Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nicole Odell's "The Embittered Ruby"

Title: The Embittered Ruby
Publisher: Barbour Publishing.

Cover blurb: 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?

Series Description: 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.

1) How did this story come to you?
As a teen, I went through a residential Teen Challenge program much like the Diamond Estates program…minus the stone monastery and the mountains. The girls I met there, plus my own experiences, gave me the inspiration for most of the Diamond Estates series—just wait for book three in December!

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
Hmm. There’s not much to tell about this. It was pretty textbook, I think. Nothing really challenging and no major upsets. My agent sent off the proposal, and the offer came a few weeks later. Don’t worry—it hasn’t always been that easy. ;)

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
1. I have three-year-old triplets—most of you probably already knew that, though.
2. I graduated high school and started college at 15.
3. I’m a member of Mensa.

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I have some non-fiction I’m working on right now and a super-fun fiction proposal being shopped around to publishers. I have so many book releases this year (nine total) that I am kind of focusing on birthing rather than creating at this moment. Next up is the release of Rainbow’s End, a novella anthology about geocaching in the Ozarks, also with Barbour Publishing. (5/1) The first two non-fiction books in the Hot Buttons series, (Kregel) release on 6/1. It’s all in God’s hands, and I’m excited!

5) Parting comments?
There are three things I pray for myself, my kids, my readers, and you:
I pray that the motivation for sin would be illuminated by God’s spotlight so we can identify it, deal with it, and kick it out. Next I pray for the strength to embrace change and disappointment as part of God’s refining fire. Finally, I pray for the power to rise above pain and poor choices, reinventing the person shaped by lies into an embodiment of truth.

“…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6, NIV)

Nicole O'Dell, mom of six, 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  for more info.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
My website is  or I’m on facebook at or twitter at and


  1. Hi Nicole...not sure if i've even heard of you before, and i think i'd remember if i had. Triplets? girls, boys, or? i know a family with triplet girls, they are 8 now. Would love to read your series...must look for them. Thank you Dawn for featuring her, and for the awesome opportunity to win this great novel.

    mitzi underscore wanham at yahoo dot com

  2. Lady DragonKeeperApril 12, 2012 at 5:08 AM

    A wonderful author to feature! I've heard about Teen Challenge on the radio --how neat to see the impact of it on someone's life. Thanks for the chance to win! I'm a subscriber.


  3. Wow! Started college at 15, a member of Mensa, and 3 year old triplets? Wow again! I think She must be SuperWoman!! How, with 6 kids, is there time to write? I've only got 2 kids and I can barely keep the house clean! This book sounds like one I would enjoy. Thanks for the giveaway.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  4. Been hearing the buzz on the blogs about this one. Thanks for the opportunity to win.


  5. Marianne--Nice to meet you too!!! :)

    L.D.--Teen Challenge is awesome! What an amazing experience! Thanks for coming by and commenting!

    Nancye--The secret is, my house is nowhere near clean. Ever. ;)

    Nice to meet you, too, Margaret!!

  6. My daughter read pearl and loved it would love to win this book thanks

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  7. Teen Challenge is a awesome program. Have a son who went through it. Here the female Teen Challenge is called Springboard. I would love to win your book.


  8. Hi Nicole! I have never heard of you before, however, my daughter (16) and I are always looking for Christian authors that relate to her. I am very interested in winning a copy of your book.

    Thanks for writing books that mom's can feel comfortable with their daughters reading.

    Have a JESUS-FILLED day!


  9. Wow triplets! I had twins, I can't imagine another on although I did have a two year old so maybe I have an idea. I would love to win your book it sounds intriguing. God Bless you.

    Glenda Parker

  10. love to find christian authors.

  11. I would love to read THE EMBITTERED RUBY thank you. It looks like a wonderful read.


  12. Nicole,

    I must let you know that I am deeply delighted to look forward to reading your book. Because I like to see more inspiring author like you to take bold action to make the world better place to live.

    As such, I am strongly believe your books like make the world shine. I am very proud of you and your action also drive me to follow your foot step.

    James Oh