Las Vegas is a wild, wonderful place not like any other but when I’ve visited I’ve always been intrigued by the way it was in the past. And, like my heroine, Lacie, I grew up listening to Elvis music. Long before I became an adult I was a fan of The King in my own right. Like any red blooded American girl with some Southern blood I’ve been down to Memphis and to Graceland. And, yes, you bet I stayed across the street where I enjoyed being able to stare across Elvis Presley Boulevard at Graceland by night. I rose early and made a second pilgrimage to his grave too and yes, I wrote my name on the wall like any other half-crazed fan. Because I’m also a major fan of singer Johnny Horton, I’ve stood on the stage at the Shreveport Municipal Auditorium where the famous Louisiana Hayride happened. Elvis, by the way, got his start there along with Johnny and a host of other stars including another Johnny – Cash – and many more.
So maybe I was fated to write this story. I do know last weekend when I booked a motel in nearby Springfield, MO to combine an engagement with the Ozark Romance Authors with a little R & R, I choose a vintage motel that’s long caught my ear, the Rail Haven Route 66 Inn, now a Best Western. It’s well known and popular because of its’ location along Route 66, The Mother Road but I didn’t know until after I booked my room Elvis stayed there. Seemed kind of like karma and when I told the desk clerk, she responded with “Cool. Now that’s serendipity!”
If you like bargains, did I mention it’s just $1.99?
Anyway, here’s the blurb and a little taste from Long Live The King.
Here’s the official blurb:
Lacie Logan is just another Delta raised beauty until her attempts at a movie career fail and leave her working as a professional escort in
. She doesn’t like it, but what's a girl to do?
Then, during an unexpected thunderstorm, she walks into a coffee shop and is
suddenly back in April 1956. When she
meets Elvis Presley, she’s sure she must be dreaming but when their chance
encounter becomes a full-blown romance, she realizes that she has the chance to
both win the King of Rock and Roll’s heart and change history. Las
And here’s an excerpt from when Lacie meets Elvis:
She did not remember the place but it must have been here before, with its red vinyl booths, Formica-topped counter with eight stools, and waitresses with bouffant hair backcombed high. They wore pale green nylon uniform dresses with white aprons tied around their waist into a bow. Each had a small white crown-style hat perched on her head. This place looked authentic, she thought, dripping just inside the door. Vegas did retro well.
Because of the heavy rain, the place was all but empty. Two lone men sat at opposite ends of the counter. One stirred coffee in a thick white china cup on a saucer decorated with a dark green ring. The other picked at a piece of pie.
Behind her, the door opened with a rush and rain sprayed in, enough to make her jump forward. She tottered on her heels and almost fell over.
“Oh!” she cried just as a pair of strong hands caught her and put her upright.
“I am sorry, ma’am.” The voice sounded familiar, a deep voice touched with the richness of the South, dark and sweet as chocolate. “Are you all right?”
She was soaked, had only a few dollars in her purse, and was miles from the cheap motel she called home, but she tried to smile.
“Oh, I’m o-”
Lacie’s voice stuck in her throat like a bite of peanut butter sandwich as she turned, because the hands staying her fall belonged to Elvis Presley. A young Elvis. She looked into his familiar face, stared into his blue eyes, and gazed up at his combed-back light brown hair. There was no doubt--it was Elvis Presley.
Her body shook; she could not control it and she trembled, chills taking over. He was young, the King, alive. In person, he was far more handsome than any photograph or album shot portrayed. Those full lips looked as ripe and sweet as plump strawberries and his face, almost but not quite heart shaped, combined a sensual wickedness with an innocence that summoned up the familiar look of a boy from back home. He was taller than she was, by a fair bit, and dressed in simple jeans, a jacket, and a button-down cloth shirt. However, this could not be real; it was impossible. Elvis got old, grew fat, and died too young more than thirty years ago. Maybe she hit her head out in the nasty weather or maybe this was a dream. Gosh, she thought, with growing horror, what if she had died, been hit by a car or struck by lightning. Something was askew, somewhere, because what she saw had to be fantasy.
“Hey, now, take it easy,” Elvis said, putting one arm around her waist. “Everything is all right. Come on, sit down, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee.”
“Thank you,” she muttered, allowing the King of Rock ‘N Roll to steer her to a booth where she slid in across from him. She was still shivering and, being a Southern gentleman to the core, he stripped off his jacket and put it around her shoulders.
“There,” he said, in the voice that broke the hearts of millions of women for at least four generations worldwide. “Would you like some coffee?”
“Yes, thank you,” Lacie managed to say. His coat smelled very masculine, like tobacco, cologne, and his personal musk. She liked it.
“We need two cups of coffee,” Elvis told the waitress. “We may want something else in a little while but that’ll do for now.”
Any idea he might be a very good Elvis impersonator disappeared when he stuck his hand out to her and said, “I’m Elvis Presley. I kind of think you might have noticed but out here, who knows?”
“I am.” She did not understand how this could be possible but she was happy about it, she thought. “Why wouldn’t I be?”
Elvis laughed. “I thought I’d love Las Vegas and I like it fine, but my shows here don’t get the same response they do anywhere else. Heartbreak Hotel is tops with everyone, everywhere else but here. Colonel Parker doesn’t understand it and the boys are all bored, most of the time. I’m here for two weeks and we’ve done two nights but everyone wishes we were through.”
A Page In The Life: http://leeannsontheimermurphywriterauthor.blogspot.com
Rebel Writer: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy http://leeannsontheimermurphy.blogspot.com
Facebook: Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy
Link to Manic Readers Review