THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD!

Well, that sounds like a bit of a stretch to me.  Of course, I just woke up, so I do have to stretch a little.  In any case, that blog post title sounds like hyperbole.  (Not to be confused with a hyper-pole, which is a nervous person from Wausau.)  I should have used  the following title…..  THE AMAZING YANOFF DOES IT AGAIN!  (No, that’s too modest.)  Look, what I’m trying to tell you is that my humble history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, has just won its 8th book award of the year!

The “Sunshine Boy,” (me) just won the GOLD MEDAL for the “Best History Book of the Year” at the 2016 FLORIDA BOOK FESTIVAL.  I wasn’t expecting this award, so I am quite touched.  (Please, no jokes about me being “touched in the head!”)  Thank you.  Where was I?  Oh yes, the book award.  Well, I have now been invited to a gala awards ceremony to be held at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston in early February.  (Why Boston?  Beats me.)  Nevertheless, I am seriously considering a visit to “Bean-Town” to pick up my award and check.

The judging criteria for this year’s award was twofold:  1.  General excellence and the author’s passion for telling a good story.   2.  The potential for the work to reach a wider audience.  (My audience is pretty wide already, but a lot of folks will soon be going on a diet.)  There were over 3,200 entrants, so the competition was pretty stiff. (No jokes on that one, either!)

Well, I’ve talked about myself enough.  What do you folks think of me?  Just kidding.  What else is new?  I’m glad you asked…..  Our holiday celebrations were simply divine, and Santa brought me everything I asked for.  (except the blonde.)  We had an especially good time on New Year’s Eve, attending the Annual Lakeway Lobster & Laughter Festival, hosted by the inimitable Jaime and Gary Rubenstein.  The couple outdid themselves this year….  French wine, fancy hors d’oeuvre, and the piece-of-resistance….  lobster & mac casserole.  (Which was renamed, “Creamy Crustacean Alla Pecorino Romano.”)

By the way, if you’re looking for a good caterer, you might want to contact Gary “Romano-Man” Rubenstein and Miss Jaime.  (Jaime is the Sioux chef.  Well, I Hopi she’s a Sioux, but you “Navajo!”)  Gary is talented and funny, and Jaime has some really hot buns.  (Hey, that’s not as bad as the Indian jokes!)

For those of you who live in Austin, come on down to South Congress Avenue and take a look at my daughter’s new boutique.  It’s a high-class operation called “COVE,” and they sell some lovely women’s clothing.  (and you can also purchase  my books there!)  The store is next to Perla’s Seafood Restaurant.  If you mention my name, the salesperson will feel sorry for you and advise you to make some new friends.  (What were you expecting, a discount?)  Not.

Well, I must start packing for my trip to Round Rock.  The wife and I are going to visit the Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee today.  They are hosting a ceremony acknowledging the wonderful life of Lee’s beautiful mother, who recently passed away.  She was a great lady, and she will be missed by many.

Finally, I want to thank each and every one of my loyal blog followers for making 2015 such a pleasant and productive year.  We achieved some great things this past year, and it looks like the fun will continue into 2016.  Please keep in mind that ALL of my success is due to folks like you, and your encouragement and support means the world to me.

God bless.  Have a super Sunday and be careful out there!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

GeneralGarfield

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.

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!

 

LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST!

NO, I’M NOT REFERRING TO BILL SHAKESPEARE’S PLAY!

Yesterday’s strike is over!  I struck out!  Judge Susan (who many of you know) has issued a temporary restraining order (a lot of folks think I should be restrained permanently!)  which requires me to go back to work and write another humorous blog post.  If I do not comply, she will hold me in contempt.  (I’d rather be held in her arms, but I digress.)  Well, you know what they say about the long arm of the law.  So…..

Did you know that Labor Day has NOTHING to do with pregnancy?  The holiday is always celebrated on the first Monday in September.  Oregon was the first state to make it a legal holiday.  (On February 21, 1887)  It became a federal holiday in 1894, when signed into law by Grover Cleveland.  (Cleveland was born in New Jersey, which was very confusing.  Supposedly, his parents wanted to name him Hoboken, but they were afraid that the neighborhood kids would call him “Hobo.”)   All right, I just made that up, but it’s still funny.

In recent years, Labor Day has become a huge retail sales day.  (Second only to the Christmas season’s “Black Friday.”)  It also marks the official end of summer, and in high society, the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear a seersucker suit.  (I once saw a suit at Sears, and I was the sucker who bought it!)  I used to buy my clothes at Robert Hall.  (Robert threw them out and I hauled them in!)  I also had a pair of Buster Brown shoes.  (Brown on the top and bustin’ out of the sides!)  Right now I’m wearing my summer clothes.  (Summer mine, summer my brother’s!)  All right, all right, I’ll stop with the clothing jokes!

My wife (the health nut) asked me to join her at Pilates class this morning.  I thought she said “pie and latte,” so I went with her.  God, what a disappointment.  They asked me to leave!  Did you know that it is considered inappropriate to take video of a woman in tights?  Sounds like I’m “stretching the truth,” but that class was really weird.  (No coed showers?  What’s that about?)

Hey, my beautiful daughter, Rachel, was featured on KVUE this week.  (A local station here in Austin)  They were doing a segment on local artists and Rachel’s work was highlighted.  She does extraordinary custom paint designs for all sorts of businesses in the city.  (Great interview, but she failed to mention her father or any of his books!)

Speaking of books……  (nice transition, eh?)  My new publisher, Murder Ink Press, has come up with an outstanding new title for the re-issuance of THE PRESLEY PLOT.  (I’m not supposed to let the cat out of the bag until the release date.)  The new cover is also terrific, and I think that all of my fans and followers will be quite pleased.  The revised edition will be released sometime in September.

Well, I must leave you now.  I am off to a wonderful barbecue at Jaime and Gary Rubinstein’s house.  They have a gorgeous new home in Lakeway, and they are superb hosts.  A great time will be had by all.  (Gary does the cooking, and believe me, he makes food fit for a king.  Here King, here King….. )

Again, happy Labor Day.  And remember, if work is so great, how come they have to pay you to do it???     Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

THE PRESLEY PLOT THICKENS….. AGAIN!

First, a confession…..  As many of you know, I’m never wrong.  I once thought I was wrong, but as it turned out, I was mistaken.  I have no idea what any of this has to do with today’s blog, but I thought you should know where I stand.  (Even though I’m sitting.)  Speaking of standing in the right place…..

If you go to Scandinavia, be careful where you stand in the water, and DO NOT go skinny-dipping!  The Pacu, a nasty-looking fish from South America, (related to the Piranha) has invaded the waters between Denmark and Sweden.  I know it sounds like a Brothers Grimm folk tale, but it’s true, and here’s the worse part…..     the Pacu is a testicle-biting fish!  Holy mackerel!

My uncle once got bit on the ear by a fish.  He lost his herring.  (As a courtesy, I shall leave out my Swedish meat ball jokes!)

ATTENTION ELVIS FANS!    An amazing auction is about to take place, just in time to coincide with the newly released edition of THE PRESLEY PLOT……    Way back in 1958, when the King was 21 years old, he accepted conscription (the draft) to the U.S. Army.  The young lad was eventually assigned to the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, Germany.  (A few miles from the home of the Brothers Grimm!)  Well, guess what?  Private Presley’s 3-piece uniform is about to be sold at auction!  (In case you’re wondering, the uniform is owned by Patsy Presley, one of his cousins.)  By the time you read this blog, somebody will have plunked down a small fortune, as the uniform has already become the MOST collectible item of the year!  (So much for Michael Jackson’s silly glove!)

If you should find yourself in Kerrville, Texas on Tuesday, stop by Louise Hays Park and you can listen to me ramble on about MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE and DEVIL’S COVE.  I will also be signing books and drinking some beer.  Our tent will be set up on the banks of the Guadalupe River, which runs through the city.  It is a very scenic park and there should be some good food available.  Traveling can take a toll on the mind and body as one ages, but as the great Mark Twain was fond of saying……   “Age is an issue of mind over matter.  If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”   Amen, brother!

Have a safe and pleasant week…..  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff