Genre: YA Paranormal Suspense
Word Count: 63,000
Stella Kim opened a Carnegie Hall concert with her world-class violin at the age of thirteen. Four years later, she enrolls at a prestigious music school in France, 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 a sparkling debut.
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 old violin she found in the school. Her pride wounded, Stella begins 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.
Excitement was not an emotion Stella Kim allowed herself to show. She preferred to take life coolly, calm and unruffled like the waters of some wintry pond. But when she looked out the car window at the Chateau Champlain, where she would spend the next four years of her life, her lips twitched upward of their own accord. Here, in this gray stone giant on the banks of the Loire River, she would make something of herself.
There would be sopranos who had sung at the Sydney Opera House, dancers from corps de ballet across the globe, and pianists who had performed for royalty. The spotlight followed them in a trail of dreams, and today, she would be among them, one of the elite.
“I can’t believe we’re going to live here.” Aria Stewart pressed her face against the window. “It’s like Marie Antoinette.”
“It’s not exactly Versailles,” Stella said, noting the expensive cars parked along the drive.
“Come on, I know you’re more excited than you let on.”
Stella returned her infectious smile. “I am. It’s just…” She hesitated, remembering the day she had gotten her acceptance letter from the French-American School and placed it in front of her mother, her joy like secret bubbles rising within her. But Deborah Kim had only glanced at it briefly, saying “We’ll have to get your passport renewed,” and the bubbles had popped, one by one, until she was nothing more than flat champagne.