I’m really pleased to welcome Nicole O’Dell, author of The Embittered Ruby which released on April 1st, back to Peeking Between the Pages. I’ve reviewed a few of Nicole’s books and had her here several times with guest posts. I really believe in what she does with teen girls and keeping our faith in God at all times. Even better I have to say that Nicole is the perfect guest. This post is done by her in it’s entirety except for the giveaway portion. She gets it all set up and all you have to do is cut and paste. What could be better! Without further delay, sit back, relax, and enjoy Nicole’s post entitled Edgy: Is it really necessary?…
I’ve been told my books are edgy. I suppose that’s true when the view is from the center of a church pew. Sadly, that’s not where the majority of teenagers, even Christian teens, are building their frame of reference. According to the view they have from their seats, the stories I tell are far from the edge. In fact, they’re smack-dab in the center of reality as those teenagers know it.
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.
In the three books in this series, a troubled teen is plucked out of the mire of poor choices and the consequences that resulted, and dropped into Diamond Estates, a Christian counseling residence for teen girls, where they seek truth and grace. The road to forgiveness–mainly accepting it for themselves–is a difficult one. But the light of Jesus shines the brightest against the backdrop of their despair.
Which is exactly what I want to teach confused, hurt, and angry teens about their own realities.
But why be edgy just for the sake of being edgy?
Oh, no. I would hope and pray that is never my motivation. Ever. There is no storyline, subplot, vignette, or scene in my books that isn’t there for a reason. And never is that reason pure and simple shock value. In fact, I have taken scenes or description out when I didn’t trust my own motives for putting them there. I am human, after all, and I sure don’t want to get in the way of what God’s doing with the work.
Okay, so what kind of edgy? What are we talking about here?
Well, in the first Diamond Estates book, The Wishing Pearl, Olivia dealt with off-screen sexual abuse by her step-father as she struggled to heal from the death of her dad years before. She turned to the wrong crowd, alcohol, and drugs in search of oblivion.
In this new release, The Embittered Ruby, Carmen Castillo faces the divorce of her parents that forces a relocation from upstate New York to a rougher part of New Jersey. She goes from country club tennis lessons to gang fights. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, Carmen becomes a master manipulator. Hey, if her parents can’t or won’t give her the family she needs, she can create it herself. Themes of teenage sexuality, divorce, gang activity, and lying are prevalent.
The Shadowed Onyx, 12/1/12, deals with occult activity and spiritual warfare as Joy Christianson tries to make sense of her best friend’s suicide.
So why are you trying to scare us out of buying this series for my teen?
I’m not trying to do that, really. You know, the things I mentioned above are part of the daily life of any teenager. They see these themes at work in those around them every minute of every day. What they might not see, however, are the consequences of those poor choices or the redemption that can only be found in Jesus. They see the sparkle of sin and the glamour of rebellion, but rarely do they realize what it’s like to hit bottom. . .until they do.
Maybe your daughter or her friends will read about these every-teens and decide not to go that path. Maybe as a result of reading these stories, they’ll decide to start their personal choices at the end of the book and skip all the pain along the way. Or if not your daughter, maybe she’ll read these stories and find inspiration to reach out to someone who needs to see truth against the backdrop of lies.
You see, I believe in facing the hard issues, talking about them before they actually arise, and making a plan to combat the peer pressure before it hits. Don’t be afraid of the issues, be afraid of what happens when you ignore them.
The Diamond Estates series might seem edgy, but it’s on the edge where the miracles happen.
The Wishing Pearl, book 1, available now
The Embittered Ruby, book 2, available now
The Shadowed Onyx, book 3, available 12/1/12
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.
I have one copy of The Embittered Ruby which released on April 1st by Nicole O’Dell to share with my readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry simply leave me a comment entering the giveaway.
- For 2 entries, follow my blog. If you already do, thank you, and please let me know so I can pass the extra entry on to you as well.
- For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway and spread the word!
This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Saturday, April 21/12. Good luck!