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

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review of the Book "Love Stories are too Violent for Me" by Will Viharo

Review of the Book "Love Stories are too Violent for Me" by Will Viharo

(No Spoilers)

It's been almost 20 years since neo-Noir fiction writer Will Viharo began tapping away at the keys on his old typewriter, each stroke a meager step towards his first Vic Valentine novel, "Love Stories are too Violent for Me". It was that novel, born of Viharo's creative gears and his life's encounters, which started off a string of increasingly gritty, lowdown, dirty, irrevocably human stories featuring his greatly flawed yet greatly admired modernized gumshoe shamus, in incomparable Vic Valentine.

And what a start it was, full of piss and vinegar, thunder and blood, wracked with pain and drizzled with cheap booze under a foggy San Francisco backdrop. There is was, for all to see and read and recover from. A modern masterpiece in the old-fashioned vein or Chandler, Spillane or Hammett with an uncompromising sting of old-school punk and 1990s grunge.

Neo-Noir, he calls it. A combination of vintage mystery styles and modern-day pop pulp, never straying from that time-honored truth: NOIR, the darkest of the dark side of the human condition.

This is where Viharo excels. Not with cliché shots from behind a curtain, not with a rehashing of the quintessential dame in black stockings seductively smoking a cigarette under a neon sign. No, he excels in his own brand of truth, in modern realism with just a hint of fantasy. In laying it all out there, palms up, naked in front of the world for the masses to see. It takes guts to expose your most private inner thoughts on sheets of bleached paper (or a digital page). Viharo does this, in an unforgiving and unapologetic way. Take it or leave it. 

At least one person of note glanced at this book years ago and decided to take it - literally, as he bought the movie rights almost immediately after reading it. That was actor/producer Christian Slater, who found Valentine's voice so overwhelming real, so close to his own, that he had to turn the character into a movie roll. At the time of this review, the project is in the works, in advanced early stages of production. 

Who is Vic Valentine?

A regular guy, a young guy who is just old enough to have had his heart stomped on, his life turned upside down. He's a transplant from New York City who takes a path, on a longshot, that leads him across the country to San Francisco, a town that he's not in love with but will tolerate as long as it tolerates him. His father was a cop, and with the help of a cop friend he gets set up as a private dick, the kind who clicks snapshots of cheating spouses and finds missing persons who generally don't want to be found. 

He's a regular guy with some unusual tastes, with music ranging from The Ramones to Sinatra, a love of cheesy (and classic) old movies, and a tendency to dress a few decades out of style, by choice. He's the kind of cat who complains that he's not a hit with the ladies, while always going after the wrong ones…and doesn't recognize when a chick is actually interested in him. He's got a fairly screwed up past, with family problems and of course the one chick who screwed him royally, and even though it's been six years, he's still not really recovered from this particular chick's departure.

The Book

Valentine a regular Joe, hanging out at a somewhat irregular bar that shows old movies instead of sports, when a drunken pro baseball player stumbles in and asks him to find his missing wife. This is where the reader starts to realize that this is no PG-rated book about a 50's gumshoe. It becomes very real, very raw, very brutal. There are beatings and blood and graphic sex and gritty, dirty language, because that's the way these people roll. At times it becomes nearly disgusting, which is an incredible feat for an author to pull off in these jaded times. And as the story moves forward, we are drawn deeper into Valentine's mind, into his most intimate thoughts, until we either surrender ourselves and become one mind with his, or can't stand to go on. Impressive.

The story is unique, and I won't dare give any of it away here. The interactions among characters, the way Valentine attempts to solve this missing persons riddle, and the mistakes he makes (which you see coming a mile away but know there is no way he could make any other choice) all add up to an intense, graphically head-pounding experience. And yet, through it all, Valentine remains real, credible, likable. 

As with most of Viharo's books, this is not for the timid or the meak. It's not a book for kids and it's not a book for innocent spinsters looking for a light read. Think of it as a punk rock version of a Mike Hammer novel. With more violence. 

Viharo's writing style shines through in this book, a style that is not dated or difficult to adjust to (like some Noir style detective fiction). It's easy and cool, like listening to a guy in a bar who's just had his second cocktail. No wonder Christian Slater connected with Valentine's voice. It's a strong one, a weak one, a tough one, a whiny one, but most of all, a real one.

As a writer and reader of pulp and noir mystery novels, I highly recommend this book to anyone who digs the genre. Get ready for something truly original and truly enjoyable, kats and kittens.

-Christopher Pinto, author of the noir paranormal mysteries
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island
Murder Under The Boards
featuring detective Bill Riggins

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Vampire Killing Kit Website Launched!

New Vampire Killing Kit Website Launched!

CRYSTOBAL, maker of the world's finest vampire killing kits, has launched a new website showcasing his work. From cross-stakes to full original vampire killing kits for sale, this site has everything that has made CRYSTOBAL the go-to guy for authentic, primitive style vampire killing kits.

Of particular interest on this site is the True Blood inspired "Stackhouse" Vampire Killing Kit. This kit has been built to specs, as if it were created for the Stackhouse family in the late 19th century.

The site also has info on CRYSTOBAL himself, his history, and how he got into building vampire killing kits. It also features a blog with current trends on new kits and accessories. The photo galleries showcase several of his completed works. They will be adding more photos as the the site progresses.

The site also has a page for Vampire Killing Kits for Sale, including the Stackhouse kit. There are links to the Etsy Page where the artist's works are featured.

Visit the site at

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island
Murder Under the Boards
A Flash of Noir

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Just Released! "Murder Under the Boards: The Atlantic City Paranormal Mystery by Christopher Pinto"

 The third book in the Bill Riggins mystery series is out, and it's chock-full of ghosts, secret plots and murder.

Bill Riggins is back in this spooky, sometimes funny supernatural mystery thriller. The New York City detective hasn't had a vacation in over a year. His last vacation on Tiki Island turned out to be a disaster, and when his Captain tells him to take a long weekend after an accidental run-in with a switchblade, Riggins decides to spend it home alone, drinking and listening to jazz. His quiet weekend is turned upside down when he gets a last-minute invite to spend a few days in The World's Playground, Atlantic City. Things start out great, but...

An angelic phantom. A vicious seriel killer. A deranged woman with a thing for Jazz and guns. A secret network of paranormal "protectors" and more ghosts than Hackney's has lobsters. Fill in the holes with a few fifths of Bourbon, a hot-rodded 57 Chevy and a vice cop who's on a mission of revenge, and you've got the right ingredients boiling in the pot for a wham-bang thriller.

Set in 1958 with flashbacks to the Roaring Twenties and flashes ahead to 1982, this murder mystery ghost story will have you wondering just who the bad guys are...and keep you guessing till the last sentence!

Do the murdered stay dead? Is showbiz in the glitzy Jersey shore town all it's cracked up to be? Is Atlantic City really just a magnet for crooked politicians, loose dames and crazies? Murder Under the Boards may not answer all the questions, but it sure is a fun ride trying.

"Murder Under The Boards" is available in 300-page softcover or Kindle eBook through Click here for more info and to purchase.

-Christopher Pinto, author of
Murder Behind The Closet Door
Murder on Tiki Island
Murder Under the Boards
Tiki Lounge Talk

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Murder Behind the Closet Door, Book One FREE Kindle Promo now through April 10

Murder Behind the Closet Door, Book One FREE Kindle Promo now through April 10

Book one of three of the abridged version of the Amazon Best Selling book "Murder Behind the Closet Door" is being offered FREE for Kindle and Kindle app users, through April 10. Click the link below to download this one-time offer.

Murder Behind the Closet Door, Book One at

Set in the Jersey shore towns or Wildwood, Ocean City and Cape May, Murder Behind the Closet Door is a paranormal murder mystery which combines modern, Stephen King-esque occult with a noir-style detective mystery. This book was on the top 10 on three times in the last two years.

The story centers around a strong female character who finds herself victimized by an unknown force. With the help of friends and her vice squad step father, Detective Bill Riggins (Murder on Tiki Island, Murder Under The Boards) she embarks on a journey of discovery, ultimately endangering the lives of herself and those she loves.

Retailed at $4.99 for book one, and $2.99 for books two and three, Murder Behind the Close Door, Book One Abridged is being offered for FREE through Amazon's promotion until Wednesday, April 10.

Here's what people are saying about Murder Behind the Closet Door:

"Christopher Pinto's bestselling book, "Murder Behind the Closet Door" has been abridged for those who enjoy a faster read without as many "side stories". Over 150 pages of interesting but "not necessary to the plot" stories have been removed to streamline this incredible book to appeal to today's faster readers."
- C.L. Stevens, Cardiff, NJ

“Retro-culture impresario and swingin' scribe Chris Pinto has created a vibrant, entertaining, compelling and imaginative portrait of a very specific time and place - South Jersey in the late 1970s - with a grisly ghost story at its center. The reader delves into a richly depicted world where one keenly tastes, feels, smells and lives the sensations of the Wildwood boardwalk area and its residents throughout a series of mysteriously macabre events. The characters are so well drawn, the dialogue so true, and the incidental and environmental descriptions so vivid that the internal horrors and fantastical elements around which the complex outer narrative swirls seem that much more realistic and credible in context. Pinto achieves a Stephen King-like mixture of mundane, suburban angst spiked and punctuated with sudden, terrifying intrusions from beyond the grave. As someone who grew up in the area, during that era, I could relate to every person and scene in this sprawling epic. The many pop culture references only add to its overall appeal as a literary time capsule. I very much look forward to Chris's next hardboiled but heartfelt endeavor.” "You can taste, feel, smell, hear and see everything in this book and there's a LOT. It's a feast for the senses." - Will “The Thrill’ Viharo, CA

"Murder Behind the Closet Door (full version) is an interesting combination of the paranormal and mystery genres with the added twist that the story takes place over thirty years ago. That last aspect greatly enhanced my enjoyment. So many changes to society and technology have occurred in the past three decades, reading this book was like traveling through a time capsule to a far earlier age.
This novel is a throwback in several respects and, in fact, resembles 1970s fiction, thus matching the era of the story. The book is thick, around 600 pages, and doesn't have a lot of white on its pages. The narration isn't quite omniscient, but there is quite a lot of head hopping from one character's point of view to another. I was a bit put off by that initially, mainly because I'm no longer used to reading that style. The dialogue also threw me at first. All of it sounds realistic, but perhaps a bit too much so. Many of today's novels limit dialogue to only that which advances the plot. The characters in this story sometimes talk for the sake of talking, just as we all do.
While many readers will enjoy author Chris Pinto's story, what I like most is his literary-quality descriptiveness. I was pulled into each scene, forgetting my own surroundings as I wandered from one of his haunted locales to the next.” - Joseph M. Fraser, Brookfield, WI

“GREAT BOOK!! Started reading it Friday night, barely could put it down, till I finished it Sunday!!!! Highly recommend!!!!! :)” - Susanne Faust- McDevitt, Philadelphia, PA

“If Stephen King and Mickey Spillane had a son (in a bookish kind of way, that is), Christopher Pinto would be that son. He effortlessly blends the paranormal thriller with the hard-boiled detective in "Murder Behind the Closet Door." Add to that, healthy doses of mystery and romance, and you've got the literary equivalent of a ride through an amusement pier haunted house. And what a fun ride! I loved being scared silly as I stayed up late (much too late) to finish reading another chapter of this book. Let's just say I'll never look at my closet the same way again. ;) Can't wait to see what Mr. Pinto offers up next!” - Miss Cherrybubbles, Meshoppen, PA