” Amber rolled her eyes and fought the urge to point out that God had provided that stuff—which wasn’t excessive, by any means—before He unprovided Dad’s job. She climbed out of the car and paused a moment to give the rusted hood a few little pats—like paying respects at a funeral.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Everything I do is linked through my website You can find the archives of Teen Talk Radio, book information, my blog, a link to sign up for my newsletter, my social stuff like facebook and twitter, bookstore…and much more.

Thanks so much for having me here! What a fun interview.

I love having you here, Nicole.
Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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 to be in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Coolestmommy said...

I loved listening to your Teen Talk Radio. Thanks for writing decent books for teens!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Nicole O'Dell said...

Thanks, Robyn! TTR is so much fun to do. I love "meeting" all the great guests and interesting people. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Thanks again for having me here, Lena!

Lorna Faith said...

Awesome Nicole:) Your book sounds great...I have 3 teenagers and 1 pre-teen. I would love to have your books in my house for them to read!

please enter me for a chance to win your book:)

Lorna from Alberta


Nicole O'Dell said...

That's great, Lorna! Are they all girls?? WOW! lol

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Unknown said...

Congratulations on the triplets. Wow! :) gahome2mom/at/gmail/dot/com

Patsy said...

Books sounds great! I don't see how you have time to write with all you have going on! Would enjoy reading your books.
From the Bible Belt


Anonymous said...

Hi Nicole,

I so enjoyed the little bit that I read of Swept Away !! I look forward to reading all of Swept Away !! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win this book, it is a great gift to give away !!! Blessings to you and your lovely family Nicole !!! Rosemary Foley from Peabody Massachusetts !!!!

Unknown said...

Thanks, Nicole and Lena for a great post, and the chance to win Swept Away. please enter me
Marianne from Arizona

kristen said...

these sound so fun!! Please enter me
Kristen from WA

Nicole O'Dell said...

Thank you, Nancy, Marianne, and Kristen!!

Thanks, gahome--the triplets are a hoot!

Patsy, it does get a bit challenging at times. LOL Thanks for commenting!

Rosemary, I'm so glad you enjoyed what you read! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I am always looking for good books to recommend to the teens ! I will be reading your books, so I can share with them when they ask for a recommendation :)



amber said...

Please enter me!!

afren07[at]gmail[dot]com from TN

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Love the Title.
Angela from Kentucky.

Kristen said...

I would love to win this for my daughter! Please enter me into the drawing.

Kristen in TX
jkfreitas at sbcglobal dot net

Unknown said...

I'd love a chance to win this book! I haven't ready anything by Nicole - but this looks like a great read!
Kari in Oregon
kari_linder at hotmail dot com

apple blossom said...

Oh, I'd love to win this book thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

scottsgal said...

My niece would love your books -

I'm in illinois
msboatgal at

holdenj said...

This looks like a great series of books. I like that Nicole has involved her older girls in her blog life with an advice column. That sounds like something I may have to check out! Thanks for the info and chance to win.
Waving hello from MN, where it will finally be spring soon!

karenk said...

a fabulous nicole's novels... :)

karenk (from PA)
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Judylynn said...

Please enter me in this giveaway!

Judylynn in East Tennessee

Nancye said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net