In the Shadow of ELVIS

Perils of a Ghostwriter

Non-Fiction - Memoir
236 Pages
Reviewed on 05/27/2013
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Author Biography


Rico was born and raised in Southwestern Idaho, is the oldest of five boys. He grew up in an area that was ripe for adventures for him and his younger brothers and numerous cousins. His love of storytelling is infectious and his bitter sweet stories will have you howling with laughter, grieving from tragedy and leaving you on the edge. Rico’s love of reading, exploring and traveling allured him to many parts of the globe including Lithuania where he taught English and capitalism, the United Kingdom where he studied and played American Football for the Staffordshire Stallions and Mexico to study Spanish, dance with senoritas, fish the open sea and drink tequila. Rico has undergraduate degrees from Boise State University, Grand Canyon University, Staffordshire University and a Master’s Degree from Thunderbird, School of Global Management. He and his wife live in Scottsdale, AZ and San Carlos, Sonora Mexico.

Rico is the author of the award winning, bestselling, epic novel “My Bad Tequila,” that has been at the Number One spot several times on on Mexico Travel genre on eKindle. Rico has also just had published his first Children’s book, “ ARIZONA Is Where I Live,” and has just published his latest, biography / memoir, “In the Shadow of ELVIS, Perils of a Ghostwriter” which is the true story of John Dennis Smith Presley. Rico also writes a Blog once a month that has a readership of 20,000 plus reader per month and growing.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers' Favorite

"In the Shadow of Elvis" is the story of the legitimate, illegitimate son of the legendary King of Rock ‘n Roll, John Dennis Smith. Author Rico Austin meets Elvis’s son at a chance meeting in Cave Creek, Arizona, and this book follows the journey of that unique encounter, along with the trials and tribulations of trying to get the story written and published. John Dennis Smith wanted his story told, and Rico Austin was the person he wanted to tell it.

This book was interesting in two ways, one because it tells a never before told story of the son of Elvis who was raised by Elvis’s aunt and uncle, which makes the story well worth reading. But then when things happen with the story totally out of Austin’s control, he turns the situation into the difficult journey of a ghostwriter. And Austin has such a unique way of writing that he makes the story fun, exciting and entertaining enough that you don’t want to put the book down until you finish. This is really a sad story because though John loved his adopted parents, he was robbed of a relationship with his own father and mother. And as the story tells, John follows in Elvis’ footsteps in several ways. It is all written here in Austin’s book, "In the Shadow of Elvis". This is sure to be a best seller as this book gets more and more publicity. If you enjoy memoirs, you will enjoy Smith’s story. If you are an Elvis fan, then this book is a must for you. And as an added bonus to this book, there are photos of John’s dad Elvis and his mother Zona Marie, plus lots of pictures of the author as well.

Dellani Oakes

Rico Austin has done it again, serving up a double shot of reality. His new book, In the Shadow of Elvis, Perils of a Ghostwriter, chronicles his adventure ghostwriting for John Dennis Smith (aka Johnny Starr) the legitimate – illegitimate son of the late great Elvis Presley.
Like My Bad Tequila, Rico’s award winning novel of his early life, In the Shadow of Elvis, Perils of a Ghostwriter is more than just a story about writing a book. It’s a story of love, fear, friendship and understanding. It makes the reader laugh loudly, giggle or shed a silent tear.
Rico Austin’s laid back style makes reading his book easy – but the emotions and situations he explores are anything but simplistic. A chance encounter with someone in San Francisco may have changed his life forever. But even that black cloud doesn’t get him down. He soldiers on with an indomitable spirit and unwavering faith that few people have.
In the Shadow of Elvis, Perils of a Ghostwriter, is a journey through Rico’s life and an in depth study of his emotions and thoughts. It is a book I will long love and you will too.
Incredible. Marvelous. Rico
5 Golden Acorns (and 5 Shots of Tequila!)

Bonnie Lee

In the Shadows of Elvis: Perils of a Ghostwriter showcases Rico Austin's opportunity to pen the memoirs of his friend John Dennis Smith, Elvis Presley's illegitimate legitimate son--surely destined to be a best seller.
He ends up with a double shot of reality instead when the project gets swindled from his control. But Rico turns the tragedy into a fast-paced amusing novel relating his dilemma, in which he pays tribute to Elvis, his son, and the trials and tribulations of a ghost-writer's worst nightmare. The result is a read that rocks with crazy wit, lively banter, and a unique cast of cohorts, written in true Rico style.
A delightfully fun read.

Paul Rhetts

This is a great read. Fun! Entertaining, and most informative. What's not to like about this side of the great Elvis.

Steve Boyce

Rico hits another home run with this Elvis story, his storytelling goes where no writer has gone before! He is a Master of converting a simple description into words of art.

Blu Kaboy

Like the desert scorpion fighting against the wind, to stay on his rock, Rico stays on this adventure. Bolstered by uncanny good fortune with tequila, he dives headfirst and with reckless abandon in another shot of reality.
Oh yes, Compadre, you are like that scorpion in the wind, waiting to strike again, just like in your award winning "My Bad Tequila". I felt as if I was on that journey like Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan and his Yaqui Way of knowledge, in my case, reaching for another shot of reality, too.

Rico Austin

This book was difficult to write due to the outside forces and a health scare to the Author. I am pleased that John Smith Presley's story is finally out there to the public awareness.