Fitz Baker was the world"s biggest sex symbol. Until he disappeared.
Fed up with the trappings of fame, he traded his world of Hollywood for a quiet life on Newman Lake. He was perfectly happy living as an island. Until he met her.
Returning home with nothing but a failed music career, all Maggie Sharp wants is to rebuild her life. A life that doesn"t involve the surly, arrogant mountain man now living across the lake.
Still, there"s something about Will"something familiar. Something Maggie can"t quite put her finger on"
She only wanted the spotlight.
He gave up his life to escape it.
The real question is if they can remain discreet.Books in Series:The Discreet Duet Series by Nicole FrenchBooks by Author:Nicole French Books
May 7, 2014
The New York Times
Fitz Baker, Actor, Missing After Boating Accident off Maine Coast
Fitzwilliam "Fitz" Baker, whose standout performance in last year"s "The Dwelling" earned him an Oscar nomination, disappeared off the coast of Maine last weekend. His catamaran was found wrecked off a particularly treacherous channel, and Mr. Baker"s body has not been recovered after an extensive search. He would have been 25 in June.
After more than a week of looking, the Maine Coast Guard finally called off the search. Emilio Adams, the detective assigned to the case, stated, "At this time we have no reason to suspect foul play. It appears to be a boating trip gone bad. We have no choice but to presume Mr. Baker dead."
Mr. Baker grew up outside of Stamford, Connecticut, where he was discovered as a young talent in a local mall during an open call for child auditions. His early work in commercials led him to a part in the popular sitcom, "Bailey"s Life," playing the child prodigy, Nick Bailey. The show was canceled in its fifth season after Mr. Baker"s mother, Tricia Owens-Baker, could not come to an agreement with the network about his contract renewal.
Mr. Baker, however, had already started moving on to consistent film roles and had his first breakout performance in the high school comedy, "Drama Camp," at the age of 17. From there he began appearing in more serious roles, demonstrating his range in such films as the Boston legal drama, "City on a Hill," and the Revolutionary War epic, "State of Liberty."
But it was his last film, directed by legendary director Corbyn Creighton, that earned Mr. Baker his first major critical recognition with Golden Globe and SAG awards for Best Actor in a Drama, as well as a Best Actor Oscar nomination. After Mr. Baker"s performance as a recovering alcoholic and AIDS victim in "The Dwelling," Creighton called him "this generation"s Brad Pitt" for the combination of humor, wit, and magnetism he brought to the screen. Creighton said yesterday that, "a light in the darkness of the world has been extinguished. Fitz will be dearly missed."
But it wasn"t all bright lights and awards for the charismatic young actor. Mr. Baker had acknowledged publicly that he suffered from debilitating anxiety attacks, which often prevented him from taking part in major press events unless under the influence of some kind of substance. After suffering a near-fatal attack from an obsessive fan in 2011, Mr. Baker had become quite reclusive, traveling only with a large security entourage and generally keeping to his 25-acre compound in Vermont when not traveling for his job.
In an interview with The New York Times last month, he admitted that he was trying, for the first time in his life, to cope with the effects of his anxiety without medication, drugs, or alcohol. Mr. Baker stated, "I don"t want to live my life in a haze. For better or for worse, I need to face my life with my eyes wide open."
Exactly four weeks later, his boat was found in pieces on the rocky Maine channel.
"It just makes no sense," Tricia Owens-Baker, his mother, said in tears after the search was called off yesterday. "He was an expert sailor and swam like Michael Phelps. There is just no way he drowned out there. I don"t believe it."
"We"ll never stop looking for our son," added Michael Baker, his father. "Never."
Dust flew into the air, a dry, hot flurry. I turned at the familiar fork in the road and the car kicked up even more.
Hot. Hellfire and damnation, hot. My skin was "glowing" if you were polite, which at the moment I was not, so really I was sweating like a pig. I"d been driving for three days at a breakneck speed from New York with a busted taillight and a broken air conditioner, but none of that had been an issue until I"d crossed the Idaho border into the city limits of my hometown: sleepy Newman Lake. And of course"of course"the last five minutes would be the worst. Because that was just the kind of luck I was having. That was just the kind of life I was having.
I rolled down my window, eager to let in some of the breeze off the lake where I grew up. I squinted at the sun-dappled surface, reveled in the low rustle of the cattails and shoulder-high tules, inhaled the brackish scent of lily pads abloom with massive white flowers. I wasn"t sure I could call it home anymore, since I hadn"t set foot anywhere near the West Coast in about six years, when I"d last visited home and given my mother an ultimatum: get sober or get a new daughter. But at the tail end of my trek and four years that would ruin anyone"s resolve, Newman Lake was the only refuge I had. Funny how ultimatums lose their potency when you"re equal parts broke and broken.