|The awesome paperback cover|
If these instructions seem excessively picky, forgive me. My ETRTR mailbox is an ocean and I just don't want you (or me) to drown.
Also, in case you're wondering, I'm giving two weeks for the contest instead of one because you probably have a life or are on spring break or need a reason to procrastinate looking up songs Elvis sang.
(Also-also, midnight on next week's Saturday puts us at midnight on March 31st, which is a mere second away from April Fool's Day, and I wouldn't want anyone worrying that this is the ultimate prank.)
(I'm considerate like that, in case you weren't aware.)
I have (I believe) five (5!) ARCs to give away. If there are more than 5 (five!) people getting all the answers correct (which I doubt, so don't be shy about sending in what you do find, okay?), then those names will go into the proverbial hat and we will draw 5 (one-plus-one-plus-one-plus-one-plus one!) winners. Otherwise, we will move from most answers (songs) found down.
Here we go!
(And even if you don't want to do the contest, I hope you enjoy the excerpt.)
Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack (Chapter 24, in case you were wondering) EXCERPT:
You’re probably thinking I got sidetracked.
Well guess what?
Instead, I almost got killed.
Now, if Maynard’s freeloading son TJ had been working the counter instead of the Elvis impersonator, I might have had to go clear down to the supermarket because TJ likes me about as much as a chained dog likes a cat. Something about seeing me sets him off, and he will bark and snarl and snap at me until he finally drives me away.
So there was definitely the potential for a sidetrack, but Elvis was happy to see me. “Hey little mama!” he calls from behind the counter. “How are things in Carny Town?”
Now, with Hudson’s help I finally figured out that the Elvis clerk talks only in Elvis songs.
He’ll throw an extra word in now and then to tie together the lyrics or song titles, but pretty much everything he says is something Elvis sang. And it used to drive me kinda nuts because I’ve never heard any Elvis songs –well, except maybe Jailhouse Rock or Hound Dog—so it was like he was talking in riddles.
No, not even riddles.
More like mixed up phrases.
Nonsense that actually made sense.
In a weird, Elvis-impersonator sort of way.
Even so, I’m always super happy to see Elvis because seeing him means I don’t have to see TJ. Of course, Elvis doesn’t know that. He just thinks I’m a happy camper coming in for bubblegum.
“Things are hoppin’ in Carny Town,” I tell him, and then right away I flash to the similarities between him and Justice Jack. Not what they do—just how they dress in costumes and prefer to be people they’re not. “Have you heard about Justice Jack?”
“Didja Ever? He’s catchin’ on fast!” Elvis says with a crooked Elvis smile. “Beginner’s luck.”
He nods. “Watch him try to move from a jack to a king.”
I laugh. “But you’re the king, right?”
He laughs, too. “Doin’ the best I can.”
I grab the Tums and put them on the counter. “Seems like the two of you could be friends.”
He shakes his head. “I got wheels on my heels, baby.”
I stare at him. “Okay. What does that mean?”
He rings up the Tums. “I’m just a lonesome cowboy in a long black limousine.”
I almost tell him, No you’re not. You’re an Elvis impersonator working in a corner market! But instead I ask, “Can you translate please?”
“My long legged girl told me to get on the long lonely highway.”
“So…you had a girlfriend who broke up with you?”
He nods, “My honky tonk angel turned out to be the meanest girl in town. I told her, ‘Reconsider, baby, put the blame on me! Let’s patch it up!’ I said, ‘Baby, I’ve been steadfast, loyal, and true! You’re the only star in my blue heaven!’ But she’s a machine with a wooden heart and now there’s been too much monkey business.” He shakes his head. “I’m afraid it’ll be the twelfth of never before my blue moon turns to gold again, so it’s viva Las Vegas for me.”
I hand over the twenty.“You’re moving to Las Vegas?”
“Cross my heart and hope to die. I’m movin’ on.”
“Tomorrow night. It’s now or never.” He makes my change, snaps off the receipt, and as he hands them over, he sort of cocks his head and says, “You look like you’re gonna sit right down and cry.”
“I really liked you being here,” I tell him.
He gives me a little shrug. “I slipped, I stumbled, I fell, and I’m leavin’. But that’s alright mama. Don’t think twice.”
“Well, I’ll miss you,” I tell him, then grab the Tums and head out.
“Hey, hey, hey!” he calls after me and actually follows me to the door. “Before we go our separate ways, let it be me that gives you some sound advice.”
“As we travel along the Jericho road, anyplace is paradise.”
He’s looking like Serious Elvis now so I nod and say, “Thanks.”
But Elvis isn’t done. “Keep a pocketful of rainbows.”
And since I’m now at the corner and about to cut across a red light he calls, “Always stop look and listen!”
I laugh, “Thanks!” And as I’m heading across the street anyway he shouts, “By the way, my real name’s Pete Decker! I’ll get you passes to my show if you’re ever in Vegas!” And since I’m so shocked to hear his real voice and his real name, I do something you should never do when crossing against a red light.
I stop, turn, and stare.
All of a sudden horns are blaring and zooming by and I’m running and jumping like crazy trying not to get killed.
“You almost had the steamroller blues!” he shouts when I’m safely across. Then he waves, “Bye Sammy! I’ll remember you!”
I laugh and wave. “Who could forget you?” Then I hurry up the sidewalk, and sneak back over to the Senior Highrise.