Curse of the Lost Tiki

Curse of the Lost Tiki

Jill Marie Landis

March 2021
ISBN: 978-1-61026-152-4

A Tiki Goddess Short Story

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An impending hurricane may be the least of Uncle Louie’s troubles. . .

Uncle Louie Marshall has long been the soul of the Tiki Goddess bar--home to the hilarious and irrepressible Hula Maidens and a beloved hub of the community. When a grizzled sea captain asks him to take care of a mysterious duffle bag, Louie agrees without a second thought. And the trouble begins.

Both the captain and his deck hand turn up dead. Soon the locals are up in arms, filled with tales of the curse of the Lost Tiki.

Louie will have to do more than concoct clever cocktails to fix the mess he’s in.

Author Bio: A seven-time Romance Writers of America finalist for the RITA Award, Jill Marie Landis also now writes The Tiki Goddess Mysteries (set on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, where she lives with her husband, actor Steve Landis.) Visit her world of tiki totems, hula maidens, and tropical fun at

Praise for The Tiki Goddess Mystery series

"Smart and sassy. Fun and endearing.”

—Kristin Hannah, New York Times Bestselling Author

"Truly hilarious... a must read.”

—Open Book Society on Too Hot Four Hula

"This series is just freaking hilarious.”

—Shannon Brown, NetGalley Reviewer,
Librarian on Hawaii Five Uh-Oh

"Landis is a veteran writer, and knows how to tell a story with a little romance and a lot of humor. This is not to say that there isn’t suspense—there is, and it builds throughout. Readers won’t know who-done-it until the very end. Fun! Fun! Fun!”

—Karen Hancock, BellaOnline and NetGalley
Reviewer on Mai Tai One On

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"WE’RE READY, Uncle Louie. Open the door, stand back, and let ’em in.”

"Will do, Sophie.” Louie Marshall smiled at the hip, young bartender Sophie Chin, certain she had everything in hand as he headed for the front door of the Tiki Goddess Bar and Restaurant on the North Shore of Kauai. He had owned and operated the establishment, his beloved late wife’s dream, since the ’70s.

Still fit as an athlete, tall and tan, and always dressed in sporty white, Louie was the quintessential tiki bar host. He smoothed his thick white hair back, turned the lock and swung the front door open. Flipping the Closed sign to Open, he stood aside as tourists of all shapes and sizes filed in.

It still amazed him that folks actually lined up for lunch. Dinner hours were packed because locals and tourists alike were not only drawn to the place by the four-star reviews touting great food, Hawaiian music, and the weekly luau, but because on any given night, you never knew what was going to happen at the Goddess. Spontaneous hula dances were just as exciting as the combustible tropical drinks Louie concocted.

Tuesday lunch hour was known as Tour Bus Tuesday. Ever since the bar was featured in a short-lived reality show called Trouble in Paradise, the Kauai TV and Movie Tours company had booked the Goddess as a weekly lunch stop.

Louie greeted their guests the way his late wife Irene Kau`alanikaulana Hickam Marshall had taught him, by giving each and every one a genuine smile and a hearty aloha. More often than not, she always had plumeria leis to offer them as well. Though Louie didn’t provide the lei, he still offered a hearty hug if anyone wanted one.

"Where you folks from?” he would ask, and then he’d add, "Lucky you come Kauai!”

Whenever someone asked Louie for his autograph, he’d grab a napkin or a coaster off a nearby table and graciously oblige.

A burly guide in a TV and Movie Tours aloha shirt gave Louie a nod and a shaka, the shake of a hand with three middle fingers folded down.

Once the tourists were all settled into their seats, the guide shouted, "Folks, this is theTiki Goddess Bar made famous by the reality show featuring those madcap old dancers, the Hula Maidens, and Chef Kimo, who prepares all the food with his own special flair. Wave to Sophie Chin, our bartender. She’ll make sure you leave happy. Louie’s niece and manager, Em Johnson, will probably make an appearance soon.” He gestured toward Louie. "This is owner Uncle Louie Marshall, the world-famous mixologist who ranks right up there with Trader Vic and Don the Beachcomber.”

Louie took a bow, waved, and smiled. He’d spent most of his life sharing his little slice of paradise and aloha with people from all over the world, and he was proud of the place he and Irene had established over fifty years ago. Sure, the bar was located in a sagging old building that had been around since plantation times, but that was part of its charm. Faded tapa cloth lined the ceiling and woven lau hala mats covered the walls.

Even during the day, huge glass Japanese fishing net floats crafted into hanging lamps cast a soft-blue, semi-twilight hue over everything. A collection of South Pacific artifacts, tiki masks, Polynesian war clubs and paddles, posters, and photos of presidents and celebrities who had stopped by over the years vied for crowded wall space.

Louie distributed the lunch menus and then went back to the bar where Sophie finished filling plastic cups with water and then passed them around as she took food and drink orders. Sophie was worth her weight in gold. Still in her early twenties, she’d been an asset to the place ever since the day Louie’s niece, Em, had hired her. Sophie wore her hair short, spiked, and dyed the colors of a neon fruit cocktail. Small silver rings and studs were pierced along one eyebrow. Sophie was smart as a whip and behind her kohl-rimmed eyes and thick lashes was a mind with the ability to read people. No one ever put anything over on her.

The lunch orders were sent in to Kimo, the head cook. Louie moved behind the bar, and soon Sophie was delivering his legendary tropical beverages. Huli Boolies and Great Balls of Fire were top sellers along with traditional mai tais.

When he finally had a second to pause and look around, Louie noticed a grizzled old haolewith a short white beard standing in the doorway. He was wearing a dirty billed cap and ratty T-shirt with a faded fishing logo on it. His skin was etched with lines from countless hours in the sun. The man nodded at Louie and walked in carrying a small navy-blue duffle bag. He slid onto one of the carved tiki barstools.

"Hey, Captain Jack! Long time no see,” Louie said. "How you stay?”

Jack nodded, glanced around over his shoulder at the tourists and then settled his forearms on the koa wood bar. "Could be better. Howzit with you, Louie?” Captain Jack nodded. His face bronze, his eyes bright blue above his beard.

"Always good. What’ll it be? How ’bout some pirate’s grog?” Louie laughed at his own joke. Jack didn’t crack a smile.

"Jack and soda,” the captain mumbled.

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