Armchair BEA – Day 1: Introductions and Literature

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Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?

Melissa here, blogging from Pittsburgh, PA!  I joined Every Free Chance almost two years ago — not long after I decided to take a break from my career as a Behavior Analyst  to stay home with my son.  Turns out that silly undergraduate degree in English actually *did* help me get a job as a writer (see, Dad?).

Chrissy here, also blogging from Pittsburgh! I started Every Free Chance in October 2011. I love to read and I wanted to do something other than practice family law. Now, almost three years later, EFC is growing and I formed EFC Services, LLC–a freelance proofreading and editing service.

What genre do you read the most? I love to read because ___________________ .

Melissa: I’m a sucker for dystopian stuff – I can’t get enough of it!  I’m also a big, big fan of fantasy.  Hmm . . . I wonder if Dystopian Fantasy is a thing . . .  “Big Brother is watching you cast that spell!”  Oh, man.  That would be awesome!

There are so many reasons I love reading:  I love the patterns in language, the grammar, the way writers can twist and bend words to make them say what they want.  I love to analyze how writers interpret language, to discover their particular quirks, and to let them lead me through their stories they way THEY want them to be told.  Books are tangible proof that we are fighting entropy and we are winning:  writing is a beautiful way to organize the world.

Chrissy: I read chick lit the most. I love happy endings, romance, humor. But that is not all that I read; I also read a lot of YA and general fiction, MG and fantasy.

I love to read because it is an escape. Reading allows me to enter a new world. It amazes me that a book can make you feel so many different emotions. I love it when I am reading a book, and I get so caught up in it that I forget where I am and what I’m doing. I also love it when a book makes me react out loud regardless of where I’m at or what I’m doing.

What does your favorite/ideal reading space look like? (Pinterest encouraged!)

Melissa: No Pinterest necessary!  I love to snuggle into the corner of my couch with the wedding blanket my mom made, a cup of tea or a glass of wine, and my two-year-old snuggling next to me.  He isn’t much for sitting still, but I can’t help but take a break from my own book when he climbs into my lap and tosses a book at me: “Read it Momma, please please please?”

Chrissy: I’m with Melissa on this one, I love to read in my chair with a cup of coffee or glass of wine and have my kids snuggling with me. It’s a great way to enjoy a book and time with the kids. As for an ideal, awesome space, these would be pretty cool:

home libraryreading nook

Share your favorite book or reading related quote.

Melissa: “I like things to be story shaped.”  -Neil Gaiman

What book would you love to see as a movie?

Melissa: I just finished a book called Fury: The Cure #1 by Charlotte McConaghy that would translate well; it’s got enough action and passion to keep watchers interested, and there’s just the right amount of plot for a killer Summer Blockbuster.

Chrissy: I’m not sure, but I would love it if they would re-film the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort and make it exactly as it appears in the book. I think it would be so much more powerful.




 What do you think of when you think of literature? Classics, contemporary, genre, or something else entirely? We are leaving this one up to you to come up with and share the literature that you want to chat about the most. Feel free to share a list of your favorites, break down your favorite genre, feature your favorite authors, and be creative about all things literature in general. 

Literature is writing that uses words as an art form – not just a means of communication.  It’s using alliteration and rhythm and hyperbole and semicolons and turning them into a seamless, cohesive text.  It’s the label we use for that thing people create when they combine imagination and know-how using words.





  1. That Gaiman quote is perfect. Even I’d love a true-to-the-book version of the Harry-Voldemort showdown at the end, why they thought changing it would improve it, I’ll never know..

    • I’m with you, Priya! I know it’s been a few years, but I am still disappointed with that part of the movie. Every time I watch it, I just shake my head and go on about how they ruined that part. 😉

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I had no idea you were both from Pittsburgh, PA! I live in a little town in Belmont County, Ohio…Pittsburgh is the closest city to me. =) We will be going to Kennywood in June. Howdy neighbor!

    Great BEA intro post…I feel like I learned a lot about both of you!

    Here’s my intro post: Armchair BEA Introduction 2014. I hope you’ll check it out!

    • Hi Neighbor! Have fun at Kennywood! I haven’t been there for a few years. I’m going to have to take the kids soon.

      Thanks for stopping by! I will be sure to check out your introduction post as well. =)

  3. thebookdate says:

    I enjoyed the Neil Gaimon book quote. Thanks for sharing it. Love the pics of the reading nooks. I wish!!
    Enjoy Armchair BEA

  4. Great intro, Melissa and Chrissy! I love your definition of literature, and I enjoyed what you both wrote about your reasons for reading. I’m also a lover of language, and any book that can suck me in emotionally and wrap itself around me (grab me by the nosehair, I often say), is a winner in my book. Happy Armchair BEAing! I’m cheering for Team 5 and hope to see both of you again later in the week! 😀

    • Thanks! Have fun cheering! (Are we on Team 5?) I love all books that suck me completely. Those are my favorites — genre doesn’t matter, it’s how they grab me. 😉 Hope to see you again this week, Andi!

    • Melissa here… just wanted to *double like* the whole “nosehair” thing… LOVE IT!

  5. It’s great to meet you both! Melissa, I love what you said about writing being a way to organize the world. That resonates with me. I’d be lost without reading and my own writing.

  6. It’s lovely to meet you both via ABEA this year. I must say, your blog is absolutely gorgeous!!

  7. Those reading places *sigh* I really want to have my own place like that! I’m a huge fan of fantasy and I like Dystopian too. It’s always hard for me to pick a favorite genre, since I read such a variation of genres.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy – Introduction

  8. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says:

    Oohh..I LOVE that round library! Thanks for posting!

    Visit my blog at Emerald City Book Review 

  9. That under the shelf reading nook is amazing! Have a fun week!

  10. The under the shelf one looks perfect for kids. So cozy.

  11. Great getting to know more about you ladies! And for the record, Chrissy, I pinned that space in lavender myself a long time ago… shows we have similar tastes in booknooks. 🙂

  12. Your blog is uber cute. I love the colors. That round library room is amazing! It is a pleasure to meet another co-blogging team.

  13. I am a massive fantasy fan, but Dystopian Fantasy sounds like a genre waiting to be invented! Reading is definitely an escape for me as well, which I think is partially why I love fantasy so much. Authors just manage to create such beautiful worlds through words and whenever I get a new book I can’t wait to jump into it! I hope you enjoy ABEA and that we’ll run into each other again during this week!
    My BEA Intro

  14. So…showed that reading nook to the hubby who is also a carpenter. It has possibilities for the church we are living in and renovating so I say THANKS you two 🙂 Hope you enjoy #armchairbea and Melissa…love the way you think Dystopian Fantasy!

  15. Ooh Pittsburgh! I have family in PA and visited Pittsburgh a few times. I love those reading nooks you shared. I would love to have a place like that to read in but instead I settle for fighting my dogs for a small corner of my couch.

  16. Hallo, Hallo Melissa & Chrissy!!

    *waves hallo!* from Team4 of the #cheerREADER team of #ArmChairBEA!! 🙂 I do apologise that I had a late start tonight in visiting all the lovely blogs I was assigned to stop-by! I find it incredible that your both from Pittsburgh and your both blogging together! 🙂 You each have a wonderful range of what you enjoy reading & I must say, the Dystopia side of literature is the hardest for me to break into and find my niche! I want to enjoy it more than I do, but at the same time I am not into anything too dark, depressing, or gutting! I realise it is one of the most favourite genres right now, but I did to lean towards the other genres being mentioned such as: Romance & YA! Even though the YA stories I tend to gravitate towards are not the ones that are generally the ones that are spoken about the most! Laughs.

    I do agree that the beauty about the choice of stories to read is such a diverse lot of options, we can each find something that we enjoy! I too, enjoy watching see how each writer decides to express their own individual story without always relaying on what is expected. For instance, for me that would be “To Live Forever: An Afterlife Adventure of Meriwether Lewis” or “Inscription”, which were two Indie novels I read recently that took me to a realm I had not expected and gave me a story that took me on a journey!

    The fact you’re both always curious and always seeking stories that take you on an adventure is definitely something to celebrate! 🙂

    Jorie’s #ArmChairBEA Intro

    • *waves hello* Thanks for stopping by, Jorie! We’re glad you could make it. 🙂 Not only are Melissa and I co-bloggers, but we are sisters-in-law. Belinda, our other reviewer here at EFC, is also from the Pittsburgh area. We have a blast. (At least, I do! LOL)

  17. Dystopian Fantasy should so be a thing! I would read it.


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