Friday, October 13, 2017

New Blog, New Domain, New Plans

Hi, everyone!

Several months ago, I found out that the domain for this blog had expired and try as I might - I couldn't get it renewed. It was the sign I needed to officially say "this blog is done." It had a good run, but all things must come to an end, right?

I know I haven't even blogged here for a long time, but I am trying to get back into the blogging game again over at my new website Here I talk about what books I'm reading, my writing projects, and life in general!

I also know I've said a few times in the past I was starting over with a new blog but then it didn't pan out. Blah blah blah. But, I already have a few posts up and going over there, and I'm getting a posting schedule ready to go.

My goal is to have a blog published once a week - and maybe twice a week with some flash fiction for you all!

You also can follow me on Bloglovin:
Subscribe via email:
And all of my social media:
Facebook Page:
Twitter - @eehornburg
Personal Insagram- @eehornburg
Bookstagram- @coffee_book_love_

I hope to see you over there!

All my love,

Sunday, May 7, 2017


I can't remember the last time I actively prayed.

There. I said it. It's been something I feel I've had to say out loud for some time, but never had the courage to. Or, perhaps in this case, write it out loud.

Maybe here and there I have the frantic "God, the salt trucks haven't made it out to this highway yet so you better be sure I make it to my destination through these icy roads in one piece" prayer. But.. what Chicagoan hasn't?

Outside of the few church services I make it to these days, I never find myself praying. Even when I do find a rare Sunday morning when I don't have to work and I make it to worship, more often than not my eyes start to glaze over and my mind wanders during public prayers.

Yet, this started to happen long before my current work schedule came into place. I remember when I worked in the church, most Sunday mornings I glossed over the words of the liturgy. The prayers I led for the youth group became trite and compact. I knew the right words to say for the situation and that was that and then it was time to move onto the next thing on the agenda.

There was a time when this wasn't the case. Not to say I've ever had the most active "prayer life" as some would say. For years I attempted to have daily quiet times to myself to read and meditate. If my mind wandered as I drove my car I tried to move my focus into conversation with Jesus. When I was alone in my dorm room I took a stab at saying impromptu prayers out loud. None of these things stuck with me. At least I tried.

In fact, there were distinct moments I even remember hearing God. Maybe not an actual physical voice, but at least three times I heard God talking back.

Once, it was during a Bible study. I remember looking over at the guy I was currently pinning over. (And let's be real - the entirety of my non-existent love life has been me pointlessly pinning over some dude.) The word "wait" popped into my mind. I needed to wait. I can honestly say I did wait, and I still am. For who or what - I have no idea. But I know God still has me in this "waiting" stage.

Another time, it was over a period of several weeks when verses from the book of 1 John kept on appearing in my life. In chapel, in class, conversations with friends, etc. Over and over again I was being reminded of how I needed to love people. While, yes, it was everyone's calling to love one another. It was a specific calling to me and my life, and it was what God wanted me to do. I'm not sure how well I succeed in this, and I view it slightly differently now than I did back then. But, it's something I have taken to heart. Enough to even have the phrase from Les Miserables tattooed upon my arm "To love another person is to see the face of God."

A third, was when I sat at the church where I worship now, years ago, and I looked across the aisle to a friend of mine and the words "This is your church family" popped into my mind. It was strange, because this friend and I weren't necessarily all that close yet. We had the same circles of friends and spent time together, but we weren't quite friends with each other yet. Now, almost a decade later, I do see her as my church family. She's the one I seek out each Sunday morning and we sit in our little section. She's the one I go out to lunch with when worship is done. We talk and text through the week and miss one another when the other can't make it on Sunday morning.

So, I know there is communication with God, and he speaks to us sometimes.

Now, there is silence.

Part of me wants to say God and I have been giving each other the cold shoulder, but I don't think that's quite it. It's not like he and I had a big disagreement and decided to stop talking over a grudge.

It's more like two friends who have lost touch. Not because neither one cared. But because someone moved away, or started a new job, or began a relationship. You keep meaning to have that Skype call or that coffee date... but it never happens. Yet, you know the other one is still there, ready with open arms whenever you do have time.

Maybe that's a bad way of looking at a relationship with God... but there it is.

I know my salvation isn't based on how often I pray and go to church - so please save the Lutheran lecture of "by grace alone..."

I've been reading a lot of Lauren F Winners this year, and in her book Girl Meets God, this is the part of the relationship she would describe as "brushing your teeth next to each other." You're no longer fascinated with each other and every little move you make, finding everything exciting and new. It's that time when you go through your routine, and brush your teeth next to each other. We know all of each others stories (or think we do) so the day is filled with silence. You're both there, but it's not quite the same. Not good or bad, But there it is.

One of my closest friends is in the stage of her faith where she's falling in love with God. I hear her talking about how she's reading the Bible in a year for the first time, all of the things she's learning, what she's praying and thinking about, sharing with me the worship songs which have touched her heart. I love hearing her talk about these things, and it makes me miss the openness and wonder I used to have.

As I read Girl Meets God a couple of months ago, I came across this:

"I am not sure that I have the passion to fall in love with a religion again. How to fall in love is not, now, what I need to learn. What I need to learn, maybe what God wants me to learn, is the long grind after you've landed." 

As much as part of me wants to be back in that passionate love again, I read this quote and feel a resounding "yes... that is me."

Then, in the book written by her which I'm reading now, Still, she expresses how she had stopped praying as well.

"I can paint my walls with slogans about staying faithful to the spiritual disciplines, about formation and habits to carry you through, about how wonderful it is that we Episcopalians have this great incomparable liturgy that keeps us tethered to prayer when our own heart's awandering, but the simple truth is that when you don't know what you believe and you don't know where you are or you think you've been deluded or abandoned or you've glutted yourself with busyness and you are hiding from yourself or the day has just been too long - if that is who and how you are, prayer sounds like a barefoot hike from Asheville to Paris; it would be nice if you got there, you are sure there is a nice glass of wine and a nice slice of brie waiting for you at some cafe somewhere, but there is really no way you can imagine actually making the walk."

When I read the words of her books, I can imagine she and I being friends sitting down side by side, sharing our experiences and thoughts on faith. Neither of us truly having any answers or ways out of the rut we're in. But nodding our heads in agreement saying "yes, I know what you're talking about."

There's a certain camaraderie in simply understanding the questions and knowing someone else has gone through the same thing, even if they can't answer the questions. It is it's own special sort of comfort.

I'm not sure the purpose of writing all of this is. I think, I read about someone with whom I could relate when it came to this topic, and I wanted to share that "hey... this is me." Maybe someone else will be able to say the same thing.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas Cards

To the right of my desk, I have a cork board. Through the year I pin up different memories I've had. Movie ticket stubs, favorite photos, programs from the theatre, etc. In December I clear it off, place all of the items in a box labeled for that year, and then begin placing new items up on the board. I put all of the Christmas cards I've received on first, so I have them up all year around.

Since 2017 is brand new, the only things, other than a couple wedding save the date cards, I see are Christmas cards. Having them sent to me through the month always makes me smile, and reminds me that I have more friends than I realize sometimes. I love see their life updates and happy faces looking out at me as I work on my computer on whatever project I have going at the moment.

Then comes the guilt.

Every year I intend to send out Christmas cards. I can find a favorite picture from the year, mail it out to my friends, and give them a quick update on my life.

But what would I say? What picture would I send?

"Merry Christmas! My dog Bandit is one year older this year. Isn't he adorable?"

Which... he is adorable and I'm sure people would love to see pictures of him.

Or maybe I could say "Look at how many books I've read this year! Isn't it so impressive?"

Which... yes, my 124 books I've read this year is impressive. But really?

When I see photos of exciting vacations, new babies, weddings, and job offers... these updates seem a little less than impressive.

It's a classic case of comparing myself to others, and the more I think about it, the more I delay gathering cards and addresses and sending them out. Then more Christmas cards arrive in the mail and the whole cycle begins again.

For the last 12 months, we've all been lamenting at how awful 2016 has been. Politics, deaths, terrorism, 2016 has been a doosey. It's sucked.

The thing is though, is that I've sucked too.

This isn't a statement of low self esteem or anything like that. I'm awesome and I have the potential to be awesome.


My 2016 started with my breaking my knee. Which, compared to some of my other injuries, it really wasn't that bad. I was in a lot of pain the first night, but by the next day it was tolerable and I didn't fill my pain killer prescription. I didn't have to stay overnight at the hospital, and I didn't have to have surgery. Yes, being out of work and not bending my knee for two months wasn't fun, but all things considered things could have been a lot worse.

For those two months I read. And read. And read. And read. Makes sense, since I didn't have anything else to do and couldn't walk.

Then my knee was healed and I went back to work. But I didn't return to the real world.

Instead, I just kept reading. I avoided hanging out with friends, and dove further and further into myself and my fictional worlds.

Part of this was also working on my novel - which I'm proud of. I wrote and wrote and wrote. Then, I learned that there is such a thing as writing too much. Apparently, for debut authors, literary agents won't even look at manuscripts which are over 700 pages long.

Go figure.

And that was my 2016 in a nutshell.

Not to say that these are bad things, and I did have some wonderful moments. I saw Hamilton in Chicago. I met many of my other Internet book nerd friends at BookCon and YallFest. I also met some of my favorite authors. (Becky Albertalli who wrote Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda now follows me on twitter, which is kind of awesome.) I went to weddings and was able to celebrate with my friends and family with their big moments.

Then the Christmas cards come. And I notice that my body is acting weird and randomly losing weight for no apparent reason. And I see people I haven't spoken to in years. And friends from college die. And the holidays have this weird way of forcing you to reflect on the past year and your life and everything that's wrong with it.

For me personally, I sucked.

I did not reach my full potential for awesome. And there's a lot of potential there. I want to get that awesome back.

I'm not going to stop reading and writing - obviously. That would be tragic if I did.

But I also need to make room in my life for all of the other awesome things and people around me too. I want to actually accept invitations from people when they want to hang out. I want to pay attention to my body and what it's telling me and be sure I take care of it. I want to actually talk to my friends instead of only reading about their lives through a Facebook status or the once a year card or letter I get from them in the mail.

And maybe, just maybe, next year I'll actually send out those Christmas cards to show you all how much I love you too.

Happy 2017.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Moving On

Oh boy... it's been a long time hasn't it?

And... it will continue to be a long time. In fact, this might even be my last post here on this blog because I've decided to start a new one. The first post went up today. You can find it by clicking here.

I'm trying this new platform month by month to see how it goes. So, who knows? If I don't like it, I might find my way back here.

But for now, it's time for something new.

I won't be publishing my posts on Facebook, but I will be on Twitter and I want to try a regular posting schedule. Maybe every Tuesday? So, if you want to check it out, come by on Tuesdays and keep an eye out on my Twitter.

I love this blog, and it's been such a great experience. But somewhere down the line it turned into something I wasn't proud of. Then, I started YouTube and it took over my life a bit. Then, all of my writing energy went into my novel, which I will never apologize for. Right now, when it comes to writing, that is my number one priority. As time went on though, I started to miss blogging. While I love this site, something didn't feel right about coming back to it. So, we're trying this.

It's been lovely, and I hope I can see you all over at my new blog! (

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

AD 33 Review


You may or may not have noticed, I've been stepping back from doing book reviews lately. One, most of my book talks have been over on my YouTube channel. Two, I've found doing book reviews can be somewhat exhausting. For some reason or another, the books I tend to pick to review before their publication date have tended to fall flat for me. But, because I said I would have to finish a book I don't like.
do a review on the book, I have to finish it and write about it. whether I like it or not. I don't know about you, but I feel like reading should be fun, not a chore. Unless I'm reading for school, I shouldn't feel like I

Therefore, I've become much pickier about the books I agree to read in advance for a review.

Last year, I had read AD 30 by Ted Dekker. It ended up being one of my favorite books I had read in 2014. It was so good and I loved every moment of it. Ted Dekker is technically a Christian writer, but many of his books have gone "mainstream" because he's a Christian, but he's also a writer. He knows how to write compelling and exciting stories. Personally, those are hard to find in Christian novels. He's not afraid to tell a good story while also wrestling with heavy theological themes. If you want to read about AD 30, click here. 

When I was approached to join the blog tour for the sequel, AD 33, I was ridiculously excited. Of course I wanted to read about what happened next! So, without further ado, here is my review for AD 33.

Overview Without Spoilers

AD 33 takes place roughly two years after the first book ends. Maviah has gained a few thousand followers and has been called "Queen of the Outcasts" with the aid of Saba, her adopted son Talya, and her faithful followers. Yet, her growing power threatens the leaders around her and they challenge, her, her faith, and her family. Seeing guidance, Maviah and Saba set out in search of Yeshua (Jesus), right as he's about to enter Jerusalem for the last time.

Spoiler alert- Yeshua dies on the cross. Shocker, I know.

The Premise

The first section of this book rushed by. The last we saw Maviah, her lover Judah was in prison and she set out to become queen. When we enter this book, she suddenly has thousands of followers, her own council of sheiks, and Judah is still in prison. I don't want to give many spoilers, but let's just say a lot happens very quickly in the first hundreded (maybe less) pages and I felt a bit whiplashed. There wasn't time to process anything which had happened and I was sitll figuring out exactly what had happened in the last two years between the two books. I wanted to know how she had gained so much power and how she had met those who gave her council and get back into the world. Instead, I was thrown into the fire along with the characters and wasn't able to get my balance when all of the sudden major events happen and left me reeling. While, this could be exciting and fast-paced, to me it felt jarring. When you make big decisions with major characters, it's nice to have at least a small amount of time to recover before moving onto the next thing. I felt like it was "BIG PLOT TWIST" and then "Okay, get over it, moving on."

Once this was over though, the pacing was much better. Maviah spent much more time in the presence of Yeshua than she did in the previous book, as well as among his followers. She spent time in Bethany with Mary, Martha, and Lazaraus, and she was in the background during the events of Holy Week. (Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, Good Friday, etc.)

The chapters switched from Maviah's perspective to her son's a few times. I liked seeing the different perspectives, but it was jarrings because when we were with Maviah, it read in the first person point of view. When it went to Talya, it was in third person. I wish he had either stuck with first person and had headed each chapter with who was speaking, or had made it all third person.

The Characters

We definitely had more action with Saba in this book! When I was looking over my previous review for AD 30 I had noted I wanted more of Saba because he was an interesting character. Dekker definitely delivered in this installment. I think he could have gone deeper with Saba's character, but he was much more of a central figure in this book and it was awesome to see his character and faith develop.

We also go to know Maviah's adoped son, Tayla more in this book. He was only a boy, but you could see his maturity and he had visions which were really interesting.

Petra barely made an appearance, which I found disapointing. I loved Petra in the first book and when she popped up in this one, I was excited. Then, she was barely there. Maviah had one conversation with her and she showed up slightly at the end. Being such a beloved character (at least to me), the events at the end I feel would have been much more powerful if Petra had played a larger role.

In this book we got to know Mary, Martha, and Lazarus more. I loved that! While we did see some of Yeshua's disciples here and there, it was good to get ot know other Bibilical characters we've read about in Sunday school.

Theological Themes

What I love about Ted Dekker and his writing, is he is not afraid to tackle the big theological themes and questions. Most Christian novels I've read are pretty fluffy. They touch on the big questions, but don't dive into them much. They stay on the shallow end and sometimes dip their toes in deepr. Dekker takes the characaters and readers over to the deep end of the pool and does a cannonball. I'm talking the ideas of the Old and New Adam (which I had always found confusing), linking creation to the death and ressurection of Christ, what it means to die to yourself and to live in Christ, etc. These ideas and themes are talked about in other books, but Dekker truly dives into them and exploring the way a true theologian would in a way that translates for the reader.

The words of Yeshua are taken straight from scripture (he has the references for each chapter in the back of the book) and he weaves them into conversations naturally. At times it feels a bit preachy, but for the most part, it flows well. He then uses scripture to explain scripture and puts the pieces together. Sometimes the Bible can seem like it contradicits itself or is a strange puzzle we can't figure out. Dekker was able to show how it all works together.

I also appreciated how the characters would get confused on what the message of Yeshua truly was. We've all been there when we are at church or an event and everything makes sense in that moment. Then, the moment we walk away and are back in "the real world," we get confused and wonder "Wait... did he mean this, or this?" Maviah had so many moments when she remembered Yeshua's words, but the meaning became muddled.

Overall Thoughts

The pacing of AD 33 was a bit off for me. It felt rushed at times. I wanted to get to know the characters and get lost in the world, and Dekker rushed through those parts. While I understand needing to get through the story so you can get to where the focus needs to be, it also can throw the reader off and make them detatched from the story. Then, when big events happen, the emotional impact isn't quite as strong as it could be.

I loved getting to know Saba, Tayla,  and other characters more. They gave a new perspective on these Biblical events.

The theological themes and points were fantastic. I am always in awe of how Dekker is able to convey them in his writing.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed AD 33. It wasn't quite as good as the first book because of the pacing, but absolutely a great addition to this series.

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Release Day: October 6, 2015

You can purchase AD 33 via these links:

Barnes and Noble:

For more information about AD 33click here. 

To read about Ted Dekker and his journey to writing AD 33 (which is super interesting), click here

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

If You Say Pumpkin Spice Three Times...

Ah, the first day of fall. (Or Autumn, whichever word you prefer to use.)

While the pumpkin spice latte has been here for a couple of weeks now, today is the official start of fall. 

And I'll admit it, I'm your basic white girl when it comes to fall. 

Yes, I love pumpkin spice lattes (and the salted caramel mocha! Seriously, you could argue it's even better then the PSL), scarves, boots, hoodies, warm leggings, and crunchy leaves. This has become a bit of a trope in the blog world, and on the Internet in general. We white girls in the suburbs love fall. 

Poke fun at it all you want, but all things fall are my guilty/not guilty pleasure. And why shouldn't they be? 

This is all of the awesome fall brings to the world:

- The extreme heat is gone. I HATE long summers and extreme heat. Having a bit of summer is fine where the temperatures get really high and you can wear tank tops and hit the pool/lake/beach a couple of times. But after that, I'm done. Heat is uncomfortable, sticky, gross, and you can only take off so many pieces of clothing to make yourself feel relief. In the fall? Just throw on a sweater and you're good. It's awesome being able to step outside and feel a crisp breeze instead of choking on humidity. 

- The clothes. I always love the idea of spring and summer clothing. The light colors and flowy tank tops and such. But in reality? I just look better in fall clothing. Bring on the rich dark colors, blue jeans, and scarves. I can rock those. And don't even get me started on how much I love my boots. 

- Fall means all of the best holidays and seasons are coming! (At least here... sorry Australia and the rest of the southern hemisphere. Spring brings the best holidays and seasons for you!) You got Halloween, NaNoWriMo, Thanksgiving, NaNoWriMo, Christmas is just around the corner, NaNoWriMo...

- Food. Along with the awesome holidays and such, you get great food. (Other than the drinks at Starbucks.) Also, soup! I love me some soup. Yeah, I know, I can eat soup whenever I want. But, I always feel weird going to Panera Bread and ordering a hot soup when it's sunny and 95 degrees out in the middle of July. I just do. Maybe it's just me. IDK IDK. Besides, now all of the Halloween candy is out. Who doesn't love Halloween candy? And since I'm an adult, I can go and buy some bags and Mom can't tell me I have to save it for Halloween. 

- Fall TV shows! Need I say more?

So, yeah. I love me some fall, and I don't even feel bad about it. Tease me, call me basic, and make all of the memes you want. (Because they're true.) I don't mind! I'll just be over here, drinking my Starbucks, searching for Halloween/vampire themed things, wearing a scarf, pretending this is me:

Friday, September 4, 2015

Speak Up! | You Gotta Werk

It's the first Friday of the month, which  means it's time to link up with Amber and Annie for Speak Up! (Click on their names to watch their videos and/or to link up too!) This month's topic: Work

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

As Enchanting as Harry Potter?

Recently on Facebook, I found this article about 15 Book as Enchanting as Harry Potter. Naturally, my curiosity got the better of me and I had to see which books they suggested. It was a good post and I wanted to share my thoughts. I've read some of the books on their list and I am going to share with you my opinions on said books and if they are as enchanting as Harry Potter as they claim.

For the record, nothing is as enchanting as Harry Potter, so let's just get that straight.

Just reference this very accurate meme.

I'll never get over you Harry Potter!

The first book they mentioned, I was so excited they put on the list because it is one of my all time favorites. I'm talking, Harry Potter is first, this one comes in a very close second.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This book -THIS BOOK- is so beautiful and lovely and enchanting and magical. This book gets me. Seriously, I read this book and in my head I'm all "YES. This is me."

But I do know it's a very different writing style and it's not everyone's cup of tea. But if you do read it, and you don't like it, just lie to me and say you did. That way I won't cry.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

In just that last few years I've become a fan of Gaiman. I wish I had started reading his books sooner because they are so wonderful and fantastic! However, American Gods is not the book I would have picked for this topic. Don't get me wrong - it's a great book! (In fact, I've heard rumors of it becoming a TV series.) I really enjoyed it. The books I'd pick for this topic though by him would have been Neverwhere (my fave), Stardust (so enchanting and quirky!), or The Graveyard Book (one of his middle grade books, but so wonderful!).

The Horse and His Boy by CS Lewis

Now, it's been awhile since I've read the entirety of The Chronicles of Narnia. But The Horse and His Boy? Really? From what I remember, this was my least favorite out of the series. So, let's just put all of The Chronicles of Narnia on this list, okay?

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

A classic! Granted, most people just know the movie, which is just fine because it's amazing and brilliant and hilarious. But the book is awesome too.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

I'm really glad this author is getting a shoutout! I really enjoyed this trilogy, and in fact, it's one of my sister's all time favorites. It's interesting, and dark, there's magic, and a girls boarding school. The same author is also working on a new series called The Diviners and the second comes out later this fall.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Okay, I haven't actually read this book yet. But I've heard nothing but good things and if you are a gamer this is the book for you.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This book - THIS BOOK YOU GUYS - is SO SO GOOD! This is one of my all time favorites by this author. I could read it over and over again.

It's the perfect book for the recovering Harry Potter fan. Or the fan who will never let go. Like myself. Or for people who live on the Internet and don't know how to interact with real humans. THIS BOOK UNDERSTANDS US. It's cute, funny, awkward, romantic, and touching. Also, Rainbow Rowell is coming out with a new book Carry On which is the fanfic the main character (Cath) in this book wrote. How awesome is that?

Also - were you a Draco/Harry shipper back in the day? Your time has come!

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Okay... another one I haven't actually read yet. But it's on my shelf and I plan on reading it soon! Also, I've heard it's awesome. Even people who typically don't enjoy mysteries have liked this book. So, I'm really excited to read it and see how the queen (JK Rowling) does in this other genre.

Some others I'd add to the list:

The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

I discovered it just in the past year and it's ruined my life in the best way possible and the fourth book is being released September 1. I want time to go faster so I can read it. I also tell people, while the first book is good, the others are even better. So, if the first one isn't your all time favorite, just keep going.

Also, I might have a girl crush on the main character Celeana Sardothian. There - I SAID IT.

The Paper Magician trilogy by Charlie N Holmberg

I also discovered this trilogy in the past year and fell in love! It's magical, there's a school, romance, scandal, adventure, and no love triangles. What more could you want in a trilogy?

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Urban fantasy at it's finest. Friends of mine who knew how much I loved fantasy recommended this series and I'm so glad they did! If you haven't read this series yet, get on it right now.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

It's retellings of fairytales in a futuristic dystopian society. But instead of Hunger Games or Divergent, think more Firefly. The final book is being released in November and I'm outrageously excited.

What are your thoughts? Have you read any of these books? Have you read the others on the list that I haven't? How do you think they stand up for us Harry Potter addicts who want more? Are there others you'd recommend?