This blog is a celebration of novel, novel characters!

I love reading novels, and as an artist I know a great exercise to stretch one's illustration skills is to portray characters from a description in a book. This blog is a challenge to myself to do just that so I'll be posting illustrations from whatever book I'm currently reading. Feel free to add comments and send me your fan art for these great titles too!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter!

Greetings Readers~!

I've had to put my efforts for this space on hold after an incredibly busy summer/fall and now spring!  I started teaching online classes part time and have been so busy with freelance work, unfortunately I've neglected this space.  I kept telling myself I would post again soon, but it never happened and here it's already almost been a year!  This blog has never stopped being on my mind and there are lots of wonderful characters and stories I wish to share with you.  I will be posting on books again, but today, I want to share this illustration I did while contemplating Easter.

It's my favorite holiday and I found myself reading up on the origin of the Easter Bunny.  I found two very good online articles.  One that covers multiple theories on the origin of the Easter Bunny and his meaning.   http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/the-very-strange-history-of-the-easter-bunny/

And, one that discusses the Easter Bunny and Easter traditions from a Christian perspective.

I liked this article, because it addresses how Christians might handle some of the evidence that points towards its origin as a pagan celebration.
"When it comes to cultural issues like this, we as Christians should view them through a simple rubric: reject, receive, or redeem? In this case, the early missionaries to the British Isles sought to redeem Easter rather than reject it or simply receive it." -Mark Driscoll
As a Christian, I celebrate Easter as the death and resurrection of Christ, yet including the Easter Bunny has always been a part of my family’s celebrations.  My father was German, so perhaps it was in part from his heritage, but we never had an issue reconciling our celebration of Jesus with this mythical rabbit.  It was all about having fun, celebrating the joy we have in Christ for our salvation.  To me, bunnies, Easter eggs, pretty dresses, flowers, and all the wonderful happy colors of spring represent the joy of this new life we’re given if we accept Christ’s gift.  Enjoy your Easter!

God bless!


Monday, June 29, 2015

Elani from The Treasure of Isian by Serena Clarke

Greetings readers!

Previously, I reviewed book 2 of this series, starting a bit out of order, but I feel in love with the characters and the world Serena created, so here I am retroactively posting on book 1: The Treasure of Isian!  Book 3 will be coming out soon, so if you haven’t read any of the Isian stories, now is a great time to start!  I highly recommend these stories to any fantasy/romance lover.
“The picture had been smudged after several centuries and the details were rough, but she could see that it was a sketch of a tall, dark creature whose features were filled with agony.  Water swirled up around its legs and its arms were held high, reaching for the sky.  Behind it, she caught a glimpse of a young dark woman, with short hair, holding something in her hands.  The look on her face was fearsome.” -p.76 The Treasure of Isian
The following synopsis for both books was provided to me, which allowed me more time for the drawing above (as you’ve probably noticed I still haven’t gotten a handle on posting regularly).  All I want to add is that I loved both books and am very excited to share about book 1 with you today!  Elani is a captivating, strong female lead, strong where it counts- in spirit.  I hope you get a chance to enjoy her story!

Provided text:

Magic, Fantasy, Romance, and Mystery

Fantasy has become one of the most popular genre, simply because you are taken into a completely new world… a world of magic and mystery… where almost anything can happen. In this new series by Serena Clarke, we have an enchanting kingdom and mystical creatures that reside in the forests.

The Treasure of Isian is the first book in The Isian Series. Prince Garin is a brave, proud, adventure-seeking prince. Elani is his most trusted servant and she would do anything for him. Their quest to find the mystical Treasure of Isian is immediately interrupted and they find themselves confronted by giants, elves, dragons, and a vengeful water-witch. Elani must face her greatest fears to save her prince and her kingdom. Will they be able to make a great sacrifice to save the kingdom?

“The Treasure of Isian was a stirring tale of an enchanted servant and a handsome prince,” wrote Author Charissa Stastny. “The adventures they face together as they search for the fabled treasure of Isian that will grant the bearer any wish they desire. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. The author did a wonderful job pacing the story and connecting me to the characters. Superb story that brought a smile to my face and helped me remember that sometimes, we can overlook the most valuable treasures in life if we’re not careful.”

In the second book in this series, The Alliance of Isian, Isian decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies.  Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war. With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trials?

When we think of fantasy, we think of magic and mythical creatures, but it is not the same without some romance. Cheryl Larson wrote: “I am always intrigued by stories of arranged marriages and how they turn to marriages filled with love. There is plenty of action and intrigue in the storyline. I can't wait for the next book in the series!”

The Treasure of Isian and The Alliance of Isian can be found at local libraries, bookstores, and online. For more information and to read a sample chapter, visit http://serenaclarke.wordpress.com


Thanks for checking out the blog!


Monday, June 1, 2015

Tiffany Girl Images Revealed!

Last month I teased you that Deeanne Gist's latest book features some of my ...er Flossie's art!  It was such a joy to be Flossie's Ghost artist.  As I've been busy again with other projects, I thought I'd fill the gap by sharing with you a couple of my favorites from the book.  The remaining illustrations can be viewed on my portfolio site, or in the book (of course), which I highly recommend, and not just because my art is in it!  The illustrations I did can be found in front of chapters 9, 11, 40, 75, 79 & 80.

Chapter 11's image is a place card Flossie makes for Reeve, a fellow boarder where she lives whom she'd love to get to know better.  To make this image I hand painted a card with watercolors.  My handwriting is awful to be honest, so for the script I had to pick a font on the computer, print it out and trace it with an ink pen to get it up to Victorian standards.  Once the place card was dry, I staged a place setting with the help of my mother's fancy dishes, and believe-it-or-not, my floor!  I photographed the set-up, and finished by making the photo black and white, adjusting the contrast in Photoshop.   

A similar process was used to make this greeting card Flossie gives to Reeve (Chap. 75).

The rest of the images I did for the book are featured on my website if you'd like to take a peak:

Thanks for stopping by the blog!  Hope you have a great week!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Drew, Madeline & Fluer from Murder at the Mikado by Julianna Deering

The Drew Fathering Mystery series has been great!  I’ve never been very good at guessing “who done it” in mysteries and was very proud of myself for guessing book 2’s culprit, but Murder at the Mikado had me guessing the whole way, and I loved every minute of it.

As the book starts Drew and Madeline are planning their wedding and everything seems to be going fairly well, that is until Drew’s heartbreak of a first love Fluer shows up and Madeline starts letting her insecurities run rapid.  Fluer’s a knock-out beauty, but her damsel in distress routine isn’t what sways Drew to help with her case so much as his regard for her husband.  

As Madeline makes preparations for their wedding, she forbids Drew from working on the case, but Drew, of course, just can’t help himself.  If you haven’t read any of the Drew Fathering Mysteries yet, I highly recommend them all!

I love the cover for Murder at the Mikado so much it stilted my motivation to do a drawing for the book!  Everything about it is perfect!  Finally, I was inspired and ended up with the image you see here- poor Drew caught in the middle!  Trying to get the right expression on his face was difficult, I’m still not sure I nailed it, but it was fun to try!