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!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rosalynde & Philip from In Honor Bound by DeAnna Julie Dodson

 I finished reading “In Honor Bound” a few days ago but I’m still ruminating on the story and characters.  DeAnna was so kind to send me a copy so that I can share my renditions of her characters with you.  Thank you DeAnna!  


The heroine of the story, Rosalynde is woman who proves that love truly does conquer all.  Given away in an arranged marriage, she is determined to love her new husband despite his cold, stubborn heart.   Quickly she learns that it is much easier to say, “I love you” then to persevere in loving someone who does not readily return her affections.

Have you read 1 Corinthians 13 from the Bible?  It’s a chapter so often read at weddings that it’s easy to gloss over the significance, but if you want to know what true love should be like, you can find no better guide.  Throughout the story I kept thinking that Rosalynde’s husband Philip must not have read or remembered these verses, but Rosalynde instinctively preserved in showing him the kind of love described in verses 4-7 especially.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Throughout the story she shows her love in all these ways and displays great courage in doing so.
I love how she did everything she could to protect Philip, even taking up a dagger at one point!

The most courageous thing she did, however was not wielding a weapon, but kneeling to pray when all seemed lost.


I have to admit, Philip wasn’t my favorite person through most of the story, although truth be told he’s kind of my type!  His stubbornness, his desire to do what is honorable and right, even his struggle with guilt and grace reminded me of more than one man who has been a part of my life.  I found his inward struggle one of the most captivating parts of the story.

 Despite Philip’s best efforts to separate himself from feeling anything, “In Honor Bound” is definitely an emotional tale.  The ending left me very satisfied and I’m glad that DeAnna has also had two sequals published.  Since the stories have been out for several years now it may be hard to find a new copy of the physical books, so your best bet may be to get the kindle editions if you’re interested.


 I’m excited to read the next stories in the trilogy, and was surprised to realize, after looking at the cover online, that I already have a copy of the third book, “To Grace Surrendered”!  My mom and I have a book hording problem- if there’s a thrift sale, garage sale, library sale, or any other book sale we’ll sniff out any good titles!  “To Grace Surrendered” was one of those finds that found its way into our stash and I haven’t had the chance to read yet.  Check out this picture of the crazy combined stack of ours in the hallway.  We’re doing some painting and redecorating upstairs so they are temporarily off the shelves.
  Oh for the love of books!

Check out DeAnna's website:

Also, here's another great review posted today on the series!  http://www.inkwellinspirations.com/


  1. Oh.



    Those are FABULOUS!!!!

    I am smiling SO BIG right now.

    I'm so glad you liked the story! Thank you, thank you for your wonderful pictures! :D

    1. And thank you for writing such a great story! ;)

  2. Monica, these are delightful. It's so funny that you would post these today because I posted a review of In Honor Bound today over at www.inkwellinspirations.com/

    In fact, I've just finished adding a blurb about this post of yours over on our blog. Mind you, it surely would enhance our post if we used an image, but I'll leave that up to you.

    You have a great blog here and fantastic content. I wish you well. And yes, I'll be sure to check back and see what else you're 'seeing'. :)


    1. Thanks for mentioning my post Anita! That is too fun that we posted on the same day! I just read through your review too and posted your link above. It was so hard for me to keep what I wanted to write about it short, you wrote about some of the most touching moments that I wanted to comment on but didn't have the words for. :)

      As for the pictures.. well it was a weird ah-ha moment when I decided to combine my love of reading with drawing in this way. Kind of like, "duh I'm an artist, why not?" I love pictures, the more the merrier so don't worry about leaving it up to just me. I'd be delighted if I could rope in some other artists to post more fanart. Maybe I can convince some friends to do that sometime. I love seeing how other artists can interpret the same characters. The cover art is great too isn't it? I like both the old and new designs, although Philip looks quiet different from "In Honor Bound" to "To Grace Surrendered" on the original covers.


      I was afraid that would happen when they showed me the design for the cover of "To Grace Surrendered"!!

      That is NOT Philip on the cover. Not, not, not, not, not!!!

      It's the villain of the story.

      No wonder nobody bought that book!

    3. Ah that makes sense! I just assumed since he had dark hair & a crown. To me, his expression looks more playful than evil. That also explains why Rosalynde looks so cool on the cover. Of course it's said, "don't judge a book by its cover," but the truth is, it's usually a first impression of the cover & title that make a person want to pick it up. :/ I do like the art style of the original covers, it would have been nice to have the man on the cover be Philip so we could see the change in his attitude between the books. I also like the new cover designs for the kindle versions. They remind me a little bit of works by Edmund Leighton since they share the same romantic sensibility. Do you know who the artist is?

    4. Oh duh.. I just figured it out answering my own question. John William Waterhouse! A comtemporary of Leighton. Waterhouse called himself a "Pre-Raphaelite" painter, referring back to the days of Raphael and Michelangelo. He lived at the same time as the Impressionist painters, but obviously subscribed to a very different school of thought. Amazing work; my little doodles are like chicken scratches in comparison.



    5. Oh, yes! My whole house is decorated with Waterhouse and Leighton! LOVE THEM!!

      When I put out the e-books myself, I got my cover designer to use those Waterhouse paintings. I think he did a beautiful job! :D

      I tried to get them to put Philip on the cover, too, but it was out of my hands. :(

      But don't worry. By Book Three, he's only 27 and still gorgeous. :D

      You could draw oodles of sketches of him and I wouldn't mind at all. Or a romantic one with him and Rosalynde. :::happy sigh:::

    6. I tried to get them to put Philip on the ORIGINAL cover, I meant to say. :)

    7. Ya, the new cover designs are great; I hope they serve you well! That must be hard as an author to not always have a say in your own cover design. I'll do more sketches of Philip and some of Tom & his lady too, when I get a chance to read the next ones. :D

    8. Oh, that would be fabulous! Not that you don't have tons of other things to do, but if you just can't help NOT drawing them, I won't object. ;)

    9. Ummm . . . that didn't come out right, but you know what I mean. Take out the "NOT." ;)

  3. DeAnna has us all hooked on your blog and drawings. I loved your take on the characters and their struggles. Your talent is a blessing indeed!

  4. Love what you're doing here, Monica! Let me know if you get a craving to do another contemporary one (or one set in the 1950s). I'll send you one of my novels--I'd love to see your version of my characters. I'll bet a lot of authors would feel the same.

    1. Oh most definitely! I love mixing it up bouncing back and forth between time periods and genres. Always looking for something else to read. :D I don't think I've ever read anything set in the 1950s, and contemporary is always refreshing after reading a lot of historical novels. Thank you for offering to send me one of your stories, I would love to be able to post about your work! You can contact me through my e-mail: monica@moonglow.net

      So far I'm completely humbled by the enthusiastic responses I've received from authors. I was a little afraid starting this blog, I almost didn't do it, wondering maybe authors won't like how I've portrayed their characters, or maybe I won't be able to do them justice, but so far everyone has been so kind!

  5. These are precious. You're so talented. I love your work.