WHAT AN HONOR!

No, I am not talking about my recent book award, but rather something of much greater importance.  This year, I have the honor of having my birthday (May 29th) fall on Memorial Day, which is Monday.  Mere words cannot express my gratitude to ALL of our wonderful military veterans.  I am fully aware (from my history books) of the incredible sacrifices that have been made to protect and preserve our country, and from personal experience, I know just how great the Greatest Generation truly was.  My father served as a bombardier during World War II, and flew across the Atlantic Ocean in a B-24, ending up in North Africa and participating in some very serious battles.

My father had planned to return to New York City and become a police detective, but a war-time injury got in the way.  My Uncle Jim served in the Air Force and Air National Guard for most of his adult life, and flew numerous top-secret missions around the globe.  My Uncle Aubry was in the Marine Corps, and served with distinction during the Korean War.  So did my Uncle Paul, who served his country in the U.S.Army during the Korean War.

I mention the above just to remind my lovely blog followers of the importance of observing Memorial Day.  Lest we forget.  Which in my house, we never will.

And before I forget something else…  I know that many of you were curious about my friend Lil Taylor, the soon-to-be-famous watercolor artist.  I inadvertently gave you her email address instead of her website address… so, just for the record, you can view her paintings at:   Lil-taylor.pixels.com    Check out her work, she’s very talented!

Less talented would be yours truly, but as some of you know, my new history book, TURBULENT TIMES, was recently chosen as a Finalist in the 8th Annual International Book Award Contest.  My book about William H. Seward was picked as an award-winning Finalist in the “History: United States” category, and for this honor, I am extremely grateful.  The 2017 International Book Awards brought in over 2,000 entries, and a complete list of the Finalists has been released to tens of thousands of national and international media outlets.  (Which should really boost sales of the book!)

If you haven’t purchased your copy yet, you can order the book from Amazon.com,Barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, Nook, and leading bookstores across the nation.  AND CHECK THIS OUT……   If you leave a nice review on Amazon.com, you will be automatically eligible to win a FREE trip to the Smithsonian Institute Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.  I will be there, and so will some VERY important politicians and celebrities!  (A free trip will not break the bank, so why not take a chance?)

When I was a young man, I wanted to become a banker, but I lost interest.

Finally, I would like to dedicate this particular blog to Angelo Petraglia, my childhood friend and neighbor.  Angie was drafted into the Army after we graduated from Valley Stream Central High School in New York.  Sadly, at 20 years of age, he was sent to Vietnam, and shortly after his arrival, he was killed in action in Binh Duong, South Vietnam.  My friend served in the 1st Infantry Division and was killed by small arms fire on December 18, 1968.  I think about him often, and hopefully one of his family members will see this blog and realize that his sacrifice — like so many others — will never be forgotten.

If you ever find yourself at the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.,  try to locate Panel 36W, Line 41, and if you do, please send my best to one brave soldier.  (And one hell of a baseball player!)

Have a safe and mindful weekend…  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

OOPS, I FORGOT TO ADD A PHOTOGRAPH!

Well, I must have had one too many Sazerac Cocktails!  I plum forgot to add the following photograph…..   (Too much plum wine?)

For your viewing enjoyment, allow me to present photographic evidence of my recent book signing/marketing venture at the fabulous COVE BOUTIQUE!

 

 

 

 

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE (TON) WITH YOU!

Hey, do you folks remember that song?  A 1972 classic, which tells the tale of an up and coming mystery/history author who gets stuck at a bachelorette party for Pippa Middleton at the Middleton Plantation in South Carolina.  (How was I supposed to know that all of those people were there for her?  I thought they were there for my award ceremony.  No wonder nobody asked for an autograph!  Snobs!)  Who names their kid Pippa?  Never heard of such a thing.  I have heard of Pippi Longstocking, whose house, coincidentally, is on Amelia Island.  (This is where they filmed that annoying movie.)  I walked by the house last week, and it still looks pretty good, which my grandchildren will be happy to hear.

For those of you who asked about Middleton, the main house (where Princess Kate and I had a little chat) is now in ruins, but the foundation and existing home dates back to the early 1700s, and is surrounded by 500 acres of land and one of America’s most beautiful formal gardens.  (The main house was destroyed by Yankee Carpet-Bagging Scum during the Civil War.  Their words, not mine.)  The garden is mind-boggling in its beauty and complexity, and was recognized nationally in 1941, when the Garden Club of America conferred its highest award on Middleton Place, naming it “the most interesting and important garden in America.”  (My rock garden in Austin was not mentioned.  What’s up with that?)

During our stay in Savannah, we had the pleasure of meeting two lovely (and talented) ladies from Hickory, North Carolina, Miss Gina and Miss Lil.  As I always say, the best part about traveling and book tours is meeting other people, and Gina and Lil were absolutely delightful!  True, we consumed a bit too much port during the evening (and were reprimanded by the resident ghost, I mean, host) but other than that, we were fairly well-behaved.  (Yes, the Kehoe House is haunted, but so are all the houses in Savannah!  Lots of “spirit” in that old city!)

Incidentally, if you want to view some hauntingly gorgeous watercolor paintings, take a look at Miss Lil’s website.  (She is a renowned artist of immense talent.)  In fact, she is so good that I asked her to create the front cover of the next “Adam Gold Mystery,” which is titled, CAPONE ISLAND.  (This one deals with Al Capone’s buried treasure in Florida.)  The book should be finished in about a year, and I can’t wait to see what Miss Lil comes up with as far as a cover.  You can view her lovely paintings by going to:   liltaylorsgallery@yahoo.com

By the way, did you know that the song I referred to in the title of this blog (Stuck In The Middle With You) was written by the songwriting team of Leiber & Stoller?  If you read THE GRACELAND GANG (my first mystery novel) then you might remember that they were the geniuses who wrote some of the best rock and roll songs in history.  (Including, for Elvis, “HOUND DOG” and “JAILHOUSE ROCK.)  They also wrote two wonderful songs for the great Ben E. King, “STAND BY ME” and “SPANISH HARLEM.”  Apparently, Leiber & Stoller enjoyed writing for kings!

And since we are on the subject of royalty, I would like to mention that my daughter’s elegant boutique, COVE, was recently featured in Tribeza Magazine.  The article begins on page 78.  Check it out and you will see a photograph of the beautiful and talented Rebecca Lee!  I am proud to announce that you can now purchase any of my brilliant books at her store on South Congress Avenue.  At the end of this fascinating blog, you will see a photo of her new sign (in case you get lost) and a photo of Miss Rebecca taking possession of my history book, TURBULENT TIMES.  (She’s the attractive one!)

Well, compadres, I must say adios for now, as I am off to a “Sazerac Cocktail Contest.”  (I am a judge, not a drinker, although….. )

Assuming I find my way home, I shall post another joyful blog next Sunday, describing in painful detail, my stay in historic Charleston.  Yes, I have more photos to share!  Yes, the blog writing will be superb!  No, I won’t be sharing any good jokes.  (I don’t know any!)  Until then, please take care and have a safe and smile-filled week!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

***** SEMI-INTERESTING PHOTOS ATTACHED  *****

 

 

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS DOC YANOFF?

I’M GLAD YOU ASKED…..   I have just spent the last two hours driving from Savannah, Georgia, to Charleston, South Carolina.  The route was very interesting and took us through some tantalizing areas, marked by numerous “Hysterical Markers.”  (Indicating that something hysterical happened at that particular location.)  Obviously none of the markers had any relation to my lame jokes, but no matter, this is still one of the most intriguing areas in the nation.

The “Lowcountry Shrimp & Literary Book Tour” has taken us to the lovely city of Charleston, which is also known at “The Holy City,” due to the large number of churches in the city.  We are staying at one of the most famous Bed & Breakfast joints in the nation, an historic residence called the Motel 6.   Just kidding.  We are staying at the famous John Rutledge House, downtown, just across the bay from Fort Sumter!  (If you’ve read my new book, TURBULENT TIMES, you know how cool this is for me.)

A word about our new digs…..   The John Rutledge House has a rich history, including the very place where the writing of drafts of the Constitution of the United States took place within its walls!  Mr. Rutledge built this lovely house as a wedding gift for his bride Elizabeth in 1763.  In the second floor drawing room (just below my room) the drafting committee  wrote several iterations of the Constitution of the U.S.  Rutledge, having no computer, found time to sign the document along with a house guest who once slept in the room I am now occupying… a fellow named George Washington!

In 1853, the house was renovated, and during the Civil War (known locally as “The War of Northern Aggression”) the place survived a great fire that destroyed the building next door in which the Articles of the Secession were signed.  The present owner told me that the house took a direct hit from a Union (carpet-bagging scum) cannon during the siege of Charleston.  (Which, by the way, is also described in painful detail in my new book, TURBULENT TIMES.)  Nice segue, eh?

Speaking of segues, the wife and I took a Segway all around Savannah, and after I pay for the property damages we caused, I intend to give you all of the gruesome details.  (On next Sunday’s post)

Well, I must say farewell for now, as our distinguished host has requested my company for evening port.  Any port in a storm, I always say.  It’s not raining, but we can still drink some port.  Tomorrow we are off for Middleton Plantation, and God willing, a profitable book signing at the gift shop!  (If I don’t sell a lot of books, I intend to steal some postcards!)  Hush my grits, and suckle my honey, I do love the South!

Keep those cards and letters coming and we shall converse again soon…

Love to all,

(Especially our new friends, Gina & Lil from Hickory, North Carolina!)

Colonel Beauregard Stephen Ashley Wilkes Yanoff, C.S.A., A.S.P.C.A.

 

 

 

 

AMELIA-RATING CIRCUMSTANCES!

Greetings from lovely Amelia Island, a charming venue just off the north eastern coast of Florida.  You get here (from Boca Raton) by driving 6 hours north (on I-95) and then crossing over a long bridge to the island.  We are presently staying in the historic district, at a charming B & B called Addison on Amelia.  I shall be posting some photographs upon my return to Austin.  (No nudes.  Not quite warm enough for that sort of thing!)

One of the great joys of writing books is walking into a new hotel or B & B and finding one of your books on display.  Stephen King may not find this exciting, but I love it.  When we were signing in, a lady at the front desk saw my last name and asked me if I was the same fellow who wrote “A RUN FOR THE MONEY,” a book that was prominently displayed in their reading library!  (I spent the most of the next morning selling and signing books!)  Ah well, part of the fun.  Nice way to meet your fellow guests, too.

The food has been surprisingly good, and as you might expect, mostly based upon fresh seafood.  (This is where the U.S. commercial shrimp industry began.)  Some of the local fishermen are of Portuguese descent, so they have some wonderful Portuguese restaurants along the marina, and one of the best is called ESPANA.  If you ever pass this way, this is the place to dine like a king.  (Great sangria, too!)

There is a local bookstore that is featuring some of my mystery novels at a wine party this evening, but before that, we are heading over to the Amelia Island Museum of History, and then we’re off for a catamaran adventure to Cumberland Island, Georgia.  (The island is known for its dolphins, manatees, and wild horses.  None of them edible, but still fun to view.)

So far the weather has been nearly perfect.  Average temps around 80 to 85, bright sunshine, and not a cloud in the sky.  We arrived (on Saturday) for the start of the 45th annual Shrimp Fest, which featured a zillion locals artists, ten zillion antique dealers, and numerous culinary shrimp contests.  I was forced to consume a fair amount of those tasty crustaceans, and they were really wonderful.  I think most of them fell into the category of “white shrimp,” which blends nicely with grits.

Tomorrow, which is Tuesday, we are off to Savannah, Georgia, and another historic B & B.  After our “ghost tour,” we are scheduled to stop by a local book dealer and chat with some customers who are history-lovers.  I shall be presenting a short, but riveting lecture on my new literary masterpiece, TURBULENT TIMES.   On Wednesday, we are supposed to join a local group for a special Segway tour of the historic district, which should be great fun.  (We are staying close to the park where FORREST GUMP and MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL were filmed.)  If we don’t meet any ghosts, we shall have to look for spirits elsewhere.  (Probably in a tavern!)

Well, my dear friends, I must take my leave, as duty calls.  Hold on, that wasn’t a duty call, just a call to breakfast.  (Even better!)  Today our innkeeper is offering something called “hash-brown muffins” and “Rebel omelets,” which sounds yummy and will hopefully contain some more shrimp.

Have a safe and laugh-laden week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  Be the first to identify the following photographs and you will win an autographed copy of TURBULENT TIMES!

 

 

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HIGH TIMES IN THE LOWCOUNTRY!

Well, as Saint Augustine once said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”  With that in mind, I shall soon begin packing for the 2017 Spring Fling Book Tour.  (A creation of my publicist, Blind Lemon Lefkowitz.)  “Lefty” has arranged for stops in Boca Raton, Amelia Island, Savannah, and Charleston.  This time, however, our party will be staying in historic Bed & Breakfast Inns, as opposed to Motel 6.  The inns are quite lovely, and designed to showcase the Southern theme of the tour.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, I am returning to the Lowcountry to pick up a literary award for my last “Adam Gold Mystery,” titled, A RUN FOR THE MONEY. The book was chosen as a FINALIST in the 2016 Beverly Hills International Book Award Contest.  There were 3,700 entrants, so I was quite happy to be chosen, and greatly appreciate the huge cash award.  (Which I intend to spend on shrimp and grits!)

Speaking of books, (as usual) the newly revised, re-edited, and rejuvenated edition of THE SECOND MOURNING will soon be available to the public!  The book has been re-issued, showing three of the gold medals that it won on the front cover.  The manuscript has also been “cleaned” and some new descriptive information added.  If you enjoyed the first edition, you will definitely want a copy of this little darling.  Copies should be available in mid-May.

The first reviews of TURBULENT TIMES have been phenomenal, and once again, I am very appreciate.  (The NYT review was simply outstanding!)  The winner of an autographed hard-copy book (for posting the first review on Amazon.com) was none other than…..  Baron Lee Bomblatus of Round Rock, Texas!  Congratulations, Lee, and thank you very much for all of the kind words.  My own mother could not have been more gracious, even after receiving my recent bribe!  Women!

Which reminds me, if you are a loyal blog follower (and wish me to keep living in the style to which I am not accustomed) then PLEASE take a moment to leave a nice review on either Amazon.com or Barnesandnoble.com    In all seriousness, good reviews generate more advertising dollars from the publisher.  And they improve your chances of getting into heaven.  (I have friends in very high places!)

And since we are on the subject of heaven, allow me to mention that I recently had my first “Asian Foot Massage,” which was incredible, but somewhat mis-named.  The wonderful masseuse was not Asian, nor did I have my feet massaged.  However, I was massaged by the beautiful and talented Melinda Perez, and she used HER feet to loosen my body parts!  Man, that was really a treat, and the results were splendid.  Miss Melinda works in Austin, and is definitely the BEST masseuse in Texas, so if you live in town, give her a try.

Incidentally, if you’re wondering why I began this blog with a quote from Saint Agustine, it’s because I am currently reading a book about saints.  (A research project for my next Adam Gold mystery, titled CAPONE ISLAND.)  ST. Agustine must have made a lasting impression on folks, because they named entire city after him in the state of Florida.  I forget the name of the city, but it might be Tallahassee.  Or maybe it was Port St. Lucie.  Dang, it’s right on the tip of my tongue.

Finally, my visit (and mini-lecture) at the Texas State Cemetery was a huge success.  If you haven’t been down to the cemetery, you’re the dead-beat, because it’s quite lovely and historic.  Among others, it holds the remains of Barbara Jordan, Chris Kyle, and the big guy himself, Stephen F. Austin.  Believe it or not, they also named a city after Stephen F. Austin, but once again, the name escapes me.  I am happy to report that the grounds were immaculate and I was very proud to be invited to give a little talk about Texas history.  The Lone Star State rocks!

In closing, I would like to mention that I had NOTHING to do with the recent robbery at the H.E.B. Pharmacy at Four Points.  Last Friday, thieves broke into the store and stole a ton of Viagra.  (The police are now looking for a gang of “hardened” criminals!)

Well, that last joke might have been a “bitter pill” to swallow, so I shall now sign off until next Sunday.  Please have a safe and joyous week, and keep those cards and letters (and cash) coming!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

 

MISS COMMUNICATION!

Yikes, that sounds like the title of a beauty contest.  However, I’m referring to words, and as the Bee Gees once said, “It’s only words, and words are all I have to take your heart away.”  Of course, as a (semi) famous writer, I am well aware that there are 171,476 words in the English language.  In current use.  (Which has nothing to do with AC/DC)  The reason I mention this titillating fact (and no, the word titillating is not a dirty word) is because recent events have highlighted the importance of using and understanding the English language.

How so, you ask?  Well, last week, Bashar al-Assad, the brutal dictator of Syria apparently thought that President Trump was sending him some mistletoe, when in fact, he received a bouquet of Tow Missles!  (Big difference)  Boom!

My friends in the Caribbean tell me that the most popular T.V. show in Jamaica is a program about Rastafarian zombies.  It’s called “THE WALKING DREAD.”  In this unusual version, the zombies are Jewish.  They don’t eat human flesh, just lox.  (Better sit down)  Nothing like a good bagel with cream cheese and “dread lox!”

So what else is new?  Well, Thursday’s literary presentation was a HUGE success.  (I spoke to the Texas Surplus Lines Association at the Blackfinn Restaurant in the Domain.)  There might have been 4,000 people in attendance.  (There might have been, but the room only held 45 people.)  In any case, a great time was had by all.  Thanks again to the extremely talented Texan, Meagan Kiernan, master of the universe!  (Ms. Kiernan ran the event)  Those in attendance were mostly the new generation of surplus lines underwriters, and they were all brilliant and energetic folks.  My beloved former industry is in very good hands!

Speaking of brilliant women, the lovely owner of the COVE BOUTIQUE (on South Congress Avenue)  just had a starring role in her very first T.V. commercial, which was filmed in her own store last Friday!  Ms. Rebecca (Yanoff) will also be featured in the upcoming edition of Tribeza Magazine, which is doing a story on her rise to fame and fortune!  (Dang kid is getting more publicity than her father!)  I hope she mentioned my name in the commercial.

Incidentally, tomorrow, April 10, is the first day of Passover, so I would like to wish my Jewish blog followers “Pesach sameach,” which means “Happy Passover.”  While I’m at it, Sunday, April 16, is Easter Sunday, so Happy Easter to all of my Christian friends.  Did I leave anyone out?  My Uncle Bernie used to think that he was a matzo ball.  We brought him to the doctor, and the doctor told us not to worry. (He said it would ” pass over!”)  All right, look, there aren’t that many holiday jokes.  What can I say.

There was an article in the NYT which stated that “sleep is the new status symbol.”  (Since everybody is so busy these days.)  If that’s true, I’m a dang wealthy!  (I sleep at least 9 hours per night.)  Not to brag, but many of my books are used at Insomnia Centers throughout America.  Apparently, patients fall asleep shortly after starting one of my books.  I’m so happy that I can bring such peace and tranquility to those who need a good rest.

Finally, I would like to reiterate that my newest cure for insomnia will be available very shortly.  (TURBULENT TIMES)  I recently received a pre-publishing review from a N.Y.C. firm called Renegade Reviews, and among other things, they wrote:

“Yanoff’s new book, Turbulent Times, is a sure-fire blockbuster, and a truly brilliant effort.  Lovers of American history will adore this story, which is well- researched, well-written, and fascinating from start to finish.  Without doubt, Turbulent Times will win numerous awards and is destined to become one of the best history books of the year.”

Well, as we say in New York, “from your mouth to God’s ears!”  I shall, of course, notify the public at large (and even some small people) as soon as the book becomes available for purchase.  In the meantime, please take care and have a safe and silly week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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