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…Amazon.com 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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aloha!

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 www.stellacameron.com

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

Aloha,

The Tiki Goddess

After the photo shoot…the Goddess survived!

 

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Tiki Time Rolls On

Aloha All,

What happens when a writer like me crawls into the dark hole before making a book deadline? Life goes on unnoticed as I eat, drink and sleep the book. Type, type, type day in and day out and suddenly when I come up for air, I’m like a groundhog blinking at the light of day. “Huh? What? Where am I? Where did everyone go?”

Who Turned the Lights On?

Now Tiki Time has rolled on, spring has sprung already and “Three to Get Lei’d” Book 3 of the Tiki Goddess Mysteries, is finally at Bell Bridge Books going into production.

I can’t wait to see my cover design because I know it’s going to be a lot of fun and complete with a Tiki, elements from the mystery like a murder weapon or two and some lovely tropical seasonings to spice it up.

As soon as I get a whiff of the cover design I’ll post it and you can start mixin’ those Mai Tais and get ready to kick back and follow the Hula Maidens as they careen through their next caper. Yep, the old broads are at it again!

Stay tuned and Tiki On!

The Tiki Goddess

 

 

 

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Light My Fire!

Aloha All,

It’s not easy researching the latest novel in the Tiki Goddess Mystery series. Today I went to hula practice where the true Hula Maidens were in good form. Some of them have recently learned to make their own practice skirts called pa’u skirts. One of the definitions of pa’u is “a woman’s skirt or sarong.” The skirts the dancers made consisted of 4 yards of print fabric and four rows of elastic at the waist/hip area. Unless the dancer wearing it weighs under 90 pounds, there’s little hope of looking like anything but a floral float in the Rose Parade.

 

Modeling the New Pa'u Skirts

Since I’m busy finishing up THREE TO GET LEI’D, I skipped the sewing bee, but I sent my sewing machine to stand in for me, which should count for something.

While I was home working up a sweat at the computer, I reached a point where I had to stop and I must now come up with a couple more  cocktails created by “Uncle Louie” (a fictional character in the Tiki Goddess Mysteries).

“Uncle Louie” has decided to create a flaming shot to commemorate a scene where the Hula Maidens nearly burn down their beloved Tiki Goddess Bar, the place where they hang out and hula and most of the scenes are set. While researching on the internet I discovered there are some rules of the road to think about while creating flaming shots and cocktails.

 

(Who knew?)

Keep Handy When Drinking Flaming Shots

1. Unless you don’t want to end up in the emergency room, never consume a drink while it’s still on fire. Extinguish it first.

2. Don’t serve flaming drinks to friends who are already inebriated. Note: Kind of takes some of the fun out of this if you ask me.

3. If you let the drink burn too long you might crack the glass…the alcohol will spill out and flames will spread.

4. Hide the crystal. Heavy glassware holds the heat better.

5. The shorter and rounder the glass the better. (Kind of like me.) They are easier to light.

6. It’s better to flame your drinks with the lights down low. The flames burn very blue and sometimes are hard to see unless you’re in the dark.

Extinguish BEFORE Drinking...Duh.

So that’s as far as I’ve gotten. Tonight I may try to concoct a few different versions of flaming shots. First I have to get my hands on either some 151 proof rum or some Everclear which is a high proof grain alcohol. Apparently these are the choices for the float atop the drink as these spirits ignite easily.

For now, stand back, stay tuned and have the fire extinguisher ready!

The Tiki Goddess

 

 

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The Goddess at Work: Inspired by Exotica

Aloha from Paradise,

I’ve been working on some new scenes for THREE TO GET LEI’D, Book 3 of my Tiki Goddess Mystery series and while I work I’ve been listening to and inspired by vintage exotica music classics. So inspired that I wrote a scene where the madcap Hula Maidens perform a hula number to the song “Kalua” and they dare to dance while holding flaming coconuts. (Rest assured, nothing good happens as a result.)

Kalua begins with native drum beats reminiscent of exotica, a musical genre that followed Les Baxter’s album Ritual of the Savage (Le Sacre du Sauvage) released in 1952.

Tribal rhythms and exotic sounds on his classic “Quiet Village” transported folks living in the USA’s newly laid out suburbs to whatever exotic paradise their minds could conjure. They began calling their patios and screened in porches “the lanai,” building tiki bars, shaking up frothy, tropical concoctions in shiny aluminum cocktail shakers, and maybe even planting a Tiki or three in their back yards.

In 1957, Martin Denny covered Les Baxter’s “Quiet Village”, with exotic bird calls and a vibraphone instead of strings, establishing the sound of the loosely (very loosely) Polynesian style music.  In 1959 Denny’s “Exotica” album reached #1 on Billboard’s charts. Arthur Lyman and Juan Garcia Esquivel are two more favorites of the genre. Now a host of new exotica performers like Don Tiki and Kava Kon are following in their footsteps.

Exotica albums are filled with the sound of bird calls–perfect for inspiring more hilarious scenes in the Tiki Goddess Mystery series that feature the now famous taste-testing parrot, David Letterman.  Big-cat roars and shrieking monkeys, weird sounds of sirens “ooo-oooing,” chants, vocalized animal calls and growls blend with the haunting sounds of vibes, congas and bongos, bells and more.

Freaky Tiki? You bet.

Time to Get Freaky

So whether you’re a fan of the Tiki Goddess Mystery series, a collector of all things Tiki, or hopefully both, why not take a time-out, kick back, and listen to some classic exotica music?

No telling what taboo you might be inspired to break!

Tiki On,

The Tiki Goddess

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