HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN…..

Well, maybe Interstate 35 isn’t heavenly, but it does lead to Dallas, which is quite an impressive city.  I spent a few days in “Big D” last week, and I must admit, it was very enjoyable.  Our first stop was Highland Park, where our hosts provided a glorious evening of French food and wine.  (Ooh la la, if you know what I mean!)  Dinner included a brief speech about my new mystery novel, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, followed by a veritable feast for the senses.  (Especially the taste and smell senses!)  There was plenty of pate, including my wife, Pate Yanoff,  and some truly wonderful wine.  (No whining, just wine.)

Day two was spent on the (lovely) campus of SMU.  I guess you could say that I was a visiting professor.  (after all, I was visiting!)  The purpose of my visit was to view the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.  (I am doing some final research on my next history book, TURBULENT TIMES, which deals with the remarkable life of William H. Seward.)  The museum is quite interesting and if you love American history, you will enjoy the various displays dealing with the Bush Administration.  The Archive Library is also wonderful, so if you need to do some presidential research, this is the place to do it.  (Mention my name and you will get a free bookmark.)

While we were up in Dallas, we had to do one of those “bucket-item” things that you hear about from time to time.  Thus, we drove over to the State Fair of Texas and spent the afternoon munching on a wide variety of fried foods.  The best items were the Corny Dogs and the Fried Tofu.  (Just kidding about the tofu!)  They had a lot of games on the midway, but the most popular was the old “guess my weight  attraction.”  (Which they will be replacing with a “cholesterol guessing game” in the very near future.)  If you love fried foods, or have a death wish, then this is the fair for you!

By the way, speaking of death wishes, if you missed my last radio interview, you can hear the entire show on the new “Book Club Radio Program Podcast.”  (Hosted by John Austin.)  Just “Google” the name and a schedule will pop onto your screen.  The show is featuring two of my interviews this month, THE SECOND MOURNING interview and the interview on A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  I think you will enjoy them both, and they’re both free!

And since we are on the subject of “free stuff,” congratulations to Mr. Robert Loeb of East Meadow, New York, the winner of our last trivia contest.  Mr. Loeb won a $300 gift card, courtesy of my generous publisher, Murder Ink Press.  There will be many more contests and gifts in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned for my future blog posts!

Incidentally, this week’s trivia contest is NOT about me or my books.  (Thank God!)  A new iPhone (No, not a Samsung Galaxy!) will be given to the first person who can tell me how many Presidential Libraries there are in America.  If you can tell me which President has two libraries, you will win a gift card, too!  Good luck, and may the fastest typist win!

Finally, since we live in a day and age of enormous political strife, I would like to remind you of a pleasantry uttered by President Reagan, who referred to Presidential Libraries as “classrooms of Democracy.”  If you want to remind yourself just how great America truly is, then visit one of these fascinating museums.  You will come away reinvigorated and rejuvenated!  (And the admission will be less than a massage!)

Have a safe and smile-filled week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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WINNERS NEVER QUIP!

Thus, instead of running for President (and surely winning) I have decided to return to my passion of writing lame jokes.  Why?  Because the world needs to laugh more often!  Don’t try to change my mind, the people have spoken!  (Actually just one person, my mother… she reminded me that you need at least a billion dollars to be a legitimate candidate.  I was a little short.  Not really, I’m about six feet tall.)  Heeeee’s back!

Well, now that my political career is over, I can finally tell the truth.  I’d rather be king than president.  (Stephen King, that is.)  Have you seen how many books that guy has sold?  Well over a thousand.  He must be rolling in dough.  I guess I shouldn’t complain, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, has become the best-selling mystery novel in the state of South Carolina.  (Where most of it takes place.)  Make sure read the book before you go to Charleston!  (or any other city south of the Mason-Dixon Line.)

So what else is new?  Congratulations to Miss Amanda Garner, who won our last trivia contest.  (By three seconds!)  She will be receiving an autographed copy of RANSOM ON THE RHONE, which I understand she intends to read on her way to Paris, France.  Good timing, Amanda.  Hope you enjoy the book!

Speaking of travel, the Princess of Portugal and her somewhat sober husband, Baron Lee, have left Lake Como and are heading to the Azores.  (Did you know that Perry Como owned his own lake?  I didn’t.)  Meanwhile, Judge Susan is on her way home from the Big Apple, which I think is in New York.  (They grow a lot of apples upstate.)  Safe travels, everyone!

As for me, watch out, Dallas!  I’m on my way (in a day or so) to “Big D” to attend a little function near the George Bush Library & Museum.  Day one will be spent on the campus of SMU, followed by a book club gig and private dinner at a publisher’s house in Highland Park.  Day two will be even more fun…  I am, for the very first time, going to the State Fair of Texas!  Yahoo!  I can’t wait to sink my teeth into a corn dog!  Have you ever seen the menu from the fair?  Almost everything is fried!  The most interesting dish is the “Dr. DeBakey Special.”   A huge plate of french fries smothered in fried bacon and melted cheese.   (Guaranteed to result in coronary surgery before you reach the parking lot!)   Sounds yummy.

And since we’re on the subject of food, I would like to thank the lovely and talented Miss Hannah for hosting a very nice dinner party at Napa Flats Restaurant last week.  Guests dined upon Cajun shrimp and gumbo, accompanied by some fine wine.  A good time was had by all!  (Miss Hannah is the publisher of a new magazine called “River Place Living.”)

Finally, since someone mentioned the above magazine, I would like to thank Mr. George Lowe for interviewing me for the December issue of River Place Living.  We recently spent several hours together, and George will be writing a lengthy expose, I mean, article, about me.  I hope all of my friends in and around River Place will support this new venture, and I look forward to reading some great articles in the months ahead.

Well, my friends, I must start packing.  The ACL music festival is just about over here in Austin, so I’m going downtown with my metal detector to see if I can find some jewelry.  Last year I found an 18-karat ring, but the woman wearing it refused to take it off her darn finger!  Some people are so pathetic.  Ah well, such is life.

Have a safe and joyful week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

*****  If you can identify all of the locations in the attached photos you will win a HUGE gift!    (Courtesy of Donald Trump)

 

 

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DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!

Unless you need to turn to WTAN radio (1340 on your dial) in Tampa, Florida.   Why?  Because yours truly will soon be featured on the “American Authors’ Show,” a highly entertaining program hosted by the great Jack Drucker.  WTAN is known locally (in Pinellas County, Florida) as “Tan Talk,” and it is one of the most popular stations in the country.  (You can pick it up coast to coast)  On August 23, Mr. Drucker and I will be discussing my newest mystery novel, A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  Listeners can also call in during the interview, so if you’re one of them, please ask me a simple question!  (i.e., “What is the meaning of life?”)

I’m actually thrilled to be invited back to the program, as this show is just about the most popular radio show in the nation.  (Featuring authors, books, and upcoming television and film projects.)  They have a national following, which produces an enormous amount of publicity for a new book.  If you miss the interview, don’t worry, my entire “performance” will be available on a podcast shortly after the original program is heard.  (The podcast is free, but you should still send me a few thousand dollars to cover the cost of my trip to Florida.)

Speaking of Florida…..  I’m off (again) to the Sunshine State to conduct the above interview, sign some books, and visit some family and friends.  One more visit this year and I think I’ll be a legal resident of the state!  I guess I shouldn’t complain.  (WTAN might have been located in Arkansas… or Vermont!)  If you’re from those states, I’m just kidding.  I love razorbacks (whatever they are) and  simply adore maple syrup.  In fact, when I eat pork, I like to smother the meat with syrup.  (Anybody falling for this routine?)  If you can fake authenticity, you’ve got it made!

And since we’re on the subject of authenticity…  Do you believe that our beloved “Sesame Street” is now being produced on HBO?  Uh-oh, that could spell trouble.  (t-r-o-u-b-l-e)  HBO might try to offer a more accurate portrayal of the life of a mentally ill homeless cookie monster living in a trash can!  Yikes, what if they go nuts over there?  Imagine Bert and Ernie dealing with profanity, gritty realism, and graphic sex scenes.  (The kids should have to wait until they go to school to see that stuff!)

Several hundred blog followers (actually 5 people) have asked for a drop of information about the island of Malta, and its lovely capital of Valetta.  The city is quite fascinating, and contains buildings dating back to the 16th century, when the joint was ruled by the Knights of Malta.  (Valetta became a World Heritage Site in 1980.)  The island of Gozo is part of Malta, and is best known for scenic hills and gorgeous beaches.  (Gozo is one of the top scuba diving spots on earth.)  Gozo’s most prominent “claim to fame” is a magnificent stone arch known as The Azure Window.  A great dive spot on the western side of the island.  Hopefully, I shall post some photographs of this lovely place at the end of this blog.  With my limited abilities, you never know!

Finally, I have a small favor to ask…  If you’ve read my latest mystery, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, and you enjoyed the book, please leave a nice review on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or Goodreads.  As I’ve mentioned before, good reviews produce more advertising dollars from the publisher, and in these tough economic times, every penny counts.  Your efforts will be greatly appreciated, and you will have a much better chance of getting into heaven later on.  (I know some people in VERY high places!)

Well, my dear friends, have a safe and superfluous week.  And be careful out there!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

*****   Naughty photos attached!  *****        (just kidding)

 

 

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LA DOLCE VITA!

BUONGIORNO!  Hello my dear friends.  I just returned from a magnificent 3-week vacation/book signing/wine guzzling voyage to Italy, and although I loved every minuto, there is no place like home.  As for Italy, mama mia, what a beautiful country!  Our group of merry pranksters sailed from Rome to Malta, and then circled Sicily, stopping in some very memorable ports.  And speaking of port, the wine was truly memorable, too.  From what I remember, we drank almost every night.  (Hey, you know what they say, “when in Rome… “)

Before I go on about our voyage, let me state, unequivocally, that I had NOTHING to do with England leaving the European Union.  Well, almost nothing. I did make a few remarks about Germany and Italy dominating the ongoing soccer tournament.  But that was all I did.

We began our long voyage in Rome, which was fitting.  Why?  Because when I was a young lad, the girls told me that I had “Roman hands.”  (and “Russian fingers,” I might add!)  In any case, after we left Rome (and 3 days of intense archaeological activity) we sailed south through the Straight of Messina, which wasn’t really that strait, but still quite fascinating.  Our first stop was in Catania, where we spent the day high up in the mountain village of Taormina… and trekked around the base of our first volcano… Mt. Aetna.  (Which, by the way, is still a very active volcano.)  I didn’t really want to hike up to the summit, but I had to “go with the flow,” so to speak.  When you live under a volcano, every day is “ash wednesday.”  Very hard to breathe in certain spots, but well worth the effort.  The view was simply incredible.  (for at least 30 seconds!)

On days two and three, we recovered on the islands of Malta and Gozo, which were quite interesting.  I got to use all of my bad jokes about Maltese falcons and malted meal, which the locals seemed to have heard before.  (What’s up with that?)  Most importantly, on the lovely island of Gozo (slightly north of Malta) our group got to visit the oldest known human settlement in history.  (A 6,000-year-old pagan temple.)  I was surprised to learn that it was a pagan temple.  How the heck did a motorcycle gang cross the Mediterranean Sea?  Beats me.

From Gozo, we sailed north to Sicily and made several stops in some pretty amazing ports…  Agrigento, Trapini, and Lipari for starters.  They were all incredibly interesting, and on the remote island of Lipari, we hired a boat and made our way to the still-smoldering island of Vulcano.  (Yep, this volcano was belching, too!)  During our morning hike (which I called our “death march”) we stopped for lunch at a bubbling lake of warm mud, and some of us took a mud bath.  I, of course, suggested that the female archaeologists in our group engage in a mud wrestling contest, but the ladies wouldn’t bite.  (See what happens when you get a Ph.D?)

The voyage of the (nearly) damned then continued eastward, arriving in the enchanting town of Sorrento, where some of our group traveled to Pompeii and others to Herculaneum .  Risking life and limb, I spent the day viewing our third major volcano, Mount Vesuvius.  (Yeah, you guessed it, this one is still an active volcano, too.)  By now you might be wondering what’s wrong with me.  Good question.  Would you believe I was doing some research for my next book?  I hope so, because that’s what I intend to tell the IRS.  (Actually, it’s true, but I’ll explain later.)

The third week of our delightful voyage was spent on shore, in the impossibly beautiful town of Positano, along the Amalfi Coast.  Here I learned (once again) that anchovies and cappuccino don’t mix very well.  (Especially after a day of diving and swimming!)  Nonetheless, we all had a magnificent time with our gracious hosts at Villa Franco.  If you look at a photograph of Positano, you will see a lovely white villa on the highest point of the mountain overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.  This is where we spent the week, and dear God, was it something special.  (Photographs to follow!)

As always, the best part of any trip is making new friends, and we made plenty of them during this adventure.  (Starting with the captain of our ship, Captain Sverre, (a modern-day Viking!) and including some lovely folks from Australia, England, Italy, Argentina, and the good old U.S.A.)  On the book front, we gained a hundred new blog followers, and more importantly, a hundred new friends around the world.  (I held two book signings, and our sales were phenomenal.)

Well, I hope I didn’t bore you with all the travel talk.  I also have some great news on the publishing front, but I think I’ll save it for next Sunday’s blog.  Like me, you might be on sensory overload, so I’ll share the good news next weekend.  Until then, take care and have a great week.

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

*** Hopefully there will be some photographs attached to this blog.  The nude shots were confiscated by Interpol.    (Thank God.)

 

 

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WORDS OF WISDOM!

Just in case you haven’t opened your email today, I am re-posting the very first book review for my new mystery novel, A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  (Just in time to coincide with the Preakness, which was won by a horse that was named after a fiction writer…..  Exaggerator!)  Incidentally, this was also my nickname for several years after my honeymoon.  (Don’t ask.)

All right, here we go…..

RENEGADE REVIEWS,

May 21, 2016

 

Stephen G. Yanoff, dubbed “the king of the clever mystery” by the NYT, has done it again.  His new book, A Run For The Money is a spellbinding novel sure to please.  In this fascinating tale, the theft of a priceless Civil War artifact drags insurance investigator, Adam Gold, into the dark and dangerous world of brazen grave robbers.  While pursuing the robbers, Gold encounters a scheming Southern belle  with a dark family secret, and becomes entangled in the Gullah culture of South Carolina.  A riveting pursuit will lead to a showdown with a vicious psychopath who specializes in the murder of Thoroughbred horses — and a memorable climax that readers will never forget.

A RUN FOR THE MONEY is now available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, Nook, and leading bookstores across the country.

RATING:   Five Stars.   *****     (Excellent)

 

Before you ask, the answer is NO, my mother did not write this review, nor does she own any stock in Renegade Reviews.  (She did, however, buy the first 500 copies of A Run For The Money.)  She bought 500 copies only because she’s 90 years old and forgets where she leaves things.  This way, there’s a book in every room and closet in the house.  Such a smart woman.

Now the rest of you rascals don’t have to buy 500 copies. (although they do make great Christmas gifts) One or two books will be sufficient.  (unless you have some friends.)  If you do purchase a book, please do me a BIG favor and leave a nice review on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or Goodreads.com.  (The good reviews help the old advertising budget.)

I do hope you enjoy the book, and keep in mind that most of it is based upon an actual insurance claim.  And let me know what you think about the cover and the contents.  Your opinions really matter!

Have a safe and happy week.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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DERBY DAY DOINGS!

Horses again?  What can I say, I have a “one track mind!”  So, right out of the gate, I would like to thank all of the vendors at Churchill Downs who were kind enough to feature my soon-to-be-released mystery, A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  The pre-publication sales were phenomenal and I am most appreciative.  Next stop, the Preakness at Pimlico Park in Maryland.  (The actual book should be available by the time we get to the Belmont Stakes!)

Speaking of gratitude, I would also like to thank all of the literary judges who recently chose DEVIL’S COVE (my third “Adam Gold Mystery”) as a FINALIST in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.  The 2016 writing contest was very competitive, attracting over 2,000 entrants.  Winning was “a long shot,” and I am thrilled to be in such glorious company.  (All right, no more racetrack terms!)  The awards ceremony will be held in Los Angeles in September, so maybe I’ll get to visit with some of my LA fans.  (Dinner’s on me!)

And since we’re on the subject of long shots, my photograph (headshot) is about to grace the cover of BookMad Magazine.  (There goes their circulation!)  This magazine is a nationally distributed publication that highlights the wild and whacky world of professional writers.  They will also be publishing a full-length interview with yours truly, which I shall post right here when it becomes available.  (Read carefully, there is going to be a test!)

Incidentally, you might want to save the cover, just in case you’re heading out to the gun range.  (It would make an excellent target!)  By the way, if you go to the range, don’t go off “half-cocked.”

I just finished reading Marcel Marceau’s autobiography.  Does this make me a “mime reader?”  Did you know that Marceau refused to perform on cruise ships?  (He was strictly a “land mime.”)  Jeez, these jokes are really lame.  Well, that’s what you become with a land mine!

Now for some really good news…..  One of my devoted blog followers is a twelve-year-old lad who recently created a yoga dog character that teaches children how to deal with their emotions.  (A rather “ruff job,” if you ask me!)  In any case, the young lad is raising money to produce a pilot.  (I told him to try the airport.)  Since this is a very worthwhile project, you might want to contribute a few bucks, and if so, just log onto:   http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wufshanti/wuf-shanti-tv-show-dog-character-that-teaches-yoga.    (If you make a contribution, I will give you a 10% discount on any book purchase of your choice!)

Hey, does anybody think that Bernie Sanders is too old to be president?  I just found out that his first homeowner policy covered fire, theft, and Indian raids!  (Come on, that’s funny!)  Bernie is so old he remembers when Howard Johnson only had two flavors!  Bernie may be a tad old, but so are these jokes!  Look, like I always say, if they haven’t heard it before, it’s original!

Well, I must leave you now.  I am actually babysitting this weekend.  (My new grand-daughter, Goldie Delilah, requires a great deal of attention.  What’s up with that?)  After breakfast, I’m bringing her to JiffyLube for a check-up.  She seems to be leaking fluid in several places!  The poor girl definitely needs an oil (or diaper) change.

You folks take care and have a wonderful week.  I have a HUGE surprise for all of my loyal blog followers, which I shall announce next time.  Until then, keep those cards and letters coming, and don’t forget to insert some cash from time to time.

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  Anybody care to guess where the attached photo was taken?

 

 

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AND THEY’RE OFF!

No, I’m not referring to this year’s presidential hopefuls, but to the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby!  (This coming Saturday)  As you might have read, one of the featured books at this year’s derby will be…  A RUN FOR THE MONEY!  My new mystery will be available from several vendors, so if you’re going to the big race, pick up a copy.  (I’m telling folks that it’s a “sure bet!”)  The new mystery begins in Richmond, Virginia, but then detours to Beaufort, South Carolina and then Lexington, Kentucky.  If you love racehorses, you will adore this book.

Did you know that the derby is often called “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports?”  Just between us, I thought the term referred to my love-making ability.  Who knew?  Well, in any case, the fastest horse to ever run at Churchill Downs (which is actually in Louisville) was the great Thoroughbred Secretariat.  The old boy bolted around the track in less than two minutes!  That was back in 1973, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  (The horse I bet on is still running!)

Not to be sexist, but do you realize that since the derby’s inception in 1875, 39 fillies (female horses) have participated in the big race, but only 3 have won?  I don’t mean to be a “nag,” but that is sort of interesting.  For the record, there have been 6 female riders, and no, they are not called “Jockettes.”  Incidentally, the derby is often called the “Run for the Roses,” because of the rose blanket placed over the winning horse.  (They used to call it the “Prance for the Poison Ivy,” but there were too many problems after the race.)  Hey, I wonder if that’s where they got the race-track term “scratch?”  Just saying.

Speaking of South Carolina, (huh?) I’d like to mention that the winner of the last photo trivia contest was Butterfly McQueen of Atlanta, Georgia.  (Not her real name) Ms. McQueen correctly identified the photo as the “Brick Baptist Church,” on the island of St. Helena.  (Near Beaufort.)  By the way, this is the very spot where Martin Luther King wrote his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.  Two others also identified the church (a tad later) and they would be Ms. Christine Nickles and Mr. Larry Wood.)  Well done, everyone!

I was just watching  Face The Nation and I heard Ted Cruz say that as a young father he changed many diapers.  (Don’t be surprised if Bernie Sanders asks him to be his running mate!)  Did you get that last joke?  Well, it “depends” on your age!

The local newspaper had a front-page story about a fifth-grade teacher in Arkansas who supplied alcohol to her class!  I wouldn’t judge the gal too harshly.  Keep in mind that we’re talking about Arkansas.  (Just because you’re in fifth grade doesn’t mean you’re under twenty-one!)  Ouch!  There goes my invitation to Hot Springs!

And speaking of spring…  I must spring into the kitchen for breakfast, so I shall take my leave of thee.  Have a safe and prosperous week and we shall meet again in the sweet bye and bye.  (or as my wife likes to say at the mall, the sweet “buy and buy!”)  Hopefully I have attached a new photo for the trivia contest.

Love to all,  Doc Yanoff.

 

 

Romy