~Help! I Need Answers! ~ Guest Nicole O’Dell

Today I’ve invited my friend and author, Nicole O’Dell to be my guest. 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 just released an amazing resource for girls…Girl Talk. Filled with questions your girl is asking, even if only in her head, she’ll find the answers she’s looking for!

Nicole…introduce us to “Girl Talk”!

Q: I recently lost a lot of weight and started high school at the same time. I’m getting all sorts of attention from boys, and I just don’t know what to do about it because it’s so new to me. I kind of like it. . .but I’m nervous. What should I do?

That’s a question I would have asked if I’d written to Girl Talk at the start of my freshman year of high school. But, I didn’t know to ask. I didn’t know I was facing a challenge. I simply reacted to things as I faced them. And I made mistakes. Many of them.

Each of us has a set of experiences and circumstances, some within our control, and some not, that shapes the way we look at choices, temptation, sin, peer pressure, and everything that comes up along the way. If we can help prepare girls before they find themselves staring peer pressure in the face, they’ll feel more equipped to stand strong. To say NO to whatever life throws at them.

Why girls?

Hmm. What is it about girls? That’s a great question. I guess I relate to them because I am one. But, more than that, I have an ache in my heart that wants to help ’em out. I’ve said it 1000 times, but I’ll say it 1000 more, I’m sure. It’s the memory of the poor choices I made as a teen, and the results of those choices, that motivates me to help today’s teenagers avoid those same mistakes.

And bad decisions are one thing, but there’s also the stuff girls deal with that they have no control over: divorce, abuse, loss, grief, i

  • llness, financial strain; those life-altering circumstances make it even more difficult for girls to stand against the pressure when all they want is friendship, acceptance, and love.

    It takes pro-active, intentional effort to make the necessary preparations to help teens combat peer pressure.

    That’s why my daughters and I started the Girl Talk Column on my blog. We wanted to give girls a place they could go with those tough questions about life. The column grew and the questions built up to the point when we, along with Barbour Publishing, decided to put 180 questions from readers and our answers into a book. But it’s not just any book–the vibrant, trendy format has a scrapbook-y feel as each page is full color with graphics galore. Take a look at the trailer to get a better feel for what it looks like:

    Girl Talk You Tube video

    What are some other questions covered in the book?

    We answer things dealing with sex, peer pressure, eating disorders, faith issues, and family concerns. A while back I asked my girls which were the toughest ones for them to answer. Here’s what they said:

    Natalie: This one time a girl wrote in to ask about sex. She said she was confused because she didn’t know if she’d actually had it or not. It was hard for me to answer because I definitely haven’t, and I didn’t really get how you could not be sure if you had or not. I kind of had to direct my answer to what I knew, and just wait to see what Mom answered. I definitely learned from that one!

    Emily: Hmm, the one that comes to mind can be found on page 72 in Girl Talk. It was about why God allows bad things to happen. Why doesn’t He just prevent them, since we know He can? UGH. That was a hard one. In fact, I still don’t know that I feel like that question can be answered good enough. I can’t wait to ask Him myself. . .well, I can wait. . .you know what I mean.

    So you can see the questions made us think, sent us digging in the Word, and took us to our knees. They were real concerns from real girls, so we took them all very seriously.

    If you’d like to win a copy of Girl Talk, signed by all three of us, just leave a comment here. Tweeting about this post and/or signing up for my Choices e-Zine/newsletter, will earn you a second or entry! Just leave a comment, letting us know you did!

    Remember, it’s all about choices!


    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.

    Emily is a straight-A fifth grader at Eastlawn School in Paxton, IL. She lives with her mom, stepdad, three sisters, and two broth- ers. Never found without her iPod, Emily loves to dance and sing. She’s a busy girl who enjoys swimming, skateboarding, and hanging out with friends. She’s active in her community and local church, and plans to be a teacher when she grows up.

    NatalieNatalie is an honor student in the eighth grade at PBL Middle School in Paxton, IL. The oldest daughter of six kids, Natalie is a very loving and hands-on big sister. She’s passionate about her walk with Christ, and almost as passionate about the game of volleyball. She holds first- chair clarinet in the school band and looks forward to high school marching band. At this point, Natalie aspires to a career in the culinary arts, but is open to other possibilities.



      1. Thanks for all you do to pour truth into our precious girls! It’s great to be on the “same team”! 🙂

    1. Nicole – I’m looking for a book to use for an after school ‘bible study’ for 9th graders. Do you think this would work or is there a study guide that accompanies this? Could we tackle 4-5 questions each week? It looks like great topics for some really great conversations. Thanks for your thoughts!

      1. Hi Chris, I’ll let Nicole answer on her book, but wanted to let you know that “His Revolutionary Love” would be perfect for that! I have an after school bible study with 5 9th graders each week and we are going through it. There is a free study guide here on my site, just click under “freebies”. It comes with 4 -5 questions each week for you to ask and the book has questions sprinkled through out the reading for the girls to do during the week. Hope this helps!

        1. thanks, Lynn! I’ll check it out!

        2. Hi Lynn!

          I will be leading a small group of Junior and Senior High girls summer and fall and need to find a few books for them to choose from. Would “His Revolutionary Love” be appropriate for this age group?

          Thank you!

          1. It is sure, Jennifer! Specifically, I wrote it for girls ages 13 – 18. You can find a sample chapter as well as the leadership guide free on my website. Just click on “freebies”. If you need more than 6 copies, just let me know. I would be happy to discount and sign them for you. Thanks for investing in girls’ lives!

      2. Yes, both are great options! Thanks for asking Chris. If you want to contact me at nicoleodell 6 @ gmail.com, I can set you up with a deal for a few copies. They’re also 4 for 3 on Amazon. But, yeah, the questions and answers would definitely be good conversation starters and each one has scripture. You can also see inside the book on Amazon, which will help you decide, I’m sure.

        Thanks, Chris!

        1. thanks ladies, I actually picked up a copy of each of the books at our local christian book store. I can’t wait to really get into them. I am thinking of doing one with 6-8th graders and then another group with 9th graders. My girls will be in 6th, 7th and 9th grade in the fall.
          We have just completed Appleseeds by Betty Huizenga at our elementary school. We had 27 girls voluntarily stay after school twice a month for the last 2 years. They were so sad to complete the book and asked us leaders if we could continue at the middle school in the fall. How can you say no to that??? God is so good!
          Thanks for your help and suggestions, I’ll let you both know what we decide to do 🙂


    2. I have 2 girls of my own and I am a Girls in Action leader at my church. I have found that they can really ask some difficult questions. I can’t wait to get the book.

      1. Bette, my heart gets so excited when I see women investing in girls. They need us!

      2. I get so excited, too! It’s such a vital ministry!! Thanks for commenting and supporting! 🙂

    3. Amy Robinette says:

      I currently teach high school and am taking classes to get my certification in Biblical counseling. This would be an excellent book to add to my library for my students and my own 12 year old daughter.

      1. It sure would! Thanks for investing in kids, Amy!

      2. Thanks, Amy! Let me know what you think. I’m sure you and your daughter will have lots to talk about! 🙂

    4. This looks like a great book. I have one very private teen daughter who is surrounded by four brothers. She would appreciate this book greatly.

      1. I’ve got one of those too Michelle! So thankful for resources like Nicole’s!

      2. In this house, it’s the boys who are outnumbered! My oldest son is off in the Air Force, so I only have one little three-year old boy surrounded by four girls and me! lol He’d pretty much glued to his daddy’s side. 🙂

        Thanks, Michelle!

    5. So grateful for resources like this! Thank you for sharing. Your wisdom and insight.

      1. Thanks for stopping by Lori! I hope you’ll be back as we become wise mothers raising wiser daughters!

    6. Lara's Laugh Lines says:

      ~>We <3 love Nicole O'Dell's fiction books at our house and we highly recommended our local library purchase them. Now, I look forward to adding "Girl Talk" to our resources! Thanks for sharing.

      P.S. "It takes pro-active, intentional effort to make the necessary preparations to help teens combat peer pressure." Love this quote in your post and will repost to my fb with a link back to your blog.

      1. Thanks Lara! What a great idea to recommend them at your library! I have even donated books to mine in the past….getting truth in the heart of our girls!

    7. I would love to win a copy of this!! We have 4 children and I am an assistant mentoring coordinator for a teen pregnancy/parenting program in my area. This would come in so handy at home and for the program!! Thanks for the chance to win and more importantly for picking up and standing up to help guide teens when they need it the most.

      1. Thank you so much for investing in teen girls, Christy! I hope you will join both Nicole and I as a regular part of our “mom” communities!

    8. Tamica Reynolds says:

      It’s good to see more positive, honest christian books out there for young girls. Times have changed for our young people and it’s scary when some of them will not talk or ask questions. The one thing I have learned is that no one is alone when it comes to the issues of life. There is always someone else who has been there or is currently going through it. As women and young girls we go through and often keep it to ourselves which is what the devil wants us to do. We need to speak out and give our testimonies but make sure that we give wise answers and not a bunch of foolishness (rather they want to hear it at the time or not it will register at some point so just plant the seed and God will do the rest). Every young girl and woman needs help and needs to hear your testimony it all counts. We now need a christian girls magazine that has fashion tips, Appropriate outfits and where to buy them that’s affordable.

      1. Tamica Reynolds says:

        I also was leaving the above comment to win a copy of your book.

      2. Thank you Tamica! I appreciate your thoughts and totally agree! Nothing new under the sun. 🙂

        And Lynn mentioned Susie magazine–great resource. In fact, they’re in the middle of a campaign to get on the shelves at Walmart–they’ve beat out 4000 other products already. If you’re so inclined, you can vote here: http://www.getontheshelf.com/product/4959/SUSIE-Magazine

        Thanks for coming by!

    9. Jackie Guadagnolo says:

      I would love to win this book! I have a 5th grade daughter and some questions that I thought would come later–are coming now!!! It’s so sad our children (yes, they ARE still children) are seeing and hearing things that many of us didn’t experience until high school or after. God bless you for your heart and sharing your thoughts. You DO make a difference!!

    10. Ooh! Love this…3 of my 7 kiddos are girls…would LOVE to have this great resource! 🙂

    11. Susan Hitt says:

      My daughter who is 13 is the oldest of her 4 brothers. I would like to win this book so I can also begin to walk the journey of young adulthood with her.

    12. I am looking for ways to be able to answer these questions as my own daughter is moving into preteen, age 8. She is experiencing peer pressure already and learning how to handle new friend issues. So thanks for the great resource.

      1. It’s amazing how early it hits. This is a good resource because it’s relevant and they don’t feel bombarded by you just bringing things up to them out of the blue.


    13. Thanks so much for what you do for these young girls. I would love to win this. Unfortunately, the one girl (my 19 year old step-daughter)among five boys that was in the family, we lost to leukemia in Sept 2010. So I would either hold onto it for her now 2 year old daughter (even though things will change a lot by the time she is old enough for it). Or donate it to our church’s youth group(which has many a young lady that we have “adopted” into our family).

    14. This sounds like a great book to get—I have an 11 yr old girl. In today’s society they are growing up way too fast just from what they learn from their peers. This sounds like a great resource.

    15. I would love to win you book. We’re raising a granddaughter, age 12 now. Help!

    16. I’m looking forward to reading and learning with my daughter. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

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