FOURTH TIME’S THE CHARM!

Frankly my dear, winning a major book award is ALWAYS a charming experience, but winning four of them is a bit overwhelming.  Nevertheless, my non-fiction history book, THE SECOND MOURNING, has just been chosen as a FINALIST in the “History United States” Category in the 2015 INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS!

This year’s contest attracted a large number of entries, over 12oo books from around the globe, many of them written by best-selling authors with very familiar names.  I have no idea how I was chosen for this honor, but as my dentist likes to say, never look a gift horse in the mouth!

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I am back in Austin, Texas.  My recent book tour/dive trip/rum sampling was a complete success.  (Sold some  books and no arrests.)  I’d like to thank our St. John hosts, the Princess of Portugal and Baron Lee, for their generous hospitality.  We had a marvelous week on the island, and I intend to return their silverware in the very near future!  (The next time I’m down in the Caribbean.)

Hey, what did you think about my little pony?  (American Pharoah)  I noticed this horse before the Kentucky Derby and I had a hunch that he could go all the way.  Interestingly, I used to live near Belmont Race Track, and I saw Seattle Slew win in 1977 and Affirmed in 1978.  (In fact, I got married in 1978, which turned out to be a “sure bet” on my part!)  Coincidentally, I’ve just finished a new “Adam Gold” mystery, titled, A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  (The story deals with equine insurance fraud.)  Good timing on my part, eh?

Speaking of good timing, I returned home to find my mug plastered on the front page of the Four Points News.  Accompanied, I might add, by a well-written article about my numerous awards, courtesy of Sarah Doolittle, a charming and talented reporter.  Thanks for the kind words, Sarah!  (Next time we should use a photo of Brad Pitt!)

I also noticed that folks are talking about Bruce Jenner’s recent transformation.  I don’t know much about sex change operations, but I’m glad my wife is paying attention to the story.  (Maybe we can have “sex for a change!”)  I know, I know, don’t hold my breath.

By the way, some of you have inquired about the losing horses in the Belmont Stakes.  I’m not sure about this, but I think that some of them end up in a different kind of steak.  In any case, I would avoid Arby’s for a while.  (I hate to sound like a “nag,” but you never know.)

Speaking of changes (i.e., Bruce Jenner) I would like to inform my blog followers that due to an intense travel schedule (three more book tours this summer!) my Sunday blog, starting today, will be posted every other Sunday until the fall.  I am not running out of lame jokes, but between writing, traveling, rum consumption, and book tours, my head is spinning!  (What goes around comes around, but not in this case!)

If you experience “blog withdrawal,” take heart!  I am now negotiating with a publisher who seems interested in producing a book of my humorous posts.  (There were a few of them!)  I’m not sure if I’ll proceed with this project, but only because I have just started a brand new non-fiction history book.  These history books are very time consuming, so I might hold off on the blog book for a while.  In any case, if you miss my humor, check out a guy named Mark Twain.  He writes well, but he’s not as funny as me.

Well, that’s about it for now, amigos.  I do hope you have a marvelous week. I shall (starting today) post a few photographs from my recent Caribbean adventure.  Please forgive me, if I post any nude shots.  (Trust me, they won’t be photos of me!)  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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PILATES OF THE CARIBBEAN!

Would you believe that I have “exercised” my freedom and returned to the lovely island of St. John?  Well, it’s true, me buckoos, the old swashbuckler (me) has returned to the Caribbean for another seafaring adventure!  The first mate and I are staying in a palatial estate overlooking Chocolate Hole, named for the color of the water just below the cliff.  The view and the digs are simply gorgeous, and we even have our own pool.  (Which we share with a friendly brown pelican.)

The turquoise ocean is swarming with seagulls, and the bay is swarming with…..  bay gulls.  (You just knew where that was going, right?)  The bay gulls are sort of lazy.  They just “lox” around all day.  To me, they are like my children.   ( Once you feed them, you’re stuck with them!)  Ah well, I’m too young to be an empty-nester.

Back to the exercise thing…..  Here, for your reading pleasure, is my daily itinerary…  Up at dawn, use the bathroom, back to bed, rise at nine a.m., use the bathroom, eat a gourmet breakfast, use the bathroom, drive to the beach (there are 20 to choose from!) swim and snorkel, eat a light lunch (or substitute with rum & cola) take a short nap, use the bathroom, make believe I’m not staring at the girls in those tiny bikinis, swim some more, dry off, go home, get dressed, go out for dinner, drink some more rum, use the bathroom, go to bed, and then repeat in morning!

I know exactly what you’re thinking.  When does this man have time to write his award-winning books?  I have begun to ask myself that same question.  Did it ever dawn on you that I spend a great deal of time in the bathroom?  (No, I do not have a prostrate problem.)  I thought a prostrate was a woman who took money for sex!  (Actually, most of those naughty ladies do end up prostrate, but that’s another story.)  Where was I?

Oh yes, I remember…  the writing stuff.  Well, let’s put it this way, if experience is the best teacher, then I have been learning a lot, and sooner or later, it will show up in another book.  (I mention this, so that I can deduct this trip on next year’s tax return!)  By the way, we are staying with the Princess of Portugal, and her tax-dodging husband, Baron Lee Von Bomblatus.  They are great hosts, and very wealthy, so I leave my wallet at home.  (Well, that’s what I told them!)  We actually go “Dutch.”  (I only pay when we go to the Dutch side of St. Maarten!)  So far, we’ve been able to avoid that island!

For those of you who do not subscribe to the New York Times, (and let’s face it, who the hell would?) they were kind enough to reprint a news blurb about my recent award.  I won’t bore you with all of the details (again) but I recently won the gold medal presented by the 9th Annual 2015 National Indie Excellence Award.  My book, THE SECOND MOURNING, was chosen as the best history book of the year, and I am very grateful to the judges for this wonderful honor.  The NIEA competition is fierce, and there were many great books this year.  So once again, thanks for the memories!  (and the lovely prize!)

In closing, if I may, I would like to remind everyone of something far more important than writing and blogging.  I would like to publicly thank all of the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s military.  I am smart enough to understand that NOTHING I do would be possible without the sacrifice that our veterans have made.  Thank you all for your service to our country!  We love you, respect you, and honor your deeds on our behalf.  May God bless all of our veterans this Memorial Day.

Finally, to my loyal blog followers, I would remind you to have some fun this weekend, even if your in-laws are coming over the house for a barbecue!  Please keep in mind the words of my high school psychologist, who once said to me, “You’re responding nicely to therapy.  You can sit up the next time we meet.”   (Hey, in my opinion, “normal” is just a setting on the dryer!)  Have a great weekend.

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.   Just to make you jealous, I will attach a photograph of me “in my office.”

 

 

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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

SON OF A BEACH…..

SOME EXPLORERS KEEP A LOG (or a tree) BUT SINCE I HAVE BEEN SPENDING SO MUCH TIME AT THE BEACH, I THINK I SHOULD KEEP A….. “WATER LOG!”   Jeez, I knew I was all wet, but this is ridiculous.  One more day of this beach stuff and I’m going to change my name to Sandy.  Honestly, I’m spending more time in the water than on land.  (Would you believe that my feet have turned into fins?  Oh wait, those are fins.  Never mind.)  Today, May 30th, was spent at the East End of St. John, which surprisingly, is at the east end of the island.  If you have been here, you know that this is the most remote section of the island, and perhaps the most beautiful.  The water and weather conditions were nearly perfect.  (I found the Caribbean Sea a little salty today, but I understand that there’s nothing they can do about it.)

Yesterday, as many of you know, if you spent the day shopping for a present for me, was my birthday.  It feels odd to tell people that I’m now forty.  (It should feel odd since it’s a bald faced lie!)  Nonetheless, there were some famous people born on my birthday…..  Patrick Henry, Bob Hope, JFK, and me.  So what do all of these great men have in common?  They were all rum drinkers!  (Two of us were comedians, me and Bob Hope, but Patrick Henry knew some funny jokes, too.)  Patrick Henry said, “Give me liberty or give me death!”  (After he thought about it, he added, “Isn’t there something in-between?)

Where was I?  Oh yes, my birthday itinerary….  Well, it was simply marvelous.  The day began at Caneel Bay, which was in pristine condition and glorious in every direction.  After a surprise beach front serving of ripe avacado and olives, we dined at the open-air resort restaurant.  (I was vaguely well behaved and ordered a marvlous organic salad.)  Then if was off to Honeymoon Bay for some snorkeling and some cold Carib Beer.  Since we were all celebrating, we agreed to take a joint nap, and then if was off to a pirate’s favoite haunt……. a local tavern!

Dinner was had at a waterfront establishment called the Waterfront Bistro, a divine culinary institution located on Cruz Bay.  By sheer coincidence, they had a delightful special, a 14-ounce veal chop, perfectly grilled, and smothered in bacon and local tomatoes.  Yummy, yummy, I had love in my tummy!  (I was hoping to find a veal chop on my birthday!)  After several mojitos, more wine, and some great food, we were packing up and ready to leave when all of a sudden our waiter showed up with a complimentary bottle of champagne!  (Sent by one of my admirers, whose name and identity is strictly confidential….. until I get back to Austin!)  Dessert was key lime pie, compliments of Dr. Max Talbott, and it was wonderful.

The rest of the evening must remain TOP SECRET as it involves some nefarious activity that can only be revealed 25 years after my death.  (or when I get back to Austin.)    Until then, I remain your faithful Caribbean correspondent…..

Stephen “Marley Mon” Yanoff

 

 

 

PIRATE OF THE CARIBBEAN!

AHOY MATES!  SHIVER ME TIMBERS (IF YOU’RE COLD) AND HOIST YOUR PATARD!  (WHATEVER THAT IS)…..  GREETINGS FROM THE LOVELY CARIBBEAN ISLAND OF….. ST. THOMAS!  My pirate gang and I have landed in Charlotte Amalie, the crown jewel of the Virgin Islands.  (I haven’t met any Virgins, but there are lots of nice folks willing to take your money for this and that)  We (the pirate gang) have rented a gorgeous villa up on a lush tropical hillside, overlooking Cruz Bay.  As you might imagine, the view and the jungle-like scenery are simply fantastic.  Lush green hills, million of colorful tropical flowers and plants, blue sky, and aquamarine marine water!  OMG this place is paradise!  (Much nicer than the Jersey shore)

The wife and I have a huge first floor suite, with a po0l just outside the front door.  All of the rooms in the villa are decorated with polished mahagony wood, which is somewhat immune to the elements down here.  By now you’re probably wondering about my schedule, eh?  Well, when I’m not working on book number four (RANSOM ON THE RHONE) my typical day goes like this…..  Sleep late, drink some  wonderful island coffee, drive to one the drop-dead beautiful beaches on the island, swim and snorkel, get some sun, dry off, head for some delicious lunch place, eat mahi mahi burger, drink one or two Carib beers, one rum drink, take nap, wake up slowly, get dressed, head for dinner on the bayfront, stuff myself again, more rum, short walk, stumble back to villa, take Alka-Seltzer, go to sleep.  Repeat in morning.

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking…..  living the life of a famous alcolholic sun-worshipping writer ain’t so easy.  (All right, it’s very easy, but the sun tan lotion is rather expensive down here.)  In case you’re wondering, the restaurants on the island are incredible.  Lots of very fresh fish, and some marvelous ethnic restaurants.  (Cajun, Creole, French, etc.)  Each feast is accompanied by a copious amount of rum, washed down with some surprisingly good local beers.  If I remember right, we have not had a bad meal yet.

Tonight we six are heading for a famous Spanish tavern frequented by pirates, outlaws, scoundrels, scofflaws, and politicians.  The house specialty is lobster paella, which is usually served with homemade sangria.  This could be a long night for yours truly!  By the way, do you know how much a pirate pays for corn on the cob?  That’s right, a “buck-an-ear!”  (I think the rum is starting to affect my brain!)

Speaking of things that have affected my brain, I would like to thank the Delray Beach Book Club for purchasing 100 copies of MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE.  This was a very generous gesture, and one that is greatly appreciated.  I would also like to thank the Boca Raton Book Club (the Royal Palm Yacht Club Chapter) for inviting me to speak to their group.  I spent a wonderful afternoon in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in America, and I also managed to peddle 50 copies of THE PRESLEY PLOT.  What a great couple of days in sunny Florida!

Well, my dear family and friends, stay well and please do not worry about me…..   I still have 8 more days of Caribbean fun on the agenda, plenty of sunscreen, and four bottles of Ron Flor de Cana Rum!  Life is good!  (Where did I put those limes?)  Love to all…..

Capt. Jolly Roger Yanoff, The Terror of Tortola!