It's good to have you today, Nicole.
Let’s start with some fun questions:
Tell us a bit about your childhood: a favorite memory or moment that’s stood out to your through the years.
My family loved to go downhill skiing. My parents met in a ski club, so they were very eager to get my brother and I started so they could ski, too. I think I was four when we started with the small man-made slopes here in Illinois. After a few years, we graduated to skiing the higher elevations in Michigan, then Colorado. I even lived in Utah for a year, right at the bottom of the pass to Snowbird and Alta.
One of my dad’s rules was that we couldn’t have our own skis until we could carry them ourselves. I remember struggling to carry my skis as I clomped along in my boots, the snow crunching underfoot, already shivering, but knowing that somehow I’d warm up when things got going.
And there’s nothing like the ride on the chair lift up the mountain…
Yeah, it’s been a while. Might be time to dust off those skis. :
My youngest son loves to ski, too! I've never been brave enough for that! What career did you have before writing?
Mostly I was raising kids with a bit of retail-management madness thrown in for the chaos and the discount. I can’t say it was for the money because I left most of that there!
I started writing for publication right about the time I got pregnant with my triplets, and I’ve never looked back.
Now, some serious ones:
Do you have a favorite spiritual theme you like to write about?
Oh yeah—It’s all about choices! We have the power to choose righteousness or sin when it comes to the way we live our lives. I believe in helping teens prepare to make good choices in advance of the pressure, and I work to help parents with that goal.
When mistakes are made, the redemptive and restorative power of the blood of Jesus is sufficient to cover all sin even though there are natural consequences to choices.
Those themes are pretty much an outline of each of the books in the Diamond Estates series.
If one of your characters showed up at your house, which one would be the most feared/least wanted? Why?
The fearless gang-leader, Marco! He was a real piece of work. He had sinister intentions from the very start and he made my skin crawl. Marco is the kind of guy you don’t want to corner you in a dark alley. Or a bus stop. As Carmen found out the hard way.
Ooooh, he does sound scary. Tell us where readers can learn more about you and where they can get your book.
Sixteen-year-old Carmen Castillo wonders what it would be like to have a pair of ruby slippers.
“There’s no place like home. . .”
“There’s no place like home. . .”
“There’s no place like home.”
But then reality sets in, and Carmen concludes that ruby slippers are mere fiction. Constant prayers that her parents will patch things up remain unanswered. . .and her hurtful world becomes too much for her to bear. Trapped by resentment and anger, Carmen lashes out the only way she knows how and soon finds herself at a crossroads.
Will Carmen find the path to ultimate peace and contentment that her heart longs for? Or will her troubled soul remain forever embittered?
DIAMOND ESTATES. Three girls are on a journey to find hope and healing. Each coming to Diamond Estates seeking solace… Each with her own unique set of struggles… And each capturing hearts and challenging the faith of teen girls.
Nicole O'Dell, founder of Choose NOW Ministries and host of Choose NOW Radio: Parent Talk and Teen Talk, is a youth culture expert who writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life's tough choices. She’s author of YA fiction, including the popular Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction series and the Diamond Estates Series, and non-fiction for teens including Girl Talk, 2/1/12, which she wrote with her two daughters based on their popular advice column. Hot Buttons, O’Dell’s non-fiction series for parents helps pre-empt peer pressure by tackling tough issues. Visit www.nicoleodell.com for more info.
Nicole is giving away a copy of The Embittered Ruby. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.