Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Freebie: Hollywood Boulevard by Janyce Stefan-Cole

Congratulations to Amy Morgan, winner of last week's Friday Freebie.  Amy will soon be enjoying copies of both Mudwoman by Joyce Carol Oates and The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright.

This week's book giveaway is Hollywood Boulevard by Janyce Stefan-Cole, a debut novel which will be released by Unbridled Books on April 10.  The Friday Freebie winner will be among the first on his/her block to read the novel that Booklist said was "a little bit quirky, a little bit intriguing crime novel with a pitch-perfect narration that sucks you right into the peculiar business that makes Hollywood what it is."  Hollywood Boulevard centers around an award-winning movie star who suddenly and mysteriously quit acting at the height of her fame.  She's in Hollywood now, at the Hotel Muse, visiting her husband, a world-renowned director struggling through his latest film.  The actress is also a bit of a voyeur, watching the hotel guests as they come and go.  But she soon gets the creepy feeling that she's being watched and stalked, too.  The box of dead roses delivered to her hotel suite are a dead giveaway, I suppose.  The story soon spirals into a noirish whirl of fear, paranoia and lust.  I've already mentioned my interest in Hollywood Boulevard, and here's an excerpt from the first chapter to further whet your appetite:
Our outsized, east-facing balcony overlooks a coral tree where wild green parrots squawk and screech each morning among the bright red flower petals. The landscape reminds me of the south of France, houses and villas tumbling steeply down the hills in a hodgepodge of styles, an architectural balancing act. The view to the right veers neurotically into L.A.’s urban sprawl and the sudden verticality of downtown. Straight ahead I can see the gray dome of the Griffith Observatory. On mornings when fog or the yellow brown curtain of smog lifts, the San Gabriel Mountains are visible, snow-capped and reassuring in the distance. Brown dotted hills segue into mountains in snow: urban and wild in the same snapshot. I hear there are lions in those mountains. I look out each day and imagine the city living on borrowed time, that the earth under Hollywood will someday shift and shrug houses and people, the observatory, trees, birds, coyote, squirrels, cats, snakes and everyone’s dreams off the hills into the yawning abyss.

If you'd like a chance at winning a copy of Hollywood Boulevard, all you have to do is answer this question (which is more like a poll this week):

After visiting Unbridled Books' homepage, which forthcoming book(s) are you most interested in reading?

Email your answer to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Please e-mail me the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on April 5--at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on April 6.  If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week Quivering Pen newsletter, simply add the words "Sign me up for the newsletter" in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you've done either or both of those, send me an additional e-mail saying "I've shared" and I'll put your name in the hat twice.

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