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Friday, February 14, 2014

#Excerpt from The Road to Key West #Series by Michael Reisig (#AmReading)

The Keys—haven of scoundrels, smugglers, and pirates for over 300 years—a bastion for independent thinkers, benign crazies, adventurers, and visionaries. But the ‘70s brought a new sense of freedom and imagination, and the Florida Keys became magical, like Oz—rife with characters and experiences beyond ordinary vision. Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, or even Jimmy Buffett would have struggled to match the residents of that distant time.
My name is Kansas T. Stamps and I can say without reservation I have lived, loved, won, and lost with equal fervor in this lifetime, and there’s nothing you could offer me that I would trade for the experience. I’ve been fortunate to have encountered a number of remarkable people with whom I have shared this journey. In my early years there were several notable relationships —first loves, first friends, and a handful of people who taught me the rules of life—but when I look back on the days of my youth, the person I count myself lucky for knowing was a guy named William Baltus Bell. He was my business partner and friend in what became a carnival of extraordinary experiences that lasted for almost a decade in the land of Oz.
Will and I met during our last semester at St. Petersburg Junior College, in English Literature—one of those electives you get when you’re not paying attention to what the guidance counselor is saying. You’re looking through the office window at the backside of the blonde in the hallway, bent over her floor-level locker like a living, breathing, erectile dysfunction test. There are words coming out of the counselor’s mouth and you’re nodding, trying to keep the blonde in focus over his shoulder but the damned guy keeps moving his head. The next thing you know you’re in English Literature.
The year was 1970, but I don't recall exactly how Will and I became friends—probably because guys are always a little awkward when it comes to establishing bonds. I think I remember us attending a couple of parties with mutual acquaintances and getting fairly snockered—that has a tendency to loosen up a soul and let personality show through. I had taught guitar for the last couple of years.  Will was living in a room at his parents’ motel and working for his father. Both of us were looking for the beef in life. 
We had a mutual penchant for the outdoors, particularly the ocean, and I recall we went fishing off the Sunshine Skyway Bridge one afternoon. As soon as the portable radio was turned on, the baits cast out, and the rods propped securely against the rail of the catwalk, Will lit a crooked cigarette with a sweet, green scent and drew deeply. Jimi Hendrix growled out “All Along The Watchtower” in the background. Will handed it to me. "Here, try this."

“There must be some kind of way out of here,” said the joker to the thief.

I knew what it was, but somehow I’d never gotten around to trying it.
“There’s so much confusion, I can’t get no relief.”
“Cool,” I said, staring at it with sort of a first sex anticipation.
“No reason to get excited,” the thief he kindly spoke.
(Hey, man, there aren’t many bad reviews on this, just step up to the plate.)
“There are many of us here who feel that life is but a joke.”
On one hand it was a lot less complicated than first sex. But this, was sort of—illegal.
“But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate. So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”
Then I remembered that sex turned out to be way better than the best of reviews. “Gimme that sucker,” I said.
“Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl. Two riders were approaching and the wind began to howl…”
We didn’t catch much that evening, but it didn’t matter. Everything took on a warm, decidedly amusing glow and I had more fun just trying to grab the baitfish in the bucket than I did at my senior prom. The sun bled into the ocean in a riotous chorus of Degas pastels that left me stunned and agape, and suddenly I could feel the pilings of the bridge come alive, vibrating through the soles of my feet as they fought the churning rush of the new tide. Twilight turned the green waters into frothing obsidian, and as James Taylor crooned about having a friend, we ate two entire buckets of Mr. Chickie’s Charcoal-Baked Chicken under the glow of the yellow bridge lights.

The Road to Key West is an adventurous/humorous sojourn that cavorts its way through the 1970s Caribbean, from Key West and the Bahamas, to Cuba and Central America.

In August of 1971, Kansas Stamps and Will Bell set out to become nothing more than commercial divers in the Florida Keys, but adventure, or misadventure, seems to dog them at every turn. They encounter a parade of bizarre characters, from part-time pirates and heartless larcenists, to Voodoo bokors, a wacky Jamaican soothsayer, and a handful of drug smugglers. Adding even more flavor to this Caribbean brew is a complicated romance, a lost Spanish treasure, and a pre antediluvian artifact created by a distant congregation who truly understood the term, “pyramid power.” Pour yourself a margarita, sit back, and slide into the ‘70s for a while as you follow Kansas and Will through this cocktail of madcap adventures – on The Road To Key West.

IF YOU ENJOY THIS NOVEL BE SURE TO READ THE SEQUEL, "BACK ON THE ROAD TO KEY WEST" (To be released in late August or early September, 2013)

"Jimmy Buffett should set this tropical tale to music! The best Key West stories can only be written by those who have lived here, and Reisig expertly captures the steamy, seedy, beautiful allure of the islands. “The Road to Key West” takes readers on a hysterical journey through the humidity and humanity that only exists in the lower latitudes. And much like the Keys in the 1970s, it’s a hell of a trip. —Mandy Bolen, The Key West Citizen

"The Road to Key West" combines the dry cleverness of Lewis Grizzard, the wit of Dave Barry, and Reisig's impeccable sense of timing. It's an action-packed, romantic, charming, hilarious take on the ‘70s and its generation. A must-read! —John Archibald, Ouachita Life Magazine

Buy Now @ Amazon


From the best-selling author of “The Road To Key West” comes a sequel guaranteed to take the reader even higher – another rollicking, hilarious Caribbean adventure that will have you ripping at the pages and laughing out loud.

“Back On The Road To Key West” reintroduces the somewhat reluctant adventurers Kansas Stamps and Will Bell, casting them into one bizarre situation after another while capturing the true flavor and feel of Key West and the Caribbean in the early 1980s.

An ancient map and a lost pirate treasure, a larcenous Bahamian scoundrel and his gang of cutthroats, a wild and crazy journey into South America in search of a magical antediluvian device, and perilous/hilarious encounters with outlandish villains and zany friends will keep you locked to your seat and giggling maniacally. (Not to mention headhunters, smugglers, and beautiful women with poisonous pet spiders.) You’ll also welcome back Rufus, the wacky, mystical Jamaican Rastaman, and be captivated by another “complicated romance” as Kansas and Will struggle with finding and keeping “the girls of their dreams.”

So pour yourself a margarita, and get comfortable. You’re in for another rousing medley of madcap adventures in paradise, with “Back On The Road To Key West.”



Michael Reisig takes us back once again to the Key West I wish I had known – and that others wish they remembered more clearly. Kansas and Will are back in “Back on the Road to Key West,” with their trademark penchant for sultry sarcasm and sun-drenched excitement. Once again Reisig captures the character of the Keys in a way that proves he’s been here – and perhaps done that. No one wraps us in humidity and surrounds us with saltwater like this guy, whose tales of the tropics draw us constantly back to their welcoming, yet provocative shores. -- Mandy Miles, The Key West Citizen

Having lived in Key West in the late '70's and early '80's, at a time when Mel Fisher still hunted the Atocha, shrimp boats filled the harbors, and ‘square grouper’ were still an abundant species, Michael Reisig's Back on the Road to Key West, transports me back in time. Will Bell and Kansas Stamps face an assortment of ruthless antagonists and chase adventure with the abandon of the era, and whether you lived it or not, don't miss the chance to now. Vivid imagery, strong prose and an exciting plot make this trip with the boys worth taking. Enjoy the ride!" -- John H. Cunningham, author of the Buck Reilly Adventure Series

Stumbling their way in and out of trouble and fortune, Kansas Stamps and Will Bell continue to be the idols of what every true Parrot Head imagines real life in The Keys would be -- full of spontaneous adventure. What a great read! – Bryan Crews, former president, Tampa Parrot Head Club

Buy @ Amazon


WHAT IF YOU DISCOVERED A DEVICE THAT MADE PEOPLE TELL THE TRUTH? Fast-paced humor-adventure with wacky pilots, quirky con men, bold women, mad villains, and a gadget to die for…

In the third book of Michael Reisig’s captivating series, Florida Keys adventurers Kansas Stamps and Will Bell find their lives turned upside down when they discover a truth device hidden in the temple of an ancient civilization. Enthralled by the virtue (and entertainment value) of personally dispensing truth and justice with this unique tool, they take it all a step too far and discover that everyone wants what they have.

Seasoned with outrageous humor and sultry romances, Along The Road To Key West carries you through one wild adventure after another. This time, Kansas and Will are forced to wrest veracity and lies from con artists, divine hustlers, and political power brokers while trying to stay one step ahead of a persistent assembly of very bad guys with guns. In the process, from Key West, into the Caribbean, and back to America’s heartland, our inadvertent heroes gather a bizarre collage of friends and enemies – from a whacked-out, one-eyed pilot, and a mystical Rastaman, to a ruthless problem-solver for a prominent religious sect, a zany flimflamming sociopath, and a Cuban intelligence agent. In the end, it all comes down to a frantic gamble – to save far more than the truth. So pour yourself a margarita and settle back. You’re in for a high intensity Caribbean carnival ride!

NOTE: Much of this book was originally published as a novel of mine called, “The Truthmaker.” But with the growing popularity of my “Road To Key West” series, I decided to rewrite it and publish it as “Along The Road To Key West.” – Michael Reisig

Buy @ Amazon

Genre - Caribbean Humor, Adventure
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Michael Reisig through Facebook


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