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

 

 

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THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER!

DON’T ASK ME WHY, but for some ungodly reason I actually volunteered to “dog sit” my two grand-dogs this week.  Baker is a cockapoo, eleven years old, and rather well behaved.  Romy is a labradoodle, still a puppy, and proof positive that mental illness is hereditary.  (You get it from your children!)  Yep, little Romy is adorable, but hell on wheels.  How can one dog chew on sooooo many different substances?  You’d think metal and rocks would be off-limits, but not with this little lady!  Her motto is thus:  “I came.  I saw. I chewed to shreds.”

As you can tell, I am having a “ruff” week, but this too shall pass.  (Won’t it?)  My daughters are off to weddings and vacations in San Diego and Hawaii, and I’m stuck at the dog pound!  (And believe me, there are times when I’d like to pound you-know-who, but she’s just too dang cute for words!)  Baker is white (which rhymes with right) and Romy is brown.  (Which rhymes with “nervous breakdown.”)  Why couldn’t my daughters get cats like other kids?

Oddly enough, I also had an unusual week book-wise.  As many of you know, THE SECOND MOURNING was recently published, and thanks to folks like you, is doing quite well in the sales department.  (Over two hundred books were sold on the first two days alone!)  However, I spent most of the week discussing THE GRACELAND GANG, as the Elvis Presley Center in Tupelo was interested in obtaining some more books for their gift shop.  What started as a simple phone call, ended up as a full-fledged interview with their newsletter editor.  (By the way, a number of buildings were severely damaged in Tupelo during last week’s storm, but the Presley Center was spared.  Definitely ‘Divine Intervention!’)

During my telephone interview, the editor asked me about the most surprising thing I discovered about Elvis Presley.  There were plenty of surprises, but one of the most interesting was the fact that Gladys Presley’s grandmother was Jewish.  (Gladys was Elvis Presley’s adored mother.)  Interestingly, The King was quite fascinated with his religious ancestry, and during his lifetime he wore a “chai necklace” and often carried yarmulke in his pocket!

When I visited Graceland, I met one of the caretakers, and he told me something intriguing that I did not know…  Elvis actually spoke Hebrew and often sang in the Hebrew language!  The next time you go to Memphis, go to Graceland, and you will notice that his mother’s tombstone (She is buried in Meditation Garden) is engraved with a “Star of David,” to acknowledge her own roots.  If you would like to learn more, just buy a copy of THE GRACELAND GANG, and you will be ready to go on a quiz show and win some big bucks!

Did you read the Wall Street Journal on Friday?  A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it.  Hmmm.

A funny thing happened to my neighbor last week.  He went to a dude ranch in Bandera, Texas, and rode a donkey!  (He’s afraid of horses.)  While he was riding the range, a horse kicked up a rock and knocked him off the donkey.  Don’t worry, he wasn’t injured.  In fact, he just got stoned off his ass.  (Ouch!)

I don’t mean to be annoying, but please don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE.  (Friday, June 6, 2014.)  As some of you know, I will speaking at BookPeople in downtown Austin at 7 p.m.    You are all invited, and please remember, everything is free.  (Free admission, free parking, free books.)  All right, I’m lying about the books, but everything else is free!  Hopefully, the margarita machine will be working!

Well, my friends, it is time to take the dogs to the butcher, I mean, the park.  (Freudian slip!)  I do hope that my daughters appreciate me.  (and my wife, who is doing the early morning shift.)  I fully expect not only a case of beer, but an ocean-front condominium in the resort area of my choosing!)  Ideally, a condominium resort that does NOT allow pets!!

Love to all, and please, keep me in your prayers!!

Doc Yanoff   (And “Ma Barker!”)