Genre: YA Paranormal Suspense
Word Count: 60,000
Stella Kim opened a Carnegie Hall concert with her world-class violin at the age of thirteen. So when she enrolls at a prestigious music school in France four years later, she’s certain she’ll be a star even among the cream of the crop. With renowned teachers and the owners’ handsome son, Paul, to impress – not to mention her best friend, Aria, by her side – Stella anticipates taking the musical world by storm.
What she doesn't expect is shy, humble Aria stealing not only Paul’s interest, but also the spotlight, after a brilliant performance on an ugly old violin she found in the school. Her pride wounded, Stella finds herself drifting away from her friend, who seems to be growing more and more obsessed with success… and with that hideous instrument.
But when Aria starts to sleepwalk and to speak of a strange, sad-eyed man who haunts her dreams, teaching her to play with a passion she has never felt before, Stella realizes that the violin may be endangering her friend’s life. She puts aside her ego and, with Paul's help, delves into the violin’s secrets, uncovering the dark history of a musician whose unrequited love may have led him to seek revenge from beyond the grave.
Together, they must unravel the mystery before the ghost brings down the curtain and claims Aria forever in this sweepingly romantic tale inspired by the Phantom of the Opera.
One warm night beneath an August moon, the streets of Paris emptied into the Grand Theatre. The crowd ebbed and flowed in a colorful mimicry of the Seine, a riot of jewels, silks, and rose-pinned lapels. Here and there, nobles could be seen looking down their noses at those who sparkled less, though the presence of lower orders was to be expected tonight. After all, the poor had come to see one of their own perform.
It was whispered that young Ralph de Chevalier had once been a circus attraction, kept in a cage by a cruel ringmaster before being adopted by one of the richest men in France. His was a true tale of a pauper-turned-prince, the crowd murmured, as they took their seats in pools of chandelier light. Who would have ever believed that a street urchin could grow up to grace such a stage before such an audience?
The gossips’ attention turned to Box Five, a grand affair with a perfect view of the stage, where Ralph’s adopted father and brother sat.
“Odd, isn’t it, that the performance is still on schedule tonight?” one lady whispered, gazing at the elegant, silver-haired profile of Julien de Chevalier. “There’s something distasteful about appearing in public when they should be mourning.”
“Why should they mourn? That girl was nothing to them,” said her companion. “Just the daughter of the music teacher, and a foreigner into the bargain.”