THE SUNSHINE BOY!

Well, folks, here I am, enjoying the glorious warmth of the Sunshine State.  (That would be Florida, NOT New Jersey!)  I feel so alive now that I am back on the coast.  I know it’s corny, but I have often thought of my mother being the clean, white sand and my father the roaring ocean.  Of course, that would make me a son of a beach, but who cares?  I love salt water, and since I have over 40 years of scuba diving experience under my (weight) belt, I feel right at home in the Atlantic Ocean.

Unfortunately, home is where many fatal injuries are sustained… and today was almost one of those days.  Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water in West Palm Beach, a horde of black-tip sharks showed up in the shallow water!  My dive buddies and I counted over 600 sharks, which is roughly 599 more than I feel comfortable with!  So much for diving and snorkeling.  I even feel guilty about asking my wife to retrieve my buoyancy vest and face mask.  (She only had to swim out ten or twenty yards, but I still feel a twinge of remorse.)

In case you’re wondering, I fell in love with scuba diving after watching countless episodes of SEA HUNT.  Do you remember that T.V. show?  Lloyd Bridges played a character named Mike Nelson, who ran a dive shop with his brother David, and their parents, Ozzie and Harriet.  Wait a minute, I think I got that wrong.  Never mind, the show was “all wet” anyway.

After our involuntary shark encounter, we drove up to Jacksonville, signed some books, and attended a gala dinner in my honor at a wonderful seafood restaurant called St. Mary’s Seafood House.  If you’re ever on this coast, you must try this establishment.  (Think incredible friend oysters and shrimp.)  My little presentation was a huge success and we actually sold a lot of books.  (I know that some of you, including my agent, Jesse James Lipschitz, are curious about which books sold the best, so here is the ranking…..  1.  The Graceland Gang  2.  The Second Mourning  3.  Devil’s Cove  4.  Ransom on the Rhone, and last but not least, 5.  The Pirate Path

After dinner, I was asked to judge a wet t-shirt contest, but since the  contestants were male, I declined the offer.  (Been there, done that.)  When I got back to my car, I discovered that the windshield was covered with bird poop!  (The area is filled with egrets, and their cousins who are always apologizing for pooping on your car.  They’re called regrets.)  I fired a couple of warning shots at them, but the damn vandals have no fear of human beings.  The next time I drive up this way, I’m bringing a cat.

Tomorrow we head for the charming town of Beaufort, South Carolina.  If you want to check out my digs, look up the Rhett House Bed & Breakfast.  I think you might find the history of this place quite intriguing.  We have a Low Country Boil scheduled for dinner.  (I sure hope the “boil” doesn’t refer to the chef’s body.)  The following morning we head for St. Helena Island, and a full day of Gullah history.  When you get a free moment, look up the Penn Center of South Carolina.  I will be signing some books in the lobby, which is quite an honor, because this was the very spot where MLK wrote his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

Well, it’s been a long day, and I am starting to dream about a good night’s sleep… so I must bid you farewell.  Let’s plan to meet again next Sunday, whence I shall regale you with more tales from the Low Country.  By then, I will be an expert on grits, gravy, and frogmore stew!  Have a safe and happy week!

Love to all…

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT…

Why, you might ask, am I publishing my Sunday blog on Monday?  Well, mainly because I spent most of yesterday flying across the Gulf of Mexico.  And believe me, my arms are sore!  (Henny Youngman, 1956.)  Nonetheless, I am now safely ensconced in my mother’s palatial mansion in fabulous Boca Raton, Florida.  I was, however, a dollar short when I reached the first toll plaza.  I am pleased to report that the authorities didn’t care.  Incredibly, they allowed me to drive through without paying, and they even turned on some flashing lights to provide visibility!  Swell folks down here in the Sunshine State.

Speaking of swell folks, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Roger Staubach on my Southwest flight.  “Roger The Dodger” (his nickname) was a great quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys during their prime years.  He seemed very impressed when I told him that I played quarterback for my junior high school team, even though we lost 32 games in a row.  He was kind enough to say that I seemed to be more of a left-back.  I told him that I most enjoyed making passes at the cheerleaders.  After that, he switched seats.

So here I am today, about to go to lunch with my brother Glenn in fabulous Boca Raton.  Boca, in case you’re wondering, is the “Breast Enhancement Capital of America.”  As I stroll through Mizner Mall I am reminded of the old movie “BOOBS IN TOYLAND.”  (Although there are plenty of babes down here, too.)  Well, you get “the point.”  (Look, don’t complain about these lame jokes, I promised to keep you “abreast” of my travels!)

Enough about memory glands.  What else is new?  Well, sales of my new book, RANSOM ON THE RHONE, have been quite good.  (Even without the 10,000 copies purchased by my mother.)  The French newspaper, Le Monde, published a glowing review and referred to me as “one of the best American mystery writers in recent years.”  I assume that was a compliment, but you never know with the French.  In any case, I do appreciate the kind words.  Merci, my wine-drinking friends!

As you might imagine, depending on the quality of your imagination, thousands of book lovers are eagerly awaiting my scheduled book signings, which are too numerous to mention on this blog.  Safe to say, I will be quite busy this week, but I am determined to do some swimming in the mighty Atlantic Ocean.  (Or my mother’s pool.  Whichever is warmer.)  Frankly, I am glad to be in a warm and humid spot.  A warm and humid spot that is not a gym or exercise facility.

In closing, I would like to share an interesting tidbit from Roger Staubach.  Before he changed seats, he told me that the athletic supporter (a/k/a the jockstrap) was invented in 1874.  Football players started wearing them as soon as they were available.  Now get this… football helmets became mandatory in 1939.  Do you realize what this means?  It took men 65 years to realize that their brains were as important as their crotches!!

Talk about better late than never!  And on that note, it’s better that I bid you a fond farewell.  The surf is calling!  (I hope it’s not a collect call.)  Have a safe and wonderful week.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!

Well, the great Leonard Nimoy did just that, and now he’s been “beamed up” to a better place.  Let’s face it, ANY place is better than Los Angeles, but you get the point.  We lost another fine actor/human being adored by Baby Boomers like me.  I was a big fan of STAR TREK, even though its creator, Gene Roddenberry stole the idea of the show from me.  Well, sort of.  My series was called STAR TRUCK, and it was a show featuring a redneck freight hauler who drove an eighteen wheeler across the Interstate system.  The vehicle was piloted by a tobacco-chewing feller named Captain Kenworth.  His sidekick was called Mr. Spoke.  NBC turned me down because they said the pilot (the first show, not the driver) “ran out of gas.”  (I knew that joke would “fall flat!”)  Anyways, I kept on truckin’, so to speak, and turned to mystery novels.

I have no idea what happened to that Roddenberry guy.  (Actually, I do.  Believe it or not, his ashes were launched into Earth orbit in 1997!)  Unfortunately, the spacecraft carrying the ashes disintegrated in 2002.  After that, Mr. Roddenberry was more “down to earth.”  Well, you know what they say…   “ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the spacecraft breaks, when it turns to rust.”

So what else is new?  Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour!  (You’re supposed to turn them ahead, but why not confuse the hell out of everyone?)  My spring book tour is shaping up rather nicely.  The itinerary includes stops and stays in Atlanta, Charleston, Beaufort, Jacksonville, and Boca Raton.  In case you’re wondering, I’m traveling across the South for a reason.  My next book, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, takes place in the Low Country of South Carolina.

While I’m on the road, I will be visiting the Gullah communities located on the Sea Islands of Georgia.  (And going to the Penn Center on St. Helena Island for an historic lecture.)  The Gullah culture is quite unique (descendants of the original slaves brought to America) and I’m anxious to see if I captured the essence of the place in my book.  I’m also anxious to sink my teeth into a bowl of white shrimp and grits!

Speaking of books…..  If you’ve been patiently waiting to order a copy of my new Adam Gold mystery, RANSOM ON THE RHONE, wait no longer!  Books can now be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, Nook, and leading bookstores throughout the country.  (If you live in Austin, go to BookPeople.)  The early reviews have been marvelous and I really think you are going to enjoy this story.

Incidentally, I will be teaching a creative writing course this summer.  (At the Dell Community Center in Austin.)  If you live in or around Austin, sign up and take my class.  You might become rich and famous.  (If you buy a Lotto ticket before you come to class.)  Which reminds me, I would like to wish my Jewish followers a Happy Purim.  This is the holiday that involves a great deal of wine consumption.  (You Purim the wine for your guests.)

And since we’re on the subject of guests, I would like to welcome some new blog followers…..  my old high school buddies, Karen and Pete Kiernan, and their beautiful and talented daughter, Meagan.  I love to re-connect with friends from the past, but to be perfectly honest, it’s a lot harder than it sounds.  Most of my friends will not be eligible for parole for a few more years, so their Internet access is extremely limited!

Well, lads and lassies (hey, why are women named after dogs?) I must take my leave.  In fact, I must take a lot of leaves.  I have been given the task of raking the front yard this morning!  A fitting chore, since I am a bit of a rake myself.  Where did I leave that old bag?  Oh, she’s in the kitchen, cooking breakfast.  Well then, I’m off. (I’ve been “off” for quite some time!)  Have a safe and wonderful week, and we shall meet again next Sunday….

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff,  Bon Bon Vivant.

RANSOM DEMAND!

NO, I’M NOT DEMANDING MONEY!  I’m referring to the unprecedented demand for my new mystery novel, RANSOM ON THE RHONE.  (Which sounds dangerously close to “Ransom Over The Phone.”)  Anyway, the book is selling briskly (what else would you expect with these frigid temperatures?) and is well on its way to becoming another huge literary sensation.  Believe it or not, the first printing has already sold out (thanks to my mom) and we are now on our 2nd or 3rd round of printing.

Soooo….  If you’ve been waiting to order a book, they are now available at Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, GoodReads.com, Kindle, and Nook.  They can also be purchased at a large number of “brick and mortar” stores.  If you are a fan of Adam Gold, and let’s face it, who isn’t, then you will love this new story.  Here is the blurb from the back cover:  “The theft of a priceless Gobelin tapestry drags insurance investigator, Adam Gold, into the murky and violent world of international artnapping – and a life or death struggle with the Corsican mafia.”  There is more, but my publicist, Blind Lemon Lefkowitz, thinks we should just “tease” the public, which be you.

I would like to ask a small favor of my 16,000 blog followers….  if you read the book and enjoy it, please leave a nice comment/review on Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com    These kind words are very helpful to future sales and help attract advertising dollars from the publisher.  Thank you in advance for your support!

So what else be new?  Today in my mother’s birthday.  Miss Hazel just turned 89!  As usual, I sent her a “congratulations card” for giving birth to me.  (See why I’m her favorite?)  I’m not sure why, but my sister, who is three years younger than me, sent me a birthday card.  She just discovered that we are not identical twins after all.  Surprise,surprise.  Anyway, I will be sending mom a discounted copy of my new book, assuming she is willing to pay for shipping and handling.

To make matters more expensive, tomorrow is my wife’s birthday!  Yes, I’m buying flowers.  Last year I found a great deal on some unused flowers from a local funeral home.  Seemed appropriate, since she is always threatening to kill me!  In my humble opinion, marriage is very educational.  How so, you ask?  Well, as the philosopher Emmanuel Can’t-Do once said, “marriage is when a man loses his bachelor’s degree…..  and a woman gets her master’s degree!”

Amen, brother!  Hey, what did you think of the Annual Insomnia Awards?  (a/k/a the Academy Awards.)  OMG, was that a long show or what?  The “Best Picture” award was actually presented on “Good Morning America!”  By the end of the show the kid from “Boyhood” was living in a senior center!  Where the heck was Bradley Cooper when we needed him?  (He could have at least taken out Sean Penn!)

Speaking of celebrations…  Last night we attended the birthday party of the lovely and talented Miss Melinda Perez.  The Princess of Pressure (she works as a masseuse) held a gala affair in a most charming venue….  the train station depot in Austin.  The building was an actual train station for many years, and is still in remarkable condition.  Next door is a brand new beer brewery, and naturally, we got to sample some of their wares.  A great time was had by all, and Miss Melinda is one lucky gal… she has an amazing family and lots of friends who love her dearly.  (Including a semi-famous author!)

In closing, I would remind you to dress in layers during these long months of global warming.  Winter has to end some time, doesn’t it?  (I think Al Gore is somehow responsible for this weather, but I can’t prove it.)  Why couldn’t he stick to the Internet and leave us alone?  By the way, does “net neutrality” mean that I have to poke fun at Democrats and Republicans equally?  (That should be easy!)  Well, I must leave you now…  I am sponsoring a clothing drive for naked soldiers in Somalia.  I am looking at a photograph of their army.  Very sad.  I see so many privates.   (Think about that and call me later!)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  I promise that this will be the last time I post a picture of my new book cover!

 

 

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OSCAR (MAYER) NIGHT IN HOLLYWOOD!

Why the name change?  Well, let’s face it, the auditorium will be filled with HAMS and celebrities who are full of BALONEY!  I know that sounds like a “cold cut,” but they deserve to be criticized.  They make too much money.  Hell, Brad Pitt is so rich he taught his dog how to roll over – an IRA!  Now that’s rich!  I just read that Harrison Ford is going to make another movie.  The guy just turned 70.  The movie will be called “Raiders of the Lost Miralax.”

Since I am my mother’s favorite, I took her to see each one of the movies nominated for “Best Picture.”  It’s the least I could do for all of the things she did to me, I mean, for me.  For instance, when I was a youngster, mom let me lick the beaters when she made a cake.  Sometimes she would even turn them off first.  What a gal.  Anyway, with that said, here are our “rapid reviews” of each film.  (By the way, that word was rapid, not rabid!)  The envelope please…   and the winners are…

1.  THE IMITATION GAME.  (It just didn’t seem real.)

2.  SELMA.   (I saw the “abridged” version.)

3.  BIRDMAN.  (Mom got stuck with the bill.)

4.  THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.   (The movie didn’t register.)

5.   AMERICAN SNIPER.  (Right on target.)

Well, in my humble opinion, these are the leading contenders.  BOYHOOD was also a good film, but that bum Kanye West wants to make  a sequel called BOYS N THE HOOD, so forget that.  The film about Stephen Hawking was too theoretical.  Besides, we don’t need a Hawking when we already have a BIRDMAN.  Although, birds of a feather do like to sit together.

So what else is new?  RANSOM ON THE RHONE (a true piece of artwork) will be available in about one week.  The early reviews have actually been spectacular.  If you love a good read, you will definitely enjoy this book.

Did you see that Starbucks is going to start a home delivery service? This will be perfect for people who don’t like to walk one block in ANY direction.  Just have a credit card handy.  Not bad enough that we have to pay $5.00 for a cup of coffee.  Now we have to tip, too.  (They know where we live!)

I just read that people who snore are prone to heart attacks!  How can you sleep if you’re not prone?  I don’t care about this news.  I may suffer a heart attack, but I won’t lose any sleep over it.  You gotta wake up pretty early in the afternoon to fool old Doc Yanoff.

By the way, did you know that Oscar attendees are not allowed to bring credit cards with them?  No big deal.  The place will be filled with plastic folks.  (If you think I’m kidding, watch their faces!)  Botox down to their knee socks.  Personally, I fall asleep during the opening monolog, and when I wake up I like to watch real zombies, so I’m hoping they show reruns of The Walking Dead.

Well, boys and ghouls, that’s about it for me.  Do enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and have a safe and happy week.  As far as I’m concerned, the winner is …..  You!  (For those who haven’t seen the new cover of my next book, feast your eyes on the photo attached at the end of this semi-humorous blog.)  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

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LOVE IS IN THE AIR!

Lots of cedar pollen, too.  In any case, don’t inhale unless you want to become pregnant.  Yep, it’s that time again…  Valentine’s Day!  Actually, yesterday was the holiday.  Today is the day that smart people buy leftover chocolate at enormous discount.  How much chocolate?  Try 58 million pounds!  (No wonder we have so many “cocoa puffs!”)  Jeez, that’s a lot of candy.  In case you’re wondering, we also buy a lot of flowers.  There are petal pushers all around us!  Red roses are the most popular flowers.  (I give my wife “two lips.”)  So, what is the total annual cost of this great day?  Well, Americans spend roughly $450,000,000 per year to show their undying affection!

By now you might be wondering, who the hell was this guy Valentine? Good question.  Not much is known about the old boy, except that he was a Catholic bishop and a martyr.  (Martyr is the Latin word for husband.)  You can thank Geoffrey Chaucer for creating the event that became associated with romantic love.  During the Middle Ages, Geoff noticed that birds paired in mid-February, so he put two and two together and came up with our present holiday.

How we went from birdies to candy and cards is a mystery, but I love a good mystery…  and speaking of mysteries…  I am completely baffled by women.  (You thought I was going to mention my books, right?)  No sir, it is women that I find most puzzling.  Little things seem to annoy the ladies.  The other day I left the following note for my wife:  “Honey, someone from the Gyna Colleges called.  They said the Pabst beer is normal.  I thought you were a wine drinker?”   So, did the old girl thank me?  Nope!  She told me that I reminded her of her favorite flower.  (A bloomin’ idiot!)  No roses for her!  (My “two lips” are still swollen.)

I’m telling you folks, most women are riddles wrapped inside an enigma and covered with a Tootsie Roll.  Still, last night’s special occasion meal was wonderful.  I did drink a little too much, though.  This morning I tried to login to my iPad.  Turns out it was an Etch-a-Sketch and I don’t own an iPad!  Who knew.

We finally finished the back book cover for RANSOM ON THE RHONE, so the book should be available in about two weeks.  I will keep you abreast of the situation.  Never mind,  you keep your breast.  I’ll let you know when the book hits the marketplace of ideas.  Until then, I would like to leave you with another idea…..

Marriage is like a deck of cards.  (Another poker analogy!)  How so?  Well, in the beginning all you need are two hearts and a diamond.  By the end, you wish you had a club and a spade!  Ouch!  (The old bat just punched me!)  The woman can’t take a joke.  (Although, in fairness, she did take me!)  On that pleasant and loving note, I shall take my leave of thee….   As my math teacher used to say, go forth and multiply!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  There is a photograph attached, and if you are the first person to identify the setting, you will win a free copy of THE SECOND MOURNING.  Good Luck!

 

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MR. (GOOD) DEEDS GOES TO TOWN!

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  I am proud to announce that I have joined a wonderful new charity called “Project E-Book,” a group dedicated to providing FREE e-books to members of the United States Air Force!  Consequently, all of my brilliant mystery novels will soon be FREE to currently serving members our military.  Sooo… if you have family or friends serving in the Air Force, please let them know about this modest token of appreciation.  (Hopefully, this will soon be available to ALL branches of our military.)

If you’re a writer, think about joining us in this noble endeavor.  Please remember that this small sacrifice for our heros in uniform is a small consequence when weighed against the sacrifice these folks make on a daily basis.  If you’re interested, please contact me for details about the project.  Until then, at ease blog followers!

So what else be new?  Well, we are still waiting for two famous authors to “sign off” on a back cover blurb for RANSOM ON THE RHONE.  (Yes, they actually charge for these endorsements!)  If we don’t come to terms this week, the book will be published without their glowing words of praise.  (Just between us, who cares what Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett think?  Neither one of them have written anything new in years.)

In other news…..  Mitt Romney has decided NOT to run for President.  He said it was time for fresh faces.  So that’s good news for Bruce Jenner.  Personally, I like Romney.  He reminds me of the guy who comes with the picture frame.

Harper Lee, the author of “To Kill A Mockingbird,” is publishing her second novel after a 55-year hiatus.  (She must be a slow thinker.)  Anyway, the book is tentatively titled, “Mock Two:  The Need For Speed.”  If you ask me, the title is for the birds.  What would you expect from an empty-nester?  (Did those jokes lay an egg?)  Apparently, she releases a new book every time the measles comes back.  Connect the dots and you’ll see what I mean.

Did you hear that Tom Brady, the quarterback of the Patriots, won the M.V.P. award at the Super Bowl?  He received a brand new pickup truck.  I wonder if the tires were properly inflated?  Personally, I think they should have given the truck to the guy most responsible for the Patriot’s victory.  (Seattle coach, Pete Carroll!)

Before I forget, I would like to thank the good folks at Ohio State University (department of history) for adding THE SECOND MOURNING to their suggested reading list for incoming freshman.  I hope those youngsters learn a thing or two about our wonderful country and its amazing history.  (Hope springs eternal!)

Finally, in closing, I would like to briefly address a vicious rumor floating around the Internet.  There is no truth, none whatsoever, that ANY of my mystery novels have been “ghost written” by Brian Williams!  A couple of chapters might have been penned by Dan Rather, but I forget which ones they were.  (If you find any misspelled words, that was Daniel’s fault.)

Well, my dear friends, I must be on my way…..   tonight is a special reunion dinner with some dear old chums, and the event requires that I bathe and shave and change my socks.  What can I say, ” a friend in need, should be clean indeed.”  I think the great Asian philosopher, Confusion, said that.  Please take care and have a wonderful week!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  Attached are a few more photographs from my river cruise in France.  (The locale of my new book, RANSOM ON THE RHONE.)

 

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