MEMPHIS IN MOURNING!

NO, THEY DIDN’T RUN OUT OF PORK RIBS AT CORKY’S!

Last Friday, August 16, marked the 36th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death.  Hard to believe, but the King of Rock ‘n Roll died in 1977.  Oddly enough, his passing is “celebrated” with an annual week-long festival known as “Elvis Presley Week.”  In mid-August, the city is transformed into one big Elvis event, and each year over 400,000 people show up to join the party!  Believe me, it is quite a sight.  (Try to picture several thousand Elvis impersonators!)

Naturally, copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT will be available at various locations throughout the city.  (One vendor is selling only autographed copies….. my signature, not Elvis.)  I don’t make a great sum of money, but the publicity is wonderful, and I get to meet some interesting characters.

Speaking of books, I am currently reading a book about anti-gravity.  (I just can’t put it down!)  Incidentally, last week I mentioned that Elvis Presley’s Army uniform was about to be auctioned off in Dallas.  Well, how much do you think it fetched?  How does $35,000 sound?  While this was a decent price, it didn’t come close to the King’s peacock jumpsuit that sold for….. $300,000 in 2008!  In any case, I’ve decided to sell my socks on eBay, so don’t be a “heel” and buy a pair.  Each pair has been thoroughly washed, so you won’t get “toe-maine” poisoning.

How about some “food for thought?”   Last week’s book signing was held in Lampasas, which was followed by a Moonlight Swim at Hancock Springs.  (Although there wasn’t much moonlight at 4 p.m., the swim was wonderful, and we stopped at Hopdoddy’s for dinner!)  If you go to Hopdoddy’s, order the “Llano Poblano” hamburger…..  An angus beef patty, topped with pepper jack cheese, roasted poblano peppers, apple-smoked bacon, and chipolte mayo.  Simply amazing…. especially with a 512 IPA Beer!  (or two)

I have recently viewed the new book cover for MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE, and can report that it is simply marvelous.  The revised book should be out in early November, but by then, I may be back in the Caribbean!  Looks like we’re going on the road again, (or should I say the water?) and marching toward St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Martin.  (“When the saints, go marching in….. “)  Well, you know how that tune goes.  Yummy, yummy, more rum in my tummy!

Finally, if you want to try the BEST pancakes in the free world, come visit me in Austin, and I will take you to the Rise and Shine Bakery for their homemade buttermilk pancakes.  As Judge Susan and Princess Patty can attest, they are absolutely delicious!  I was there yesterday and I saw plenty of nice stacks.

Well, have a great week and remember not to believe everything you hear.  My wife thinks I’m a skeptic, but I don’t believe a word she says!  (Would you believe my neighbor has a skeptic tank?  What’s that about?)

Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS…..

Well, if you’ve been reading VARIETY, the show-business magazine, you probably know the huge, earth-shattering news…..  Murder Ink Press has purchased the book and movie rights to THE PRESLEY PLOT and MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE!!  Both books will be revised (and lengthened) and reissued with new and improved front book covers in both soft-back and hard-back versions!!  They will also be available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, Nook, etc.

In a word, I am….. Astonished!  Delighted!  Grateful!  Flabbergasted!  (Wait a minute, that’s four words!)  Well, what can I say, a lot of books have “four-words!”

Seriously though, this is wonderful news, and I am one very lucky author.  A lot of the credit goes to you, my loyal blog followers, so thank you very much for your continued support and encouragement!  I shall not let you down!

So what else is new?  Judge Susan is coming over today for a “Mexican Swim Party.”  (Lots of “dips.”)  She is bringing her three gorgeous grandchildren, too.  After I finish this blog post, I’m going to Home Depot to buy 100 gallons of Chlorine!  (Use your imagination here.)    Congratulations to Rita and Michael Hennecke on the birth of their new daughter.  She is absolutely beautiful, but due to rising hospital costs, the parents have not yet chosen a name for her!  (I suggested “Hey, you” but I doubt the name will stick!)

My Texas Hold ‘Em tournament play remains hotter than a stolen tamale.  I’ve made it to the “final table” seven times in a row!  (Without winning the tournament, mind you.)  Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of sitting next to the beautiful and talented Beverly Skipper Lange.  My dear friend just got back from the MAIN EVENT at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, where she placed 86th and won…..  $70,000!  Well done, Miss Beverly!

Another poker great, Kevin Evans, surprised our last tournament group with some very special t-shirts.  The shirts were emblazoned with the front book covers of my first three mystery novels!  (The Presley Plot, Murder on Maiden Lane, and Devil’s Cove.)  Thank you, Kevin!  The shirts were very cool… very considerate… and very colorful!

Several of my blog followers have asked about my upcoming trip to Detroit.  We had to cancel the trip, mainly because people are moving out of the city in record numbers.  (Motown has become LessTown!)  Even the schools are falling apart.  Did you know that Detroit kids spend the first two weeks of school studying their Miranda Rights?  What do you think the average Detroit student gets on his or her SAT?  (Drool!)     **The preceding jokes are dedicated to my one and only Detroit friend, Gary Rubenstein!

In conclusion, I would like to remind you that the first novel ever written on a typewriter was….  TOM SAWYER!  (I forget the author’s name.)  I still use an electric typewriter, which is why the neighbors think we have a pet woodpecker.  (No woodpecker jokes, please!)   Have a safe and joyous week!

Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

 

 

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

HOW WAS YOUR FOURTH OF JULY?  Did you display a “sparkling” personality, or did you have a “short fuse?”  I was lucky… I got to watch an explosive display of fireworks.  (The Texas Legislature was on C-Span!)  In any case, there were no “duds” in our group, and we had a marvelous Texas-style barbecue, compliments of the good folks at The Salt Lick.  Speaking of the Fourth…..

Did you know that the first Independence Day celebration occurred in the city of Philadelphia on July 8, 1776?  Believe it or not, it wasn’t until 1804 that the White House celebrated the event.  (Better late than never!)  For your reading pleasure, I now submit some fun facts about our nation’s birthday…..

In 1776, there were 2.5 million people in America.

In 2013, we have approximately 310 million people in America.

And because this is the MOST American of all holidays, you should know that…..

95% of our fireworks are made in…..  China!

94% of our American flags are made in…..  China!

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Championship has been won (6 times) by a fellow named Takeru Kobayashi, who was born in…..  Japan!  (You thought I was going to say, China, right?)

Well, at least we have become an inclusive country!  When was the last time you saw an American sumo wrestling champion?  Or an American ping pong champion?  Exactly.  I rest my case.

So what else is new?  Well, the third “Adam Gold Mystery” titled, DEVIL’S COVE,  is set for publication and will be available on Amazon.com in the very near future.  I shall keep you informed of the exact release date.  Last week I spent some quality time with Will Ravenel, the world’s best structural integration therapist.  I had some shoulder pain that Will the “Miracle Worker”/magician made disappear in one short session!  If you’re ever in pain or discomfort, take my advice, and contact Will at Castle Hill Fitness.  (You will thank me later!)

I would like to say “Happy Birthday” to two remarkable (and stunningly attractive) women…..  Ms. Ingrid Kaminski and Ms. Sharon Francia.  Both of these lovely ladies recently celebrated their 39th birthday.  Ladies, you look marvelous, absolutely marvelous!   I would also like to congratulate Mrs. Helena Bomblatus, who is expecting a baby girl later in the week.  She’s expecting a baby, but not delivering one.  (Helena is the grandmother!)  Best wishes to her and her husband, Lee.  (And also to Rita….. who is actually having the baby!)

Well, gang, that’s about it for me.  Please remember that pushing the elevator button more than once does NOT make it arrive any faster.  (That one’s for you, Vicki!)  Finally, in light of our recent holiday, I would remind you what Mark Twain once said…..   “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it….. ”

God Bless America!    Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS…

EXCEPT FOR POLITICS….. I sail off to the Caribbean for 10 short days and the world falls apart!  Looks like our illustrious A.G, Eric Holder is in big trouble.  (I call him Eric “With-Holder”)  Apparently the I.R.S. is also in deep do-do.  The “Gilligan’s Island” video was the straw that broke the camels back.  (I hope that’s not an offensive term to Islamic terrorists.)  Serves the bandits right, taxing my hard-earned royalty checks.  They even sent me a nasty letter last year, refusing to believe that I paid my taxes late because somebody stole my identity.  (You know what really hurt?  The son of a gun returned my identity and said he didn’t want to be me!  He must have been a book reviewer.)

Speaking of show business……  I just got back from a little book signing gig.  I was signing copies of MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE for senior citizens at Mizner Park in Boca Raton.  (I ended up giving away more books than I sold, but only because the old folks were so sweet, and my mother was watching!)  I wonder if Elmore Leonard started like this?  Hmmm.

And since we’re still on the subject of show business…..  My dear, sweet friend, and fellow cruiser, Judge Susan Marquess, recently shared some wonderful news with me…  her multi-talented son, Tyler, was just nominated for an EMMY AWARD by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences!  (Tyler is the Line Producer of “Let’s Make A Deal.”)  Hopefully, he will receive the EMMY on June 16, during the 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Awards Ceremony.  We will all be rooting for him, especially Uncle Steve who is also in show business, and very popular on certain beaches in the Caribbean.

Speaking of beaches…..  I will soon be describing (in vivid detail!) and with plenty of adjectives, some of the hair-raising snorkel adventures that our crew undertook on the desolate and remote island of St. John!  (Which was actually packed with tourists, but that sounds wimpy.)  Stay tuned, you will love my shark story, the avocado tale, and the incredible snorkeling sisters, Tonya & Shannon!  Most of what you will read will be factual, and the rest will be highly imaginative fiction worthy of a Pulitzer Prize!

Our flight back to Florida was smooth as silk, except for the little snag we encountered at “Customs,” on St. Thomas.  A certain member of our party tried to smuggle out two DEAD iguanas!  (Don’t ask.)  The custom’s officer politely refused to let the smelly creatures out of the country.  He told the would-be smuggler that airline policy clearly stated “one carrion per passenger!”  Leapin’ lizards, that was a really bad joke!  (Some might call it a “reptile dysfunction!”)

Well, on that note I shall take my leave of thee.  I have to start packing for the long ride back to Texas.  (With book signing stops in Tallahassee, Mobile, New Orleans, and Beaumont.)  Hopefully, I won’t run out of books or be offered too many out-of-town checks!  The next time we meet, I shall be back in the lovely Hill Country of Austin!  Be it ever so humble…..

Be well, pay your taxes, and have a wonderful week!  Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

BONUS BLOG (DUE TO BOURBON!)

GOOD EVENING, LADIES AND GERMS (Shecky Greene, 1965) HOW DO YOU LIKE THE CATSKILLS?  THE CHEF MAKES FOOD FIT FOR A KING!  (HERE, KING, HERE KING….. )  Since I have consumed a copious amount of Kentucky Bourbon (In South Carolina!) I have decided to compose a “bonus blog,” which proves that man does not live by  bread (pudding) laced with rum alone!  So….  here’s what happened today…

The morning began with the consumption of the WORLD’S BEST almond croissant and fresh brewed French roast coffee.  Shortly thereafter, Miss Daisy and I meandered over to the Charleston Museum, one of the finest museums in the South.  I got to view the H.L. Hunley submarine, the Confederate submarine that was the VERY FIRST sub to sink a ship!  (A Yankee carpetbagger that was blockading Charleston Harbor!)  The sub sank in 1864, killing Mr. Hunley and seven other crewmen.  It was brought up in 2000 and fully restored to its natural splendor.  (Truly incredible.)  What a treat to view this historic vessel.

Another treat came at lunchtime…..  a mini-feast of Southern vegetables at Jestine’s Country Kitchen.  OMG, the okra and collard greens were incredible.  After lunch we toured one of the historic homes of Charleston, a Winnebago parked on Meeting Street.  (Just Kidding!)  We went to the amazing pre-Civil War home of Joseph Manigault.  (Ever hear of the “Manigault Line?”)  Wait a minute, I think that was the Marginot Line.  Never mind, I was just joking.  (Have I used this “line” before?)

The Manigault family was one of the founding families of Charleston, and all of the streets in the area are named after their children!  (Except Main Street, who was named after their most important cousin.)  Naturally, they were of Huguenot descent, and they made a fortune selling rice.  (One of them became Jewish and sold “converted rice.”)  His name was Shecky Manigault, and he wasn’t fat, just a little “puffy.”  I think he became a “colonel” during the Civil War.

This evening we dined with a prominent Charleston physician and his lovely family.  (Another amazing meal at the Hominy Grill.)  Try to envision a perfect Mint Julep, followed by fried green tomatoes, homemade biscuits, collard greens, red beans and rice, and the best tasting piece of cornmeal crusted grouper with shrimp gravy in the UNIVERSE!  I am almost (key word, “almost”) embarrassed to admit this, but Miss Daisy and I actually split a piece of buttermilk pie for dessert!

In the immortal words of Oscar Wilde, “I can resist anything but temptation!”

We leave for Jacksonville and then Boca Raton tomorrow….. so look for the continuing adventures of “The Galloping Gourmet” and his faithful sidekick, “Crazy Daisy” in the days ahead…..   May the force (and the Alka-Seltzer) be with you!

Col. Rufus T. Firefly, N.U.T.   (a/k/a Doc Yanoff)

DRIVING MISS DAISY….. CRAZY!

WELL, YOU’D THINK THAT MISS PATTY WOULD BE HAPPY TO HEAR MY LIFE STORY ONCE MORE…. BUT NO, SHE WANTS TO READ!  No matter, I  have decided to keep talking anyway.  (She’ll thank me later, after I become a famous author.)  Speaking of driving, we decided to take the Natchez Trace Parkway up to Tupelo, and I am so glad we did!  OMG, what a majestic stretch of Americana.  Simply beautiful.  The Trace (which I wrote about in THE PRESLEY PLOT) is quite old (several thousand years) and quite long (44o miles).  It stretches from Natchez, Mississippi to Nashville, Tennessee, and it is quite a sight to behold.  Over the years, it’s been used by animal herds, Indians, Spanish explorers, white settlers, and one or two mystery novelists.

I’m not sure my friends Max and Lee would love it as much as I do.  The speed limit (for the entire 440 miles!) is 50 m.p.h., and with all the curves, you wouldn’t want to drive much faster.  I got Nellie Belle (our Lincoln) up to 48 or 49 miles per hour, but I was afraid to put the metal to the petal, so to speak.  If it were up to me, I’d drive that speed all the time.  (Most of the trucks on the Interstate are going well over 5o!)  Damn speed demons!

After a brief stop in Birmingham, Alabama, we drove onto Atlanta, which is quite large and very congested.  (Most of the residents drive over 50 mph, too!)  Both cities are impressive, but not near as nice as our present location….. Charleston, South Carolina.  Our lovely, historic hotel is right in the center of town, close to all of the good restaurants.  We had lunch at one of the best, a charming inn called the Hominy Grill.  Miss Daisy ordered the homemade biscuits and a bowl of the she-crab soup.  (To die for!)  Her chauffeur (me) ordered a “craft beer” and a marvelous dish called “shrimp and okra beignets.”  (Simply divine!)

We are now on our way to the Confederate Museum to view a special exhibition highlighting “The War of Northern Aggression.”  (As they call the skirmish is these parts!)  If you’ve been to Charleston, you know that almost all of the houses in the historic district are painted white, black, or gray.  (These are the only colors that the Union Army gave to the residents after the war.)  To this day, the owners must conform to these “historically accurate colors.”  You won’t see chartreuse or pink until you reach the Florida border.

Tomorrow is book signing day at a local church (Charleston has many houses of worship, and is actually known as “The City of Churches.”)  I regret not bringing more copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT, as we could have sold a few hundred copies at each stop!  I have been taking names, addresses, and email contacts, but I should have filled the darn trunk with books!  Ah well, next time.  Who knew that Elvis was so popular?

Tonight we have been invited to a seafood extravaganza, featuring oysters, shrimp, and mussels from local waters.  Hopefully, I will survive this latest round of gluttony, but if they have Abita beer I could be in trouble!  If you don’t hear from me in a day or two, that means I’m having my stomach pumped out!  (Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina…. in the morning, afternoon, and evening!)  Take care, my dear family and friends, and remember me in your prayers.  (Before AND after dinner!)   “Say Levee.”   (I think that’s French!  Greek to me!)

Col. Felonious T. Beauregard, C.S.A.  (and the Merry Miss Daisy)

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