Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Special excerpt from psychological suspense The Last Dreamgirl by Shane Hayes

Today I’m featuring a special excerpt from the psychological thriller, The Last Dreamgirl, by Shane Hayes.

During his virtual book tour, Shane will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn person. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops, too!

A little bit about the author:
A native Philadelphian, Shane Hayes earned his bachelor’s and his law degree from Villanova University, and studied for a year at Princeton Theological Seminary. He worked as a writer/editor for Prentice Hall and an attorney for the federal government. He is married, has four children, and lives in suburban Philadelphia. His nonfiction book The End of Unbelief: A New Approach to the Question of God was released by Leafwood Publishers in the fall of 2014.

Two young men meet on ship when both are recently out of college. They share a flaming ambition. Each aims to write novels that will be internationally acclaimed and win him a place in American letters. One of them, Paul Theroux, achieves the dream in all its glory: becomes world famous, writes over 40 books, and three of his novels are made into films. The other, Shane Hayes, fails completely, but keeps tenaciously writing, decade after decade, plowing on through hundreds of rejections. Then almost half a century later, Shane contacts Paul, who remembers him, reads three of his books, likes them, and praises them with endorsements.

In writing to agents and publishers Shane could now say, “Query for a novel praised by Paul Theroux.” No one offers a book deal because of an endorsement, so rejections keep coming. But more people let him send at least a sample and are predisposed to see merit in it. At his age, time is crucial. In the month he turns 75, Shane receives contracts on two of his books from different publishers. He will always be grateful to the literary giant who remembered ten days of friendship half-a-lifetime after it ended.

A little bit about The Last Dreamgirl:
For every man there’s a girl who grips his imagination and his heart as no other girl ever did or will. She may be in her teens or a mature woman. He responds to her as a boy to a girl. Whether she comes early in his life or late, there is a throne in his subconscious that she takes possession of, without trying, often without wanting to.The image he forms of her reigns there in perpetuity, even if she has left his life, or this life. Her enchantment never fades or fails, and he is never immune to it. She may not be for him the last wife or paramour, but she is the last dreamgirl.


Excerpt from The Last Dreamgirl:
Traffic was light enough that Ron could pull out and follow Bower, a car or two behind. Bower drove to a local Acme supermarket, parked, grabbed a pushcart, and went in to shop.

Ron did the same. While he avoided trailing Bower through the aisles he effectively followed him by going down aisles that Bower was coming up, and sometimes pausing near Bower to search for products on one side of the aisle while Bower was scanning the shelves on the other side. Viewing the man’s features at close range Ron had no doubt that this was the Vulture. Ron got so close to him in the drug and cosmetics aisle that he made two notable observations. First, from a sharp side angle Bower’s deformed eye-placement could be seen under his dark glasses. Second, he was working from two shopping lists—which seemed to be in different handwriting. At a glance Ron perceived one as a small neat feminine hand, written in blue ink, and the other as a larger, though equally neat, hand—probably masculine—in pencil.

Ron’s heart leaped at the thought that the penned shopping list had been written by Sandra Moore. But he knew how much he wanted to find evidence of her being alive in Bower’s house and feared he might have seen what he wanted to see. Seconds after the observation, when he had moved down the aisle, he began to question it.

The fact that both lists were so neatly written made him doubt that they were done by different hands. The pencil versus ink could have created that illusion; and sometimes one’s mood and the size of the paper can prompt one to write smaller than usual....

Ron’s doubts about handwriting were resolved when he made his next pass of Bower’s cart near the feminine hygiene shelves and saw in it a box of women’s sanitary napkins. Why in God’s name would Bower be buying Kotex if he lived alone? There had to be a woman there and a menstruating woman at that. Ron couldn’t check but would be willing to bet that the Kotex had been written on the blue-ink shopping list in what had first struck him as a feminine hand. It was a feminine hand, and he would lay odds that it was Sandra’s.

Ron got right behind Bower in the checkout line and noticed that he had also bought a woman’s scented bath powder, a feminine underarm deodorant, and a supply of hairpins. Ron had to resist an impulse to cry out in joy and triumph. None of the female items were things a young man would bring to a girl he was dating. None was the equivalent of a bouquet, a box of candy, or a bottle of perfume. These were things a man would typically pick up for his wife or mistress, a woman he was living with. Or a girl he held captive.


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10 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Shane Hayes said...

I too thank you for hosting, Lisa. This newspaper review just appeared; it will give your blog visitors a quick perspective on the book:

‘THE LAST DREAMGIRL’ IS A GREAT SUMMERTIME READ

Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in The News of Delaware County, The Garnet Valley Press, and several other newspapers in the Delco News Network

By Betty Lou Roselle

When I was first approached to review The Last Dreamgirl by Shane Hayes, I declined, thinking “What women wants to read a book about a man’s idea of the perfect woman?” When I was again asked to review the book by a valued co-worker, I acquiesced and I’m so glad I did.

Yes, this is the story about the very handsome Ron Pavone who watches the incredibly beautiful Marisa emerge from the water at the beach in New Jersey and decides she will be his based solely on physical attraction.

But running parallel to this is the story of Ollie Bower, born horribly disfigured, whose loving parents die when he is in his late twenties. Although wealthy, he’s lonely and aware that he has no hope of meeting a woman who will love him, so he kidnaps his dreamgirl after stalking her for weeks. He chooses her because he senses a sadness in her that he feels will allow her to accept his friendship.

Sandra is a very intelligent young woman of faith, who will use her love of God to get her through the ordeal of living in a cage in Ollie’s basement. The sadness that Ollie sensed in Sandra comes from the fact that her brutal uncle has been abusing her. The reader is left to decide which situation is worse for this young girl, especially since Ollie is not demanding anything physically from her and showers her with anything she could want.

Their lives will intersect with Ron Pavone when he’s hired to investigate Sandra’s disappearance. He is now married to Marisa and constantly cheating on her. We can see he will never appreciate this dreamgirl he pursued with such passion.

Although we feel sympathy for Ollie, his capture of Sandra drags on for months instead the few weeks he promised her. She has become too important to him, he can’t let her leave.

I don’t want to give any more of this gripping story away but I finished this book in two days, I couldn’t put it down.

Betty Woodrum said...

I really enjoyed learning about you and your book! Great picture! Thank you for sharing!

Shane Hayes said...

Thank you for commenting, Betty. Hope you'll try it -- experience the Ollie-Sandra story.

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post! I really enjoyed reading it, thanks for sharing!

Rita said...

Sounds like a great read.

Mai T. said...

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

Shane Hayes said...

On a computer, Mai. Word-processing is one of the great inventions of the 20th century. Mistakes are so easy to correct, and sentences are so easy to revise, that it gives me a feeling of relaxed freedom that I never have writing longhand. At this point I hate composing anything longer than a few lines in longhand. But in my youth I composed a 360-page manuscript on a Royal portable typewriter, with carbon paper to make two copies, because photocopies were not yet generally available. What an ordeal!

Ally Swanson said...

I enjoyed reading the excerpt. Looking forward to reading this book!

Shane Hayes said...

Thanks for the comments, Ally. This recent email message from a reader made my day. "I just finished the Last Dreamgirl! I just have to tell you that I couldn't put it down! At the end I had to take a break 3 times in the last 20 pages because the suspense was too much! So much to learn from this book! I lent my other copy to _______,who was going to England to visit her family. It was definitely a book worth waiting for!"