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

HOME SWEET HOME…

BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE… there is no place like home.  (Although the Caribbean is pretty damn close!)  I am happy to report that my month-long book tour was a huge success, and that my publicist (Blind Lemon Lefkowitz) tells me that many copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT and MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE have been ordered on Amazon.com, Kindle, etc.  I would like to thank my domesticated partner for arranging the book signing gigs and listening to the (semi) fictional account of my college love-life.  (For the fifth time!)

Our travels took us from Austin, Texas to St. John in the American Virgin Islands, and in-between there were book signing stops in Tupelo, Mississippi (To visit the birthplace of Elvis Presley), Birmingham (Alabama), Atlanta (Georgia), Charleston (South Carolina), Boca Raton (Florida), Tallahassee (Florida), and Baton Rouge (Louisiana).  All told, we logged about 4,000 miles, and saw some lovely spots in this gorgeous country of ours.

The highlight of our trip was spending a week with two other couples in a luxurious villa overlooking Cruz Bay on the island of St. John.  I would like to thank Dr. and Mrs. Max Talbott and Lee and Helena Bomblatus (world famous snorkel enthusiasts) for their company and invaluable guidance on the consumption of rum. I would also like to thank Johnny Depp for letting us use his home, but I suggest that he remove the mirrors on the ceiling.  (I saw some truly frightening things!)

Along the way, we met some remarkable folks and gained a large number of new blog followers.  I would like to welcome a few of them, including….. Miss Nina Holcomb (hostess at the Elvis Presley Birthplace), Miss Ashley at the Tupelo Starbucks location, Miss Connie (who works at the Tupelo Hardware Store and directed us to the grave of Elvis Presley’s twin brother), the mayors of Atlanta and Charleston, Tonya and Shannon (the lovely snorkeling sisters from Pennsylvania), and all of the kind and generous folks who listened to my bad jokes and bought some books.  You all made this a memorable trip.

At the request of my financial advisor (Jesse James Lipschitz) I will now spend the next week catching up on bills.  (Always fun)  I know that some of you folks have been trying to reach me by phone, so please do not be alarmed if your call is directly forwarded to the NSA in Washington.  (I am a Verizon customer.)  You know, I wish these folks would “mine their own business” and leave me alone.  I’m not saying I don’t like the feds, but I’m starting to agree with one of my literary idols, Mark Twain, who said…..  “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog!”

Well, you’ll have to excuse me now, I’m off to bankruptcyville .  If you would like to help me pay for my recent trip (or the upcoming jaunt to Belize) please send cash in a brown paper bag.  (No coins, please.)  I will send you a charitable donation receipt for the I.R.S.  (But don’t blame me if you get audited!)  We’d both be better off if you just ordered a copy of THE PRESLEY PLOT or MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE!

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

Doc Yanoff

P.S.  I almost forgot to welcome Ms. Maggie Baum-Wilson to my blog!  Welcome aboard, young lady.  I look forward to meeting you when you get home!

 

 

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)

TUPELO IS TOO MUCH!

DO YOU REMEMBER THIS SONG?  “TOO MUCH?”

THE SONG WAS RECORDED BY ELVIS PRESLEY AND RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC ON SEPTEMBER 2, 1956…..  It quickly became a number one hit across the nation, but after today, I am convinced that the song was written about my book tour!  Why, you ask?  Because today was simply incredible!  We began the day by meeting Miss Ashley, a lovely young lady who worked at Starbucks.  She was kind enough to give us the phone number of a relative who knew THE KING.  (In case we wanted to ask a few questions!)  Our first stop in town was at the Tupelo Hardware Co., where Elvis bought his first guitar!   The young lad paid cash!  No strings attached!  (Actually, there were six strings, but who’s counting?)

Next stop, the Elvis Presley birthplace.  The gift shop was happy to feature my first mystery novel, THE PRESLEY PLOT, and we got a private tour of the facility!  Patty and I got to see some amazing sites, not available to the general public.  What a treat!  After a book signing/speaking engagement, we sold two cases of books!  We actually sold every book we had, and we also donated some copies to the “building fund.”  (They are building a new museum next year.)  The highlight of our tour was a special visit to Elvis Presley’s birthplace and private chapel.  OMG, was that interesting!  Wait until you hear the delightful “ghost stories” about the King’s house!  Fascinating stuff to be sure.

After a marvelous lunch (crab cakes and crawfish!) we drove out to the Priceville Cemetery, where Elvis Presley’s twin brother is buried.  Talk about spooky places!  Patty and I walked all around the grounds, but we couldn’t locate the grave of Jesse Garon Presley, the little lad who died at birth.  (Elvis Presley’s twin brother!)  When the sun began to set, it became incredibly scary, so we left.  (Remember the part in my book about the Choctaw Bonepickers??)  Some of the graves dated back to the Civil War, and there was absolutely nobody out there but us chickens.  (Thus we “hightailed it” back to the car before we wuz grabbed by a ‘taint!)  Yeah, I’ve got some photos to prove how crazy we are!

After signing some more autographs in the hotel lobby, we were taken to a fancy dinner by some dudes from the Chamber of Commerce.  They took us to the semi-famous Tupelo Grill, where we feasted upon the VERY BEST FISH we have ever tasted.  (Fresh gulf coast grouper, lightly fried in cornmeal, and topped with a bourbon-pecan sauce that was simply amazing.)  Good Lord, I am actually thinking about moving to Tupelo!

Tomorrow we leave for Birmingham, Alabama, and then it’s on to Atlanta, Georgia.  The magnolia trees are in full bloom, so you can imagine how pretty and fragrant the world seems to us.  (Patty is now introducing me as “Rhett” and I am telling folks that her name is “Scarlett.”  Unfortunately, her last name is “Fever!”)

Well, y’all take care, and cum back and see us sumtime….   Until then, hush my puppies and grind them grits….   Love to all,

Col. Beauregard Yanoff and Miss Primrose Patty, C.S.A.

CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE!

HALF A LEAGUE, HALF A LEAGUE, HALF A LEAGUE ONWARD!  (Why only half a league?  Another major league baseball strike?)  Who knows.  CANNON TO RIGHT OF THEM, CANNON TO LEFT OF THEM!  (Oh wait, those are toll booths.  My bad.)  Well, as you can see, my spring road trip/book signing tour got off to poetic and humorous start.  (Surprise, surprise.)  How so you ask?  Well, my darling wife decided to wash my sneakers the night before we left.  (She wanted me to make a good impression when we reached Tupelo!)  My friends, sneakers take a while to dry.  I won’t belabor the point, but let’s just say that the incident encouraged me to write a new screenplay…..  “Honey, I Shrunk The Keds!”

I could have reacted violently, or “conversely” I could have let bygones by bygones.  I took the high ground.  (I left her at a hilltop rest stop!)  Then I realized she had my wallet in her purse, so I returned to the scene of the crime.  How could she ruin my new sneakers?  Well, my friends, you are never too old to learn something stupid.  Thus began our memorable road trip!

Our first (planned) stop was Baton Rouge, which in French means “Baton Rouge.”  (Fooled you, didn’t I?)  In English, Baton Rouge means “red stick.”  (The city was built on the site of a tall cypress tree, redish in color.)  It must have been a mighty big stick, and it certainly has affected the residents.  (Most of them talk softly, but carry a big stick.)  I often talk softly and perform a little shtick.

According to a recent article in Garden and Gun Magazine (one of the best magazines in America) the very best hamburger in the country is to be found at Fat Cow Burgers in Baton Rouge….. close to the L.S.U. Campus.  Naturally, I had to stop there and see for myself.  Patty and I ordered the featured burger, which consisted of the following ingredients….  A toasted “potato bun” with a hand ground 8 oz. angus burger topped with Benton’s apple smoked bacon, Gruyere cheese, caramelized onion, fresh arugula, sliced tomato, and….. horseradish mayonnaise!  (Accompanied by thick, hand cut french fries!)  The verdict?  OMG.  They were truly wonderful!  (The draft Abita beer was also a nice touch.)  If you’re within 1,000 miles of Baton Rouge, just go.  You’ll thank me later!

Hey, today is Mother’s Day, and since I have the most wonderful mother in the world, I want to remind you to call your own mom and tell her how much you love her.  If you can’t get through, call my mom.  (But don’t call collect!)  I already tried that, and she won’t accept the charges.  (Hey, what’s up with that?)

Earlier today, I drove up to Tupelo, Mississippi in a VERY unusual fashion.  I was completely naked!  (Just kidding)  I drove up on the Natchez Trace Parkway, one of the oldest and most scenic routes in America.  The experience was nothing short of incredible, and I will go into more detail later.  My God, do we have a beautiful country!

Well, I’ve been on the road (actually inside a car) for the last 6 hours, so I need to bathe and go sleepyville.  I will write again soon, so look for my next post!  If you’ve enjoyed my writing, just remember….. stealing ideas from one person is plagiarism. Stealing from a group of people is called research!

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

HEADS OR TALES?

Well, you can have both when you order a copy of MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE!  There is a colorful head on the cover, (I call it a “skulleton”) and inside you will find a thrilling tale of mayhem, mystery, and murder!  The book, as you have probably surmised, is now available in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.com!  That’s right, happy days are here again!

Meanwhile, in order to keep THE PRESLEY PLOT front and center, I will soon be embarking on a lengthy book signing/speaking engagement tour, and my first stop will be at the Elvis Presley Birthplace & Community Center in Tupelo, Mississippi.  Yes, my little hound dogs, yours truly will be speaking to the good folks of Tupelo on the weekend of May 11 & 12.  Hopefully, I will also be negotiating a profitable business deal with the gift shop on premises.  (I would like them to feature THE PRESLEY PLOT in the book section.)  Soooo….. if you’re in the area, come on by and say hello.  I will also be judging an “Elvis Look-Alike Contest,” so there should be plenty of levity and some memorable photography.

Shortly after I’m lynched, I mean, lauded, in Tupelo, I leave for my spring book tour in the (not so far) east.  In conjunctivitis with Aberdeen Bay Publishing, I have arranged to make appearances in Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Atlanta, Savannah, and Jacksonville.  Along the way I intend to sample some Southern comfort, and some bourbon, too.

My Dixie Diaspora will continue with a special guest appearance in Boca Raton, Florida.  Whence I arrive in Palm Beach County I will be dining with “The Donald.”  Unfortunately, I am referring to Donald Duck from Disney World, not the guy with the strange hair-do.  The last time I had lunch with Donald Duck I got stuck with the bill. (“The bill?”)

The piece de resistance of my personal and persistent perseverance will be a ten-day period of peace and pleasantness in a perfect playground of pleasure.  (No, not Paraguay.)  The island of St. John!  Now that I am a famous author, I have an entourage, so me and my posse (3 couples) will be heading down to the Caribbean for some R & R.  (Incidentally, the would be “Rest & Rum!”)  While we are there, we intend to soak up some rays, (which is better than stepping on them) snorkel, and consume a prodigious amount of rum.

Writing is brutal, but somebody has to do it!  Besides, one must live for today.  Need I remind you that Austin is number four on Kim Jong-un’s bombing list?  (I blame those damn hippies downtown.)  Little Kim is the son of Kim Jong-il, who I nicknamed “Kim Jong-mentallly-ill.”  The young man, who bears a striking resemblance to the Pillsbury Dough-boy, is a tyrant.  Do not be fooled by his recent meeting with Ambassador Rodman!  Kim Jong-un is not a “Seoul Man!”

But I digress…..  Where was I?  Oh yeah, in the Caribbean.  Well, after I damage my liver, I will make my way back to the Lone Star State and begin marketing book number 3 in the Adam Gold Mystery Series.  (This one is called “DEVIL’S COVE,” and it is set entirely in the state of Texas!)  Naturally, I will keep those cards and letters coming while I am on the road.  Which reminds me….  Did you hear that a truck ran over Willie Nelson’s foot?  Yeah, that’s right, he was “playing on the road again!”  (Ouch!)

Well, take care, have a wonderful week, and remember to duck and cover if Kim starts shooting.  Hopefully, we will meet again next Sunday!   Love to all,

Doc (or should I change my name to “Duck?”) Yanoff.   (I wouldn’t mind the change if I get “top billing!”)