THE BIRTHDAY BOY!

Well, as many of you know, (since I have been sending out frequent reminders) last Thursday was my 39th birthday.  (In Texas, you’re allowed to celebrate any year you wish!)  A gentleman never mentions his age, but I am now old enough to order an alcoholic libation.  (At a senior center.)  I suppose I should be grateful that I am still, more or less, of sound mind and body.  Which reminds me…..  If my therapist says, “There’s really nothing more that I can do for you,” that means I’m cured, right?

By the way, I just read that a woman gives birth to a baby every 15 seconds in America.  Personally, I think they should find that woman and have a talk with her.  Just saying.

Did you know that 3 other famous people were born on May 29th?  Patrick Henry, Bob Hope, and JFK.  I don’t know what, if anything, they ever accomplished, but I do know that I was recently invited back for another interview on the “American Book Club!”  (The nationally syndicated program that follows “Imus In The Morning.”)  The good folks at KLRG in Tampa want to discuss THE SECOND MOURNING in another full-length format, which is truly a great honor for me.  I’d like to personally thank the host, Jack Drucker, for his continued interest and support.

I don’t know the exact date yet, but I promise to keep you abreast.  (Or, if you prefer, a leg or wing.)  As they say in sniper school, we aim to please!  Speaking of schools…..  my new non-fiction book (THE SECOND MOURNING) is currently under consideration at several prominent universities.  What are they considering?  Whether or not the book should be added to their “Recommended Reading” list!  (Two of the schools are in the Ivy League!  I will refrain from making any jokes about poison ivy.)

Did you notice that Harvard, Yale, and other major colleges have recently announced another tuition increase?  Believe it or not, the AVERAGE cost of a 4-year college education at a private university in now…..  $125,000!  I should mention that this figure does not include books, food, lodging, alcohol, drugs, or birth control devices.  Dude, what a ripoff!  When I attended the Dodge City School of Taxidermy & Chiropractic Medicine tuition was only $350 per semester.  (Embalming fluids were extra.)

What is this country coming to?  When I was a boy, my mother would send me down to the corner store with a dollar and I’d come back with 5 potatoes, 2 loaves of bread, 3 bottles of milk, a hunk of cheese, and a dozen eggs.  You can’t do that now…  too many damn security cameras!

Before I take my leave (which is what Adam said to Eve) I would like to remind you that I will be at a major book-signing and self-adoration event this coming Friday, June 6th.  The event will take place at 7 p.m. down at BookPeople on Lamar Blvd.  Please feel free to bring your family and friends and some hard currency.  Also, somebody should call Mrs. Barbara Talbott to remind her of the date and time.  (I’ve already sent 10 emails.)

In closing, I would like to leave you with some wise words from Albert Einstein, the owner (I think) of Einstein Bagels…..  “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”  I wonder if he was referring to mystery authors?  Hmmm.

Have a safe and wonderful week!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

TRUTH IS STRANGER THAN NON-FICTION, TOO!

BELIEVE IT OR NOT…..  3 days after the publication of my first non-fiction book, THE SECOND MOURNING, (The True Story of President Garfield’s assassination) thieves broke into Garfield’s tomb in Cleveland, Ohio!!  No joking.  Vandals shattered a window to get inside a 180-foot-tall monument at Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland Heights!

Interestingly, Garfield’s casket is the ONLY Presidential casket on full display for the public to view.  (He’s buried beside his wife, Lucretia.)  The thieves stole some silver spoons from a glass display case, but they were not able to reach the coffins.  They couldn’t have lifted them out anyway.  Too much dead weight.  (Ouch!)

In case you’re wondering, I had NOTHING to do with the break-in, and furthermore, I have an air-tight alibi.  Still, you have to admit that the timing is a little suspicious.  Book comes out, grave robbers go in.  Hmmm.

I’d like to thank my friend, and poker buddy, Kevin Evans, for sending me the link about the break-in.  If you want to read the full story, just go to:   http://www.foxnews.com   (Published on 5/11/14.)

Incidentally, I am happy to report that THE SECOND MOURNING has sold over 300 copies on Amazon.com alone!  (Not counting Kindle and Nook.)  I’d like to thank all of my blog followers who have purchased a book, and please remember that anyone who buys 3 or more copies can audition for the movie role of Charles Guiteau.  (The deranged psychopath who shot Garfield.)  Yeah, I know.  They don’t make guys like me anymore.

Speaking of rare guys…  I’d like to say “top o’ the mornin'” to my good friend Max Talbott (and his lovely lass, Barbara)  who are presently vacationing in Ireland.  They are having a grand time, but Max got into a little trouble in Belfast.  Apparently, he walked into a bank and inquired about opening an I.R.A.  (I think they’ve been outlawed.  So has Max.)

My wife’s maiden name was McCloskey, and she told me that she was recently at an authentic Irish wedding where the M.C. made the following announcement:  “Would all the married men please stand next to the person who has made your life worth living.”  (The bartender was almost crushed to death!)   And since we’re on the subject of crushes, please remember that if you love books (or me) you are invited to attend a gala book signing event on Friday, June 6, at 7 p.m.   The event will be held at BookPeople on Lamar Blvd.  (Next to Whole Foods.)  Free admission, free parking, free porches.  (Just kidding about the cars.)

By the way, I’m sorry this blog came out a little late today, but I just got back from another wild weekend in Boerne, Texas.  My brother-in-law, Tim McCloskey was celebrating his 60th birthday, so he and the lovely Miss Hannah threw a lavish party at their one-of-a-kind ranch.  Unfortunately for me, they had some authentic “moonshine,” which tasted mighty smooth going down, but it had a bit of a kick.  (From what I recall, it was a very long night.)

In closing, I would like to mention a new survey that said that 55 percent of Americans think they are smarter than the “average American.”  Damn, that’s almost half.  The same study indicated that 1 in 10 Americans no longer carry cash.  (They’re called Liberal Arts Majors.)   Well, have a safe and prosperous week!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

 

 

THE TRIPLE CROWN!

NO, NOT THE HORSE RACE!  (I wouldn’t “nag” you about that!)  However, I have crossed a “finish line” of sorts.  I am pleased to announce that the third installment of the “Adam Gold Mystery Series” will be published and available for purchase on or about August 1st.  The book is titled, DEVIL’S COVE, and it recently received the following review from a major New York publication (Kirkus Reviews) :

“Intensely clever, entirely credible… smart, suspenseful and securely anchored in procedure and purpose.  Yanoff is one of the best writers of clever mysteries at the moment… for those who enjoy a bit of humor in their heroes, Adam Gold has to be at the top of the list.”

Wow, I couldn’t have asked for a better review, and I am VERY grateful for the kind words.  We still need to adjust the spacing on the front cover (my first name is too close to my middle initial) but after that, we should be good to go.  Also exciting is the fact that we have reached a new blog milestone this week.  This (semi) humorous and  (vaguely) intelligent blog now has…..  5,000 followers!!

Forty-three countries now carry this blog, including, as of this morning, Bangladesh!  Do you know of this country?  Bangladesh is a small, liberal enclave surrounded by more conservative neighbors who would like to crush it.  (Much like Austin, Texas!)  Just kidding, we love Austin.  (After the Spurs lost, we’re not sure about San Antonio!)

Speaking of political things, did you notice that President Obama was in Texas recently?  Poor guy is engulfed by scandal.  When he went to San Antonio, he said, “Remember the Alamo!  And forget about Benghazi!”  Then he announced that the F.B.I. was using drones to spy on Americans.  Big deal.  Let’s be proud of the fact that the drones were made in America, by Americans, to spy on Americans.

Hey, I just saw an N.S.A. van drive by my house!  No wait, that’s a Verizon vehicle.  Never mind.  Incidentally, why do they call that other group the “Internal Revenue Service?”  Confiscating my money is one “service” I could do without!  (No more I.R.S. jokes, lest I be audited!)

So what else is new?  Have you noticed that women who wear burkas never smile?

I have been busy “cleaning up” the final manuscript of DEVIL’S COVE, so I have not participated in any book signing/speaking engagements this week.  However, next week I shall be making an appearance in Dripping Springs, a lovely little town that bills itself as the “Gateway to the Hill Country.”  (With this heat, I’m sure I’ll be doing plenty of dripping!)  Nonetheless, I shall “spring” into action when the show begins!  If you’re in the vicinity, stop on by Milton Reimers Ranch.  (and bring your checkbook and a canteen)

Well, amigos y amigettes, I must run.  Last night my posse and I ate at a restaurant called “Little Greece.”  (At least it was Greek to me)  Unfortunately, they used a lot of grease at Little Greece, hence the running.  Don’t worry, I’m sure everything will come out fine.  (Gross!)  Take care and have a wonderful week…..

And by the way, if all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

STRANGER IN PARADISE…..

DO YOU REMEMBER THIS LOVELY SONG?  It’s from the 1953 Broadway show KISMET.  Well, I can tell you one thing, it certainly feels strange to be a stranger in paradise, but I’m starting to get used to the life of a beach bum.  I am composing this blog on the magnificent island of St. John, one of the most beautiful isles in the Caribbean.  If you recall from my last missive, I am down here with my pirate crew scouting out film locations for MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE.  (Which actually takes place in the Bahamas, but what’s the difference?)  My fellow bucaneers and I have rented a luxurious villa high upon a hillside, overlooking Cruz Bay.  The villa is incredibly large, and amazingly, it came with 3 attractive female servants.  (Our wives!)  Ouch, my wife just punched me!  Jeez, I was only (half) joking.

I have not sold a huge amount of books this past week, but only because of spiritual concerns.  (I am consuming a great deal of spirits and concerned about making change!)  Nonetheless, the locals have become quite fond of me, and except for the old woman in the voodoo shop, I can honestly say that most folks have been very gracious to us.  (Considering how many of their chickens we have run over.)  Down here they let their kids roam freely.  (Kids meaning baby goats.)  They also have wild donkeys that take over the roads whenever they feel so inclined.  (I like to drive by them and yell, “Hey, get your dumb ass off the road!”)  Yeah, I am one funny guy.

Marie Fondue, the voodoo woman, told my friends that she’s making a doll for me.  (Or maybe that was “of me,” I’m not sure.)  In any case, it will be ready tomorrow, just in time for my birthday!  On top of everything else, tomorrow is my birthday, and how lucky I am to be spending it down here with some close friends!  I honestly couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate.  Every morning, Lee Bomblatus(the most famous snorkel guide in the western hemisphere) takes me to some remote location on the island and we spend the morning in the most impossibly clear water on earth.  Today we went to a spot called East End, on the very eastern tip of the island, and we snorkeled in what can only be described as the world’s largest aquarium!  I have never seen so many colorful fish in my life.  OMG, was it amazing.

Each morning Lee and I (and sometimes our compadres) drive to a different bay, and by tomorrow or the day after, we will have vistited just about every bay on St. John.  Even though I am a future Pulitzer Prize-winning author, I could never adequately describe how much ocean life we have seen on this trip.  I am happy to report that the coral reefs are in good shape, and teeming with all sorts of fish.  If you ever want to see what God can do when He’s in a good mood, just come down here and jump in the water.  Truly breathtaking.

I know that many of you (especially those abroad) are wondering what you can get me for my birthday.  Well, thanks for your kind thoughts, but I don’t need a thing.  (Although I am running a little low on limes)  If you want to do something nice, just keep spreading the word about THE PRESLEY PLOT and MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE.  After all, I am going to be in debt whence I return to the United States of America.  (Hey, good rum don’t come cheap, mon!)

Well, my loves, cool runnin’ and all that good stuff.  Remember, “don’t worry, be happy!”  Oggie boogie, shake that noogie!

Stephen “Rasta Mon” Yanoff

 

 

 

SHECKY AND THE BANDIT!

TEN-FOUR GOOD BUDDIES, THIS IS THE RED RIDER COMIN’ DOWN INTERSTATE THIRTY, WHICH IS LOOKIN’ PURTY.  NO SMOKIES IN THE POKIES, SO Y’ALL CAN PUT THE METAL TO THE PETAL!

Yeah, as you can see, I’ve been spending way too much time on the Interstate.  The Highway Hotshot and I have been pushing the old eighteen-wheeler as fast as she can go, and we’ve covered quite a bit of ground.  Heck, we’ve gone from the Lone Star State to the Interstate, and then up to the Blue Grass State, down to the Peach State, and over to the Sunshine State!  (Now we’re in a state of confusion!)

We “landed” in Boca Raton two days ago, and just between you and me, it’s nice to be off the road for a while.  Now we have time to focus on the really important things in life….. food and alcohol.  Our “re-education” began at a wonderful Greek restaurant just north of here.  My generous (and fabulously wealthy) brother, Glenn, and his beautiful wife, Grace, took us out for dinner and we ate like kings!  (Think humus, warm pita bread, feta cheese, olives, grilled octopus, fresh fish, lobster, shrimp. scallops, mussels, clams, and of course, moussaka!)  OMG, what a way to start (or continue) a vacation!

Proving that we do NOT (contrary to popular belief) base our vacations upon dinner festivities, we also had an incredible lunch today.  Those of you that grew up back east know that the BEST pastrami in the world can be found a  Jewish Deli, and down here in Boca Raton they have one of the best…..  The world famous “Flakowitz Deli!”  (YES, THAT IS THE REAL NAME OF THE PLACE!)  Well, since we are gluttons (for food and punishment) we ate there today, and had the pleasure of consuming a gigantic pastrami sandwich, a potato knish, and several cans of Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda.  Needless to say, we are stuffed, and we will not be eating a thing until dinner.  (Hey, what time is it?)

The weather down here is hot and sunny, which is not too surprising, since we are in south Florida.  We (the Yanoff organization) are about to head to the beach to catch some rays.  (No, not sting rays.  We only eat tuna, but they are difficult to catch by hand.)  Anyway, after we turn and burn, we will be going to a marvelous local taverna for some delicious Italian food.  (God, I hope I don’t get pasta poisoning again!)  Look for my delectable review in the days ahead.

Well, my friends, time to lather up!  Be well, be happy, and be careful!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

DRIVING MISS DAISY….. CRAZY!

WELL, YOU’D THINK THAT MISS PATTY WOULD BE HAPPY TO HEAR MY LIFE STORY ONCE MORE…. BUT NO, SHE WANTS TO READ!  No matter, I  have decided to keep talking anyway.  (She’ll thank me later, after I become a famous author.)  Speaking of driving, we decided to take the Natchez Trace Parkway up to Tupelo, and I am so glad we did!  OMG, what a majestic stretch of Americana.  Simply beautiful.  The Trace (which I wrote about in THE PRESLEY PLOT) is quite old (several thousand years) and quite long (44o miles).  It stretches from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, and it is quite a sight to behold.  Over the years, it’s been used by animal herds, Indians, Spanish explorers, white settlers, and one or two mystery novelists.

I’m not sure my friends Max and Lee would love it as much as I do.  The speed limit (for the entire 440 miles!) is 50 m.p.h., and with all the curves, you wouldn’t want to drive much faster.  I got Nellie Belle (our Lincoln) up to 48 or 49 miles per hour, but I was afraid to put the metal to the petal, so to speak.  If it were up to me, I’d drive that speed all the time.  (Most of the trucks on the Interstate are going well over 5o!)  Damn speed demons!

After a brief stop in Birmingham, Alabama, we drove onto Atlanta, which is quite large and very congested.  (Most of the residents drive over 50 mph, too!)  Both cities are impressive, but not near as nice as our present location….. Charleston, South Carolina.  Our lovely, historic hotel is right in the center of town, close to all of the good restaurants.  We had lunch at one of the best, a charming inn called the Hominy Grill.  Miss Daisy ordered the homemade biscuits and a bowl of the she-crab soup.  (To die for!)  Her chauffeur (me) ordered a “craft beer” and a marvelous dish called “shrimp and okra beignets.”  (Simply divine!)

We are now on our way to the Confederate Museum to view a special exhibition highlighting “The War of Northern Aggression.”  (As they call the skirmish is these parts!)  If you’ve been to Charleston, you know that almost all of the houses in the historic district are painted white, black, or gray.  (These are the only colors that the Union Army gave to the residents after the war.)  To this day, the owners must conform to these “historically accurate colors.”  You won’t see chartreuse or pink until you reach the Florida border.

Tomorrow is book signing day at a local church (Charleston has many houses of worship, and is actually known as “The City of Churches.”)  I regret not bringing more copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT, as we could have sold a few hundred copies at each stop!  I have been taking names, addresses, and email contacts, but I should have filled the darn trunk with books!  Ah well, next time.  Who knew that Elvis was so popular?

Tonight we have been invited to a seafood extravaganza, featuring oysters, shrimp, and mussels from local waters.  Hopefully, I will survive this latest round of gluttony, but if they have Abita beer I could be in trouble!  If you don’t hear from me in a day or two, that means I’m having my stomach pumped out!  (Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina…. in the morning, afternoon, and evening!)  Take care, my dear family and friends, and remember me in your prayers.  (Before AND after dinner!)   “Say Levee.”   (I think that’s French!  Greek to me!)

Col. Felonious T. Beauregard, C.S.A.  (and the Merry Miss Daisy)

TUPELO IS TOO MUCH!

DO YOU REMEMBER THIS SONG?  “TOO MUCH?”

THE SONG WAS RECORDED BY ELVIS PRESLEY AND RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1956…..  It quickly became a number one hit across the nation, but after today, I am convinced that the song was written about my book tour!  Why, you ask?  Because today was simply incredible!  We began the day by meeting Miss Ashley, a lovely young lady who worked at Starbucks.  She was kind enough to give us the phone number of a relative who knew THE KING.  (In case we wanted to ask a few questions!)  Our first stop in town was at the Tupelo Hardware Co., where Elvis bought his first guitar!   The young lad paid cash!  No strings attached!  (Actually, there were six strings, but who’s counting?)

Next stop, the Elvis Presley birthplace.  The gift shop was happy to feature my first mystery novel, THE PRESLEY PLOT, and we got a private tour of the facility!  Patty and I got to see some amazing sites, not available to the general public.  What a treat!  After a book signing/speaking engagement, we sold two cases of books!  We actually sold every book we had, and we also donated some copies to the “building fund.”  (They are building a new museum next year.)  The highlight of our tour was a special visit to Elvis Presley’s birthplace and private chapel.  OMG, was that interesting!  Wait until you hear the delightful “ghost stories” about the King’s house!  Fascinating stuff to be sure.

After a marvelous lunch (crab cakes and crawfish!) we drove out to the Priceville Cemetery, where Elvis Presley’s twin brother is buried.  Talk about spooky places!  Patty and I walked all around the grounds, but we couldn’t locate the grave of Jesse Garon Presley, the little lad who died at birth.  (Elvis Presley’s twin brother!)  When the sun began to set, it became incredibly scary, so we left.  (Remember the part in my book about the Choctaw Bonepickers??)  Some of the graves dated back to the Civil War, and there was absolutely nobody out there but us chickens.  (Thus we “hightailed it” back to the car before we wuz grabbed by a ‘taint!)  Yeah, I’ve got some photos to prove how crazy we are!

After signing some more autographs in the hotel lobby, we were taken to a fancy dinner by some dudes from the Chamber of Commerce.  They took us to the semi-famous Tupelo Grill, where we feasted upon the VERY BEST FISH we have ever tasted.  (Fresh gulf coast grouper, lightly fried in cornmeal, and topped with a bourbon-pecan sauce that was simply amazing.)  Good Lord, I am actually thinking about moving to Tupelo!

Tomorrow we leave for Birmingham, Alabama, and then it’s on to Atlanta, Georgia.  The magnolia trees are in full bloom, so you can imagine how pretty and fragrant the world seems to us.  (Patty is now introducing me as “Rhett” and I am telling folks that her name is “Scarlett.”  Unfortunately, her last name is “Fever!”)

Well, y’all take care, and cum back and see us sumtime….   Until then, hush my puppies and grind them grits….   Love to all,

Col. Beauregard Yanoff and Miss Primrose Patty, C.S.A.