YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND…

WAIT, don’t log out!  I promise not to sing a James Taylor song!  I actually enjoy his music, but that performance with Secretary Kerry was, well, a bit “off-key.”  Well, I guess it could have been worse.  Just imagine if Kerry wanted to sing the chorus.  Personally, since they were serenading the French, I think they should have picked a more appropriate song.  I was thinking of an Elvis Presley tune, his 1961 hit, SURRENDER!  Of course, the French being French, they would have undoubtedly chosen a Rolling Stone’s song.  (Let’s Spend The Night Together.)

Speaking of lame politicians, the rumors are true!  I have been asked to run for the school board!  (Fitting, since I was always bored in school.)  I told the selection committee that I was unqualified to run for public office.  (I have never been arrested, my wife won’t let me have a girlfriend, and I only accept bribes of Kentucky Bourbon.)  Furthermore, I paraphrased the words of that great statesman, William T. Sherman, and told them:  “If nominated, I will not run.  If elected, I will not serve.  If I am forced to serve, I want a big tip.”  They haven’t gotten back to me yet, so your children are still safe.

A new study has found that watching Fox News can make you more conservative and watching MSNBC can make you more liberal.  And watching CNN can make you think that no plane has ever safely reached its destination!

And since we’re on the subject of safe destinations, last night’s gala birthday dinner party at Chateau Talbott was a complete culinary and winery success!  Guests were treated (they didn’t charge this time) to a marvelous rendition of coffee-rubbed pot roast served over Alabama cheese grits.  Naturally, I regaled the entourage with some delightful tales of my misspent youth, and several of the ladies actually remained in a conscious state during my oration.

We were celebrating the joint birthdays (no, NOT that type of joint) of Judge Susan and the Queen of Board Games, Miss Jaimie.  The ladies are aging marvelously and still retain the lustre and glow of vitality, despite years of making out and dirty dancing.  They were both thrilled that the new Congress will have 104 women.  (Now you know why they call it the Washington “Mall!”)

Still freezing in most parts of the country.  I suggested that they ship hot soup in the Keystone Pipeline.  No response from the EPA.  Hey, did you see that Dallas had a 3.5 magnitude earthquake?  Some folks are blaming fracking in Oklahoma, but I think it was probably caused by Governor Christie jumping up and down after the Cowboys football victory.  Just saying.

For those of you that are sick and tired of reading those lousy books by Grisham, Patterson, and King (sounds like a dang law firm) cheer up!  I will be initialing the final publishing contracts for my new book on Monday morning!  (Tomorrow.)  Shortly thereafter, you will be able to drop everything you’re doing (which I don’t mind, unless you’re feeding a baby) and run over to the computer to order your copy of RANSOM ON THE RHONE!  Hopefully, I will attach a few photographs of my visit to the city of Lyon at the end of this blog post.  (Lyon is in the center of France, and is thought to be the culinary capital of the country.)

In closing, I would like to wish everyone a wonderful upcoming week.  Thanks to your continued support, our Sunday blog finished 2014 in the top 5% of all blog sites in the country!  This minor miracle could not have been accomplished without your loyal and loving support, so thank you very much!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.   Photographies de France attaches.  (Photographs of France attached)

 

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A NIGHT TO REMEMBER!

Yes, this happens to be the title of a wonderful film about the Titanic.  (1958)  And yes, it is also the title of a short article about my honeymoon.  (1978)   However, I am not referring to either of these remarkable events, but rather to the hugely successful book signing event that occurred last Friday evening.  (Still, I find it somewhat amusing that the Titanic went down in water, and I went down in flames!)  Where was I?  Oh yes, the book signing…..

Well, as expected, we had a standing-room only crowd.  (They forgot to put out chairs.)  Just kidding, there were plenty of chairs and lots of folks.  In fact, I was told by the book store staff that we had one of the larger crowds of the year!  I would like to thank each and every person who came downtown on a busy Friday night to attend this special event.  It was so great to see all of my family and friends, and some not-so-well disguised reps from Murder Ink Press and Penguin Books lurking behind some shelves.  (These two rascals are the co-publishers of my books.)

For those who missed the gala event, you can watch the entire show on PBS this Sunday night.  I’m not sure what time it will air, but I think it will follow an intriguing Bill Moyers documentary about Indonesian sea sponges and the effect they are having on global warming.  Speaking of sponges……  I just read that the original Bergdahl swap included Joe Biden.  (The Taliban said no!)  Poor Joe.  He recently offered to escort a young lady to the senior prom, but her father nixed the offer.  (He didn’t know what Joe Biden did for a living!)

Frankly, most folks don’t know what I do for a living.  Neither do I, but it seems to be working.  My intention is to live forever, or die trying.  Accordingly, I have recently signed my fifth book contract with the good folks at Murder Ink Press.  They will be publishing the 4th “Adam Gold Mystery” sometime in late August or early September.  The book is titled “RANSOM ON THE RHONE” and it takes place in Europe!  (Mainly in England and France)  The story involves the theft of a priceless tapestry, and the pre-reviews have been outstanding, so I think you guys are really going to enjoy this one.  I will keep you “in the loop” as they say at the Hula Hoop factory.

Meanwhile, I am happy to report that the gift shop at the Elvis Presley Center in Tupelo has asked for more copies of THE GRACELAND GANG.  As some of you know, I met with the folks who run the place and they generously offered to sell my book at the gift shop.  (Fifty-fifty split on the proceeds.)  Some of my blog followers have asked to see a photo or two from my trip to Tupelo, so I have attached some photographs of me wandering around the grounds.  (NOTE:  The small white shack is the actual home where Elvis Presley was born!)  I hope you enjoy the photos, and I promise to post some more from time to time.

The next book tour on the agenda involves the Caribbean, and I will reveal some interesting details about our trip next Sunday.  Tonight marks the official start of “Pool Season” down here in Texas, so I must take my leave to check on the beer and tequila supply.  (My wife drinks a lot.)  My mother-in-law loved soda.  She once drank Canada Dry, but that’s a long story.  (They got over it!)  So…..  until next Sunday…… take care and have a safe and wonderful week!   Love to all…..

Doc Yanoff

P.S.  I would like to thank Judge Susan for NOT asking me about Angelina Jolie during the Q & A session on Friday night.  (Brad is really the pits!)DSCN1220DSCN1243DSCN1226

 

THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER!

DON’T ASK ME WHY, but for some ungodly reason I actually volunteered to “dog sit” my two grand-dogs this week.  Baker is a cockapoo, eleven years old, and rather well behaved.  Romy is a labradoodle, still a puppy, and proof positive that mental illness is hereditary.  (You get it from your children!)  Yep, little Romy is adorable, but hell on wheels.  How can one dog chew on sooooo many different substances?  You’d think metal and rocks would be off-limits, but not with this little lady!  Her motto is thus:  “I came.  I saw. I chewed to shreds.”

As you can tell, I am having a “ruff” week, but this too shall pass.  (Won’t it?)  My daughters are off to weddings and vacations in San Diego and Hawaii, and I’m stuck at the dog pound!  (And believe me, there are times when I’d like to pound you-know-who, but she’s just too dang cute for words!)  Baker is white (which rhymes with right) and Romy is brown.  (Which rhymes with “nervous breakdown.”)  Why couldn’t my daughters get cats like other kids?

Oddly enough, I also had an unusual week book-wise.  As many of you know, THE SECOND MOURNING was recently published, and thanks to folks like you, is doing quite well in the sales department.  (Over two hundred books were sold on the first two days alone!)  However, I spent most of the week discussing THE GRACELAND GANG, as the Elvis Presley Center in Tupelo was interested in obtaining some more books for their gift shop.  What started as a simple phone call, ended up as a full-fledged interview with their newsletter editor.  (By the way, a number of buildings were severely damaged in Tupelo during last week’s storm, but the Presley Center was spared.  Definitely ‘Divine Intervention!’)

During my telephone interview, the editor asked me about the most surprising thing I discovered about Elvis Presley.  There were plenty of surprises, but one of the most interesting was the fact that Gladys Presley’s grandmother was Jewish.  (Gladys was Elvis Presley’s adored mother.)  Interestingly, The King was quite fascinated with his religious ancestry, and during his lifetime he wore a “chai necklace” and often carried yarmulke in his pocket!

When I visited Graceland, I met one of the caretakers, and he told me something intriguing that I did not know…  Elvis actually spoke Hebrew and often sang in the Hebrew language!  The next time you go to Memphis, go to Graceland, and you will notice that his mother’s tombstone (She is buried in Meditation Garden) is engraved with a “Star of David,” to acknowledge her own roots.  If you would like to learn more, just buy a copy of THE GRACELAND GANG, and you will be ready to go on a quiz show and win some big bucks!

Did you read the Wall Street Journal on Friday?  A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it.  Hmmm.

A funny thing happened to my neighbor last week.  He went to a dude ranch in Bandera, Texas, and rode a donkey!  (He’s afraid of horses.)  While he was riding the range, a horse kicked up a rock and knocked him off the donkey.  Don’t worry, he wasn’t injured.  In fact, he just got stoned off his ass.  (Ouch!)

I don’t mean to be annoying, but please don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE.  (Friday, June 6, 2014.)  As some of you know, I will speaking at BookPeople in downtown Austin at 7 p.m.    You are all invited, and please remember, everything is free.  (Free admission, free parking, free books.)  All right, I’m lying about the books, but everything else is free!  Hopefully, the margarita machine will be working!

Well, my friends, it is time to take the dogs to the butcher, I mean, the park.  (Freudian slip!)  I do hope that my daughters appreciate me.  (and my wife, who is doing the early morning shift.)  I fully expect not only a case of beer, but an ocean-front condominium in the resort area of my choosing!)  Ideally, a condominium resort that does NOT allow pets!!

Love to all, and please, keep me in your prayers!!

Doc Yanoff   (And “Ma Barker!”)

DISCOVERY DAY, 2013!

NO, I DIDN’T FIND ANOTHER GRAY HAIR…..  October 12th was actually “Discovery Day” in the Bahamas.  (The site of my second mystery, THE PIRATE PATH.)  In the U.S., we celebrate this day as “Columbus Day.”  Did you know that Colorado was the first state to officially honor the great explorer?  (1906)  Back then, they gave out free beer, which might have led to the phrase “Rocky Mountain High.”  (Hey, anything’s possible.)

Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937, giving federal workers ANOTHER day off.  (Personally, I wouldn’t grant a day off unless you were of Italian heritage and you discovered a New World.)  But that’s just me.  In any case, here’s a little trivia question for you…..  Name the four states that DO NOT recognize Columbus Day.  No cheating!  (Answer:   Hawaii, Alaska, Oregon, and South Dakota)  People in those states have poor vision, so they don’t recognize a lot of things.  (The rest of the country is more “farsighted.”)

Last Wednesday, October 16th, was National Boss’s Day.  (In my house it’s called “Wife Day.”)  Oddly enough, this holiday is celebrated in the United States, Canada, and Lithuania.  (No joking)  Don’t ask me how Lithuania got involved.  They were probably trying to outdo Latvia and Estonia.

Speaking of celebrations…..  Our blog site has now reached a very special plateau… we have (slightly) over 6,000 followers!  Wow, what a wonderful accomplishment!  Thank you!   By the way, what do you folks think about the new book covers for THE GRACELAND GANG and THE PIRATE PATH?  I would love to hear your opinions, so don’t be shy!  Both covers were originally conceived by Mrs. Rachel Zell, a beautiful and talented artist who lives here in Austin.  Keep up the good work, Rachel.  (Conceiving is a wonderful thing!)

While we are on the subject of conceiving….. I would like to acknowledge a few of my younger blog followers.  (babies!)  Uncle Steve sends his best to Stella, Brooklyn, and Evan.  Make sure you stay dry and finish your mashed bananas.

Hey, did you hear that Native-Americans want to change the name of the Washington Redskins?  No joking.  They’re embarrassed to be associated with the city of Washington!  (I have certain “reservations” myself.)

Those of you that live or work in Austin, Texas, should keep your eyes on our award-winning newspaper next week.  A reporter will be coming up to my house on Wednesday for a feature-length interview.  I will be discussing my first two books (see above) and my last display of literary brilliance, DEVIL’S COVE.  She (the reporter) is bringing along a photographer, which means that I will have to groom myself.   Achieving fame and fortune is never easy!

By the way, last night we attended the Austin Music Festival, sponsored by Central Market.  Our group managed to wine and dine is splendid fashion, and most importantly, nobody got arrested.  I would like to thank the store management for featuring flyers of my books at the checkout counters.  Any publicity is good publicity  when you’re trying to sell books.

Finally, I would once again like to say thank you to the doctors and nurses at the Boca Raton Regional Hospital.  You took great care of my mother last week and I will never forget your competency and kindness.  What a great bunch of people…..  God bless you all!   (Mom is now in rehab, training for the 2014 Senior Olympics!)

Well, dear ones, have a great week, drive carefully, and keep those cards and letters coming.  God willing, I will have a special announcement for you next Sunday!  Love to all …..

Doc Yanoff

THE GRATEFUL GRAPPLER!

WELL, IT’S OFFICIAL….. My wrestling days are over.  As many of you know, I am a former collegiate wrestling champion.  (I was also collegial on the mat.)  I recently decided to try out for the Senior Olympic Games and began to train for my first match.  On day two of my rigorous workout schedule (which began at noon) I incurred a minor shoulder injury to my rotator cuff.  From that moment on, I didn’t “get around” as much as before. (There are very few rotator cuff jokes.)  I am happy to report that I am fully healed, and as they say, wiser for the experience.  In truth, wrestling is a tough sport.  I need to find a happy medium.  (or a pleasant fortune teller.)  I’m considering badminton.  Sounds like an easy “racket.”

So what else is new?  Well, my third mystery, DEVIL’S COVE was recently chosen as “Outstanding New Mystery” by two Florida book clubs!  (I’m starting to love the Sunshine State.)  Book two, MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE, is about to be sent to my new publisher, and from what I’ve seen so far, it looks wonderful.  Book three, THE PRESLEY PLOT, will be revised and re-edited shortly, and per the publisher’s request, I have added two new chapters.

Meanwhile, our blog site now has close to 6,000 followers!  I would like to take a moment and welcome some very special folks who have recently become new followers…..    (I don’t show last names for privacy reasons)

First, Steve R. of Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Steve is one of my oldest and dearest friends.  We met almost 50 years ago in Valley Stream, New York, and I have treasured his friendship through the years.  What a truly great guy!

Second, Mary M. of Austin, Texas.  Mary spent over 20 years in the U.S. Army and served her country with distinction.  She’s got beauty, brains, and backbone, and I would personally like to thank her for her service!  Quite a lady.

Third, Mrs. Nola F. of Cooper City, Florida.  Nola was a student of mine when I taught at Miami-Dade C.C.  She is the epitome of a caring and courageous wife.  Smart, sweet, and completely unselfish.  What a class act!  (No pun intended.)

Finally, I would like to extend a belated birthday wish to Mrs. Kellie H. of Austin, Texas.  Kellie is the beautiful and talented daughter of Judge Susan, one of the best poker players in the Lone Star State.  Happy Birthday, Kellie!  Say hello to the boys for me!

Well, gang, that’s about it for now.  I am off for my morning walk, and then it’s pool time, followed by writing time, followed by cocktail hour, followed by……  Indian food at the Clay PIt Restaurant.  (I know, life is hard.)  Nevertheless, I shall eat some naan and dal on your behalf!  Namaste, my friends!

Have a wonderful week and keep dreaming of a better tomorrow….. where chickens can cross the roads and not have their motives questioned!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

First,

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

 

 

 

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)