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Reviews of Graceland Express

” Great book, great ending” 

“OK, you tell yourself: Another Elvis book. Ho hum.

But what a pleasant surprise. As it turns out “Graceland Express” is a fast-paced tale of Vangie who works at K mart and is trapped in a life which revolves around a mother who is convinced that Gypsies are invading her home. Author is St. Augustine resident Marie Vernon, a former feature writer, columnist and reviewer for the Baltimore Sun.

Central character of “Graceland Express” is Vangie, a member of the Elvis 4-Ever Fan Club, a group which is planning a trip to Graceland to mark the 10th anniversary of Elvis’s death. Vangie wants desperately to go, but when the Gypsies again become the focus of Vangie’s mother’s life, it looks like the Elvis bus will be leaving Baltimore without Vangie.

But Vangie is a lot more than just an Elvis fan. She is a caring young woman who is devoted to hospitalized children and performs good works in the name of the Elvis 4-Ever Fan Club for the children in a Baltimore hospital. Her devotion and contributions catch the attention of the Baltimore newspaper, and Vangie is thrust into the spotlight.

Humor makes this book a fun read — and you find yourself laughing out loud on numerous occasions, especially visualizing the burly truck driver who favors Tom Selleck in looks and is devoted to his demanding feline Konstanze.

Then there’s Vangie’s brother, Floyd O’Toole, who is always positive that the next big score will allow him to flee the country and live in luxury in a tropical paradise with the current woman of his dreams.

Elvis fan or not you’ll get a kick out of “Graceland Express” and its twists and turns leading up to departure day for Graceland. And you won’t believe the ending.”

Book Review by ANNE C. HEYMEN; the St. Augustine Record, September 4, 2011


“A wonderful novel… Vangie O’Toole is a truly endearing character representing many Elvis Fans and Fan Clubs all over the world that are so generous and giving in the name of Elvis Presley. You feel for her through her struggles, hopes and dreams of getting to Graceland when complications and mysterious circumstances threaten her trip of a lifetime. A fun read, a touching character line and a nice tribute to how Elvis’ giving spirit continues to influence his fans some 30 years after his death.”
Tracy Duncan
President “I’ll Remember You Elvis” Fan Club
Jacksonville, Florida


“I love these characters. The way they and the events of the story seamlessly intertwine makes Graceland Express a novel worthy of Dickens or Carl Hiassen. This book is a delightful read.”
Mary Cahill
Author of Carpool

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