LA DOLCE VITA!

BUONGIORNO!  Hello my dear friends.  I just returned from a magnificent 3-week vacation/book signing/wine guzzling voyage to Italy, and although I loved every minuto, there is no place like home.  As for Italy, mama mia, what a beautiful country!  Our group of merry pranksters sailed from Rome to Malta, and then circled Sicily, stopping in some very memorable ports.  And speaking of port, the wine was truly memorable, too.  From what I remember, we drank almost every night.  (Hey, you know what they say, “when in Rome… “)

Before I go on about our voyage, let me state, unequivocally, that I had NOTHING to do with England leaving the European Union.  Well, almost nothing. I did make a few remarks about Germany and Italy dominating the ongoing soccer tournament.  But that was all I did.

We began our long voyage in Rome, which was fitting.  Why?  Because when I was a young lad, the girls told me that I had “Roman hands.”  (and “Russian fingers,” I might add!)  In any case, after we left Rome (and 3 days of intense archaeological activity) we sailed south through the Straight of Messina, which wasn’t really that strait, but still quite fascinating.  Our first stop was in Catania, where we spent the day high up in the mountain village of Taormina… and trekked around the base of our first volcano… Mt. Aetna.  (Which, by the way, is still a very active volcano.)  I didn’t really want to hike up to the summit, but I had to “go with the flow,” so to speak.  When you live under a volcano, every day is “ash wednesday.”  Very hard to breathe in certain spots, but well worth the effort.  The view was simply incredible.  (for at least 30 seconds!)

On days two and three, we recovered on the islands of Malta and Gozo, which were quite interesting.  I got to use all of my bad jokes about Maltese falcons and malted meal, which the locals seemed to have heard before.  (What’s up with that?)  Most importantly, on the lovely island of Gozo (slightly north of Malta) our group got to visit the oldest known human settlement in history.  (A 6,000-year-old pagan temple.)  I was surprised to learn that it was a pagan temple.  How the heck did a motorcycle gang cross the Mediterranean Sea?  Beats me.

From Gozo, we sailed north to Sicily and made several stops in some pretty amazing ports…  Agrigento, Trapini, and Lipari for starters.  They were all incredibly interesting, and on the remote island of Lipari, we hired a boat and made our way to the still-smoldering island of Vulcano.  (Yep, this volcano was belching, too!)  During our morning hike (which I called our “death march”) we stopped for lunch at a bubbling lake of warm mud, and some of us took a mud bath.  I, of course, suggested that the female archaeologists in our group engage in a mud wrestling contest, but the ladies wouldn’t bite.  (See what happens when you get a Ph.D?)

The voyage of the (nearly) damned then continued eastward, arriving in the enchanting town of Sorrento, where some of our group traveled to Pompeii and others to Herculaneum .  Risking life and limb, I spent the day viewing our third major volcano, Mount Vesuvius.  (Yeah, you guessed it, this one is still an active volcano, too.)  By now you might be wondering what’s wrong with me.  Good question.  Would you believe I was doing some research for my next book?  I hope so, because that’s what I intend to tell the IRS.  (Actually, it’s true, but I’ll explain later.)

The third week of our delightful voyage was spent on shore, in the impossibly beautiful town of Positano, along the Amalfi Coast.  Here I learned (once again) that anchovies and cappuccino don’t mix very well.  (Especially after a day of diving and swimming!)  Nonetheless, we all had a magnificent time with our gracious hosts at Villa Franco.  If you look at a photograph of Positano, you will see a lovely white villa on the highest point of the mountain overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea.  This is where we spent the week, and dear God, was it something special.  (Photographs to follow!)

As always, the best part of any trip is making new friends, and we made plenty of them during this adventure.  (Starting with the captain of our ship, Captain Sverre, (a modern-day Viking!) and including some lovely folks from Australia, England, Italy, Argentina, and the good old U.S.A.)  On the book front, we gained a hundred new blog followers, and more importantly, a hundred new friends around the world.  (I held two book signings, and our sales were phenomenal.)

Well, I hope I didn’t bore you with all the travel talk.  I also have some great news on the publishing front, but I think I’ll save it for next Sunday’s blog.  Like me, you might be on sensory overload, so I’ll share the good news next weekend.  Until then, take care and have a great week.

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

*** Hopefully there will be some photographs attached to this blog.  The nude shots were confiscated by Interpol.    (Thank God.)

 

 

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SUMMER IN THE CITY!

Ah yes, but which city?  How about Rome?  Well, my dear paisano, that is precisely where I am heading!  Why?  Because the next “Adam Gold caper” is tentatively titled, CAPONE ISLAND.  Consequently, I am off to the lovely island of Sicily to do some research and hopefully interview some of Mr. Capone’s relatives.  I am starting to pack, but I’m having some trouble folding my bullet-proof vest.  (That dang Kevlar is so stiff.)  I just hope I don’t become a stiff.  I’m not really worried, as the book is more about Capone’s “buried treasure” in Florida than about his life of crime.  Oddly enough, my mother lives across the bay from the island where “Scarface” supposedly buried either treasure or competitors, or both.

In any case, my crew and I will be sailing on a moderately sized vessel, leaving from Rome and heading due south.  Our first stop is gorgeous Taormina, Sicily, and then we head even further south to Valletta, Malta.  (Where I will be searching for an elusive falcon!)  After a couple of days in Malta, we start our “Volcano Tour.”  I’m not sure why, but we intend to explore Mt. Aetna, the volcanic island of Volcano, and then Mt. Vesuvius.  Hopefully we will not encounter any disruptions or eruptions.  If we do, we will just have to go with the (lava) flow!

Assuming we survive the volcano convention, we are off to the islands of Trapani and Lipari, and then over to Sorrento and Capri.  This is just about my favorite part of the world, so I am looking forward to a couple of reunions and some unusual book signings.  From Capri, we take the hydrofoil or the tinfoil over to Positano, and by then I should weigh about 500 pounds.  (primarily pasta)  We intend to spend 5 days on the Amalfi Coast, unless they run out of pasta and/or wine.  Fat chance.  (Yikes, did I just use the word “fat?”)  Mama mia!

Due to the volcano visits, I will not be schlepping my laptop with me, so I might be persona non grata, I mean, persona incognito, for several weeks.  If you need to reach me, just send cash (no Euros) to the American embassy in Rome and I will call you back.  (As soon as I sober up, which might be a while.)  I love Italy, but as you can see, I should not be left unsupervised while I’m there!

Hey, do you remember the song “Travelin’ Man?”  (Ricky Nelson, 1961.)  Well, I guess that’s how I’m starting to feel.  Did you know that Ricky had a brother named David?  David was Ricky’s half-brother.  (I guess you could call him a “half-nelson.”)  That would explain why David couldn’t get a “grip” on himself.  Harriet Nelson was the mom.  Ozzie (not the one who looks and sounds like a zombie) was the dad.  Ozzie Nelson was a broadcasting genius.  In fact, they used to call him the “Wizard of Ozzie.”  (Just kidding)  All right, enough Nelson jokes.  If you want to hear my joke about Nelson Mandela, send me a postcard.

So yesterday I had the pleasure of dining at Cooper’s Old Time Barbecue Joint in Austin.  (Along with the boss, the Princess of Portugal, and Baron Lee.)  Excellent vittles, but not as good as Black’s Barbecue in Austin.  Still, Baron Lee managed to consume 10 or 12 pounds of smoked brisket, which was VERY impressive.  Would you believe that the Princess ordered a salad?  Of course, she also ordered a HUGE bowl of peach cobbler.  (And did not offer me a single bite!)  Definitely worth trying if you come to our fair city.

The newest “Adam Gold Mystery,” which is titled, A RUN FOR THE MONEY, is doing wonderful in the sales department.  According to the publisher, we’ve sold about 200 books the first week, which is pretty darn good.  If you order a book and leave a nice review on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or Goodreads, please let me know and I will send you a FREE book, autographed, as a “thank you” gift.  Good reviews help obtain much-needed advertising dollars.

Finally, I want to extend a giant hug and kiss to my dear friend Judge Susan (the infamous “hanging judge” of the Texas Hill Country) who is recovering from knee surgery.  (Thank God she still has a leg to stand on!)  Her Honor is one tough cookie, and we hope she heals quickly.  Frankly, I’m tired of delivering steaks and lobster tails every night.  (Even though they’re eaten before I get to her house!)  Get well soon, your judgeship!

Well, I must run, as I’m off to my “Italian 101” language class.  Today’s class should be fun.  We will be learning the meaning of certain hand gestures, which I understand could make the difference between life and death in certain situations! I shall keep you informed of my progress with the TSA and Interpol.  Until we meet again, I remain,

Doc Yanoff   (Love to all!)

 

 

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WORDS OF WISDOM!

Just in case you haven’t opened your email today, I am re-posting the very first book review for my new mystery novel, A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  (Just in time to coincide with the Preakness, which was won by a horse that was named after a fiction writer…..  Exaggerator!)  Incidentally, this was also my nickname for several years after my honeymoon.  (Don’t ask.)

All right, here we go…..

RENEGADE REVIEWS,

May 21, 2016

 

Stephen G. Yanoff, dubbed “the king of the clever mystery” by the NYT, has done it again.  His new book, A Run For The Money is a spellbinding novel sure to please.  In this fascinating tale, the theft of a priceless Civil War artifact drags insurance investigator, Adam Gold, into the dark and dangerous world of brazen grave robbers.  While pursuing the robbers, Gold encounters a scheming Southern belle  with a dark family secret, and becomes entangled in the Gullah culture of South Carolina.  A riveting pursuit will lead to a showdown with a vicious psychopath who specializes in the murder of Thoroughbred horses — and a memorable climax that readers will never forget.

A RUN FOR THE MONEY is now available on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Kindle, Nook, and leading bookstores across the country.

RATING:   Five Stars.   *****     (Excellent)

 

Before you ask, the answer is NO, my mother did not write this review, nor does she own any stock in Renegade Reviews.  (She did, however, buy the first 500 copies of A Run For The Money.)  She bought 500 copies only because she’s 90 years old and forgets where she leaves things.  This way, there’s a book in every room and closet in the house.  Such a smart woman.

Now the rest of you rascals don’t have to buy 500 copies. (although they do make great Christmas gifts) One or two books will be sufficient.  (unless you have some friends.)  If you do purchase a book, please do me a BIG favor and leave a nice review on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, or Goodreads.com.  (The good reviews help the old advertising budget.)

I do hope you enjoy the book, and keep in mind that most of it is based upon an actual insurance claim.  And let me know what you think about the cover and the contents.  Your opinions really matter!

Have a safe and happy week.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

 

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DERBY DAY DOINGS!

Horses again?  What can I say, I have a “one track mind!”  So, right out of the gate, I would like to thank all of the vendors at Churchill Downs who were kind enough to feature my soon-to-be-released mystery, A RUN FOR THE MONEY.  The pre-publication sales were phenomenal and I am most appreciative.  Next stop, the Preakness at Pimlico Park in Maryland.  (The actual book should be available by the time we get to the Belmont Stakes!)

Speaking of gratitude, I would also like to thank all of the literary judges who recently chose DEVIL’S COVE (my third “Adam Gold Mystery”) as a FINALIST in the 10th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.  The 2016 writing contest was very competitive, attracting over 2,000 entrants.  Winning was “a long shot,” and I am thrilled to be in such glorious company.  (All right, no more racetrack terms!)  The awards ceremony will be held in Los Angeles in September, so maybe I’ll get to visit with some of my LA fans.  (Dinner’s on me!)

And since we’re on the subject of long shots, my photograph (headshot) is about to grace the cover of BookMad Magazine.  (There goes their circulation!)  This magazine is a nationally distributed publication that highlights the wild and whacky world of professional writers.  They will also be publishing a full-length interview with yours truly, which I shall post right here when it becomes available.  (Read carefully, there is going to be a test!)

Incidentally, you might want to save the cover, just in case you’re heading out to the gun range.  (It would make an excellent target!)  By the way, if you go to the range, don’t go off “half-cocked.”

I just finished reading Marcel Marceau’s autobiography.  Does this make me a “mime reader?”  Did you know that Marceau refused to perform on cruise ships?  (He was strictly a “land mime.”)  Jeez, these jokes are really lame.  Well, that’s what you become with a land mine!

Now for some really good news…..  One of my devoted blog followers is a twelve-year-old lad who recently created a yoga dog character that teaches children how to deal with their emotions.  (A rather “ruff job,” if you ask me!)  In any case, the young lad is raising money to produce a pilot.  (I told him to try the airport.)  Since this is a very worthwhile project, you might want to contribute a few bucks, and if so, just log onto:   http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/wufshanti/wuf-shanti-tv-show-dog-character-that-teaches-yoga.    (If you make a contribution, I will give you a 10% discount on any book purchase of your choice!)

Hey, does anybody think that Bernie Sanders is too old to be president?  I just found out that his first homeowner policy covered fire, theft, and Indian raids!  (Come on, that’s funny!)  Bernie is so old he remembers when Howard Johnson only had two flavors!  Bernie may be a tad old, but so are these jokes!  Look, like I always say, if they haven’t heard it before, it’s original!

Well, I must leave you now.  I am actually babysitting this weekend.  (My new grand-daughter, Goldie Delilah, requires a great deal of attention.  What’s up with that?)  After breakfast, I’m bringing her to JiffyLube for a check-up.  She seems to be leaking fluid in several places!  The poor girl definitely needs an oil (or diaper) change.

You folks take care and have a wonderful week.  I have a HUGE surprise for all of my loyal blog followers, which I shall announce next time.  Until then, keep those cards and letters coming, and don’t forget to insert some cash from time to time.

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  Anybody care to guess where the attached photo was taken?

 

 

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AND THEY’RE OFF!

No, I’m not referring to this year’s presidential hopefuls, but to the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby!  (This coming Saturday)  As you might have read, one of the featured books at this year’s derby will be…  A RUN FOR THE MONEY!  My new mystery will be available from several vendors, so if you’re going to the big race, pick up a copy.  (I’m telling folks that it’s a “sure bet!”)  The new mystery begins in Richmond, Virginia, but then detours to Beaufort, South Carolina and then Lexington, Kentucky.  If you love racehorses, you will adore this book.

Did you know that the derby is often called “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports?”  Just between us, I thought the term referred to my love-making ability.  Who knew?  Well, in any case, the fastest horse to ever run at Churchill Downs (which is actually in Louisville) was the great Thoroughbred Secretariat.  The old boy bolted around the track in less than two minutes!  That was back in 1973, but I remember it like it was yesterday.  (The horse I bet on is still running!)

Not to be sexist, but do you realize that since the derby’s inception in 1875, 39 fillies (female horses) have participated in the big race, but only 3 have won?  I don’t mean to be a “nag,” but that is sort of interesting.  For the record, there have been 6 female riders, and no, they are not called “Jockettes.”  Incidentally, the derby is often called the “Run for the Roses,” because of the rose blanket placed over the winning horse.  (They used to call it the “Prance for the Poison Ivy,” but there were too many problems after the race.)  Hey, I wonder if that’s where they got the race-track term “scratch?”  Just saying.

Speaking of South Carolina, (huh?) I’d like to mention that the winner of the last photo trivia contest was Butterfly McQueen of Atlanta, Georgia.  (Not her real name) Ms. McQueen correctly identified the photo as the “Brick Baptist Church,” on the island of St. Helena.  (Near Beaufort.)  By the way, this is the very spot where Martin Luther King wrote his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.  Two others also identified the church (a tad later) and they would be Ms. Christine Nickles and Mr. Larry Wood.)  Well done, everyone!

I was just watching  Face The Nation and I heard Ted Cruz say that as a young father he changed many diapers.  (Don’t be surprised if Bernie Sanders asks him to be his running mate!)  Did you get that last joke?  Well, it “depends” on your age!

The local newspaper had a front-page story about a fifth-grade teacher in Arkansas who supplied alcohol to her class!  I wouldn’t judge the gal too harshly.  Keep in mind that we’re talking about Arkansas.  (Just because you’re in fifth grade doesn’t mean you’re under twenty-one!)  Ouch!  There goes my invitation to Hot Springs!

And speaking of spring…  I must spring into the kitchen for breakfast, so I shall take my leave of thee.  Have a safe and prosperous week and we shall meet again in the sweet bye and bye.  (or as my wife likes to say at the mall, the sweet “buy and buy!”)  Hopefully I have attached a new photo for the trivia contest.

Love to all,  Doc Yanoff.

 

 

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DELIRIOUS AND MYSTERIOUS!

Let’s start with delirious… my natural state of mind.  Why, you might inquire, am I feeling a tad euphoric today?  Well, mainly because my last “Adam Gold Mystery,” which is titled, RANSOM ON THE RHONE, just received the Honorable Mention Award (2nd place) at the 4th ANNUAL BEVERLY HILLS INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS!  This marks the third award for this particularly book, which as the title suggests, takes place on the Rhone River in France.  I wrote this one after taking a week-long cruise with our great friends, Barbara and Max Talbott.  The best part of writing the book was re-living our river adventures and remembering all of the great people and ports that we encountered.  (By the way, since April 15 is right around the corner, I should mention that the entire voyage was tax deductible.  Yes, even the wine and caviar!)

And since we are on the subject of awards…  I am proud to share some other wonderful news with you…  THE SECOND MOURNING, my semi-brilliant book about the Garfield assassination, just won its 13th book award last Wednesday!  The 2016 Great Northwest Book Festival chose my book as “Honorable Mention” in the General Non-Fiction Category.  This is a much tougher category (more submissions) than the History Category, so I was thrilled to become a “chosen one.”  (A little Passover humor!)

Before I forget, congratulations to Marvin Stern from Salt Lake City, Utah.  (Mr. Stern won last week’s photo trivia contest.)  He was the first to correctly identify the location as Cove Boutique in Austin, Texas.  (A gorgeous boutique for the ladies on South Congress Avenue.)  Actually, Judge Susan Marquess (the famous “hanging judge” of the Hill Country) was the first, but since she is family, she was promptly disqualified.  Incidentally, she’s called the “hanging judge” because she goes from store to store hanging up clothes.  Odd hobby, but who am I to…  judge?

When I was teaching public speaking at St. Edward’s University, I would always remind my students that it was normal to feel nervous at the podium.  (Survey after survey shows that the two most feared social situations for young folks are:  1.  Going to a party filled with strangers.  2.  Giving a speech)  Oddly enough, these are the very two situations that all writers must deal with in order to market their books.  Hence, my teaching career was great preparation for this book gig, which involves a lot of public speaking before strangers.  (and free food and drink, too!)

As an example of the above, I had the pleasure of attending a book signing up in Mason, Texas, last week.  (Mason is a charming little town perched on the western edge of the Hill Country.)  After a hearty breakfast, at the Willow Creek Cafe, I strolled over to the Mason Square Museum, which contains some fascinating artifacts, including a massive, 6,480-carat chunk of blue topaz!  I offered to trade several books for the topaz, but the curator turned me down.  (I wonder if Stephen King is forced to suffer such indignities?)  In any case, the Mason County Library now contains several copies of THE SECOND MOURNING, so if you’re ever in the area, “check out” the books!  (Incidentally, if you want to look for topaz, you can go to the Bar M Ranch, just west of town.  They allow private digging for a reasonable fee.)  Try not to hit their sprinkler system, like you-know-who did!

In closing, I would remind my Texas friends that spring signals the start of snake-mating season, so be very careful.  Each year, several people die from snake-bite here in the Hill Country.  I strongly advise everyone NOT TO BITE A SNAKE!  (Slim-Jims taste better and are very affordable.)

With that being said, I shall take my leave of thee.  Hopefully there is a photograph below this hysterical blog post.  If so, be the first to correctly identify the location and you will win a marvelous prize.  Until we meet again, I remain,

Doc Yanoff   (Love to all!)

 

 

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HAPPY (BELATED) ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

So, how was your 2016 holiday?  Did you celebrate St. Patty’s Day, the day that the beloved saint drove the snakes out of Ireland… and the worms into tequila bottles?  We certainly had a rip-roaring day & night.  (from what I remember)  Of course, you must remember that my wife’s maiden name was McCloskey, and you can’t get more Irish than that.  This year the sweet leprechaun made a traditional seven-course Irish dinner.  (one boiled potato and a six-pack of beer!)  Just kidding.  We actually had green beer, green cabbage, and green corned beef hash.  Unfortunately, there was no green dye used.  (the stuff was just old!)

The Irish, as many of you know, are a very happy lot.  However, in a recent survey, Denmark was rated as the “happiest country on earth.”  I’m not surprised.  I’d be happy too if I had a pastry named after me.  (Danish)  Was that last joke a little cheesy?

So what else is new?  Well, I’m proud to announce that my last book, THE SECOND MOURNING, recently won its 11th book award!  The brilliant tome was awarded “Honorable Mention” at the 2016 Los Angeles Book Festival, which I think is in California.  I have been invited to the grand ceremony, which will be followed by a gourmet meal at a restaurant that received a 3-star rating from Michelin.  (Why is a tire company rating restaurants?  Sounds a little sketchy to me.)

Meanwhile, the presidential race rolls onward!  I might throw my hat into the ring, and if I do, this will be my campaign motto:  “BAN PRE-SHREDDED CHEESE. MAKE AMERICA GRATE AGAIN!”  (Good Lord, that’s the second cheese reference!)  That last joke was an oldie and a moldy!  Speaking of politics…  I see that Clinton and Trump will be on the Late Show this week.  (Bernie Sanders will be appraised on the “Antiques Roadshow.”)  Come on, that one was cute!

Speaking of cute…..  Congratulations to Mrs. Donna Diloretto of Austin, Texas.  Donna was the winner of last week’s trivia contest, correctly identifying the photograph of El Morro National Monument in Puerto Rico.

I would also like to mention (and thank) the beautiful and talented Mrs. Gladys Deatrick  (of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee) for sending me a wonderful compact disc.  (A copy of the recent PBS program titled, “Murder of a President.  Romance, Madness, Medicine, and the Death of James A. Garfield.”)  As many of you know, my book, THE SECOND MOURNING, presents the true story of the assassination, and provides some startling information about the assassin.

I would also like to thank the lovely Shelda Hamilton of Saskatchewan, Canada, for sending along some photographs of her home town, Saskatoon.  (Please say hello to your ne’er-do-well companion for me.)  Shelda is “attached” to Dr. George, one of the most prominent physicians south of the North Pole.  Or north of the South Pole.  I forget which.)

I may be heading for Los Angeles on Wednesday, so if I end up in jail I’m sure you’ll understand.  The last time I was there, I had a traumatic experience at Denny’s Restaurant in Brentwood.  I ordered breakfast (a two-egg omelet) and get this… the waiter forgot my coffee!  To make matters worse, he brought over O.J.  (When did that creep get out of prison?)

Well, that’s about all for now.  (whew!)  Have a safe and wonderful week!

Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.  Feeling lucky?  Be the first to correctly identify the location of the attached photograph and you will win an autographed book!

 

 

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PUT THE MEDAL TO THE PEDAL!

So, you might ask, what am I “driving” at?  Well, there I was, on my way to sunny south Florida to pick up my gold medal, recently awarded by the Florida Book Festival, when lo and behold, I receive an email from my publicist, (Blind Lenny Lefkowitz) stating that I won first place in the USA REGIONAL EXCELLENCE BOOK AWARDS!  Soooo….  I have to make a quick u-turn and head north to Washington, D.C.  But wait, this is not as easy as it sounds.  I happen to be flying on an airplane.  I was tempted to ask the pilot to drop me off somewhere over Virginia, but I decided against it.  (Oh, shoot, no parachute!)

Make a long story short, I came to lovely Boca Raton and spent a week charming the locals.  If you want to see the USA REGIONAL announcement, just go to their website.  By the way, they were very kind to me, and they described THE SECOND MOURNING thusly:  “The book truly captured the spirit of United States history and the excellence that this award was created to celebrate.”

Speaking of capturing spirits, my mother’s 90th birthday party was a HUGE success.  (Even though Mr. Trump was not present.)  Thanks to the efforts of Grace and Glenn Yanoff, the affair was held at the incredibly beautiful Addison Reserve Country Club, which went all out and presented an amazing seafood extravaganza of lobster, shrimp, mussels, clams, oysters, and crab legs.  (Yes, I arrived with rubber-lined pockets, and left with a couple of pounds of delicious lobster tails.  Unfortunately, the melted butter stained my pants.)  By the way, my new name at the club is “butter-butt.”

Hey, have you folks read the Sunday New York Times?  No, they didn’t mention me.  However, if you look in the Travel Section you will see an article called “36 Hours in Austin, Texas.”  The good folks in New York listed the best “things to do” in Austin, and one of those things was a visit to my daughter’s new clothing boutique, called COVE.  (The dang kid is getting more press than me!  What’s the story with that?)

Well, all is not lost.  I did get a short mention in the Boca Raton Gazette.  Some reporter was asking tourists if they knew the difference between an alligator and a crocodile.  When they made the mistake of asking me, I said, “It’s not that difficult to tell alligators and crocodiles apart.  One will see you later, and the other will see you in a while.”  The reporter (a young dude) had never heard that bad joke before, so he was quite amused, and once again, I made the front page.  (The paper has an impressive circulation, which is more than I can say for its elderly readers!)

Before I forget, the winner of last week’s trivia contest was….   Cormac McCarthy from West Texas.  Mr. McCarthy correctly identified the photo as Shell Beach, on the magnificent island of St. Barts.  I spent a lovely day on this beach, but was asked to leave after a minor misunderstanding.  (How did I know she was a minor?)  Just kidding.  Here’s what really happened…  Shell Beach is a nude beach and very French.  Some young lady was walking along the surf with an owl on each shoulder.  I told her that she had nice hooters.  (and the rest, as they say, is history!)

To show that there are no hard feelings, I will offer another autographed book to the first loyal blog follower that can correctly identify the location of the attached photograph.  (no cheating, whatever that means.)

Well, it’s time to check my scuba equipment for tomorrow’s big dive, so I will say farewell until we meet again. (I’m cleaning my mom’s pool in the morning.)  You folks take care and have a fantastic week….  By the way, do you know that I almost gave up diving?  (too much pressure!)     Love to all,

Doc Yanoff.

 

P.S.  The trivia contest photo is attached!  Good luck!

 

 

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GO EAST, YOUNG MAN!

Horace Greeley actually advised a western direction, but If I headed west, I would not be able to pick up my Gold Medal, recently awarded by the Florida Book Festival.  Hard to believe, but my history tome, THE SECOND MOURNING, won the award for “Best History Book of the Year.”  Due to my recent Caribbean cruise, book tour, and daily rum intoxication, I missed the awards ceremony, but…  all is not lost!  Now I get to return to the scene of the crime, so to speak, and receive my medal and a wheelbarrow full of cash.  (All right, maybe it’s a bucket full of cash.)

The ceremony was held during my stay on Antigua, so I had to miss the festivities. However, I can’t complain about being marooned on such a lovely Caribbean island.  Nevertheless, one must wonder…  Do bakers get “macarooned?”  Boy, that would be sweet.  (pun intended)

Lest you think me vain, I have two other reasons for heading back to the Sunshine State…  First, and most important, I shall be attending a gala birthday party for my beautiful mother, who is turning 90 in March.  Since I am her favorite, (surprise, surprise) I will be giving her a VERY generous gift…  two copies (autographed) of  THE SECOND MOURNING.  I usually give my mom a 10% discount, but this time the books will be free.  (Is it any wonder that I’m her favorite?)

In addition to our surprise party, I will also be visiting the Haitian Emanuel Baptist Church, where I am slated to receive a “certificate of appreciation” for donating several cases of my mystery novels.  This thoughtful award means a lot to me.  Both of my mother’s caregivers are originally from Haiti, and like most nurses, they are true angels.  In my humble opinion, every nurse is an angel, which is why most hospitals have “two wings!”

In case you’re wondering, the next “Adam Gold Mystery,” titled A RUN FOR THE MONEY, will be published in May or June, depending upon several factors.  (If I can avoid incarceration in Fort Lauderdale.)  Keep in mind that I will be in Florida during Spring Break, so there are no guarantees.  (Last year I got into a little jam while judging the wet T-shirt contest.  Who knew you weren’t supposed to take photographs?)

Incidentally, I just started a new book about sexual horseplay.  I’m not sure of the title, but I think I’m going with “50 SHADES OF HAY.”  I don’t want to give away the plot, but my characters try to “rein in their feelings” while dealing with “unbridled passion” for each other.  Look, I know these jokes are lousy, but there aren’t many good horse jokes, so don’t “nag me.”  (Yikes, that one was really bad!)

Hey, before I forget, congratulations to Miss Laura and her family.  (Joyous residents of Oklahoma.)  They recently received (via UPS) a brand new baby boy named Liam!  Back here in Texas, we are all delighted and thrilled, and we send our very best to all of you Sooners.  (and we hope to see you “sooner” than later!)

I wonder if it’s too early to send Liam a blog invitation?  Maybe I should wait until the lad is eating solid food.  (Then again, my jokes might make him nauseous!)

In closing, I shall leave you with immortal words of Dorothy Parker, the wise-cracking babe who invented Parker House Rolls.  (or not)   When asked to use the word “horticulture” in a sentence, she replied, “You can lead a horticulture, but you can’t make her think.”

Amen.

Well, my friends, be well and be safe.  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff

 

P.S.   If you are the first person to correctly identify the location of the attached photograph (s) you will win an autographed copy of my new book!  Good luck!

 

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THE LONDON BOOK FESTIVAL!

Tally ho, old chaps, we’re off to see the Queen!  (If I can find a reasonably priced airline ticket.)  I’ve reserved a suite in Downton Abbey just in case.  Well, it’s not actually a suite, but there’s plenty of hay in the room.  I have no problem with that.  I’ve always been a “stable guy.”  Hay, that was a pretty good joke!  You’re probably wondering what I’m babbling about, right?

Well, my darlings, the winners of the 2015 LONDON BOOK FESTIVAL were just posted online…..  and guess who won another award?  No, not Stephen King.  Me!  I know, I know, I’m simply in a class of my own.  (That actually started in third grade.)  Anyway, here are the juicy details…..

THE SECOND MOURNING was awarded the Bronze Medal for “Outstanding History Book of the Year” at the London festival last week.  First place went to a book about Galileo, the Italian astronaut.  (Make that, astronomer.)  Second place was given to a book about Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian guy who invented some sort of code.  Recognize a trend here?  I tried to convince the judges that President James Garfield was Sicilian, but they wouldn’t buy it.  Actually, since this festival was international in scope, I’m surprised I won anything.  I’m also VERY grateful.

My next book will be about “procrastination,” but I haven’t started it yet.

Incidentally, anybody know what language they speak in England?  I’d like to learn a few phrases.  (Mainly about using the privy.)

Speaking of foreign languages…..  The 2015 Annual Blog Reports were recently sent out, and we did quite well.  (Top 5% of all blogs in the nation!)  Most of our readers come from 72 different countries around the globe.  The top 3 countries this past year were:  1.  United States   2.  Brazil   3.  Italy     Surprisingly, we gained several followers in Iraq.  (This last time I went to Iraq, Iran!)  We also gained some new followers in Togo, Burundi, and Eritrea.  (I’m not positive, but I think that folks who live in Eritrea are called “Irretrievables.”)

Hey, did you see that there is a new company in Austin, Texas, that is offering customers a chance to reduce their hotel bills if they’re willing to share a room with a stranger?  (The company is called Jose Cuervo!)

Finally, for those of you who might find yourselves in the Caribbean in January and/or February, the first two book tour stops have been finalized by my brilliant and semi-conscious publicist, Blind Lemon Lefkowitz.  First stop will be at La Maison de la Press on St. Martin.  Second stop will be at Best of Books on the lovely island of Antigua.  Other stops to follow.  Time and dates t/b/a.

I was just listening to Ted Cruz on one of the television shows.  He adamantly denied having a Canadian passport, but swore he would get one if Trump won the nomination.  Hmmm.  Poor Bernie Sanders.  He keeps trying to take a “selfie” with his supporters, but he can’t figure out how to use his rotary phone.  Hmmm.

Well, I must depart at this juncture, as I need to check out the Austin-London flight connections.  I doubt I will actually go abroad, as I am pressed for time, and short of cash after the holidays.  If you folks have any extra money that you don’t need, please mail it to me in a brown envelope, and if you would, address it to the “Starving Authors Literary Slush Fund.”  Please remember….. it is better to give than receive.

I do hope you enjoyed today’s blog.  If so, it just proves that there is no accounting for taste.  Hey, who said that?  I think it was Jeffrey Dahmer.  Maybe Hannibal Lecter.  Hmmm.   (NOT to be confused with mmmm!)   Would somebody “flesh” that out for me?  Thank you.

Have a safe and happy week!  Love to all,

Doc Yanoff