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  • Book Signing at the Mai Kai Tonight! Murder on Tiki Island, The Parrot Talks in Chocolate

    Posted on January 4th, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    cover-murder-on-tiki-island-marinaBook signing by authors “Tiki” Chris Pinto and Everett Peacock

    Tonight, Wednesday, January 4, 2012, 6pm-8pm

    Mai Kai Polynesian Restaurant and Tiki Bar, Fort Lauderdale, FL

    If you’re in South Florida this Wednesday, be sure to stop by The Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale and meet yours truly, Tiki Chris P. and Hawaii’s own Everett Peacock for our first book signing together!

    It’s a rare treat to team up with Everett Peacock, author of the Parrot Talks series and other Hawaiian tales of fiction. I will be selling and signing paperback copies of the Tiki world’s official murder mystery, Murder on Tiki Island, along with my Wildwood Murder mystery Murder Behind the Closet Door, while Everett’s books will include The Parrot Talks in Chocolate, In the Middle of the World’s Most Wonderful of Oceans, Tiwaka Goes To Waikiki and Death by Facebook.

    The Mai Kai is the world’s most famous, oldest-standing, unchanged and theerfore koolest original mid-century Tiki bar in the world. Built in 1956, it just celebrated its 55th anniversary as the Tiki world’s Mecca. Millions of people have made the pilgrimage to Fort Lauderdale, FL to pay tribute to this temple of Tiki, and have done so by imbibing strong, vintage-style tropical drinks, enjoying incredible exotic foods, watching the authentic hula dancers and ending the evening off with a trinket from the gift shop. Now, that gift shop includes works from today’s Tiki artists from all over the world. The newest addition is a collection of Tiki-related books, including those groovy tomes mentioned above.

    Everett Peacock

    Everett Peacock

    Everett Peacock lives on the island of Maui, in the state of Hawaii, USA. His books have delighted thousands of people, telling tales of the Hawaiian Islands and their interesting inhabitants. His works range from the very lighthearted and uplifting The Parrot Talks in Chocolate, to the spooky paranormal mystery Death by Facebook. All of his works transcend our everyday existence, blending the metaphysical with human reality. His books consistently achieve five-star reviews on many book review sites…and I personally recommend them to anyone who digs Tiki, Hawaii, parrots or cocktails served in coconuts.

    "Tiki" Chris Pinto, old-school style

    "Tiki" Chris Pinto, old-school style

    I, Tiki Chris Pinto, live down here in sunny South Florida with my wife Colleen, just a few miles west of the sparkling beaches of Fort Lauderdale and the rum-soaked delights of the Mai Kai. I’ve been writing since I was a kid, and my successes included several murder mystery stage plays, the 5-star rated novels Murder Behind the Closet Door and Murder on Tiki Island, and a collection of flash fiction entitled A Flash of Noir. Murder Under The Boards: The Atlantic City Murder Mystery is the novel that’s currently in the works, and will feature my recurring paranormal mystery theme along with my recurring flawed protagonist, Detective Bill Riggins. (For those of you who dig books by Stephen King and Mickey Spillane, you’ll flip for these titles).

    Both Everett and I will have several books on hand for sale, and will also sign copies of books you’ve already purchased. Hell, we’ll even sign books we didn’t write. Why not!

    Hope to see some of you kool kats and kittens at the Mai Kai tonight!

    All of our books can be found on Amazon.com, in print and for Kindle, and for Nook. For more info visit StarDustMysteries.com.

    -Tiki Chris P., reporting from the Molokai bar.

  • Murder, Sex, Ghosts & The Jersey Shore: Murder Behind the Closet Door

    Posted on July 16th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    Murder Behind the Closet Door, The Wildwood Paranormal Mystery By Tiki Chris Pinto

    Murder Behind the Closet Door, The Wildwood Paranormal Mystery By Tiki Chris Pinto

    Murder Behind the Closet Door: The Wildwood Paranormal Mystery by Christopher “Tiki Chris” Pinto, paperback now ON SALE for only $10.76 at Amazon.com!

    Many of you who follow this swingin’ B-Lounge already know that yours truly is an aspiring writer millionaire.

    Last year I published my first full-length retro-style neo-noir novel, Murder Behind the Closet Door. Original price for the 600-page masterpiece was $16.95, $3.95 for the kindle version. A hefty price tag for any tome, but everyone who’s read it has said it is worth it 🙂

    A few months ago I re-tooled the layout to bring the paperback down to a more manageable (and less intimidating) 425 pages, at a tag of $14.95. Sales increased!

    Well, Amazon has done me the great favor of running a DISCOUNT on the book now, which makes it even more enticing! Now you can get the paperback in all its glory for only $10.76, a fantastic bargain for this wild ride. Or, of course, you can still pick it up on Kindle or Nook for $3.95.

    Why buy this book?

    Good question. Let me just take a sip of my coffee and bourbon, and I’ll lay it down for you (siiiiiip).

    Hudson House, one of the two haunted houses in Murder Behind the Closet Door

    Hudson House, one of the two haunted houses in Murder Behind the Closet Door

    This book swings you back in time to Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, the grooviest, funnest towns on the Jersey Shore (sorry Asbury Park, you’ve got nothing on Wildwood). The action starts with a heart-wrenching murder…as experienced by the victim…then moves into the life of Heather, a 22-year old woman starting her life as marketing manager for the famous Hunt’s Pier on the Wildwood Boardwalk in 1979.

    Almost immediately her story turns to one of mystery and fascination, as she admits to being haunted by an entity in her closet. This all seems innocent at first…

    The Wildwood Boardwalk, 1970s

    The Wildwood Boardwalk, 1970s

    Using my own style of flashback, character-weaving and time-rearrangement, the story unfolds to reveal a multi-layered plot of murder, revenge, phantoms, wartime coverups, denial, hot women, the afterlife and the people who protect us from myriad unseen demons. All of this wraps itself around a solid, noir-gumshoe style detective story, featuring one of the freshest, most interesting and exciting hero detectives to come along since Mike Hammer (IMHO), Detective Bill Riggins. (Riggins is also featured as the main character in my latest novel, Murder on Tiki Island, and will continue his adventures in the upcoming Murder Under the Boards: The Atlantic City Murder Mystery.)

    For an in-depth look at Murder Behind the Closet Door, visit the MBTCD official website.

    OK, that sounds cool, but why should I think Tiki Chris’ writing is worth 11 bucks?

    Fair question. Short answer is if you dig what you read here, you will absolutely dig this book, and my other writings.

    "Tiki" Chris Pinto, old-school style

    "Tiki" Chris Pinto, old-school style

    Although I compare the book to those of Stephen King, Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler and Dean Koontz, my style doesn’t copy any of theirs…my style is my own, hammered out over 30+ years of writing, learning, experiencing and, well, drinking.

    I’ve been writing since I was 12, winning a prize from the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin for a short story, then taking a stab at writing a full-length musical (entitled “Swingtime”) which was performed at my high school during my senior year (it too was a neo-noir style drama).

    In 1989 I picked up the pen for my first paid advertising assignment, and have been writing advertising copy professionally (and making typos) ever since (just like Mad Men, I’m the Creative Director of a national ad agency…except my office is in Hollywood, Florida, not CA).

    "Tiki" Chris Pinto and Jeannette Pereda in "One Crazy Mystery", Stardust Productions, 1995

    "Tiki" Chris Pinto and Jeannette Pereda in "One Crazy Mystery", Stardust Productions, 1995

    That same year I formed Star Dust Productions Mystery Theater, and began writing and producing comedy plays and murder mysteries, mostly for dinner theater settings. With my wife Colleen, we successfully ended a 10-year span of over 400 performances of six different shows (written by me) with a 1930s radio show performance on the Ocean City Music Pier, NJ.

    After moving to South Florida in 2000, I decided to turn my talents toward writing noir fiction, and began a series of short stories and flash fiction (due out in book form & ebook this summer). A flood of memories from my shore days in Jersey came with the move, and in 2002 I sat down to write my first novel. I decided to make it something I’d want to read myself, something fun and full of action, something spooky yet believable, with interesting characters and an unusual plot line. At 2am on a thunder-filled south Florida night, “Behind the Closet Door” was born.

    Today, I write for The Fort Lauderdale Examiner, manage the Facebook Retro Tiki Lounge, and of course run amock here at Tiki Lounge Talk.

    So, yeah, I’ve got some experience as a writer, right? So trust me, the book is solid.

    What makes Detective Riggins so special?

    .45 Auto used by Detective Riggins in Murder Behind the Closet Door

    .45 Auto used by Detective Riggins in Murder Behind the Closet Door

    Riggins is not your regular ole goodie-two-shoes, uphold-the-law kind of guy that you read about in most books or see in a lot of flicks. To say he’s flawed is a true understatement. He’s big, tough, sarcastic, arrogant and has his own code of conduct and sense of morality that doesn’t always jive with the establishment, but he’s smart enough to stay out of most trouble, and to get away with dealing out justice the way he personally thinks it should be dealt. He does some screwed up stuff but in the end you’ll find yourself on his side, routing for him to succeed. He’s an old-time tough-guy cop with a young, hard-drinkin’ jazz-diggin’ spirit. He learned how to kill on the battlefields of Korea and still carries his military-issue .45 automatic. He likes hot rods and fast women and doesn’t have time to settle down with just one dame. He’s a New York vice cop who has a deep hatred for pushers yet a soft spot for junkies and hookers, as he usually sees them as victims. He doesn’t have many friends on the force; he prefers to hang out with beat musicians and barflies, as he finds them much more interesting. And somehow, for reasons he’ll never learn (but you will), he seems to attract the spirits of the murdered dead.

    If you’ve read through this whole long-assed post, I guarantee you will truly dig this book. You can read the first few pages on Amazon, and can find snippets of it at Stardust Mysteries Publishing or the official Murder Behind the Closet Door website.

    Oh, and if you do dig it, please post a review on Amazon.com. Every little bit helps, and maybe someday you can say you’re pals with a famous mystery writer 😉

    -Tiki Chris Pinto reporting from the library at Tiki Island Resort, Florida
    Tiki Lounge Talk – Everyone’s favorite B-Lounge for kookie retro fun stuff!

  • Your Weekend Tiki Bar Drink Recipe: The Bali Hai Ball, and Ernest Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon

    Posted on December 3rd, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments

    tiki-bar-drinksIt’s Happy Hour at the Tiki Bar!

    That’s right kats and kittens, you get two for the price of one this week at the Tiki Bar! One I found while looking for something completely different, one I found while looking for a use for some aging cream of coconut. First, lets hit a very groovy Tiki Bar Cocktail,

    The Bali Hai Ball

    Even the name is great. I found the recipe at a very hip site, Tiki Drink Recipes.com…here it goes…

    1 oz vodka
    1/2 oz light rum
    1/2 oz banana liqueur
    1 oz pina colada mix
    1 oz pineapple juicetiki-drink

    Shake it up with ice in a shaker and serve in a tall Tiki Mug or Highball glass and garnish with all the fruit you can find. And I don’t see any reason why you can’t add a little cream of coconut in there, too.

    I found the second recipe on a book reader site, biblioklept.org. This is taken directly from their site. Check it out, there’s some fun stuff there. (Click here to see the entire post)

    “Ernest Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon

    A recipe for a drink named after Hemingway’s novel Death in the Afternoon was published in the 1935 cocktail book So Red the Nose, or Breath in the Afternoon by Sterling North and Carl Kroch. Here’s that recipe–

    Add one jigger of absinthe to a champagne flute
    Add iced champagne until it attains the proper opalescence.
    A small amount of sugar or Gomme syrup can be added to round it out, especially when using a verte absinthe.

    Here’s Hemingway’s note on the drink’s origin–

    This was arrived at by the author and three officers of the H.M.S. Danae after having spent seven hours overboard trying to get Capt. Bra Saunders’ fishing boat off a bank where she had gone with us in a N.W. gale.”

    hemingwayhousekeywest

    Hemingway House in Key West, Florida

    Being a Floridian who frequents Key West, I’ve been to Hemingway’s house down there (a hell of a place) and of course to his old watering holes. I can tell you I’ve never seen this on any of the drink menus, or even heard it murmured among the locals. I guess the whole Absinthe thing keeps it from being commercially viable.

    A few mentions…

    For my South Florida fans, the Broward County Fair finishes up this weekend, with a classic car show on Saturday and rides open through Sunday. Check it out at http://browardfair.org.

    Also next Saturday, December 11, the City of Hollywood, FL will be having a Hawaiian Holiday at the ArtsPark. This is a free holiday-themed Polnesian show that will feature entertainers from Hollywood-based Ohana Arts. More info here.

    With any luck, my Tiki lady & I will be at both events. I’ll be the guy in the Hawaiian shirt. Come up and say Aloha!

    -Tiki Chris reporting from Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar for Tiki Lounge Talk, the interwebs’ b-lounge for Tiki Culture fans and Retro Hep Cats, Daddy-O!

    (If you Like this, push the little button below that says ‘Like’:)

  • PROOF That Real Pirates Still Roam Key West!

    Posted on August 20th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 4 comments

    alvas

    goldbar It’s a drag when someone breaks into a museum, busts up a display and steals a $550,000 gold piece of history, probably to melt down and sell for booze, gas and grass. But when it happens to be a gold bar from a 300+ year-old Spanish wreck in Key West, Florida, well that’s a whole other story.

    According to this article in the South Florida Sun Sentinel, two thieves entered the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, broke the thick acrylic case surrounding the real gold bar and made off with it in the night. The bar was on display in a special enclosure that allowed people to lift and hold the bar, so we could feel the weight and history of it. (I held this bar myself a couple of years ago while on a KW trip). The gold bar was salvaged from the wreck of the Santa Margarita, a Spanish ship that went down off the Keys during a hurricane in 1622. The bar was recovered in 1980 and has been on display for more than 20 years.atocha

    Then along came two pirates. I call them pirates because A) these kats didn’t knock over a gas station, they went after treasure, treasure from a Spanish ship that sailed during the heyday of pirates. GOLD treasure. If two real pirates came back to life as zombies, they couldn’t have planned this better. B) It happened in Key West, where a very high percentage of the year-round population claims to either be pirates themselves, or descended from real pirates (or pirate hunters). C) They did it right under everyone’s noses, didn’t care about the security cameras or the alarm, and just took what they came for. And D) because I will bet you any amount of doubloons that there was rum involved.

    pirate-blackbird-chrisIt is a drag for the museum. Even though they have hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of these bars, it’s still not cool to steal from a place that makes it so much fun for the public to enjoy.

    Unless, of course, you’re a pirate.

    These guys might be crack-head scumbags. They might be lowlife petty thieves who made a run for the big time. Or they might have had it up to their necks with all the wealth being in the hands of the few while the majority of the world is sweating to make a buck. Who knows. I know one thing: I kinda hope they’re more the Jack Sparrow type of pirates…and I kinda hope they get away with it. At least until the Coast Guard finds their pirate ship and blows it out of the water.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, in the cavern under the waterfall on Pirate Island.

  • Murder on Tiki Island Coming Along Nicely

    Posted on August 4th, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 5 comments

    retro-fun-stuffThe much anticipated “Murder on Tiki Island” by Tiki Chris Pinto (me) is more than half finished. My goal is to get it laid down by the end of September. Then will come the re-writes and edits. With luck, it will be ready to pub by the Christmas Season.

    Murder on Tiki Island takes place in 1956, on a private resort Island off the Florida Keys. Detective Bill Riggins (from Murder Behind the Closet Door) takes a vacation from his NYC cop job only to get caught up in a murder that goes beyond mystery, beyond our own plane of existence into the realm of the paranormal. Hot dames, steamy nights, fast cars and tropical cocktails come together like rum and lime juice in this vintage-style noir thriller. If you dig what you read here, kids, you’ll dig this tome.

    Murder Behind the Closet Door by Chris Pinto

    Murder Behind the Closet Door by Chris Pinto

    If you can’t wait for December then check out Murder Behind the Closet Door, my first novel now available at Amazon.com. I’ve gotten all great reviews on this book (and not just from my pals). Again, it’s a book for people who dig the past and like to relive it through their minds. Set in Wildwood and Ocean City, New Jersey in 1978-79 with flashbacks to 1938, Murder Behind the Closet Door is a 600 page journey through the lives of ordinary people who find themselves thrown into extraordinary circumstances. Read more about it here at StarDust Mysteries, or at Amazon.com

    -Tiki Chris Pinto reporting from the library under the coconut tree,
    Tiki Lounge Talk is THE Tiki Culture/Retro Culture blog for kats and kittens who dig it all, baby. Yeah.