A Las Vegas Novel of Innocence
A Sexy and Fiery Portrait of an Era and a Telling of Innocence
Book One of a trilogy, Hassie Calhoun: A Las Vegas Novel of Innocence is a modern bildungsroman about a lovely and talented teenager from 1960s rural Texas, who flees a difficult family situation to seek success as an entertainer in Las Vegas. Her beauty opens doors immediately, but leads only to a sybaritic lifestyle controlled by her brooding and dangerous lover, Jake, and draws the attention of the powerful Frank Sinatra.
Torn between open doors and her own morals, Hassie finds herself drawn alternately to darkness and light, finding joy and pain down both paths. When the road to stardom requires making some unacceptable compromises, Hassie must make the toughest decision of her life. The novel follows a good-hearted woman through her naivité and mistake-ridden youth; a journey that paints the Rat Pack era in a new and surprising light, and gives the reader a new take on coming of age.
Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn
Creating a protagonist who makes such self-destructive choices that you want to just get inside the book and slap some sense into her, yet at the same time making the reader love this character and want to keep reading to find out what she’ll do next, always fervently hoping that she’ll get it right, is one of the most difficult tasks a novelist can undertake. Pamela Cory has succeeded brilliantly in doing just that with her simultaneously maddening and you-just-can’t-help-but-like-her character, Hassie Calhoun. Read this book and be transported to Las Vegas, circa 1959, along with one of the more engaging characters I’ve encountered in fiction.
Adam Langer, author of The Thieves of Manhattan
Like its eponymous heroine, Hassie Calhoun proves to be deceptively plucky and resourceful. What could have easily devolved into an all-too-familiar cautionary tale of Las Vegas instead becomes a redemptive portrait of an era.
Masha Hamilton, author of 31 Hours
From the book’s opening pages, I felt worried for Hassie Calhoun. Her story, though individual in era and tone, is recognizable. She does things in her youthful naiveté that many of us have done and regret. This page-turning, in-your-face story explores how a good woman must reach depths before she can understand herself.
Susan McBride, author of The Cougar Club and Little Black Dress
Forget the glass slipper and Prince Charming! Hassie Calhoun is a small-town Cinderella fueled by vodka and Lucky Strikes. Determined to trade her Texas roots for Vegas neon, young Hassie endures plenty of hard knocks, hard men, broken dreams, and a broken heart in search of fame and fortune.