Armchair BEA Introductions


Welcome to the first day of Armchair BEA. If you would like to know more about what exactly the Armchair BEA is and why it is you’ll be seeing it all over twitter and blogs over the next few days, then check out their site here. In the meantime, let me introduce you to myself…

Have you previously participated in Armchair BEA? What brought you back for another year? If you have not previously participated, what drew you to the event? 

Yes. This is my third year now, though my first year was last second and completely unofficial. I stumbled upon the Armchair BEA via my friend Girl-Who-Reads, and the posts she had up on her website. I enjoyed myself so much that the following year, I joined properly. So this is now my third year with the Armchair BEA, and I am looking forward to many more to come!

So here’s the why. It’s a great way to meet new people, see who else is in the blogging world, and generally have a good time. You might also learn a few things along the way, which is never a bad thing!

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


I am me, which doesn’t really tell you anything! I’m an author, lover of all things paranormal, dressmaker, and hat enthusiast. That is me in a nutshell. I’m a whole lot more complicated than that in real life, but the basics are easy enough.

I’ve been an author for about two years now, officially at least, and a lover of all things paranormal since my teens. My dressmaking came about because all the clothes I like are too expensive to buy so I learned how to make them, and hats are just pretty.

And now for the blogging, I blog because I have to. Apparently it is one of those things we authors have to do. Website, twitter, facebook page, blog… and half a dozen other things that I’m sure I’m forgetting. But having to blog and blogging are two different things these days. I started because I had to, but I stuck around because it’s fun.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.


I’m going to the gym. And that thought alone scares the hell out of me. See, the thing is I have always been big, and in recent years the doctors discovered that my thyroid is broken. Now, this isn’t something I let get me down, at all. I feel fantastic, most of the time, but recently I decided that I want to do more than I am doing. So I joined a gym. I have to go for twelve months, and I’m hoping the fact that I can’t stand wasting money will force me into actually going to the gym. So fingers crossed, and there’s something about me that most people don’t know!

Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location.


I am blogging from not-so-sunny England. I actually live in Hartlepool, but I’m not going to talk about that, because there isn’t really much here unless you like pirates. What I would like to talk about is Northumberland. It’s a wonderful place that is more hills and sheep than people, and it borders Scotland. I was up there recently for a holiday, and I took my laptop. This view is why:

The whole area looks like that. Hills and trees, ponds and streams, beaches and oceans. Stunning beauty everywhere you look. What more could you ask for? Except maybe a stable internet connection.

What are you currently reading, or what is your favourite book you have read so far in 2013? 


This year has seen me getting the last of the Sookie Stackhouse books, and that is my current reading list. However, this is one set of books I can’t wait to finish. You know that feeling you get when you’re reading a series and are so far through it you just have to finish? But it’s gone so far downhill that you’re not sure you really want to? Yeah, I’m getting that with this one. It is almost over, though.

The other books I have been reading this year are the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Lover at Last came out this year, and I devoured it. Worth the wait? For me, absolutely.

I’m also still reading short stories at quite a rate, so they will keep me going for a while!



Filed under Guest post, Michelle Birbeck

60 responses to “Armchair BEA Introductions

  1. Nice to “meet” you! This is my first year participating and I am SO excited! 🙂
    Thanks for stoppin by and saying hi! 🙂
    (BTW- Your picture freaked me out. I would DIE HAHAHA)

  2. Love the picture of the owl. I held one before and he was heavy! I also fed the fish, the cuties. I’m new to the BEA and it’s been fun so far. You are a veteran after 3 years. One day I would like to cross the pond and see England. But until then… cheerio!

  3. Thanks so much for stopping by my post yesterday! Nice to meet you 🙂
    Awesome that you’re a dressmaker 😀 I admire people who can do that, and I agree that hats are awesome ^^ I don’t own all that many but I love staring at them in shop windows or on markets.
    I’m about 2 books behind on both the Sookie Stackhouse and the Black Dagger books, but I really want to read Quinn and Blay’s book!!! And I’m really wondering why everyone got so mad about the Sookie ending :/ Staying away from spoilers though…
    I’m a new follower and look forward to reading more of your posts!

  4. I need to learn how to sew! My daughter (8) has a book of designs that she wants to make over the summer. I guess no better way to learn than just do! Congrats on the title ‘author’!

  5. Not so sunny England is still England and on my bucket list. I am a third year also. I am always so amazed by the people I meet, I just keep coming back.

  6. Let’s open the not-so-sunny-club, shall we? The weather is horrible here in Germany and if anyone ever mentions the word “beach read” to me one more time, I can’t guarantee for that person’ s safety 🙂 We definitely do not have beach weather here, either 🙂 Also, it’s my first time doing ABEA and I’m excited – hope you have a lot of fun, too, this week!

    • Welcome to Armchair BEA! It is also raining and horrible here today, but yesterday and the day before we had nice weather, so I think that’s our summer done!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Jessica

    Northumberland is one of the places I wanted to visit when I was living in Glasgow (did a postgrad degree at Glasgow Uni), but I was there in 2007 when the exchange rate between British Pounds and US Dollar made me cry so I didn’t travel very much. I understand about working out-a year ago I lost 40 pounds and worked out 5 days a week, but then for four months the scale didn’t move and went up so I just said screw it. I need to get back into it. I’ll be cheering you on!

    Have a great week participating in Armchair BEA. 🙂

    • I am hoping for some weight loss, but given that my thyroid is a bit buggered, I’m not expecting huge shifts. Still, it will be good to get out of the house for a bit every so often!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Hi! I love that picture with the owl!

    This is my 2nd year but I discovered Armchair BEA same as you, by stumbling upon it on another blog. I have yet to read the Black Dagger Brotherhood books but I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about them. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my post!

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  9. Oooh, a dressmaker… both my Nana and my Mom sew a lot of their clothes, but that gene and/or the interest somehow skipped me. Yet I totally admire people who can create such fabulous things from a pattern and some material.

    Yay England! I’ve been up north, but on the opposite side… spent most of the time in Maryport visiting with friends, in Carlisle, etc.

    • Carlisle is a great place to visit! I love my dressmaking. I don’t do it as often as I’d like but I have plans for lots of pretty things to be made this year!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Is that a picture of you with an owl or a hawk up in the top of the post? That is a gorgeous picture! And wow! those talons/claws/hooks – no matter which word you choose – those are huge!
    Happy ABEA week! Quite lovely to meet you and now I know where to go for short stories! Yay!

    • It is an owl. They were in York when I was there with my friend, and for the whopping sum of £3 we got to hold whichever one we chose, so I picked the big owl. In that pic it had just spread its wings and the tip brushed my face. They are amazingly soft!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Nice to “meet” you! I would love to visit Scotland someday. I have been to England three times but not too much outside of London (Salisbury, Stonehenge, Calais).

    Good luck with your gym membership – that’s a great goal to have! Enjoy the rest of Armchair BEA –

    Book By Book

    Big Book Summer Challenge

    • Thanks! Northumberland is a fantastic place! And Scotland is, too, but Scotland is a lot colder. Midsummer is a good time to go to Scotland as it hardly gets dark at all! Not quite the land of the midnight sun, but close!
      Thanks for stopping by.

  12. AH

    Welcome to Armchair BEA! I hope that you enjoy your time at the gym. Think of it as a great way to get in some audio book reads.

    AH@Badass Book Reviews.

    • Thanks! There won’t be any audio books though! One thing I can’t stand is listening to books. The words go in on ear and out the other so I never have any idea what’s happening. Plus I never thing they get the tone and intonation right when reading them. Much prefer print books!
      Thanks for popping by!

  13. I love that you make hats! For kicks I made my own large, Mad Hatter hat so I could be dressed as him for work & Halloween. So much fun! Tattooed Books

  14. Northumberland sounds beautiful! I wish the picture would load for me, but your description is lovely. But I’m with you – why can’t all the most beautiful places also have reliable internet? Ah well, at least being bookish we don’t *always* have to rely on the internet for entertainment. 😉

    Really looking forward to the rest of Armchair BEA this week! 😀

    • Very true! If you’ve got facebook there are a few more Northumberland pics on my facebook page (, they should be the last pics I posted.
      There was internet there, but it was so much slower than I’m used to, so it didn’t really do much more than check my emails.
      But yes, being booky means we get real books as well as digital ones!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Dressmaking is such a neat hobby! My mother used to sew me clothes when I was a kid, but I haven’t really had the patience to learn to do it well.

    Nice meeting you!

  16. I feel the exact same way you do with the Sookie books, I can’t wait to finish this series, I definitely won’t buy the book but check it out from the library instead. Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

    • yeah, I thought about doing that, but I own the rest of them and I’m a bit of a hoarder when it comes to books, also I got one of the recent ones for my birthday anyway. The library is a good idea though!
      Thanks for popping by!

  17. Hi, Michelle. Our paths have crossed before! Randomly choosing blogs to visit, I have already found someone else who is in England. I have a tendency to read a lot of other-than-USA authors. Perhaps I am reliving past lives?

  18. The gym can definitely be scary! But doing it for health reasons is always a good thing 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I hope you have fun this week!

  19. It’s so nice to meet you, Michelle! I actually lived in England for two years before moving to Canada. I lived in York which I absolutely loved. England is still one of my favorite places to visit. 🙂

  20. I’m so impressed that you sew your own clothes… I did a brief performing stint-type-thing, and I had to make my own costumes… disastrous! I can’t sew a straight line… Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. 🙂 Cheers–

    • I find it quite fun but I also get bored easy so I like to do things that are quick. it is fantastic though! I made a wonderful piece for a fancy dress party a couple of years ago that got lots of comments!
      Thanks for popping by!

  21. So nice to meet you, thanks for stopping by my blog,

  22. I love hats too! I wish I had more occasion to wear them.

  23. Great to meet you! I have never been to but hope to one day

  24. Well I’m certainly glad you stuck around because it’s fun! I’ve been blogging for 8 years, and while there are ups and downs to anything, I wouldn’t give it up for the world.

  25. I haven’t read the last few Sookie books, I hope you get some enjoyment from finishing the series!

  26. I just finished the final Sookie and I was pleased with the ending, despite the downturn the books had taken. I think you’ll be pleased once you catch up! 🙂

    • it is hard work catching up at the moment. I sort of know what happens (given that I’m a year behind and have a tumblr, spoilers are hard to avoid), but yeah, the books haven’t been as great lately.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  27. hello Michelle, sorry to hear about your health issues, I hope the exercise will help you. I’m not familiar at all with the genres you mention, but maybe one day! Congratulations for your publications! Keep it up!

  28. I think I stopped reading the Sookie books after about book four. I was trying to watch True Blood at the time and there was just too much discrepancy between the the books and the show. I couldn’t handle it. 😛 Nice to meet you. Lots of British bloggers around.

    • Yeah, there is a lot of difference between the series and the show. And the show is getting a bit… well, I’m surprised it didn’t get cancelled, but that’s just my opinion! I am hoping to finish the series soon though!

  29. Hi Michelle 🙂 It’s nice to ‘meet’ you! It’s my first time doing the Armchair BEA, and I am amazed so far. There are still so many blogs I didn’t know existed, and I love that we’re also sharing a genre every day.
    I look forward to getting to know you better.

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