Nicole O’Dell strives to bring together parents and teens using novels, nonfiction, social media and radio programs.
This passion for uniting families sprouted during her teen years. Her new series, Diamond Estates, grew out of her experience spending a year at a Teen Challenge home. Each book in the series features a teenage girl who has wandered down a dark path, whether it involves substance abuse, manipulation, or witchcraft, and finds herself at a crossroads. “My goal is not to sensationalize the glittery glamour of sin, but rather, to show that God is in control,” Nicole says.
Book two, The Embittered Ruby (Barbour Books), reveals a teenage girl’s transition from country club to inner city, thanks to her parents’ divorce. Carmen takes matters into her own hands to get her old life back, with disastrous results. Book three, The Shadowed Onyx, is due December 2012.
Nicole cites fear as the emotion behind her characters’ wrong choices. “Fear of physical pain, fear of loss, fear of abandonment—fear is such a consuming, driving force that leads people to make rash decisions. Though many teens wouldn’t find themselves in these exact situations and might not make the same mistakes these girls did, it’s easy to understand why the characters acted out of desperation.”
Her effort to reach parents and teens has led to the creation of Choose NOW Radio (part of her Choose NOW Ministries), which currently offers two online programs: “Parent Talk brings topics and guest to parents of teenagers, helping them navigate these years effectively,” she shares. “Teen Talk is much the same in that it brings the issues to the forefront, helps teenagers make good choices and encourages healthy family relationships.” Her previous series for teens, Scenarios, emphasizes the Choose NOW aspect of her ministry with six interactive novels in three volumes.