Jill Marie Landis Talks Story

First of all, a huge thank you to the writers on Petticoats and Pistols Blog for inviting me to share a bit of time with you and your readers in Wildflower Junction. I’ve known many of these fine writer friends for years through Romance Writers of America.

I’m now living in Hawaii, over 2,000 miles from the mainland and even farther from the Wild West.  Living here is a dream I’ve had since we bought our home in 1978. Now it’s a reality. Though I live in a tropical paradise, a part of my heart will always be Romancing the West.

My latest book, HOMECOMING, from Steeple Hill, is set in Texas in the 1870’s.  HOMECOMING is both a return and a departure for me. It’s a return to writing Westerns, my first love and where I started over twenty novels ago. It’s a departure because it’s my first Inspirational novel.

If you have never read an Inspirational romance, this might just be the one to try. Aside from adding the element of faith as part of the plotline, in HOMECOMING I’ve been true to the things that my previous books have been known for—memorable characters, page turning tension, emotion and historical detail. If you loved shows like DR. QUINN MEDICINE WOMAN, BONANZA, and LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRARIE, then you’ll enjoy HOMECOMING.

In fact, the story was inspired by a movie, THE SEARCHERS, which starred John Wayne. It was made in the early sixties (or the late fifties) I’m not certain. (Mental pause.) It’s the story of a Texas Ranger who spends years searching for his niece, who was taken captive by the Comanche when she was a child. He finds her years later and takes her home.

I’ve always wondered…and then what happened? Did she stay? Did she assimilate back into the white culture? Did she try to run back to the Comanche?

HOMECOMING is the story of a young woman who was taken by the Comanche as a child. She is raised by them, cherished and adopted by them. When she is “rescued’ twelve years later by the U.S. Army, she is handed over to a mother and son, the Ellenbergs, who are to care for her until her identity is established and her relations are located.

In the mean time, the young woman who only knows herself as Eyes-of-the-Sky has been thrust into a confusing, terrifying situation.  Hattie Ellenberg is a woman who has suffered much at the hands of the Comanche herself, but her faith helps her forgive. Her son, Joe, (naturally, the devastatingly handsome hero) has no faith. He has no dream. He’s living his life one day at a time and working the family ranch. He’s virulently opposed to taking in a Comanche captive who thinks she’s “Comanch.”

I think the story that unfolds is one that will bring a tear to your eye. I’ve been told it’s truly a page turner. Please, do give it a try.

When it rains it pours, they say, and so it is with my publications this summer. In June, DESTINATION: MARRIAGE, an anthology of wedding stories from Harlequin, was released. Although it’s not set in the Wild West, my short story, “Trouble in Paradise” is set on Kauai (which is about as far west as you can get without leaving the states). If you’re looking for a quick, funny beach read, you might enjoy it. The other two stories are by Jo Leigh and Jackie Braun, both multi-published Harlequin authors.

Last but not least, I noticed in May, Elizabeth Lane sent in photos of herself belly dancing. What fun. I can truly relate to her passion. I dance hula and have been doing so for nearly twenty years. I dance with a great group of ladies of all ages (most fifty and over). We’re called the Hui Hula O’ Halelea. We love to perform for groups at luaus and parties, day care centers, long term care facilities, at pancake breakfast fundraisers and recently we danced at a bowling alley during a tournament buffet!

Dancing hula gives me a chance to get away from the computer and enjoy myself to the lovely sound of Hawaiian music.

I’d love to hear from you. I’ll be giving away one autographed copy of DESTINATION: MARRIAGE and two autographed copies of HOMECOMING, to three readers who leave comments today here at Petticoats and Pistols.


You can also read more about my previous titles at my website: www.jillmarielandis.com

Thanks for letting me “talk story”—as they say here in Hawaii—about my books, my hula, and what inspired me to write HOMECOMING.

Aloha hui hou, (aloha until we meet again)

Jill Marie Landis



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42 thoughts on “Jill Marie Landis Talks Story”

  1. Hi Jill,
    Congratulations on your new books and for living your dreams in Hawaii. It sounds wonderful.

  2. Good morning, Jill! The new book sounds great. Westerns and inspirationals are a natural mix. It took real faith to leave home and hearth and start over out West.

    I’m also a huge fan of clash-of-culture stories. Can’t wait to read your book!

  3. A big hello Jill your book sounds great,can’t wait to read it.
    I bet Hawaii is beautiful I have never been there but would love to go if I wasn’t afraid to fly that is maybe one day I will do it.

  4. Wow, You’re really living the American dream!! I’m so envious! Never been to the Hawaiian Islands. It sounds so perfect!
    I’ve been reading your books since the early 1990’s… to date around 20 books. I startd out with Day Dreamer, Until Tomorrow, Past Promises, Come Spring & Summer Moon. The last was Heartbreak Hotel.
    I’m so glad that you are writing more books! They both sound great. I love Jo Leigh ( so sad about her husband, Dotes) and Jackie Braun too!! Sounds like a wonderful trio of wedding stories that I would enjoy reading!
    Thanks for the chance to win! Aloha!

  5. Welcome Jill,Your books sounds so interesting in so many ways,I saw the movie you were talking about,we adopted a foster daughter that we had once at the age of 12 an the state made her go back,grrrrrrrrrrrr,an then we got her back at the age of 14 an we have had her for 2 yrs an her adoption we thru this time for sure! This past May 1st,so we are her forever family,we may never know what all happened before us,it comes out in bits an pieces,I dont ask questions,I just let her talk as she wants too,but she knows we are here to listen an love an a safe place to land,I have been to Hawaii many years ago,what a beautiful place to live,lucky girl you are!I know my new daughter would enjoy reading your book,shes a good girl who just needed a break in life,a we both loveeeeeeee westerns,some day I would love to take her to Texas so she could see what a wonderful place that is an put her on a horse,lol,what fun,of course mommy dearest is too old an fat to do that anymore,need a crane an forklift,lol,anyway hon,welcome an thanks for coming today,Vickie

  6. Hi Jill Marie! I’m hoping I win Homecoming LOL as Dr. Quinn, Bonanca, Little House, and The Searchers are all favorites of mine. All of your books inspire me, however. We’ll be going to Kauai in October–I think I know why you love Hawaii so much. IT is so warm and beautiful.

    Best wishes!

  7. wow…my husband would be so jealous of where you live LOL…he has always wanted to live there!

    Your books sound very good!I have never read an inspirational romance…but your book sounds really great and I hope to get to read it very soon!!!!

    Love your photos too!

  8. Oh, I’ve so wanted to visit Hawaii -and at winter the idea of living there doesn’t seem bad, either, lol.

  9. Hi Jill,

    A big welcome to P&P! We’re so glad you could blog with us.

    The Searchers is one of my all time favorite westerns. I love how John Wayne never gave up looking for his niece. It was a great story. It was extremely difficult for a Native American captive to assimilate back into the white culture. Most times the whites treated them badly. And quite often the captive chose to stay with her Native American tribe. Cynthia Ann Parker was one who died, grieving the loss of her NA way of life. She didn’t want to be white.

    How’s the hula dancing? I think it’s a beautiful, sensual dance. I’ll bet you’re really good at it. And hey, it’s exercise! 🙂

    Your two new releases look great! I’ll look for them. Good luck with book sales.

  10. Hawaii… sounds wonderful… I have not been lucky enough to visit… who knows maybe one day!
    Oooh Hula dancing!!! Let’s dance!!! 🙂

  11. Both books sound wonderful! Congrats on the new releases. 🙂

    I have visited my uncle who lives on Kauai. You live in such a beautiful place!

  12. Hey Jill, I have almost every Love Inspired and LI Suspense and LI Historical book pubbed. But I’ve only read a couple Steeple Hill single titles. Normally, they don’t appeal to me the way the romance books do.

    But Homecoming reminds me of a story I read as a young girl and started me writing historicals. It sounds like a fascinating story and I would love to read it.

    The cover of Homecoming is so warm and vibrant, it almost has that tropical feel to it although I know you probably didn’t have a say in the artistry.

  13. Hi Jill,

    Welcome to Petticoats! Gosh, I haven’t seen you in a long time. Your inspy book premise sounds wonderful. I’ve often thought of what happened to women who were rescued after an Indian kidnapping. I will definitely be reading that story!

    I think it’s neat that you hula dance for events! I’m writing a book set on Maui for Desire now, so I’m enthralled with anything Hawaiian. 🙂

    Great blog today. Hope to see you soon!

  14. Hi, Jill,

    What a delight to have you here with us today! I, too, am a big fan of your early westerns. Love, loved them!

    Are you going to SF? Hope to see you there!

  15. Hey, Jill, we haven’t had enough hula dancers on Petticoats and Pistols. Thanks for stopping by. The belly dancing helped but we needed hula, too.
    The book sounds great.
    I just did a lot of research for a book I’ve just finished about a young woman taken and raised by the Flathead Indians. I’m going to get your book and see what you’ve come up with.
    I’ve heard that, though comanches were fierce warriors they were particularly tender to children and always took them in and took good care of them if they found children.

  16. only on P&P can you get a great sounding historical western and hula dancing! Jill, I look forward to reading your book–and then seeing what else the fillies and their guests have to share.

  17. Hi Jill, Congratulations on “Homecoming.” It sounds like a wonderful story. I think it’s great that you hula dance. What great fun!

  18. Hi Jill. Good to see you here. Homecoming and ‘Trouble in Paradise” sound great. I think it is so cool that you dance hula.

  19. Hi Jill. great interview. I’ve read HEARTBREAK HOTEL, The Orchid Hunter and Blue Moon. I love reading your books.

  20. Thanks so much for comin’ to Wildflower Junction this weekend, Jill!

    You know I’m a fangirl and LURV your stories–especially the westerns. I started reading HOMECOMING last night and am loving it. We have extra kids for the night tonight, and I’m going to give it my best shot to get them all to sleep so I can READ!


  21. Welcome, Jill! I have been to Kauki and it is so beautiful there along with all the other islands. I’ve never seen any place that compares and that water….so blue and clear. I’m glad your dream came true.

    I enjoyed hearing about both of your books. Adding those to my wish list.

  22. Hi,

    I remember my mom was a fan of your older, steamier books.
    I have to be honest and say I have never tried your newer Steeple Hill books!

  23. Hi, ladies

    I have never read an inspirational romance and the “homecoming” does sound great. Will add it to my book list. Wow, Hawaii that is great!

  24. Aloha Everyone!
    I have to say I’m overwhelmed (prizes or not!) I didn’t expect so many wonderful comments. So many of you have been to Kauai or Hawaii, that’s great. For those who are dreaming, hold the dream.

    I’ll let you all in on a little secret. I’m working on something totally quirky right now that’s not a Western nor an Inspirational. It’s so odd that I just may have to publish under a pseudonym (I hope I spelled that right) when it sells.(That’s positive thinking for you.)

    I’ll check back in tomorrow to say Howdy. So many lovely comments. I thank you. It’s nice to know there’s really someone out there.

    Re the autographed copies….I’ll write all your names on slips of paper and let my hubby draw three names to be fair.
    A hui hou, (until we meet again)

  25. Hi, Jill, finally had a chance to pop in tonight–thanks for your post today! I’ve read quite a bit of inspirational, and agree with Victoria that the Western and inspirational do blend particularly well together–I’m looking forward to yours! And how exciting that you’re striking out in an entirely new direction now! It keeps life lively! And hooray for your hula dancing also–it’s such a beautifully expressive kind of dance. I’ve always admired it and one of the dance studios I took lessons at did also have hula classes–I always thought about giving it a try, but never had time. Maybe I’ll have to look into it again now…

  26. Enjoyed the photographs of you in your hula costume.
    Dancing is such fun and great exercise, too! Thanks
    for blogging with us and sharing Homecoming with us.

    Pat Cochran

  27. Hi All:
    If you have a chance to try hula wherever you live, please do. Not only is the music soothing and relaxing, but what a way to get your body moving in both directions (left and right) your muscles memorizing new moves and if you have a great kumu or teacher, you’ll have to translate from Hawaiian in your head and learn the words you are acting out in dance.
    There are hula halau (schools)all over the country.
    It’s never too late.
    Aloha for tonight,
    P.S. How is it going, Cheryl???

  28. Hi Jill! Thanks for dropping by and visiting us. I loved your post. How wonderful that you live in Hawaii–I’ve always wanted to visit.

    I’m the newest Filly at Wildflower Junction and loving every minute. Congratulations on all your amazing books, and good luck on your quirky new project! 🙂

  29. Hello and good morning Jill!! Thank you so much for your post. My cousin got married in Hawaii and the pictures were beautiful. My neighbor is from Hawaii and she is a very sweet woman. Funny how when a place you think you will never get to visit is mentioned you suddenly know people from there left and right…LOL The dancing sounds fabulous!!!! I am trying to do a healthly lifestyle and I think that dance is a terrific way to make that happen, for those of us who don’t go on for the “cardio and weight lifting” craze!!! Your books sound yummy and I can’t wait to go and see if I can find them in my little cornor of Nebraska. Hard to do sometimes, but I’ll give it my best. Again, THANK YOU for stopping by and have a great Sunday!!!

  30. I’ve read several of your books and have enjoyed them. I have added this last one to my TBR list.

  31. Hi Jill!
    Welcome to the blog! How exiting to see you hear!
    I am one of your many avid readers! And don’t want to miss this either!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and stories!

  32. Aloha All,
    (This is actually too much fun all this bloggin’!)

    It’s only 8:24 a.m. here. Today I’m going to haul my husband and his Hawaiian outrigger canoe over to a different beach nearby so he can take off with his buddies out into the open ocean and paddle to another beach down the coast. It’s like victory at sea out there. I try not to think about the s—– word (the gray guys with fins on their backs)when he’s out paddling.

    He’s an adrenaline junkie. I guess that’s why we’ve been married 36 years. Or is it 37? I sit and watch and read in between driving him around. He paddles, kite boards, surfs, golf, skis and generally is hyperactive!
    Have a great Sunday no matter what you and yours are doing.

  33. Hi Jill Marie…happy Sunday back at ya. Our outrigger ride in Waikiki a while back was among the most fun I’ve ever had. However…they took my oar from me since I am so uncoordinated LOL. I’m a Kauai girl at heart…we head back in October. I think Koloatown is one of my favorite places, so western and tropical at the same time.

    Thanks for blogging at the junction!

  34. I love hearing that you hula, Jill Marie! Somebody else with music in her hips! And the Comanche captive book sounds wonderful. I will look for that one.
    And I will miss sitting between you and Ruth at the RWA Literacy signing next month–decided to skip San Francisco. How lucky I was that they put us in alphabetical order, you were so nice and we had so much fun!

  35. I have always wondered what happened beyand that old movie. In fact I watched it not long ago and thought what do you supposed happened. I then made up my own ending, so I will be looking forward to reading your book and comparing your thought and mine!

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