Friday, April 2, 2010

Rodeo Sweetheart

So, I'm back! *cue cheering, clapping, and general excitement*

Today I'd like to introduce you to someone. Her name is Betsy St. Amant.

Isn't she gorgeous?

Betsy  lives in Louisiana and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. She is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. Betsy has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly contributes articles to She is a wife, author, new mother and an avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing her newest book, Rodeo Sweetheart, which released yesterday.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I received this book. I love reading and love any opportunity I get to read, but you don't always get what you bargained for...I read this book over the weekend that I received it and loved it. Sam felt real to me... she's not perfect, but she tries to follow God's will for her life. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but suffice it to say that this book is definitely one you should pick up and read. The main character's real, the story's good, and it has to do with animals and the great outdoors... so it's a perfect pick for a spring read! You can order a copy from Amazon, Borders, or CBD.

Until the next adventure (or rodeo),

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ahh, spring break...

(picture taken at college, February '10)

Well, hey there kids. Once again, I'm back to assure you that I am indeed alive. I promise, one of these days I'll remember to swing by here on a more regular basis.

Today is the beginning of spring break. I hadn't even realized how worn out I was from the last 2 1/2 months until I woke up Saturday morning... and just wanted to sleep all day. I really wasn't even looking forward to spring break until I woke up that day and realized that I had a whole entire week all to myself with nothing to do... no studying for chemistry tests or writing history papers... no homework to worry about... n.o.t.h.i.n.g. Talk about some major singing of the Hallelujah chorus... all in my head, of course.

So this week, I'm planning on sleeping in every single day, cleaning my desk up, catching up on geometry and writing an economics paper that's long overdue, working on photos, reading some books, watching movies, hanging out with friends, and being a general bum. I mean, hey, I only get this one week until the beginning of summer. That's a long time. I'm gonna make the most out of this week... or at least plan to.

It's funny how I plan things... For instance - I watched three movies this afternoon and evening and then planned on going to bed... well, here it is at 3:31 a.m. on my first day of spring break, and my 4 billion decisions in the past 3 weeks and months to go to bed earlier are not working... obviously. So here I am in my sister's green pullover, working on freewrites, a new story idea, writing a blog post, and convincing myself I should go to bed since I have a friend coming over to spend the night tomorrow night. For some reason, most of my planning is quite faulty and I  hardly follow through with it. I'm still currently on a quest to find why this is...

So now I'm left wondering... why do I do this to myself? I mean, sheesh, it's almost 4 a.m. If I'd actually go to bed before midnight, I'd get so much more sleep and my days would be so much prettier... but anywho.

Until my next late night...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I ♥ Music

So on top of college exam week being over and making all A's, several new things musically have come up.

I really wanted to talk about this a few months ago but felt it better to wait. I'm glad I did. One of the main reasons I started going to the BCM was because of a series of emails I got from the BCM director. He was looking for a new worship leader. I was reluctant to step up because I figured there were much more talented kids (actually, I knew for certain there were much more talented kids there). But after the third email, I replied back and told him I'd be willing to play guitar, but that when it came to leading worship, I wasn't going to be able to do that. Mom and I discussed this, and in light of the fact that God has been calling me to really step out in faith lately and that that includes FULLY stepping into my calling, I emailed Damon back and said, "Hey, alright, I'll lead worship too if you still need it." So we got to talking about it. And while I'm not actually going to be leading worship here at the BCM for this semester, I will be on an outreach team that leads worship at different Baptist churches and events in the area. I can not tell you how excited I am about this... I love music, I love the idea of getting to lead worship, and I love that I get to spend my life working with music. I mean, how much better can it get? :] Needless to say, I've been playing guitar a lot more lately. My desk is quickly becoming a storage place for worship music. And I'm working on the singing and playing in front of people... but just keep praying that I relax about that. :]

There's still a bigger thing regarding music education/preparation that I'm still waiting for an answer on. I'm certain that there will be a day that I get to talk to you about it, but for now I have to wait. And this waiting sometimes discourages me... Earlier this week, I was talking with my mom and had decided that I was going to apply to a college that I had once told both my parents that I would NEVER attend because I didn't like it. I read up on it and had been praying that if God wanted me to go there that He'd make my heart soft and accepting towards the college... and as I looked at their website, I thought, "Hey, I could do this... it's a good college, full of friendly people, good academics, and I could also have fun here." So, I thought, "Okay, maybe I should just apply." I talked to Mom, and once again, she reminded me that God had asked me to step out in faith and that He had given me these dreams. So, right now, even though I get frustrated sometimes with this wait and all the uncertainty about my future and what will happen, I know I can be secure in the fact that God knows EXACTLY what He's doing, even when it doesn't make sense to me.

And to top all of this off, I found out that Tenth Avenue North is coming out with a new cd. In case you haven't listened to them, their biggest songs are "By Your Side", "Love Is Here", and "Hold My Heart". Another favorite of mine (probably my ABSOLUTE favorite from them) is "Beloved". Both the original and acoustic versions are so intricately beautiful. And the rest of their songs are fantastic worship songs... seriously amazing. I can not WAIT to get my hands on that cd. :]

So tell me, what's something in your life that you've had to wait for with a very rewarding result?

Until the next adventure,
Audra E.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Well, hey there. I'm back, much sooner than normal! :]

Since I'm here at the BCM and have some time on my hands, I figured I'd clue you in on the BCM, which has pretty much become one of the top three places you can currently find me - 1 being home, 2 being college, and you can guess what number 3 is. :]

BCM stands for Baptist Collegiate Ministry. However, if you're like my mom, you'll probably call it the Baptist Student Union no matter how many times your 16 year old daughter tells you differently. :] I'm normally here four out of the five school days, and I'm thinking about just driving in on my off days just to hang out and have a different place to do schoolwork.

I'm going to be really sad to leave come May... I've only been here 3 or 4 weeks and already love being here. Of course, it hasn't all been smooth sailing... my first time here, I felt like a little fish in a very big pond. I knew nothing about the building, hardly anything about the BCM, and no one I knew was there. So... I became a little nerd and spent most of my time in the library for my first few visists, just listening and observing. I finally got up the nerve to wander around the building, because you know... everybody else did, so I figured I was welcome to as well. Now I feel like I have a grip on things here and feel comfortable enough with my surroundings to open up a little more. I'm excited to see what will happen here in the next few weeks.

Well, I think most of the guys are in the back playing Halo, and there are only two or three of us here in the front... so while it's quiet and there aren't kids running around, screaming, and playing ping-pong (which is QUITE HILARIOUS, I must say. I got SOO many laughs just watching my first few times here...), I'm going to go study some chemistry since I have class tonight and my first exam next Monday.

What's something new in your life that you're excited about?

Until the next adventure,

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yes, I'm Alive!

I am so bad about posting on here. My apologies.

Anyway, the college semester started back. I'm taking American History II and Basic Chemistry. History is fine; chemistry... well, let's just say that I need to work on the conversion factors a little bit. Two weeks in, and I'm already preparing for the first exams of the semester. Yuck.

I've continued to work on ML, though I need to get a little more focused with it...

On the music front, things seem to be opening up left and right. However, it doesn't mean that I'll necessarily get these opportunities. As much as I'd love to, it's not guaranteed... but if they work out, I will most definitely be posting about them here. :]

I'm currently reading A Stray Drop of Blood by Roseanna M. White. I haven't been able to get very far in it because of my schedule, but I'm looking forward to time to read it. I'm also finishing up Set Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy (who also co-wrote with her husband Letting God Write Your Love Story, a book that I love).

Well, now I'm off to practice piano for a few minutes before I pack up and leave the house (again!).

I'm telling you, life is crazy... but it's good. :]

Audra E.

P.S. I've stopped the "with a chance of" post titles because they're so hard to come up with... though I may use them from time to time. But for every post, it's a little bit of a hassle.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snowy With a Chance of Micaela

it snowed!

I just needed to announce that in big letters... :)

So anyway, on top of the fabulous snow (we actually got over an inch and it's actually stuck around for more than a day... so it's pretty spectacular), I actually got back to working on my novel tonight. Micaela is the protagonist in this aforementioned work that is often simply referred to as Micaela or ML, which stands for the book's title (which I will choose to keep disclosed at this point...)

For those of you that don't know, I started working on it when I was 13. It was October of 2006, I think. The journey in writing it has been really long. Last summer, I spent three weeks at my grandparents and would spend 8-10 hours at a time down in their basement, writing, with practically no phsyical human contact. Finishing the second draft made me supremely happy, but I came home so burnt out (and truth be told, a little depressed), I just set the book aside. My mind felt so overloaded with this story, I was just having a hard time actually writing.

So, in the past three years of writing it, I've told quite a few people, from the girl that inspired the story, to my best friends, to my mom's best friend, to my piano teacher, and so on. When I first started writing, a lot of these people asked me questions about it and I let three of my best friends read it. So, the three of them were literally harassing me about it every time I saw them, so I wrote a lot. And then... everything just got really quiet. To be honest, I was happy with this. Being asked the same question(s) over and over again got on my nerves. But lately, after a year of rest, it's like all of a sudden, people are asking questions again... and Emily, one of my best friends, came across the very first draft I had given her in her room the other day.

So, I've pretty much felt that I needed to get started on it again... Okay, seriously, I did feel that all the questions were a sign from God that I needed to get moving again and stop being so apathetic and whiny about writing it, but when Emily told me that she came across that draft... well, it also kinda scared me into action, because let me tell you... that first draft... I've read it a couple times...

It stinks.

So, I sat down at my sister's computer tonight and got to work... and it was hard at first. I usually write for 15 minutes, and then if I'm ready to quit, I quit. This way I don't overtax myself (like last summer), and I actually get something done. I spent the first hour on Facebook and chatting with (another) best friend. However, I did actually spend some time researching some ways I could plot and actually move forward with writing, and believe it or not... it actually helped. It sparked a bunch of ideas (some which I'm getting ready to work on), and within 30 minutes, I had my new and improved synopsis, as well as three or four different subplots.

So, now that I've given you the crash course on my journey in writing, what do you feel motivated to complete right now?

Over and out,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Crisp and Clear With a Chance of a New Year...

Just a quick note to say...


I am super excited about this new year and the things God has in store...
Can't wait to share the journey with you! :)

Much love,