CONWAY — White Birch Books located in North Conway Village just south of the park, across from TD Bank is hosting debut novelist Janyce Stefan-Cole on Saturday, July 7, starting at 3 p.m. Stefan-Cole will be talking about her first novel, "Hollywood Boulevard," about an actress who quit the business but finds herself reluctantly drawn back to Hollywood and to her past.
Ardennes Thrush is an award-winning movie star who suddenly and mysteriously left acting at the height of her fame. Back in Hollywood at the Hotel Muse, she is visiting her husband Andre, a world-renowned director struggling through his latest film. Not pleased to be back, Ardennes has returned to help her husband through what she hopes is a brief period of difficulty. Something of a voyeur, Ardennes watches the comings and goings in the hotel and begins to fear that perhaps she is being stalked. Her inviolable solitude ends after a box of dead roses is delivered to her suite. When a Beverly Hills detective comes to investigate, a powerful attraction turns unexpectedly irresistible.
After this first frantic encounter, unwanted feelings of desire, guilt and fear combine in Ardennes and tensions seem to rise in the low-lit, labyrinthine corridors of the Hotel Muse. As her life slowly spins out of her control, she watches helpless as Andre's film deteriorates and shooting stops. Then her stalker arrives at the door of her suite, pulls a gun, forces Ardennes to leave and drugs her into semi-consciousness. While the detective searches for the still famous actress, Ardennes is held in a small dark closet with nothing to do but search her past for the answer to how she brought herself here, and what any of the men in her life, new or old or dead, could have to do with it.
Booklist has called the novel "a little bit quirky, a little bit noir...an intriguing crime novel with a pitch-perfect narration that sucks you right into the peculiar business that makes Hollywood what it is—and the equally peculiar business of finding one's muse."
Stefan-Cole's work has been anthologized in "Dick for a Day" and "The Call of the Wild," among other publications. Before turning full-time to writing, she was a visual artist. She spends most of her time in Brooklyn, N.Y., but always spends the month of July in Freedom.
For more information about the event, or to reserve a copy of Hollywood Boulevard, call White Birch Books at 356-3200 or check online at whitebirchbooks.com.