I’m pleased to welcome to the blog, author Emma Raveling. Emma’s latest book, a crime fiction novella – ‘Breaking Measures’ is a departure from her previous writing which have been in the YA/fantasy genre. Over to you Emma!
First of all, thank you to Karen for hosting me here today!
My latest release, Breaking Measures, represents a change in genre for me. My previous works were young adult fantasy and while that’s vastly different from crime fiction, there are a few similar thematic threads: mystery, action, survival, and a complex female lead.
In fantasy, the story revolved around the rise of a hero. With this crime suspense series, I wanted to explore the fall of a character.
How could someone who had everything lose it all? How does that change her? What can she discover about herself behind that loss?
Breaking Measures is the start of that journey for Leila Cates. Her story – and transformation – will continue in the next book, A Woven Silence.
Leila turned on a standing lamp, bathing Carlo’s studio in a soft, yellow light.
An elegant cherry wood desk occupied the space in front of a large square window overlooking 82nd. A book on 20th century musicians and another on Bernini’s sculptures were neatly stacked to the side.
Next to the books were a pile of scores, topped by a pink Post-It.
Look through these! – M
A hint of impatience marked Marlene’s slanted handwriting. Carlo hadn’t been immune from the tidal wave of music sent in by composers to SMI offices, either.
Leila rifled through the sheets with distaste, recognizing the same names and signatures on the scores she’d received from Joshua. The pages reeked of desperation.
She turned away. A copy of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune lay open on a rosewood music stand. Custom floor-to-ceiling bookcases lined two walls, the shelves filled with hundreds of scores.
Leila ran her gloved fingers over the spines, some faded and delicate, others new and sturdy. Every musician had their own system for organizing their library. Carlo had used a composer’s first name.
She pulled out a slightly worn score for Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, her favorite, and paged through the first movement. An unexpected burst of emotion washed over her at the sight of Carlo’s cramped handwritten notes in the margins.
A photo was tucked between the pages of the second movement.
It was of her.
She was asleep, mouth softly parted, naked body tangled within the sheets.
The color and cut of her hair indicated it’d been taken three years ago, around the time she and Carlo had begun their relationship. He’d snapped it without her knowledge.
Leila glanced up at the rows of shelves. The spines that had appeared warm and comforting moments ago, now taunted her.
She pulled out one volume after another, her hands trembling uncontrollably as she flipped through the pages.
Naked photos of other women screamed up at her, their curves and skin and mouths burning into her mind and she felt her knees and wrists liquefy.
Beethoven Fourth: a red-head.
Brahms First: a blonde.
Tchaikovsky: a brunette. Stravinsky: another blonde.
The truth of Carlo’s love silently tumbled out.
Once the floor was littered with dozens of images and scores, Leila sat at his desk and stared at two particular photos.
The ground had shifted again into an ocean of unknowns, a dark current yanking at a fundamental law she’d forgotten: there was no truth without a lie.
A soft click shattered the stillness.
Leila stood and peered down the hallway, her skin cold.
The storage closet and door to the second bedroom remained slightly open.
But the deadbolt on the front door was unlocked.
She was certain she’d locked it behind her when she came in.
Leila stepped back, fear clawing her throat. Her ears strained to catch what hid beyond the choking silence.
And then she heard it.
The rustle of something sliding across the hardwood floor.
Her heart hammered a desperate tempo against her ribs.
She could head down the main corridor, past whoever was behind those closed doors, to the front entrance.
Or she could retreat further into the apartment, barricade herself in that closed bedroom, the room where the stench of Carlo’s many betrayals saturated the air, call for help and say…what?
That she, a suspect in his murder, who hours ago had been pulled out of interrogation by the city’s most notorious criminal attorney, had left the precinct and come here before the cops arrived because she’d wanted to find out the truth?
No. There was only one option.
Leila edged into the hallway and paused.
The copper taste of adrenaline flooded her mouth.
She willed herself to move, take another step.
The front door loomed ahead, the few feet to it a seemingly uncrossable abyss.
Leila broke into a run.
A figure darted out from behind the door on her right.
There was no time to think or move.
Only time to suck in a short, panicked breath.
Leila’s head slammed against the wall with an audible crack.
The sound punched through the stifling air, echoing endlessly in her ears as the world dissolved in a howl of pain.
About the book:
A life built on lies…
On the fast track to international success, acclaimed concert pianist Leila Cates is close to achieving her dreams. But her path to certain stardom comes to a crashing halt when the body of her boyfriend, a world-renowned conductor, is discovered on the eve of her New York debut. When rumors about their relationship surface, Leila quickly becomes the primary suspect.
A past with the power to shatter the future…
Desperate to clear her name, Leila sets out to uncover the truth. Enlisting the reluctant help of Orion Frazier, the lead detective on the case, their investigation soon entangles her in a world of betrayal and deception.
With everything on the line, can Leila find the strength to face what she finds?
A taut suspense thriller of dark secrets and even darker ambitions, Breaking Measures is a mesmerizing novella about the treachery love can hide.
About the author:
Emma Raveling writes a wide variety of fiction for teens and adults. She is the author of the bestselling young adult urban / contemporary fantasy series, the Ondine Quartet, and the adult suspense thrillers, Breaking Measures and A Woven Silence. Her works have been translated into multiple languages.
Born in Japan and raised in Honolulu, she attended Columbia University and the Juilliard School of Music. A former concert pianist and an avid traveler, she currently resides in Hawaii with her husband and German shepherd.
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Emma is giving away one e-copy of Breaking Measures. Open internationally, please see the Rafflecopter box below. Good luck!