Tag Archives: End of Lonely Street

Still Missing Elvis – His 82nd Birthday

Nov. 14, 1970: Elvis Presley in concert at the Forum in Inglewood. Photo by Harry Chase/Los Angeles Times

Eighty-two years ago today, Elvis Aaron Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. He was one of twins, but his brother, Jesse Garon, died at birth. Unless you live in a cave (and have never been out of it), no matter what age you are, what kind of music you listen to, you know who Elvis is. He grew up poor and rocketed to stardom and became the most well-known, dynamic entertainer of all time. Of course, in my opinion, the most talented, charismatic, sexy, etc, etc. I even love watching his movies. (I say ‘even’ because they are not exactly critically acclaimed, but watching him brings me joy, no matter the medium).

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I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that he would be eighty-two. I’m not sure what he would be doing now, what he would look like, but I would imagine he’d still be in the spotlight, entertaining. He died when I was sixteen, and his death was truly devastating–to me and to my sisters. The world has suffered a great deal of celebrity deaths in 2016, and yes, people are sad about them. (On a side note, I see posts from people who criticize those who are sad over celebrity deaths when we have soldiers dying, etc. However, I believe it is because some might feel more connected to the celebrities. They are familiar with them, not to mention, the media shares the news about the deaths. If we saw personal articles on each soldier’s death, with pictures and stories about their lives, etc, we would react in a more personal way.  That’s just my opinion. Yes, it’s more tragic for a young man or woman to give their life serving their country than for a wealthy celebrity to pass, but maybe cut those who are posting about it some slack. It just so happens that the celebrity is the topic du jour at the time.) But I digress…back to Elvis… The grief we (and many fans) felt over his death was different, I believe, than the sadness most people feel over celebrities. It was like, and in some ways worse than, losing a family member. From the time I discovered him at the young age of 5’ish, he was a huge part of my life. My sisters and I watched his movies each time they aired and also caught them as often as we could at our local movie theater, The Chieftain, in Oklahoma City.

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I listened to his music almost all the time. I dreamed of growing up and marrying him. I learned every detail I could about him and his life. I plastered my walls with his posters. I was lucky enough to see three of his concerts, and was anxious to go to more, but unfortunately, the concert I attended in March, 1977 was the last of his I would ever see.

Not only did Elvis entertain me, he actually made me feel deeply happy (and yes, sad at times as well). All of my life, even now, if I’m feeling sad or stressed, I can watch or listen to Elvis and he lifts my mood. He’s even intertwined with my dream of being a writer. My first ever story (which I wrote at ten years old) was a romance with a hero who looked just like Elvis, and I mentioned Elvis frequently, and named my hero Lonnie Beale, after Elvis’ character in Tickle Me. I even titled it “Just Pretend” which is one of my favorite Elvis songs.

Here is a shot of the hand-written copy of my story, which I still have. 🙂

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Elvis is still a huge part of my life. I named my son Presley, I’ve gone to Graceland half a dozen times or so and would love to go again and again, I use him in all my passwords, I listen to his music,  I watch his movies, I mention him in almost all my books, and I blogged about him regularly for over a year (although I did let that slide. I still have a few Elvis blog posts left in me, though. :)). I even wrote a romance short story published through The Wild Rose Press, set in 1957 that revolves around Elvis. The title is End of Lonely Street. Can anyone guess how I came up with that? 🙂

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(The short story is available in ebook for only 99 cents: https://www.amazon.com/End-Lonely-Street-Alicia-Dean-ebook/dp/B00QQO3BK0/ – and, it’s part of a print book of four other of my Wild Rose Press short stories: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Dangerously-Alicia-Dean/dp/1509213112/)

I just wanted to pay tribute, share my thoughts about someone who had such a major impact on my life. I think one reason that Elvis was so special was not only his phenomenal talent, but his heart. He was down to Earth (in spite of all the glitz and bling :)), loving, generous, and extremely appreciative of his fans. He was good to his friends, his family, his daughter, and even his ex-wife. No other celebrity has ever or will ever make the impact Elvis has made. Nearly forty years after his death, fans flock to see his home, to celebrate his life and mourn his death.

Happy Birthday, Elvis. You are loved and missed by millions of people all over the world.

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Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 86 – The Guest House at Graceland

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

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Oh my gosh, have you SEEN this? On October 27, 2016, the brand new hotel, The Guest House at Graceland, will open. It looks magnificent!!! I must stay there before I die. The rooms are a little pricey, but totally worth it. Look at this gorgeous lobby:

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The hotel has 450 guest rooms, some of them with really cool themes.

Such as…

The King’s Suites, one of which is inspired by Elvis’ bedroom at Graceland, the other by Las Vegas decor with both vintage and contemporary accouterments. 

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Vernon & Gladys Suites – Decorate with mid-century flair and inspired by Elvis’ Palm Springs home.

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There are also the TCB & Living Room Suites. Is anyone else surprised there is no Jungle Room suite? I would imagine that even the ‘regular’ rooms are fabulous. I would love to stay in a special-theme room, but I’d be content with the least expensive one.

I am utterly in awe and would LOVE to visit there some day. Not only is it spectacular, but just being at Graceland is a feeling that is indescribable. It’s somehow both thrilling and heart wrenching, and as I’ve mentioned before, there is an almost tangible presence there. As if Elvis’ essence was so strong, it remains. I can imagine how much more amazing the entire experience would be if I stayed at this new hotel. Surrounded by so many Elvis related items and people would be heavenly.

Here is a pic of me with my three kids and my niece when we visited Graceland a few years back. We stayed at The Heartbreak Hotel, and I’m so glad we did since it has now been torn down.

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Maybe I’ll make it to The Guest House at Graceland some day… When I DO go, believe me, I’ll be sharing all about my experience right here. 🙂

You can find out more at the site: http://guesthousegraceland.com/

Have a wonderful weekend!

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

5 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 85 – 50 Years Ago Today & Other Tidbits

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

 

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September 9, 1956 – Elvis performed “Love Me Tender” for his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show “Toast of the Town.” He was shot from just the waist up during the performance. Elvis would make a total of three appearances on the show.  Record stores were swamped with requests for the record, which had not been released yet.

Songwriter Ben Weisman has the honorable distinction of having written more songs for Elvis than any other songwriter. Guess how many? That’s right…57!! (See how much faith I have in you?) Elvis called him The “Mad Professor.”

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On Elvis’ right, Sid Wayne, on his left, Ben Weisman

Some of my favorites he’s written are: “Slowly but Surely” – “As Long as I Have You” – “Fame and Fortune”

Here is As Long as I have You from King Creole. Very sad moment 😦

Quote from Ben:

“I approached writing for Elvis differently than I did for any other artist. The songs had to have a combination of blues, country, rock and pop [what came to becalled ‘rockabilly’]. It was like walking in his musical shoes. With each new Elvis movie, more of my songs were being recorded. It became more and more exciting, for I was becoming the only songwriter to have so many songs recorded by him.”

And, finally, just a random quote I love:

Elvis was the only man from Northeast Mississippi who could shake his hips and still be loved by rednecks, cops, and hippies.
– Jimmy Buffett

Have a wonderful weekend!

~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

3 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 84 – Prince is no King

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

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Bremer Trust, the same company that manages Graceland tours, has made a deal to oversee tours of Paisley Park, Prince’s mansion/studio/concert hall outside of Minneapolis. Not to disparage Prince, I know he was a huge talent, and I have a lot of respect for him as an artist. However, I cannot imagine that the tours of his estates will be as successful as those of Graceland. I am certain the tours will be quite prosperous for the first few years, but I can’t see them having the longevity of the Graceland tours. Prince has a ton of fans, but I don’t believe they span generations the way Elvis fans do. Elvis fans of all ages travel from across the world to see his home, still, nearly forty years after his death.

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Prince performs at half time during Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears at Dolphins Stadium in Miami, Florida on February 4, 2007. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

Graceland was opened to the public in 1982, five years after Elvis passed away. It draws more than 500,000 visitors annually. And has for nearly thirty-five years. I doubt people will flock to Paisley Park every year for decades, but maybe I’m wrong. While I’m sure the company who handles the tours is doing a great job, I don’t believe their business acumen is the reason for the huge turnout of visitors to Graceland. As in life, Elvis in death still has a magnetism that draws people to him in droves.

Of course, it’s not a competition. I hope the venture is successful. I’m sure it will be great for the economy. Visitors to Elvis’ home bring in around 150 million dollars per year to Memphis. Not a bad chunk of change.

From an article on the venture: Paisley Park tours will include Prince’s video editing suites, rehearsal rooms, private NPG Music Club, and a massive soundstage and concert hall where he rehearsed for tours and held private events and concerts. Visitors also will see thousands of artifacts from Prince’s personal archives, including his concert wardrobe, awards, musical instruments, artwork, rare music and video recordings, concert memorabilia, automobiles and motorcycles.

Here is a photo of Paisley Park:

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It looks more like an office complex than a home, doesn’t it? From what I understand, inside the home is much more appealing.

What do you think? Would you travel to Minneapolis to see Prince’s estates? If so, more than once?

I’ve been to Graceland five times, and I will go as many more times as I can. Most fans who visit have visited several times. There’s just something about Elvis that keeps people coming back. We’ll see if Prince has that same kind of draw.

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

9 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 83 – Elvis Week – The 39th Anniversary of His Death

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

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This coming Tuesday, August 16th, marks the 39th anniversary of Elvis’ death. I know I’ve said this before, but it just does NOT seem like it has been nearly four decades since we lost him. 

‘Elvis Week’ is, as the name implies, a week honoring Elvis. It began in 1978, the year after he passed away, starting with a small group of Elvis fans. It has grown like crazy and now is a huge event spanning several days and including multiple guests and a horde of attendees. More evidence that no other entertainer ever has, or ever will, have the kind of impact on the world that Elvis had.

I have yet to visit Graceland during Elvis week. On one hand, I would love to so that I can help be a part of something so monumental and be with thousands of other Elvis fans. On the other hand, I prefer visiting Graceland when it’s not quite such a frenzy of people and activity.

There are many events during Elvis week I would love to see, especially the presentations by those who actually knew him, his friends, co-stars, etc. But something I have no interest in whatsoever—and it is one of the main things Elvis week features–are the Tribute Artists. As I’ve said many times, I do NOT like Elvis impersonators. If it’s not the real thing, then it is nothing to me, not even the slightest bit interesting, appealing, or entertaining. I don’t understand why Graceland and those who knew and loved Elvis are so gung-ho about these guys who try to dress and sing like him. Yes, I know they changed it to ‘Tribute Artists,’ presumably to sound less like they are simply imitating and, in some cases, not very well. To me, rather than being a tribute, I find it a little disrespectful. I know ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’ but again, I don’t need an imitator. I need the REAL thing. But maybe that’s just me?

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Here are some events that I would love to attend:

  • A Sock Hop with DJ Argo  – Elvis music, dancing, games, and giveaways.
  • Hound Dog Tour: A Musical City Tour Celebrating Elvis by Backbeat Tours – A tour going from BB King’s Blues Club on a bus playing Elvis music. It shows where he grew up, where he went to school, where he worked, and sites important to his early career. It includes an optional visit inside the Presley family apartment at Lauderdale Courts – meticulously restored to its 1950s appearance, a visit to Apartment 328 of the Courts is like taking a step back in time, offering an unparalleled glimpse into the lives of Vernon, Gladys, and young Elvis. The tour includes exciting sites such as Sun Studio, Elvis’ Audubon Drive home, Humes High School, the Overton Park Shell (the amphitheater where he performed his first big show in 1954), Lansky Bros. clothing store, the Memphian Theater and the Chisca Hotel (home of the WHBQ radio station).
  • The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley – Performances by gospel singers who shared the stage with Elvis, and some who were influenced by his music. Elvis imagery and videos will play on a big screen throughout the performance.  
  • Conversations on Elvis: Elvis Co-Stars – Two of his co-stars this year that I would really like to see are Warren Berlinger, one of his co-stars in “Spinout” and Celeste Yarnall, a co-star in “Live a Little, Love a Little” This is Elvis and Celeste from the movie:

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  • An Afternoon with Elvis’ Piano Man, Glen D. Hardin – Elvis’ Piano player shares music and stories.
  • The Sound and Soul of Memphis –  Blues music by local musicians. Performances of Elvis song and other rock, blues and soul music.
  • The Candlelight Vigil
  • George Klein’s Elvis Memorial Service

 Some interesting tidbits about Elvis week can be found here:

http://blog.graceland.com/10-things-you-might-not-know-about-elvis-week/

Maybe I’ll try to go next year. The 40th anniversary of his death should be quite a blowout. Thank you for joining me.   Have a wonderful weekend!

~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

6 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 82 – The Movies 23-25 (1967) – Easy Come, Easy Go – Clambake – Double Trouble

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

Easy Come, Easy Go:

Not one of my top Elvis movies, but as long as I can look at him, I enjoy ANY of his movies.  I didn’t feel Elvis and his love interest had much chemistry, and Elvis usually has great chemistry with his leading ladies. Also, their love story didn’t really develop. They didn’t have many moments or sexual tension, etc, but at the end, they were just together.

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About: Elvis plays Lt. Ted Jackson, a Navy frogman who recently got out of the service and is singing for a living. He discovers a buried treasure and decides to go after it. The treasure belonged to the grandfather of Elvis’ love interest (played by Dodie Marshall who was also in Spinout). She is none too pleased to learn Elvis is after it, but she decides to help him after extracting a promise that he’ll donate the money to a commune for her hippie artsy friends. Someone else is after the treasure too, and although there are some dicey moments at the end, with a little help from his friends, Elvis gets the treasure and the girl. However, they discover the coins are not gold and are almost worthless. The ‘team’ donates their shares to the girl anyway, so she has enough to help her friends. 

Side notes: The move was originally planned by Paramount as a vehicle for Jan and Dean, but after a train wreck that injured them an many of their crew, the project ws scrapped and the script was rewritten for Elvis.

This was the last movie Elvis and Hal Wallis did together.

The director, John Rich, is the only director in Elvis’ movie career he didn’t get along with. He’d also directed Roustabout. While filming a scene in Easy Come, Easy Go, Elvis and Red West kept screwing up and laughing. The director was pissed and threw all of Elvis’ buddies out. Elvis was furious. He told the director and producers, “Now, just a minute. We’re doing these movies because it’s supposed to be fun, nothing more. Now when they cease to be fun, then we’ll cease to do them.” 

Favorite Song: I wasn’t crazy about the songs in this movie, but I suppose my favorite would be You Gotta Stop. The title song isn’t bad. 

Favorite Scene: It would probably have to be him in the all-black shirt and pants doing yoga. Adorable!

 

Double Trouble:

I enjoyed this movie because it was different, since it took place in Europe and had sort of a crime caper feel to it. It was actually filmed in California. Other than when in the army, Elvis never visited Europe.  Elvis had many scenes in fog,  which is very sexy. 🙂

 

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About: Elvis plays Guy Lambert, an American singer who falls for a teenage heiress whose uncle, it turns out, is trying to kill her. They are chased and murder is attempted throughout the movie until the end, where the bad guys are caught and Elvis gets the girl. 

Side Notes: An Elvis fan bought a jacket as a gift to Elvis. Elvis told her to watch the movie carefully when it came out. The film came out and she saw that the jacket was in the suitcase which belongs to Elvis’ character on film.

This was the first and only movie Annette Day (his leading lady) ever made.

Elvis gave Annette a sports car as a gift, which she later gave to her brother.

Favorite Song: Probably Long-Legged Girl. 

Favorite Scenes: I loved any of the scenes where he fought. And there was a really sexy part where he threw a chair through a glass window. I loved this line after the rich uncle says that as a musician Elvis can’t have much money. Then he says, “I didn’t mean to offend.” Elvis says, “I’m not  offended, I’m just in a hurry. I don’t want to lose my place in the brad line.” In this really annoyed sexy way. (Are you sensing a ‘sexy’ theme to my recap of Elvis movies???) 🙂

 

Clambake

LOVE this movie. Sigh…Elvis was so sexy and I always love Shelley Fabares as his leading lady. And, Bill Bixby is in it, and I loved watching him in Elvis movies. He plays the perfect cad in Clambake. This was another movie where people said Elvis was fat. UGH…SO not true.

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About: Elvis plays Scott Heyward, the rich son of a rich oil field magnate who is discouraged because he feels women only love him for his money. (Yeah, right!). He takes off for some ‘me-time’ and heads to Miami Beach. On the way, he meets poor water ski instructor, Tom Wilson, and they switch identities so Scott can see what it’s like to have people know him for who he really is. He meets Shelley (Dianne), who is there to look for a rich man and finds him in the form of Bill Bixby. But, of course, she ends up falling for Elvis, he wins the boat race and all live Happily Ever After. One reason I love this movie so much is that there was true chemistry between Elvis and Shelley, and there were some emotional, angsty moments that I always enjoy. You could really see the romance develop, which was lacking in some of his films.  

Side Notes: 

The movie was set in Florida but filmed in California. In some shots, you can see the California mountains in the background. 🙂

Elvis was becoming more discouraged with his film career at the time this movie was made and he and his buddies pulled more shenanigans than usual on the set.

Elvis’ character used a mobile phone and the gas station attendant remarked something to the effect of, “That must be one heck of a long cord.”

One of the children at the playground during the song “Confidence” is Corbin Bernsen.

Lee Majors visited the set and filmed a cameo; he can be seen in the background of the restaurant scene, wearing a fake mustache.

Favorite Song: Probably “You Don’t Know Me” – Check it out here: 


Favorite Scene:  Just before he sings the above song. Shelley comes to see him before her big date with Jameson (Bill Bixby) and the scene is charged with sexual tension. She turns to leave and Elvis says, “Hey, come here.” (in this cave-man sexy way) She returns to him and he takes her hanky from her purse and says, “Blot.” He blots her lips and then tosses the hanky away aggressively and tugs her hair out of its pins and settles it loosely around her shoulders. He gives her a smoldering look and says, “Unless Jameson is blind, maybe he can see the forest for the trees.” Sigh…

Thank you for joining me. Have you seen these movies? What did you think? 

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

4 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan ~ Part 76 ~ Merle Haggard…We’ve Lost Another Legend

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

As I’m sure you all know, on April 6th, country music legend, Merle Haggard, passed away. Ironically, it was also on his birthday. Of course, Elvis is by far, my very favorite singer, entertainer, all around everything, but I adored Merle Haggard. I am a huge country music fan (well, I was, back when it was decent…sorry to be blunt, but the truth hurts. Today’s music is almost unlistenable (is that a word?)).

Anyway…I am extremely saddened by Merle’s passing. He was not only one of my favorite country singers (in my top 3-Hank Sr, Merle, and George Jones), but his music was such a big part of my life, my entire life. I can’t listen to him without being taken back to my childhood and growing up in a musical family where my parents’ form of entertainment was living room music sessions. My dad (whose 91st birthday would have been yesterday), played guitar and sang and many, many Hag songs were part of those sessions. He and my mother are why I love country music so much.  My brother, Brett Robertson) is a guitar player as well. This is a video of the band he’s with, The Gary Gibson Band, out of Oklahoma, doing a Merle Haggard tune. My brother is the lead guitarist: 

Lest we forget, here are a few pics to remind us that Merle was not only a phenomenal singer and songwriter, he was gorgeous!

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And, because I can’t NOT share a pic of Elvis…

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Merle will be sorely missed by myself and millions of other fans. Elvis and Merle were not exactly tight, but they were more or less friends and shared a mutual respect. Merle did a tribute album to Elvis after his death. Below is a video of Merle singing “From Graceland to the Promised Land.”  One thing to note, in the song, the lyrics; “His life was two days longer than the one who gave him life,” aren’t quite accurate. Many people thought Elvis and his mother died at the same age, but he was 42, and she was 46.  

Here is an interesting interview where Merle mentioned Elvis:

http://merlehaggard.com/merle-haggard/

Probably my favorite song by Merle Haggard is “Today I Started Loving You Again.” I love the line, “What a fool I was to think I could get by with only these few million tears I’ve cried.” I am certain that more than a few million tears have been and will be cried over the loss of Mighty Merle. Here’s him singing “Today I Started Loving You Again.”

 

Rest in peace, Merle, your legend will live on.

Thank you for stopping by…Happy Friday! 

 ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~* ~*~*~*~*~*

EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ 80th birthday, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

22 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Tuesday Two-Minute Writing Tip – Don’t Think It, Say It

Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ Giving your story more impact by giving your characters more dialogue

Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…

TWoMinuteTip

Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.

Everyone knows readers like to read dialogue, so be sure to capitalize on every opportunity to put more words in their mouths. Also, it can often bring a little more impact and depth to a scene. So, why have your characters think something when they can actually say it?

Here are a few examples from some of my stories, the first two being published works where it’s too late, but looking back, my characters should have said it, not thought it…

End of Lonely Street:

As it is:

“I’ll have none of this nonsense at a school function. Rock and roll? Are you out of your mind?”

No rock and roll? No Everly Brothers or Little Richard or Buddy Holly? No….Elvis?

“But, sir. The kids are really looking forward to it. We’ve sold more than three-hundred tickets so far, and we just know we’ll sell more. That’s over three-hundred dollars for Miss Murdock’s expenses—well, once we deduct the operational costs. Many of the kids will want their money back if we don’t have rock and roll music at the dance. Besides, Miss Murdock already gave her approval, before she had to retire.”

Mr. Rivers crossed his hands on the top of his desk. “It doesn’t matter how many tickets you’ve sold. I’m in charge now, and I’m not going to coddle students like Miss Murdock did. I won’t have my kids exposed to that devil music, especially that vulgar, immoral Elvis the Pelvis.”

“Vulgar? Devil music?” Toby clenched her fists. It made her so angry when older people spoke that way about rock and roll, especially about Elvis. He was a nice boy, respectful and polite. Kind to his fans, to his mother. And he was the dreamiest. “Rock and roll is not devil music. It’s just a way for kids to have fun, to have their own—”

As it could have been:

“Vulgar? Devil music?” Toby clenched her fists. It made her so angry when older people spoke that way about rock and roll, especially about Elvis. “He’s a nice boy,  respectful and polite. He’s kind to his fans, to his mother.” And he was the dreamiest. “Rock and roll is not devil music. It’s just a way for kids to have fun, to have their own—”

There was really no point in only doing it in narrative. This gives her a little more backbone, I think.

From Death Notice:

As it is:

“I’m sorry,” he said softly.

I nodded. “It wasn’t their fault. Katie’s parents knew my parents were going out. Knew we were spending the night in the back yard. It was a safe neighborhood. They weren’t worried. But after…” I shrugged. “I guess they just needed someone to blame.”

“I’m sure they did,” Lane said, but I was barely aware of him speaking. I was lost in that time. Now that I had started, it all kept pouring out.

“Although Mom and Dad felt guilty, they were defensive when Katie’s parents accused them. It caused a huge rift, and they never spoke again. Funny, but Katie’s parents didn’t hold it against me or Josie. As a matter of fact, I became even closer to them as the years went by. Katie was an only child, and I guess it helped to have me around. My parents didn’t mind. They felt terrible about what happened. Almost guilty about the fact that they had four children left when the Broussards had none. My brothers were devastated. Especially Gabe, since he was left in charge. Coburn, as usual, was a rock, but Mitch and Gabe went to pieces. It had the opposite effect on each of them. Gabe, who’d been wild and out of control, settled down, became quiet. Wound up becoming a priest. Mitch went a little crazy for a few years. Got really heavy into drugs. Josie did, too. Only, Mitch came back.”

“Must have been horrible.”

“It was.”

We started junior high that year. It was miserable. I already had a reputation for being a little morbid since my dad was a mortician. After Katie’s death, rumors circulated about my family being cultists. About how we’d put some kind of curse on her. Some even said we’d sacrificed her in a ritual and eaten her flesh. Josie became a stoner and I became an outcast. My brothers, oddly, went unscathed. They were just too good-looking and had too much personality to let a little thing like ritualistic murder affect their popularity.

As it could have been:

“It was. We started junior high that year. It was miserable. I already had a reputation for being a little morbid since my dad was a mortician. After Katie’s death, rumors circulated about my family being cultists. About how we’d put some kind of curse on her. Some even said we’d sacrificed her in a ritual and eaten her flesh. Josie became a stoner and I became an outcast. My brothers, oddly, went unscathed. They were just too good-looking and had too much personality to let a little thing like ritualistic murder affect their popularity.”

I think this is not only less boring, being in dialogue, but it opens her up a bit to Lane, the guy she’s falling in love with.

Lastly, and very briefly, in my latest WIP, Evil Eye, I am writing a rough draft and I have a scene where my protagonist’s dad has been roughed up by some bad guys to whom he owes money. (He’s an addicted gambler/alcoholic). He wants Scarlet (my protagonist) to ask her estranged, criminal sister for the money. I wrote it like this:

Scarlet twisted a strand of hair and tucked it behind her ear. “I can cash in my retirement, but I’ll only get half of what you need. I’ll take that to them, let them know I’m a cop. Maybe I can convince them to settle for that. At least for now.”

Her dad groaned out a sound that was something between a laugh and a cry. “These people don’t make deals and they aren’t afraid of cops.”

“Do you have a better idea?” Irritation sharpened her voice.

“Yeah, I do. You can ask Ivory. She’d as soon spit on my corpse as to look at me, but she’d do anything to connect with you again.”

Scarlet would rather take a beating from Hector’s goons than speak with her sister, but was she willing to let her dad be killed? She let out a weary sigh. “Fine, I’ll talk to her, on one condition.”

Then I realized that  it might play better, have a little more impact and get across to her dad just how reluctant she is, if I turned it into dialogue: 

Scarlet snorted. “I’d rather take a beating from Hector’s goons than see Ivory.” But, was she willing to let her dad be killed? She let out a weary sigh. “Fine, I’ll talk to her, on one condition.”

What do you think? Is dialogue often better? We can’t always apply this. After all, we don’t want a story with nothing but dialogue. Plus, our characters often think things that definitely shouldn’t be spoken aloud. But, perhaps keep this in mind as you’re polishing, even if you don’t do so in the first draft. Are there things your characters can think that they’d be better off saying? 

Until next time…happy writing!

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NEW RELEASE – Available April 15, 2016 – Pre-Order for only 99¢!

(Click on the cover to be taken to the Amazon Buy Page)

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I am releasing an e-book with a collection of Two-Minute Tips I have shared on my blog. Now, you can have them in one convenient place for easy reference. Pre-Order price is 99¢ – Regular price will be $2.99.

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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible. 

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*** Find the Magic and the book I use for examples in FTM, Without Mercy, are both on sale for 1.50 each. Click HERE for Find the Magic and HERE for Without Mercy ***

16

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!

*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)

Amazon: Click Here

12 Comments

Filed under For Writers, Promo Tips, Tips from an Editor

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 72 – Random Facts and Songs You May Not Have Heard

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

7252775ce656f81fed2385dbaf9c5da3

Some interesting, random facts… (Well, to me, everything about Elvis is interesting. :))

In 1954, when Elvis was cutting some early records at Sun Studios, he auditioned for an amateur gospel quartet called the Songfellows. They turned him down. Ha, can you imagine???? I would bet they sorely regretted that.

Not only was Elvis a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln’s great-great grandfather, Isaiah Harrison, he was a distant cousin of Jimmy Carter.

In 1973, Elvis gave Muhammad Ali a $10,000 white robe, with the words “People’s Champion” emblazoned across the back. Ali was touched, and wore the robe on 31 March, when he fought Ken Norton for the first time. Norton broke Ali’s jaw in the second round, before winning a 12-round decision. Ali vowed never to wear the robe again, although he maintained his friendship with Elvis.

In 1976, Paul McCartney’s wife, Linda, purchased the stand up bass used by Bill Black (a member of Elvis’ original band). The McCartney’s knew someone in Nashville who knew Bill Black’s family. The bass was just sitting in a barn. In a PBS performance here while back, Paul unveiled the bass before a small studio audience. With the instrument in his hands, he visualized himself being on stage with Elvis. “If I were Bill Black, then Elvis would have been right there,” he observed, pointing to a spot just a few feet in front of him. Then he played the bass while singing Heartbreak Hotel. I would guess the bass is extremely special to Paul, not only because it belonged to Bill Black, but because his beloved wife Linda gave it to him.

Some of Elvis’ best songs were not all that well-known by many people, even those who ‘liked’ Elvis but weren’t obsessive Elvis fans. Are you familiar with these?

How many of those have you heard? I love them all, and I think they should have been huge hits. Not sure what happened there.

I’ll leave you with a quick little anecdote and a song I’m sure you’ve heard, but I’ve recently re-fallen in love with it:

My favorite line is “Baby if you ever loved me, then Bonnie and Clyde loved the law.”  🙂  So cute!

A while back, I worked on the assembly line for General Motors. I listened to Elvis radio the entire time, which made the long, boring hours so much easier to handle. A guy I worked with once commented that he couldn’t understand how I listened to Elvis, and only Elvis, for all those hours. He said, “I like Led Zepplin every bit as much as you like Elvis, and I couldn’t listen to them non-stop.” I replied, “Then obviously, you don’t like Led Zepplin’ as much as I like Elvis.” DUH…am I right?  🙂

Thank you for stopping by…Happy Friday!

 

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

EndofLonelyStreet_w9180_FINAL

All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

8 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 71 – The Movies 17-19 (1966) –Frankie and Johnny, Paradise Hawaiian Style, Spinout

[INTRO: I am a die hard, card carrying Elvis fan and have been for as long as I can remember. There is so much about Elvis to love; his incredible singing voice, his generous spirit, his looks (the most gorgeous man ever), his movies (yes, his movies. They make me happy, so critics can just shush), his service in the army, his magical presence on stage, his transcendent charisma, and…I could go on and on. As a matter of fact, on my 50th post, I believe it was, I DID go on and on. I listed 50 things I love about Elvis. It wasn’t difficult. I am an author and I mention Elvis in almost every story I write. I named my son Presley. I was fortunate to see Elvis in concert three times. I have been to Graceland five times… See? I love Elvis. I have been blogging weekly for more than a year, but going forward, I will blog every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month. My life is insanely busy and I found myself missing weeks from time to time. This way, I’m more likely to be consistent. Hopefully, even if you are not an Elvis fan, you appreciate something about him and will find my posts interesting. Feel free to comment. Thank you so much for stopping by!]

Frankie and Johnny:

This wasn’t one of my top Elvis movies, but I enjoyed it. As a kid, I wasn’t aware it was set in the 1800’s. I just thought everyone was dressing in costumes. Although, as an adult, I must admit it’s not entirely clear. I believe some mixed signals were sent. The costumes and some of the references, such as a reference to confederate money, indicate the 1800’s, but some of the dialogue sounds a little more modern, such as Elvis using the word ‘chicks’ to refer to girls.  🙂 

frankie
About: Elvis plays Johnny, a performer on a Mississippi riverboat with a gambling addiction. I wonder how tis would of played out if online casinos for real money existed back then. He and the other performs put on a short production that plays out the lyrics of the song, ‘Frankie and Johnny.’ When a gypsy tells him a redhead will change his luck, and he promptly meets a gorgeous redhead, he begins winning with her at his side, but he loses his girlfriend, Frankie, played by Donna Douglas. Of course, he gets the girl in the end, even though there is a close call. A well-meaning but misguided dufus switches out a blank for a real bullet and when Johnny and Frankie perform their routine and Frankie shoots Johnny for two-timing her, the bullet hits his lucky charm Frankie had given him, rather than his heart. As a child, I was terrified until I learned Elvis was okay, which was only a few brief moments. 🙂

Side notes: Elvis and Donna Douglas spent a lot of time discussing religion on the set. They didn’t have a romantic relationship as he did with many of his leading ladies. I didn’t see a lot of chemistry between them on screen either. As you all probably know, she played Elly May Clampett on ‘The Beverly Hillbillies.’ I couldn’t help notice in this movie, she had that same ‘Elly May’ posture where her shoulders tilted forward a lot. 🙂 I’m not sure if it shows all that well in this video, but it does a little. There are other parts of the movie where it’s more obvious. However, this is also my favorite song from the movie, and perhaps my favorite scene, so it’s worth watching.

The movie people thought Elvis was ‘fat’ and supposedly used an image from ‘Girl Happy’ for the body on this album cover:

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I think he looked pretty damn good…

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Favorite Song: ‘Please Don’t Stop Loving Me’ (Although I like the title song a lot too)

Favorite Scene: Either his fight scene. As you can see in the above pic, he looks pretty sexy fighting. Or, it would be the scene in the video above where he’s trying to win Frankie back by singing to her. He does that sexy, hurt thing pretty darn well. 🙂 – Hmmm…I seem to be using the word ‘sexy’ a lot. Go figure! 🙂

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Definitely not a top pick. There honestly wasn’t much of a story and the songs weren’t great. Still, any time I can watch Elvis, I am not upset. 🙂 Something I noticed in this one, unless I missed it, he never kissed Suzanna Leigh, the leading lady. He kissed several other girls, but not his love interest. As a matter of fact, this movie seemed pretty weak in the romance department. Elvis’ friend and business partner told Elvis the girl was married, and Elvis barely paid attention to her during the entire movie. Then, suddenly, they’re in love, I suppose. Although, nothing really indicates that they are. They just sort of get together. At the end, Elvis is about to kiss her and he’s pulled away by some local islanders to perform and the movie ends after his performance. He didn’t even tug the girl onto the ‘stage’ with him for a movie-ending kiss. Not sure what that was all about.

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About: Elvis plays Rick Richards, a pilot who is suspended for hanky panky with a stewardess. He goes to Hawaii where his friend joins him in a helicopter business. His friend hires ‘Friday,’ a good-looking blonde, to run the office, but they tell Elvis she’s married so he’ll keep his playboy paws off of her. Toward the end of the movie, they confess she’s not married, and Elvis says he knew all along, he can spot ’em a mile away. (or something to that effect). Then, after that, they are ‘a couple’ even though, as mentioned above, there really wasn’t any romance that lead up to it. It would have been better, if perhaps a little cliche, if Elvis had resisted his feelings and felt bad about yearning for a married woman, then he was hurt when he realized she’d lied to him.  

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Side Notes: 

Elvis loved Hawaii and was always happy to be there. This movie was supposed to be an attempt to duplicate the success of ‘Blue Hawaii,’ but it failed to reach that goal.

One thing I always love is when kids are in Elvis’ movies. The kid star in this one was ten-year-old Donna Butterworth, who was a singer/performer in Hawaii. This was her third and final movie. She did an interview years later where she was asked what it was like to work with Elvis. She said he was professional, but a kind and wonderful human being. She was confused because Priscilla was on the set, yet she saw Elvis kissing all these other girls. Elvis invited her to lunch. He and his bodyguards picked her up on a golf cart and took her to his dressing room. From Donna’s interview: “He had cheese burgers and I had tacos from Del Taco because that was my favorite. He set there for an hour explaining to me the difference between love and being in love. He explained it in a very loving way. God wants us to love all his brothers and sisters. We are making a movie that’s apart of the story line, but of course you can only be in love with only one person and that is Priscilla. So here is the king of rock and roll sitting down with cheeseburgers and tacos. Taking time out in his enormous life to explain it to ten year old me.”

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Favorite Song: The songs were not his best. (I hate to sound critical. I adore anything Elvis did. I’m just comparing this to his other movies and songs). Probably the one I liked best was Datin’  where he did a duet with the little girl. 

Favorite Scene: Not any particular awesome scenes in this one. I always love it when he fights and sings. He had some cute moments with the child.

Spinout:

Now we’re talking. Loved this movie. It had great songs, a cute story line, amusing dialogue, and all kinds of fun, fun Elvis stuff. I vividly remember watching this one as a child. I was a bit confused, though, at the end. Elvis doesn’t end up with a girl, although three were chasing him all through the movie. When the three suitors of those women demanded that Elvis choose, he said he was going to marry all of them. Then, it went to a scene where he took turns kissing each of the women, who were wearing wedding dresses, and after Elvis kissed them, he said things like: ‘I married Cynthia, to Philip’, and he passed the girl along to her ‘guy.’ My sister and I determined that Elvis must have been a preacher, although it was a well-kept secret during the movie. 🙂 

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About: Elvis plays  Mike McCoy, a singer and race car driver. A rich girl sets her sights on him. She wants to marry him and her father wants him to drive his car in an upcoming race. Elvis’ drummer, a girl named Les, and another woman, an author, Diana St. Clair, are all vying for Elvis’ hand in marriage, but he is a confirmed bachelor. The rich father and his daughter scheme and manipulate Elvis, but in the end, he’s his own man. He wins the race without the rich man’s fancy car, and he avoids the clutches of matrimony. 

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Elvis with the ‘rich girl’ played by Shelley Fabares

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Elvis with his drummer, played by Deborah Walley.

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Elvis with the author, played by Diane McBain

Side Notes: President Lyndon Johnson visited Elvis on the set of the movie. 

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This was one of three Elvis movies Shelley Fabares co-starred in, although in the other two, ‘Clambake’ and ‘Girl Happy,’ she was his love interest and she got him in the end.

The two male members of Elvis’ band, Larry and Curly, were each in one of Elvis’ other movies.

Shelley and the actor who played her father, Carl Betz, were also father and daughter in ‘The Donna Reed Show.’ Jimmy Hawkins, who played Larry in the movie, also appeared in ‘The Donna Reed Show.’

Some of the filming took place at Dodger Stadium and at Ascot Motor Car Racing Ground.

Oddly enough, this is one of the few movies in which Elvis did not have a fight scene.

Favorite Song: This is kind of tough. He sang two beautiful ballads, ‘Am I Ready’ and ‘All That I Am’ and I love them both, but my favorite is probably ‘I’ll Be Back,’ which was also a favorite of my middle child, Lacey, when she was about two years old. I had it on a CD and each time we got into the car, she demanded I play “BeBack.” 🙂 One thing I love so much about the song is the way he performed it, including the cute drum playing toward the end. (He ends up with a gorgeous brunette drummer, so a future romance is definitely foreshadowed) Check it out:

Favorite Scenes: I had a few favorites… One was when his drummer, Les, a girl who was looked at as ‘one of the guys,’ dressed up and came into the room where Elvis was singing at a party. He stumbled over his words and the look he gave her was sooooo sexy and sweet. I also loved the scene at the beginning when Shelley Fabares runs him off the road into the water. He’s furious, while she’s up on the road above, acting as though nothing happened and gushing about how much she likes him. She says, “I really go for you.” and he angrily says, “Honey, I’m just about to go for you.” And he threatens to ‘paddle her bottom.’ 

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Another of my favorite scenes was a brief moment where the author is spying on Elvis through binoculars and he approaches and stares back at her through the other end of the binoculars and we get a close up of his gorgeous eyes:

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All in all a ‘feel good’ movie that put me in a great mood, as do all of his movies. 🙂

 

Thank you for joining me. Have you seen these movies? What did you think?

 

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EOLS Charity

Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.

Learn more here, including how to donate:

http://www.graceland.com/epcf/

END OF LONELY STREET – Now Only 99 Cents!

On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.

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All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.

Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.

What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?

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