BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX…..

Wait a minute, I just got back from Florida, I’m not going to Arizona!  Dang, these extended book tours are starting to wear me out.  (They’re wearing out my tires, too!)  Another week, another 1,500 miles of travel, but I have to admit, it was wonderful.  The weather throughout Florida was simply magnificent, and I spent as much time in the water as on land.  I even signed some books on the beach.  (Bikini-clad bathers received a 10% discount…..  if they were female.)  We also got to rub elbows with a few celebrities.  Which reminds me, did you know that Burt Reynolds (who lives near Jupiter) is making a new movie about a stunt man who becomes a long-distance truck driver?  The movie will be called “Smokey and the Band-Aid.”  (Hey, the folks in Florida thought that was funny!)

The highlights of the road trip were dining on lobster rolls at a Delray Beach club and spending a few nights in a luxurious water-front mansion in Boca Raton.  Another fond memory, believe it or not, was stopping for coffee at Starbucks.  I know this sounds odd, but most of the stores leave a jar full of money on the counter, which I assume is for the patrons.  (In case you leave your wallet in the car.)  I always took a few dollars out of the jar, but being a generous person, I left them some change.  (mainly pennies.)  I wish more businesses would offer customers loot.

In case you’re wondering, the best-selling book of the trip was THE SECOND MOURNING.  (Followed by DEVIL’S COVE and RANSOM ON THE RHONE.)  All together, I must have signed several hundred copies, which would explain the finger cramps.  The stomach cramps were due to a foolish lunch at Cracker Barrel.  Avoid the chicken and dumplings.  (I could make a joke about the name of that dish, but I don’t want to ruin your Sunday breakfast!)

So what else is new?  Well, California governor Jerry Brown recently signed a controversial new bill allowing assisted suicide.  (He could have saved himself some trouble and just told folks to eat at Cracker Barrel!)   I noticed that Bernie Sander’s slogan is “Feel The Bern.”  Funny, I thought that was Taco Bell’s slogan!  As a writer, of sorts, I suggest that we refer to the race between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump in literary terms.  Maybe we should call it the race between the tortoise and the bad hair?  (A fable-lous idea!)

Poor Martin O’Malley.  He’s still running for president, but he’s stuck at 2 percent in the polls.  Do you realize what this means?  After 8 months of campaigning, he’s tied with low-fat milk!  (Who says cream rises to the top?)

Incidentally, we had to cancel two book club meetings in South Carolina due to the recent storm that drenched the entire Carolina coast.  As some of you know, the next “Adam Gold Mystery” is set in the Low Country, mainly in Charleston and Beaufort.  The book is titled “A RUN FOR THE MONEY,” and is currently in the final stages of editing.  God-willing, the book should be available sometime in mid-January of 2016.  I will, as the mailman likes to say, keep you posted.

The months of October and November will be dedicated to some local book clubs and book store events, and I couldn’t be happier.  I really love the book tour gigs, but we have lovely fall weather down here in Texas, and it looks like our “home team” (University of Texas) is steadily improving in the rough and tumble world of collegiate football.  (Frankly, I enjoy the tailgating activities as much as the game!)  Which reminds me…..  I would like to thank my dear friend, Ted Heaton, for supplying some great tickets and a fabulous tailgating adventure.  Ted owns a local State Farm office, so if you need a great insurance broker, he’s your man.

In closing, allow me to wish all of you a safe and pleasant week.  The first person to correctly identify the location of the attached photograph will win a signed copy of THE GRACELAND GANG.  (There’s your hint!)  Good luck, and we shall speak again in the near future!  Love to all …..

Doc Yanoff

 

 

DSCN1226gracelandgangcover

THE SUNSHINE BOY!

Well, folks, here I am, enjoying the glorious warmth of the Sunshine State.  (That would be Florida, NOT New Jersey!)  I feel so alive now that I am back on the coast.  I know it’s corny, but I have often thought of my mother being the clean, white sand and my father the roaring ocean.  Of course, that would make me a son of a beach, but who cares?  I love salt water, and since I have over 40 years of scuba diving experience under my (weight) belt, I feel right at home in the Atlantic Ocean.

Unfortunately, home is where many fatal injuries are sustained… and today was almost one of those days.  Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water in West Palm Beach, a horde of black-tip sharks showed up in the shallow water!  My dive buddies and I counted over 600 sharks, which is roughly 599 more than I feel comfortable with!  So much for diving and snorkeling.  I even feel guilty about asking my wife to retrieve my buoyancy vest and face mask.  (She only had to swim out ten or twenty yards, but I still feel a twinge of remorse.)

In case you’re wondering, I fell in love with scuba diving after watching countless episodes of SEA HUNT.  Do you remember that T.V. show?  Lloyd Bridges played a character named Mike Nelson, who ran a dive shop with his brother David, and their parents, Ozzie and Harriet.  Wait a minute, I think I got that wrong.  Never mind, the show was “all wet” anyway.

After our involuntary shark encounter, we drove up to Jacksonville, signed some books, and attended a gala dinner in my honor at a wonderful seafood restaurant called St. Mary’s Seafood House.  If you’re ever on this coast, you must try this establishment.  (Think incredible friend oysters and shrimp.)  My little presentation was a huge success and we actually sold a lot of books.  (I know that some of you, including my agent, Jesse James Lipschitz, are curious about which books sold the best, so here is the ranking…..  1.  The Graceland Gang  2.  The Second Mourning  3.  Devil’s Cove  4.  Ransom on the Rhone, and last but not least, 5.  The Pirate Path

After dinner, I was asked to judge a wet t-shirt contest, but since the  contestants were male, I declined the offer.  (Been there, done that.)  When I got back to my car, I discovered that the windshield was covered with bird poop!  (The area is filled with egrets, and their cousins who are always apologizing for pooping on your car.  They’re called regrets.)  I fired a couple of warning shots at them, but the damn vandals have no fear of human beings.  The next time I drive up this way, I’m bringing a cat.

Tomorrow we head for the charming town of Beaufort, South Carolina.  If you want to check out my digs, look up the Rhett House Bed & Breakfast.  I think you might find the history of this place quite intriguing.  We have a Low Country Boil scheduled for dinner.  (I sure hope the “boil” doesn’t refer to the chef’s body.)  The following morning we head for St. Helena Island, and a full day of Gullah history.  When you get a free moment, look up the Penn Center of South Carolina.  I will be signing some books in the lobby, which is quite an honor, because this was the very spot where MLK wrote his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

Well, it’s been a long day, and I am starting to dream about a good night’s sleep… so I must bid you farewell.  Let’s plan to meet again next Sunday, whence I shall regale you with more tales from the Low Country.  By then, I will be an expert on grits, gravy, and frogmore stew!  Have a safe and happy week!

Love to all…

Doc Yanoff

 

 

DSCN1259RansomOnTheRhoneCover

 

A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT…

Why, you might ask, am I publishing my Sunday blog on Monday?  Well, mainly because I spent most of yesterday flying across the Gulf of Mexico.  And believe me, my arms are sore!  (Henny Youngman, 1956.)  Nonetheless, I am now safely ensconced in my mother’s palatial mansion in fabulous Boca Raton, Florida.  I was, however, a dollar short when I reached the first toll plaza.  I am pleased to report that the authorities didn’t care.  Incredibly, they allowed me to drive through without paying, and they even turned on some flashing lights to provide visibility!  Swell folks down here in the Sunshine State.

Speaking of swell folks, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Roger Staubach on my Southwest flight.  “Roger The Dodger” (his nickname) was a great quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys during their prime years.  He seemed very impressed when I told him that I played quarterback for my junior high school team, even though we lost 32 games in a row.  He was kind enough to say that I seemed to be more of a left-back.  I told him that I most enjoyed making passes at the cheerleaders.  After that, he switched seats.

So here I am today, about to go to lunch with my brother Glenn in fabulous Boca Raton.  Boca, in case you’re wondering, is the “Breast Enhancement Capital of America.”  As I stroll through Mizner Mall I am reminded of the old movie “BOOBS IN TOYLAND.”  (Although there are plenty of babes down here, too.)  Well, you get “the point.”  (Look, don’t complain about these lame jokes, I promised to keep you “abreast” of my travels!)

Enough about memory glands.  What else is new?  Well, sales of my new book, RANSOM ON THE RHONE, have been quite good.  (Even without the 10,000 copies purchased by my mother.)  The French newspaper, Le Monde, published a glowing review and referred to me as “one of the best American mystery writers in recent years.”  I assume that was a compliment, but you never know with the French.  In any case, I do appreciate the kind words.  Merci, my wine-drinking friends!

As you might imagine, depending on the quality of your imagination, thousands of book lovers are eagerly awaiting my scheduled book signings, which are too numerous to mention on this blog.  Safe to say, I will be quite busy this week, but I am determined to do some swimming in the mighty Atlantic Ocean.  (Or my mother’s pool.  Whichever is warmer.)  Frankly, I am glad to be in a warm and humid spot.  A warm and humid spot that is not a gym or exercise facility.

In closing, I would like to share an interesting tidbit from Roger Staubach.  Before he changed seats, he told me that the athletic supporter (a/k/a the jockstrap) was invented in 1874.  Football players started wearing them as soon as they were available.  Now get this… football helmets became mandatory in 1939.  Do you realize what this means?  It took men 65 years to realize that their brains were as important as their crotches!!

Talk about better late than never!  And on that note, it’s better that I bid you a fond farewell.  The surf is calling!  (I hope it’s not a collect call.)  Have a safe and wonderful week.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG SCHTICK!

I’m not sure who said that, but I think it was either Theodore Roosevelt or Shecky Greene…  In any case, I concur with the sentiment, which is why I am pleased to announce that yours truly will soon be featured on…  (are you sitting down?) …  THE LARGEST RADIO NETWORK IN THE WORLD!  That’s right, my dear blog followers, thanks to your continued encouragement and support I have now become a “highly sought after personality.”  (Which is similar to being on America’s Most Wanted, but different.)

Where was I?  Oh yes, the radio program.  I have recently formalized a written agreement to be the featured author on “Star Style,” an award-winning radio program now in its 17th season.  The program is hosted by Cynthia Brian, (a hugely popular radio personality) and is broadcast by Voice America/World Talk Radio.  Here’s the coolest part…..  the program is broadcast to 219 countries and has a current listening audience of 4.5 MILLION listeners!

Yikes, I’d better be coherent and glib!  Guess why?  The show is done LIVE!  No rehearsals, no tape, no second chances!  (Not much pressure there!)  Hopefully, there will only be 3.5 MILLION people listening.  (I prefer smaller audiences.)  Now for the details….  (I’ll wait while you grab a pen and paper)  OK, here goes…..   The LIVE 20-minute interview will be broadcast on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.  The show comes on at 4-5 p.m. Pacific Time, which means that my Texas friends will hear it 3 hours later.  (My interview slot has been assigned a specific time, which is 7:15 to 7:40 p.m. EASTERN TIME.)

MORE GOOD NEWS…  If you do not own a radio, or have dinner plans on November 12th, you can access the entire interview on the radio station’s archive site.  (Which means that you can listen to it over and over, like I’m going to do.)  All you have to do is get your hands on a computer and go to:   http://www.VoiceAmerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

So what else is new?  As a public service I would like to remind you of the symptoms of Ebola. The virus will cause headaches, feelings of nausea, and is difficult to get rid of.  (Much like a politician.)  I’m starting to think that Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator, might have contracted the disease.  The poor guy has vanished!  He didn’t even go to George Clooney’s wedding.  The North Koreans sent his daughter, Kim Kardashi Un.

The head of the Secret Service was recently fired.  (She had to jump over the White House fence to turn in her office keys!)  The whacko that broke into the White House was inside a lot longer than we were told.  He was there long enough to be appointed Acting Secretary of Agriculture!  Then the President gets on an elevator with a civilian who was carrying a loaded weapon.  Thank God Ray Rice wasn’t on the elevator!

Chelsea Clinton’s new daughter just uttered her first word!  She reportedly said, “I-O-W-A.”

The government of Turkey has finally announced that it will join America’s fight against ISIS.  Unfortunately, they didn’t indicate whose side they will be on.  But do not fear!  Those cold-blooded bastards in ISIS will soon surrender to us.  They were recently told that Sylvester Stallone is contemplating another “Rocky” movie.  (Their leader supposedly said, “How much can we take!”)

Today I find myself in sunny Florida, basking on the beach in Boca Raton.  We have had 5 days of perfect weather, and the food has been outstanding.  We are eating lots of bagels and have seen some “bay-gulls” flying around.  I have also seen many bikini-clad women, and surprisingly, most of them DO NOT want their photographs taken… even from behind.  What’s the story with that?  I told one lady that I will take just one shot, and then we’ll see what “develops.”  (She threatened to take one shot at me!)

Well, I must leave you now…  we are off to see my sister, Jan, down in Fort Lauderdale.  Which reminds me, today’s blog is dedicated to a very special man who recently passed away.  My smart and talented brother-in-law (Larry Baum) recently lost his favorite uncle, who was one of the sweetest and kindest men I ever met.  So this one’s for you, Heshy!

And as for the rest of you…  please have a safe and joyous week!  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and we shall meet again soon.  Love to all…

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  I forgot to mention that my upcoming radio interview will be covering THE SECOND MOURNING, my non-fiction book.  The host just finished reading the book and loved it, so that will be our main emphasis.

 

FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY….. HAIR!

NO, I AM NOT READING THAT SEXUALLY PERVERSE BOOK!  (I’m too old to learn anything about sex!)  In fact, this is the title of my new book about senior centers down here in Florida.  As many of you know, I have spent the past two weeks taking care of my mother, who is recovering (rather nicely) from hip replacement surgery.  She is now in rehab and doing just fine.  (At least two older gents have “hit on her.”)  She told both gents that she no longer dates because her parents won’t let her.  Mom is 88.  When asked to explain, she told them, “Mother Nature and Father Time!”

My mother began rehab at Regents Park, which is quite lovely, but packed with very old folks.  How old you ask?  One lady had an insurance policy that covered Fire, Theft, and Indian Raids!  (That’s old.)  Another guy was so old that he remembered when Howard Johnson’s only had two flavors!  (That’s even older!)  My mother’s room-mate was so old that she remembered when there were only Five Commandments!  (That’s the oldest joke of the bunch!)

Last Friday we transferred my mother to a place called Stratford Court, one of the nicest rehab facilities in Boca Raton.  The lady that checked us in was from Haiti, and like most Haitians, she was a cheerful, sweet, and caring woman.  We did, however, have one humorous incident involving our language differences.  She was relatively new and not quite sure how to say or spell Boca Raton.  We went through several names, and lots of good natured laughter, before we came to terms.  (She wrote down Boca Chica, Boca Rouge, and my favorite, Boco Loco.)  Nonetheless, we persevered and Mom was finally admitted.  (By then I was ready to be committed!)

In case you’re wondering, THE GRACELAND GANG was the best-selling book at Regents Rehab, and THE PIRATE PATH the biggest seller at Stratford Court.  (I actually donated 20 books to each gift shop, and incredibly, they sold out in one week!)  Of course, I did do some marketing at both facilities.  (I put one copy in every rest room, which one old lady told me was very appropriate.  I’m not sure what she meant by that.)  I also gave the staff some books, and they were very grateful.  A copy of DEVIL’S COVE was sent to the insomnia care unit, and from what I hear, my writing put almost everyone to sleep.  Gosh, my Mom was so proud of me.

Well, my stay in Boca Loca, I mean, Boca Raton, is coming to an end this morning.  When I finish this blog, I will be leaving for Port Everglades, where my ship has finally come in and awaits my embarkation!  I will be sailing aboard the brand new luxury vessel called the Royal Princess, bound for the remote and backward islands of St. Thomas, St. John, St. Martin, and St. Louis.  (That last port should be interesting.)  The weather here in Florida is sunny and warm and the seas look rather calm.  (The rehab center probably dumped some Prozac in the ocean.)  I am looking forward to a week of relaxation, poker, writing, and stealing those little bottles of shampoo that they give you each morning.  You remember those bottles….. the ones you bring home and never use!

I shall write again whence we make landfall or are captured by a horde of considerate pirates…..  Until then, I remain,  (with love to all)

Doc Yanoff, Oceanic Explorer and Bon Vivant!

TIMING IS EVERYTHING…..

JUST ASK OUR FUNNIEST COMEDIANS….. Bob Hope, Milton Berle, Jack Benny, George Burns, Katherine Sebelius.  Timing is also important to those of us who write.  For instance, book number four in the “Adam Gold Mystery Series” is titled, RANSOM ON THE RHONE.  The story centers around an insurance claim involving priceless artwork stolen by the Nazis and others during and after World War II.  (Mostly from France.)

Well, lo and behold, the New York Times featured a story this week about….. priceless artwork stolen by the Nazis and others during and after World War II.  (Mostly from France.)   OMG, what a coincidence!  (Unless they have a reporter spying on me.)  I could scarcely believe my eyes, and of course, I was delighted to get some free publicity.  What a truly incredible piece of luck!

As you might know, the German authorities stumbled upon a well hidden treasure trove of priceless artworks.  (In Munich)  1,400 works of art were found in the home of an elderly art dealer.  (Whose father worked for the Nazis.)  Herr Cornelius Gurlitt was quite the collector.  Included in his collection were works by Picasso, Chagall, Renoir, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Norman Rockwell.  (Just kidding about Rockwell!)

Estimated value of the stolen collection?  Try…  $1,300,000,000!  (Yep, over a billion dollars!)  Most of the pieces were stolen from Jews living in France, and to be quite honest, the Germans broke the case two years ago, but they decided to wait until the time was right before announcing their discovery.  (The owners of 800 pieces have been tentatively identified, so now comes the tricky part of returning the artwork.)  Congratulations to my friends at the O.C.D.C. and Interpol.  (The fine folks who have provided much information for RANSOM ON THE RHONE.)  A job well done, ladies and gentlemen!

Some of my blog followers have inquired about the types of artwork that were recovered.  Well, since you asked, the collection included oil paintings, drawings, watercolors, and lithographs.  The Nazis viewed the above (by the artists I mentioned) as “degenerate art,” and most of the pieces were stolen between 1937 and 1941.

Before I leave you today, I would like to send my thoughts and prayers to my dear friends, Mel and Paula, who live in the Philippines.  Sadly, their lovely homes were destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan,  Thankfully, neither they or their families were injured.  Hang in there, guys.  This too shall pass.

Also, my love and best wishes for a speedy recovery for my sweet friend, Helena, who just underwent foot surgery.  Helena has a lot of “sole” and is no “heel,” but she did walk funny.  (She was doing commercials for Aflac Insurance!)  Feel better, darling!

Well, I’m off to the world famous Flakowitz Deli (in Boca Raton), and a pre-arranged meeting with a pastrami sandwich on rye.  (With a half-sour pickle, a potato knish, and a can of Dr. Brown Black Cherry Soda!)  Oy vey is mir, I hope my poor stomach survives the onslaught!  If not, so be it.  What a way to go!

Have a wonderful and safe week….. and look for my next exciting blog post, which will be coming to you from a remote Caribbean island!  (Can you say Pirate of the Caribbean?)  Love to all…..

Captain Black Jack Yanoff, semi-fearsome pirate!

 

BOCA IS BEAUTIFUL!

HOWDY BUCKEROOS…..  Well, it’s Scamp Yanoff time again….  I’m back in Austin, back in the saddle, and back to blogging.  Sorry for the late post, but as some of you know, I had some personal business to attend to in Florida.  Two weeks ago, my sweet mother (Miss Hazel) fell down and broke her hip.  Due to her advanced age (and playing ice hockey in her youth) she needed an immediate hip replacement, so…… guess who got to spend 10 hours a day by her bedside in the hospital?  Yep.  (I was the one who got “bed sores!”)

My brothers (Glenn and Ron) were also by her side, and Glenn (a resident of the Sunshine State) actually slept over one night.  (When Mom was hallucinating!)  Glenn would take the morning shift, and I would drag my lazy butt into the room around ten o’clock and spend the entire day there.  The surgery went well (due to the expertise of the great Dr. Bergman) but the recovery was difficult at times.  As I found out, seniors take a while to rid themselves of the massive amount of drugs and painkillers they receive.  During this process, they often hallucinate and become quite paranoid.  (I tried to get my Mom’s PIN numbers while she was doped up, but to no avail.)  Anyway, everything worked out fine and she is now resting comfortably in a lovely rehab center in Boca Raton.

I must thank all of the lovely nurses who attended to Miss Hazel with great kindness and skill…..     Nurses Rachael, Heather, Veronica, Marie, Michael, and Guisselle.  All I can say, is God bless you folks.  Your sweetness and dedication was overwhelming to observe.  Each one of you were amazingly caring and competent, and in my humble opinion, you have made the Boca Raton Regional Hospital the BEST hospital in America!  I hope you all enjoy your autographed books, and if you check out the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT SECTION of my next book, you will see that your are mentioned!  (Believe it or not, I had TWO books published while Mom was in the hospital!  Man, did I do a lot of writing!)

Of course, I wasn’t the only creative person in the room.  My mother took the liberty of re-designing the “bed pan” while she was recuperating from surgery.  (The “Hazel Poopy Pot” will be available, in many different colors, sometime in the Spring of 2014.)

Finally, I would like to say a HUGE thank you to my beautiful and talented sister-in-law, Grace Yanoff.  During my stay, I was lucky enough to eat several gourmet meals at Grace and Glenn’s house, and my God, were they good!  Grace is just about the best Italian food chef in the universe, and as you can imagine, I dined (and wined) quite well.  Thank you, darling!

Incidentally, one of the great parts about going up to brother Glenn’s house was meeting all of his wonderful friends at the ADDISON COUNTRY CLUB.  Not only is the club magnificent, but the “Friday Night Ladies” were incredible!  Try to picture a room filled with beautiful, intelligent, sweet, sexy women…..  Yep, I had to put up with a lot this trip, but hey, I managed.  (I can’t wait to go back!)

I will post the covers of my two new books in a few days.  Let me know what you think.  I love both of them (THE GRACELAND GANG  and  THE PIRATE PATH) but I would be interested in your opinions.  Well, I must go pay some bills.  Take care and have a safe week…..    Love to all,

Doc Yanoff