A DAY AT THE RACES…..

Well, I hate to brag, but once again I have shown the world that I am in the wrong line of work….. even though, technically, I don’t have a job.  Why am I writing books when I could become a professional handicapper?  Yes, once again, my favorite steed, AMERICAN PHAROAH, has won the big race!  (And made me lots of money!)

Yesterday was the running of the Preakness Stakes, and my darling horse finished first.  I noticed that there were a few “celebrities” in the crowd this year.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had a front row seat. (Make that two seats.)  He was slightly disappointed when he discovered that it was a “stakes” race, not a “steak race.”  I don’t if it’s true, but I heard that the Baltimore D.A. indicted a couple of the losing horses, and two jockeys.  (Heartless woman!)

By the way, American Pharoah is owned by an Egyptian-American gent named Ahmed Zayat.  Mr. Zayat was forced to leave Egypt because of a financial scandal.  (I think.)  I might be wrong about this, but I think he invented the Pyramid Scheme.  (Ouch!)  I know, that joke Sphinx.  What can I say, I’m in de-Nile!  Tut tut, let’s move along…..

Did you see that Mitt Romney stepped into the boxing ring with Evander Holyfield?  (They were raising money for charity.)  Nice to see Mitt running again!  (I’d run too!)  I did some boxing during my misspent youth, and I was pretty good.  Actually, I worked at UPS, but we still did a lot of boxing.

How many of you folks read the second Adam Gold mystery, THE PIRATE PATH?  (O.K., you can put your hand down, Mom.)  Well, if you recall, the book was about Captain Kidd’s treasure.  Guess what?  Divers just located some loot from one of Kidd’s ships!  They found a silver bar or two off the coast of Madagascar.  How cool is that?  One of the bars was inscribed with the name of the pirate ship, and the discovery might lead to more treasure.  I need to spend more time looking for bars!

Sales of RANSOM ON THE RHONE are growing steadily, and if the pace continues, this book will become the best-selling mystery that I have written.  Thanks again to all you blogsters who have continued to support my writing career.  In all seriousness, I couldn’t have done it without you!

Speaking of thanks, I’d like to thank my brilliant cousin Max, and his lovely and talented wife, Barbara, for hosting a very special dinner at the Steiner Ranch Steakhouse last night.  Max was recently abroad.  (No, there will be no Bruce Jenner jokes!)  Barbara has been abroad for quite some time.  Anyway, they had a wonderful trip to Europe, but it’s great to have them back in Austin.

Next week is book tour time, and we’re off to the sunny isle of St. Thomas and St. John, for a week of diving and thriving with the Princess of Portugal and her husband, Baron Von Bomblatus!  Watch out rum, here I come!

On that cheerful note, I shall take my leave.  (I wish somebody would take all my leaves!)  Have a safe and prosperous week.  And remember this poignant thought…..  The fact that there’s a highway to hell and only a stairway to heaven says a lot about anticipated traffic numbers!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, 2015!

Good morning, sports fans, and may I begin by wishing all of you mothers (mommies) a very happy and healthy Mother’s Day!  In keeping with Yanoff family tradition, I sent my mom a “congratulations card” complimenting her on my birth.  I remember my mom telling me that the stork delivered me….. and was subsequently arrested for pushing “dope!”

My dad was more joyous about my arrival.  The nurse said here’s your little treasure.  My dad said, “let’s bury it!”  (Milton Berle, 1956.)  Hey, did you folks see that Hooters is celebrating Mother’s Day by offering customers a free order of hot wings?  I was going to take my mom there, but we were just there for Easter.  And her birthday.  And my birthday.  And…  well, we were just there, so we’re not going  back.

Speaking of moms, did you notice that a zoo in Japan is in hot water after naming a baby monkey Charlotte?  (In honor of the royal baby of England.)  If the prince and princess had a son, they were going to name him Curious George, so what’s the problem?  No reason to go “bananas.”

My friend in L.A. just sent me an email, and get this, the geniuses in Hollywood have decided to make another Indian Jones movie!  (Keep in mind that Harrison Ford will be 73 years old when filming begins.)  Naturally, I sent in a movie script, which is being seriously considered.  (Considered a piece of junk!)  Anyway, in my script, Jones reflects his advanced age by outrunning a kidney stone instead of a giant boulder.  Then he spends the rest of the movie searching for a tomb…. for himself!  I’m calling the film, “Indiana Jones and the Search for Lower Cholesterol!”  (maybe I should change that to blood pressure?)

Speaking of pressure, poor Tom Brady is getting hell for his role in the deflate-gate scandal.  If he keeps complaining about the pressure, maybe he should do something about it.  (any suggestions?)  Ssssssssssssssssss.

Well, I must take my leave of you now.  I am on my way to India!  (Well, actually we’re going to the Clay Pit Indian Restaurant in Austin.)  My friend, Bali, is offering a delicious buffet, and we want to get there before my son-in-law eats all of the lamb.  Have yourselves a wonderful day, and don’t forget to call your mom.  (Even if you have to call “collect” like me, it would be a very nice gesture.)

Finally, for those of you who find it difficult to believe that anyone voluntarily gave birth to me, I am posting a photograph of my beautiful mother.  (pictured with her favorite child!)

Go forth, have a great day, and please remember to buy your mother a glass of champagne.  (After all, you’re the reason she drinks!)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

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HORSING AROUND…..

AND THEY’RE OFF!  And so was I…  off my rocker due to a copious amount of Kentucky bourbon!  How I managed to survive this year’s Kentucky Derby is a story in and of itself.  (I’m not sure whether it would be considered fiction or non-fiction.)  In any case, I and my compadres wound up at a Derby Party in Round Rock, hosted by the Princess of Portugal and her exorbitantly wealthy husband, Baron Lee Von Bomblatus.  (The Baron of Schnitzelstein.)

Before I elaborate on the event, let me confirm the rumors that have been floating around the Internet and on the front page of The New York Times and The National Enquirer…  Yes, it’s true, I won (split) the enormous purse generated by this year’s Derby pool.  By sheer brilliance, and modesty, I managed to pick the FIRST and THIRD place horses.  (American Pharoah and Dortmund.)  Soooo….  there I was, surrounded by gorgeous women in wide-brimmed hats, ready to collect my loot, when guess what happens?  The Track Steward announces that someone has picked the number one horse and the number two horse and the number three horse!

Who, you might ask, would be able to accomplish this seemingly impossible feat?  (or should I say “feet?”)  Well, I’ll give you one guess…  I live with her.  (No, not the blonde next door!)  My wife!  That’s right, Miss Patty was the only person in the state of Kentucky to pick the top 3 horses in the Kentucky Derby!  (I would mention the payout, but two of my blog followers work for the I.R.S.)  How did this woman do it?  Well, she told the Louisville Gazette that she learned about the “sport of kings” by living with a horse’s ass.  (Hey, at least she mentioned me!)

So get this….  on the day of the big race, at approximately 11:36 a.m., I finished my fifth mystery novel.  The title of the book, believe it or not, is called…..   A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  And yes, it deals with equine insurance and the Thoroughbred racing industry!  Freaky, eh?  Another example of life imitating art!  The book will be published some time this fall or maybe early in 2016, depending on the publisher’s schedule.

You know what’s crazy?  (Besides, me.)  Floyd Mayweather just made about 200 million dollars by beating Manny Pacquiao in a boxing match.  Meanwhile, American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby and got an extra carrot!  Life ain’t fair.  American Pharoah is twice as smart as Mayweather.  Well, let’s put it this way, he certainly has more “horse sense!”

For those of you who care, my Spring Book Tour has been set and is now available for public viewing at the Barnes & Noble Author Site.  I am most excited to be re-visiting my fans on St. Thomas and St. John, the crown jewels of the American Virgin Islands.  My publicist, Blind Lemon Lefkowitz, has arranged an outstanding itinerary.  (I tease the poor man, but he is a true genius!)  If you live in Mississippi, Alabama, or Florida, you might want to check out our tour stops, and please come by and say hello!  We will be covering a lot of ground, but I would love to see some of my loyal blog followers!

In closing, I would like to thank my French fans for making RANSOM ON THE RHONE the number one American mystery in Paris for 4 consecutive weeks!  Merci beaucoup!  Your continued support and interest is greatly appreciated!

Well, my dear sports fans, I must sign off.  (I am having my kidneys flushed out from yesterday’s bourbon fest!)  I am going to limit my alcohol consumption for the next two hours.  I mean, days.  Did I ever mention that my uncle died from drinking a quart of shellac?  Poor guy.  He did have a nice finish, though.

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

A CLASSY GUY…

Well, it’s official…  after a short incarceration, I mean, vacation, I have decided to return to the classroom!  Thus, I shall be teaching a CREATIVE WRITING course at the Dell Community Center this summer.  Here, my dear friends, are the impertinent details:  The classes will be held on July 21, August 4, and August 11.  Each class is 1 1/2 hours long.  (but they will seem longer!)  The starting time, subject to slight alteration, should be around 11:00 a.m.  (They wanted me to teach an early morning class, but that would have caused a slight altercation!)  If you’re interested, please contact Lisa Quay at the Dell Center.

Speaking of classy guys, my old high school chum, Glenn Fitzgerald, Vice President of Proluxe, sent me a congratulatory bottle of Nolet’s Silver Gin.  (We were celebrating the Gold Medal that “THE SECOND MOURNING” received from the Beverly Hills International Book Awards.)  The bottle is actually “engraved” with my name!  How the heck did he find a bottle with my name on it?!  I’m telling you, wonders never cease!  (Thanks, Glenn!)

Another great friend, Jaime Rubenstein, was one of the stars at last night’s Lakeway musical extravaganza.  Jaime stole the show (but was forced to return it later on)  with her brilliant and comical cruise song.  The lady can do it all, sing, dance, and act.  Her performance nearly brought down the house.  (No, the building was not poorly constructed!)  Some guy named Gary was ejected for stalking Jaime with a camera, but other than that, the show was a huge success.

Hey, before I forget, one of my best friends (and a distant relative) is having a big week, so I want to wish Dr. Max the best of luck!  We all hope you “bring home the bacon.”  If all goes well, Max & Co. will soon be living “high off the hog.”  (How many pig jokes is this guy gonna do?)  All right, just one more…  when you’re in N.Y.C., never pork in a handicapped space.  OK, now I can stop “hamming” it up!

By the way, do you know why I have so many friends?  (other than the modest cash payments that I make)  Well, it’s because of my personal belief that before you criticize someone you should walk a mile in their shoes.  (That way when you criticize them you’re a mile away and you have their shoes!)  Smart thinking, right?

Tonight we are having dinner up in Round Rock with the Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee.  She might be making Mexican food, which I am dreading.  I love Mexican food, but she wants to make some crazy dish called Chicken Mole.  Don’t get me wrong, I love chicken, but I’ll be damned if I eat a mole.  (Check this out, the whacky senorita intends to cover the rodent with chocolate sauce!)  Thanks, but no thanks.  Comprende?

Finally, I want to send a special HELLO to my dear friend, Peter.  Life is about to get really wonderful for him, and I couldn’t be happier.  We are all very proud of you, and we absolutely worship your beautiful companion!  (who just happens to be my beautiful daughter, Rebecca!)  Looking forward to seeing you both tomorrow…  but please don’t feel obligated to buy (too much) champagne!  I’m not worthy.  (Actually, I am, but why push my luck?)

In closing, on a serious note, my thoughts and prayers go out to the kind and generous folks in Nepal.  Yesterday’s earthquake was devastating, but hang in there, my friends.  Help is on the way!  (Thanks to the never-ending generosity of Americans.)  This too shall pass.

Well, buckeroos, time to saddle up and head out to the north forty.  Or the south thirty.  Whichever comes first.  Happy trails to you and yours, and look for the old ranger (that would be me) next Sunday, same time, same place.

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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FIDDLER ON THE ROOF!

No, I am not playing an instrument, I am fiddling with some roof tiles.  Last night, quite unexpectedly, we had a strong storm blow into Austin.  The gusts were quite severe, and unfortunately, a couple of my roof tiles seem to have become dislodged.  I will know more after my wife gets down from the roof and gives me a full report.  (I would have gone up myself, but I am just finishing an important paragraph in my new book.)  Besides, this is her chance to “climb the corporate ladder.”  (I just hope she doesn’t fall through the “glass ceiling!”)

In any case, I must post an abbreviated blog today.  The old girl is yelling for me to hold the ladder steady, and I feel somewhat obligated to help her out.  I know, I’m too good for her.  I don’t understand why I have to outside and get wet.  Do I ask her to finish sentences for me?  I think not. Oh well, you know what they say.  A man’s work is never done.  (done right, that is!)

Just to show you that my heart is in the right place (just under my rib cage) I am going to post a recent book review.  The author of this lovely piece was quite nice to me, and she seems to have thoroughly enjoyed my non-fiction history book, THE SECOND MOURNING.  In all seriousness, these types of reviews are very encouraging and very much appreciated.

Thank you for your understanding regarding the short blog post.  I promise to make it up to you next week.  (Please don’t worry, I will never run out of lame humor.)  Just remember to go forward and follow your own path.  Keep in mind that a wise person never follows the masses.  Why?  Because sometimes the “m” is silent!

Have a great and glorious week!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  THE BOOK REVIEW IS (HOPEFULLY) ATTACHED!

 

 

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A TAXING TIME…..

Well, my friends, it’s THAT time again…  time to enrich the coffers of our Uncle Sam and deal with the Infernal Revenue Service!  Which reminds me, what do you call 25 I.R.S. agents buried up to their chins in cement?  (Answer:  A cement shortage!)  Just in case you missed that one, here’s one more…  What’s brown and looks really good on an I.R.S. agent?  (Answer:  A Doberman!)  All right, enough jokes, lest I get audited.  (again)

Did you folks watch any of the NCAA Basketball Tournament?  I did, but none of my picks did very well.  Of course, I still did better than President Obama and Jeb Bush.  Obama’s mind must be elsewhere because his top two picks were Israel and Iran.  Bush’s picks for the Final Four were Iowa, Iowa, Iowa, and Iowa.

Since we’re on the subject of politics, did you hear that Ted Cruz was arrested at the Port of Galveston?  (The arresting officer told the press that he was just trying to “book a Cruz!”)  Ouch!  OK, how about this one…..  President Obama has announced that his family will move to N.Y.C. after his term is over.  Dang, that guy just can’t get enough gridlock!  Apparently, the Obamas chose N.Y.C. because they’ve gotten so used to people trying to break into their home!

So what else is new?  Well, in the field of “life imitating art,” the shooting incident in South Carolina comes on the heels of my recent visit.  Incredibly, I actually had a chat with the police chief about crime in North Charleston, as it plays an important role in my new mystery novel, A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  Kind of weird how these things keep happening to me.

By the way, several blog followers have inquired about my stop on St. Helena Island.  I was there, primarily, to visit the Penn Center (which, as you may recall, was one of the first schools created to educate freed slaves after the Civil War.) and if you look closely at the photograph of the brick building at the end of this post you will see a modest church.  Well, it was in this very church basement that MLK wrote his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

And speaking of writers…  the photo of me and another gentleman, standing near the marsh, is also quite interesting.  The other fellow is none other than Pierre McGowan, author of “The Gullah Mailman,” a book about his father, Sam, who delivered the mail to Gullah residents beginning in 1924. (On horseback!)  The book is quite fascinating and offers some remarkable stories of life on remote St. Helena Island.  (Which used to contain about 18 rice and indigo plantations, and is hauntingly beautiful, and connected to many ghost stories.)

Oh, and since we’re discussing stories, several curious blog followers have asked about my recent 5-STAR book review.  If you want to read the whole thing, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t, simply log onto ReaderReviews.com and follow the little icons to “THE SECOND MOURNING.”  You can also download the review, make a few thousand copies, and hand them out at your local mall.  This effort will be greatly appreciated (by me) and I am willing to chip in if your bail is set at a reasonable amount.  Think of it as a sacrifice for great literature.  Never mind, think of it as way to meet other felons.

Finally, I should like to mention that I was recently interviewed by Ms. Sarah Doolittle, a brilliant reporter from the Four Points News.  Her in-depth article about yours truly will be published shortly, and if my photograph is presentable, I will post the whole thing on my blog.  And speaking of brilliance, we had the pleasure of sharing a weekend reunion with the lovely and talented Holley Hendrickson, and her husband, Mike.  (Mike is talented, too, but not as lovely as his wife.)  We have known these rascals for 40 years!  They never change, and that’s a great thing, for they are great friends.  (I just wish I would have remembered to bring my wallet.  Oh well, maybe next time!)

Well, amigos y amigettes, have a safe and wonderful week.  I shall leave you with some more brilliance, this time from the mind of the great Asian philosopher, Confucius.  The great teacher said…..   “Guy who lose key to girl’s apartment get no new-key!”  (I’ve been down that road before!)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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GLORY DAZE!

Before I explain, allow me to wish each and every one of my loyal blog followers (all 17,000 of you!) a Happy Easter and/or Joyous Passover.  I truly hope that you and yours receive the full blessings of the season.  Spring, as you know, is a time of renewal.  (and I am not referring to your driver’s license!)  Actually, Spring done sprung on March 20th, but who’s counting?  (Other than the IRS?)

I think I’ve asked this question before, but is a person required to pay taxes EVERY year?  I’m glad I have two children.  They’re taxing, but also deductible.  Well, at least the new tax forms have been simplified beyond understanding.  Hey, why isn’t Lois Lane in jail?  I mean, Lois Lerner?  Come to think of it, how come I’m not in jail?  Never mind, let’s move on…

Well, my dear friends, it has been quite a week.  (Hence the title of this here blog post.)  On the day I left charming Beaufort (South Carolina) I was informed that my book, THE SECOND MOURNING, was chosen as a FINALIST in the prestigious Indie Book Awards Contest sponsored by Foreward Reviews’ Magazine.  (Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals will be awarded on June 26th at the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco.  (Nominees are required to bring their own water!)

Two days later, when we arrived in Atlanta, I received word that THE SECOND MOURNING had won the GOLD MEDAL in the Beverly Hills International Book Award Contest!  The honor was bestowed for best book of the year in the History – United States Category.  In presenting the award, the judges were kind enough to write:  “Dr. Yanoff’s book truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate.”  All I can say is Hooray for Hollywood!  (And thank you!)

Incredibly, it looks like I may also be a FINALIST or medal winner in a third literary contest.  (I will know this Tuesday.)  I just received an amazing review from the contest sponsor, Reader Reviews Magazine.  The judge/reviewer described THE SECOND MOURNING in glowing terms, such as, “5 Stars – a treasure of a book,”excellent story,” “simply brilliant,” and “a must-read.”  (My own mother couldn’t have written a better review, and believe me, she’s tried!)

Several blog followers have asked me to address the highlight of my trip to the Low Country.  Giving Pat Conroy some writing tips was fun, but the peace de resistance, was eating barbecue pork at Sgt. White’s Restaurant and visiting the Marine Training Base on Parris Island.  As some of you may know, I spent several summers training with the SEALS. (At SEAWORLD in San Antonio.)  Stop laughing, it wasn’t easy balancing that ball on my nose.  I did manage one amazing feat.  (or should I say “flipper?”)  I trained some of the animals to clean up their own pool!  (I received the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval!)  God, I need to get a real job.

I did hear one sad tale while touring the Marine Base.  I met a Marine D.I. (Drill Instructor) who had just found out that his wife was having an affair!  Naturally, he was devastated, so in order to find comfort and peace, he had turned to religion.  Soon, he was able to come to terms with the whole thing.  He had converted to Islam and was now planning to stone his wife in the morning!  Hoorah!  Semper Fi!

For those of you who are still awake, I shall end this historical, I mean, hysterical post by wishing you and yours a safe and wonderful week!  If you scroll down, you will see some lovely photos taken in and around Beaufort, South Carolina.  (I have deleted all nudity, due to federal regulations and concerns about the environment.)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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