Category Archives: BIG E and the SANTA MAN

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 20

Hanging Elvis

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I last posted Elvis Mini-Nuggets. These are always kind of fun. Someday when I retire from ElvisBlog, I might get a Facebook page and do nothing but Elvis Mini-Nuggets. Maybe a new picture every day with comments. I’ve got like a million of them in my files. Anyway, here’s an extra-long mini-nugget post to make up for not having one last weekend.

 

Expressions of Sympathy and Encouragement for My Wife:

Get well wishes from Sweden

After posting a short message about my wife’s lung surgery, twenty-two kind comments came in from ElvisBlog readers. In addition to the one above from Maggie in Sweden, there were also messages from France, England and Canada. My wife and I appreciate all the concern and encouragement from you readers. She is doing okay in a long, slow recovery.

 

International Readers of ElvisBlog:

Top Ten ElvisBlog Countries

Speaking of ElvisBlog readers from different countries, here is the Top Ten. It still freaks me out to realize that only 57% of you readers are from the U.S. If you compare the relative populations of some of these other countries versus the U.S., ElvisBlog is doing really good there.

 

Where’s Elvis?

 

Elvis Army Haircut on Wall in George Jones' Home Barbershop

If you study this picture, you will probably recognize George Jones in the photo top right. This is the room in his Franklin, Tennessee home where he got his haircuts. Look closely at the framed photo to the right of the window. It is Elvis getting his Army haircut. Here’s a bigger view of it.

Elvis Getting His Army haircut.

Alert ElvisBlog reader Chris Iroler spotted the Elvis Army haircut picture while watching a uTube video on Jones’ house: (Click here to see). Chris told me about it in a blog Comment, and he advised to go to 5:56 on the video if I didn’t want to read the whole thing. When George Jones died five years ago, I did a post about the connection between him and Elvis. Click here to read it.

 

More Info on Elvis Birthday Cake Photos:

Elvis Birthday Cake During King Creole 1958

Two weeks ago, I posted six photos of Elvis eating cake. Alert ElvisBlog readers commented with more information on several of them. Like the one above where Diana from Long Island wrote:

“I enjoyed the birthday scrapbook! Re: the one with Dolores Hart- I too always thought it was a birthday cake but recently learned from an authority that it was a movie wrap party after King Creole to say goodbye to Elvis before the army, and the cake had a guitar and soldier peeling potatoes and said We Love Elvis on it.”

 

Elvis Cutting Cake at his 27th Birthday 1962

Sharys Wheeler wrote:

“The picture at the Sahara was of Elvis and Milton Prell, owner of the Sahara and a friend of the Colonel.”

 

Feeding Birthday cake to Priscilla in 1960

Sandy Van Horn wrote:

“About the picture of Elvis giving Priscilla a bite of birthday cake. If the year was 1960, and it was a birthday cake, think it had to be Elvis’ Jan. 8th birthday as he left active duty at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on March 5, 1960. Believe Priscilla’s birthday is May 24th.”

 

So, How Did the Elvis Auction Go?

You might remember that we looked at a dozen Elvis items that failed to sell in a 1999 auction and seemingly got stuck in storage until the January 6, 2018 Auction at Graceland. I compared the expected prices then and now, and made comments on several of the items. Here’s a look at how things went.

16mm Film and Acetates of Movie Songs from Love Me Tender:

Elvis Presley 16mm Film of Love Me Tender and Acetate

1999 estimate was $5,000-7,000; current was $1,500-2,500. It sold for $5,000. I wonder why it didn’t go the first time.

 

Original Screen Door from Graceland:

Original Screen Door from Gracelsnd

The 2018 estimate was $1,500 – $2,500, and I said, “Sorry, if I had that kind of money to spend on Elvis collectibles, I’d get something besides a screen door.” But my friend Troy Yeary from the eclectic blog pastimescapes.com had this comment:

“Interesting piece, Phil. Thanks! I don’t know, if I had money to blow, I would seriously consider buying something like a screen door from Graceland. Just think how many times Elvis walked through or slammed that door? He probably interacted with it more than just about any other item in the auction.

Well, lots of folks must have agreed with Troy. Elvis’ screen door had 18 bids and sold for $2,500. Good call, Troy.”

 

Elvis’ Massive Wooden Desk from His Home Office in Palm Springs:

Elvis Presley’s Personal Massive Wooden Desk from His Home Office in Palm Springs

1999 estimate was $40-50,000, no bidders. 2018 estimate was $10-20,000, and I said I thought they would get it. Well, not really, just $7,500.

 

Elvis’ Portable Sauna:

Elvis Presley’s “Scandinavian Products” Portable Sauna - Open

1999 estimate was $8-10,000. 2018 estimate was $3-5000. I said I thought it was weird. Bidders agreed, nobody would spring for the minimum bid of $1,500.

 

Elvis’ Globe-Shaped Wooden Bar from His Beverly Hills Home:

Elvis Presley’s Personal Globe-Shaped Free-Standing Wooden Bar from His Beverly Hills Home - Closed

1999 estimate was $4-5,000. 2018 estimate was $1,500 to $2,500. I predicted it would sell for a good bit more than that. Good call, Phil. It had 38 bids and went for $22,500. Wow.

 

Elvis’ Leather Rocking Chair from the Jungle Room:

Elvis Presley’s Leather Rocking Chair from the Jungle Room

999 estimate was $20-30,000. 2018 estimate was $10-15,000. I said I didn’t think it would sell. Bad call, Phil. It went for $17,500.

 

Original Acetate of Elvis Singing Beatles Songs “Hey Jude” and “Something”:

Elvis Presley Original Acetate of Beatles Songs “Hey Jude” and “Something”

1999 estimate was $650-750. 2018 estimate was $1-2,000. I predicted it would sell for that much or more. Another good call as it had 34 bids and went for $4,000.

 

Signed Title to Elvis’ Circle G Ranch:

Elvis Presley Signed Title to His Circle G Ranch

1999 estimate was $13-15,000. 2018 estimate was $10-20,000. I didn’t make a prediction, but hoped it would go high. It didn’t excite folks drawing just 2 bids and a final price of $6,250.

So, I blew it on the screen door, the desk, and the Jungle Room rocking chair. I had it right on the desk, the sauna, the globe-shaped bar, and the acetate of Beatles songs. I’ll take that.

 

Sincere Thanks for Your Support:

 

Big E and the SANTA MAN Part 2

This was the third year I’ve done pre-Christmas promotion of my book BIG E and the SANTA MAN. It was the best year yet, and I really thank you.

My one disappointment was that I didn’t get Part 2 ready to promote until late November. Next fall I will push it hard, just like the original. As a preview, here is a review by Memphis Music on Amazon:

“I enjoyed this book as it can be read by itself, or as the continuation of the first book. As a lifetime dog lover, I also enjoyed the addition of a good ole hound dog! Kids and adults will enjoy this tale of two beloved icons; Elvis and Santa and their group of special friends. Phil Arnold’s descriptive writing make you feel a part of this adventure where good versus evil comes alive again to save Christmas. At this great price go ahead and get the first book too!

The review gave the book five stars. Every review on both books has been five stars. I’ll be reminding of you about that again later in the year.

 

 

©  2018    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

LipLogo_thumbnail - Copy

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Reindeer on TV Christmas Specials

Santa's Sleigh and full moon

Recently, the beloved Christmas animation Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer took a hit on the Huffington-Post website.

 

HuffPost

Obviously they need to come up with a lot of new content every day, so at times stuff shows up that is really out there.  Like this.

Parable on racism & homaphobia

 

I’m not going to explain how the writer came up with that horrible notion.  It would just make you mad, like it did me.

But in reading it, I started thinking about the reindeer in my BIG E and the SANTA MAN book.  As I’ve told you, I’ve always visualized it as an animated Christmas special on TV.  Something that people watch year after year along with Rudolph, the Grinch, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

 

Then, I realized that I hadn’t explained much about the reindeer in my storiesI’ve told you about the key elves, the villain and his henchmen, Big E’s jetsled, the magic that comes from the North Pole, the four-man elf band called the ELVI’s, the Ghost of Christmas Future, and Big E’s hound dog Snorty.

But all I’ve told you about the reindeer is that they can talk, just like the reindeer in Rudolph.

Stop calling me names

From now on

 

However, I don’t visualize the reindeer in my books as fuzzy doll-like creatures.  Mine are like this.

Reindeer

These are strong, dedicated and focused guys with heroic scenes in both the original book and Part 2.

 

For example, here is a section from the first book when the villain has shot a tractor beam down from his space station, locked on Santa’s sleigh, and started pulling it up toward the craft.

Once the beam had locked on the sleigh, Santa was horrified.  He had no idea what to do.  In desperation, he yelled to the reindeer, “There’s no way we can break loose from this beam.”

Comet yelled back, “There might be one way, but you won’t like it.”

“What?  Tell me.”  Santa’s state of despair was such that he would listen to anything.

“Well, maybe we should dump the sacks of presents,” Comet said with a look of pain in his eyes.

“Oh, no.  No, we couldn’t do that.”

“Santa, I’m sorry, but I agree with Comet,” said Prancer.  “If we reduce our weight a lot, maybe then our reindeer power will be enough to break us away from the beam.”

“No, I just couldn’t do it.  There wouldn’t be any presents for the boys and girls this Christmas.”

Dasher turned his head and yelled from the front of the team back to Santa, “If Scrooge gets his clutches on you now, there won’t be Christmas any year.  You gotta dump the presents.”

Comet, Prancer and Dasher all had important speaking parts in that short scene.  And that reindeer power mentioned by Prancer turned out to be impressive, indeed.

 

Snorty Sniffing

In BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2, there’s a humorous scene when Big E takes his new hound dog Snorty over to the reindeer barn to meet everybody.

The visit had gone well for about fifteen minutes. Then, as he chatted with Dancer, Big E heard Donner yell, “Hey, cut that out!”

Big E rushed over and asked, “What happened?”

“He was sniffing my butt.”

Laughter erupted in the room, but Donner didn’t join in, a perturbed look frozen on his face.

Big E bent over, grabbed the dog’s collar, and made eye contact.  “No, Snorty, no.  Bad dog,” he said in a deep, serious voice.  Then he looked at Donner.  “I’m so sorry.  That’s kind of a dog thing, you know, but I’ll work on trainin’ him not to do it anymore.”

“You better.  If he ever tries that again, he’ll get a swift kick in the nose and won’t be smelling anything for a while.”

 

Reindeer

In addition, there are two dramatic action scenes with the reindeer in Part 2.  The grand final confrontation is a total team effort with all the key characters contributing, including the reindeer.

 

 

So, that’s it — the final pitch in 2017 for my books.  I’ve tried to make these posts as interesting as possible.  I guess they’re working because the sales through Amazon this year have far surpassed last year’s.  I really appreciate the support from all of you who have purchased the books.

 

Big E and the Santa Man Amazon Page

 

For those of you who haven’t bought a copy (or told a family member to give you one for Christmas), it’s not too late.

Please click here and go to Amazon and get the best in Elvis fiction and the wildest Christmas fantasies ever written.

BIG E and the SANTA MAN

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2

 

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 .

and

 .

THANK YOU.  THANKYOUVERYMUCH

 

 

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

Today is Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday

 

It is reported that Amazon.com will account for 43% of all on-line purchases today. So, as long as you’re going to be on there, anyway, how about typing Big E and the Santa Man in the search box? It will take you to my book’s Amazon page, and you can get a copy for just $7.99. You won’t be sorry.

BIG E and the SANTA MAN 2017 Front Cover

The best bargain you will find on Cyber Monday.

 

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister

Oh, no. Now there’s a part 2.

Big E and the Santa Man - Part 2

Yes, now that Big E and the SANTA MAN has successfully sold in the US, Canada, England and two European countries, of course a sequel was inevitable. To write a good one, I knew I’d have to maintain the same level of conflict, unexpected twists, and exciting action as the original.

Could I think up another plot evil enough to fit the villain’s obsession with ruining Christmas? Actually that turned out to be easier than expected, so our villain has three this time. The main plan, the backup, and even an improvised one after Santa and Big E outsmart and overcome the first two.

Of course I wanted Big E’s jetsled to again be a big factor in saving Christmas. It certainly does that. In a little twist, two elves, Gears and Geezer, also get to fly the jetsled on a rescue mission. Lucky old Geezer also gets to fly Santa’s sleigh during the final exciting confrontation.

And I needed to continue the rock & roll shows staged by Big E, the attractive female elf Corky, and the four-man elf band, the ELVI’s.

George and Paul

As I told you last year, I modeled the ELVI’s after the Beatles. Just for kicks, I played around with Microsoft Paint and merged some images together to get these two guys. That’s GH on the left and Mac on the right. Now, if you have a sharp eye, you will notice I made a mistake. Paul McCartney played a left-handed bass and George Harrison played a right-handed guitar. I’ve got them reversed, but it was so much work that I’m not starting over to get it right.

All of you who have read the original book will remember that it ended with a Christmas Day concert in Santa’s workshop. I was particularly proud that I took a visual event with music and made it exciting in written form. That’s not easy to do. Now, in Part 2, there is another Christmas Day show with a surprise guest performer. Plus, the ELVI’s  – Jonel and Sunny and the two guys above  – join Corky to do a show for Big E on his birthday.

 

Tease on back of Part 2

This is the tease on the back cover of Part 2. The Ghost of Christmas Future is an interesting addition to the characters. The villain goes after him as a way to lure Santa into a trap. But the fun new character is Snorty the hound dog. Elvis had a lot of dogs, but never a hound dog. You will love the way these two become best buddies. Snorty may do a lot of silly dog things, but he’s right there helping his master during the huge final confrontation.

 

Snorty

I searched for drawings of hound dogs to see if one captured the essence of Snorty. This one comes pretty close, particularly the long ears. They play an important part in foiling the villain’s back-up plan to ruin Christmas.

 

Cover BIG E and the SANTA MAN - Part 2

Here’s the cover for Part 2. I know it isn’t much different from the original, but I’m way over budget for graphic design expenses this year.

 

 

Part 2 Amazon Page

Same as with the original, Part 2 is available on Amazon for $7.99. However, both books aren’t on the same page, so…

Click here for:

BIG E and the SANTA MAN
BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2

And for you readers who like eBooks, the Kindle version is available for just $2.99.

 

Well, how about it you folks who purchased the original? I know you liked it because I have a folder full of emails, letters, and Amazon comments that are 100% positive. Why not get a copy of this second installment of my unique Rock & Roll Christmas fantasy?

 

And to you ElvisBlog readers who still haven’t experienced BIG E and the SANTA MAN, it’s time to let someone you love know that you want the book for Christmas. Make it easy for him. He never knows what to buy for you, anyway. (just kidding)

 

Thank you. Thankyouverymuch,

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister

 

Take a Peek inside BIG E and the SANTA MAN

Customer Reading Book

When you’re in a bookstore, you read the first few pages of a book to see if you like it before purchasing. You have a similar option at Amazon.com, too. If you click on a book’s cover image, a Look Inside link appears.

Look Inside Amazon Book

If you click on Look Inside, you can read the first seven pages of my rock & roll Christmas fantasy.

I’d like to make it even easier for you to do that right here, so you can see what the story is like, how Elvis is portrayed, how well the writing is done, etc. Please read following Chapter 1 of the book. I’m confident you will enjoy it a lot, and maybe you will be motivated to click on this Amazon link to buy a copy. [Note: the illustrations are not in the book, but it is a blogger axiom that you must break up large chunks of text with pictures.]

 

Harsh and Desolate Frozen Landscape

 

– Chapter 1 –

A Trek to the North Pole

 

Late September, 1977…

The relentless arctic wind swirled over a harsh and desolate world. Glacial fields, broken by jagged ice outcroppings, stretched between ridges of foreboding mountains. A solitary figure, with a backpack and guitar case slung over his shoulders, climbed up one of the lower slopes. He slipped and stumbled, beaten by wind-driven snow, as he fought to reach the top of the ridge.

Without warning, his footing gave way and he slid downward at a frightening speed. His shoulder bounced off a large crag, slowing him down. He flailed wildly with both hands, and grabbed an outcropping to stop his fall. The man clung there, panting, and shifted his feet around until he found a solid foothold. He pulled himself together, checked to see that the guitar case was undamaged, then struggled on.

He clawed himself to the top and saw the object of his incredible trek – an inviting valley, bathed in sunlight, with beautiful evergreen trees and holly bushes all around.

Santa's Castle at the North Pole

And, right in the middle, stood Santa’s castle. Not far from it, a tall red and white object stood by like a sentinel. Even from this distance, the traveler felt certain it was the North Pole.

He took a deep breath and started down the incline toward the castle with new resolve.  Suddenly, a shaft of energy shot down from the sky, locked onto his body, and lifted him three feet in the air.

“What the heck!”

~~~~~~~~~~

“Weasel, put that man down immediately.” The thin old man’s outburst shattered the quiet hum of the spacecraft’s command bridge. He managed to get his anger under control, but his disposition remained as dark and grim as his soiled black lab coat and tangle of unkempt hair.

Weasel jutted out his chin, flashing his displeasure with the command, but he grumbled, “Yes, sir,” and moved a lever on his control panel.

The old man continued his rant. “You need to get over this idea that I’m merely a brilliant scientist. I’m also the commander of this spacecraft, and you guys don’t make the decisions. I do. Sometimes you Humbahs are so stupid.”

Weasel headed a group known as the Humbahs, four elves who had washed out with Santa a few years earlier. They were all surly and stubborn, especially Weasel. He had purple spiked hair, and wore a heavily studded, sleeveless black leather jacket. His face sported several piercings, and numerous tats covered his little arms.

The commander turned back to his telescope monitor screen and watched as the traveler settled slowly back to the mountainside. Dammit, I really have to keep these Humbahs under tighter control, he thought. Evil elves with no qualms about ruining Christmas ought to make the right crew for my plot, but sometimes that independent streak of theirs drives me crazy.

Scrooge the Villain

Then the old man twisted to face the elf again. “Weasel, what the hell did you think you were doing?”

“Just having a little fun,” he said with a tone of insolence. “I wasn’t going to hurt the man – just shake him up.”

“We’re not here to have fun. We’re here to complete a mission.”

Weasel straightened up in his chair and puffed out his chest. “Well, we’ve tested our prototype transporter beam on big rocks and stuff, so why not on a person? It didn’t do any harm.”

The scientist snorted at Weasel’s continued defiant attitude. “You better hope there’s no harm. That man is obviously going to Santa’s castle. Suppose he tells what happened to him, and Santa gets suspicious and figures out we’re back with another plot this year to ruin Christmas.”

Weasel shot back, “Even if he does, there’s nothing Santa can do about it.”

The commander shook his head in exasperation and turned back to the monitor screen.

~~~~~~~~~~

The traveler settled gently onto the mountain slope. He sat there for a moment, unhurt, wondering what just happened. Then, he looked ahead and locked his eyes on Santa’s castle. His mind spun back to the task at hand, and he stood up, shrugged, and continued his journey.

About halfway down the mountain, the traveler realized it was getting warmer – but the snow was not melting. The lower he went, the warmer it got. When the slope leveled off, he thought, it feels like a gorgeous spring day, but there’s snow on the ground. This is pretty cool. He unzipped his heavy parka and pulled back the hood.

Soon he reached a point where he could make out the details of the North Pole. It looked to be almost two feet in diameter and over thirty feet tall. The traveler hadn’t known what to expect, but its massive size surprised him.

The traveler spotted two young elves ahead playing in the snow. They looked up and stared at him, then scurried off around the corner of Santa’s castle and out of sight.

As the traveler passed the North Pole, he noticed a small compartment door about three feet off the ground. It looked like it might cover some sort of control panel and had a combination lock securing it. He wondered why it was so low, then smiled when he realized the answer. That door is set for elf height. I’ll bet one of them opens it up and works some kind of switches or dials. Wonder what it does?

He trudged forward to Santa’s castle, a sprawling stone structure with multiple turrets and Tudor-style wood trim on the gables. The snow on the roof made it a picture-perfect image, and it beckoned him with an irresistible pull.

The traveler reached the steps, climbed up to the porch, and paused in front of the door. Well, this is it. He took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

In a few seconds, the door opened to reveal a familiar face. Santa smiled broadly when he saw his new visitor, and said, “Welcome to the North Pole. We don’t get many visitors here, but we’re real glad to see you, Mister….“ Santa paused.

He didn’t greet me with ‘Hello Elvis,’ so I guess he doesn’t know, or else he’s cuttin’ me some slack. Yeah, that’s probably it. “Well, sir, aaah, aaah…you can call me… aaah….Big E.”

Santa reached out and shook his hand. “Well, Big E, won’t you come on in?”

“Thank you, Santa,” he said as he passed through the door. “I’m really sorry to show up unannounced like this, but I’m hopin’ I might be able to stay here for a while. There’s some stuff goin’ on with my life, and I need to get away, you know?”

“You’re welcome to stay here as long as you like, Big E.” Santa looked at the guitar case. “I presume you can play that guitar or you wouldn’t have gone to all the trouble to lug it up here.”

Big E laughed. “There’s some debate about that, but I can hit a few licks.”
“Well, four of the elves entertain us with music occasionally,” Santa said. “They would like to play rock and roll, but it’s not going so well. Maybe you could work with them and help them along.”

“Oh, I’d love to. It would be great to get back to makin’ music again, just for fun.”

“Excellent. Say, can I help you get that heavy parka off?”

After Big E shed his gloves and coat, he tugged on his loose pants and shirt. “I guess I lost about fifty pounds making this trek. It’s been years since I’ve been this trim.”

“That’s nothing,” Santa said. “It’s been centuries since I’ve been trim.” They both laughed.

Big E looked around and took in the grandeur of Santa’s living room. Massive beams and sturdy wood decking towered over rough-sawn walls and a dark-pegged hardwood floor. A huge couch and two overstuffed armchairs formed a semi-circle facing the massive stone fireplace. Christmas decorations adorned the tables and walls, and a sturdy Christmas tree somehow supported an extensive display of ornaments.

“Oh, wow,” Big E said. “This is some place you’ve got here.”

Santa nodded. “It suits Mama Claus and me quite well. Say, let’s go out to the kitchen and I’ll introduce you to her.”

As they headed across the room, Big E asked, “I noticed the temperature around your castle is quite mild, but the snow doesn’t melt. Why is that?”

Santa stroked his chin. “For now, let’s just say that it’s one of the many magical properties of the North Pole. I’ll explain it all to you later, but you’ll be happy to know that anyone living at the North Pole never gets any older.”

Big E smiled but did not reply. Oh, man, this is going to be even better than I thought.

 

Big E and the Santa Man

I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of BIG E and the SANTA MAN. Like any good writer, I tried to work in as many things as possible to hook the readers. There’s our two iconic title characters, an evil villain and his bad-elf henchman, hints about all the magical properties of the North Pole, and mention of the four musically-inclined elves who will pair up with Big E to play some serious rock & roll.

Of course, the whole idea is total fantasy, but it sure makes for a fun story. I say this every year: BIG E and the SANTA MAN is the perfect Christmas present for Elvis fans. Please click here to go to the Amazon page, then email the link to your sweetie with this in the subject box: I want this book for Christmas.

 

PayPal

Or. if you live in the U.S. and want a signed copy, and you have a PayPal account, send an email to philarnold@charter.net.  Tell me what inscription you want on your book, and I’ll take care of the rest.

 

Santa's World Cover

I would like to end by paraphrasing the message on the above magazine cover.

Who is this Big E guy?

And will he be under your Christmas tree?

 

Thankyouverymuch,

Phil Arnold, Original Elvisblogmeister

 

Who Are These Two Guys

Santa and Big E in Jet Sled

Even if you are just reading ElvisBlog for the first time, I’m sure you recognized them as Santa Claus and Elvis Presley. However, if you’ve been a reader for the past two years, then you know them as Santa Man and Big E, the characters in my rock & roll Christmas fantasy.

Why do they have different names? In my story, Big E is how Elvis introduced himself to Santa when he first arrived at the North Pole. Santa Man is simply a playful nickname that Big E gave Santa once they became good friends.

OK, so what is the strange-looking thing they are flying around in? Again, first-time visitors to this blog might say: “Looks like a gold Caddy convertible with runners instead of wheels and some kind of red propulsion flame coming out the back. Long-time blog readers know this is Big E’s jet sled. It was specially made for him by Santa’s elves, and it plays a significant part in their teaming up to save Christmas in my book BIG E and the SANTA MAN.

 

Big E and Santa in Jet Sled

This sorry-looking drawing was the jet sled image on the first printing two years ago. I traced the lines of a 1959 Cadillac and drew the runners. I was trying to keep the costs down because graphic artists are expensive. I did have to pay for her to add flames and sky background and to cut and paste Santa and Big E into the jet sled.

I knew it was pretty amateurish, so I put it on the back cover. I spent the real money getting the designer to make a professional-looking front cover. Then, last year, I saw this picture.

Runners to put on Jet sled

I was like “Wow,” that’s the kind of runners I want on Big E’s jet sled. More to the point, they would be the kind of sharp, stylish accessories Elvis would want on a prized vehicle. I had made a little money on book sales, so I forked out some of it to have the designer put them on my so-so drawing.

Jet Sled Picture to use in Promotion

The shiny metal runners look so much better, and the red flames were an improvement, so this image went on the back cover last year. Still, I wasn’t really happy with it. Then I found this picture on the internet:

Caddy Convertible front view

I sent the picture to the graphic artist an asked, “Can you change it to gold, and replace the wheels with runners, and put Santa and Big E in it?” She said, “Sure, but it will take some time and cost you some real money.” I swallowed hard and said, “Yes, do it, but be gentle with your bill.” What she produced was outstanding, so it was time for a new cover.

2017 New Front Cover - Big

The title font is the same as on the first printing, and two weeks ago I explained about the change in the tag line.

Coming up with a book cover is a learning experience. Several folks suggested that because there are two title characters, they should both be on the cover. This was not the case on the first printing, and I could see their point.

Big E and the Santa Man Final Cover

Some observers said the first cover was too busy, too much stuff. I could see that, too. But, another thing surprised me. Half of the folks I asked had no idea what the building was. This was in spite of the presence of Santa in the title, the North Pole nearby, and the word Claus over the front door. One non-Elvis fan even asked, “Is it Graceland?” Give me a break.

As I mentioned two weeks ago, the tag line in the red ornament didn’t give any clue what the story was about. So, once I had the new jet sled picture, it was time for a complete front cover redesign. I’m really happy with it.

And you will be happy, too, if you get a copy of this book. It is available on Amazon.com. Click here to go to the book’s page where you can get it for $7.99 or the Kindle eBook for $2.99.

Amazon Page - Big E and the Santa Man

 

There is also one thing I failed to mention in the first two Christmas season promotional pitches. Although I wrote the book to appeal to Elvis fans, it can be enjoyed by adolescent or young adult readers. The story is squeaky clean. I want to get Graceland to buy my book and make it into a one hour animated Christmas special, which would be watched by all ages. Plus my chances with Graceland will be enhanced if Big E is portrayed as straight-arrow kind of guy. We all know he used some saucy language in real life, but not in my story.

The phenomenon of Elvis’ continued popularity is because new generations of fans keep coming along. Where do they get this inclination from? Mostly their parents or even their grandparents.

So, if you have a young family member who doesn’t know about Elvis like you do, give them my nifty Christmas fantasy. Once they’ve read BIG E and the SANTA MAN, they will like this Big E guy, and you’ll have an opening to tell them all about Elvis.

But don’t forget to get a copy for yourself or copies to give to others. The record for books purchased by one person to give to others is eleven. Like I’ve said before, this is the perfect Christmas present for all Elvis fans. So, how about clicking on this Amazon link and getting a copy?

 

Thankyouverymuch,

Phil Arnold

 

 

THEY’RE BACK

In the Kingdom of Rock & Roll

Yes, that could be quite a dream… Elvis goes up to the North Pole, and Santa welcomes him to live in the castle with him and Mama Claus and the elves. But there could be more to this fantasy.

Much more!

Suppose there’s a diabolical villain hovering above the North Pole in a space station, intent on ruining Christmas.

What if he has invented a device that would enable him to do just that? And when he puts his plot into action on Christmas Eve, he forces Santa to dump all the presents over the side of the sleigh. If that wasn’t bad enough, Santa’s sleigh crashes during the frantic attempt to land back at the North Pole.

At this point, the dream is more like a nightmare about Christmas being ruined.

But, that’s where Elvis jumps into action. Big E, as he is now known to the North Pole family, emerges as a dynamic, resourceful foe for the villain. Do you remember how young Elvis was enamored with Captain Marvell Jr, and fantasized about doing all that kind of hero stuff? Now as an adult, he gets his chance, and he is up for the challenge. Not even Captain Marvell Jr got to save Christmas. But Elvis does in my book…

 

BIG E and the SANTA MAN

 

Don’t get the idea that Santa is just along for the ride while the confrontations play out. Rest assured that Santa comes through with a few clever tricks up his sleeve, too. He may be jolly old fellow, but he has inner strength to draw on when needed.

Yes, teamwork between Santa and Big E is the key to saving Christmas. This story follows the best traditions of what are known as buddie movies. Elvis never made a buddie movie, so this is as close as you’re ever going to get. You will just love Santa and Elvis teaming up to save Christmas. You just will — if you buy this book.

BIG E and the SANTA MAN 2017 Front Cover

 

You will notice this cover design is different than the one I posted the last two years during the book’s promotion on ElvisBlog. Gone is the subtitle:

Subtitle on Christmas Ball Ornament

I really liked this at first because it was such an accurate description of the story. In fact, if Amazon.com had a genre called Rock & Roll Christmas Fantasy, my book would be the biggest seller. Because there has never been another book billing itself as that.

 

But gradually I began to think a better subtitle would help potential readers understand what the two title characters do in the book. What I needed was a short, concise line, so nothing could be better than:

BIG E and the SANTA MAN new subtitle

 

There is also a big change in the image on the cover of BIG E and the SANTA MAN. I will talk about this in the next promotional post here on ElvisBlog. Between now and Christmas, I will be discussing my book several times. But I’ll keep the regular posts coming as well.

For now, let me give you a quick pitch. You regularly read my blog and like it. If you read my book, you will like it, too. Most important, you like Elvis, and this is a nifty story about him doing brave heroic deeds to save Christmas. Dozens of Elvis fans have read this book and said great things about it in emails and reviews. I am confident you will feel the same way.

 

The price is just $7.99 on Amazon.com. Get the book for yourself or have somebody give it to you as a present.

Amazon Page - Big E and the Santa Man

So, why not click here now and order BIG E and the SANTA MAN on Amazon.com? Or, you can get the eBook for your Kindle at just $2.99. A bargain, either way.

 

Thank you, thankyouverymuch.

 

Phil Arnold

One Last Pitch

Big E and the Danta Man

Christmas is fifteen days away, but Amazon promises six days or better delivery on my book, so you can still get it in time.

Sales have really picked up this past week, so lots of folks must have decided they’ll take a chance on what I call the perfect Christmas present for Elvis fans.

They won’t be disappointed, at least not according to these happy readers:

 

“I bought Big E and the Santa Man for myself, being an Elvis lover… But… my kids and grandchildren enjoyed it as much as I did. A nice fun read!!”

Robert Devenney, Harvey Cedars, NJ

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“This book affirms what all fans of the ‘King of Rock ’n’ Roll’ know to be true—that the spirit of Elvis Presley will live on forever. Every Elvis fan, young and old, will enjoy reading Big E and the Santa Man this and every Christmas season to come.”

Alan Hanson, Spokane, WA

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“This book is a little masterpiece, and believe me there are not many books able to make the reader dream like Big E and the Santa Man did. All the Elvis fans and others must read Big E and the Santa Man.”

Francis Mauge, Tonneins, France

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Santa Reading Big E and the Santa Man

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“Only a fertile imagination could conceive of pairing two of the world’s greatest legends together in a Rock & Roll Christmas fable. Big E and Santa hit it off right from the start, and a good thing, too, for Scrooge is back with a cadre of Santa’s rejected elves determined to spoil Christmas for everyone. I know I loved it, and am moved to tell the author, “Thank you, thank you very much.”

Bob Strother, Greenville, SC

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“I loved the whole thing…so exciting to read. Phil Arnold has a fantastic imagination. I would like to see it animated on TV, because it would show the kids all the goodness in Elvis. And he makes a great hero.”

Shirley Romitz, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

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“Because Big E and the Santa Man is ‘A Rock & Roll Christmas Fantasy,’ anything that can be imagined can happen … and does. I give Big E and the Santa Man a big ‘E’ for Entertaining.”

Jerry Osborne, Port Townsend, WA

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Back Cover -- Big E and the Santa Man

Back Cover — Big E and the Santa Man

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Big E and the Santa Man is an entertaining, creative story. Phil Arnold weaves together old, familiar Christmas names with fun and imaginative new characters. Secrets of the North Pole are revealed! As I read the book, it was as if I could hear the voice of Elvis telling me the story himself. With a space ship and a flying car, Big E and the Santa Man brings Santa and Scrooge into the modern world.

Carol Stevens, Canoga Park, CA

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“Phil, I truly believe that this wonderful story would be both perfect and magical as an animated version you aspire to!! I certainly hope you attain this dream, for we will benefit with a wonderful Christmas delight.”

Clementine Moriarty, St Louis, MO

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“I purchased a bunch of Big E and the Santa Man last year thinking they would make terrific Christmas presents for friends, family & me. I thought the copies of this fun book would be read and put away by the recipients. BUT NO — I was mistaken. Phil’s book is on display and read YEAR ROUND. I SO recommend giving this cheery book. It’s an all year HO, HO, HO!”

Jean Pyle, Hawthorne, NJ

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In the Kingdom of Rock & roll

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Big E and the Santa Man is a fantastic world that Phil Arnold has created. Taking two magical characters and bringing them together works in this very imaginative story. Elvis always loved Christmas and I am sure he would have enjoyed this tale.”

Red Robinson, Vancouver, BC

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“Great Table Book. Phil Arnold brings his smooth, witty writing style to two of our favorite things — Elvis Presley and Santa! A great read for fans of all ages. Can’t wait for the next one.”

Carol Austin, Memphis, TN

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“I just finished reading Big E and the Santa Man today, and I must say, I absolutely loved it. It is a good prospect for an animated Christmas special. I can totally see that. It would be pretty cool if that happened.

Gerard Montz, LaPlace, LA

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Big E and the Santa Man -- Authors Message

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Big E and the Santa Man tells the tale of where Elvis really went – the North Pole. Who else but Elvis could teach the elves to play rock and roll music, turn Santa’s sleigh into a red rocket Cadillac, and save Christmas from evil Scrooge? This lighthearted tale had me chuckling all through the book. Phil Arnold’s style and spot-on Elvis characterization made this quite an enjoyable read for all fans of Elvis – and Santa Claus.”

John Migacz, Ware Shoals, SC

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“I read this book, and all I can say is ‘I loved it.’ I can easily see it as an annual Christmas movie. Very, very, interesting.”

Darwin Lamm, Palm Springs, CA

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“Phil Arnold has written a witty and insightful Christmas fantasy… a good read you will enjoy this Christmas and each one to come. In chapter after chapter of Big E and the Santa Man, the characters, the dialog, and the surroundings become more vivid. The exchanges involving “Big E” convey Elvis’ mannerisms, his good heart, and his vocal Inflections, and in doing so breathe life into the pages.”

Jeff Schrembs, Virginia Beach, VA

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Big E and the Santa Man

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Okay, that’s the last pitch until next Christmas season.

Click here to buy the book. You’ll be glad you did.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

Merry Christmas

 

Phil Arnold

Original Elvisblogmeister

 

My sincerest appreciation goes out to all the folks who emailed me these nice comments or posted them on Amazon. Thank you so much.

 

A Pitch about Quality

I got my first Amazon check today (actually a direct deposit) for BIG E and the SANTA MAN. The response to my book has been most gratifying, and I thank all of you who bought a copy.

Minions Holding Big e and the Santa Man

It’s been fun coming up with entertaining ways to pitch the book here on ElvisBlog. There’s been four posts so far, and I’ve tried to keep them interesting so people would read all the way through.

 

On this post, I’d like to get more serious, so I hope I don’t lose you. Even though the sales of the book are good, there’s lots of potential readers who might still be unconvinced. Over 12,000 visitors come to ElvisBlog each month, so what’s holding some folks back? I think it might be three things.

Elvis He is Alive

 

The whole premise of the novel is that Elvis didn’t die in August 1977. Instead, he went off to a remote, but very special place, to start a new life – living with Santa Claus at the North Pole. I know some Elvis fans are totally turned off by what they call the Elvis is Alive nonsense. Okay, fine, but this story says right on the cover that it is a Rock & Roll Christmas FANTASY. If you lighten up and just go with the premise, BIG E and the SANTA MAN is wonderful fun story.

Perhaps another thing causing doubt is a concern that the book is just too weird to be any good.

Elvis living with Santa – ridiculous
Scrooge converted to a mad scientist in a space craft – get real
A flying 1959 Cadillac jet sled – impossible

All I can say is that the story was conceived as an animated TV Christmas special, and people who have read it say they can see the drama, and action, and humor playing out on the screen. They started reading with an open mind and loved the story. Although it is the strangest Christmas story ever written, it is not too weird to be any good. No, it is very good.

Joe Biden Holding Big E and the Santa Man

 

The third possible stumbling block for some people may be their doubt that the host of a blog could craft a good piece of fiction on his first try. Actually, it is my second novel.

Elvis Claus Cover

Elvis Claus is what I wrote first to hone my fiction writing skills. I plan to publish it next year. It might be even harder for folks to get beyond the Elvis is Alive premise on this one, because it’s not a fantasy, it’s a love story.

Writing fiction is a lot more challenging than writing non-fiction, but my extensive production of magazine articles has contributed to a sound grasp of grammar, punctuation, and other factors that can make your work look amateurish if you don’t get them right. BIG E and the SANTA MAN is clean, very professional looking.

Elvis International magazine winter 1999

For what it’s worth, I have written 54 articles for Elvis International magazine, including “Artist of the Century” in this issue.

 

ELVIS The Early Years

I am very proud of the quality of my writing. I was hired by famous Elvis photographer Al Wertheimer to write the forward for his book ELVIS: The Early Years.

 

ELVIS He Touched Me

The author of Elvis: He Touched Me hired me to write two chapters and the “About the Author” section.

 

Okay, that’s enough proving I’m a good writer. You get the idea. I just wanted to emphasize any way I could that BIG E and the SANTA MAN is a quality work of fiction.

BIG E and the SANTA MAN

I am also very proud of the book’s cover. I engaged a top-notch graphic artist to create it, and she came through big time. She also did the cover for Elvis Claus. Scroll back and look at the outstanding job she did aging Elvis. She also did the Joe Biden and Minions pictures above.

 

So, that’s my pitch about quality. I truly believe this is the perfect Christmas present for Elvis fans. All you need to do is tell someone to type BIG E and the SANTA MAN into the Amazon search box, or click here and buy it yourself.

Amazon Page Big E and the SANTA MAN

If you want a signed copy, and you have a PayPal account, send an email to philarnold@charter.net, and I’ll take care of the rest.

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Santa World Cover

I would like to end by paraphrasing the message in the above picture.

Who is this Big E guy?
And will he be under your Christmas tree?

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Thank you,

Phil Arnold

Original ElvisBlogmeister

 

 

ElvisBlog Logo

Elvis and his Gold Cadillac Flying Hot Rod

Elvis - 200 Cadillacs DVD

Elvis’ love affair with automobiles, especially Cadillacs, has been well documented. Also, his generosity in giving gifts of automobiles to friends, family, associates and even complete strangers is legendary. In fact, the above 2004 DVD provides pictures and details on 200 Cadillacs Elvis gave away during his lifetime.

 

Elvis' 1973 De Tomaso Pantera

In addition to big roomy elegant sedans, Elvis also owned a variety of high performance models. Above is a 1971 De Tomaso Pantera.

Elvis' 1973 Stutz Blackhawk III

And this is his 1973 Stutz Blackhawk III.

 

Elvis and Linda Thompson on his supertrike

Elvis loved other unique forms of getting around. Here he is with Linda Thompson on his custom-made “SuperTrike.”

Three strange Elvis Vehicles

Here it is on display, along with two other Elvis playthings: a snowmobile he had fitted with wheels for driving around the grounds of Graceland, and a white golf cart in the back.

 

Elvis has been quoted, “While I was driving a truck, every time a big shiny car drove by, it started me sort of day-dreaming. I always felt that someday, somehow, something would happen to change everything for me. I would daydream about how it would be.”

And when that someday did come, he naturally had to own cars like this 1965 gold Cadillac Eldorado designed by George Barris.

1965 elvis Gold Cadillac Eldorado

 

Yes, Elvis loved him some Cadillacs. However, he spent the entire year of 1959 serving in the Army in Germany, so he never had a Cadillac from that year. The closest he came was having Col. Parker purchase 14 “give away” cars in his name for donations to various charities.

Elvis Gift to Charity - 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville

This 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville was one of those cars. Can there be any doubt that Elvis would have loved this baby and owned one if he had been home in 1959? This car practically screams ELVIS.

 

So, I ask you to consider a fantasy. Suppose eighteen years later, Elvis ends up at the North Pole living with Santa Claus. He needs some kind of hot rod for getting around. As Elvis ponders over what he would like the elves to make for him, he remembers the incredible lines of the 1959 Cadillac convertible.

1959 Cadillac Convertable

Yeah, just like this, except gold. And no back seat or trunk lid. Just a big open space in the back like Santa’s sleigh. Of course, tires won’t get him around at the North Pole, so it needs runners. And why not go for broke and make the thing fly.

Santa and Elvis in Jet Sled

Yes, that’s it. Elvis’ hot-rod jet sled from my book BIG E and the SANTA MAN.

In the story, Big E (as he is called at the North Pole) doesn’t just have fun flying around in the sky. His jet sled is instrumental in foiling Scrooge’s plot to ruin Christmas. It’s a back and forth battle between the forces of good and evil.

Big E is just what every Elvis fan would want him to be: decisive, nerves of steel, a man of action. The inventive maneuvers he uses in the jet sled to counter Scrooge’s offensive strategies are heart-pumping exciting.

And through all the skirmishes with Scrooge, he keeps his unique sense of humor. This is such a fun story.

BIG E and the SANTA MAN

In previous posts, I have asserted that BIG E and the SANTA MAN is the strangest Christmas story ever written. I also stressed that the book is the perfect Christmas present for Elvis fans.

So, here’s the third point: Elvis is depicted as a true hero who jumps into action when Santa needs help or Christmas will be ruined, not just for one year, but forever. You will love this depiction of Elvis. And even though it is a fantasy, you will believe he could do every bit of it. If you want to read a book that makes you immensely proud of Elvis, this is for you.

 

Amazon Page - BIG E and the SANTA MAN

It’s almost Thanksgiving and the buying of Christmas presents is going on. How about telling a friend or family member that you would like them to give you BIG E and the SANTA MAN. Tell them to go to Amazon and search for it under books, or click here and go right to it.

Or if you want a signed and inscribed copy, send me an email at philarnold@charter.net. I’ll submit a Money Request to PayPal and we’ll go from there.

I haven’t mentioned it before, but there is an inexpensive third option. Amazon also offers a Kindle eBook for just $2.99.

So, pick one of the three ways to get BIG E and the SANTA MAN. You will be glad you did. Next time I will share comments from others who read the book and felt very positive about it.

Thank you,

Phil Arnold
Original ElvisBlogmeister

 

ElvisBlog Logo

PS: While working on this blog post, I checked out Google to see if any artists had created a flying automobile sled for Santa Claus. Here are three good ones.

jet-powered-bentley-santa-sled

jet-powered-sled-sled

santa-in-jet-powered-sled

 

I’m glad there were no gold Cadillac sleds. That has to be an Elvis exclusive.
So, how about it? Are you ready to order BIG E and the SANTA MAN? Click here. Do it.