SUMMER IN THE CITY!

Ah yes, but which city?  How about Rome?  Well, my dear paisano, that is precisely where I am heading!  Why?  Because the next “Adam Gold caper” is tentatively titled, CAPONE ISLAND.  Consequently, I am off to the lovely island of Sicily to do some research and hopefully interview some of Mr. Capone’s relatives.  I am starting to pack, but I’m having some trouble folding my bullet-proof vest.  (That dang Kevlar is so stiff.)  I just hope I don’t become a stiff.  I’m not really worried, as the book is more about Capone’s “buried treasure” in Florida than about his life of crime.  Oddly enough, my mother lives across the bay from the island where “Scarface” supposedly buried either treasure or competitors, or both.

In any case, my crew and I will be sailing on a moderately sized vessel, leaving from Rome and heading due south.  Our first stop is gorgeous Taormina, Sicily, and then we head even further south to Valletta, Malta.  (Where I will be searching for an elusive falcon!)  After a couple of days in Malta, we start our “Volcano Tour.”  I’m not sure why, but we intend to explore Mt. Aetna, the volcanic island of Volcano, and then Mt. Vesuvius.  Hopefully we will not encounter any disruptions or eruptions.  If we do, we will just have to go with the (lava) flow!

Assuming we survive the volcano convention, we are off to the islands of Trapani and Lipari, and then over to Sorrento and Capri.  This is just about my favorite part of the world, so I am looking forward to a couple of reunions and some unusual book signings.  From Capri, we take the hydrofoil or the tinfoil over to Positano, and by then I should weigh about 500 pounds.  (primarily pasta)  We intend to spend 5 days on the Amalfi Coast, unless they run out of pasta and/or wine.  Fat chance.  (Yikes, did I just use the word “fat?”)  Mama mia!

Due to the volcano visits, I will not be schlepping my laptop with me, so I might be persona non grata, I mean, persona incognito, for several weeks.  If you need to reach me, just send cash (no Euros) to the American embassy in Rome and I will call you back.  (As soon as I sober up, which might be a while.)  I love Italy, but as you can see, I should not be left unsupervised while I’m there!

Hey, do you remember the song “Travelin’ Man?”  (Ricky Nelson, 1961.)  Well, I guess that’s how I’m starting to feel.  Did you know that Ricky had a brother named David?  David was Ricky’s half-brother.  (I guess you could call him a “half-nelson.”)  That would explain why David couldn’t get a “grip” on himself.  Harriet Nelson was the mom.  Ozzie (not the one who looks and sounds like a zombie) was the dad.  Ozzie Nelson was a broadcasting genius.  In fact, they used to call him the “Wizard of Ozzie.”  (Just kidding)  All right, enough Nelson jokes.  If you want to hear my joke about Nelson Mandela, send me a postcard.

So yesterday I had the pleasure of dining at Cooper’s Old Time Barbecue Joint in Austin.  (Along with the boss, the Princess of Portugal, and Baron Lee.)  Excellent vittles, but not as good as Black’s Barbecue in Austin.  Still, Baron Lee managed to consume 10 or 12 pounds of smoked brisket, which was VERY impressive.  Would you believe that the Princess ordered a salad?  Of course, she also ordered a HUGE bowl of peach cobbler.  (And did not offer me a single bite!)  Definitely worth trying if you come to our fair city.

The newest “Adam Gold Mystery,” which is titled, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, is doing wonderful in the sales department.  According to the publisher, we’ve sold about 200 books the first week, which is pretty darn good.  If you order a book and leave a nice review on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or Goodreads, please let me know and I will send you a FREE book, autographed, as a “thank you” gift.  Good reviews help obtain much-needed advertising dollars.

Finally, I want to extend a giant hug and kiss to my dear friend Judge Susan (the infamous “hanging judge” of the Texas Hill Country) who is recovering from knee surgery.  (Thank God she still has a leg to stand on!)  Her Honor is one tough cookie, and we hope she heals quickly.  Frankly, I’m tired of delivering steaks and lobster tails every night.  (Even though they’re eaten before I get to her house!)  Get well soon, your judgeship!

Well, I must run, as I’m off to my “Italian 101” language class.  Today’s class should be fun.  We will be learning the meaning of certain hand gestures, which I understand could make the difference between life and death in certain situations! I shall keep you informed of my progress with the TSA and Interpol.  Until we meet again, I remain,

Doc Yanoff   (Love to all!)

 

 

Run4TheMoneyFrtonCover

TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR!

YOU PROBABLY WONDER WHERE I ARE…  I MEAN, WHERE I WAS!  Well, rather than keep you guessing, I’ll just tell you that I spent Saturday evening in the charming town of Lockhart, Texas.  (“The Barbecue Capital of The World!)  Last night, I was one of the featured authors at the gala event known as Evening With The Authors, and even though I might be considered a “little star,” I still had a twinkle in my eye!  Ah, what a marvelous time was had by all…  The event was held at Judge Rebecca Hawener’s enchanting garden estate, a lovely setting festooned with an incredible array of flora and fauna.  (Flora was the woman sitting beside me.)

The grounds were decorated with lovely plants, flower arrangements, and special lighting.  (I was the only “dim thing” present!)  Each author had their own table, designated by a huge neon sign (just kidding) and was chaperoned through the evening by a series of wonderful volunteer guides.  Our first guide was an interesting and intelligent woman named Linda Brooks, and she was simply a marvelous hostess.  In fact, every volunteer we met was just wonderful, and I can see why Lockhart is such a pleasant place to live.  The town is filled with sweet, pleasant folks.  (Folks who love to read, too!)

I met a couple of wonderful ladies from Barnes & Noble Book Sellers, and they were kind enough to feature all 3 of my mystery novels, plus my new non-fiction book, THE SECOND MOURNING.  I understand that my history book was actually the best seller of the evening, and for that, I am extremely grateful.  (No, I didn’t buy 30 copies!)  The hard-working ladies from Barnes & Noble set up a book tent, handled the sales, and provided the perfect venue for browsing throughout the evening.

Patty and I were amazed by all of the people who love American history, and we got to meet some truly incredible folks who were quite anxious to learn about President Garfield’s assassination.  I must have autographed at least 5,000 books (slight exaggeration here) but I loved every minute, and the best part was meeting so many interesting citizens.  Life is good, especially in a small town.  Even better in a small town with 4 great barbecue joints!

In case you’re wondering, we didn’t dine on barbecue.  The fare consisted of healthy cuisine, including a shrimp-filled paella and lots of green salads.  (See what happens when women run the show?)  If men were in charge, we would have feasted on brisket and ribs, and consumed copious amounts of Lone Star Beer.  With the ladies running things, we were treated to an endless supply of good wine from the Pleasant Hill Winery.  Of course, there were several tables of homemade desserts, but I resisted the temptation!  (My motto is still:  “Boys who eat sweets, take up two seats!”)

I might have mentioned this already, but all net proceeds went to support the Dr. Eugene Clark Library of Lockhart.  If you live in Texas, you should definitely plan a trip to Lockhart, which represents the best characteristics of American life.  You will meet a lot of honest, decent, hard-working folks who will make you feel proud to live in such a great country as ours.  You will also be treated to some mighty good food, so come hungry!

Finally, in celebration of my newest Adam Gold Mystery (RANSOM ON THE RHONE) I am now packing for another book tour/road trip/vacation to sunny Florida!  I am not quite sure of our itinerary, but my publicist, Blind Lemon Lefkowitz, tells me that we have some intriguing stops along the way.  (God knows what that means!)  Our last “intriguing” venture resulted in a stiff fine and a suspended jail sentence!  If any of my blog followers know the name of a reliable bail bondsman, please forward asap.

In closing, I would like to assure you that I will definitely NOT be exercising  during this outing.  In fact, if my body is ever found dead on a jogging trail, just know I was murdered elsewhere and dumped there!

Have a safe and wonderful week!  Love to all…

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  I will post some photographs of last night’s event in the near future!

 

 

 

QUEENS AND KINGS… ARE WONDERFUL THINGS!

GOOD AFTERNOON, FELLOW STALACITES!

I say stalacites, because like me, you are “hanging in there.”   Uh oh, I’m off to a “rocky” start.  What can I say?  I have a “cavernous” mind.  Well, I’m sure you get “the point.”

All right, no more mineral or stone jokes!

Who do I think I am, Chris Rock?  Billy “Crystal?”  I think not!  (I had to get those two out of my system.)

Anyway….. I used the above heading (Queens and Kings) not to reference THE PRESLEY PLOT and The King, but to point out that I have been spending way too much time playing the cruel and devious game of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker.  True, I have been winning loads of chips from my fellow gambling enthusiasts, but man does not live by “bread” alone.  (Especially in France.)

I have made the “Final Table” (sounds like an autopsy thing) in the last 3 poker tournaments!  (With little or no cheating I might add!)  Naturally, my brilliant card play has resulted in a huge increase in my overall ranking and point accumulation.  If I keep playing at this level, I will become a gambling legend throughout the Southwest and in two or three counties in rural Arkansas.  Time will tell if I make the move to Vegas, but since I detest casinos, I doubt it.  (No light, no sun, no fresh air, no fun!)

Yesterday was enjoyable and profitable for another reason….. I had a long overdue reunion with Terri Schexnayder and Helen Ginger, the two wonderful women who used to run the Writers’ League of Texas during its heyday.  They looked marvelous, and as I expected, they are still accomplishing some wonderful things here in Austin.  Those two are a class act!  (More about the purpose of our meeting in a future blog….. but hold onto your hats, because it’s quite exciting!)

I also had a great meeting with Larry Brill, the former television newscaster and talented producer of “Writing Across Texas.”  (Which in my humble opinion, was the best show ever produced in Austin.  And I’m not just saying that because I was one of the interviewers!)  Larry is also a class act, and in addition to his thriving media career, he is also an author!  He has written several books and one day I expect to see his name on the New York Times Bestseller List.  If any of you folks need a great media person, Larry Brill is the man to call.  (Listed, of course, under Brill Media in the phone book.)

Finally, on this day, in 1957, the Long-Playing Album “ELVIS PRESLEY’ reached number one on the Billboard album chart and stayed there for six weeks.  When you get a chance, ask someone under the age of 30 to describe a “Long Playing Album.”  Trust me, you will have a good laugh!  (One of my college students thought a turn table was something that a bird sat on!)

I think he was confusing “turn” with “tern.”

Well, in any case, it’s my turn to say adios!  Have a great day and make somebody smile…..

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON THE ROAD AGAIN… AND AGAIN… AND AGAIN!

Good morning, family, friends, and faithful followers…..

As many of you know, being a writer means being a traveler.  In order to be successful in today’s publishing world, an author must spend a lot of time, effort, and money promoting their own books.  Advertising budgets have shrunk, and whatever funds are available go to well-established authors.  Seldom do publishers invest big bucks in an up and coming author like me.  (Thank God I married a rich woman!)

So…. in order to promote THE PRESLEY PLOT (and whatever books follow) I have devised a rather brilliant marketing plan!  Modesty prevents me from elaborating on the compliments that I have already received from my gardener and mailman.  However, I will share this concept with you now!  Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce…..

The S.M.A.R.T. Program!

S ales

M arketing

A nd

R oad

T rips!

Each week, until I win the Pulitzer Prize (They can keep the Nobel Prize!) I will be driving to a different Texas town or city to promote THE PRESLEY PLOT.  Upon my arrival, if there is no posse gathered in the square, I shall proceed to engage in some public speaking (pre-arranged) and hawk some books.  Hopefully, I will sell plenty of copies, but even if sales are modest, I know that I will eat well.  How do I know this, you ask?

Because my first S.M.A.R.T. Adventure will be in lovely Lockhart….. “The Barbecue Capital of Texas!”   (If not the Free World!)  Yes, I shall be joining several hundred thousand race car fanatics for the opening (or close to it) festivities of our brand new N.A.S.C.A.R. Race Track!  I’m not thrilled with watching cars go round and round, but I understand that lots of folks will be in Lockhart in the next few weeks, so it seems like a good place to start my marketing program.  (I just hope I don’t get “off track” when speaking!)

Frankly, I think Lockhart is a wonderful little town, and I’m sure they will adore THE PRESLEY PLOT.  (After all, the book is a little “saucy!”)  I just hope I don’t miss my “cue” when I’m down there!

Well, wish me luck.  I will let you know how I enjoyed this “slice” of Americana!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff