TIME TO GET INTO (SHIP) SHAPE!

Well, it’s official, my fall/winter book tour itinerary will be centered around…  the Leeward Islands!  (Antigua, St. Martin, St. Kitts, etc.)  The folks on these islands are a little shy, unlike those who live on the Forward Islands, but I’m looking forward to a productive visit.  (Meaning that my hosts better produce some good rum!)  Believe it or not, my books are very popular in certain quarters.  In fact, that’s what my books sell for in the Caribbean, a quarter!  (I get a two-cent royalty on each book.)  Nonetheless, it will be good to “get out of town” during the cedar-allergy season here in Texas.

Speaking of “out of town,” some newscaster just asked Donald Trump how he intends to pay for the wall he wants to build between the United States and Mexico.  I didn’t like his answer.  He said, “No hablo Ingles.”     (What does that mean?)  Greek to me.  (Actually, it might be Spanish.)

And since we’re on the subject of “foreign tongues,” some chick named Ashley Madison has asked me to speak at her book club in Las Vegas.  (You can “bet” I won’t be coming.  Oops, poor choice of words.)  Make that, “going.”   Who is this woman, and how is her list any different than Emily’s List?  I think I’ll stick with Franz Joseph Liszt.  (He’s more “in tune” with my style of writing.)

Hey, did you see the latest literary nonsense from England?  Researchers are suggesting that William Shakespeare was a marijuana user!  Balderdash!  If that were true, he would have written the following lines:   “To be or not to be…  Wait, what was the question?”

The pharmaceutical industry will soon be offering something called “pink Viagra” for the ladies.  I’m not sure what that is, but it’s supposed to stimulate their gazebos.  I was thinking of buying some pills for my wife, but I think I’ll start with No-Doz.  (I’d be happy if she could just stay awake!)  Is that asking too much?

By the way, I’d like to thank my book club hosts over in Lufkin for sponsoring a very fun day.  Downtown Lufkin is lovely, and the food at Lufkin Bar-B-Que is excellent.  (You must try the deep-fried yeast rolls.)  The rolls come with a giant plate of succulent pork ribs.  Just ask for the “Dr. DeBakey Special.”  Your heart won’t thank you, but your stomach will.  In fact, if you eat all of the ribs and rolls, you’d better have a will!  (The written kind!)  While you are in town, you might want to visit the Texas Forestry Museum.  They asked me to leave because I kept shouting “timber!”  No problem, I was getting “board” anyway.

Incidentally, if you are the first person to correctly identify the nickname of this lovely East Texas region, you will win a free, autographed copy of RANSOM ON THE RHONE.  Good luck, and no cheating!  (Don’t call anyone in Lufkin.)  Finally, I would like to wish a speedy recovery to my first book editor, the brilliant (albeit unlucky) Ms. Barbara Talbott.  I cannot elaborate on her minor accident, but I can tell you that she may be going to Hollywood.  (She may get a part in a “cast!”)

Also, safe travels to the Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee, who are visiting their son in Portland, Oregon.  I just read that Bernie Sanders drew a crowd of 20,000 people in that city.  Of course, in Portland you can draw a crowd of 20,000 with a Frisbee.  (They read a lot of Shakespeare up there, if you know what I mean!)

Well, gang, time to go to brunch or lunch or whatever the heck you call a noon meal on Sunday.  Have yourself a safe and happy week, and we shall meet again, in early September.  Drive carefully, school is back in session!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

P.S.  The attached photograph is simply meant to lengthen this blog post!

 

 

 

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GLORY DAZE!

Before I explain, allow me to wish each and every one of my loyal blog followers (all 17,000 of you!) a Happy Easter and/or Joyous Passover.  I truly hope that you and yours receive the full blessings of the season.  Spring, as you know, is a time of renewal.  (and I am not referring to your driver’s license!)  Actually, Spring done sprung on March 20th, but who’s counting?  (Other than the IRS?)

I think I’ve asked this question before, but is a person required to pay taxes EVERY year?  I’m glad I have two children.  They’re taxing, but also deductible.  Well, at least the new tax forms have been simplified beyond understanding.  Hey, why isn’t Lois Lane in jail?  I mean, Lois Lerner?  Come to think of it, how come I’m not in jail?  Never mind, let’s move on…

Well, my dear friends, it has been quite a week.  (Hence the title of this here blog post.)  On the day I left charming Beaufort (South Carolina) I was informed that my book, THE SECOND MOURNING, was chosen as a FINALIST in the prestigious Indie Book Awards Contest sponsored by Foreward Reviews’ Magazine.  (Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals will be awarded on June 26th at the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco.  (Nominees are required to bring their own water!)

Two days later, when we arrived in Atlanta, I received word that THE SECOND MOURNING had won the GOLD MEDAL in the Beverly Hills International Book Award Contest!  The honor was bestowed for best book of the year in the History – United States Category.  In presenting the award, the judges were kind enough to write:  “Dr. Yanoff’s book truly embodies the excellence that this award was created to celebrate.”  All I can say is Hooray for Hollywood!  (And thank you!)

Incredibly, it looks like I may also be a FINALIST or medal winner in a third literary contest.  (I will know this Tuesday.)  I just received an amazing review from the contest sponsor, Reader Reviews Magazine.  The judge/reviewer described THE SECOND MOURNING in glowing terms, such as, “5 Stars – a treasure of a book,”excellent story,” “simply brilliant,” and “a must-read.”  (My own mother couldn’t have written a better review, and believe me, she’s tried!)

Several blog followers have asked me to address the highlight of my trip to the Low Country.  Giving Pat Conroy some writing tips was fun, but the peace de resistance, was eating barbecue pork at Sgt. White’s Restaurant and visiting the Marine Training Base on Parris Island.  As some of you may know, I spent several summers training with the SEALS. (At SEAWORLD in San Antonio.)  Stop laughing, it wasn’t easy balancing that ball on my nose.  I did manage one amazing feat.  (or should I say “flipper?”)  I trained some of the animals to clean up their own pool!  (I received the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval!)  God, I need to get a real job.

I did hear one sad tale while touring the Marine Base.  I met a Marine D.I. (Drill Instructor) who had just found out that his wife was having an affair!  Naturally, he was devastated, so in order to find comfort and peace, he had turned to religion.  Soon, he was able to come to terms with the whole thing.  He had converted to Islam and was now planning to stone his wife in the morning!  Hoorah!  Semper Fi!

For those of you who are still awake, I shall end this historical, I mean, hysterical post by wishing you and yours a safe and wonderful week!  If you scroll down, you will see some lovely photos taken in and around Beaufort, South Carolina.  (I have deleted all nudity, due to federal regulations and concerns about the environment.)

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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OSCAR (MAYER) NIGHT IN HOLLYWOOD!

Why the name change?  Well, let’s face it, the auditorium will be filled with HAMS and celebrities who are full of BALONEY!  I know that sounds like a “cold cut,” but they deserve to be criticized.  They make too much money.  Hell, Brad Pitt is so rich he taught his dog how to roll over – an IRA!  Now that’s rich!  I just read that Harrison Ford is going to make another movie.  The guy just turned 70.  The movie will be called “Raiders of the Lost Miralax.”

Since I am my mother’s favorite, I took her to see each one of the movies nominated for “Best Picture.”  It’s the least I could do for all of the things she did to me, I mean, for me.  For instance, when I was a youngster, mom let me lick the beaters when she made a cake.  Sometimes she would even turn them off first.  What a gal.  Anyway, with that said, here are our “rapid reviews” of each film.  (By the way, that word was rapid, not rabid!)  The envelope please…   and the winners are…

1.  THE IMITATION GAME.  (It just didn’t seem real.)

2.  SELMA.   (I saw the “abridged” version.)

3.  BIRDMAN.  (Mom got stuck with the bill.)

4.  THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.   (The movie didn’t register.)

5.   AMERICAN SNIPER.  (Right on target.)

Well, in my humble opinion, these are the leading contenders.  BOYHOOD was also a good film, but that bum Kanye West wants to make  a sequel called BOYS N THE HOOD, so forget that.  The film about Stephen Hawking was too theoretical.  Besides, we don’t need a Hawking when we already have a BIRDMAN.  Although, birds of a feather do like to sit together.

So what else is new?  RANSOM ON THE RHONE (a true piece of artwork) will be available in about one week.  The early reviews have actually been spectacular.  If you love a good read, you will definitely enjoy this book.

Did you see that Starbucks is going to start a home delivery service? This will be perfect for people who don’t like to walk one block in ANY direction.  Just have a credit card handy.  Not bad enough that we have to pay $5.00 for a cup of coffee.  Now we have to tip, too.  (They know where we live!)

I just read that people who snore are prone to heart attacks!  How can you sleep if you’re not prone?  I don’t care about this news.  I may suffer a heart attack, but I won’t lose any sleep over it.  You gotta wake up pretty early in the afternoon to fool old Doc Yanoff.

By the way, did you know that Oscar attendees are not allowed to bring credit cards with them?  No big deal.  The place will be filled with plastic folks.  (If you think I’m kidding, watch their faces!)  Botox down to their knee socks.  Personally, I fall asleep during the opening monolog, and when I wake up I like to watch real zombies, so I’m hoping they show reruns of The Walking Dead.

Well, boys and ghouls, that’s about it for me.  Do enjoy the rest of your Sunday, and have a safe and happy week.  As far as I’m concerned, the winner is …..  You!  (For those who haven’t seen the new cover of my next book, feast your eyes on the photo attached at the end of this semi-humorous blog.)  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

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MOONDAY IS TUESDAY!

YES, I KNOW THAT SOUNDS CONFUSING…..  However, on Tuesday, April 15th, the moon will become blood red!  How can this be?  Are the Russians invading?  Are we facing another Ukraine?  No, my friends, this is all part of the upcoming lunar eclipse.  Sounds nutty to me.  I’ve heard of a moon beam, Jack Beam, and beam me up, Scotty, but a pink moon beam?  This I have to see.  By the way, in case you’re interested, some enterprising Aggie (a student at Texas A & M University) is selling tickets to the viewing.  Unlimited viewing for only $25.00!  Now is that “out of this world” or what?  Hey, if you brought a watch to the moon, would you be a “lunar-tick?”  Hmmm.

Tuesday’s lunar event means a great deal to me, because as some of you know, when I was in college I was studying to become an astronaut.  Well, I was actually taking up space.  In any case, I know a great deal about heavenly bodies.  (I dated a lot.)  The eclipse will peak at 3 a.m. (eastern time) and will mark the beginning of lunar festival, which will feature 4 consecutive total eclipses happening at about six month intervals!

Let’s come back down to earth for a moment, shall we?  Question:  What is 500 pages long, has 731 endnotes, an incredible plot, brilliant cover, and will soon (around May 1st) be available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, and Nook?  If you said THE SECOND MOURNING (The Untold Story of America’s Most Bizarre Political Murder) you are right!  The book is now in its final stage of production, and since I was forced to read the darn thing, I can assure you that you are going to love this one.

Speaking of historical events…..  last week’s trivia contest was won (thirty seconds after I posted the image!) by…..  Ms. Karen Anne Smith of Lopez Island, Washington.  OMG, do I have some brilliant blog followers.  Within minutes, the correct answer (Hiram College or Hiram Eclectic Institute) was given by Randall Holahan, Larry Wood, and Leigh Ann Woodward!  Three certified geniuses!  Well done, folks.

Here’s today’s trivia question:  What historical “medical person” offered to help President Garfield after he was shot?  (Hint:  The person was a “she.”)  Unfortunately, she wasn’t allowed into the White House, but she did make an effort to help.  First prize will be an autographed copy of THE SECOND MOURNING.  Good luck!

A friendly reminder:  Tuesday, April 15th, is also the day that you must be concerned about dollars and taxes.  (I once went to Dallas, Texas, which is similar, but different.)  I still don’t understand why they call it a “tax return,” when all we do is send them money and seldom get anything in return.  Nonetheless, be a good citizen and send in your returns in a timely and painful fashion.  Does anybody know if you are required to file a return EVERY year?  Just curious.  My account (Jesse James Lipschitz) isn’t sure about that part of the law.

So get this….. my wife went to “Red Box” and got a movie that she thought was about our marriage!  (12 Years A Slave.)  Turns out, it had almost nothing to do with marital bliss.  I enjoyed the movie, and have now re-thought my position on slavery.  I wanted to watch “Gravity,” but my bride “wasn’t down with that!”  (Are these jokes “reel bad?”)

Well, it’s time for breakfast (noon) so I must run.  Enjoy your day and don’t forget to watch the night sky!  Have a safe and wonderful week!   Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

SINGIN’ THE BLUES…..

Sadly, we lost the great George Jones this week.  A big loss for those of us who love country music.  As some of you know, I was born in Nashville.  Back in the day, my aunts often took me to the Grand Ole Opry, and I remember meeting Mr. Jones backstage.  He was always very polite, and as I recall, always willing to give some squirt an autograph.  Did you know that his big song, “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” was recently voted “the greatest country song of all time?”  Interestingly, Jones did not like the song at first, and he almost refused to record the darn thing.  He thought it was too long, too sad, and too depressing!  (Much like my writing career!)

Personally, I thought it was a great song, but not as good as the one and only country song that I wrote.  (“I’ll Never Get Over You Until You Get Out From Under Him.”)  My little tune was recorded by The Inbred Brothers, and even though it didn’t get much airplay outside of Arkansas, it was nominated for a Granny.  (Similar to the Grammy Award, but given to a senior citizen.)  What a treat it was to see my name in Billboard.  (Actually, my name was ON a billboard, but that’s a long story, and I was falsely accused.)

NOW FOR SOME LITERARY NEWS…..    Aberdeen Bay Press has received permission from my publicist (Invisible Irving Flakowitz) to feature my photograph on their worldwide webpage!  Sooo…. if you are so inclined, or even horizontal, you can log onto their website and view photographs of me signing books in England and France!  In all seriousness, this is very cool, and I appreciate the publicity.

Speaking of publicity….. I would like to publicly thank Mr. Ken Evans, a distinguished gentleman and world-class poker player, for purchasing 10 copies of MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE last week!  (They do make wonderful gifts.)  I’ve noticed that a handful of Austin celebrities are also reading the book…..  i.e., Judge Susan Marquess, Rich Walker, Leigh Ann Woodward, Barbara Talbott, Donna Simon, Christine Nickles, Paula Johnston, and Lee Bomblatus.  (Some of these folks ain’t from Austin, per se, but who’s counting?)  They are here in spirit!  Thanks gang!

While we are on the subject of publicity…..  My friend, Diane Fanning, who just happens to be an incredibly talented writer, is celebrating the publication of her 20th book!  Quite an accomplishment.  Congratulations, Diane!  My other friend (I have two) Larry Brill, is off and running with his first book, and from what I hear, it is destined to become a huge success.  (It’s called “Live@Five”)

I would like to remind my faithful blog followers that Mother’s Day is just around the corner.  (Each year I send my own mom a card of congratulations for having me.)  I’m not sure how my mom feels about that.  (She likes to say “If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong!)  Still, I would remind you that we’re supposed to respect our elders, even though, as time marches on, it’s getting harder and harder to find one!

By the way, speaking of finding things, you might want to order a copy of MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE this week.  There are only a few copies left from the first printing, and the second printing, which will begin this week, will take some time to complete.  (Your mom will be very disappointed if she gets candy or flowers again!)  I sent my own mom two copies (I charged her full price, but I paid for half of the shipping) and I’m sure she was touched by my generosity.  Where there’s a will…. I want to be in it!

Well, folks, take care and have a safe and happy week.  The spring book tour begins this Saturday, so the next time that you hear from me I will be in Tupelo, MIssissippi!  (Where the heck did I put those blue suede shoes??)  Elvis loves you, baby!

Doc Yanoff

MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE!

Hey, that sounds like the title of a new mystery novel.  As a matter fact, it is the title of a new mystery novel!  That’s right, folks, book number two in the “Adam Gold Mystery Series” will soon be available to the general public.  Due to popular demand (my mother) the publisher is moving forward with a mid-March release date!  Naturally I will contact you via our blog when the book is available on Amazon.com, but you shouldn’t have long to wait, as we made great progress this week on the cover design.

Fortunately, I was lucky enough to find a wonderful business model.  (Her name is Helga.  I think she’s from one of the Scandinavian countries….. she keeps saying “Nor-way” when I ask for a massage.)  Not to brag, but back in the day, she was a centerfold in Popular Mechanics Magazine.

THE PRESLEY PLOT (book number one in the series) continues to garner rave reviews and sales have been quite good.  If you log onto “Amazon Book Clubs” you will see that the book is one of the best-selling new mysteries of the year!  While you are there, check out the reviews!

AND NOW FOR SOME OTHER NEWS…..   When I’m not writing mystery novels, I like to play poker, but as of late there is a new poker champion in our family.  Once again, the mighty Cobra (my poker name) was defeated by this up-and-coming poker star….. The Corpus Christi Crusher!  (a/k/a Patty Yanoff)    Last Thursday the Crusher won first place in another tournament!  (In so doing, she has now pushed us into a higher tax category….  fortunately, I have stopped paying all taxes.)

Incidentally, both Patty and my sweet mother, Hazel Yanoff, celebrated birthdays this past week.  Both ladies turned 39 (I only repeat what I’m told) and both celebrated with elaborate dinners and lots of gifts.  If I had been in Boca Raton, I would have taken my mom to her favorite restaurant, The Golden Arches.  (a/k/a McDonald’s)

If she keeps eating hamburgers and french fries she’s going to get stuck between the arch!  Nevertheless, Mom is actually 87 years old, so she’s entitled to do whatever the hell she wants to do!

As some of you know, I recently received word that our blog is now in the top 10% of all new blogs for 2012!  According to the folks who keep track of such matters, our blog is now in 43 different countries (not counting Arkansas) and we have approximately 3,700 followers!  Wow, what can I say except Thank You!  None of these accomplishments would have been possible without your loyal support and continued interest.  (I intend to take each and every one of you to Hollywood with me!)

In closing, I would like to run something by you…… another one of my deep thoughts…..    If quizzes are quizzical, what are tests???   Don’t groin, I mean groan, just think about it.  Send your replies (with some money) to P.O. Box 1600, Washington, D.C.  (They need the loot more than I do!)

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

Doc Yanoff

QUEENS AND KINGS… ARE WONDERFUL THINGS!

GOOD AFTERNOON, FELLOW STALACITES!

I say stalacites, because like me, you are “hanging in there.”   Uh oh, I’m off to a “rocky” start.  What can I say?  I have a “cavernous” mind.  Well, I’m sure you get “the point.”

All right, no more mineral or stone jokes!

Who do I think I am, Chris Rock?  Billy “Crystal?”  I think not!  (I had to get those two out of my system.)

Anyway….. I used the above heading (Queens and Kings) not to reference THE PRESLEY PLOT and The King, but to point out that I have been spending way too much time playing the cruel and devious game of Texas Hold ‘Em Poker.  True, I have been winning loads of chips from my fellow gambling enthusiasts, but man does not live by “bread” alone.  (Especially in France.)

I have made the “Final Table” (sounds like an autopsy thing) in the last 3 poker tournaments!  (With little or no cheating I might add!)  Naturally, my brilliant card play has resulted in a huge increase in my overall ranking and point accumulation.  If I keep playing at this level, I will become a gambling legend throughout the Southwest and in two or three counties in rural Arkansas.  Time will tell if I make the move to Vegas, but since I detest casinos, I doubt it.  (No light, no sun, no fresh air, no fun!)

Yesterday was enjoyable and profitable for another reason….. I had a long overdue reunion with Terri Schexnayder and Helen Ginger, the two wonderful women who used to run the Writers’ League of Texas during its heyday.  They looked marvelous, and as I expected, they are still accomplishing some wonderful things here in Austin.  Those two are a class act!  (More about the purpose of our meeting in a future blog….. but hold onto your hats, because it’s quite exciting!)

I also had a great meeting with Larry Brill, the former television newscaster and talented producer of “Writing Across Texas.”  (Which in my humble opinion, was the best show ever produced in Austin.  And I’m not just saying that because I was one of the interviewers!)  Larry is also a class act, and in addition to his thriving media career, he is also an author!  He has written several books and one day I expect to see his name on the New York Times Bestseller List.  If any of you folks need a great media person, Larry Brill is the man to call.  (Listed, of course, under Brill Media in the phone book.)

Finally, on this day, in 1957, the Long-Playing Album “ELVIS PRESLEY’ reached number one on the Billboard album chart and stayed there for six weeks.  When you get a chance, ask someone under the age of 30 to describe a “Long Playing Album.”  Trust me, you will have a good laugh!  (One of my college students thought a turn table was something that a bird sat on!)

I think he was confusing “turn” with “tern.”

Well, in any case, it’s my turn to say adios!  Have a great day and make somebody smile…..

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff