Welcome the incredibly funny and talented romance author Jill Marie Landis, who isn’t holding back anymore! She’s sharing her new found freedom with us today.
For years I’ve had to stifle my inner self, my alter ego, the real me and don a “serious” writer disguise. Well, not anymore. With the release of MAI TAI ONE ON, the first book in the Tiki Goddess Mystery series, the realme gets to run free.
We’ve had a home on the not-so-tame but very scenic North Shore of Kauai for nearly 40 years. I guess you could say the folks around here know me as a hula dancing, tiki bar hopping, mai tai blending goddess. There’s nothing I love more than a luau, Hawaiian food, music, and fun. Vintage tiki mugs, mu’u mu’u, and grass mats abound in my home along with a ukulele collection, bamboo furniture and just about anything tiki. My motto? “Nothing tiki is ever too tacky!”
I’ve spent nearly twenty years involved with a very unconventional group of women who are not only good friends but my “hula sistahs.” We’ve laughed and cried and argued and most of all we’ve danced and danced and danced together. My life is the inspiration behind a fictional over the top bunch of aging hula dancers, the Hula Maidens, who manage to get involved in solving mysteries between dancing appearances at their favorite bar, The Tiki Goddess (named after my own alter ego, of course).
I’ve thrown in a thirty-something divorcee transplanted from SoCal who manages the tiki bar, a twenty-something “local” gal who is the bartender, and Uncle Louie, the bar owner. Louie is considered an expert mixologist of tropical beverages and he owns a taste-testing parrot named David Letterman. Some of Louie’s favorite recipes appear at the end of the book.
Romance? Well there is a hint of that, too, since the detective who has to deal with the wacky Hula Maidens is a hunk who moonlights as a fire dancer. (If you are wondering what a fire dancer is…look it up onYou tube! You’ll be in for a treat.)
MAI TAI ONE ON, from Bell Bridge Books, is available in ebook and trade formats and I can’t wait to hear what folks think about the Hula Maidens. For now I’m going to kick back with a frothy new concoction, put my feet up and decide what to wear to the next luau.
Debra here now… Yes, I’m her publisher, but honestly this is the funniest book. And I had no idea how strong “tiki culture” is. I mentioned to my husband, “You know Jill is serious. The girl collects everything tiki. It’s this really fun lifestyle.” He looked at me and said, “Yeah I know. Joe just redid his entire back yard to fit a bigger tiki bar in. It’s really more a mindset. You don’t have to live in Hawaii.” So, I’m signing up to be a hula sistah!
To Tiki or not to Tiki. That’s the question before us today. Can you hang with the Hula Maidens? Can you happily wear palm trees on your hat while sipping frothy things? Tell us and you might win a copy of MAI TAI ONE ONE! (print/ebook in the U.S. or ebook outside the U.S.)