meet Nicole O'Dell


Nicole O’Dell and her husband Wil have six wonderful children, the most recent additions being triplets, born in August 2008. Nicole and Wil recently began a youth group at their church for grades 7-12 where Nicole focuses on the teaching, Bible study application, service outreach planning and evangelism focus for the group. She enjoys speaking at other churches, youth groups and parenting groups to offer insight into healthy, Godly navigation of those rough teen years. Over the years, Nicole has worked as a youth director, a Bible study leader for women and teens, a counselor at a crisis pregnancy center and was a veteran camp counselor for over a decade.

You can find Nicole online at:


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.

Here's an excerpt of Manga:

The patio door slid open, and Mrs. Jacobs leaned her head out. “Molly, phone for you. Uh, you might want to come in here to take it.”

Molly furrowed her eyebrows and threw the ball one more time, sending Rocco after it—a blur of fur darting across the grass—before she went to the house.

“Who is it, Mom?” Molly slid the door shut behind her.

Covering the receiver with her hand, Molly’s mom whispered, “It’s the manager from that store.”

Molly wiped some doggy slobber on her jeans and then grabbed the phone. She took a deep breath and waited for her racing heart to calm down before answering. “Hello, this is Molly.”

“Hi Molly. It’s Donna from Magna calling. I’m very pleased to be able to offer you a position with our store if you’re still interested.”

“I’m very interested! Thank you so much.” Molly danced around and punched the air while trying to maintain her composure.

Donna skimmed the topics of hourly wage, start date, training, and a schedule. “We’ll cover all of that in more detail during the training.”

“That sounds great!” What about Jess and Sara?

“I’m really looking forward to having you start with us, Molly. Your training will begin on Monday. You’ll be training alongside Amber. It’s much easier to start you both at the same time. How does that sound?”

“Perfect. I can’t wait.” Molly grinned at her mom who smiled and nodded. No Jess and Sara, I guess.

“Great. Do you have any other questions?”

“I don’t think I have any. . .”

Mom pointed at her clothes and raised her eyebrows.

“Oh Donna, just one question. What should I wear for training?”

“The first week it won’t matter that much, because you won’t be on the sales floor very often. Casual, jeans and a nice top, something like that. After that you’ll need to wear Magna merchandise. We’ll talk about all of that in your training.”

“Great. I’m really excited. Thanks so much, Donna.” Molly hung up the phone and grabbed her mom’s hands and jumped up and down. “I can’t believe it!”

“Congratulations, dear. Your dad is going to be so proud of you.”

Uh-oh! Molly looked out the window. She stood rooted to the spot and stared at her friends playing with her dog in the backyard. I’m excited, but they’ll be disappointed. Bittersweet.

Holding the door handle, Molly turned toward her mom and opened her mouth to ask her what she should do about Sara and Jess. But Molly already knew. She’d have to tell them right away. She shook her head and slid the door open. Sigh.

Sara and Jess compared cell phone pictures while Rocco barked for attention. Jess flipped hers shut when she saw Molly’s face. “What happened? You look like you just lost your best friend.”

“I may have, I guess.”

“What are you talking about? What happened?” Sara slipped her phone into her bag.

“That was Donna on the phone.” Molly looked down at her hands and picked at an invisible hangnail, dreading what she had to tell them next.

When she didn’t speak right away, Sara raised her eyebrows and shrugged. “What did she say?”

Still not looking up, Molly said, “She offered me a job.”

“Hey, that’s great!” Jess grinned.

“And that doesn’t mean she’s not going to call us, too, right?” Sara asked hopefully. She looked at Jess. “Hey, maybe we should get home in case she does.”

Still smiling, Jess squinted at Molly. “No. Molly knows that Donna isn’t going to hire us. Right, Moll?”

Molly tried to hold back the tears about to spill over to her cheeks. She slowly shook her head. “She isn’t going to call you guys. Well, actually she probably already did leave a message for you to tell you that she isn’t going to hire you.”

“Why, though? Did she say why?” Sara looked like a little girl who’d just been told she wouldn’t be going to the zoo.

“She didn’t exactly say why, just that she hired me and Amber for evenings and weekends. I start on Monday.” Molly bit her fingernail. “Are you guys mad?”

“Mad? Of course not,” Jess said matter-of-factly. “In fact, I figured this is how it would go. Congratulations.”

Molly shielded her eyes from the sun and peered at Jess closely, waiting for a glimmer of jealousy. She seemed to mean what she said, but how could Molly be sure?

“Yeah, congrats.” Sara smiled, but the corners of her mouth quivered. She looked away, the disappointment evident in her dark eyes.

Molly slapped her jeans and got to her feet. “Look, I don’t have to take the job. It wasn’t my idea anyway, and it was something we wanted to do together. Why don’t I just turn it down?”

Sara’s eyes lit up for a second before they darkened again. “No. That wouldn’t make any sense.”

Jess shook her head right away. “No way! You’re taking the job. After all, we only really need one of us to get the discount. Sara and I will just have to figure out other ways to make money so we can use it.”

Molly laughed and exhaled deeply. “You’re always thinking, Jess. But I’m sure there are rules about the discount. We’ll have to wait and see.”

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.

Here's an excerpt of Making Waves:

She didn’t dare look back. She lost more of her lead with every single stroke. Had the water turned to mud? Kate’s arms had never felt so heavy before. Rather than glide across the surface, her hands landed with a resounding thud on the water like when she swung the mallet at one of those amusement park games.

The unthinkable happened. She felt a flutter on her calf—the dreaded touch of the swimmer behind her. Her stomach sank to the bottom of the pool. First she saw a pair of hands pulling through the water near her face. She tried to speed up—not a chance. She just couldn’t do it. The hands gave way to arms and then the top of a head. Who could be passing her? Ugh! It was Pam—a very smug-looking Pam. Kate knew she swam better than Pam—or did she? Maybe everyone had been wrong about her.

She’d failed. She didn’t want to talk to anyone or even show her face. She hurried through her shower and then rushed to her locker to try to get out of there before the other girls finished with theirs. She just wanted to go hide out in her classes until the afternoon practice. Maybe she’d even go home sick. She clipped her wet hair back without even combing it and shoved her things into her locker, but she didn’t make it out in time.

Pam and Brittany, wrapped in towels, turned the corner down the row they shared with Kate. They got dressed in deafening silence while Kate shoved things in her bag and slammed her locker door. Pam sighed and looked up at the ceiling for a moment. Then, she stared into Kate’s eyes and said, “Hey, Kate. It’s no big deal. We all have bad days. Don’t let it get you down.”

“Yeah, I have bad days all the time.” Brittany rubbed her hair with her towel.

“Listen. . .” Pam put her foot up on the bench and rubbed lotion on her leg while she talked. “I had a really hard time my second year on the team. I started to take my swimming more seriously, so I worked really hard. I was more tired all the time and my schoolwork started to suffer.” She grimaced at the memory. “My parents almost made me quit the team because I just trudged around, tired all the time.” She put her leg down and started on the other one. “Eventually, I just had to find a way to get the energy I needed to get through everything and still perform well.”

“Me too,” Brittany said. “I had my issues when I first started, too. Over time, after you find out what works for you, you settle into a routine and everything gets a little easier. You’ll figure it out.”

“That’s the thing. I don’t know what to do.” Kate plopped onto the bench, put her head in her hands, and blinked back the tears. “I feel so much pressure. My mom is pressuring me not to let anything slip. Coach is pressuring me to be the best. I’m pressuring myself to earn a scholarship.” She took a tissue from Pam and blew her nose. “All of those are good things, but sometimes it’s just too much when you put them all together—especially when I’m so tired.”

“Tell me about it! We all feel those stresses. . .or at least some of them.” Brittany slipped her arm around Kate’s shoulder as they left the locker room to head to their first-period classes. “I tell you what, meet us out here before practice this afternoon. We’ll share one of our secrets with you.”

“I’ll be here,” Kate promised. Maybe they did have the perfect solution—only one way to find out.

You can purchase Magna and Making Waves from CBD and Amazon:

Nicole is giving away a copy of Magna and Making Waves. To be entered in the book giveaways, leave a comment and check back on Tuesday, May 4th to see if you've won. You can enter twice--once on each post in this spotlight. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses. By clicking on the Amazon link above or in the sidebar, and purchasing, I will receive a very small percentage of the sale.


  1. These books are on my list for Christmas giving, I love to shop and look for special gifts through out the year. Hugs, Rita

  2. Anonymous9:13 PM

    thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous books by nicole :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  3. Thanks for the great posts, Patty!!!!

  4. Anonymous1:06 PM

    I would love a chance to read two of Nicole's books. Thanks, and a great interview!


  5. Anonymous1:06 PM

    Please enter me in the drawing! Magna and Making Waves sound really good, I'd love to read them.



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