THE SNOOZE CRUISE!

WELL, HERE I AM ABOARD THE LOVELY CARIBBEAN PRINCESS!  (By the way, that’s the name of the ship, not a person.)  We are bound for Cozumel.  (Bound to get there in a day or two.)  I slept GREAT last night.  Wonderful mattress.  Ever hear of a “sea bed?”  One funny incident to report…  My wife asked someone where our “mustard station” was located.  (She meant muster station.)  I told her to go ahead, I would “ketchup” later!  I’m glad I packed some condiments, just in case I get lucky.

So what’s new in the wonderful world of literature?  Funny you should ask.  Are you sitting down?   The Dashiell Hammett Club of Los Angeles has chosen DEVIL’S COVE (my third mystery novel) as the “OUTSTANDING MYSTERY OF THE YEAR!”  WOW!  I am very honored and would like to thank you for the delightful surprise.  (Hammett was the author who created the hard-boiled character of Sam Spade.

I would also like to thank all of my Austin friends for buying so many copies of THE GRACELAND GANG and THE PIRATE PATH.  Both books have sold well and are now being featured on the BEST-SELLER table in the front of the store.  (BookPeople on N. Lamar Blvd.)  They just re-stocked the shelves, so if you need an autographed copy, come on down.  (I have attached a couple of photographs from a recent luncheon at the store.)

Tomorrow we reach Cozumel, and then (the day after) we go to Honduras, and then Belize.  The seas are calm, the sun is out, and it’s about 77 degrees outside.  Perfect tanning weather!  I got lazy this morning and slept in, missing my gym time.  That makes 3 years in a row.  I’m about to give up exercising!  My press my luck?

The Princess and I are registered to today’s poker tournament, which begins at 12 noon.  Hopefully, I will have some good news to share with you, but even if I don’t win the tournament, I will make up a good story!  (Any fool can convey the simple facts!)

I wish you all a safe and pleasant week, and if we don’t get captured by pirates, I will write again mid-week.  If we do get captured by pirates, send me a couple of roast beef sandwiches.  (Pirates love  “ARRRRR-by’s Roast Beef!)  Love to all…

Doc Yanoff

 

DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!

UNLESS YOU’RE TAKING A SHOWER…..  Then you may need some soap.  Now don’t get yourself in a “lather,” but I have two major announcements…..  On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, I will be featured (almost live) on a nationally broadcast radio program called “THE BOOK CLUB.”  The show will begin at noon, eastern time, and will be carried from coast to coast on WTAN-AM 1340 in Tampa, Florida, and on KLRG-AM 880 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The interview will also be streamed live via the Internet on:  www.tantalk1340.com

The host of the show is Jack Drucker, former Vice-President of Harper and Row Publishers.  The program is quite popular and follows the Don Imus Show on stations around the country.  (I hope I don’t get any basketball questions)

Jack and I will be discussing my third mystery novel, DEVIL’S COVE.  Most exciting, the interview will later be broadcast worldwide, in well over 125 countries!  (and Louisiana)  Since all of my books have been translated (into French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese) this exposure should result in a large increase in book sales.  (and more foreign marriage proposals.)

Speaking of radios, did you know that I once dated MISS EMERSON?  (I called her that because she was easy to pick up at night!)  She tried to “turn me on” but that only “turned me off” so we were never “in tune.”  (I could have made a few jokes about “frequency” but some of my blog followers are under 16.)

Speaking of X-rated events….  wait until you hear about the couple we had dinner with last night!  A lovely couple, who used the names “Debra and Fred.”  (I have no idea what their real names are.)  They had some great “convention tales,” but I’m a little suspicious of them.  (The beautiful woman who called herself “Debra” travels around a lot and had one of those very common last names… the ones they use in the Witness Protection Program!)

In closing, I would once again like to thank all of you for making my literary dreams comes true.  I could not have done it without you, and frankly, it wouldn’t be as much fun without your friendship and support.  Next Sunday’s blog will be sent from….. the Caribbean!  I am off on another book tour/tax deductible winter cruise!  And yes, the rumors are true, I will be scouting out locations for the movie version of THE PIRATE PATH!

Until we meet again, take care, and love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

 

HOME ON THE RANGE!

Well, I’m not really on the range, which would be a foolish place to sit, but I am back in Austin, Texas, where the temperature is about 35 degrees, with rain and snow predicted for tomorrow.  Yikes!  When I woke up this morning (in Fort Lauderdale) it was sunny and 85 degrees!  What the hell happened?  Why did Horace Greeley encourage me to go west?  Why did I listen to Horace in the first place?  (The guy died in 1872!)  Well, in any case, I’m back in the Lone Star State and happy to be home.  (Sort of)

If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard from me in a couple of days, it’s because we experienced a solar bombardment while at sea and our ship lost all internet access.  (Even the Playboy sites were down!)  My God, what is this world coming to?  Since I am apt to roll with the punches (or the waves) I made the best of it and wrote 5 chapters of my new mystery novel, titled, RANSOM ON THE RHONE.  Between chapters, I almost became a poker legend, but that’s another story.  (Involving my wife, who ended up with four eights in a monster poker hand!)  Needless to say, I ended up with egg on my face.  (A sorry state for any Cobra!)

A word about St. Martin…..  lovely place, mainly French, and filled with wonderful bistros and restaurants.  We had a great day at Orient Beach, which thank God, has a section for nude bathers.  (Not me, mind you.)  I was busy taking photographs, I mean, snorkeling.  My lens kept getting foggy.  (Not the camera lens, the snorkel mask.)  I don’t speak French, but I think I was asked to leave the beach several times.  What the heck is a gendarme?

St. Martin is French, but St. Marteen (the other side of the island) is Dutch.  Believe me, it was no “Dutch treat.”  Very third worldish, and they all drink Heineken beer for breakfast!  They were also a little snobby.  (They only spoke to folks traveling aboard Holland America ships.)  What’s up with that?  Have you noticed that most Dutch chicks have two lips?  (tulips)  All right, enough island humor.

If you find yourself in St. Martin, stroll into the main book store in Marigot (the capital) and you will see two of my mystery novels prominently displayed up front.  (THE GRACELAND GANG and THE PIRATE PATH)  I donated some copies to the store on the condition that the proceeds would go to charity.  The manager was quite gracious, especially after I told him that I used to write under the pen name of Stephen King.  (Hey, the money is going to charity.)

All things considered, we had a wonderful trip, made lots of new friends, sold some books, contributed to the local island economies, and played some ferocious poker.  If you throw in the two bottles of coconut rum that we consumed, I’d say it was another incredible outing.  Still, it’s great to be home, and great to be back with our family and friends.  I believe it was St. Augustine who said that not traveling is like reading one chapter of a book, and I pretty much agree with that.  However, there is no place like home, and no place like our beloved U.S.A.

I will write again soon…. after I pay some bills!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff, The Pirate King of the Southern Caribbean.

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!

 

THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS…

EXCEPT FOR POLITICS….. I sail off to the Caribbean for 10 short days and the world falls apart!  Looks like our illustrious A.G, Eric Holder is in big trouble.  (I call him Eric “With-Holder”)  Apparently the I.R.S. is also in deep do-do.  The “Gilligan’s Island” video was the straw that broke the camels back.  (I hope that’s not an offensive term to Islamic terrorists.)  Serves the bandits right, taxing my hard-earned royalty checks.  They even sent me a nasty letter last year, refusing to believe that I paid my taxes late because somebody stole my identity.  (You know what really hurt?  The son of a gun returned my identity and said he didn’t want to be me!  He must have been a book reviewer.)

Speaking of show business……  I just got back from a little book signing gig.  I was signing copies of MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE for senior citizens at Mizner Park in Boca Raton.  (I ended up giving away more books than I sold, but only because the old folks were so sweet, and my mother was watching!)  I wonder if Elmore Leonard started like this?  Hmmm.

And since we’re still on the subject of show business…..  My dear, sweet friend, and fellow cruiser, Judge Susan Marquess, recently shared some wonderful news with me…  her multi-talented son, Tyler, was just nominated for an EMMY AWARD by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences!  (Tyler is the Line Producer of “Let’s Make A Deal.”)  Hopefully, he will receive the EMMY on June 16, during the 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Awards Ceremony.  We will all be rooting for him, especially Uncle Steve who is also in show business, and very popular on certain beaches in the Caribbean.

Speaking of beaches…..  I will soon be describing (in vivid detail!) and with plenty of adjectives, some of the hair-raising snorkel adventures that our crew undertook on the desolate and remote island of St. John!  (Which was actually packed with tourists, but that sounds wimpy.)  Stay tuned, you will love my shark story, the avocado tale, and the incredible snorkeling sisters, Tonya & Shannon!  Most of what you will read will be factual, and the rest will be highly imaginative fiction worthy of a Pulitzer Prize!

Our flight back to Florida was smooth as silk, except for the little snag we encountered at “Customs,” on St. Thomas.  A certain member of our party tried to smuggle out two DEAD iguanas!  (Don’t ask.)  The custom’s officer politely refused to let the smelly creatures out of the country.  He told the would-be smuggler that airline policy clearly stated “one carrion per passenger!”  Leapin’ lizards, that was a really bad joke!  (Some might call it a “reptile dysfunction!”)

Well, on that note I shall take my leave of thee.  I have to start packing for the long ride back to Texas.  (With book signing stops in Tallahassee, Mobile, New Orleans, and Beaumont.)  Hopefully, I won’t run out of books or be offered too many out-of-town checks!  The next time we meet, I shall be back in the lovely Hill Country of Austin!  Be it ever so humble…..

Be well, pay your taxes, and have a wonderful week!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

SON OF A BEACH…..

SOME EXPLORERS KEEP A LOG (or a tree) BUT SINCE I HAVE BEEN SPENDING SO MUCH TIME AT THE BEACH, I THINK I SHOULD KEEP A….. “WATER LOG!”   Jeez, I knew I was all wet, but this is ridiculous.  One more day of this beach stuff and I’m going to change my name to Sandy.  Honestly, I’m spending more time in the water than on land.  (Would you believe that my feet have turned into fins?  Oh wait, those are fins.  Never mind.)  Today, May 30th, was spent at the East End of St. John, which surprisingly, is at the east end of the island.  If you have been here, you know that this is the most remote section of the island, and perhaps the most beautiful.  The water and weather conditions were nearly perfect.  (I found the Caribbean Sea a little salty today, but I understand that there’s nothing they can do about it.)

Yesterday, as many of you know, if you spent the day shopping for a present for me, was my birthday.  It feels odd to tell people that I’m now forty.  (It should feel odd since it’s a bald faced lie!)  Nonetheless, there were some famous people born on my birthday…..  Patrick Henry, Bob Hope, JFK, and me.  So what do all of these great men have in common?  They were all rum drinkers!  (Two of us were comedians, me and Bob Hope, but Patrick Henry knew some funny jokes, too.)  Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death!”  (After he thought about it, he added, “Isn’t there something in-between?)

Where was I?  Oh yes, my birthday itinerary….  Well, it was simply marvelous.  The day began at Caneel Bay, which was in pristine condition and glorious in every direction.  After a surprise beach front serving of ripe avacado and olives, we dined at the open-air resort restaurant.  (I was vaguely well behaved and ordered a marvlous organic salad.)  Then if was off to Honeymoon Bay for some snorkeling and some cold Carib Beer.  Since we were all celebrating, we agreed to take a joint nap, and then if was off to a pirate’s favoite haunt……. a local tavern!

Dinner was had at a waterfront establishment called the Waterfront Bistro, a divine culinary institution located on Cruz Bay.  By sheer coincidence, they had a delightful special, a 14-ounce veal chop, perfectly grilled, and smothered in bacon and local tomatoes.  Yummy, yummy, I had love in my tummy!  (I was hoping to find a veal chop on my birthday!)  After several mojitos, more wine, and some great food, we were packing up and ready to leave when all of a sudden our waiter showed up with a complimentary bottle of champagne!  (Sent by one of my admirers, whose name and identity is strictly confidential….. until I get back to Austin!)  Dessert was key lime pie, compliments of Dr. Max Talbott, and it was wonderful.

The rest of the evening must remain TOP SECRET as it involves some nefarious activity that can only be revealed 25 years after my death.  (or when I get back to Austin.)    Until then, I remain your faithful Caribbean correspondent…..

Stephen “Marley Mon” Yanoff

 

 

 

PIRATE OF THE CARIBBEAN!

AHOY MATES!  SHIVER ME TIMBERS (IF YOU’RE COLD) AND HOIST YOUR PATARD!  (WHATEVER THAT IS)…..  GREETINGS FROM THE LOVELY CARIBBEAN ISLAND OF….. ST. THOMAS!  My pirate gang and I have landed in Charlotte Amalie, the crown jewel of the Virgin Islands.  (I haven’t met any Virgins, but there are lots of nice folks willing to take your money for this and that)  We (the pirate gang) have rented a gorgeous villa up on a lush tropical hillside, overlooking Cruz Bay.  As you might imagine, the view and the jungle-like scenery are simply fantastic.  Lush green hills, million of colorful tropical flowers and plants, blue sky, and aquamarine marine water!  OMG this place is paradise!  (Much nicer than the Jersey shore)

The wife and I have a huge first floor suite, with a po0l just outside the front door.  All of the rooms in the villa are decorated with polished mahagony wood, which is somewhat immune to the elements down here.  By now you’re probably wondering about my schedule, eh?  Well, when I’m not working on book number four (RANSOM ON THE RHONE) my typical day goes like this…..  Sleep late, drink some  wonderful island coffee, drive to one the drop-dead beautiful beaches on the island, swim and snorkel, get some sun, dry off, head for some delicious lunch place, eat mahi mahi burger, drink one or two Carib beers, one rum drink, take nap, wake up slowly, get dressed, head for dinner on the bayfront, stuff myself again, more rum, short walk, stumble back to villa, take Alka-Seltzer, go to sleep.  Repeat in morning.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…..  living the life of a famous alcolholic sun-worshipping writer ain’t so easy.  (All right, it’s very easy, but the sun tan lotion is rather expensive down here.)  In case you’re wondering, the restaurants on the island are incredible.  Lots of very fresh fish, and some marvelous ethnic restaurants.  (Cajun, Creole, French, etc.)  Each feast is accompanied by a copious amount of rum, washed down with some surprisingly good local beers.  If I remember right, we have not had a bad meal yet.

Tonight we six are heading for a famous Spanish tavern frequented by pirates, outlaws, scoundrels, scofflaws, and politicians.  The house specialty is lobster paella, which is usually served with homemade sangria.  This could be a long night for yours truly!  By the way, do you know how much a pirate pays for corn on the cob?  That’s right, a “buck-an-ear!”  (I think the rum is starting to affect my brain!)

Speaking of things that have affected my brain, I would like to thank the Delray Beach Book Club for purchasing 100 copies of MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE.  This was a very generous gesture, and one that is greatly appreciated.  I would also like to thank the Boca Raton Book Club (the Royal Palm Yacht Club Chapter) for inviting me to speak to their group.  I spent a wonderful afternoon in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in America, and I also managed to peddle 50 copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT.  What a great couple of days in sunny Florida!

Well, my dear family and friends, stay well and please do not worry about me…..   I still have 8 more days of Caribbean fun on the agenda, plenty of sunscreen, and four bottles of Ron Flor de Cana Rum!  Life is good!  (Where did I put those limes?)  Love to all…..

Capt. Jolly Roger Yanoff, The Terror of Tortola!