HASSIE CALHOUN, the first book of a trilogy, is a modern bildungsroman about a lovely, determined and talented teenager from the late 1950s/early 60s rural Texas, who flees a difficult family situation to seek fame and fortune 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, as well as drawing the attention of the powerful Frank Sinatra. Like the goddess Persephone, Hassie finds herself drawn alternately to the darkness and the light, finding joy and pain in both realms. When the road to stardom requires making some unacceptable compromises, Hassie must make the toughest decision of her life. The trilogy follows a good-hearted woman through her naive and mistake-ridden youth and culminates in a surprising old age in New York City and London.