Michael Haskins

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Books & Bars

A couple of weeks ago, Jimmy Buffett's ParrotHead Clubs held its Meeting of the Minds (MOTM) here in Key West. They've come for the past years the first week of November and it makes for a wild, colorful weekend of Trop Rock music in my favorite bars and some strange men and women in colorful clothing and hats! Less hats this year, but a lot of tropical shirts and dresses.

My friend, and fellow writer, John Cunningham arranged a MOTM sanctioned book signing at the Smokin' Tuna Saloon and invited me to join him. I did one last year, at the invite of singer-songwriter Scott Kirby (I used his song title Free Range Institution for one of my KW mysteries). I didn't do too well and learned that books and bars don't mix. Not in my case, anyway. I did give away a lot of bookmarks and saw a bump in my Kindle sales a week to ten-days later.

We set up at 1 pm  on a Friday at the Tuna, and that lead me right into the saloon's North of Havana, Cigar Club Social, that we hold most Friday happy hours. I think I sold six books and I'm not sure John did much better. People drinking and/or having a good time do not want the responsibility of carting a book around. It's a lesson learned, I think. I think John might have learned the same lesson too.

John's second book in his Key West series has just been released: Green to Go. The series featuring disgraced financier Buck Reilly, is a good read. I think John has a hit on his hands. His books are available on Amazon as Kindle and trade paperback, just like mine are. www.michaelhaskins.net.

Here's a little more about Green to Go.


Buck Reilly went to hell and back in Red Right Return. In Green To Go, it’s a one-way trip. Good news turns bad fast, and the bad just keeps coming in this thrilling new Buck Reilly adventure. The unexpected contents of his parent’s Swiss bank account offer Buck a chance to dig himself out of the hole he’s been in since the recession hit, but first he must recover the treasure maps and clues he lost at sea. Those plans get put on hold when a friend is accused of orchestrating the biggest theft in Key West’s sordid history, and the FBI uses Buck's past against him to demand that he search for the thieves who fled aboard a hundred year-old schooner.

No good deed goes unpunished, and Buck’s dogged by greed and double-crosses from Key West to the Bahamas and points south. His hunt for the missing treasure pits him against a crazed mercenary, Peruvian rebels, rogue Cuban Secret Police and a beautiful woman torn between turning Buck over to the authorities or succumbing to his charm.

Buck Reilly wants only three things out of life: A plane to fly, a treasure to find, and a beautiful woman to rescue. He got his chance at all three in the first of John H. Cunningham’s thriller series, RED RIGHT RETURN, but those interests get turned against him in GREEN TO GO. Set against the stunning scenery and freaky fabulousness of the Florida Keys, Cunningham joins the ranks of Carl Hiaasen, Randy Wayne White and Papa himself in a rich new series for thrill seekers everywhere.

But Buck Reilly’s no ordinary hero. A product of his times and ours, too, he’s laying low and trying to fly under the radar in the aftermath of economic catastrophe. Back in his bad old days on Wall Street, Buck ran e-Antiquity, plundering the world’s treasures, (and a few of his investors’ pockets) for some pretty handsome profit. He wasn’t a bad guy back then, he just didn’t know any better. But life turned ugly when the market crashed, the company cratered and the FBI investigated the bankruptcy. When his marriage ended and his parents were killed in a car crash, Buck found out for certain that business wasn’t just business anymore.

These days, Buck’s a lot like the rest of us—trying to make ends meet and hoping for better times. He operates The Last Resort Charter and Salvage Company, flying a 1946 amphibious Grumman Widgeon, hunting for sunken treasure and taking on an occasional passenger, no questions asked. But when he faces down the dark forces of Santero priests, the underbelly of the Havana underworld and a pissed-off FBI agent, Buck has nothing but ingenuity, guts and his ancient flying boat to save his skin, and the lives he put in peril. GREEN TO GO is the second book in the series. 

For more information see: www.jhcunningham.com or find John on Facebook and Twitter.

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