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  • Writer's pictureGrace A. Johnson

PAH Anniversary Week (Day 2: Behind-the-Scenes Pics)

Whoop whoop! This is probably my favorite part of my anniversary celebration--the pictures behind the words! Yesterday, I shared the "designs behind the quotes," but today, I bring to you nearly 200 pictures that have inspired characters and scenes in Prisoner at Heart and have become the aesthetics for the overall story.

Check them all out on my Prisoner at Heart Pinterest board!

Now, I know not everyone is partial to Pinterest, so I'd like to share what I can right here (without copyright issues, of course) about the faces behind my characters. The best thing about viewing author's inspirational pics is finding out exactly how they imagine their characters. But what readers don't understand is how difficult it is to find someone, be they a model, actor, random stranger, or even a digital illustration, that fits their character. I still haven't found anyone who looks just like Rina, although I can point out several people who bear either a small resemblance to her or some facial feature like hers. (I have an acquaintance with the exact nose. It's kind of weird.)

Anyway...the same goes for Crimson and Elliot, the hero and heroine of Prisoner at Heart. The closest I could come to Crimson a year ago was Karen Dwyer, a Canadian actress with curly, curly, curly red hair. As time went on and I got to see my cover and began to picture Crimson a little bit differently, the headshot of her I'd found didn't fit as well anymore.

Well, as I was scrolling through Pinterest collecting pins for PAH's board, I stumbled upon a picture of Eleanor Tomlinson from Poldark. (Look her up. I'll eat my hat if you don't think she looks just like Crim.) Saved it. Moved on. Saw more. In the TV show Poldark, she wears this blue dress (apparently quite often; in most of the pictures of her she's wearing it) and she has this almost sad, kind of forlorn expression on her face in quite a few of them. Her hair is just the right length, color, and has a perfect amount of curliness.'ll find quite a few pics of Ms. Tomlinson as Demezla Poldark, who would make a consummate Crimson (at least in appearance; jury's still out on her accent) should, you know, anything ever come out in TV or film.

As for Elliot...ha, ha. The closest I can find to how I imagine Elliot is Veggietales' Larry the Cucumber as, well, First Mate Elliott in The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. Little known fact, Elliot himself was inspired by Larry's character when I was first dreaming up a first mate for my lady pirate. *insert nervous tittering*

That being said, you can find a few pictures of Aidan Turner (Poldark) and Luke Arnold (Black Sails) pinned to my PAH inspiration board. Neither of them look exactly like how I picture Elliot, who is much handsomer than the both of them...when he shaves...but, you know, it works. From a distance.

I actually found a sweet little blue-eyed, curly blond-haired boy who looks just like Elliot Jr (or Ellie, or Leo, whichever you prefer), not to mention several aesthetical pics of stormy seas, ships, etc. I also have an overabundance of--what are they called? Not memes. Not necessarily quotes. Ugh. Things. An overabundance of things--pinned to the board that sum up Crimson in a couple sentences.

One of those goes something like this: "I'd probably still adore you with your hands around my neck. And, last time I checked, I did."

Anyone want to guess which scene that goes along with perfectly? If you can't remember right off the top of your head, then you're in luck! To close, I'll be sharing the first Elliot-Crimson kiss scene of Prisoner at Heart! (C'mon, y'all! I write romances; of course I'm gonna share a kiss scene!) (BTW, first part is in Elliot's point-of-view, second is in Crim's.)

"She was pressed against me, rum abandoned as her palms splayed out on my chest. Too close. My hand trembled, the fingers loosening their grip on my shoulders and finding my heart. I hadn’t been this close to a woman since…

No! I wouldn’t go there. This was not an embrace. Not anything other than my hand around her neck, ready to squeeze. This was anger and rage and her lips against mine.

Darn it.

* * *

A million different feelings all slithered through me, wrapping around my mind and body and the wildly thumping heart I’d forgotten I had. The familiar muddiness of drunkenness. The sharp and acute and piercing—wait, those all meant the same thing, didn’t they?—knowing that a man’s arms were about me, his mouth moving against mine. The echo of the warning bells clanging in the back of my mind—the same ones I’d ignored before and gladly did so now. The headiness that I couldn’t associate with my current alcohol level because I hadn’t felt it until I’d risen up on my tiptoes and found Elliot’s lips.

Delightful feelings, all. Ones I indulged in as I dug deeper, wrapped my arms securely around Elliot’s neck and let him hold me close to his chest, let his hungry moan reverberate through my entire body as his hand found my hair. His rough fingers tangled in the curls at my nape, sending the most delicious tingle down my spine. His other hand was at the small of my back, pressing me closer.

I let him. Despite the warning bells."

Excerpts from Prisoner at Heart: Copyright © 2019 Grace Ann Johnson

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