Series Artwork

Inspiration Boards on Pinterest


Arcadia Bell series


Links to Selected Interviews and Guest Posts

BITTER SPIRITS online promo (early 2014, multiple links)

Guest Post: When I’m Not Writing (2013)

SUMMONING THE NIGHT online promo (2012, multiple links)

KINDLING THE MOON online promo (2011,multiple links)

RT Author Spotlight interview (2011, in which I misspelled Philip Pullman’s name)

Five by Five: Five books that inspired me (2012)

Authors Asking Authors interview (2013)

Old-School Horror Movie Style Book Trailer


Arcadia Bell-inspired jewelry on Cemetery Cat’s etsy store:





Tambuku Tiki Lounge Playlist


Ambient background music heard inside Central California’s favorite Earthbound-friendly Tiki bar. Click on the Tambuku logo below to go to playlist on iTunes.

Tambuku Tiki Lounge, Arcadia Bell series

(1) “Tambuku” – Robert Drasnin

This, obviously, is the song that inspired the name of the Tiki bar. Drasnin’s sole album, Voodoo!, was long one of the most sought-after of all exotica albums until its ’96 CD reissue. Its late-in-life success spurred Drasnin to record a follow-up, Voodoo 2, in 2007.

(2) “Quiet Village” – Martin Denny

Martin Denny: the king of Exotica. And this is his signature tune. Composed by Les Baxter, Denny’s 1957 arrangement was an enormous success and marked the beginning of the exotica trend.

(3) “Moon Child” – The Ventures

Not exotica per se, the Ventures’ instrumental rock provided the basis for what would become Surf Rock. This album, The Ventures in Space, epitomizes the otherworldliness of their sound. And the song choice? It just made sense.

(4) “Morticia’s Theme” – Vic Mizzy

You might think that the soundtrack to the TV series The Addams Family wouldn’t be a go-to choice for exotica, but you’d be wrong, as this song proves. The album is chock full of swinging songs with just a hint of the macabre.

(5) “King Kong” – Tarantula Ghoul and her Gravediggers

Such a fun song. Tarantula Ghoul was a horror TV hostess in Portland in the 1950s. No footage of her program survives. Only a few scattered pictures and one 45 RPM single, of which this is the A-side. The flip side, “Graveyard Rock” is also a blast!

(6) “Mucha Muchacha” – Esquivel

Exotica is nothing if not encompassing of foreign cultures, and here we take a Latin-esque trip with Esquivel. His music is always light-hearted and full of humor and is always sure to liven up any gathering.

(7) “Moon Madness” – Pasquale & the Lunar-Tiks

If Martin Denny’s orchestra simulated bird calls to evoke his “Quiet Village,” Pasquale’s Lunar-Tiks turn that concept up to 11. A percussion-heavy track and a rowdy bunch of birds and animals turns frighteningly psychedelic about halfway through once the reverb and echo kick in.

(8) “The 4th Dimension” – The Ventures

Keen-eared listeners might recognize this song as the instrumental basis for The Cramps’ classic “Don’t Eat Stuff off the Sidewalk” from their album Psychedelic Jungle (which itself would serve as a great soundtrack for a night at Tambuku).

(9) “Swamp Fire” – Martin Denny

(10) “Lust” – Bas Sheva

Bas Sheva, born Bernice Kanefsky, provides stunning lead vocals over Les Baxter’s simmering arrangments on this cut from the album Passions.

(11) “Voodoo Dreams/Voodoo” – Les Baxter

(12) “Estrellita” – Esquivel

Once again, Esquivel stretches the limits of stereophonic sound. Listen to this on headphones and hear this cool number take on a new life as it ricochets around your head.

(13) “Satan Takes a Holiday” – Jack Malmsten

Virtuoso organist Jack Malmsten takes this Tommy Dorsey hit into the realm of the exotic.

(14) “Xtabay (Lure of the Unknown Love)” – Yma Sumac

The mysterious Yma Sumac, the Peruvian vocalist, wielded a five-octave range that could call forth images of exotic locales even without lyrics. At times she comes close to sounding as much like a theremin as a human could possibly sound.

(15) “Misirlou” – Korla Pandit

You might recognize this song as Dick Dale’s opening theme to Pulp Fiction, but it has long been a standard for exotica artists. And few were more exotic than Korla Pandit—the turbaned, mysterious maestro of the keyboards—who would take to the TV airwaves of Los Angeles and San Francisco to stare dreamily into the camera as he performed “the universal language of music.”

(16) “Bom Bom/Mood Tattooed” – Les Baxter

(17) “Hypnotique” – Martin Denny

(18) “Teach Me, Tiger” – April Stevens

This song caused a bit of an uproar back in ’59 because of its suggestiveness. April Stevens’ whispering vocals have resulted in the song being frequently misattributed to Marilyn Monroe.

(19) “Out of Limits” – The Ventures

One more from the Ventures, who out-Twilight Zone their own cover of the Twilight Zone theme with this twisty classic.

(20) “Moon Mist” – The Out-Islanders

The great arranger and conductor Billy May collaborated with jazz bandleader Charlie Barnet on a now-classic album of exotica, Polynesian Fantasy, as The Out-Islanders. The soothing, wordless lead vocals from Marni Nixon provide a perfect closing as Cady announces Last Call. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay at Tambuku Tiki Lounge. She’s got important things to take care of.


  1. Rhianna
    July 11, 2011 @ 3:20 PM

    😀 These are amazing! Jupe looks EXACTLY how I pictured him. I don’t suppose trading cards are in the works?


  2. Jenn Bennett
    July 11, 2011 @ 4:36 PM

    Glad you like them! They were kind of fast and sketchy, but I had fun.

    Yes, I was thinking of doing trading cards. 🙂 I’m also creating Tambuku Tiki & La Sirena postcards that will go up here in a couple of weeks. I thought that a signed postcard might be more fun than than the usual bookplate. 🙂


  3. Jenn Bennett » Blog Archive » Harry Potter, Vampire Wire, and Tambuku Playlist
    July 15, 2011 @ 7:08 AM

    […] [EXTRAS!] […]


  4. synde
    July 16, 2011 @ 10:38 PM

    I love the trading cards so much…and I WANT a postcard.. The playlist is swingin..I would totally hang out there…totally..
    Esquivel for the win..


  5. Jenn Bennett
    July 18, 2011 @ 12:26 PM

    Thanks, Synde! I will definitely send you trading cards and postcard, and I’m so glad you like the swinging playlist. 🙂


  6. Carrie Beth Brown
    September 26, 2011 @ 3:29 PM

    I just found my way back to this page after all the love that I now have for Lon, Cady and Jupe and… Trading Cards!!! Wowzers… that would be awesome!! 🙂 You really did an amazing job with these portraits…beautiful!


  7. Jenn Bennett
    September 26, 2011 @ 6:00 PM

    Thanks, Carrie! I’ll save you a set when I get them printed. 😀


  8. Ljilja
    December 1, 2011 @ 3:52 PM

    Hi, Jenn! I adore “Kindling the Moon”.:) You did wright in book when Cady was ogling Lon that he has kissable lips, but nothing prepared me for that portrait…! Those are some very sexy lips. Great job! 🙂


  9. Jenn Bennett
    December 1, 2011 @ 9:22 PM

    Ljilja: Aww, thanks so much! I really appreciate it. 🙂


  10. Heather
    December 30, 2011 @ 7:33 PM

    Enjoyed the read, I am an avid reader and comic book aficionado, so the drawings were awesome as well. Look forward to more works from you!


  11. Jenn Bennett
    December 30, 2011 @ 11:13 PM

    Heather: Aww, thanks so much! Have a happy new year!


  12. jeff
    February 4, 2012 @ 6:02 PM

    Hi Jenn, Had to tell you how much I enjoyed “Kindling the Moon” From the very beginning Cady’s character grabbed me, as well as the storyline itself. Cant wait for the sequel. Also your pick of The Ventures music from The Ventures in Space are great selections and music I still play these days. Your artwork is fantastic, I would think about approaching DC comics and their Vertigo line about doing a 3 to 5 part story arc of Cady’s adventures. That would make a great visual treat for us. Thank you so much for an enjoyable 1st adventure.


  13. Jenn Bennett
    February 7, 2012 @ 8:52 AM

    Hey Jeff: Thanks so much for all your kind words! I’d love to illustrate a Cady comic—especially for Vertigo. Not sure if my contract would allow me to do that, but a girl can dream. 🙂 Anyway, thanks again, and hope you enjoy book 2 in April. 🙂


  14. Review: Summoning the Night by Jenn Bennett (Arcadia Bell #2) | Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks
    April 17, 2012 @ 5:31 AM

    […] him looking like Johnny Depp but now that I’ve seen the images that Jenn painted and posted on her site, I see him as Jenn sees him.  And even though the idea of Johnny Depp’s image being gone […]


  15. Sheila
    May 4, 2012 @ 4:00 PM

    I just finished your book, Kindling the Moon and I loved it! I just wanted to thank you for creating such lovable characters, ‘specially Lon. Yum. Maybe you could have him do some “piratey” lines in a future book, just for fun.


  16. Jenn Bennett
    May 4, 2012 @ 11:43 PM

    Hi Sheila! So glad you liked KINDLING! I’m rather partial to Lon, myself. 😉 And with regards to the pirate thing (LOL) should definitely check out the digital short, LEASHING THE TEMPEST, which comes out in December. There will be some jokes at Lon’s expense during a boat cruise. 😀


  17. Gale
    November 21, 2012 @ 12:18 AM

    Just finished Kindling The Moon and I loved it! What a great start to a new series – good character development, unusual/different storyline – I definitely am going to follow you!


    • Jenn Bennett
      November 21, 2012 @ 2:19 AM

      Gale: Aww, thanks! So glad you enjoyed! Thank you for the kind words (I’m always pleased when someone says my work is “different,” because I like to color outside the lines, so to speak). 😀


  18. dr susan
    June 11, 2013 @ 12:51 AM

    I love your books, especially since they do not have the dreaded love triangle plot gimmick, but why, oh why, must you torture your loyal, suffering readers with multiple Everest-sized cliffhangers?? I picture you sitting at your computer with your pugs on your lap, throwing your head back and laughing “bwah hah hah.” Yes, I just finished Binding the Shadows, and have reread the last 30 pages 5 times and all I can do is whimper.


    • Jenn Bennett
      June 11, 2013 @ 4:26 AM

      Hi Susan! I know, the end of BINDING is a rough one! But it is the one and only major cliffhanger ending in the series (promise!), and everything left in midair will pick up right at the beginning of book 4. I can also promise a very Lon-and-Cady plot w/some extra servings of smexy times, and a handful of chapters from Jupe’s POV. AND I can promise that the end of book 4 is quite likely to bring tears of the happy sort. Does that help?

      P.S.: Damn, you really have my writing routine down—pugs in lap, and all! 😉


  19. Bev Dorough
    June 27, 2013 @ 2:00 PM

    Just finished Binding the Shadows. Gads girl, your books just keep getting better! HUGE cliffhanger on that one; now can’t wait for the next book! You’ve got me hooked. (Not sure you’ll recognize the name…we missed you in PCB!)


    • Jenn Bennett
      June 28, 2013 @ 3:11 AM

      BEV! Hey there! Wow, I’m so glad you like this one—and I’m tickled to death that you’re reading them. Thanks for being so sweet and supportive. This makes my day! (Next PCB trip, I’m going and leaving the hubs at home, LOL!) –Jenn


  20. Beth
    October 10, 2013 @ 7:00 AM

    Love the Arcadia Bell series, came across it by accident when I was searching for another book on amazon and love, love, love it.


    • Jenn Bennett
      October 10, 2013 @ 12:32 PM

      Hey, Beth! So glad you are enjoying. Thanks for reading! 🙂


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