BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX…..

Wait a minute, I just got back from Florida, I’m not going to Arizona!  Dang, these extended book tours are starting to wear me out.  (They’re wearing out my tires, too!)  Another week, another 1,500 miles of travel, but I have to admit, it was wonderful.  The weather throughout Florida was simply magnificent, and I spent as much time in the water as on land.  I even signed some books on the beach.  (Bikini-clad bathers received a 10% discount…..  if they were female.)  We also got to rub elbows with a few celebrities.  Which reminds me, did you know that Burt Reynolds (who lives near Jupiter) is making a new movie about a stunt man who becomes a long-distance truck driver?  The movie will be called “Smokey and the Band-Aid.”  (Hey, the folks in Florida thought that was funny!)

The highlights of the road trip were dining on lobster rolls at a Delray Beach club and spending a few nights in a luxurious water-front mansion in Boca Raton.  Another fond memory, believe it or not, was stopping for coffee at Starbucks.  I know this sounds odd, but most of the stores leave a jar full of money on the counter, which I assume is for the patrons.  (In case you leave your wallet in the car.)  I always took a few dollars out of the jar, but being a generous person, I left them some change.  (mainly pennies.)  I wish more businesses would offer customers loot.

In case you’re wondering, the best-selling book of the trip was THE SECOND MOURNING.  (Followed by DEVIL’S COVE and RANSOM ON THE RHONE.)  All together, I must have signed several hundred copies, which would explain the finger cramps.  The stomach cramps were due to a foolish lunch at Cracker Barrel.  Avoid the chicken and dumplings.  (I could make a joke about the name of that dish, but I don’t want to ruin your Sunday breakfast!)

So what else is new?  Well, California governor Jerry Brown recently signed a controversial new bill allowing assisted suicide.  (He could have saved himself some trouble and just told folks to eat at Cracker Barrel!)   I noticed that Bernie Sander’s slogan is “Feel The Bern.”  Funny, I thought that was Taco Bell’s slogan!  As a writer, of sorts, I suggest that we refer to the race between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump in literary terms.  Maybe we should call it the race between the tortoise and the bad hair?  (A fable-lous idea!)

Poor Martin O’Malley.  He’s still running for president, but he’s stuck at 2 percent in the polls.  Do you realize what this means?  After 8 months of campaigning, he’s tied with low-fat milk!  (Who says cream rises to the top?)

Incidentally, we had to cancel two book club meetings in South Carolina due to the recent storm that drenched the entire Carolina coast.  As some of you know, the next “Adam Gold Mystery” is set in the Low Country, mainly in Charleston and Beaufort.  The book is titled “A RUN FOR THE MONEY,” and is currently in the final stages of editing.  God-willing, the book should be available sometime in mid-January of 2016.  I will, as the mailman likes to say, keep you posted.

The months of October and November will be dedicated to some local book clubs and book store events, and I couldn’t be happier.  I really love the book tour gigs, but we have lovely fall weather down here in Texas, and it looks like our “home team” (University of Texas) is steadily improving in the rough and tumble world of collegiate football.  (Frankly, I enjoy the tailgating activities as much as the game!)  Which reminds me…..  I would like to thank my dear friend, Ted Heaton, for supplying some great tickets and a fabulous tailgating adventure.  Ted owns a local State Farm office, so if you need a great insurance broker, he’s your man.

In closing, allow me to wish all of you a safe and pleasant week.  The first person to correctly identify the location of the attached photograph will win a signed copy of THE GRACELAND GANG.  (There’s your hint!)  Good luck, and we shall speak again in the near future!  Love to all …..

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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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 SUNSHINE BOY!

Well, folks, here I am, enjoying the glorious warmth of the Sunshine State.  (That would be Florida, NOT New Jersey!)  I feel so alive now that I am back on the coast.  I know it’s corny, but I have often thought of my mother being the clean, white sand and my father the roaring ocean.  Of course, that would make me a son of a beach, but who cares?  I love salt water, and since I have over 40 years of scuba diving experience under my (weight) belt, I feel right at home in the Atlantic Ocean.

Unfortunately, home is where many fatal injuries are sustained… and today was almost one of those days.  Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water in West Palm Beach, a horde of black-tip sharks showed up in the shallow water!  My dive buddies and I counted over 600 sharks, which is roughly 599 more than I feel comfortable with!  So much for diving and snorkeling.  I even feel guilty about asking my wife to retrieve my buoyancy vest and face mask.  (She only had to swim out ten or twenty yards, but I still feel a twinge of remorse.)

In case you’re wondering, I fell in love with scuba diving after watching countless episodes of SEA HUNT.  Do you remember that T.V. show?  Lloyd Bridges played a character named Mike Nelson, who ran a dive shop with his brother David, and their parents, Ozzie and Harriet.  Wait a minute, I think I got that wrong.  Never mind, the show was “all wet” anyway.

After our involuntary shark encounter, we drove up to Jacksonville, signed some books, and attended a gala dinner in my honor at a wonderful seafood restaurant called St. Mary’s Seafood House.  If you’re ever on this coast, you must try this establishment.  (Think incredible friend oysters and shrimp.)  My little presentation was a huge success and we actually sold a lot of books.  (I know that some of you, including my agent, Jesse James Lipschitz, are curious about which books sold the best, so here is the ranking…..  1.  The Graceland Gang  2.  The Second Mourning  3.  Devil’s Cove  4.  Ransom on the Rhone, and last but not least, 5.  The Pirate Path

After dinner, I was asked to judge a wet t-shirt contest, but since the  contestants were male, I declined the offer.  (Been there, done that.)  When I got back to my car, I discovered that the windshield was covered with bird poop!  (The area is filled with egrets, and their cousins who are always apologizing for pooping on your car.  They’re called regrets.)  I fired a couple of warning shots at them, but the damn vandals have no fear of human beings.  The next time I drive up this way, I’m bringing a cat.

Tomorrow we head for the charming town of Beaufort, South Carolina.  If you want to check out my digs, look up the Rhett House Bed & Breakfast.  I think you might find the history of this place quite intriguing.  We have a Low Country Boil scheduled for dinner.  (I sure hope the “boil” doesn’t refer to the chef’s body.)  The following morning we head for St. Helena Island, and a full day of Gullah history.  When you get a free moment, look up the Penn Center of South Carolina.  I will be signing some books in the lobby, which is quite an honor, because this was the very spot where MLK wrote his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.

Well, it’s been a long day, and I am starting to dream about a good night’s sleep… so I must bid you farewell.  Let’s plan to meet again next Sunday, whence I shall regale you with more tales from the Low Country.  By then, I will be an expert on grits, gravy, and frogmore stew!  Have a safe and happy week!

Love to all…

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT…

Why, you might ask, am I publishing my Sunday blog on Monday?  Well, mainly because I spent most of yesterday flying across the Gulf of Mexico.  And believe me, my arms are sore!  (Henny Youngman, 1956.)  Nonetheless, I am now safely ensconced in my mother’s palatial mansion in fabulous Boca Raton, Florida.  I was, however, a dollar short when I reached the first toll plaza.  I am pleased to report that the authorities didn’t care.  Incredibly, they allowed me to drive through without paying, and they even turned on some flashing lights to provide visibility!  Swell folks down here in the Sunshine State.

Speaking of swell folks, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Roger Staubach on my Southwest flight.  “Roger The Dodger” (his nickname) was a great quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys during their prime years.  He seemed very impressed when I told him that I played quarterback for my junior high school team, even though we lost 32 games in a row.  He was kind enough to say that I seemed to be more of a left-back.  I told him that I most enjoyed making passes at the cheerleaders.  After that, he switched seats.

So here I am today, about to go to lunch with my brother Glenn in fabulous Boca Raton.  Boca, in case you’re wondering, is the “Breast Enhancement Capital of America.”  As I stroll through Mizner Mall I am reminded of the old movie “BOOBS IN TOYLAND.”  (Although there are plenty of babes down here, too.)  Well, you get “the point.”  (Look, don’t complain about these lame jokes, I promised to keep you “abreast” of my travels!)

Enough about memory glands.  What else is new?  Well, sales of my new book, RANSOM ON THE RHONE, have been quite good.  (Even without the 10,000 copies purchased by my mother.)  The French newspaper, Le Monde, published a glowing review and referred to me as “one of the best American mystery writers in recent years.”  I assume that was a compliment, but you never know with the French.  In any case, I do appreciate the kind words.  Merci, my wine-drinking friends!

As you might imagine, depending on the quality of your imagination, thousands of book lovers are eagerly awaiting my scheduled book signings, which are too numerous to mention on this blog.  Safe to say, I will be quite busy this week, but I am determined to do some swimming in the mighty Atlantic Ocean.  (Or my mother’s pool.  Whichever is warmer.)  Frankly, I am glad to be in a warm and humid spot.  A warm and humid spot that is not a gym or exercise facility.

In closing, I would like to share an interesting tidbit from Roger Staubach.  Before he changed seats, he told me that the athletic supporter (a/k/a the jockstrap) was invented in 1874.  Football players started wearing them as soon as they were available.  Now get this… football helmets became mandatory in 1939.  Do you realize what this means?  It took men 65 years to realize that their brains were as important as their crotches!!

Talk about better late than never!  And on that note, it’s better that I bid you a fond farewell.  The surf is calling!  (I hope it’s not a collect call.)  Have a safe and wonderful week.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG SCHTICK!

I’m not sure who said that, but I think it was either Theodore Roosevelt or Shecky Greene…  In any case, I concur with the sentiment, which is why I am pleased to announce that yours truly will soon be featured on…  (are you sitting down?) …  THE LARGEST RADIO NETWORK IN THE WORLD!  That’s right, my dear blog followers, thanks to your continued encouragement and support I have now become a “highly sought after personality.”  (Which is similar to being on America’s Most Wanted, but different.)

Where was I?  Oh yes, the radio program.  I have recently formalized a written agreement to be the featured author on “Star Style,” an award-winning radio program now in its 17th season.  The program is hosted by Cynthia Brian, (a hugely popular radio personality) and is broadcast by Voice America/World Talk Radio.  Here’s the coolest part…..  the program is broadcast to 219 countries and has a current listening audience of 4.5 MILLION listeners!

Yikes, I’d better be coherent and glib!  Guess why?  The show is done LIVE!  No rehearsals, no tape, no second chances!  (Not much pressure there!)  Hopefully, there will only be 3.5 MILLION people listening.  (I prefer smaller audiences.)  Now for the details….  (I’ll wait while you grab a pen and paper)  OK, here goes…..   The LIVE 20-minute interview will be broadcast on Wednesday, November 12, 2014.  The show comes on at 4-5 p.m. Pacific Time, which means that my Texas friends will hear it 3 hours later.  (My interview slot has been assigned a specific time, which is 7:15 to 7:40 p.m. EASTERN TIME.)

MORE GOOD NEWS…  If you do not own a radio, or have dinner plans on November 12th, you can access the entire interview on the radio station’s archive site.  (Which means that you can listen to it over and over, like I’m going to do.)  All you have to do is get your hands on a computer and go to:   http://www.VoiceAmerica.com/show/2206/be-the-star-you-are

So what else is new?  As a public service I would like to remind you of the symptoms of Ebola. The virus will cause headaches, feelings of nausea, and is difficult to get rid of.  (Much like a politician.)  I’m starting to think that Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator, might have contracted the disease.  The poor guy has vanished!  He didn’t even go to George Clooney’s wedding.  The North Koreans sent his daughter, Kim Kardashi Un.

The head of the Secret Service was recently fired.  (She had to jump over the White House fence to turn in her office keys!)  The whacko that broke into the White House was inside a lot longer than we were told.  He was there long enough to be appointed Acting Secretary of Agriculture!  Then the President gets on an elevator with a civilian who was carrying a loaded weapon.  Thank God Ray Rice wasn’t on the elevator!

Chelsea Clinton’s new daughter just uttered her first word!  She reportedly said, “I-O-W-A.”

The government of Turkey has finally announced that it will join America’s fight against ISIS.  Unfortunately, they didn’t indicate whose side they will be on.  But do not fear!  Those cold-blooded bastards in ISIS will soon surrender to us.  They were recently told that Sylvester Stallone is contemplating another “Rocky” movie.  (Their leader supposedly said, “How much can we take!”)

Today I find myself in sunny Florida, basking on the beach in Boca Raton.  We have had 5 days of perfect weather, and the food has been outstanding.  We are eating lots of bagels and have seen some “bay-gulls” flying around.  I have also seen many bikini-clad women, and surprisingly, most of them DO NOT want their photographs taken… even from behind.  What’s the story with that?  I told one lady that I will take just one shot, and then we’ll see what “develops.”  (She threatened to take one shot at me!)

Well, I must leave you now…  we are off to see my sister, Jan, down in Fort Lauderdale.  Which reminds me, today’s blog is dedicated to a very special man who recently passed away.  My smart and talented brother-in-law (Larry Baum) recently lost his favorite uncle, who was one of the sweetest and kindest men I ever met.  So this one’s for you, Heshy!

And as for the rest of you…  please have a safe and joyous week!  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, and we shall meet again soon.  Love to all…

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  I forgot to mention that my upcoming radio interview will be covering THE SECOND MOURNING, my non-fiction book.  The host just finished reading the book and loved it, so that will be our main emphasis.

 

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 BIRTHDAY BOY!

Well, as many of you know, (since I have been sending out frequent reminders) last Thursday was my 39th birthday.  (In Texas, you’re allowed to celebrate any year you wish!)  A gentleman never mentions his age, but I am now old enough to order an alcoholic libation.  (At a senior center.)  I suppose I should be grateful that I am still, more or less, of sound mind and body.  Which reminds me…..  If my therapist says, “There’s really nothing more that I can do for you,” that means I’m cured, right?

By the way, I just read that a woman gives birth to a baby every 15 seconds in America.  Personally, I think they should find that woman and have a talk with her.  Just saying.

Did you know that 3 other famous people were born on May 29th?  Patrick Henry, Bob Hope, and JFK.  I don’t know what, if anything, they ever accomplished, but I do know that I was recently invited back for another interview on the “American Book Club!”  (The nationally syndicated program that follows “Imus In The Morning.”)  The good folks at KLRG in Tampa want to discuss THE SECOND MOURNING in another full-length format, which is truly a great honor for me.  I’d like to personally thank the host, Jack Drucker, for his continued interest and support.

I don’t know the exact date yet, but I promise to keep you abreast.  (Or, if you prefer, a leg or wing.)  As they say in sniper school, we aim to please!  Speaking of schools…..  my new non-fiction book (THE SECOND MOURNING) is currently under consideration at several prominent universities.  What are they considering?  Whether or not the book should be added to their “Recommended Reading” list!  (Two of the schools are in the Ivy League!  I will refrain from making any jokes about poison ivy.)

Did you notice that Harvard, Yale, and other major colleges have recently announced another tuition increase?  Believe it or not, the AVERAGE cost of a 4-year college education at a private university in now…..  $125,000!  I should mention that this figure does not include books, food, lodging, alcohol, drugs, or birth control devices.  Dude, what a ripoff!  When I attended the Dodge City School of Taxidermy & Chiropractic Medicine tuition was only $350 per semester.  (Embalming fluids were extra.)

What is this country coming to?  When I was a boy, my mother would send me down to the corner store with a dollar and I’d come back with 5 potatoes, 2 loaves of bread, 3 bottles of milk, a hunk of cheese, and a dozen eggs.  You can’t do that now…  too many damn security cameras!

Before I take my leave (which is what Adam said to Eve) I would like to remind you that I will be at a major book-signing and self-adoration event this coming Friday, June 6th.  The event will take place at 7 p.m. down at BookPeople on Lamar Blvd.  Please feel free to bring your family and friends and some hard currency.  Also, somebody should call Mrs. Barbara Talbott to remind her of the date and time.  (I’ve already sent 10 emails.)

In closing, I would like to leave you with some wise words from Albert Einstein, the owner (I think) of Einstein Bagels…..  “The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”  I wonder if he was referring to mystery authors?  Hmmm.

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

Doc Yanoff