posted in: BLOG | 2


IN THOSE DAZZLING DAYS OF ELVIS, Book Two of the three-book series, The Days of Elvis, is on the way!

So many people have emailed or called urging me to “Hurry up and write Book Two!” Here’s the latest news: It’ll be here in June. That may seem like a long time to wait, but haven’t the years begun to fly by?  It’s hard to believe Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Some of us still have a few Christmas decorations lingering in corners around the house. If we don’t get them put away soon, they might grow into the walls, (translated means, I’ll stop noticing them until company is coming and I’m giving the house a deep cleaning).

On that subject of time flying, I read recently that the reason we perceive time as going by faster when we are older is because our metabolism has slowed down. Most of us become aware of that slowing of metabolism when our clothes begin to shrink, just hanging in the closet! But how our metabolism could possibly influence our perception of time passing more quickly defies understanding, that is, my understanding. If anyone out there gets the concept, please pass it on to me.

I know you remember Eugene Hoffmeyer. In Those Dazzling Days of Elvis he gives Julie a valentine. Here is a small cutting from Chapter One:


At last the bell rang for the end of class. In the hall, Eugene jostled my arm.

“Happy Valentine’s Day, Julie,” he said. “I know Rhonda has my ring, but I guess I can still give my other girlfriends a valentine, if I want to.”

He thrust a crumpled envelope into my hand and speed walked away from me without another word. Inside was a card covered with hearts that said:

“Roses are red, they’re pretty, it’s true,

But no rose on earth is as pretty as you.”

It was signed, “Almost all my love (Rhonda has some of it), Eugene.”


You’ll be able to pre-order the book at a discount from my publisher, Pen-L Publishing. As soon as it becomes available, I’ll let you know.

Meantime, I am posting a recipe for you in this blog that my mother always liked to make on Valentine’s Day, Queenie Matthews’ Devil’s Food Cake.

Queenie Matthews was an elderly lady who lived in my home town and who shared her devil’s food cake (chocolate) recipe with other ladies. My mother frosted it with the chocolate fudge icing recipe below, but I have also used seven-minute icing, as well as other chocolate frosting recipes. Given that it is a “scratch” cake, I recommend using organic ingredients, insofar as you can get them. A side note: Recently, a cousin of mine from back home put me in touch with a friend of his who turned out to be none other than Mrs. Matthews’ grandson. Small world.



Grease and flour three 8” cake pans or two 9” cake pans

Preheat oven to 325


½ cup sugar     (Mix these three ingredients in sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook 3 min.

½ cup cocoa    Let cool.)

1 cup milk


1 stick butter (1/2 cup) (Cream together butter and sugar; add eggs and mix well.)

1 cup sugar

2 whole eggs


1/2 tsp. salt (Dissolve salt and soda in water and add to sugar mixture.)

1 tsp soda

3 TBSP boiling water


2 cups all purpose flour (Add alternately to sugar mixture, ending with flour.)

½ cup milk


Add chocolate syrup mixture to sugar-flour mixture.


1 tsp. vanilla extract (Add to sugar-flour mixture.)


Put into 3 8” round pans, greased and floured.


Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until toothpick in center comes out clean. (Test first at 17 minutes.)



2 cups sugar

½ cup cocoa

1 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch salt

½ stick butter

Cook sugar, cocoa, and milk till it reaches the soft ball stage, or 235 degrees. Beat adding butter, vanilla, and salt, until spreadable.


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Share This Post:
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kathy M
Kathy M
7 years ago

Ha ha, great snippet, Josephine. That Eugene — what a charmer! I just can’t understand why Julie isn’t smitten with him! So excited for the Book 2 launch!

Carolyn Terry
Carolyn Terry
7 years ago

Can’t wait to get the book. IN THOSE FIRST BRIGHT DAYS OF ELVIS was such a fun read.