SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME!

Do you remember that wonderful movie?  It was based upon the true story of the real Rocky…  the great Rocky Graziano.  First released in 1956, it is considered to be one of Paul Newman’s best performances.  The first person who can tell me who played the part of “Fidel,” will win an autographed copy of my newest mystery,  A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  Good luck!

The reason I mentioned this movie is because I too seem to be blessed.  How so, you ask?  Well, believe it or not, I just won another book award, and this one was totally unexpected.  I was recently informed that my first history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, has been chosen as one of the best non-fiction books of the year by BOOKSANDAUTHORS.COM.  These folks publish an online magazine for book lovers, which includes book reviews, author interviews, publishing news, book contests, and much more.

The “Book of the Year” awards are chosen by an elite panel of publishing professionals who “seek out literary gems from both established writers and first time authors, novels that whisk the reader to unfamiliar times and places, thrillers that are more than just “page-turners,” and thought provoking non-fiction that entertains as it informs.”  (How are all these words going to fit on my trophy?)

I might have to go to Chicago to receive my award in person, so if anyone out there has an extra bullet-proof vest and a high-capacity rifle that I can borrow, I would be very appreciative.  (Even more appreciative if I survive the trip!)  On second thought, maybe I could send my wife, or my new publicist, Blind Lemon Jefferson.  (Hey, somebody has to go!)

Speaking of trips, I had the pleasure of speaking to a charming book club in Blanco last week.  Blanco (which is the Spanish word for “Blanco”) is a small town in the heart of the Texas Hill Country.  The Old County Courthouse in town served as a set for the 2010 version of the film “True Grit.”  (The Redbud Cafe served hot grits.)  If you like museums, you can visit the Buggy Barn Museum.  I skipped this one, but only because I hate bugs.   ( I can’t imagine why anyone would want to keep insects in a barn. )  Oh wait, they might be referring to horse-drawn buggies.  Never mind.

If you like barbecue, you might want to try the Old 300 BBQ Restaurant.  (Which takes its name from the original 300 settlers that Stephen F. Austin brought to Texas, NOT the cost of a meal.)  Personally, I would skip the food and head on over to Real Ale Brewing, where one might consume a craft beer or two before heading back to Austin.

Incidentally, our book tour to enchanting New Mexico (and Durango, Colorado) has been postponed until the spring of 2017, so if you live in those areas, I hope to see you then.  I will, of course, post our complete itinerary once it becomes available.  (I do need to wait until my publicist, Mr. Jefferson, completes rehab and pays a modest fine to the Republic of Slovenia.)  Don’t ask, long story.

Well, that’s about it for me.  I happen to be babysitting today, so I need to freshen up my margarita before sweet little Goldie wakes up from her nap.  I’m hoping to watch an old Gregory Peck movie when she awakes.  Have you ever seen “Tequila Mockingbird?”  Great movie, salty language, but you can rent one without salt.  You should give it a “shot!”    Have a great week!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

veg picDSCN1693beverly hills winner large

 

DELIRIOUS AND MYSTERIOUS!

Let’s start with delirious… my natural state of mind.  Why, you might inquire, am I feeling a tad euphoric today?  Well, mainly because my last “Adam Gold Mystery,” which is titled, RANSOM ON THE RHONE, just received the Honorable Mention Award (2nd place) at the 4th ANNUAL BEVERLY HILLS INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS!  This marks the third award for this particularly book, which as the title suggests, takes place on the Rhone River in France.  I wrote this one after taking a week-long cruise with our great friends, Barbara and Max Talbott.  The best part of writing the book was re-living our river adventures and remembering all of the great people and ports that we encountered.  (By the way, since April 15 is right around the corner, I should mention that the entire voyage was tax deductible.  Yes, even the wine and caviar!)

And since we are on the subject of awards…  I am proud to share some other wonderful news with you…  THE SECOND MOURNING, my semi-brilliant book about the Garfield assassination, just won its 13th book award last Wednesday!  The 2016 Great Northwest Book Festival chose my book as “Honorable Mention” in the General Non-Fiction Category.  This is a much tougher category (more submissions) than the History Category, so I was thrilled to become a “chosen one.”  (A little Passover humor!)

Before I forget, congratulations to Marvin Stern from Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Mr. Stern won last week’s photo trivia contest.)  He was the first to correctly identify the location as Cove Boutique in Austin, Texas.  (A gorgeous boutique for the ladies on South Congress Avenue.)  Actually, Judge Susan Marquess (the famous “hanging judge” of the Hill Country) was the first, but since she is family, she was promptly disqualified.  Incidentally, she’s called the “hanging judge” because she goes from store to store hanging up clothes.  Odd hobby, but who am I to…  judge?

When I was teaching public speaking at St. Edward’s University, I would always remind my students that it was normal to feel nervous at the podium.  (Survey after survey shows that the two most feared social situations for young folks are:  1.  Going to a party filled with strangers.  2.  Giving a speech)  Oddly enough, these are the very two situations that all writers must deal with in order to market their books.  Hence, my teaching career was great preparation for this book gig, which involves a lot of public speaking before strangers.  (and free food and drink, too!)

As an example of the above, I had the pleasure of attending a book signing up in Mason, Texas, last week.  (Mason is a charming little town perched on the western edge of the Hill Country.)  After a hearty breakfast, at the Willow Creek Cafe, I strolled over to the Mason Square Museum, which contains some fascinating artifacts, including a massive, 6,480-carat chunk of blue topaz!  I offered to trade several books for the topaz, but the curator turned me down.  (I wonder if Stephen King is forced to suffer such indignities?)  In any case, the Mason County Library now contains several copies of THE SECOND MOURNING, so if you’re ever in the area, “check out” the books!  (Incidentally, if you want to look for topaz, you can go to the Bar M Ranch, just west of town.  They allow private digging for a reasonable fee.)  Try not to hit their sprinkler system, like you-know-who did!

In closing, I would remind my Texas friends that spring signals the start of snake-mating season, so be very careful.  Each year, several people die from snake-bite here in the Hill Country.  I strongly advise everyone NOT TO BITE A SNAKE!  (Slim-Jims taste better and are very affordable.)

With that being said, I shall take my leave of thee.  Hopefully there is a photograph below this hysterical blog post.  If so, be the first to correctly identify the location and you will win a marvelous prize.  Until we meet again, I remain,

Doc Yanoff   (Love to all!)

 

 

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“THE PIRATE PATH” MAKES HISTORY!

Do you realize that yesterday (Saturday) was “Talk Like A Pirate Day?”  Aye, ’tis true, me hearties.  Shiver my timbers if somebody didn’t create a brand new holiday in order to celebrate my second mystery novel.  (The Pirate Path)  Well, at least I think that’s why they created the new holiday.  What other reason could there possibly be?  In any case, in order to celebrate the audacious occasion, I took my matey to a fancy pirate-like restaurant…  Long John Silver’s.  We ordered some special pirate-like grub and some rum.  Check this out… the restaurant was selling corn on the cob for …..  “A-buck-an-ear!”  (Ouch!)

Speaking of books…  The National Book Awards were recently announced, and I’m proud to report that my first non-fiction masterpiece, THE SECON MOURNING, was almost nominated.  (My mother forgot to return the nomination form.)  I’m not too upset.  Last year she returned the form but misspelled my name.  (She nominated Stephen “King” by accident.)  By the way, the winner of last week’s book contest was  Angelo Petraglino from Rome, Italy.  (The bridge photograph on the cover of THE PIRATE PATH was taken in Istanbul, Turkey.)  Congratulations, Angelo.  Your book is in the mail.

So what else is new?  Well, I just read that Kellogg’s Cereal was planning to donate millions of dollars to an African charity, but now they’re hesitating…  Tony the Tiger was apparently gunned down by a Minnesota dentist!

I just finished reading Hillary Clinton’s 45-page plan to be more spontaneous.  (As the old cowboy said, it was a “spur of the moment” decision.)

Did you watch the Miss America Contest?  Miss Georgia was crowned “Miss America.”  Miss Kentucky was chosen “Least Cooperative.”  (I refuse to explain these lame jokes!)

NBC just announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger will replace Donald Trump as the host of “Celebrity Apprentice.”  I don’t think Trump is going to be too happy when he learns that he’s being replaced by an immigrant with an anchor baby!

On the home front…   If I seem a little testy, it’s because I overslept and missed my exercise class this morning.  This is the fifteenth year in a row that’s happened.  My wife made me join “Orange Fitness.”  I only agreed because I thought she said “Orange Julius,” which is one of my favorite health food drinks.  Thank God the parking lot is usually filled.  (Good excuse to come back home for a beer.)  Hey, by the way, do you have to be pregnant to park in a “delivery zone?”

Speaking of deliveries…  I will soon be on my way east, bound for Florida and another highly anticipated book tour/road show.  I will post my official itinerary next week, in case you want to rob my house while I’m gone.  If you do break in, please remember to flush the toilets and feed the pit bulls.  (And watch those pesky land mines!)

In case you’re wondering, the next “Adam Gold Mystery” is currently being edited and will be published in early 2016.  The book is titled “A RUN FOR THE MONEY,” and this time Adam Gold will become embroiled in an insurance claim that involves grave robbing and a Thoroughbred horse murder.  As always, the story is basically true, and based upon an actual insurance claim handled by Mr. Gold’s real-life counterpart.  (Me!)  I think you folks are going to love the book.  The pre-reviews have been phenomenal.

Well, me buckos, time for this old pirate to walk the plank and head to breakfast.  I do hope you have a safe and joyful week.  We shall meet again at high tide, or ebb tide, or tide detergent.  You decide.  I’m hungry!      Love to all,

Doc Yanoff   (Sometimes known by my pirate moniker, “Captain Kidder.”)

 

P.S.  Any idea where or when the attached photograph was taken?

 

 

Elvis in the sand

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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HOME SWEAT HOME!

AIN’T NUTHIN’ SWEET ABOUT THIS TEXAS HEAT, Y’ALL …..  Dang, it’s hot down here in Austin, Texas!  How hot is it?  (I’m glad you asked.)  It’s so hot the fire ants have opened up a Kool Aid stand!  It’s so hot the scorpions are crawling around with canteens!  It’s so hot…  Well, never mind, you get the idea.  Hey, before I forget, there’s an email going around offering Processed Pork, gelatin, and salt in a can.  If you get this email, DO NOT OPEN IT!  (It’s SPAM.)

So what else is new?  (Again, I’m glad you asked.)  Looks like Hillary Clinton is in big trouble because of her private server.  I’m not sure what that is, but I don’t think it’s a waitress.  I think it has something to do with a computer, and I detest those darn things.  Why?  (What’s with all the questions?)  Because somebody recently stole my identity online!  You know the most humiliating part?  The son of a gun returned my identity the next day.  He said that after careful consideration he did NOT want to be me!  Loser.

Check this out…  there’s a novelty store in Houston that’s selling Donald Trump pinatas!  Look on the bright side, something good will finally come out of the guy!

I see that President Obama went to a federal prison.  (Calm down, he was only visiting.)  I think he went there to discuss prison reform….. and spend some time with a bunch of former Congressmen.  Did you know that there are no Jewish people in federal prison?  Why?  Because they eat lox.  (locks?)  All right, that was lame.  I blame the heat.

On a brighter note, I am happy to report that the United States team recently won the International Math Olympics!  Who says American kids can’t compete with those brainy Asians?  Our juveniles are smarter than those dang foreigners!  Congratulations to the American team:  Shyam Narayanan, Yang Liu, Allen Liu, and their coach, Po-Shen Loh.  (I hope those Asian folks learned a lesson!)

Well, as you can see from today’s post, I’ve finally reached the Wonder Years.  (I wonder where my car is parked?  I wonder where I left my cell phone?  I wonder where my glasses are?  I wonder if I’ve used these jokes before?)  Oh well, time marches on, and it’s better to be in the parade than you-know-where.  Incidentally, copies of THE SECOND MOURNING are still selling briskly and the recent awards have really increased sales.  Amazingly, RANSOM ON THE RHONE is still one of the best-selling mysteries in France, so all is good on the literary front.

As some of you may know, we now have over 20,000 blog followers in 140 different countries.  That being the case, some folks overseas have asked if I would post a photograph of my home in America.  (No, they are not with ISIS.)  Well, since I aim to please, and appreciate my blog followers enormously, I am going to attempt to post a recent photo of my private abode.  (Notice I said abode, not commode.)  I might point out that shortly after this picture was taken, I had a reptile dysfunction on my porch.  A rather long, black snake decided to crawl through my legs as I was consuming a cold beer.  I have therefore attached (hopefully) a photo of this particular reptile.  By the way, this fellow was a non-venomous snake.  Very beautiful markings.  Quite tasty.

In closing, let me send my very best wishes to Ann D. in Round Rock.  Ann had a little accident the other day, but she is one tough gal and we know she will be back on her feet in the very near future.  We all wish you a speedy recovery, darling!  I look forward to speaking at your book club in September!  (Try to serve some lobster)

Vaya con dios, amigos y amigettes!  Have a safe and wonderful week…..    Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  Resident and reptile reproductions attached!

 

 

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