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  • Tropical Storm Isaac washed out a Weekend in South Florida

    Posted on August 26th, 2012 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    cover-murder-on-tiki-island-marinaLiving in the Tropics is great. There’s no better way to enjoy the Tiki good life than having a pool you can use year round, an outdoor Tiki bar and palm trees in your front yard. The downside is, you get Tropical Storms and Hurricanes now and then.

    We got luck with Isaac. Unlike some of the other storms we’ve been hit with, so far this one is just dumping tons of rain on us. It’s already after 5:00pm on Sunday as I write this, and we’ve been lucky enough to not even have a power outage. The winds have been minimal and street flooding is no worse than we usually get during a rain storm.

    But it is a wake-up call. We haven’t had a major storm hit our home in Sunrise (about 12 miles west of Fort Lauderdale Beach) since Wilma tore apart the area in 2005. Many of you out of the area may not even remember Wilma…it was overshadowed by Katrina, which caused substantial damage. But the fact is that Wilma was and still is listed as the most costliest storm in American history. So we’ve been lucky for 7 years…

    It was Hurricane Wilma which gave me the idea for my Tiki-oriented murder mystery book, Murder on Tiki Island. Living through a Category 1 (up to 3) Hurricane was a real eye opener. It made me think of what it would have been like had it hit us head on…basically that would have meant almost total destruction. That led me to research storms of South Florida, which reminded me of the 1935 “Storm of the Century”, a Cat 5 ‘cane that destroyed a large chunk of the Florida Keys. That, and my own experience in the storms here, were the inspiration for my book.

    All weather reports are indicating the worst of the storm is over for us. Tomorrow will probably be rainy but quiet. We dodged the bullet, again.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the storm shelter inside Pirate’s Cove Tiki Lounge

  • Murder on Tiki Island by Tiki Chris Pinto: Great Review on LetsTiki.com

    Posted on November 20th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 3 comments

    The great reviews keep coming in for Murder on Tiki Island by yours truly, Tiki Chris!

    Recently Darrin Vindiola of Dads Dish wrote a spectacular review of the book, siting it’s great imagery, fun characters and original plot line.

    This week, Damon of Let’s Tiki wrote (and put on video) his great review of this Tiki-lover’s tome:

    “Aloha,
    I want to tell you about a great book I recently read, Murder on Tiki Island.  I really enjoyed the book. It made me feel like I was on a tropical vacation when, in reality, I never left Wisconsin.  Murder on Tiki Island was written by Tiki Chris Pinto.  The book takes place in October, 1956, and follows the story of New York City detective Bill Riggins…” You can read the rest of the review here at LetsTiki.com.

    Damon is a long-time connoisseur of Tiki cocktails, culture and decor. His Let’s Tiki website has a ton of great info, exotic cocktail recipes and much more for the Tiki lover.

    Mahalos for that glowing review, Damon! It’s kats like you that the book is written for!

    -Tiki Chris P., author of Murder on Tiki Island.

  • Prest-o-lite: A Vintage Advertising Thermometer from my past

    Posted on July 28th, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 1 comment

    pretolite-thermometerEvery once and a while I like to post about junk I have laying around the house. This little goodie is a vintage (original, not repro) advertising wall thermometer.

    Prest-o-lite batteries were the cream of the crop back in the 1930’s when this little gem was new. A wall thermometer like this would likely have been given to a gas station or service shop owner as a promo gift, to hang on the wall in the shop or outside by the pumps. It’s built of heavy gauge steel, and the graphics appear to be silk-screened with some heavy-duty pre-war lead-based tough-as-nails paint. It’s about two feet tall, and has a nice three-dimensional art deco look.

    Like everything else I write about, it has a story. When I was a kid, living in the suburbs of Atlantic City, there was a very kool old house (built in the early 1920s) across the street from us. It was stucco, had a drive-in basement/garage, hardwood floors and the original 1920s sink and fixtures in the kitchen. Yes, very kool. It also had a couple of acres of nicely-kept land, including a glass and wood green house. As years went by, the owners passed on and the house became a rental. By the time I was in high school it had deteriorated to a heap of crap, and was torn down. Today it is still an empty field. Yay progress.

    Anyway, when I was a teenager a family with a son my age moved into the house and we became friends. One day we were exploring what was left of the then dilapidated greenhouse, and found this thermometer nailed to a post inside. I offered the dumbass $3 bucks for it, and he happily took it (and proceeded to spend it on a Slurpy and some video games). That was 1984. It now hangs in our library room, right next to where I’m typing this post.

    Note the rather large, circular blemish in the middle of the battery graphic. That is a dent…not a hole, a dent…made by a .38 caliber bullet. Not sure why anyone shot the sign. Maybe I’ll use that for my next murder mystery novel. In any case, the kid kept the slug. I got the sign.

    What’s it worth? Who knows. To some collectors it would need to be mint condition to bring top dollar. To others, the authenticity of its used condition makes it worth more. I’ve never seen another one like in the last 25 years. Maybe it’s worth $300 clams. Maybe 50. Maybe more…but it’s not for sale, so it don’t matter much now, do it?

    I’ve had this thing for over 25 years. I’m guessing it will make a nice ornament on the lid of my coffin someday.

    -Tiki Chris Pinto, bestselling author (soon) of Murder on Tiki Island, reporting from the Library Room (What the hell is a “library room”???)

  • Spicy Piña Colada: Your Weekend Tiki Cocktail, and Cocktail Nation

    Posted on July 23rd, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments

    tiki-bar-drinksHow about something frozen on this hot, South Florida day?

    As the Mai Tai is without question the quintessential Tiki Cocktail, the Piña Colada is without doubt the most famous and best-loved Tropical drink. Welcome anyplace on the globe where palm trees and thatch are present, the Piña Colada is at equally at home at the Tiki bar or on a Mexican playa.

    From Shag’s Tiki Drink Deck, here is the

    Spicy Piña Colada

    1 1/2 oz. spiced rum (I prefer Sailor Jerry’s)
    1 1/2 oz. creme de coconut
    2 oz. pineapple juice
    2 oz. pineapple chunks
    splash of cream
    151 rumpina-colada

    Blend everything except the 151 in a blender with ice until smooth. Pour into a hurricane glass, top with about a tablespoon of 151 and garnish with a cherry, pineapple wedge, orange slice and a little umbrella. It’s nothing without the umbrella. Sit in your favorite deck chair pointed at the ocean and enjoy!

    Shag's Tiki Drinks Deck

    Shag's Tiki Drinks Deck

    Cocktail Nation

    So, as I riffed about in my last post, Koop Kooper of Cocktail Nation kindly interviewed me for my newest retro-tastic novel, Murder on Tiki Island. The vintage music podcast is now available at CocktailNation.net (click the link to listen now!) The show is, as always, great, kicking off with a Diana Krall tune and filled with great music and retro koolness. You can catch Koop’s podcast every week, with new-old tunes a’plenty.

    For info on Murder on Tiki Island by Tiki Chris Pinto, visit the Star Dust Mysteries Publishing website at StardustMysteries.com.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the lanai at Pirate’s Cove Tiki Bar, Florida

  • Catch Tiki Chris’ Interview on Koop Kooper’s Cocktail Nation This Weekend!

    Posted on July 21st, 2011 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 2 comments
    Koop Kooper

    Koop Kooper

    Yours truly, Tiki Chris will be featured on Koop Kooper’s Cocktail Nation Lounge & Exotica Radio Show this weekend…Check it out at www.cocktailnation.net.

    The interview concentrates on the release of my kool new Tiki tome, “Murder on Tiki Island: A Paranormal Mystery in the Florida Keys”. It’s a neo-noir style thriller, set in 1956 and filled with swingin’ chicks, hot tropical days, kool cars, palm trees, ghosts and a twisty plot that will keep you turning the pages.

    Murder on Tiki Island by Tiki Chris Pinto

    Murder on Tiki Island by Tiki Chris Pinto

    Murder, Sex, Exotic Cocktails and Exotic Women. And of course, some very eerie phantoms…Set in New York City and the Florida Keys in 1956, Murder on Tiki Island is a noir-style murder mystery which follows Detective Bill Riggins (Murder Behind the Closet Door) through a series of strange, unexplained events surrounding a murder and paranormal phenomena on Florida’s world-famous Tiki Island Resort. Influenced by the style made famous by pulp fiction’s greatest authors from Raymond Chandler to Mickey Spillane, Murder on Tiki Island weaves an intricate web of lies, murder, and the occult shaken with a shot of hot dames and a chaser of cool tropical breezes.

    “Murder on Tiki Island” features Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid on the cover and a custom Tiki by Tiki Hana on the spine (print version).

    Penned by “Tiki” Chris Pinto, author of the noir mystery ghost story Murder Behind the Closet Door, this 1950s style thriller will keep you hanging on edge from the first sentence to the last. Swing back to 1956, when jazz and rock ‘n’ roll both ruled the airwaves, giant finned cars ruled the roadways and Tiki Bars were the hottest spots on the nightlife scene. Riggins, a New York City detective, takes a ‘forced vacation’ to Tiki Island in the world-famous Florida Keys and Key West. Once there he gets mixed up with the seductive daughter of the resort’s wealthy owner; gets taken for a wild ride by a beautiful blonde bombshell; and gets himself suspected of a brutal murder. Skeletons, mermaids, Mai Tais, Exotica music, fishing and phantoms all come together to make this Key West murder mystery a fun, old-fashioned pulp noir novel that’s sure to please anyone who digs the mid-century scene, or just loves plain old fashioned noir-style detective novels. Tiki Chris Pinto’s Florida Keys murder mystery will have you spooked and guessing throughout the entire story, with a few twists that will get you saying, “Wow, daddy-o! Dig that crazy scene!”

    If you dig what you read here at the Tiki Lounge, you’ll love this book. Check it out:

    Murder on Tiki Island official website

    Murder on Tiki Island available at Amazon.com (print version, $11.95)

    Murder on Tiki Island available for Kindle/iPad/Mac/PC ($3.99)

    Murder on Tiki Island for B&N Nook ($3.99)

    Stardust Mysteries Website

    Listen to Koop’s Show this weekend! www.cocktailnation.net.

    -Tiki Chris reporting from the library at Tiki Lounge Talk, the swingin’ B-Lounge for kool kats & hep kittens.