Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Book Review: Tiwaka Goes to Waikiki, by Everett Peacock

Book Review: Tiwaka Goes to Waikiki, by Everett Peacock

Another fun read featuring my favorite parrot

Book three in the Life and Times of a Hawaiian Tiki Bar was just as much fun to read as the first two. I sort of expected more of the same types of stories as the first two books, but author Everett Peacock changed things up a little, taking the journey of Tiwaka the parrot out of the usual setting and into some crazy (and sometimes frightening) adventures.

Everett's books are always fun and easy to read, perfect for a relaxing weekend at the beach. I wouldn't call this book "light" certainly goes into some very heavy, serious stuff, but is balanced out nicely with just the right amount of levity and magic. Like a finely-crafted exotic cocktail, this book goes down smooth and leaves you with a great feeling at the end.

If you haven't read the first two books in the series you might not "get" all of it, so I'd recommend reading them in order.

If you dig the beach, the sun, dreams of Hawaii, surfing, sailing, or just having fun in the sun, you'll dig this book!

Five Stars all the way.

-Christopher Pinto, Noir/Paranormal Mystery Author

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Ghost Story, October 12

 Day 12.

As I descend deeper into my madness with decorating for Halloween, I find myself looking over my shoulder a lot, seeing things out of the corners of my eyes, hearing strange sounds that don't belong. I know most of this is probably because our house is now covered with plastic skulls, cutouts of zombies and wall hangings depicting evil phantoms. But still...

Not too much happened since my last post, except that yet another bulb blew out (is that four? five? I'm losing count), and I heard a strange scratching noise coming from the front room (where my father used to live). Could have been some kind of animal on the window, but it didn't sound like that to me.

There is something else. Something I can't put my finger on. Just a feeling; that feeling that you enter a room, and although you see no one else there, you know you are not alone. Maybe it's my mind playing tricks.

Maybe it's something else.

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Ghost Story, Day 8, Tuesday

Another bulb is out. That makes three. Also, last night a very strange thing happened.

In the front bedroom, which used to be my father's room, the light dimmed for a second and came back. I thought it was going to blow. It only happened on one light...not the whole house, so it wasn't a brown out. Just one bulb, dimmed, and came back.

There are now plastic skeletons and black lights all over the house. I used to be terrified of skulls, when I was a little kid...a bi-product of walking in on "Dark Shadows" while my mother was watching, the episode with the giant skull with glowing eyes on a black background scared the living daylights out of me. Hey, I was like three. But that phobia stuck with me for years.

Now I am surrounded by skulls, and probably the ghost of my long-passed father.

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island

My Ghost Story, Day 7, Monday

Monday, Oct. 7.
Took off work and spent the entire day decorating. I kind of expected some strange things to happen, but only one bulb burned out. A new one, of course. A red one. Yes, another red one.

Something else happened today. Colleen got the notice: Laid off from work. yay.

The house is starting to look like a haunted mansion. I've been decorating for Halloween all my life, but have gone bat-crap crazy the last 20 years, turning the house into a house of horrors. I get this from my father, who loved to decorate for anything, and my mother, who loved the occult, and Halloween.

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island

My Ghost Story, Day Six, Sunday, Oct. 6

Friday and Saturday, spent most of the time decorating for Halloween. Nothing "otherworldly" happened. All quiet.

But today, Sunday, a strange thing happened.

Colleen, my wife, went to do the laundry, and discovered the part that you load the fabric softener was missing. She asked me what I did with it.

Generally, I don't use it when I wash my clothes, and leave it up on the shelf above the washer. I told her that's where it was. She couldn't find it. This quickly escalated, for no real reason, into an argument of "who's fault it's missing". We searched all over and couldn't find it.

A few minutes later she shut herself in the bedroom. I decided to take one last look. For whatever reason, still not sure why, I decided to look in the running washing machine. Guess what? There is was, floating in the water.

I got Colleen and showed her. She thought I was pulling a gag on her. She didn't believe me, when I told her I just found it in there. I finally convinced her I wasn't playing around.

We had both looked in the washer prior to the argument. Don't ask me how it "materialized" inside the washer when we both looked in there. Normally, I'd say it was just coincidence. But I remembered the missing bottle a few days ago.

This can be described as typical poltergeist activity...things moving, missing then reappearing, bulbs blowing...or, it might just be coincidence.

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island

Friday, October 4, 2013

My Ghost Story: Oct 3, 2013


Fairly quiet today. Worked all day, came home and did some decorating for the upcoming Halloween party. No blown bulbs, no strange noises. Until...

About one a.m., heard an eerie crashing noise coming from the living room. It sounded like an avalanche of plastic cups and dishes. Never heard anything like it before. The dog jumped, the cats scattered. The noise lasted a full three seconds, like something was falling in slow motion.

Colleen (my wife) and I looked all over the house, fearing the worst. I figured some of the shelves that our curios are may have collapsed. We found nothing out of place.

Finally, just before we were ready to give up, I noticed Colleen's hand back, upside down on the floor. She had left it on the couch. Apparently, it flipped itself over and landed on the floor. We thought it may have been one of the cats, but one cat was with us, and the other was sleeping in a tight coil on another chair where he had been all day.

Could be nothing. Could be coincidence. Could be the bag just happened to roll off the couch, after being there since 6pm. Could be.

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island

Thursday, October 3, 2013

My Ghost Story: Oct 2, 2013


It has begun.

This evening the first bulb of the season burned out. This was a brand new red party bulb, in a brand new clamp-on lamp. It wasn't even the cheap was the spiral kind, that are supposed to last hundreds of hours. It lasted four.

It's actually pretty early for things to start. I wonder what the rest of the month will be like.

ADDED 11:30 PM

Either I'm crazy, or my old man's ghost is starting to screw with me early this year, and stronger than past years. At around 8pm, I went to get a small bottle of glow in the dark paint from the bathroom counter. It's been there since I started decorating a week ago. I keep it there, because it's the guest bathroom and I know no one will touch it there. (This also happened to be the bathroom my father used when he lived with us).

Well, I went to get the bottle, and it wasn't there. I looked all over the counter, which is only 2' by 4'. Nothing. Moved stuff, looked under the sink (it's the bowl type that sits on the counter), looked on the floor, ran my hands over everything...gone. Looked outside, which was the last place I used it. Not there. Went back to the bathroom and looked again; turned off the light and looked for the "glow" of the bottle. Nada.

I gave up and went about my business of changing the blown bulb and doing some more decorating.

A few minutes ago, I went into the bathroom to wash up.

Imagine how strange I felt, when I saw that little bottle of paint sitting on the counter next to the sink. RIGHT NEXT TO THE SINK, where I had run my hands under the bowl, and moved everything around, trying to find it.

I froze. I actually got chills up my spine, seeing that bottle sitting there. I turned off the light...and it glowed like a beacon from a lighthouse.

There's no way in hell I could have missed that bottle. My old man is playing tricks on me.

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island

My Ghost Story: Oct 1, 2013


Decorating for Halloween. I love Halloween, always have, and go crazy with decor. I get this from my parents: My mother was heavily into anything occult, my father loved old horror movies and was great at building sets and props.

I didn't expect anything to happen right on October 1. I was right...all was quiet. No bulbs blew out, no strange feelings, nothing. Even the cats and the dog were acting normal.

I got a lot done on the decor. Built a facade in front of the entrance to the house that says "Maniac Mansion". That's this year's theme for my big Halloween party. Hopefully no real maniacs will show up, but I wouldn't be surprised if a ghost or two does.

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island

My Ghost Story: Chronicle of October, 2013

 On October 31, 2003, my father, Charlie Pinto, passed away. Yes, on Halloween day. That morning, he told the nurse that his wife came to visit (she died in 1996) and that she was coming back later so they could go out dancing.

My father was a strong willed man, and up until a month before his death he was completely independent. But as heart disease began to take hold, he became very weak in a short time. This came to a head one early October day when his overhead lamp's bulb burned out, and he couldn't reach up to change it. He was angry and practically in tears; as I was leaving for work he very emotionally asked me to change it for him (he lived in our house's front bedroom) because he didn't want to left in the dark before I got home. I of course changed the bulb; he apologized a dozen times for making me late for work. I told him I didn't care about work. He felt better.

My father, Charlie Pinto on left, with my mother, Sabina.
Hawaiian Cottage, NJ, 1963

Every years since his death, at least three or four light bulbs burn out, blow out or down-right explode, starting at the end of September, with the last going out just before Halloween. It doesn't matter if they are new bulbs, 7-year bulbs, or whatever. We almost never have bulbs blow out during the rest of the year (even in the summer with the tropical squalls and brown-outs), but we can count on several blowing out in October.

Other strange things happen during this time of year too. Things that don't normally happen. Things my wife and I see that we don't normally see. The cats and the dog act strange. Odd noises come from the attic. The light - the atmosphere - in my father's old room, now a library, changes...gets darker, eerier.

This year I am going to chronicle the events that take place each day. If nothing happens for a day or two, I'll skip them. But I want a written record of these blowing bulbs, strange sights and odd feelings. It won't prove anything, of course...but I'll know, and you'll know, that they are actually the result of something supernatural.

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island