The Goddess Chats with the Neighborhood Book Club

Aloha All,

Week before last I had the opportunity to have a phone chat with a really lively group of Goddesses in the making.

Fueled by Mai Tais and still high from reading MAI TAI ONE ON, they were chock full of questions about life in the islands and all things Hawaiian. What a fun, fantastic group!

The Neighborhood Book Club of Alamo, California, was originally formed of neighbors in a three block radius and then expanded to include others. They meet once a month.


Wine, appetizers, and desserts are all part of their book club events. For books with special themes, like MAI TAI ONE ON, they go all out. Mai Tais were served, silk leis were worn, and they watched a “How to Hula” video!


The group invites authors to speak to them via phone, Skype and in person. Sometimes they bring in speakers knowledgeable about the subject matter of the novels (for example, a founder of an Autistic Foundation spoke on raising a child with autism). They take field trips (ie. Pizza and a Burlesque dance class!) or see movies that are relevant to the books.


Once a year (at least) they have a book club retreat which is a time to play and not discuss books. Delicious dinners in and out, wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, shopping, and other activities are all a part of the great time the Neighborhood Book Club has just being with each other.


The Neighborhood Book Club In Leis and Fueled with Mai Tais


The women of The Neighborhood Book  Club have been together long enough to watch each others’ families grow, share life stories (exciting and heartbreaking) and grow close as members of the group created almost twenty years ago.

A big MAHALO NUI LOA to the women of the Neighborhood Book Club in Alamo, California for inviting me to chat with you!

If YOUR group is reading one of my Tiki Goddess Mysteries (or any of my books) please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below or through Facebook MESSAGING (not posting) and I’ll get back to you (Hawaiian time.)

Until Next Time when we visit Trader Sam’s Part 2,

The Tiki Goddess



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Trader Sam’s Part 1: Into the Mist

Aloha All,

There are times when even a Tiki Goddess must make great sacrifices, especially if she is also a writer (even though writing has become more of a part time job as hula and tiki-ing around take precedence).

In late December while on the mainland, I took a welcome break from focusing on the Holidays to do some research and ended up where my love of all things Tiki began–at Disneyland in Anaheim.

I haven’t yet met a California Tikiphile who wasn’t inspired by the Enchanted Tiki Room, the “Gateway to Adventureland” where fake parrots sing their mechanical hearts out and weather a tropical rain storm that booms with thunder and flashes lightening right on cue for each packed audience.

Not only did I love the “Tiki Tiki Tiki” Room, but I was so stoked on all things Disney that I worked at the Magic Kingdom every summer and holiday vacation while attending college at nearby Cal State University Long Beach. Though I was typecast and assigned to Fantasyland, I could get into the park free and visit the Tiki Room whenever I wanted!

The Enchanted Tiki RoomI’d heard a Tiki Bar called Trader Sam’s had opened poolside at the original Disneyland Hotel. I phoned my partner in crime and fellow research assistant Natalie for backup. She was more than willing to delve into the land of Tiki with me. She even volunteered to drive in case I got carried away on a wave of tropical libations.

Since time is at a premium during the holidays and the place is usually packed for the light parade, we opted to skip going into the amusement park and decided to simply explore Downtown Disney on December 23rd. It was the first visit to Downtown Disney for both of us and we were looking forward to shopping and having lunch at Trader Sam’s at the old hotel.

It was one of those really sunny, warm California days that sends snowbirds running to the Sunshine State. We walked the “Downtown” and visited various stores before we headed to Trader Sam’s.


Plunging into Trader Sam's



As we walked in the door, the dim, shadowy interior (apparently a definite requirement of a top notch tiki bar) brought us to an abrupt halt as our vision adjusted to the darkness.

A second later, the loud clang of a ship’s bell rang out. One of the bartenders yelled enthusiastically in true pirate fashion. We could see enough to spot an animated video of a sinking pirate ship on display behind the bar.

Another bartender grabbed a spray bottle of water.

“Arrrggghh! There she goes!” He hollered as he proceeded to mist the patrons on barstools hunched over their drinks as well as everyone seated at nearby tables. Either they were beyond caring or didn’t feel a thing. No one seemed to mind the misting. We looked at each other and laughed.

The interior of Trader Sam’s is small, it’s dark, and the walls are cluttered with truly tacky tiki stuff.

I took one look around and breathed a sigh of relief. I was “home.”

Next up: Trader Sam’s Part 2: The Menu


The Tiki Goddess




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Hot Party for “Too Hot” Book #4

Aloha all,

Back in August, the irrepressible women who inspire me to write my Tiki Goddess Mysteries pulled out all the stops to help celebrate the publication of TOO HOT FOUR HULA, Book 4 of the series from Bell Bridge Books.

Hula Maidens Ham It Up!

Not only did they shock the crowd with their rockin’ retro costumes, but they got together before hand, unbeknownst to me, to create hats and hair pieces that featured a new character, Alphonse, a fez wearing monkey.

Not only were there monkeys on dancers’ heads, but there were monkey purses and monkey hula dolls.


There were Maidens in fezzes as well as a sexy pirate wench who looked as if she’d just stepped out of one of the scenes in the book.

When these real life Hula Maidens get behind an idea there’s no stopping them!



Some great hula dancing went on while I worked tirelessly signing books until we sold out! At one point it was a standing room only crowd in the Tahiti Nui Luau Room. (Mahalo to Christian and Nanea Marston.)

Beverly and Patrick Kauanui provided us with some rocking hula tunes.They were joined by Bev’s ukulele students, Na Haumana O Namolokama, along with Ed Blanchett on steel guitar and Grace Hodgson on stand up bass.

It’s not every author who has to sign books, jump up and hula, and swill tropical beverages all at once. I managed with the help of my assistants Beverly Blew and Robin Savage. Her shop, “Robin Savage Gifts,” is in Ching Young Center, “the heart of Hanalei” and if you’re on Kauai and shopping for my titles, they carry them.


Jill Marie assisted by Beverly Blew

Fall is here and alas, the party’s over. It’s time to hunker down and get back to work because the  hard working publishers and editors at Bell Bridge Books are awaiting Book 5, tentatively (and hopefully permanently entitled)….


Stay tuned and many thanks to all of you who support and enjoy the Tiki Goddess Mysteries!

If you’ve read this blog, please be so kind and leave a comment in the box below (not just on facebook) and sign up for our newsletter.

Until next time,

The Tiki Goddess






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Be My Valentine…an e-Book Special

Aloha All,

Valentine’s Day is on it’s way and I’m pining for chocolate. A big giant heart filled with chocolate. Maybe a year’s worth of it. I’ll probably get a card for sure and flowers, but you can’t stand over a bouquet of flowers and debate over which delicious morsel you want to bite into. But enough of the chocolate for now…

Have you priced Valentine cards lately? Or any cards? What about stamps? No wonder people use electronic cards and emails to send greetings.

How about a Valentine you can give yourself and/or a friend who has an e-reader?

Where else can you get a Valentine that you can savor again and again for under $4.00?

BE MY VALENTINE is a story sampler with not one but two Valentine novellas tucked inside. (BE MY VALENTINE has absolutely nothing to do with Tikis or the Tiki Goddess Mysteries but I know many of you enjoy reading both my romances and the Goddess Mysteries. )

These heartwarming stories (with enough just heat to melt chocolate) are about two different heroines in two different settings the late 1800′s.

In “Picture Perfect,” Emily Richardson, a female photographer, is the last thing Sam Tucker needs on his California cattle ranch. Emily wants to capture the rugged rancher’s life on film, but before he knows it, she’s stealing his heart. Sam’s determined to keep love out of the picture…but will he succeed?

“Faithful and True” is the story of Michael Shaughnessey who hasn’t laid eyes on Beth Waverly-Brown, his his one true love, for seven years. Convinced she walked out on him because of his humble Irish heritage, Michael has tracked her to Colorado where she has become a Valentine artist. He is determined to force Beth to tell him the truth, but can he handle the hidden secrets of a heart willing to sacrifice all for love?

BE MY VALENTINE is available in all ebook formats for under $4.00.

Kindle Nook iBook Kobo

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!

The Tiki Goddess








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Mele Ka-Tiki-maka 2014

Mele KaTikimaka from Sunny (and thankfully warm) California,

We’re here for a quick holiday visit with family and friends. My last blog was about my artist/neighbor/friend Mel who lives in Hawaii and creates picassiette mosaics. Now I’m going to share some highlights of “beach Christmas” in sunny (thank goodness) Southern California!

The beach isn’t as crowded as summer, that’s for sure.

Empty Beaches in December

But the beach lifestyle is in full bloom for the Hoildays. Santa hiding the palms, shiny ornaments swing from branches and porch railings, Christmas trees float on the waters of the bay.

Santa in the Palms














Christmas Trees of Light floating on the Bay.

White Christmas, bah humbug. You don’t need winter snow to celebrate the season in style. You just need to reflect the light and sentiment and set the night aglow to fill your hearts with joy.

May you enjoy the peace of Christmas and the Holidays wherever you are.

Our friends celebrate with the Peace sign every year. Mahalo!

Until Next time,

Aloha from The Tiki Goddess





P.S. Obviously some folks over here wish they were over there…saw these signs on the Boardwalk on the beach.

Wherever you go, there you are.

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A Goddess Close-Up #1 : Aloha in Bits and Pieces

Aloha All,

For the next few blogs I’m going to introduce you to some fabulous Goddesses and some ideas for the Hawaiian life style. Not only are they some good friends who live here in Hawaii, but they know how to live out loud!

Melsena, better known as “Mel” to her close friends is a quiet artist who tends to shy away from touting her artistic ability. A few years ago Mel took up the art of making picassiette mosaics. (That’s pronounced pee-cassy-ette in case you were wondering.)

Basically, picassiette is the art of breaking up lovely things and gluing them back together in a random or structured pattern, then smearing grout between them. Once Mel has finished a project, the pieces are true masterpieces. If you’re lucky, she’ll gift you with one.

Details of Mel's mosaic work.

As you can see from this detailed close up, not only does she use plates and tiles and pieces of china, she incorporates glass beads, shells, small figurines, jewelery and whatever strikes her fancy.

In her pre-Goddess life before she moved to Hawaii, she was a beloved elementary school teacher in the Santa Cruz area. Now that she lives full time in Hawaii, walking the beach every morning, hosting pupu parties and fabulous dinners, working in her garden and cracking plates keeps her more than busy.

I tell everyone to watch out! If you stand still long enough she’ll glue ceramic pieces all over you and then grout you! Many of Mel’s latest creations involve mermaids…after a summer by the bay taking dips and watching the sunset she’s growing gills and fins.

Mermaid Mel with one of her creations.


Does she sell her mosaics? Not yet, but since she’s running out of room in her house, I think that with enough encouragement she just might be willing to let go of a precious piece or two. Does she take special orders? Not on your life, though believe me, folks have asked.

She always says that her art is organic and inspired, not “made to order.”

Here are just a few of Goddess Mel’s pieces:

Flat and Three Dimensional Objects






Garden Stepping Stone

Pots and Garden Spheres






And that’s not all….

A Peek into the Workshop

Materials sorted and ready.







A Birdbath in the Garden

A big Mahalo to my neighbor, sister Goddess, and dear friend, Mel!

Aloha until next time when I’ll feature another Goddess and share some Hawaii Living and Style ideas. No matter where you live, you can live with aloha style.

The Tiki Goddess

P.S.  What’s your hobby, obsession, creative outlet?





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Five Musts for a Successful Booksiging!

Aloha All,

Wow. What a party!

I’m still trying to recover from the “THREE TO GET LEI’D” book signing party we held at the Tahiti Nui Luau Room on Kauai last month. I’ve had book signings before, but  nothing like this one!

I’ve thrown together some tips for aspiring and published authors everywhere. It may help to become a Tiki Goddess before you try implementing these.

1. Pick a great venue, throw a party, and invite an entire island. Radio announcements on KKCR our fabulous public radio station on Kauai as well as coverage in The Garden Island news sure helped get the word out. So did facebook posts.

The Legendary Tahiti Nui Restaurant, Bar, and Luau Room


2. Keep the pizza and mai tais flowing. (No host bar of course. I’d have to sell millions of copies to pay for all the tropical adult beverages that crowd could suck down.)

The Nui's Legendary Secret Recipe Mai Tai








3. Suggest participants wear a coconut bra and grass skirts. At the very least, hint that they could dress as one of the book’s characters. Then again, my hula sisters are convinced they are the characters in the Tiki Goddess Mysteries!

Is that "Pat Boggs" dancing with "Suzi the Realtor"?







4. Hand out plastic pineapple drink cups to folks who arrive in costume. Even the kids. Just make sure they aren’t indulging in adult beverages. (Note to self…bring more prizes next time!)

5. Make sure there are plenty of musicians playing great Hawaiian music and stand back when the spontaneous hula dancing begins.

BianKa Princess Hanalei

Auntie Gets Frisky








Keep Your Eyes on the Hands.

Be sure you have plenty of books and photographers. Many thanks to Nadine S. and Holly W. and others for sharing so many great photos.

Mahalo everyone!




Thanks to everyone who came to the party!

Start planning your costume for next year while I’m working on the next book in the series… TOO HOT FOUR HULA.

For those of you with a Kindle… is now featuring THREE TO GET LEI’D as a $1.99 special release all of the month of August.

Until Next Time,

Tiki On!

The Tiki Goddess





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The Event of the Year is Here!

Get ready to Tiki!

Dig out your Goddess garb or just come as you are!

On JULY 28th from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Tahiti Nui Restaurant and Lounge Luau Room I’ll be signing copies of “Three to Get Lei’d” but mostly I’ll be celebrating with all of you who stop by to party with me along with the wild and whacky inspirations for the Hula Maidens, my hula sistahs, neighbors, and friends!

There will be live music, hula (come and dance!) pupus and a “no host” bar in the Tahiti Nui Luau Room. (A much bigger venue for us to cavort in!)

Bring your uke, wear a retro tiki get up, dress as a character from one of the books or JUST COME AS YOU ARE.

Come Join Us as a Tiki Goddess


Live music by the Pono Kane Trio and Friends, Beverly Kauanui and Friends and the Ukulele Haumana O Namolokama and more!

Autographed copies of “Three to Get Lei’d” will be available.

Remember, as this Tiki Goddess always says, “People just need an excuse to party and I like to give it to them!

The famous Julia W. of "The Nui" whips up some Mai Tais!

Hope to see you all there!














The Tiki Goddess

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Time to Get Lei’d!

Aloha Readers!

The publication of Three to Get Lei’d crept up on me last night about as fast as the Hula Maidens can get themselves into trouble!  Right now we’re scrambling to get the “Buy” link on the website.

Suddenly the book appeared on Amazon Kindle and people must be downloading like crazy because it’s on the Cozy and Mystery Series Bestseller lists already. YIKES! So you can go straight to Amazon to order. Nook is taking a little longer but hang in there and you’ll be able to download really soon.

Newsletters will go out some time tomorrow so if you aren’t already signed up, look for the box on the page where you enter your email address and you can stay up to date with the latest Tiki Goddess Mystery and other Jill Marie Landis news.

Thanks for sharing the word with your friends, neighbors and anyone who’ll pick up a hula skirt or a cocktail shaker at the drop of a hat.

Mahalo for all of your support!

The Tiki Goddess

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My Evil Twin’s Photo Shoot

Aloha from Tiki Land,

Ahh the writing life. Always something to do that doesn’t involve actually sitting down and writing. Today it’s re-vamping my other website, the one that belongs to Jill Marie Landis  who is my evil twin. She writes romances. Lots and lots of romances of all kinds.

So today I enlisted my friend Stella Cameron to take a photo for the new look on my other website. Stella’s daughter took Stella’s photo and did a great job, so I was hoping there was something in their DNA that matched.

Stella Cameron Famous Author and Friend

“Quite lovely” as Stella would say (not about herself) about the photo her daughter was able to capture. So with camera in hand Stella and I set out into the jungle of the back yard here on Kauai and hoped for the best.

She didn’t have a lot to work with. I have no suitable clothing that doesn’t scream “Beach!” or “Get me to a makeover!” To make matters worse I lathered on a pound of make up and then I rolled and tucked my hair into what I call the “Suzie Creamcheese” hairstyle. I deem it suitable for an author of world reknown but it is NOT a style any self-respecting Tiki Goddess would choose.

So with my neighbor, Mel, and our cat ‘Omi looking on, Stella and I commenced the photo shoot. It was actually very painless and there were a couple of acceptable choices which will appear on the Jill Marie Landis website soon. Which proves Stella did pass on the DNA for photography, though she does look much lovelier than I do. Perhaps my web guru will add some much needed photo shop magic.

Jill Marie Landis famous romance writer NOT a Goddess look

Of all the nice photos Stella managed to take, the one you will see below is my favorite. She took it when we were all finished, or “pau” as we say here on Kauai. My neighbor was wafting a ti plant around and it was just the right prop and too hard to resist. The photo below proves a Tiki Goddess must always let her hair down and be herself!

You can read all about Stella Cameron and her books at

That is, until she takes up a new career as a photographer.


The Tiki Goddess

After the photo shoot…the Goddess survived!


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