BACK FROM THE “BIG EASY!”

NO, I WASN’T VISITING KIM KARDASHIAN!  I recently returned from New Orleans, which as you may know, is often called “The Crescent City.”  Personally, I think it should be called “The Croissant City.”  After all, it’s very French, very hot, and very flaky!

And speaking of flakes, our illustrious group had a splendid time.  After Commander’s Palace, we dined at the Red Fish Grill and the Bombay Club, and both were superb.  Especially good was the alligator sausage, and that’s no crock!  As a courtesy to my readers, I shall leave out some rather good jokes about “boudin balls” and “dirty rice.”  (They were X-rated, and this is a family blog!)

Incidentally, I would like to thank Harrah’s Casino for allowing me to play some poker during my stay.  As usual, I got very lucky and won a great deal of money, which I promptly spent on Sazerac Cocktails!  The biggest pot of the trip was won (by me) with two pair, and on that hand alone, the Mighty Cobra raked in over $500!   All in all, it was a lovely and prosperous way to spend the afternoon.

Now that the “Bourbon & Beignets Book Tour” is over I can concentrate on my upcoming radio interview.  I am pleased to report that yours truly will be returning to the “National Book Club” on August 18th.  (We will be discussing my first non-fiction book, THE SECOND MOURNING.)  As you might recall, the program follows “Imus In The Morning,” and can be heard on KLRG (Little Rock) and WTAN & WDCF (Tampa).  The entire interview will also be streamed live on the World Wide Web.

So what else is new?  Well, the CDC office in New York City just announced that germs are easily spread with a handshake.  Fortunately, the most popular greeting in New York is the middle finger.  Meanwhile, the New York Times published a series of articles stating that the current marijuana laws are “useless” and “outdated.”  (Just like the newspaper!)  Congress is on summer break.  From what, I don’t know!

In closing, I would like to share a couple of photographs that were taken at the Elvis Presley Center during our recent book tour.  (We were promoting THE GRACELAND GANG.)  I may have posted some of these, but they’re worth a second look.  (Mainly because I’m not in them!)  I’m not very photographic.  My wife told me that she’s seen better faces on a clock!  (Ouch!)  Yeah, well she has skinny legs.  (I told her that I’ve seen better legs on a piano!)  (Double Ouch!)

Take care, gentle readers, and have yourself a great week!  Love to all …..

Doc Yanoff

 

gracelandgangcoverelvispillsselo 2013

THE RAGIN’ CAJUN!

GOOD MORNING, GENTLE READERS, and please forgive the tardy post, but once again I find myself in the great state of Louisiana, driving across the Atchafalaya Basin on my way to New Orleans.  (Actually, I arrived Sunday morning, but the above sounds more dramatic.)  In any case, we made it across the swamp without incident, except for one odd inquiry that came from our navigator.  (Miss Patty)  My wife asked me if I could explain the difference between a swamp and a bayou.  I told her that a swamp has no current, but in the second instance, the water will run “by-you.”  (Believe it or not, she accepted that explanation!)

This week’s book tour has brought us to the Adolescent City in fine style.  (Wait a minute, I think that was supposed to be the “Crescent City.”)  Then again, maybe not.  In any case we are staying at the Windsor Court Hotel, a lovely establishment near the French Quarter.  Being the consomme marketer, I mean, consummate marketer, I immediately made friends with some of my fellow tourists and spread the word about my newest masterpiece, THE SECOND MOURNING.  On that note, I would like to welcome some new fans and blog followers, namely, Crystal & Madison and Amy & William, each from the wild and wonderful state of Louisiana.

Our culinary adventures began at the Carousel Lounge in the French Quarter and then to Commander’s Palace for dinner.  As you can imagine, it was quite a feast….  After a round of Sazerac Cocktails and some champagne, we dined on Bourbon & Coffee coated quail, white shrimp and grits, turtle soup, fried oysters, and the piece of resistance…..  bread pudding souffle!  (I know, life is tough for a famous mystery author!)

After dinner we managed to stroll into Harrah’s Casino, where gambling history was made not by the Mighty Cobra (Me) but by the Princess of Portugal, a/k/a Helena Bomblatus, the queen of Creole Poker!  I will not bore you with the gory details, but let’s just say that our dear friend was dealt a straight, a flush, and  four of a kind, in succession!  Needless to say, the dear woman won a small fortune, and she is definitely paying for dinner tonight.

This morning began with another culinary feast at Mother’s Restaurant, where Baron (Lee) Bomblatus and I consumed a hefty portion of eggs, grits, maple ham, and home made biscuits.  (Washed down with some mighty fine chicory coffee.)  The ladies in our group (escorted by Dr. Max Talbott) just set off for cooking school.  Thus, I find myself faced with a dilemma….  shall I write another chapter of my new mystery novel….. or play some Texas Hold ‘Em at the casino?  What would Elmore Leonard do?  What would Dashiell Hammett do?  What would Raymond Chandler do?

DEAL ME IN, BOYS!  I’M ON MY WAY!

So much for practicing one’s craft.  Hey, maybe my craft is playing poker.  (I am a crafty guy.)  Well, I guess you know where I’m heading.  Fortunately, the casino is right across the street from our hotel.  Assuming I win big, which is usually the case, I am going to take my friends to Cafe Du Monde for some beignets and coffee au lait!  (What a sport)  Personally, I would rather consume a bowl of bananas foster, which incidentally, was NOT named after the great Southern composer, Stephen Foster, the “Father of American Music.”  The dish, created in 1951 at Brennan’s Restaurant, was actually named for Richard Foster, a friend of Owen Brennan.  (By the way, you are welcome to use me as a “life line!”)

Well, my friends, I must bid you adieu.  And believe me, “I do” hope I win some money!  Bonjour until next Sunday…..   love to all…..   les bon temps roule!

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

DON’T TOUCH THAT DIAL!

UNLESS YOU’RE TAKING A SHOWER…..  Then you may need some soap.  Now don’t get yourself in a “lather,” but I have two major announcements…..  On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, I will be featured (almost live) on a nationally broadcast radio program called “THE BOOK CLUB.”  The show will begin at noon, eastern time, and will be carried from coast to coast on WTAN-AM 1340 in Tampa, Florida, and on KLRG-AM 880 in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The interview will also be streamed live via the Internet on:  www.tantalk1340.com

The host of the show is Jack Drucker, former Vice-President of Harper and Row Publishers.  The program is quite popular and follows the Don Imus Show on stations around the country.  (I hope I don’t get any basketball questions)

Jack and I will be discussing my third mystery novel, DEVIL’S COVE.  Most exciting, the interview will later be broadcast worldwide, in well over 125 countries!  (and Louisiana)  Since all of my books have been translated (into French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese) this exposure should result in a large increase in book sales.  (and more foreign marriage proposals.)

Speaking of radios, did you know that I once dated MISS EMERSON?  (I called her that because she was easy to pick up at night!)  She tried to “turn me on” but that only “turned me off” so we were never “in tune.”  (I could have made a few jokes about “frequency” but some of my blog followers are under 16.)

Speaking of X-rated events….  wait until you hear about the couple we had dinner with last night!  A lovely couple, who used the names “Debra and Fred.”  (I have no idea what their real names are.)  They had some great “convention tales,” but I’m a little suspicious of them.  (The beautiful woman who called herself “Debra” travels around a lot and had one of those very common last names… the ones they use in the Witness Protection Program!)

In closing, I would once again like to thank all of you for making my literary dreams comes true.  I could not have done it without you, and frankly, it wouldn’t be as much fun without your friendship and support.  Next Sunday’s blog will be sent from….. the Caribbean!  I am off on another book tour/tax deductible winter cruise!  And yes, the rumors are true, I will be scouting out locations for the movie version of THE PIRATE PATH!

Until we meet again, take care, and love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

 

GOBBLE GOBBLE!

HAPPY HOLIDAY!   Did you know that the very first Thanksgiving was held in a car?  Yep, in a PLYMOUTH!  (The Pilgrims couldn’t afFORD anything else and they didn’t want to DODGE the party!)  You can’t make these things up, folks.  (Well, actually you can, but I won’t go there.)  Anyway, a lot of Americans think this wonderful holiday has something to do with Captain John Smith and his main squeeze Pocahontas, but that is simply not the case.  I will admit that Captain Smith (almost) lost his head over her, but that’s only because he was rude.  (He kept pointing at her during dinner and then, after some cheap corn whiskey, he tried to poke her with his index finger.  You should never,ever, poke a hontas!

As you can see, I know a great deal about indigent people.  (Poor Indians)   Did you know that Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan?  Did you know that her uncle lived in New York City?  (Yeah, his name was MANHATTAN)  Did you know that one of her descendants was Nancy Reagan?  (This is actually true.)  But enough about her…..  let’s get to the great holiday known for peace, love, and wonderful sales at the mall.

Interestingly, seven other nations celebrate THANKSGIVING!  (Originally a day to celebrate a good harvest.)  I, of course, celebrate life, liberty, family, friends, and steadily increasing sales of THE PRESLEY PLOT.  (Do I have my priorities straight, or what?)  We can all thank (no pun intended) FDR for making the day official.  At his urging, Congress agreed to the 4th Thursday in November.  FDR was an interesting fellow.  Did you know that he was the first president to play Texas Hold ‘Em Poker?  Sure, don’t you remember the NEW DEAL?

He also started the tradition of “pardoning” a turkey.  (To make sure the herd continued.)  This year our president intends to pardon Susan Rice!  (Hey, come on, that was funny!)

Thanksgiving at our house in very, well, international.  How so?  We have a TURKEY, sitting in GREECE, and there are people with ROMAN hands and RUSSIAN fingers waiting for the bird to arrive.  Last year my wife burnt the stuffing, which stuck to the bird.  I had to kick the stuffing out of that fowl weather friend, but we did have a tasty meal.  By the way, speaking of reasons to celebrate…..  TODAY WAS THE BIG DAY!    On this day, in 1955, ELVIS signed his contract with RCA, which included all of the famous sound tracks from Sun Studios in Memphis.  I’m not sure if Elvis sold many records (ha ha) but I do know that the contract stipulated that the King produce eight sides per year, and that he received a 5% royalty.  (Which is half of what I get from Aberdeen Bay Publishing.)

Well, I must go do some prep work for the big meal, so I will say goodbye until we meet again.  I have sooooo much to be thankful for this year, and I know that most of you do too.  We have a bunch of loved ones coming for dinner and when they all get here, I intend to remind everyone that our Founding Father (George Washington) put it best when he said that our young country should use the day “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.”

Well said, General!  Be grateful!  Be thankful!  Be well!

Happy Thanksgiving and love to all…..

Doc Yanoff (The Prince of Puritans!)

THE ROYAL WEDDING!

NO, I AM NOT REFERRING TO PRINCE WILLIAM AND CATHERINE MIDDLETON!

Although, they did have a nice affair.  I am referring to my own princess….. MISS RACHEL S. YANOFF!    Who has recently been wed and is now going by the name of Rachel Zell.  As I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, my eldest daughter got married last Sunday!  Her hubby’s last name is Zell, which means that she is now FURTHER back in the alphabet!  (I don’t think she can get any further, thank God.)   The Grand Affair was held on a picture perfect day in Austin.  Sunny and mid-seventies.  Not a cloud in the sky.  The entire event was held at a private mansion on the shores of Lake Austin, which, thankfully, was completely filled with water and even had some lovely white swans swimming behind the marriage platform!

We were all thrilled that most of our guests from the east and Florida were able to attend.  (Hurricane Sandy made things a little dicey for some.)  Nonetheless, Rachel and Adam had a beautiful ceremony and then partied late into the night under a magnificent tent specially erected for their wedding.  The food, music, and most of all the company, were nothing short of marvelous.  The attendees drank tons of wine (always a good thing) and danced continuously.

One of the many highlights (aside from my minor accident with the gold cart) was the round of toasts that folks gave on behalf of the bride and groom.  My toast was typically brilliant, but the best toast was given by Rachel’s gorgeous sister, Rebecca.  OMG, did she hit a home run!  She was cool, calm, and articulate……. and funny as hell.  Miss Rebecca had everyone (including her father!) in stitches revealing some of Rachel’s “deep, dark secrets” of childhood.  The lady is a natural born speaker.  The Best Man also gave a fantastic speech.  As a former collegiate speech teacher, I gave them both a grade of A.   (Now they have to study for the mid-term!)

In case you’re wondering, I did manage to sneak in a mention of THE PRESLEY PLOT!   I told the assembled guests that I felt funny giving a long speech, so with their permission, I would just read my ENTIRE novel!   (I then offered to curtail my reading to the first 10 chapters.)   Surprisingly, there were no takers.   Ah well, a “profit” is never appreciated in his own land.

This coming Saturday, Rachel and Adam are off on their honeymoon.   Those crazy kids are flying to London to stay at my favorite hotel in Europe (The Egerton House in Kensington) and then after 3 or 4 days in jolly old England, they are flying to Cape Town, South Africa!  The city is incredibly lovely, and while they are there, they plan to go on a mid-week jungle safari!  (After being around my family the last few days you would think they had their fill of wild animals!)   But noooooo…… they want to see some Lions and Elephants and Zebras and other creatures of the brush.  (I hope they meet Tarzan.)   I knew Adam liked “games,” but in a jungle??)   To each their own.

Now that the wedding bills are rolling in, I would urge you to buy hundreds of copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT to help defray the costs of this lovely event.  (Nice try, Steve.)   All right, never mind the books, how about remembering me in your prayers?  Do they still send debtors to Australia?  Hey, that would be a great way to get a free trip down under.  Just file for personal bankruptcy and then start packing!  God, I’m so smart…  why didn’t I think of that earlier?

Well, G’Day, mates, I’m off to file Chapter 11 and pack my scuba gear for the Great Barrier Reef.  I will write whence I land in Sydney, or with Sydney if he wants to come along.  Until then, I remain your faithful outback guide and Aboriginal Author……

Love to all,

Crocodile Yandee      (a/k/a Doc Yanoff)

NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

WHERE DO I BEGIN?   Well, let’s start with the exciting news that my dear friend Diane Gee has recently shared with me…..  (Diane is one of the charming ladies that run the office of Dr. Michael Williamson, another friend, and the world’s BEST periodontist!)  I have know Diane for over 10 years, but only recently did her wonderful brother Steve (probably named after me) start playing professional poker.  Steve now spends a great deal of time in Las Vegas, and will soon (October 28th) be spending even more time there because……  Steve Gee just made it to the final table of THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER!!

I am very excited about all of this, especially because I have formally suggested Steve’s new “professional nickname.”  Are you ready for this?  All right, Steve will now be known as “THE G-MAN.”  I love the connection to his last name, and the fact that he is connected to the Feds.  (Although I think an I.R.S. connection would have been better, because if Steve wins the whole enchilada, he will receive $8,500,ooo!!!!!)

Good luck, buddy!  We here in Austin will be rooting for you!  (And don’t forget to hold up a copy of THE PRESLEY PLOT whenever the camera swings to you!)  The Elvis t-shirts are on the way.

MORE EXCITING NEWS……   Last night’s Literary Salon Event was a huge success!  The audience was alive and kicking, and we had a marvelous time discussing mystery novels, publishing, and the lack of parking spaces at the Wildflower Terrace.  (Which is a very lovely venue, I might add.)  Our wonderful hostess, Terri Schexnayder, held a pre-seminar party in her brand new apartment, and some of the guests (i.e., Ms. Beverly Horne) wore Halloween costumes.  The wine and food were greatly appreciated, and so was the post-seminar book signing.  The lovely and talented Helen Ginger was my co-panelist, and together we sold many, many books.  SO THANK YOU AGAIN, TERRI!

After the mystery seminar, I joined some dear friends for a late-night Cajun snack.  (Which consisted of great fried oysters, catfish, and Abita Beer.)  I must say, it was a wonderful conclusion to a most wonderful day.  And by the way, since one of the couples (Max and Barbara Talbott, of the Chateau Talbott Family in France) was at our table, I will end this post by mentioning something about their home state, Indiana…..

Thirty-six years ago today, ELVIS PRESLEY performed a memorable concert in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  The show was held at the Memorial Coliseum, and there were roughly 14,000 people in attendance.  The crowd was VERY enthusiastic, and just by coincidence, Elvis had just released a wonderful rendition of “How Great Thou Art.”

Naturally, the next day’s headline read:  “How Great He Was!”   Those in attendance swear that this was one of The King’s best shows….. and I don’t doubt it.   I just wonder if Elvis began the concert by asking the crowd….   “Hoosier Mama?”

A “Hoosier” is a resident of Indiana, but the etymology of the word is actually unkown.  (Some folks think the word comes from “hoo,” meaning high or hill in the old Angl0-Saxon language, or “hoozer” which means large)  Whatever the case, the good people of Indiana made Elvis feel quite welcome, and we should do our best to welcome them to Texas.  (Here we have a sneaky reference to my lovely birthday gift to Max Talbott, which will certainly get him “high.”)  Think Bourbon.

Well, gang, I must run…..  Sunday is my sweet Rachel’s wedding day (my oldest daughter) and we are putting together “gift boxes” for our out-of-town guests.  The story of Rachel’s wedding will be told in future blogs…. and you will not want to miss a single installment!  I shall write again soon……  Love to all……

Doc Yanoff, The Father of the Bride!