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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Laura J. On Heidi Betts

Hi there everyone,

Pimp BearLet me just say that I am so happy that Laura J. was able to stand in for Heidi today! I wanted to promo the release of Heidi's new book, but because she is so busy writing a new paranormal trilogy as well as some other books, Heidi regretfully didn't have the time to blog herself. She's having a hard enough time keeping up with her own regular blogging demands of Must Love Yarn and Mistress Heidi's Wips and Chains Dungeon.

*from somewhere off in the corner of the MLM set, the following can be heard*

“Hurry, they’re almost ready to start!”
[heavy footsteps moving into the room]
“Start what?”
[eyes roll] “I told you, Laura J. is blogging today at Moonlight, Lace & Mayhem about Heidi.”
“Heidi who?”
[more eye-rolling] “Heidi Betts. You know, our creator. The one without whom we wouldn’t exist.”
“Oh, her.” [frown] “I’m not sure I want to read a blog about her. She’s been a little too intrusive in our lives lately.”
[raised brow] “Oh, yeah? Might I remind you that without her interference, you wouldn’t be here right now.”
[slides next to her on sofa, throws arm around her shoulders before giving a huff] “I suppose. I just wish she wouldn’t be so nosy about what goes on in our bedroom.”
[an elbow in the ribs] “Hey, she’s the reason things are so hot in there. Remember the boas? Totally her idea.”
[reluctantly] “Oh. Yeah.”
“So will you hush up now and let Laura start already? She’s going to be talking about us and I want to hear this!”
“All right, all right.” [pause] “You still have those boas, right?”
“Uh-huh.”
“Know where they are?”
“Uh-huh.”
“Maybe we could get them out later.”
“Maybe.”
[longer pause]
“So how long is this thing supposed to take, anyway?”
“I don’t know. Let’s ask Laura…”


First let me see say thanks to Carrie for having me stand-in for Heidi today. Hopefully, I’ll be able to fill her shoes nicely or snap the whip accordingly, as the case may be.

Heidi BettsI met Heidi over a year ago. Well, “met” is not completely accurate since I haven’t actually met Heidi in person, although hopefully that will change—we’ve got tentative plans for the summer of 2010 ;-)—but I have chatted with her online through her WIPs and Chains blog. Cute title, huh? And it only took me about 6 months to figure out that “WIPs” was an abbreviation for “works-in-progress” not actual whips. (Although those can be fun, too. ;-))

[Yeah, I had a similar experience. I first discovered Heidi on Running With Quills and I was so intrigued that I wanted to check out her "Dungeon," but like Laura, I was confused and closed the site a few times thinking that I accidentally opened a porn site or that her site link had been jacked, but after the fourth or fifth try, I was brave enough to read on and found that the icon I saw was just Mistress Heidi.]

Mistress HeidiFrom the day I started visiting the The Dungeon (as WIPs and Chains is affectionately known), I was welcomed with open arms. Heidi clearly loves talking with her fans. Her posts are always so funny, even when she’s going through something traumatic (like surgery) her descriptions of what’s going on in her life are just so funny and entertaining. I started going to her blog every day because I was never sure what would show up there and I just had to know. I love when people can find humor in almost everything, and Heidi is one of those who can. If I am having a bad day, I can go to The Dungeon and know I’m going to come away feeling a little better. Especially on Funny Friday and Sexy Saturday.

[True. If you are feeling sick or off center, be sure to know that Mistress Heidi will "whip" you into shape in no time at all. Although her methods might be considered just "wrong," many of us know the value of good beefcake and have heard that laughter can be the best medicine, at least that's what Reader's Digest always said.]

Last summer, Heidi shared with those of us who visit The Dungeon that she had sold a three-book romantic comedy series to St. Martin’s Press. To say I was ecstatic is a huge understatement. I’m a very picky reader; I won’t read anything scary or suspenseful, but my favorite books and pretty much all I want to read are the romantic comedies. So now, I’m getting my favorite type of books from one of my favorite authors in the whole world!

Tangled Up In LoveThe first book in this “Chicks with Sticks” knitting (yes, knitting! Heidi has managed to make knitting very funny and very sexy! [and how!]) trilogy was Tangled Up in Love, which came out in February. In it, we met Veronica Chasen and Dylan Stone, two rival columnists who write for competing papers in Cleveland, Ohio. Veronica—Ronnie to her friends—is no fan of Dylan’s to begin with, but when he remarks that men are better than woman in certain areas, she takes great offense. Thus begins a series of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better challenges issued via their respective columns. Now it’s Ronnie’s turn to challenge Dylan again, and thanks to the friends in Ronnie’s Knit Wit knitting group, she decides to dare him to learn how to knit.

This story is so much fun that it had me laughing from the very first page. (It also caused my daughter to ask some weird questions and gain the nickname “B-Girl” in The Dungeon. But she has since learned to leave mommy’s books alone until she’s a bit older. She does though, still look for her Heidi’s books on the bookstore shelves.) Tangled Up in Love is also very sexy. You may very well need hand-knit oven mitts for this entire series, but I can promise you that it’s worth every one of the third-degree burns you might get. I mean, can you say “naked knitting?”

Love Me, Loves Me KnotThe second book in the “Chicks with Sticks” trilogy is Loves Me, Loves Me Knot, and is coming out next Tuesday, August 4th!!!! It features Jenna and Gage, whom we first met in Tangled Up in Love.

I have been chomping at the bit for this book ever since I finished Tangled Up in Love back in February, so it has been a very long wait. In this story, Jenna and Gage were once married but have gone though a bad divorce. Both of them were brooding or moping through the first book, and you could tell they still loved each other. You just knew they had to have their happily ever after, and thankfully Heidi has delivered. The fact that the hero and heroine are divorced when the book opens isn’t something you see in a lot of contemporary romances. You see a lot of rekindled romances but not rekindled marriages, and I like that Heidi veered off the usual path.

In Loves Me, Loves Me Knot, Jenna wants something from Gage, but she knows he won’t give it to her willingly, so she enlists the help of her knitting group and closest friends (Ronnie and Grace) to get it. Since I have not read this story yet, I can only guess what is going to happen based on the last book and a little teaser that Heidi shared on her blog this past week. (If you’d like a sneak peek, visit The Dungeon) I’m thinking it will be comparable to the antics of Lucy and Ethel (I Love Lucy) or that of Grace, Karen and Jack (Will & Grace), and that can only be a good thing.

Knock Me for a LoopBut even though I don’t yet know exactly what kind of entertainment Loves Me, Loves Me Knot will hold, I do know that come Tuesday morning, I will be at the bookstore as soon as it opens so I can get my hands on a copy. I’ll most likely have it read in 24 hours, and then I’ll be back to my moping and waiting for the third and final book in this super-sexy, super-funny trilogy, Knock Me for a Loop. (KMFL will be available in February 2010, and here’s a little hint . . . it’s Zack and Grace’s much-much-much-anticipated story!)

I’ll admit that when these books first came out, I was a bit nervous about whether or not they would live up to what I’d built in my head that they would be FABULOUS. It really bothers me when I get really, really excited about a book and then discover while reading that it’s not what I expected. Not that I didn’t like it, it just didn’t keep up the excitement that I built before reading it. With Heidi’s romantic comedies, though, I recommend them to everybody—and I do mean everybody!!! I’ve even convinced a couple of booksellers to buy their own copies of Tangled Up in Love and will soon do the same with Loves Me, Loves Me Knot.

Spicy Yarn PicIf you’ve never read one of Heidi’s books before—or if you have, but just haven’t realized how truly marvelous an author she is *g*—please consider dropping by The Dungeon for a visit. I promise you won’t be disappointed. And if you’re a knitter (or crocheter), you might also be interested in her side blog, Must Love Yarn.

And because I am such a huge Heidi Betts fan, I am currently moderating (and stirring up trouble on) her YahooGroup, Heidi Betts’s Happy Bookers. We’d love to have you join us for some fun discussions of Heidi’s books, as well as monthly giveaways, casting calls of Heidi’s characters, and deciding what songs should go into creating a soundtrack for each of her stories. [You can also follow the links to Heidi's sites under "Moonlighter Hangouts".]

I also update her Fans of Heidi Betts Facebook page and have recently begun leading a group of Heidi’s readers in helping to promote her books far and wide through her Street Team—lovingly known as Heidi Betts’s Street Walkers. (There’s a bit of a theme going on here, can you tell? *g*) [and the reason why Laura J. is pictured as a "pimp" bear!]

The idea behind the Street Team is basically to supply members with items specifically promoting Heidi’s latest release, then have each of you visit your local book and retail stores to talk her up & draw attention to the newest title. If you’re interested in helping out, please visit the Street Walkers website (http://hbstreetteam.wordpress.com/), e-mail me for more information, or even contact Heidi through her website and we’ll get you signed up!

And, as always, you can learn more about Heidi and all of her books by visiting her website, www.HeidiBetts.com.

But trust me when I say that if you have not read her yet, you are really missing out! And if you have read her, then you know you DO NOT want to miss the August 4th release of Loves Me, Loves Me Knot!

P.S. I was able to convince Heidi to give away an autographed copy of Tangled Up in Love after my visit today. U.S. residents only, please, because of the high cost of overseas postage, but let’s get to chatting about her fabulous books! (She’s even promised to drop in a couple times herself, if she can!)

Remember, to be entered, you must leave a comment to be entered into the drawing!

In true Heidi fashion, here's just a sampling of the beefcake that can be seen in The Dungeon:

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson


Carrie

18 Moonbeams (comments):

Sheila Deeth said...

That was quite an introduction, and she sounds like quite a writer. I may have to wander over to the Dungeon.

Jane said...

I love Heidi and her books. The Dungeon is a great place to hang out and chat.

Heidi Betts said...

Good afternoon, all! As promised, I'm dropping in to show a little support of Huggy Bear...I mean Laura J.! (LOVE the "pimp" Care Bear, btw.)

Thanks for doing such a fabu job of filling my stilettos for the day!

I just have on request: next time you're going to throw a pic of my darling Dwayne in there...warn a gal, would ya? Even tho he *was* my inspiration for Gage's character in LOVES ME, his appearance was completely unexpected & I nearly fell off my chair! (And not in the good way. :-P)

Anonymous said...

Hi Sheila,

Yes do come over to the Dungeon. Just keep you hands off my pink fuzzy handcuffs. (those are the cyber prize you get if you are the first poster of the day there). *g*

Laura J.
aka Huggy Bear

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane!!!!!

Glad you stopped by. And we do have fun, don't we?!?!

Anonymous said...

Oh sorry about that Heidi. *eg* But how could I not add a pic of Dwyane?

And speaking Dwayne guess what movie comes out on the same day as LMLMK? Coincidence? I think not.

I was very glad to help out (but next time, could you wear more comfortable shoes. Please?!?!) *g*

Laura J.

Anonymous said...

Wow...great blogging Huggy Bear..I mean Laura J....I know...I know..back on the street!I'm going,I'm going... ;-P
Hollie

Carrie said...

Hey Sheila,

Yeah, if you go in to the Dungeon, you have to watch out for Laura J.. Many of us have won the prized handcuffs, but few have done so unscathed!! I tell ya, it's a fight, but the pink fuzzy handcuffs are worth the fight.

Yes, and if you visit often, you might just get to see Mistress Heidi bring out the other toys. Yes, there are days where she lets us play!!

Heidi - Yes, the pic of Dwayne was my choice to use, but I just couldn't help myself! I mean, he seemed like such a good way to end the blog. I do hope you're alright though. You didn't hurt anything when you fell off, did you?

Anytime you and Laura J. want to have some mayhem in someplace other than the Dungeon, feel free to stop by anytime! I love mayhem, let's just leave it at that, shall we?

Laura J. - don't you know that it's those shoes that can make Mistress Heidi so cranky? Yeah, that's why she's gone to lending those beauties out, unless she's really in a mood to lash out. And when she's wearing them, you had better watch out!

Anonymous said...

Since somebody wasn't where she was suppose to be....Hollie....don't make me get out my whip.

Carrie, Mayhem is my middle name. Yep--Huggy Mayhem Bear, that's me.

Laura J.

Margay said...

Heidi,
I can see how you'd fall off your chair at the sight of Dwayne, especially when he flashes that killer-watt smile. The man is just too gorgeous for words.
Margay

flchen1 said...

Impressive! Dwayne in the morning is always a good surprise ;) Heidi's dungeon is indeed a great place to hang out, even if there are occasional times of uh... discipline? ;p Awesome post, Laura J! Definitely looking forward to Heidi's latest!

TAMARA said...

MMMM MMMM MMMM!!! The Rock is one hot hunk 0 man!!! Anyway... (CLEARS THROAT). I would love to win one of Heidi's books. I recently became friends with her on facebook but, I haven't read her yet. A romantic comedy sounds great!!! Tamara Holbert

Anonymous said...

Hi Margay, flchen1, and Tamara!

4 more days (or as my sister used to say --and yes, she is the weird one-- 4 more nights).

Thanks for stopping by and I hope, Tamara, that you will check out the Fans page on FB and sign-up for the Yahoo group!! And anyone else who isn't signed up yet...just tell me in the comments part when joining you saw it here.

Laura J.

Heidi Betts said...

Hi, all. I realize we're well into day two of what was supposed to be a one day blog post, but let me just say that my revisions are done (fingers crossed there won't be a Round 2) & I'm taking a wee bit of a breather before diving into the book that should have been started a month ago.

As much as I appreciate everyone's...appreciation of Dwayne's considerable charms, I need to deliver a stern Mistress Heidi warning of BACK OFF, HE'S MINE!!! There, that's better. I can breathe easy once again. ;-)

I--or Laura, I'm sure--will be happy to answer any questions anyone wants to throw out, & I'll leave her (or perhaps B-girl, if she's reading over her mother's shoulder) the honor of picking a winner for the book giveaway whenever she wants to do that.

Enjoy your weekends, everyone! (she says as tho she's getting ready to disappear, even tho she really will drop by a few more times to check in... :-p)

flchen1 said...

No worries, Heidi--we know that Mr. Johnson comes with a "possession of Heidi Betts" sign permanently attached ;) Hooray on whipping through those revisions!!

--Fedora

Anonymous said...

Okay--I think it's time I announced the winner of the autographed copy of Tangled Up in Love.

Congrats to:





Tamara

Please contact Heidi through her website: HeidiBetts.com (scroll to the bottom where it says Contact Heidi and send her your mailing address and in the subject line put Moonlight Blog winner).

Thank you everyone for hanging out with me, Carrie for inviting me and Heidi for writing such great books I can gush about.

Laura J.

Carrie said...

Thanks to everyone for the fun and mayhem!

Carrie

Heidi Betts said...

Congrats, Tamara--I'll watch for your e-mail.

Thanks, too, to the MLM ladies for letting Laura brag me up ;) & to everyone else for dropping in to chat. Have a wonderful weekend!

And remember: only THREE DAYS left until LOVES ME, LOVES ME KNOT!

(Sorry, I couldn't help myself. :P)