Monday, July 01, 2013


The Amazing Chris Eldin
This morning, I woke up to an alert on facebook – one of my writing friends (the awesome Stephen Parrish) tagged me in a post to alert me to the following articleIt hit me so hard, it literally knocked the wind out of me. I had to walk away from the computer before I could finish the short article. I absolutely could not stomach the comments.

Chris deserved a tribute - prose and poetry, and something outlandish, because that’s what she would have done for anyone else. And the article was just some little news story, by someone who didn’t know her, had no idea how many lives she touched or who she was… it was printed at the time of her death – almost a year ago. THAT realization might have hit me even harder than the news. We didn’t know. I think many thought the same thing I did – she was on a social media break and would come bursting back into the blog-o-sphere with some new jolt of energy, rallying the troops or just adopting some new persona to amuse the masses.

I first met Chris Eldin at her early blog, A Bench Press , and all around the blog-o-sphere on different publishing sites. Later, she was the driving force of Book Roast. Then she moved on to her own site, Chris Eldin.

There was a tribute to her after Blog Roast was retired that Shona Snowden was kind enough to link on facebook, and I’ll include here - The Last RoastReading through the lovely comments from friends and admirers is probably the best way to show you who she was.

I first met Chris when she was using the blog name, Church Lady. She was witty and energetic and amazing. If her personality didn’t win you over, you were daft. But her writing, well, that was probably even more amazing. I fully expected to see her published. I’m usually not wrong about that, either. We chatted on a lot of different blogs and boards, because we were both working on middle grade fiction and our circles all seemed to intersect. But honestly, as much as I adored her, I only knew the writer. We talked fiction and even when we did email, it was always about doing some bit of marketing or blog tours for a new author, or some new contest running around the writing circle.

She was tireless in her efforts to help new authors succeed and market their work, without pay or for any motivation other than maybe being driven to clear the path. She was an innovator in every sense of the word. Some writers have mentioned getting together to do something in tribute. If you’re stopping by here and are in the process of organizing anything, please let me know.

Chris, if you’re still checking your blog feeds, I hope you’ve found peace, and light, and love. And I hope you can feel it with every essence of your being.

You are and will be missed.



Sandra Cormier said...

This is shocking and sad. I also met Chris through her earlier blogs, and several other sites. She even let me read an early draft of one of her children's books.

I had tried to locate Chris during the past year, wondering why she had dropped out of sight. My heart goes out to her family.

Sarah Hina said...

Thanks for this, Merry.

I think we're all stunned and heartsick today.

ORION said...

I too was entranced by the Church Lady...I will try to marshal my thoughts together. And yes, knowing it happened nearly a year ago.Too, too sad...

Shona Snowden said...

Lovely tribute, Merry, thank you.

Peter Dudley said...

As Shona said, this is a lovely tribute, and you are so right about her energy and giving nature and positivity online.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi everyone.

It's oddly soothing to see so many of the old blog circle back on one thread again.

It's amazing how much you can miss the camaraderie that sprung up around our chosen profession and not so static web pages.

Sigh... I don't know what else to say today. I think I'm relatively spent. But I love you all for every step of your journey you've let me share... and every step of mine you've accompanied me on.

Precie said...


You said so much of what I'm thinking.

Thank you.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Precie,

Missed seeing you in blog land. Thank you for stopping in.

JaneyV said...

Well said Merry x

Sarah Laurenson said...

Shocking, sad, senseless, tragic. There are no adequate words, but each of these that I read helps. Thank you, Merry!

Myra King said...

Merry, I've just gone from laughing out loud (your comment on a J Reid post)"I was actually thinking much the same thing... with visions of agents cursing their slush piles, muttering, "I'll get you Janet Reid... and your little blog too...", to tears - after looking you up and reading about Chris Eldin on here. So, so sad. This tribute makes me wish I knew her.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Myra,

Janet Reid is one of my favorite blogging agents... only wish I wrote in her genres... I like her so much I'm tempted to switch to crime... writing, I mean, not actual crime...

Chris was a one of a kind. I really wish she could have known how loved she was. The Lascaux Review is putting together a prize in her honor. I'm sure her name will live on. Thanks for following the link and stopping in... my posts are usually far less melancholy.

Tyhitia Green said...

OMG! Merry, I just looked around a few blogs because I haven't blogged in soooo long. I'm getting back into it.

I just came across this post. What happened to Chris? I had no idea. Wow. I'm just stunned.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Tyhitia,

How have you been doing?

I think the saddest thing was that we all found out about Chris a full year after it happened. She'd dropped out of the blogging and online communities, but most of us had done that at one time or another... most of our blogs have gone silent for long stretches.

Phoenix Sullivan put together an ebook for her friends to download, it includes Chris' work and some tributes that were donated.

You can get it here:

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