Title: Emerald Green
Author: Lindsay Marie Miller
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Suspense, Thriller
Release Date: June 7, 2015
Available in Paperback & eBook
On a chilly December night in Savannah, Georgia, seventeen-year-old Addie Smith dreams of an alluring young man, too mysteriously handsome to be real. When spring semester commences the following week, at Maple Creek High, a new student, named Tom Sutton, arrives, bearing a striking resemblance to the beautiful stranger from Addie’s dream. Addie feels inextricably drawn to Tom, and his rare, unwavering resiliency, as the enchanting nature of first love takes hold. But when a cold-blooded criminal returns to Savannah, in pursuit of a long-forgotten possession, Addie must confront the darkest secrets of an elusive, hidden past that threaten to destroy her future.
I turned at the end of the hallway, noticing a red EXIT sign above a door. I pushed the door open and climbed three flights of stairs, before reaching an old wooden door at the top. Turning the tarnished metal knob, I crossed the threshold and found a dark, empty room.
“Hello,” I called out, stepping forward. But as I let go of the heavy door, it swung back into the door frame, slamming in place. I twisted the doorknob, frowning at its immobility. The door was locked.
“Hello.” I banged my fist against the door, yelling for help. “Jeanine!” But she wasn’t going to hear me. I had left her in the hallway three floors below.
After fifteen minutes of hollering, I set my purse down and removed the thick warm coat that hung over my gown. The room smelled of dust and sweat. I wondered why the hotel had yet to remodel it, as renovations had been completed on the rest of the building just before the Winter Ball date had been set.
All was dark in the room, except for a small, square window that revealed a sliver of moonlight, which shone down on the floor below. I stepped into the pale white light and watched the half-moon hang in the black sky. A translucent layer of dense fog surrounded the moon, drawing further attention to its true silvery radiance.
“Addie,” a strange voice said. I felt a cool hand touch the bare skin of my shoulder. My heart thumped loudly inside of my chest as I swallowed, too terrified to turn around. Lifting my eyes to the window, I spotted his reflection in the glass. His black, neatly cropped hair looked like Ricky’s, though not exactly. Unable to resist my fear any longer, I turned around. The man who stood before me was not Ricky.
“Hello.” He smiled, standing much closer than I would have liked. A pair of straight white teeth glimmered in the moonlight as I recoiled, pressing my body into the window. Privy to my fear, he held his hands up in innocence and backed away from me.
Breathing heavily, I closed my eyes, and then opened them again, only to find him staring at the stretch of wall beside me. He kept still, letting his arms hang down at his sides, as I took a step towards him. Once I followed his gaze, I realized that he was not staring at the wall, but at the painting that hung there.
It was a portrait of a young woman, no more than eighteen. She sat still in the moonlight, gently holding her palms together, over her lap. Long thick locks of golden blonde hair framed her face and fell to the middle of her back. The hair was silky, wavy, and looked as though it had been fashioned from an angel’s wings.
The woman’s frame appeared thin, fragile even, yet her complexion was less fair than one would have imagined, presumably from hours spent beneath the summer sun.
Though of all her soft, gentle features, the most remarkable was the magic, liquid luster of her emerald green eyes. She was beautiful.
“You remind me so much of her,” he whispered in the darkness.
A white satin gown was draped over her shoulders, flowing around the rest of her slim body. I looked down at my own dress, unable to deny the similarities. The hair.The eyes.The skin. It was all the same. If not for the emerald stone around her neck, I would have thought I was looking in a mirror.
“Who is she?” I extended my hand, moving close enough to touch the portrait. But before my finger could trace the stone, all of it disappeared.
I woke in the darkness, lying on a bed of white sheets. Recognizing my bedroom, I turned to the lamp on my nightstand and switched it on. The clock by my bed indicated that it was three o’clock in the morning. I pulled the sheet back, sank my feet into the carpet, and lost my balance. Stumbling to the wooden chair near the window, I found my white formal gown and winter coat that lay draped over the seat. For the life of me, I could not remember putting them there.
I thought about the strange dream. The boy seemed familiar to me, somehow. He had jet black hair and a tall, muscular build, like Ricky. Yet, there was something different about the two of them. Both had brown eyes, but they were not quite the same. Ricky’s eyes had always been a strange mixture of red and brown, like the color of a maple leaf. But the boy, the stranger, his eyes were golden brown, almost the shade of honey, with flecks of yellow sprinkled throughout.
I spent the next several nights sketching the boy’s eyes. I started with a thin gray pencil to outline the shape of them. Then, I filled the pupils with black before coloring the irises with a blend of orange, yellow, and brown. By the time I was finished, the eyes reminded me of autumn, when all the leaves begin to change in color and hue.
I looked out at the tree that stood before my bedroom window.
All of the leaves were gone.
About the Author
LINDSAY MARIE MILLER was born and raised in Tallahassee, FL, where she graduated from high school as Valedictorian. Afterwards, Lindsay attended Florida State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with an English Literature major, Psychology minor, and Specialized Studies in Markets and Institutions. Lindsay is the author of the romance novels: Jungle Eyes, Me & Mr. Jones, and Emerald Green. Jungle Eyes is the beginning of a new romantic action/adventure trilogy. Emerald Green is the first installment in a four-part series of Young Adult romantic thrillers. And the New Adult romantic thriller, Me & Mr. Jones, will be accompanied by a sequel. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys singing, playing the piano and guitar, and writing songs. The author resides in her hometown of Tallahassee, FL, where she is currently working on her next novel.
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