SHIP SHAPE!

Well, I’m back on land and feeling grand.  However, I do miss those lovely Caribbean Islands.  You know, John Donne, the English poet, once said that no man is an island.  I respectively disagree.  I guess he never heard of “Man-hattan,” or “Manila,” or “Man-nisota.”  Just saying.  Frankly, my dear, I sometimes wonder if I was born on a beach.  Would that make me a “son-of-a-beach?”  Hmmm.

Hey, I just thought of something…   What if there were no hypothetical questions?

Speaking of deep thoughts, I have some more good news to share with my loyal blog followers…  My history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, recently received the “Honorable Mention” award (3rd place) at the NEW ENGLAND BOOK FESTIVAL in Boston, Massachusetts.  This distinguished award marks the tenth book award of the year, and needless to say, I am very grateful.

By the way, since we’re on the subject of books (surprise, surprise) I have another important announcement….  In conjunction with the PBS television series “Murder of a President,” (the tale of President Garfield’s assassination) I will be interviewed on the nationally syndicated program called The Author’s Show on Friday, February 19th, at 10 a.m. Mountain Time, 11 a.m. Central Time.  We will be discussing THE SECOND MOURNING, so if you get a chance, please tune in.  (I will post the pod-cast at a later date.)

Incidentally, I would like to take a moment to say hello to all of the new friends that we made on last week’s cruise.  I met many wonderful people, from all over the world, and I hope to keep in touch with each and every one of you!  Also, I want to send a special “kiss and hug” to Miss Laura, up yonder in Oklahoma, who is soon to deliver a very special “package.”  We all wish you the best of luck, dear!  (Have you considered “Stephen” for a middle name?)  Just saying.

Finally, I would like to extend a huge “thank you” to the folks at the Addison Country Club in Delray Beach.  (I was more or less the guest speaker at their Friday evening gala event.)  Great people, great conversation, great lobster.  What more could a fledging author ask for?

In closing, I would like to thank Eric Clapton for allowing us to visit his property on the magical island of Antigua.  (I will pay for the broken gate lock)  Mr. Clapton owns a lovely mansion up on a bluff, which rents out for a measly $50,000 per week.  (includes sun tan lotion.)  I would have spent the morning drinking coffee with Clapton, but he didn’t have any CREAM.  (You have to be a certain age to get that joke!)

Well, have a safe and happy week, and we shall chat again soon…..

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

LOST AT SEA!

No, not me, my snorkel!  Would you believe that a felonious dolphin snatched my snorkel out of my hand and swam or swum off?  True story.  First day in the water, too!  I wonder if that rascal did that “on porpoise?”  Well, no problem, I always travel with extra equipment.  If you haven’t guessed by now, I am currently (lots of current) sailing through the lovely Caribbean, bound for the island of Gluttony.

Our ship (the S.S. Minnow) is just gorgeous, and the food is superb.  Don’t ask me how they do it, but this particular vessel has 4 five-star restaurants!  (Yes, I intend to eat in each of them.)  We left the port of Miami without incident, but I got into a little trouble during the mandatory muster drill.  (I thought they said “mustard drill,” so I took a nap.)  I had to “ketchup” later!

Today we are in Nassau, the site of my first book event.  So far, I am quite impressed with my fellow passengers.  This is a very well-read bunch of folks, and they all seem quite interested in my books.  (Although two older ladies thought that I was Stephen King, not Stephen Yanoff.)  A little embarrassing, since one of them was my wife.

For those who care, I am aboard the S.S. Riviera, which is part of Oceania Cruise Lines.  This is my first voyage with these folks, and so far, I am very pleased with the accommodations, food, drink, and service.  Our next stop is San Juan, Puerto Rico, where we will be touring with a special group of historians interested in the sites and sounds of the Old San Juan.  (forts, museums, etc.)  I am looking forward to this stop, and meeting the territorial governor.  Of course, Puerto Rico is technically bankrupt, so he might ask me for a loan.  (I am leaving my wallet on the ship.)

When I was living in New York, I would come to Puerto Rico once a year to visit my hubcaps.  Interesting city.  Best part?  No snow!  By the way, about 200 passengers on our ship missed their connection due to the weather.  Lousy break, but you know what they say about the weather.  (everybody talks about it, but nobody does a dang thing!)

I hope you will forgive the relative shortness of today’s blog, but I am a little pressed for time.  (we have a ding-bat, I mean, dinghy, waiting for us onshore.)  I shall drop you another line later in the week, unless some damn fish steals my laptop.  In that case, I will drop you a fishing line!  Have you heard any of these lines before?  All right, I won’t “string out” these lousy jokes…

Have a wonderful and safe week, and please don’t worry about any international incidents that you may read about this week in the Caribbean.  (I am trying to stay out of trouble, but tonight we are going to a “rum festival” so I cannot make any promises!)

Love to all,

Captain Kidder   (a/k/a Doc Yanoff)

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LONDON BOOK FESTIVAL!

Tally ho, old chaps, we’re off to see the Queen!  (If I can find a reasonably priced airline ticket.)  I’ve reserved a suite in Downton Abbey just in case.  Well, it’s not actually a suite, but there’s plenty of hay in the room.  I have no problem with that.  I’ve always been a “stable guy.”  Hay, that was a pretty good joke!  You’re probably wondering what I’m babbling about, right?

Well, my darlings, the winners of the 2015 LONDON BOOK FESTIVAL were just posted online…..  and guess who won another award?  No, not Stephen King.  Me!  I know, I know, I’m simply in a class of my own.  (That actually started in third grade.)  Anyway, here are the juicy details…..

THE SECOND MOURNING was awarded the Bronze Medal for “Outstanding History Book of the Year” at the London festival last week.  First place went to a book about Galileo, the Italian astronaut.  (Make that, astronomer.)  Second place was given to a book about Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian guy who invented some sort of code.  Recognize a trend here?  I tried to convince the judges that President James Garfield was Sicilian, but they wouldn’t buy it.  Actually, since this festival was international in scope, I’m surprised I won anything.  I’m also VERY grateful.

My next book will be about “procrastination,” but I haven’t started it yet.

Incidentally, anybody know what language they speak in England?  I’d like to learn a few phrases.  (Mainly about using the privy.)

Speaking of foreign languages…..  The 2015 Annual Blog Reports were recently sent out, and we did quite well.  (Top 5% of all blogs in the nation!)  Most of our readers come from 72 different countries around the globe.  The top 3 countries this past year were:  1.  United States   2.  Brazil   3.  Italy     Surprisingly, we gained several followers in Iraq.  (This last time I went to Iraq, Iran!)  We also gained some new followers in Togo, Burundi, and Eritrea.  (I’m not positive, but I think that folks who live in Eritrea are called “Irretrievables.”)

Hey, did you see that there is a new company in Austin, Texas, that is offering customers a chance to reduce their hotel bills if they’re willing to share a room with a stranger?  (The company is called Jose Cuervo!)

Finally, for those of you who might find yourselves in the Caribbean in January and/or February, the first two book tour stops have been finalized by my brilliant and semi-conscious publicist, Blind Lemon Lefkowitz.  First stop will be at La Maison de la Press on St. Martin.  Second stop will be at Best of Books on the lovely island of Antigua.  Other stops to follow.  Time and dates t/b/a.

I was just listening to Ted Cruz on one of the television shows.  He adamantly denied having a Canadian passport, but swore he would get one if Trump won the nomination.  Hmmm.  Poor Bernie Sanders.  He keeps trying to take a “selfie” with his supporters, but he can’t figure out how to use his rotary phone.  Hmmm.

Well, I must depart at this juncture, as I need to check out the Austin-London flight connections.  I doubt I will actually go abroad, as I am pressed for time, and short of cash after the holidays.  If you folks have any extra money that you don’t need, please mail it to me in a brown envelope, and if you would, address it to the “Starving Authors Literary Slush Fund.”  Please remember….. it is better to give than receive.

I do hope you enjoyed today’s blog.  If so, it just proves that there is no accounting for taste.  Hey, who said that?  I think it was Jeffrey Dahmer.  Maybe Hannibal Lecter.  Hmmm.   (NOT to be confused with mmmm!)   Would somebody “flesh” that out for me?  Thank you.

Have a safe and happy week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD!

Well, that sounds like a bit of a stretch to me.  Of course, I just woke up, so I do have to stretch a little.  In any case, that blog post title sounds like hyperbole.  (Not to be confused with a hyper-pole, which is a nervous person from Wausau.)  I should have used  the following title…..  THE AMAZING YANOFF DOES IT AGAIN!  (No, that’s too modest.)  Look, what I’m trying to tell you is that my humble history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, has just won its 8th book award of the year!

The “Sunshine Boy,” (me) just won the GOLD MEDAL for the “Best History Book of the Year” at the 2016 FLORIDA BOOK FESTIVAL.  I wasn’t expecting this award, so I am quite touched.  (Please, no jokes about me being “touched in the head!”)  Thank you.  Where was I?  Oh yes, the book award.  Well, I have now been invited to a gala awards ceremony to be held at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston in early February.  (Why Boston?  Beats me.)  Nevertheless, I am seriously considering a visit to “Bean-Town” to pick up my award and check.

The judging criteria for this year’s award was twofold:  1.  General excellence and the author’s passion for telling a good story.   2.  The potential for the work to reach a wider audience.  (My audience is pretty wide already, but a lot of folks will soon be going on a diet.)  There were over 3,200 entrants, so the competition was pretty stiff. (No jokes on that one, either!)

Well, I’ve talked about myself enough.  What do you folks think of me?  Just kidding.  What else is new?  I’m glad you asked…..  Our holiday celebrations were simply divine, and Santa brought me everything I asked for.  (except the blonde.)  We had an especially good time on New Year’s Eve, attending the Annual Lakeway Lobster & Laughter Festival, hosted by the inimitable Jaime and Gary Rubenstein.  The couple outdid themselves this year….  French wine, fancy hors d’oeuvre, and the piece-of-resistance….  lobster & mac casserole.  (Which was renamed, “Creamy Crustacean Alla Pecorino Romano.”)

By the way, if you’re looking for a good caterer, you might want to contact Gary “Romano-Man” Rubenstein and Miss Jaime.  (Jaime is the Sioux chef.  Well, I Hopi she’s a Sioux, but you “Navajo!”)  Gary is talented and funny, and Jaime has some really hot buns.  (Hey, that’s not as bad as the Indian jokes!)

For those of you who live in Austin, come on down to South Congress Avenue and take a look at my daughter’s new boutique.  It’s a high-class operation called “COVE,” and they sell some lovely women’s clothing.  (and you can also purchase  my books there!)  The store is next to Perla’s Seafood Restaurant.  If you mention my name, the salesperson will feel sorry for you and advise you to make some new friends.  (What were you expecting, a discount?)  Not.

Well, I must start packing for my trip to Round Rock.  The wife and I are going to visit the Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee today.  They are hosting a ceremony acknowledging the wonderful life of Lee’s beautiful mother, who recently passed away.  She was a great lady, and she will be missed by many.

Finally, I want to thank each and every one of my loyal blog followers for making 2015 such a pleasant and productive year.  We achieved some great things this past year, and it looks like the fun will continue into 2016.  Please keep in mind that ALL of my success is due to folks like you, and your encouragement and support means the world to me.

God bless.  Have a super Sunday and be careful out there!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN!

Great movie, but that’s not what today’s blog post is referring to… no siree, Bob!

Who the heck is Bob?  Never mind.  Back to the headline…   Believe it or not, my humble historical manuscript, THE SECOND MOURNING, has just won its 7th book award of the year!  Yes siree, Bob, it’s true!  (This guy Bob is starting to get on my nerves.)  Anyway, here’s the Press Release that went out yesterday…..

(Associated Press, December 19, 2015)

“Margaret Brown, National Book Critics Circle Lifetime Member, has announced the six FINALISTS of the 2015 Shelf Unbound Writing Competition.  Stephen G. Yanoff, author of THE SECOND MOURNING, has been chosen as one of the finalists from an entrant list of over 2,000 writers, many of them established professional authors.  Yanoff’s highly acclaimed book has now won 7 major literary awards, making history in the publishing world.”

I won’t bore you with the entire press release, but if you would like to read a full length article about me and the book, simply go to:  Shelf Unbound Literary Magazine.  (December/January 2015 Issue)   You will find a flattering article (no, I didn’t write it!) by going to:   http://www.shelfmediagroup.com

So, what else is new?  Well, last night was the gala event of the year down here in lovely Austin…  The Third Annual Festivus For-the-best-of-us Dinner, hosted by the wonderful and generous Barbara and Max Talbott.  Once again, the affair was held at the historic Austin Club, which began life in 1878 as the Millet Opera House.  Do you folks know that I used to sing professionally?  Well, they asked me to sing solo.  (so low that nobody could hear me!)  Others thought I should sing tenor.  (ten or twelve miles down the road!)  Anyways it was another great evening, complete with champagne, wine, wonderful food, and great company.  (I am blowing a big kiss to the “Terrific Talbotts!”)

Poor Mother Teresa.  Did you see what the Pope wants to do to her?  He wants to shoot her out of a cannon!  No joke, they intend to canonize the poor woman.  I heard the Pope say that she was a great gal, but no saint.  Well, that’s about to change.  I assume you folks know that Mother Teresa cared for the leopards of Calcutta?  I knew there were tigers in India, but leopards, too?  I have a great deal of respect for Mother Teresa, but I think my wife should have been chosen.  (A lot of people have told me that my wife MUST be a saint!)

In case you’re planning on burglarizing my house, I would like to confirm that my next book tour will be in the sunny Caribbean, and I will be gone for 3 weeks.  (If you do decide to break in, please feed the pit bulls.  But NOT the alligators.)  My semi-honest publicist, Blind Lemon Lefkowitz, has booked a lovely suite for me on one of the Oceania Cruise Ships.  I will be sending daily updates on my pending incarceration, so stay tuned.  (I may need you to send bail money.)

Well, lest I run off and forget, allow me to wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.  Thanks to you, I have had a marvelous year in the wonderful world of books, and I am most appreciative.  If I could, I would hug each and every one of my 23,000 blog followers!  Seriously, you folks are the best!  God bless each and every one of you, and we shall chat again in the New Year!  Until then, be safe and be happy…..

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE…..

Let’s face it, laughter is also the only medicine that is still affordable!  I just had my annual “wellness exam,” and well, it made me sick!  (The cost was quite high, but my Uncle Sam paid most of it.)  Getting older has its benefits, even if your “benefits”only cover 80% of your bills!  I guess I shouldn’t complain.  Some parts of the exam were very reasonably priced.  My doctor, Shakey Shlomowitz, only charges $19.95 for a full colonoscopy.  (The procedure is done at our local Jiffy-Lube, but they have good donuts in the waiting room.)  Ever hear the term “cold hands warm heart?”  Never mind.  Let’s move on.

The good doctor told me that I have the body of a much younger man.  (Who was King Tutankhamun?)  I’m not sure, but I think he was the Egyptian fellow who invented the Pyramid Scheme.  (That joke “sphinx!”)  Where was I?  Oh yeah, my medical results…  Everything (except my I.Q.) was normal or getting there.  If I can avoid strenuous work (i.e., taking out the garbage) I can look forward to a long and fruitful life.  (Unless I slip on a banana peel.)

So what else is new?  Well, I had a most enjoyable trip to Port O’Connor last week, even though I did not go fishing.  (Although I did cast a wide net in the literary world.)  I first went to Port O (as we locals call it) back in the late 1970s, and I have always enjoyed my visits.  (Especially when I catch some redfish or speckled trout!)  My favorite restaurant, Josie’s Mexican Food, is still in business, and still serves the best greasy enchiladas on the coast.  If you’re not “into” fishing, you can rent a kayak from Dolphin Kayak and paddle along the coast for hours.  (Or in my case, for several minutes.)  If fried food entices you, try the shrimp at Cathy’s Restaurant, but don’t tell her that I sent you.  (Who knew you were supposed to leave a tip?)

By the way, I only brought one case of books to Port O, but we sold every one of them!  (and gave several books as gifts)  The attendees seemed to crave mystery novels, so I brought down autographed copies of DEVIL’S COVE and RANSOM ON THE RHONE.  If you find yourself on the Texas coast, make sure you leave time to visit the Matagorda Island National Wildlife Refuge.  The place is simply magnificent.

Speaking of magnificent, I had a marvelous time at the Steiner Ranch Annual Poker & Barbecue Invitational Poker Tournament.  (known in the poker world as the S.R.A.P.B.I.P.T.)  I would like to thank our hosts, Rich and Sharon Walker, and the (semi) Honorable Kevin Evans, and the lovely Miss Pat Little for providing food, drink, and lousy cards!  In all seriousness, it was a fun evening, and we are all grateful for the efforts of so many nice people.  (Now, if I could only do something about those dang cards….. )

Incidentally, several of my loyal blog followers have inquired about the status of my next “Adam Gold Mystery.”  Fret not, as guitar players like to say, everything is coming along nicely.  The book (“A RUN FOR THE MONEY”) is being re-edited, typed, and blocked as we speak.  The cover will be addressed next week, so if you have any suggestions, please send them along.  (With a cash payment of $25 to cover my recent medical bills.)

Finally, I would like to remind you that there are 19 days left until Christmas, so you still have plenty of time to get your favorite author a little gift.  (I will post all of my sizes, except my waist size, on a future blog.)  Also, tonight at sundown, is the first night of Hanukkah, so allow me to wish all of my Jewish buddies a healthy and joyous week.  I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but one of my uncles actually thought that he was a matzo ball!  (Doc Shakey told him not to worry.  The feeling would “pass over!”)  Oy vey, what an ending!

Have a safe and prosperous week…..   Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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GETTING TO KNOW YOU …..

Getting to know all about you…   Remember those lyrics?  A wonderful song from “The King and I.”  (Which I thought was a musical about Elvis Presley!)  It was written by the team of Rogers and Hammerstein.  Who knew that Roy Rogers was so talented?  In any case, the good folks who inhabit the Leeward Islands will soon know me a lot better because I’m returning for another book tour/rum festival!  (The Leeward Islands are in the southern Caribbean, very close to the Backward Islands, but with a much smarter populace.)

Thanks to my recently-paroled publicist, Blind Lemon Lefkowitz, and the world’s best travel agent, Miss Lori “Let’s Rock” Randig, I shall be making landfall sometime in January, 2016.  I can’t wait to hit the beach, put the lime in de cocoanut, and swish it all around!  (One must be careful about too much swishing on the beach.)

The purpose of my highly-anticipated voyage is to lay the groundwork for a future appearance at several Caribbean book festivals.  I would like to set up a book table at the Antigua & Barbuda Literary Festival, the St. Lucia Lit Fest, and the Virgin Islands Book Fair on St. Croix.  These festivals attract thousands of visitors each year, and you can’t beat the atmosphere.  Lots of friendly faces and adoring fans, and superb beaches, too.  (I call it “Literature with a splash of lime!”)

This year’s itinerary will also include stops in San Juan, St. Bart’s, and St. Maarten.  I intend to pack plenty of books, plus a generous supply of sunscreen and Alka-Seltzer!

Speaking of delightful stops, I’d like to thank Judge Susan for dropping off a box of cheese pockets from Stein’s Bakery in Dallas.  (Yummy, yummy, in my tummy!)  Which reminds me, if you cut a petit fours in half, does it become a petit two?  Just asking.

Hey, since I mentioned Dallas, did you read about the American Airlines flight that was grounded by a hive of bees in one of the engines?  (No joke.)  If you didn’t, would you like to hear the latest “buzz?”  (Bad joke.)  The bees were very well groomed.  They all had “combs.”  (Worse joke.)  To keep them calm, the ground crew played music by…..  Sting!  (Worst one yet!)  Un-bee-lievable story, right?

By the way, I didn’t win the National Book Award, but believe it or not, I am about to be named in a paternity suit, I mean, another book contest!  I am not permitted to discuss the details until the winners have been officially announced, but I am a FINALIST, so keep your fingers and toes crossed for me.

Well, before I go, I would like to share a fascinating factoid.  Did you know that a whitetail deer can jump higher than the average house?  True fact.  This is due to its powerful hind legs and the fact that the average house can’t jump.  (Write that down. You’ll thank me when you get on a game show!)

Auf wiedersehen and wiener-schnitzel until we meet again.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  Where perchance do you think this photo was taken?

 

 

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