GIMME THAT OLD TIME RELIGION!

GOOD MORNING!  PESACH SAMEACH!  HAPPY EASTER!

Verily I say unto thee…  Did you hear about the Jewish gentleman who thought he was a matzah ball?  The psychiatrist told him not to worry, it will “pass over!”  Oy vay, now we’re rolling.  (Which is what some matzah balls do!)  All right, here’s an oldie, but a goodie…

KNOCK KNOCK.

Who’s there?

Matzah.

Matzah who?

“You matzah been a beautiful baby, you matzah been a beautiful… ”

Incidentally, did you know that the above song was written by the great Johnny Mercer, and recorded by Bing Crosby and Bobby Darin?  (Twenty years apart!)

Passover, as many of you know, is the day that Jews commemorate their liberation from slavery in ancient Egypt.  (Yeah, that’s right, we invented slavery, too)  Personally, I have no problem with short-term bondage situations, but that’s just me.  In any case, the Israelites (and their cousins the Stalagmites) were instructed by Charlton Heston, I mean, Moses, to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a slaughtered spring lamb, and upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord would pass over the first-born in these homes.  My own parents followed this ritual for many years, but before long flies became a problem and the neighbors filed a complaint.  (Anti-semitic bastards!)  Any questions about Passover?

All right, let’s move on to Easter, which is a Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I’m not an authority on Easter, but I know it is preceded by something called Lint.  Again, I’m not positive, but I believe this is where we get the term “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”  I think that people who celebrate Easter are often called Easterners.  In any case, just like their Jewish brethren, Christians have some fun customs associated with the holiday.  Easter egg hunting is one of the most popular.  (Rich Christians often hide the whole dang chicken! )  Was that a “fowl” joke?  What can I say, I’m “hen-pecked.”  Where was I?

The Easter bunny has become symbolic of the holiday, and the foundation of a very tantalizing stew.  (Here come the emails from PETA!)  Chill out, you vegetarians.  There are plenty of bunnies (no Playboy jokes, please) and besides, the darn things multiply very quickly.  (They are also good at division.)  Hey, did you know that “vegetarian” is the Navajo world for “bad hunter?”  My wife makes rabbit stew every year.  (The darn stuff is hare today and gone tomorrow!)  By the way, do you know how to make a rabbit stew?  Keep him waiting outside.

Goodness, these jokes are really lame.  Speaking of lame, how did a rabbit’s foot become a lucky charm?  (The poor rabbit wasn’t so lucky.)  I think it’s a barbaric custom.  I carry frog’s legs.  (and a chilled bottle of chablis.)  Hopalong Cassidy did the same thing.  (Finish the joke yourself!)

Well, now that I have hopefully shed some light on our religious holidays, I would like to remind our viewing audience that MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE has recently been published and will soon be available on Amazon.com   (The Kindle Version is actually available now!)  I want to thank each and every one of my 4,375 blog followers for your continued interest and support.  None of these literary accomplishments would have been possible without you!  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I wish you and your families the very best.  If you happen to be an atheist….. God help you!  (Oops, I’m afraid that won’t be possible.  Sorry, Charlie, you’re on your own!)

Love to all…..   Doc Yanoff.

OUR SHIP FINALLY CAME IN!

WELL, NOT OUR SHIP, THE GRAND PRINCESS, BUT THE…..  CARNIVAL TRIUMPH, which is still illmobile.  (Actually, it’s “In Mobile.”)  Mobile, Alabama, that is.  I feel sorry for those passengers.  At first they had a sinking feeling, and then they had a stinking feeling.  Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured.  (Not counting wounded pride.)  As many of you know, we were down in Cozumel, Mexico, anchored along side of the Triumph.  (Happily, we were NOT down wind.)  Being a writer (of sorts) I quickly wrote a screenplay about the incident, but now I need a title.  (This is where you guys come in.)  Kindly review the below titles and let me know which one you prefer:

A.  “Shitty Shitty Bang Bang.”

B.  “Sh_t   Floats.”

C.  “Ship of Stools.”     (My apologies to Katherine Anne Porter.)

By the way, did you folks know that Katherine Anne Porter was a native Texan?  Yep, she was born in Indian Creek, Texas.  (Spent many years in Kyle, Texas!)  Now here’s the interesting part…..  Did you know that she married a man named….. Pressley??   (As the distinguished author of THE PRESLEY PLOT I make it my business to know this meaningless stuff!)  Ms. Porter married a dude named Eugene Pressley in 1930.  (No connection to our beloved rock ‘n’ roll singer.)  Her first (and only) novel was “Ship of Fools,” which was published in 1962.  The book helped her win the Pulitzer Prize, but to be perfectly honest, it’s not half as good as THE PRESLEY PLOT or MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE.   (Still, it’s ironic that a “Porter” would write about ships, eh?)

AND NOW FOR SOME INTERESTING (NON-LITERARY) NEWS……….    I went to a surprise party yesterday.  (Frankly, I’m always surprised when I’m invited to a party.)  Judge Susan Marquess celebrated her 39th birthday in grand style, complete with homemade margaritas, delicious Mexican food, cold beer, homemade margaritas, birthday cake, and homemade margaritas.  From what I remember, I had a great time, and so did everyone else.  The party was hosted by Her Honor’s wonderful children…..  Kellie, Aimee, Ryan, Greg, and Tyler.  After dinner, we all participated in the first annual South Austin Punchbowl Poker Tournament.

INCREDIBLY……  despite the presence of The Cobra (Me) and the Legal Eagle (Susan) the tournament was won by a relatively new player….. a young man with a very bright future in the murky world of high-stakes poker….. Mr. Jackson “The Whip” Whitaker.   The nom de guerre came about for two reasons.  Mr. Jackson severely “beat us,” and the lad is “smart as a whip.”  Thank God he’s not old enough to go into a casino!

Congratulations to the lovely and talented Mr. and Mrs. Lee Bomblatus (of Round Rock, Texas) who recently discovered that their wonderful daughter, Rita Hennecke-York, is pregnant with a….. baby girl!  (I humbly suggest the name of “Stephanie.”)  Rita and Michael are on “Cloud Nine,” and we all wish them the very best.  They will make wonderful parents!

Dr. Laura Talbott is in town this weekend!  As many of you know, the beautiful and extremely talented violinist is a professor of music at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.  When she comes to visit, there are “no strings attached,” and she always hits the “right notes.”  Dr. Talbott will be “fiddling” around with her family today, and we wish her a safe and pleasant visit.

SINCE A FEW OF YOU HAVE ASKED…..   THE PRESLEY PLOT continues to inch toward the best-seller list, and believe it or not, I now have 12 blog followers in Afghanistan!  (Including a brilliant new friend, Steven W. Barnes, who I met during our last cruise.)  Be safe, Steven, and send back some of my money!  (The guy is a dang good poker player!)   MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE (Book Two) is at the publisher and should be available sometime in March.  DEVIL’S COVE, Book Three, has just finished the editing process and should be ready for submission by the end of the month.  I will send a post when the books are ready to be ordered.

As I type this blog post, I keep wondering if illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet Soup.  (Is that odd?)  Finally, since we have mentioned babies today, I would like to leave you with a rhetorical question to ponder…..  If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, then what is baby oil made from?

Just asking.

Have a wonderful week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

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)

BREAKING NEWS!

WHO NEEDS NORWAY?  I say no way, Norway, you can keep that dang Nobel Prize for Boring Literature…..  I have some really exciting news!

As some (most?) of you know, I was sailing through the Panama Canal on the day that the publisher sent me the final galleys for THE PRESLEY PLOT.   Since I was preparing for a prolonged jungle trip (To visit the Embera Indians) my mind was on survival gear and head-hunting techniques, and so I did a VERY poor job of proofreading my own manuscript!  Nobody to blame but myself, although I still think the tribal witch doctor put a curse on me.  (He was a Jerry Lee Lewis fan.)

Anyway….. the good folks at Aberdeen Bay Publishing, having completely sold out of all the first editions of THE PRESLEY PLOT (and recognizing genius when they see it) have kindly agreed to make ALL OF THE CORRECTIONS for the second edition!  For me, this is wonderful news.  I was really annoyed that I did such a poor job proofreading, but now I have a chance to redeem myself.  Frankly, this is probably the only reason that I did not win the Nobel Prize.  (What else could it be?)  In any case, the second edition will be out shortly and available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Googlebooks.com, etc.    If you bought a first edition and want to trade it in, just let me know and I will be happy to make an exchange.  (I intend to give the first editions to a charitable organization.)  However, I understand that error laden books are actually valuable if and when the author becomes famous….. think of the stamps that are so valuable because of printing errors.  So…. you might want to hold on to your first copy.

And since we are on the subject of publishing…..  the brilliant acquisitions editor at Aberdeen Bay Books (who is also an accomplished author) has requested that I promptly forward a copy of my second mystery novel titled….. MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE.  I am hoping to hear something positive in a month or so, and I will keep you informed of my progress.  Keep your fingers (and some of your toes) crossed for me!  My editor, a wonderful professional named Karl Monger, actually enjoyed the second book more than the first, which is a very good sign.  Of course, as you know by now, there are no guarantees in the competitive world of publishing.

Finally, I would like to remind those that live in or near Austin, that I will be a featured speaker/panelist at a mystery writers seminar this coming Wednesday.  The event is being sponsored by the Austin Literary Salon.  The location of the event will be at Wildflower Terrace Apartments, 3801 Berkman Drive.  (In their main auditorium)  The festivities begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.    As I mentioned previously, there will be a panel discussion, a Q & A session, and then a book reading and book signing.  Admission is almost free, and a gourmet dinner prepared by a world famous French chef will be available.  (For the modest sum of $12,000 per person, not including wine.)  What a bargain!  What a steal!  Buy a book!  Get a meal!

All right, enough with the marketing routine.  If you’re free, come down and join the fun.  You will not be disappointed.  They are expecting a sold out crowd, so plan to arrive by 6 p.m. if you want to get a good seat.  (And remember to ask me some easy questions and laugh at all of my dumb jokes!)

Well, I’m off to get ready for another Sunday function with some of my major blog followers up in Round Rock.  Mrs. Helena Bomblatus (a charming and lovely woman from Portugal) is hosting an elaborate (and authentic) dinner party, featuring gourmet goodies from the Azores.  She is quite the chef, and I am anxiously awaiting her most recent culinary creation.  It will also be nice to be surrounded by a fawning bunch of psychopaths, I mean, sycophants, who think I’m the best thing since white bread.  Ah, the price of fame.  Well, it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.  (I can really sympathize with Brad Pitt.)

Have a wonderful Sunday and be careful out there…..

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY!

IF YOU WRITE MYSTERY NOVELS…. which I do, and you travel internationally, which I just did, would you be considered an international man of mystery?  Groovy, baby!  I thought so, too.  And frankly, that’s better than being an international house of pancakes.  (Certainly better than eating there!)  The reason I ask is that I am contemplating a trip to Oslo, Norway, to supervise the voting re-count of the Nobel Prize for Literature.  I still find it hard to believe that THE PRESLEY PLOT lost out to some hack story from Viet Nam or Ghana or Paraguay or wherever the heck that writer came from.  (I don’t trust those Third World judges….  look at the last Miss Universe Contest.  Miss Maldives wins?  What’s that about?)

Speaking of international delights….. I would like to say “szia” to Miss Monika Leipniker, a beautiful and brilliant young lady from Hungary.  I met Monika on my last trip to London and was very impressed by her keen wit and literary insight.  (Which means she liked my book!)  “Hogy vagy?”  (How are you?)   I hope all is well in Jolly Old England…. and remember, if it gets too cold in London, you’re welcome to come to Austin, Texas!

And since we’re on the subject of moving to Austin…..  If any of my worldwide followers are planning a move to our lovely city, you must get your hands on a copy of the AUSTIN RELOCATION GUIDE….. the brainchild of a local genius (and world-class poker player) named Kevin Evans.  Mr. E publishes a wonderful guide to our city, and in my humble view, it is definitely the place to start if you’re planning to relocate.  (And let’s face it, the whole world wants to live in Austin….  except Miss Maldives.)  You can reach my buddy Kevin at Kevans@argpub.com

Before I close, I would also like to welcome a few more Elvis Presley Fan Clubs.

THESE CLUBS ARE THE MAIN REASON THAT MY BLOG NOW HAS CLOSE TO 3,000 FOLLOWERS IN 37 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES!!

(Which is why I capitalized the entire sentence!)

So…..   A big thank you to…..  Itsonlylove4thepresleys@yahoogroups.com….. Bigethehounddogs@yahoogroups.com….. Crazy4Elvis42@yahoogroups.com….. and last, but not least,  Elivslovemetender@hotmail.com

Incidentally, on October 16, 1956 (Yesterday) the Elvis Presley film “Love Me Tender” premiered in the good old U.S.A.  (How’s that for timing?)

Well, time to walk the grand-dog…..  Have a wonderful day and be careful out there…..  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

I don’t know about you, but I think about food all of the time.  (Except when I’m eating.)  So….. I was very happy to celebrate my recent poker victory at a wonderful new Hill Country restaurant called VERDE’S MEXICAN PARILLA.  (Parilla means “grill.”)  Unlike THE PRESLEY PLOT, there’s no cover, but they do have a great story to tell.  Cody  Kidwell is the amazingly talented chef, and if you ever want to sample the best bacon wrapped quail on earth, then drive over to Hamilton Pool Road and pull up a chair on their lovely outdoor patio.  (And don’t forget to order the tequila cheesecake!)

Now for some Elvis Presley Food Trivia…..

What was the King’s favorite snack?

A.  Priscilla Presley

B.  Possum & grits

C.  Peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich

If you chose A or B we need to talk.  The correct answer is C.  (Everyone knows that Elvis was a health nut.)

And since we’re on the subject of Elvis Presley, I wish to extend a warm welcome to our newest Elvis Presley Fan Club groups…..   Elvisworld@yahoogroups.com…..Kostas20052002@yahoogroups.com…..Elviest_ Group@yahoogroups.com…. and Elvis_101@yahoogroups.com

If you get a chance, please support these wonderful groups by leaving them a nice message.  They all do a great job of keeping the memory of Elvis alive.  Thanks again, folks!

By the way, I haven’t mentioned the Nobel Prize for Literature (and my apparent snub) because I have requested a re-count of the votes from a guy named Sven.  (I will keep you “posted” on the outcome.)  In the meantime, please join my Norwegian boycott by not eating pickled herring or grilled reindeer.  (This should be fairly easy.)

Have a great week and be careful out there!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

MY EYES ARE ON THE PRIZE!

WELL, TOMORROW IS THE BIG DAY…..

What big day you ask?  The day that the Nobel Prize for Literature is announced!  If you have read THE PRESLEY PLOT you know why I am so excited.  I don’t mean to boast, but surely the committee will be able to recognize raw genius.  Maybe even “well done” genius.  If so, I am a shoe-in to win the prize for “Outstanding Mystery Writing Of Novels Dealing With Lost Tapes Of Elvis Presley.”  Yes, I understand that this is a very narrow category, but so what?  (Who reads poetry?)

The grand announcement will be made tomorrow morning, and to be perfectly honest, I doubt that I will get much sleep tonight.  (After all, I am playing poker.)  If I don’t win, I intend to be a good sport about things.  (I’m referring to the book, not the poker game.)  Frankly, after some of the recent Nobel Prizes, I am starting to question the judgement of the judges.  (Too much pickled herring will pickle the old mind.)  If I lose, I intend to demand a recount, and then I will insist that Judge Judy handle the contest next year.  However, I must think positive, so after I’m done here, I will go pack my snow gear for the trip to Norway, or Sweden, or Denmark, or wherever the hell the contest is held.  (The judges move around a lot.  A moving target is harder to hit!)

NOW FOR SOME SERIOUS NEWS……    AND A BIG THANK YOU TO THE NEW “ELVIS PRESLEY FAN CLUBS” THAT HAVE SIGNED ONTO MY BLOG!!

I am honored and grateful to welcome the following clubs to our blog site…..  GERAL@COFEBS.COM….. ANDREASTOECKLE69@GMAIL.COM…..ADRIAN_NICOLAE200@YAHOOGROUPS.COM…..ELVIS_FANS@YAHOOGROUPS.COM….& ELVISPRESLEY 1977@YAHOOGROUPS.COM

These wonderful people and groups have become loyal followers of my blog and I want each of them to know how much I appreciate their efforts on my behalf.  BOOKS BY STEPHEN G. YANOFF now has over 2,000 followers world-wide, and it is because of folks like this that the site is so successful.  I do take your interest quite seriously and try to amuse and educate about our shared fascination with Elvis and writing in general.  I hope, if nothing else, that I bring a little smile your way now and then.  So thanks again!

By the way, two wonderful Austin area authors have produced some new literature worth reading, so when you get a moment, GOOGLE Stephen Harrigan and Diane Fanning.  Trust me, you will not be disappointed.  These are two of our best.

Well, gang, that’s about all for now.  I will write again when I land in Oslo, which I am flying to solo, which is just so-so, but spouses are a no-no, so now I must go-go.

Dang, those Norwegians are funny!  (Instead of saying “no way,” they say “Norway.”)  What jokesters.

Love to all….  (It looks like rain, dear…..  “reindeer?”)   All right, no more Scandinavian humor!!

Doc Yanoff