Australian Denny Banister had it all; a successful career, a passion for the guitar and Sonya - the love of his life. Tragically, Denny is struck down with inoperable cancer. Andy DeVries has almost nothing; alienated from his family, moving through a dangerous Chicago underworld dealing in drugs, battling addiction while keeping a wavering hold on the only thing that matters to him: a place at a prestigious conservatory for classical guitar. As Andy recovers from a near fatal overdose, he is plagued by dreams - memories of a love he has never felt, and a life he's never lived. Driven by the need for redemption and by the love for a woman he's never met, he begins a quest to find her, knowing her only by the memories of a stranger and the dreams of a place called Hambledown...
About the author
Dean Mayes has established himself as an author of great passion and literary style since releasing his first novel “The Hambledown Dream” in 2010. When not writing, Dean practices Intensive Care Nursing in Pediatrics. He lives in Adelaide, Australia with his partner Emily and his children Xavier and Lucy.
Excerpt: The Hambledown Dream (by (author) Dean Mayes)
How could it have come to this?He had the world at his feet. He had a life that was the envy of all those around him. He was handsome, athletic, he was warm and funny. He had a loving and proud family. He had many friends. He was young and, seemingly, indestructible. With his university degree, he had a bright future to look forward to and could put his name to just about any architectural firm he wanted. It was said that he had wanted to draw buildings since he was six years old.For this was his great love.Denny Banister loved complex problems, raw ideas that could be assessed and developed and turned into a real thing: a building, a tower, a house, a home.He was in love with a beautiful woman – a woman who was his kindred spirit. He had secretly held a desire to ask Sonya Llewellyn to marry him once they had graduated. Well, it wasn’t so much a secret between Denny and Sonya than something they wanted to wait for, once their respective degrees were out of the way and they could celebrate with their families. They had fallen in love through the guitar. He played for her, the most beautiful pieces - classical pieces, lyrical pieces, soulful pieces.For the guitar was Denny’s passion.He played for her songs of love, of traveling, of life, of living. Denny had exquisite fingers, which were able to dance across the guitar as though they were floating on air. But more than that, he was able to evoke the most vivid musical imagery. He poured himself into a piece of music. Sonya had once joked that Denny had cast a spell on her, for his music was the most enchanting she had ever heard. It had hypnotized her.Their conversation was intimate. It was synchronous. They had similar values, beliefs and viewpoints, yet each of these differed just enough so that they challenged one another. Sonya was studying law, so Denny knew very early in their relationship that in order to be a good lawyer, Sonya had better be able to deliver a damned good argument. Denny and Sonya’s debates were the stuff of legend amongst their friends, that it was these that fired their imagination and gave a strength to their relationship. They were constantly challenging each other because they believed in each other.For Sonya was Denny’s life.Together they dreamed of traveling. Of visiting obscure galleries in Europe. Of making love in a villa on the shores of Lake Como in Italy. Of skinny-dipping in the Mediterranean Sea near Valetta in Malta. Of growing old together in the house that had once been Sonya’s grandfather’s on a hillside overlooking a quiet stretch of tranquil Australian coastline.Now it was all about to be lost.Denny lay in the bed, a shadow of what he had once been. The life - that vibrancy that had so drawn others in – was fast disappearing from his sunken eyes. His face, once strong and proud, was skeletal, his skin was bruised and pasty. His beautiful light brown hair was almost gone; a few faded tufts were all that remained. Those fingers, which had once danced across the guitar with such beauty and grace, which had translated onto the page complex algorithms and intricate equations, which had held the fingers of Sonya’s own hands. They were limp now, cold and barely useful. A warm feminine hand was entwined in them. He felt them, but he no longer had the strength to lift his own fingers.It had taken mere months. A few days of feeling unwell, swollen glands in his neck. Denny had passed it off as the flu. Even though he had gotten better, the lump in his neck had refused to go away. Still he ignored it for a time, until it began to bother him. In what seemed like a matter of moments, it had become all too serious.Lymphoma.Under normal circumstances it was treatable, and the outlook for cure was good. This, however, was a particularly aggressive cancer that had already metastasized before Denny even knew he had it. Lymph nodes, liver, one kidney, four ribs on the left side and most cruelly of all, his brain. He was doomed from the start. Treatment was a stalling intervention only, and not a very good one. All it really did was halt the spread of his dementia and rob him of his hair.Denny was 25.
"A love so strong experienced by two people, is dealt with sympathetically by the author, who draws them together as if by fate, with soft, flowing and emotional lines of prose, that are only enhanced by the paranormal and supernatural overtones." ~Fiction Books"The Hambledown Dream features beautiful writing, a bit of magic, a touch of music, compelling characters, and the passion of two souls reaching for one another across the burden of distance and impossibility. I was both absorbed by the novel, by its lyrical prose that reads like a song, and moved by the storyline of a man whose love is so strong, even death cannot stop it. The Hambledown Dream is at times gritty, but it's real and life affirming, filled with poignant longing. It's an emotional book that pulls you in by the heartstrings."~Carolina Valdez Miller - Author"In his outstanding debut novel, author Dean Mayes takes his readers through a uniquely complicated journey of healing, redemption and love. " ~BookWenches