Release the Inner Tiki Goddess! (and win a book)

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.)

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33 Responses to Release the Inner Tiki Goddess! (and win a book)

  1. I’m halfway through the book (reading when I should be writing) and am lovin’ it! The Hula Maidens are hilarious, but Uncle Louie is a hoot. Can’t wait to find out whodunit!

  2. Anne says:

    The Hula Maidens sound wonderful and this book would bring me hours of enjoyment. Best wishes and much success. Love it.

  3. Keri Ford says:

    This sounds sooo funny. We went to Hawaii and of course a luau on our honeymoon. so much fun. awesome food. wonderful entertainment! Congrats on the release

  4. cindygerard says:

    Never been to Hawaii. Still on my bucket list. But I think I could seriously get into the Tiki culture!
    Congratulations Deb (and of course Jill!!) on this great new release. it sounds awesome!

    What i want to know is, where can i get a pair of those glasses??? :o)

  5. kris says:

    had not heard of this one yet…..putting it on my “go buy it immediately” list!!! :-()

  6. Deborah R says:

    Sounds like a great read, putting on my TBR list! Congrats on the new release~~

  7. Helen Brenna says:

    Sounds like a very fun book, Jill and Deb. Fun to write, too, I’m sure. LOVE the cover!

    I must still have too much of my German Catholic upbringing clinging to me. May need Tiki lessons or something to free my inner Tiki goddess!! Help!

  8. Kathleen O says:

    Oh I love the sounds of this book. I have read your other books and have really enjoyed them. and this one will be of no exception I am sure..

  9. Leanne Banks says:

    I’m game! I wanna be a Hula Maiden! This sounds so fab and I’m glad we get to see the REAL YOU! CONGRATS on a fab cover too! xo, Leanne

  10. Beth Mast says:

    Sounds fun, always wanted to visit Hawaii!

  11. A bunch of us just bought a good friend a tiki bar for her backyard for her bday. Go tiki! I can’t wait to read this book. 🙂 I did some research into all things tiki when I wrote a book set in Palm Springs and discovered here in my SoCal city a really extensive tiki store. Who knew?

    Is there any youtube video of your hula group dancing, Jill Marie?

  12. Diane Sallans says:

    That book sounds like so much fun – a perfect summer read! Of course it will make me want to get back to Kauai, it’s been too many years. But if I make some Mai Tai’s & wear a Lei, maybe I can pretend while I’m reading.

  13. Loretta B. says:

    The book is really good, I’m lovin’ it. Kauai is our favorite place to vacation. My inner Tiki Goddess would love to live there, too. One of these days 🙂

  14. MaryC says:

    Sounds like a fun read! Congratulations, Jill, on the release.

    I’ve been to Hawaii twice to visit my best friend and had a marvelous time.

  15. Hey, I want to meet this Joe guy and see his expanded tiki bar!
    It is a lifestyle. Look for Tiki Magazine at

  16. Jill!!!!
    I’m late for the party. Any Mai Tai left? Been running grandkids around.

    I took hula lessons whn I was a kid living on Guam. I have considerably more to shake than I did back than, but that’s a good thing, right?

    I read the excerpt and cheered. Can’t wait to Tai One On!

  17. Whitney says:

    I have read your other books and just know this one will be the best yet now that we get to meet the real you! The idea of the Hula Maidens is just brilliant!!! Looking forward to this new fun read.

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