I was born in Clinton, Indiana, a small town on the Wabash River now known for a Little Italy Festival held every Labor Day Weekend. The festival features a spaghetti eating contest along with grape stomping and pizza throwing. I would love to know what my grandparents, Anton and Maria Baima, who immigrated to Clinton from a small mountain town, Corio, Italy, would have to say about the event. When my grandfather stomped grapes every year, it was to make wine, not for a festival experience.

My family moved to California when I was ten years old and my love affair with the Pacific Ocean began. By middle school (we used to call it Junior High back then), I decided I was going to live in Hawaii when I grew up, even though I'd never set foot on any of the islands! My mom claims she's responsible for that dream because it started when she was pregnant with me. Every day she would listen to broadcasts of "Hawaii Calls" on the radio. I guess Arthur Godfrey plunking on his ukulele got through to me somehow.

I graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a degree in History and an Elementary Teaching Credential. That same year I married my college sweetheart. For thirteen years I taught kindergarten and English Second Language in Southern California. My husband coached high school football and taught English in Long Beach --which is why we have no children.

In the early '80's we both turned our vision to the arts. I began writing, Steve took up acting. My writing career began in 1988 with the publication of SUNFLOWER, my first book. (BOOKLIST, AWARDS, and BESTSELLER LIST)

I've written seventeen steamy historical romances which I am in the process of publishing in e-book formats, a trilogy of contemporary single title romances entitled the Twilight Cove Series, and five inspirational historical romances. Most recently I've been penning a series of comedic mysteries set on Kauai.

No matter what kind of novel I'm writing, I focus on creating memorable characters, adding the emotion my readers have come to expect, spinning page turning plots and adding the requisite happy endings.

Today we are living the dream in Hawaii on an outer island where I continue to write and dance hula and garden (when I'm not sitting on the beach). Hubby Steve is involved in outrigger canoe paddling. He still acts on occasion and has appeared on the new Hawaii 5-0 series and worked as Nick Nolte's stand-in on the Ben Stiller movie "Tropic Thunder." Steve also appears around town playing a form of Hawaiian guitar music known as "slack key."

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Aloha,
Jill Marie
Jill Marie Landis ©2013 All Rights Reserved.