In Those Glory Days of Elvis

What if you traded your identity and couldn’t get it back? Could you live your life as someone else?

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After the shocking death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Julie Morgan discovers that she has also lost her home because of a risky identity swap. Designed to save her from shame and disgrace, the “perfect scheme” backfires, forcing her to masquerade as her lookalike, Carmen.

Frightened and alone, Julie has no alternative but to seek refuge with her alcoholic father. Unlike the easy decision she made to attend an Elvis concert, she now faces a choice which, if wrong, could condemn her to a lifetime of sadness and loss.

This eagerly awaited third book in the Days of Elvis series puts you in the middle of Julie’s harrowing struggle to reclaim her identity. She must find a way out of this dilemma, or lose herself forever, as well as the person she loves most in the world.



The times, they are a changin’ in Arkansas in this third installment of a series.
This volume picks up immediately after book two, with Julie Morgan struggling in the wake of her baby’s birth and her mother’s recent death in 1957. When Julie flees Happiness House, a home for unwed mothers, and heads to El Dorado, she leaves behind her baby and postpones any real decision about her future. Julie wants to reclaim her old life, but she physically and emotionally can’t be the same girl. She is now a young woman who not only lost her mother, but is also a mom herself. While she secretly lived in Happiness House, her half sister and look-alike, Carmen, assumed Julie’s identity in El Dorado. Now Julie must live as Carmen and adapt to high school as an outsider. Early on, Julie muses: “This deception business will take some getting used to.” Most difficult of all, Julie only has 90 days to decide whether she wants to bring her baby home and become a social pariah or forfeit her parental rights and give her son up for adoption. In addition to Julie’s personal challenges, current events are front and center in the novel. El Dorado, like the entire nation, is riveted by the forced integration of Little Rock Central High School, and racially charged discussions are unavoidable in the conservative Southern town. Rascoe Keenan’s (In Those Dazzling Days of Elvis, 2017, etc.) decision to include two African-American characters, women whom the white protagonist counts as friends, provides a desperately needed perspective for Julie and readers. This is the strongest book in The Days of Elvis series so far, as the characters are well-developed and the focus on national events gives added weight to the small-town story. The underlying thread running through the engrossing narrative is power and the struggle against judgment and oppression. When Elvis, a wise fairy godfather at this point, tells Julie, “It’s too bad the woman has to pay for the consequences of a natural thing between two people who love each other,” he gets right to the heart of this tale.
A coming-of-age story that deftly demonstrates the potency of standing up for one’s beliefs.
Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-68313-173-1
Page count: 254pp
Publisher: Pen-L Publishing

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posted in: REVIEWS, TopReview | 0

Amazing read!

Plagued by being a social outcast in school from a broken home in 1955, Julie Morgan is invited to a birthday celebration at a concert and talent show one October evening. After being weirded out by seeing her doppelganger and being ditched by her friends, she tries to make A desperate attempt to get in with the popular crowd. But her choice to go along with their little game winds her up with a plutonic night with the concert’s headliner… Elvis Presley! They sent become friends and he gives her a bit of advice involving a light bulb which becomes her mantra for the rest of her life. But as she falls down the wrong path trying desperately wants again to get in with the popular crowd she finds herself in turmoil. Never knowing her need for acceptance stems from her drunken absent father she falls further down the spiral. Will Elvis’s words to her stand out and will she remember the meaning behind them?
Beautifully written! The characters are written so well in the way that they speak and their mannerisms that they seem to jump right off the page. So believable it’s almost scary! Be warned this is a tearjerker!!!
I really enjoyed this one. One of the best I’ve read in a while. The author has masterful skills and I look forward to reading the second installment. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good YA read with a tissue box. ( )
TheReadingMermaid | Jun 27, 2018 |

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posted in: REVIEWS | 0

Great read!

 “…In Those Dazzling Days of Elvis expertly illustrates the trials of a vibrant teenage girl growing up in the time of Elvis’ rise to fame…I …was already captivated after reading the first page! Julie Morgan, the main character, was someone I could empathize with and cheer on as she struggled with a painful time in her life. Her unique story was one that I cannot get enough of, and I ended up finishing the novel in one night! As I am a teenager currently, it was intriguing to me to see the similarities and differences between growing up now and growing up in a completely different time and place like Julie…”

Amazon Customer


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Praise for In Those Dazzling Days of Elvis

“The author touches on potentially difficult issues—divorce, infidelity, pregnancy, and abortion—and does an admirable job portraying the often inconceivable repercussions of now commonplace experiences in a small, Southern town in the ’50s. Carmen and Julie take turns narrating, and the dialogue toggles smoothly between their two distinct voices. . . . A convincing glimpse into the challenges of navigating small-town gossip, social pressure, and the inevitable difficulty of becoming an adult.”
~ Kirkus Reviews 

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I loved this book!

I grew up in El Dorado Arkansas and could put myself in all of those places  . . .  including Elvis’ shows at the football stadium. Great read for the teenagers. Should make them think, shouldn’t it? Good job, Josephine.
– BT

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It was a different time

“I very much enjoyed this second book in the series. It follows a young girl’s life in the ’50s when moral codes were much higher than they are now and you paid the consequences if you broke one. It, however, was light and fun and kept my interest with a few twists, plus Elvis continues to show up which makes him more “real.” It was a different time and Mrs. Keenan brought back all the nostalgia of the age. Wonderful!”
~ Deborah M. Chapman, Amazon reviewer

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Dazzling read!

This book is a seamless mix of laughter and tears, comedy and tragedy. The author evokes the innocence of a former age as we get a glimpse of what life was like in a small Arkansas town in the early 1960s. I found myself transported to another time and place peopled with characters that were sometimes likeable, sometimes mean spirited but always interesting. I laughed and I cried and I was sometimes uncomfortable but never ever bored! Bring on book 3!”
~ Laura Shewmon, Amazon reviewer


After spending many years in professional theatre and film as an actress and director, Josephine Rascoe Keenan expanded her writing efforts from diaries and journals, which she’d kept from age eleven, to novels and short stories for young people.

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