• Grace A. Johnson

PAH Anniversary Week (Day 8: Themed Merch)



So, for one, I have absolutely no concept of time. For some odd reason, I woke up thinking that there was a day in between Wednesday and Thursday (🤨), and so I was adamant that today was not Thursday already and that I had another day to prepare for the long-awaited anniversary of Prisoner at Heart. Yeah.

There is no day in between Wednesday and Thursday. It's Thursday. And so....HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PRISONER AT HEART!

Secondly, y'all will notice that since my day were all mixed up--and since I've had a hectic week--nothing is quite in order. That being said, I still have a surprise planned for today, and I will be going over all that I've shared this past week!

Last Thursday, I showed y'all my quote graphics for Prisoner at Heart. If you didn't get a chance to see them then, I direct you to what I shared on Friday--my Pinterest board for PAH. I've saved both the original quote graphics (found at the very bottom) and the new ones (found at the tippy top).

On Saturday, I shared the soundtrack for PAH, which you can listen to here:


Then, on Sunday, I shared deleted scenes and alternate chapters from Prisoner at Heart--one of will I'll share at the end of this post.

On Monday, I shared the story behind the title, Prisoner at Heart, along with a little insight as to how the story itself came about.

Yesterday, I shared the behind-the-scenes thought process from all the trials of writing PAH.

And today, I'm sharing a little something different. My surprise for y'all is small, yes, but it is steadily growing bigger. And it's not entirely PAH-related.

THEMED MERCHANDISE!

So, I have opened up a Redbubble store (which is an online store front for independent artists). I'm not very good at graphic design, and I've just started with everything--but I will get better and I will bring in more goodies as time goes on. (I have a great plan in January for a "Design of the Week"!)

That being said, I invite y'all to check out my two designs--available in multiple mediums, from shirts to phone cases to notebooks--at my shop! The first one is PAH-themed, with my "Beautiful Things" quote on it! The other design is not, but I will be debuting another PAH design sometime within the next few weeks.

My goal is to have honed my graphic designing skills to the point that I can have collections for each of my novels sometime in the future, from t-shirts with quote on them to aesthetic notebooks. I make no promises, but for now you can enjoy the few designs I have and watch as more appear!

On the other hand, don't forget about the SALE on Amazon! $3.99 for an e-copy of Prisoner at Heart! The sale ends Saturday, October 31st, so be sure to tell your friends and family and grab your copy today!

Happy bookiversary, Prisoner at Heart!

Read the original Chapter 1 of Prisoner at Heart right here!


Chapter 1

Atlantic Ocean

February 1684

And miss her I did. Ten years and eight months had done absolutely nothing to ease the pain. In a way, I didn’t want the pain to ease. It was better to feel it, to revel in it. Because with every step, every reminder of my loss, my hate grew stronger.

The day was coming. I just knew it.

A lady’s breeze whistled through the sails of the Rogue Maiden, sending the chill of winter through the oppressive heat of the sun that shone down upon me from where it hung in the sky at its zenith. Winters had always seemed colder on board this ship than anywhere else, the wind more biting, the air more frigid, the deck cooler. But not this year.

This year a warmth wrapped around me like the blazes of a fire in a passing snowstorm. My own storm was finally passing, making way for the sun, the brightness of spring. The day was coming.

I lifted myself up over the railing of the quarterdeck, swinging my right leg over before the left. A jolt of pain shot up from my foot, compliments of Wilde himself. But the pain wasn’t as sharp as it once had been. It had dulled, dimmed, leaving only an ache in its wake. Unlike the pain, still just as deep and burning as ever, that resided in that far place inside me.

It had been almost two months since we had left New York. Two months since I had last heard word of my sister. She had married, of all things. And someone, I thought, had said something about a duke...or had it been an earl? I wasn’t quite sure, but I had hardly believed my ears when I’d heard Rina’s name. She was alive, just as Wilde had hoped.

And somewhere out there, watching and waiting.

For Wilde.

For me.

“Ye’re awful deep in thought t’day, Jules.”

The voice, too familiar for me to ignore, broke through my mind, sending my thoughts crashing into the ocean. I turned my head to find a pair of icy blue eyes the color of the frosty Arctic sea gazing back at me, a hint of mirth within their depths.

“I’ve got a lot to think about.” I bit back a sigh, motioning for Crimson to settle in beside me.

She all but laughed as her long legs swung over the railing. Her shoulder brushed against mine, her cropped red curls bouncing in the air around her face like wire springs when she tilted her head back. “Aye, tha’ ye do!” she exclaimed, one side of her mouth quirking up in a half-smile.

Despite her façade of cheer, I knew last night’s episode was still etched deeply in her mind. I feared that her storm, unlike mine, would never pass. But at least she could awake with peace in the morning, knowing her future was secure. I didn’t have that luxury.

Crimson nudged my arm, jolting me out of my thoughts. Her once smiling eyes looked at me with sorrow. “Don’ worry none, Jules.” Her tone was laced with more doubt than conviction, and her gaze sought out the waves beneath us. “It’ll all be over soon.”

The words were spoken on a sigh, leaving me with the familiar feeling of a dark storm brewing up ahead.

* * *


Soon. The word itself seemed an eternity away. How many years had I merely sat here awaiting the arrival of the dreaded day? Ten years. A whole decade of my life spent watching, waiting, wishing that Da would give up his stupid quest for revenge and return to good, honest pirating. That he would quit putting his life—our lives—on the line to sate his thirst for vengeance.

Obviously my wish had not come true.

I heaved a sigh, the sickening feeling of dread returning to my stomach. The churning within me matched the rocking of Da’s ship on the waves of the Atlantic, tossing me to and fro between life and death. If only I could be struck down before the day came, before I would have to watch as Julius’s heart was ripped in two once again.

Before I would have to watch my own father die.

A hand moved to rest on my shoulder, the strength emanating from Julius’s very presence steeling my muscles and calming the storm inside. I leaned over, slipping an arm around his waist and laying my head against his arm.

And suddenly, we were eleven again. Young and innocent and sharing each other’s pain. Julius was alone and afraid and I was in search of company and we were both at our worst. We had made quite a pair. In fact, we still did. He’d lost his father, his hope, his future. I’d lost my baby, my joy, my life.

We were both broken and bleeding. We would both never be the same. We couldn’t. Not with this large, gaping hole inside our very souls, created by one man who had thrust us all into a life of consequences. The effect of his one action that had hurt hundreds.

Quintus Blackstone.

At times like these, when I thought of the man, a surge of hatred rose. One that consumed Da. One that had brought us here. But I knew better than to latch onto the tantalizing thread of anger that dangled before me. For rather than pull me up, it would lower me down, let me drown in the deep, stormy waters of death.

Perhaps that was why I was still here, by Julius’s side. Because we had both refused to give in, to hate each other for something we could not control. Because he was the only one who understood me, and I him. He was like the brother Tomas could never be, the friend I’d never had.

Even though he was a Blackstone.

“Crimson?”

I jerked my head up, finding the dark brown eyes that sought mine. The anguish within their depths was so familiar that it caused my heart to ache. If only I could fix it.

But none of us could. Or else we wouldn’t be here now.

“Aye?”

He exhaled, his rough hand slipping from my bare shoulder and grasping my hand. “Look.” His gaze locked on the sea before us, on the white upon the horizon.

Sails.

My heart stopped, my breath hitching in my chest. “We’re here.”


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