THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN!

Great movie, but that’s not what today’s blog post is referring to… no siree, Bob!

Who the heck is Bob?  Never mind.  Back to the headline…   Believe it or not, my humble historical manuscript, THE SECOND MOURNING, has just won its 7th book award of the year!  Yes siree, Bob, it’s true!  (This guy Bob is starting to get on my nerves.)  Anyway, here’s the Press Release that went out yesterday…..

(Associated Press, December 19, 2015)

“Margaret Brown, National Book Critics Circle Lifetime Member, has announced the six FINALISTS of the 2015 Shelf Unbound Writing Competition.  Stephen G. Yanoff, author of THE SECOND MOURNING, has been chosen as one of the finalists from an entrant list of over 2,000 writers, many of them established professional authors.  Yanoff’s highly acclaimed book has now won 7 major literary awards, making history in the publishing world.”

I won’t bore you with the entire press release, but if you would like to read a full length article about me and the book, simply go to:  Shelf Unbound Literary Magazine.  (December/January 2015 Issue)   You will find a flattering article (no, I didn’t write it!) by going to:   http://www.shelfmediagroup.com

So, what else is new?  Well, last night was the gala event of the year down here in lovely Austin…  The Third Annual Festivus For-the-best-of-us Dinner, hosted by the wonderful and generous Barbara and Max Talbott.  Once again, the affair was held at the historic Austin Club, which began life in 1878 as the Millet Opera House.  Do you folks know that I used to sing professionally?  Well, they asked me to sing solo.  (so low that nobody could hear me!)  Others thought I should sing tenor.  (ten or twelve miles down the road!)  Anyways it was another great evening, complete with champagne, wine, wonderful food, and great company.  (I am blowing a big kiss to the “Terrific Talbotts!”)

Poor Mother Teresa.  Did you see what the Pope wants to do to her?  He wants to shoot her out of a cannon!  No joke, they intend to canonize the poor woman.  I heard the Pope say that she was a great gal, but no saint.  Well, that’s about to change.  I assume you folks know that Mother Teresa cared for the leopards of Calcutta?  I knew there were tigers in India, but leopards, too?  I have a great deal of respect for Mother Teresa, but I think my wife should have been chosen.  (A lot of people have told me that my wife MUST be a saint!)

In case you’re planning on burglarizing my house, I would like to confirm that my next book tour will be in the sunny Caribbean, and I will be gone for 3 weeks.  (If you do decide to break in, please feed the pit bulls.  But NOT the alligators.)  My semi-honest publicist, Blind Lemon Lefkowitz, has booked a lovely suite for me on one of the Oceania Cruise Ships.  I will be sending daily updates on my pending incarceration, so stay tuned.  (I may need you to send bail money.)

Well, lest I run off and forget, allow me to wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.  Thanks to you, I have had a marvelous year in the wonderful world of books, and I am most appreciative.  If I could, I would hug each and every one of my 23,000 blog followers!  Seriously, you folks are the best!  God bless each and every one of you, and we shall chat again in the New Year!  Until then, be safe and be happy…..

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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TIME TO GET INTO (SHIP) SHAPE!

Well, it’s official, my fall/winter book tour itinerary will be centered around…  the Leeward Islands!  (Antigua, St. Martin, St. Kitts, etc.)  The folks on these islands are a little shy, unlike those who live on the Forward Islands, but I’m looking forward to a productive visit.  (Meaning that my hosts better produce some good rum!)  Believe it or not, my books are very popular in certain quarters.  In fact, that’s what my books sell for in the Caribbean, a quarter!  (I get a two-cent royalty on each book.)  Nonetheless, it will be good to “get out of town” during the cedar-allergy season here in Texas.

Speaking of “out of town,” some newscaster just asked Donald Trump how he intends to pay for the wall he wants to build between the United States and Mexico.  I didn’t like his answer.  He said, “No hablo Ingles.”     (What does that mean?)  Greek to me.  (Actually, it might be Spanish.)

And since we’re on the subject of “foreign tongues,” some chick named Ashley Madison has asked me to speak at her book club in Las Vegas.  (You can “bet” I won’t be coming.  Oops, poor choice of words.)  Make that, “going.”   Who is this woman, and how is her list any different than Emily’s List?  I think I’ll stick with Franz Joseph Liszt.  (He’s more “in tune” with my style of writing.)

Hey, did you see the latest literary nonsense from England?  Researchers are suggesting that William Shakespeare was a marijuana user!  Balderdash!  If that were true, he would have written the following lines:   “To be or not to be…  Wait, what was the question?”

The pharmaceutical industry will soon be offering something called “pink Viagra” for the ladies.  I’m not sure what that is, but it’s supposed to stimulate their gazebos.  I was thinking of buying some pills for my wife, but I think I’ll start with No-Doz.  (I’d be happy if she could just stay awake!)  Is that asking too much?

By the way, I’d like to thank my book club hosts over in Lufkin for sponsoring a very fun day.  Downtown Lufkin is lovely, and the food at Lufkin Bar-B-Que is excellent.  (You must try the deep-fried yeast rolls.)  The rolls come with a giant plate of succulent pork ribs.  Just ask for the “Dr. DeBakey Special.”  Your heart won’t thank you, but your stomach will.  In fact, if you eat all of the ribs and rolls, you’d better have a will!  (The written kind!)  While you are in town, you might want to visit the Texas Forestry Museum.  They asked me to leave because I kept shouting “timber!”  No problem, I was getting “board” anyway.

Incidentally, if you are the first person to correctly identify the nickname of this lovely East Texas region, you will win a free, autographed copy of RANSOM ON THE RHONE.  Good luck, and no cheating!  (Don’t call anyone in Lufkin.)  Finally, I would like to wish a speedy recovery to my first book editor, the brilliant (albeit unlucky) Ms. Barbara Talbott.  I cannot elaborate on her minor accident, but I can tell you that she may be going to Hollywood.  (She may get a part in a “cast!”)

Also, safe travels to the Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee, who are visiting their son in Portland, Oregon.  I just read that Bernie Sanders drew a crowd of 20,000 people in that city.  Of course, in Portland you can draw a crowd of 20,000 with a Frisbee.  (They read a lot of Shakespeare up there, if you know what I mean!)

Well, gang, time to go to brunch or lunch or whatever the heck you call a noon meal on Sunday.  Have yourself a safe and happy week, and we shall meet again, in early September.  Drive carefully, school is back in session!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

P.S.  The attached photograph is simply meant to lengthen this blog post!

 

 

 

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SOME LIKE IT HOT?

Maybe so, but not this hot!  Yikes, boys and girls, we’re in the middle of another heat wave!  (Why is it called a “wave” when there is no water or rain in sight?)  Dang, it’s really hot down here in Austin, Texas.  It’s so hot, the hens are laying hard boiled eggs!  It’s so hot, I saw two cedar trees fighting over a dog!  (Hey, wait a minute, didn’t we do enough “hot jokes” last time?)  All right, let’s move on to something more pleasant …..

Since we’re on the subject of “hot streaks,” allow me to (proudly) announce that THE SECOND MOURNING (The Untold Story of America’s Most Bizarre Political Murder) has recently been named as a FINALIST of the 2015 USA BEST BOOK AWARDS!  This honor caught me by surprise, and I am very grateful for the acknowledgement of my work.  Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals will be awarded in November, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

By the way, you can take a look at the review online.  Simply go to the USA BEST BOOK AWARDS website:   http://www.usabooknews.com/nonfichistory

So what else is new?  I just heard that Ultimate Frisbee has become an official Olympic sport.  (Participants will be REQUIRED to be on drugs!)  What’s next, Pachisi and Chinese Checkers?  I hear that Gov. Chris Christie is demanding Dominoes.  (Not the game, the pizza!)  Hey, how come Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream endorsed Bernie Sanders and not Chris Christie?  What’s the story with that?  Bernie Sanders is kind of old to become President.  Hell, he can still remember when Howard Johnson only had two flavors!  (Now that’s old.  Older than that joke!)

My recent book signing in lovely Marble Falls was a huge success.  (Some very big people were in the audience.)  They got big from eating at the Blue Bonnet Cafe!  (Yeah, I ate there, too.)  We feasted on some very good pies, and believe it or not, they actually have a “Pie Happy Hour!”  If you’re in the mood for a good slice of coconut cream pie, then this is the place to go.  When you’re done eating, head over to Save the World Brewing Company.  They offer some excellent Belgian-style brews.  (They go great with coconut cream pie!)  Thanks to the Chamber of Commerce for arranging a most interesting afternoon!

Finally, in closing, I would like to welcome my newest (and definitely youngest) blog follower to our Sunday get-together.  I don’t usually single out anyone, but this young lady is sort of special, and I’m very close to her mother.   Soooooo …..  without any further adieu, welcome to the club, Miss Goldie Delilah!  (Who just happens to be my newly born grand-daughter/tax deduction!)  Grandpa Steve sends his love!  (And don’t worry, you’ll like some of these jokes when you get older!)

Well, my dear friends, time to take my leave.  The temperatures for the next 3 days are expected to be…  104, 105, and 106!  Consequently, I must supervise my wife’s roofing chores this afternoon.  (She’s replacing a few loose tiles.)  Actually, I’m the one with a few loose tiles, but that’s a different story!  Have yourselves a safe and wonderful week…..

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  Several of you have asked to see a photo of the “floating tavern” that visited us each day in the Caribbean.  Your wish is my command!  (SEE ATTACHED)

 

 

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FOURTH TIME’S THE CHARM!

Frankly my dear, winning a major book award is ALWAYS a charming experience, but winning four of them is a bit overwhelming.  Nevertheless, my non-fiction history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, has just been chosen as a FINALIST in the “History United States” Category in the 2015 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS!

This year’s contest attracted a large number of entries, over 12oo books from around the globe, many of them written by best-selling authors with very familiar names.  I have no idea how I was chosen for this honor, but as my dentist likes to say, never look a gift horse in the mouth!

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I am back in Austin, Texas.  My recent book tour/dive trip/rum sampling was a complete success.  (Sold some  books and no arrests.)  I’d like to thank our St. John hosts, the Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee, for their generous hospitality.  We had a marvelous week on the island, and I intend to return their silverware in the very near future!  (The next time I’m down in the Caribbean.)

Hey, what did you think about my little pony?  (American Pharoah)  I noticed this horse before the Kentucky Derby and I had a hunch that he could go all the way.  Interestingly, I used to live near Belmont Race Track, and I saw Seattle Slew win in 1977 and Affirmed in 1978.  (In fact, I got married in 1978, which turned out to be a “sure bet” on my part!)  Coincidentally, I’ve just finished a new “Adam Gold” mystery, titled, A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  (The story deals with equine insurance fraud.)  Good timing on my part, eh?

Speaking of good timing, I returned home to find my mug plastered on the front page of the Four Points News.  Accompanied, I might add, by a well-written article about my numerous awards, courtesy of Sarah Doolittle, a charming and talented reporter.  Thanks for the kind words, Sarah!  (Next time we should use a photo of Brad Pitt!)

I also noticed that folks are talking about Bruce Jenner’s recent transformation.  I don’t know much about sex change operations, but I’m glad my wife is paying attention to the story.  (Maybe we can have “sex for a change!”)  I know, I know, don’t hold my breath.

By the way, some of you have inquired about the losing horses in the Belmont Stakes.  I’m not sure about this, but I think that some of them end up in a different kind of steak.  In any case, I would avoid Arby’s for a while.  (I hate to sound like a “nag,” but you never know.)

Speaking of changes (i.e., Bruce Jenner) I would like to inform my blog followers that due to an intense travel schedule (three more book tours this summer!) my Sunday blog, starting today, will be posted every other Sunday until the fall.  I am not running out of lame jokes, but between writing, traveling, rum consumption, and book tours, my head is spinning!  (What goes around comes around, but not in this case!)

If you experience “blog withdrawal,” take heart!  I am now negotiating with a publisher who seems interested in producing a book of my humorous posts.  (There were a few of them!)  I’m not sure if I’ll proceed with this project, but only because I have just started a brand new non-fiction history book.  These history books are very time consuming, so I might hold off on the blog book for a while.  In any case, if you miss my humor, check out a guy named Mark Twain.  He writes well, but he’s not as funny as me.

Well, that’s about it for now, amigos.  I do hope you have a marvelous week. I shall (starting today) post a few photographs from my recent Caribbean adventure.  Please forgive me, if I post any nude shots.  (Trust me, they won’t be photos of me!)  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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THE RETURN OF CAPTAIN KIDDER!

I am happy to report that the infamous pirate/punster (Captain Kidder) and his female accomplice and first mate (Poker Patty) have returned to port…  (we found a bottle in our luggage!)  After we consume the port, our intention is to unpack, which might take some doing after logging 3,545 miles on our recent book tour/family visitation/Caribbean voyage.  Nonetheless, somebody has to do it, so it mighty as well be Patty.  (I only handle booty….  no jokes, please!)

All in all, it was a remarkable venture, which began in Austin and continued east, with stops in Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Eleuthera (Bahamas), Jamaica, Cayman Island, Cozumel (Mexico), and then up through the Florida Straights to Miami.  Whew, what a trip!  Too much food and drink, but just the right amount of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker.  (We won enough loot to fill a small treasure chest, or Dolly Parton’s bra.)  Incredibly, the seas were almost flat (no more bra jokes, please) and every day was sunny and warm.  Needless to say, we got very lucky.  (And missed Hurricane Arthur!)

While each day brought new adventures, some events were truly memorable…..  For instance, I learned that the good folks of Jamaica, in preparation for my arrival, named a culinary dish after me.  It’s called “Jerk Chicken,” and just like its namesake, it is hot and spicy, and easier to swallow with a hefty dose of rum.  When we reached the Cayman Islands, we saw the maritime version of that movie about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  (JERSEY BUOYS)  After a glass or two of tequila, (in Cozumel) I actually tripped over the Captain’s Log!  (What was he doing on the bridge?)

The highlight of our trip was meeting new people and making friends with some wonderful folks from all over America…..  Kathy & Ernie from Naples, Beth and her hard-working hubby from Illinois, Susan and James from Florida, Jeanie & Carl from Michigan, and the list goes on and on……  (please forgive me if I left your name out!)  Like I said, the best parts of travel always include the amazing, unselfish, hard-working, honest, loyal, and intelligent citizens that you meet.  What a blessing to live in a country with so many wonderful human beings!

Which reminds me…..  Happy Birthday, America!  (You still look great for your age!)  We celebrated part of the Fourth by drinking some fine Caribbean rum in a famous water-side tavern…. a tavern that was once frequented by Captain Kidd.  (The tavern was mentioned in my second mystery, THE PIRATE PATH)  I was surprised to learn that some Caribbean bars actually charge you for resting your fists on the bar while you’re drinking!  Imagine my surprise when they handed me a…..   “Bar Knuckle Bill!”    (Hey, they don’t call me Captain Kidder for nothin’!)

Well, mates, I must leave thee now….. time to return to the mundane world of law and order… and a different set of bills.  (Electric, gas, water, etc.)  If you get a chance, check out the new reviews for THE SECOND MOURNING which have been posted on Amazon.com   Thanks for your continued support, and please continue to spread the word about the book… I may need bail money for my next voyage!  (Especially if I don’t get some new material!)

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

Doc Yanoff

 

 

 

 

THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH!

Following in the footsteps of the great Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon, (who was NOT related to Leon Redbone or Leon Spinks) I have come to the Sunshine State (Florida) in pursuit of a magical elixir!  (Rum and tequila.)  I am delighted to report that I have discovered vast quantities of both!  From what I remember, there are no impending shortages on the horizon.  Of course, the horizon was a little blurry at the time, so I might be overly optimistic.  Which reminds me, my uncle was an optimist.  He sold eyeglasses at the mall, but he missed a lot of work because he had an eye problem.  (He just couldn’t see coming to work.)  On second thought, he might have been an optometrist.  In any case, he had to quit, because he was starting to envision optical delusions.

As you may have surmised, I am still consuming alcoholic libations, but my true goal this trip is pursuing fame and fortune, and a bronze-colored body.  (Not necessarily my own, either!)  Thus far, we are off to a good start.  I am traveling with my semi-domesticated partner, and the weather could not be better.  We spent the morning at nude beach (by accident) and we both felt quite uncomfortable.  The wife is from Texas, and she thought the sign said “DUDE Beach.”)  She was wrong.  I, being the courteous type, asked the lady sitting next to me if I was making her uncomfortable by not wearing a swimsuit.  She replied, “No, it’s no big thing!”

Needless to say, she ruined my morning, but I got over it.  (I consoled myself with a pastrami sandwich from the Flakowitz Deli.  Accompanied by a Dr. Brown black cherry soda.)  Life is good.

I may have mentioned this already, but I have recently been invited for another interview on the National Book Club Radio Program.  The host, Jack Drucker, wants to have a chat about THE SECOND MOURNING, and I am very pleased and honored to return as a guest.  My first appearance resulted in a surge of book sales and some very interesting speaking invitations.  We are tentatively scheduled to conduct the interview in mid-August, and I will keep you informed of any changes, and provide the exact broadcast time when it becomes available.

In the meantime, I will be doing some “Caribbean research” for the movie version of THE PIRATE PATH.  After our stop in Florida, we are heading down to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and Cozumel.  I know what you’re thinking.  How do I handle the intense pressure?  How can one man survive the trials and tribulations of becoming a literary beach bum?  How does this fellow avoid a full-scale investigation by the I.R.S.?  (Would you believe I’m friends with Lois Lerner?)  On second thought, maybe that was Lois Lane.

Well, I must leave you now, mainly because the boss wants me to clean my room before we head out for some snorkeling.  I told her that I have ADCD, but she doesn’t believe me.  In case you’re curious, ADCD is Attention Deficit Cleaning Disorder.  Every time I start to clean up, I realize that my efforts are futile, and I’m compelled to lay down and take a nap.  This is usually followed by a violent headache.  (Caused by a hard strike to the head.)  One of these days…..

All right, gang, I’m outta here.  Please have a safe and wonderful week, and keep those cards and letters coming.  The next time you hear from me, I shall be sailing through the Caribbean, bound for ports unknown.  (Thank God I love port!)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

THE PIRATES OF PERCHANCE!

DO YOU REMEMBER THE WONDERFUL OPERA BY GILBERT AND SULLIVAN?  (Actually, it was the “Pirates of Penzance,” but  you get the point.)    Did you know that Gilbert had a brother named Filbert?  (The guys was a real “nut.”)  Both brothers knew “the score” when it came to cruising… and here are some impertinent facts about my last voyage…..

Our ship averaged 15 knots per hour, but we never got tangled up.  We traveled roughly 2,000 nautical miles.  The captain kept a detailed log, but one of the crew threw it in a fireplace.  (It must have been difficult carving all those details.)  Our gross tonnage (not including the passengers from Arkansas) was 113,ooo tons.  The ship’s draught was Guinness.  Any more questions?

Now here’s the funny part… when we stepped ashore I was confronted by a reporter from the Houston Chronicle who wanted to know if I enjoyed my trip.  I tried to restrain myself, but to no avail.  So…  I recited a funny bit of dialogue from a Marx Brothers film called “A Night at the Opera.”  (Which was fitting, considering my previous mention of Gilbert & Sullivan!)  Try to imagine me speaking in an Italian dialect, ala Chico Marx…..

“Sure, I’ll tell you about our trip.  The first time-a we start-a, we get-a half way to Mexico when we run out of fuel and we gotta go back.  Then we take-a twice as much-a fuel.  This time we were just about to reach port, maybe three feet, when what do you think?  We run out of fuel again.  Then back we go again and get-a more fuel.  This time we gotta plenty of gas.  Wella we getta half way to Mexico… when what do you thinka happen?  We forgota the ship!”

Since I delivered these lines with a straight-face, the reporter wasn’t sure if I was kidding or just crazy.  Nonetheless, my fellow passengers were quite amused.  (Homeland Security not so much.)  What can I say?

The purpose of our voyage was to scout out possible film locations for the movie version of THE PIRATE PATH.  We found some beautiful spots, drank some wonderful rum, ate like little piggies, and came home with a tattoo of a manatee on my knee.  (Just kidding about that last part.)  The best part?  It was all tax deductible!

We met some terrific folks on this voyage, and we enjoyed reminiscing with complete strangers.  Every time I think about the past it brings back memories.  How did I get so deep?  Never mind, I have to run.  Tonight is the Annual Judge Susan Birthday Dinner & Lamb Swallowing Festival, hosted by the incomparable Max and Barbara Talbott, formerly of Muncie, Indiana.  We are looking forward to another memorable evening of frivolity!

Have a wonderful week and please do not be concerned about my fading tan as you shovel snow from the sidewalk.  Nobody ever said that writing was easy!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff, “The Original Globetrotter”