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Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 79 – A Handful of Elvis Fun Facts, Pics & Videos

[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!]

The post is going up just a bit late. I’m under the weather, PLUS, I’m participating in Candace Havens’ Fast Draft where my friends and I are writing 5,000’ish words a day. Whew! Talk about challenging yourself. Wish me luck!

Today I’m just sharing some random facts and beautiful pics and an amazing video. The pictures are random and don’t relate to the tidbits. Just consider them eye candy. Except the one where he was 11, that would be sick. 🙂

 

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On today’s date in 1949 when Elvis was 14, he received a report card with an “A” in English and a “C” in music. Ironic, isn’t it? 🙂

 

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Elvis was named after his father, Vernon Elvis Presley.

 

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Elvis collected police badges from every city he visited. Sometimes, he would dress in a police uniform and drive through Memphis, occasionally stopping motorists. Can you imagine getting stopped by Elvis? AND, can you imagine how sexy he looked in that uniform?

 

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Legend has it that Elvis wanted a guitar for his 11th birthday. He actually wanted a bicycle (or a rifle, as one version goes), but his overprotective mother wouldn’t hear of it and bought him a $6.95 guitar from Tupelo Hardware Store. I wonder how much that moment affected his destiny?

 

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On most 4th of July holidays, Elvis and his entourage engaged in roman candle fights. Reportedly, the grounds of Graceland suffered many craters because of it.

 

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Teri Garr had minor roles in “Kissin’ Cousins,” “Fun in Acapulco,” “Viva Las Vegas,” “Roustabout” and “Clambake.”

 

Now, relax and enjoy these incredibly gorgeous songs…

 

 

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

7 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 78 – Elvis’ Failures and Rejections

[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!]

Even non-Elvis fans must acknowledge the extraordinary, unprecedented magnitude of Elvis’ success. However, in the early days, all was not praise and glory. While Elvis was only 21 when he broke out into stardom, he had some setbacks before that time. Here are a handful:

October 3, 1945 – Elvis was encouraged by his music teacher in Tupelo to compete in a youth talent contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show. He was ten at the time. He stood on a chair to reach the microphone and sang “Old Shep.” He came in Fifth and received $5 in tickets for fair rides.

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His eight grade music teacher in Memphis was not so encouraging. She gave him a “C” and told him he “had no aptitude for singing.”

In 1954, Elvis auditioned for a gospel quartet called the Songfellows. They rejected him. A little while later, Elvis was asked to replace Cecil Blackwood in the Songfellows because Cecil was leaving to join The Blackwood Brothers after two of its members died in a plane crash. Elvis had just signed with Sun Records, and he was torn about the decision, but stayed with Sun. Can you imagine how different things might have turned out if he’d taken them up on their offer?

Oct. 2, 1954 – Elvis performed on the Grand Ole Opry, and the show did not go over well. Opry talent manager Jim Denny said to him, “You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.” (Technically, I suppose this was a compliment. He told Elvis he ‘aint’ going NOWHERE’ which means he was going SOMEWHERE ;)) Elvis swore never to return and, two weeks later, he appeared on the Opry’s biggest competitor, the Louisiana Hayride, and signed on for 52 weekly shows.

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In January, 1956 Elvis appeared on “Stage Show,” the Dorsey Brothers’ television show that was produced by Jackie Gleason. Jackie did not like Elvis at all, he said so, in those words. He also said: “He can’t last. I tell you flatly, he can’t last.” Apparently, Gleason changed his mind in later years.  This is Jackie visiting with Elvis on the set of Girls, Girls, Girls.

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April 23 – May 6, 1956 – Elvis was booked for a two-week run at the Frontier in Vegas. Unlike his later supreme reign, his act was not a hit in Vegas in the early days. As one reviewer put it: “Elvis Presley, arriving here on the wave of tremendous publicity, fails to hit the promised mark in a desert isle surfeited with rock and rollers who play in shifts atop every cocktail lounge on the Strip. The brash, loud braying of his rhythm and blues catalogue (and mind you, they are big hits everywhere it seems), which albeit rocketed him to the bigtime, is overbearing to a captive audience. In a lounge, one can up and go—fast. But in a dining room the table-sitter must stay, look, and listen the thing out. Which is perhaps why Presley received applause on his opening show edged with polite inference only. For the teenagers, the long, tall Memphis lad is a whiz; for the average Vegas spender or show-goer, a bore. His musical sound with a combo of three is uncouth, matching to a great extent the lyric content of his nonsensical songs.”

And, according to a Billboard article: “Presley—pulling down $12,500 for the New Frontier date—was switched from closing the show to opening it, after the first night audience—a highly sophisticated group in contrast to his teen-age following—indicated a preference for Freddie Martin and comedian Shecky Greene.”

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Elvis’ determination is impressive, especially considering how shy he was. You wouldn’t think he’d have the confidence to keep at it. But aren’t we glad he did? I guess the lesson here is, never give up. I’m not saying you–or anyone–will be another Elvis Presley, but hey, as Michael Jordan said: “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

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

16 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Elvis Fan – Part 42 – My Experience at ‘The Elvis Experience’ in Las Vegas

I  was in Vegas last weekend for a writer’s conference, and it happened to be the weekend of the opening for The Elvis Experience, a new venture between Westgate Hotels and Graceland Enterprises. The project includes a live production and an Elvis exhibit. I did not attend the live production. I was free to go on a Sunday, and there are no shows on Sundays. Also, even though I’m sure it’s spectacular, I’m not sure I care to see someone recreate Elvis’ phenomenal run in Las Vegas. As always, if I can’t have the real thing, I’m not all that interested.

The exhibit was fabulous. The people who work there were friendly and informative, and didn’t make fun of me when I got a little emotional. 🙂 One girl in particular, Chloe, was very sweet. She was probably 19 or 20, but she discovered an appreciation for Elvis while taking a music course in college. She was kind enough to listen to me ramble on about what Elvis means to me and pretended to be interested. 🙂

There is something surreal and awe-inspiring about being surrounded by things Elvis owned, things he wore, things he drove, and even some notes written in his own hand. Not to mention the larger than life photos lining the walls. And, to top it all off, Elvis music and concert clips are playing throughout. The exhibit also includes a thirty minute film showing concert clips and snippets of interviews—an excellent way to end the tour and a definite heart string puller.

I’ll share the remainder of my experience in photos…

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A letter to Elvis from Johnny Cash. How cool that he kept it.

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One of Elvis’ favorite coats. I’ve seen many pics of him wearing it.

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Presley family bible

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A shirt he wore in Jailhouse Rock

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The last car Elvis ever drove. ’73 Stutz Blackhawk

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Lisa Marie’s baby things

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One of many gorgeous pics lining the walls

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Holding script for Love Me Tender

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Jumpsuit he wore in Viva Las Vegas

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Gun box with note written by Elvis

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Me at exhibit

Me, happy to be there. The guy working the exhibit insisted on taking a pic of me with Elvis 😊

 

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/

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?

***ONLY $1.99***

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

4 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment

Ramblings of a Lifelong Fan – Part 33 – The Movies 9-11 – Follow that Dream, Kid Gallahad, Girls, Girls, Girls

I have seen all of Elvis’ movies over the years, multiple times, but I am watching them again (I have them all on DVD) and blog about them from time to time. I am up to Elvis’ 9th 10th and 11th movies. (All from 1962)

Follow that Dream

 

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This movie was filmed in July, 1961, which was the month and year I was born, just a little bonus fact. 🙂

About: Elvis plays Toby Kwimper, the son of a backwoods man who takes in homeless children, one of them being Holly, a young woman who becomes Elvis’ love interest. The family runs out of gas by a highway that is as yet unopened and they decide to homestead on the property. A government official is determined to get them off the property, and he and a social services woman whose advances are scorned by Toby, wreak havoc for the family, but in the end, honesty and goodness prevail. The movie culminates in a courtroom scene where the social service woman is trying to paint the Kwimers as depraved unfit people and trying to take away the twin boys and the little girl they’re raising. There is a cute little twist that I always loved. The woman cites a word association test she earlier gave to Toby, but she warps his answers to make him appear to be a despicable human being. Toby (Elvis) is representing himself and he makes a whispered suggestion to the judge. The judge announces that the woman should give Elvis’ father a word association test on the spot and analyze his answers. She does, and as the Judge reads the answers aloud, she associates something vile with each one. For example, the word was ‘moon’ and the response was ‘shine’ and she states that it proves he’s an alcoholic. The judge says, “What about Shine on Harvest Moon?” – As it turns out, the judge was reading his own answers, just to prove that she was purposely twisting anything the Kwimpers said. (Okay, that was lengthy, but since I was a child, I just really love that scene :))

 Side notes: During filming, Elvis met Tom Petty, who was only 11 years old at the time. Petty’s uncle was involved in the production of the movie. Shortly afterwards, Petty swapped his slingshot for a friend’s collection of Elvis records.

 The movie was based on the 1959 novel, Pioneer, Go Home, by Richard P. Powell.  At first, the author was unhappy about Elvis in the role, but once he saw his performance, he was pleased.

 My favorite song from the movie: I’m Not the Marrying Kind or Angel 

Favorite scenes: 

There were soooo many. This movie is adorable, funny, sweet, charming, exciting, etc, etc. The Kwimpers are so naïve and good, that they don’t realize when a group of gangsters move in next door that they’re really bad guys. Many of my favorite scenes are just the funny moments from the movie, such as when the gangsters try to blow up the Kwimpers’ house, because Toby has become Sheriff and he imposes laws on them. They leave a homemade bomb beneath the house, and Elvis and Holly find it and, while they don’t know what it is, they think the ‘fellas’ must have left it accidentally, so they return it, leaving it outside their door and of course, it blows up the gangsters’ house. I also love the scene at the end, after the courtroom scene, when Holly has decided to make her move on Toby. She goes outside to where he’s lying on the porch bench, singing Angel. She sits next to him and asks him to show her what that social service woman did to make him kiss her. Elvis tells her, step by step, and it’s very sweet, very romantic. Elvis really had a knack for those romantic scenes and generating chemistry with his female leads. But, my favorite part was when he told Holly that ‘she run her fingers along his forehead’ and Holly said, “Like this,” and stroked his forehead. Elvis said, “Well, not so much like you was ironing a shirt, it was a little softer.” Haha, adorable! Below is a clip of the scene. Enjoy!

 

 

Kid Gallahad

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I’ll never forget, as a kid, watching this movie and seeing Elvis getting hit, over and over, and his beautiful face covered in blood. It was pretty traumatic.

When I was married, my husband was a huge Charles Bronson fan. I told him that Bronson once played second fiddle to Elvis in a movie. Obviously, he knew what a super star Elvis was, but as far as movies, he couldn’t imagine Bronson having lesser billing in a movie. So, of course, I had to prove it. 

About: Elvis plays Walter Gulick, who has just gotten out of the army. He hitches a ride to Cream Valley, where he was born, and winds up at an inn and boxing camp run by Willy, played by Gig Young. Elvis is looking for a job and ends up sparring with one of Willy’s boxers. Elvis is taking a beating, then suddenly knocks the guy out with one punch. Elvis becomes a boxer and romances Willy’s sister, Rose, who comes to the inn to check on Willy because she finds out he’s in trouble. As it turns out, he’s mixed up with the mob. Of course, in the end, Elvis helps save the day and everyone lives Happily Ever After. (Bronson plays a trainer and cut man) 

Side notes: The film is a remake of the 1937 movie starring Edward G. Robinson, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. It was directed by Michael Curitz, the same guy who directed King Creole.  

Junior welterweight champ Mushy Callahand, who appeared in the movie, trained Elvis to box. 

A few of Elvis’ close friends, and part of the ‘Memphis Mafia’ also had small roles in the movie: Red West as an opponent and Sonny West and Joe Esposito had bit parts. 

My favorite song from the movie: I Got Lucky or Home is Where the Heart Is 

Favorite scenes: 

I always love Elvis fight scenes, and this movie had plenty. (Although, since he was so often hit in the face, these scenes aren’t quite as easy to watch) One of my favorites was when he was wearing a white undershirt and the mobsters had just crushed Charles Bronson’s hands, and Elvis came downstairs and beat the hell out of them. I also love the scene where Willy (Gig Young) is telling Elvis to stay away from his sister, and Elvis tells him off. He says he’s marrying Rose, not because she’s Willy’s sister, but in spite of it. I love Elvis’ intensity in movies when he’s passionate about something.

 

Girls, Girls, Girls 

 

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About: Elvis plays Ross Carpenter, a fisherman whose dream is to own his own boat. But, he grew up an orphan and is struggling to raise the money. He meets Laurel, played by Laurel Goodwin, and falls in love, not knowing that she’s wealthy. She ends up buying a boat for him, but it makes him angry because he doesn’t want a hand out. 

Side notes: This is the only of Elvis’ feature films that was nominated for a Golden Globe, which I find very strange. It wasn’t in my top favorites. 

The movie was Laurel Goodwin’s screen debut. 

Favorite song from the movie: Elvis’ big hit, Return to Sender, was featured in this movie, and it’s one of my favorites, along with Because of Love and the title song, Girls, Girls, Girls. 

Favorite scenes: I can tell you what isn’t my favorite scene, or at least as far as Laurel. She and Elvis are having dinner and end up doing a dance to a song, The Walls Have Ears. She looks like a dork. J Just to prove it, I’ve shared the clip below. Some of my favorites are when Elvis is singing with two little Chinese girls. It’s adorable. Also, a scene where Elvis and Laurel are standing on the porch in a thunder storm. I love storms, so Elvis in a romantic scene during a storm is right up my alley. 🙂 I also love the scene after Elvis finds out Laurel bought the boat for him. He’s angry because he doesn’t want handouts. He tells her that, as an orphan, the only thing he ever had was handouts, so that he got to wondering if the food he ate was something no one else wanted. Again, love his anger/intensity.

 

 

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

 

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/

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?

***ONLY $1.99***

Click Here for Kindle

Click Here for Nook

6 Comments

Filed under Elvis Presley, Entertainment