Brooklynite releases Prohibition-era novel

From Prometheus Books

Brooklyn Eagle recently reported on Brooklynite John Florio’s latest novel “Sugar Pop Moon” (Seventh Street Books). The protagonist in the novel, Jersey Leo, is the quintessential outsider—an albino of mixed race. Jersey makes a living as the bartender at a mob-run speakeasy in Prohibition-era Hell’s Kitchen. Being neither black nor white, he has no group to call his own. His own mother abandoned him as a baby. And his father—a former boxing champ with his own secrets—disapproves of Jersey’s work at a dive owned by one of New York’s most notorious gangsters.

So when he inadvertently purchases counterfeit moonshine (“sugar pop moon”) with his boss’s money—a potentially fatal mistake—he must go undercover to track down the bootlegger who took him in. The clues lead to Philadelphia, where he runs into a cleaver-swinging madman out for his femurs and a cold-blooded gangster holed up on a Christmas-tree farm. Now with a price on his head in two cities, Jersey seeks help from the only man he can trust, his father. As the two delve into the origins of the mysterious sugar pop moon, stunning secrets about Jersey’s past come to light. To ensure his future, Jersey must face his past, even if it means that life will never return to normal.

Florio will appear in Brooklyn to read from his novel on July 12 at BookCourt (163 Court St. in Cobble Hill). The event will begin at 7 p.m. and includes a Q&A session and book signing.

John Florio is a Brooklyn-based writer and creative consultant in the advertising, television, and music industries. With his wife, Ouisie Shapiro, he is the author of “One Punch from the Promised Land: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, and the Myth of the Heavyweight Title.” Visit him on Facebook at and online at

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