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!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Cole & Bailey from Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Now that I’ve had this blog for a few months, I’m starting to realize something.  I have a problem.  It’s very serious.  I just can’t stop.  I simply like too many stories!  I’m starting to wonder if I’ll make for a horrible critic because reading novels is like eating pizza for me.  Always good, just different.  “Submerged” is definitely different fare than my usual order of historical romance, and I found myself liking it a lot.  I love that it’s set in Alaska, that it involves diving which I know nothing about, and that there’s a nice balance between romance and murder mystery.  As soon as I finished, I picked up the sequel, “Shattered” which I’ll post on as well, soon.  I want to thank Dani Pettrey for sending me copies of both so that I can share about them on this blog, thanks Dani! 


As I mentioned, “Submerged” takes place in Alaska, but in the fictional town of Yancey.  Which, according to Dani’s post on the LifeWay blog, was inspired by the very real tourist town of Sika.  I’ve already read several stories inspired by Sika, so one of these days I think I’ll just have to visit.  When I think about it, on second thought, despite Dani’s great description of Yancey, maybe it’s not a good place to visit after all.  The deeper you dive into “Submerged,” the closer you’ll get to discovering what kind of dangerous men lurk in the shadows of this supposedly peaceful tourist town.

When the story starts with a series of murders made to look like an accident, it’s just the beginning of a captivating story of mystery and suspense.  Upon her aunt’s untimely death, the main character Bailey has no choice but to return to Yancey.  Bailey hates retuning to the town where she grew up, having to face her old high-school reputation and the man she left behind, but putting her aunt’s affairs in order is something that must be done.  She takes charge of her aunt’s shop, the Post, which specializes in Russian-Alaskan antiques and immediately starts putting things in order to sell, until the bodies start piling up and Cole needs her help to track down the murderer.  Bailey's knowledge of Russian-Alaskan history and diving bring her deeper and deeper into a captivating and thrilling case.
Bailey with a very important journal.

"Submerged," is full of mystery, suspense, and adventure but it is also a love story.  Bailey Craig and Cole McKenna, have a shared faith and shared passion for diving, but it's their shared past that stands in the way of their future.  Cole is definitely the kind of man you want on your side, and Bailey is great, but has so much trouble getting over the past that it clouds her self-worth.

Along with Bailey and Cole, the stars of the next book, Piper and Landon also have a very large role in “Submerged.”  If this secondary romance wasn't introduced, I think I may have gotten a bit impatient with Bailey's slow progress in the love department.  As it was written though, Dani did a great job of laying the foundations for Piper and Landon’s love story while allowing Bailey & Cole time to work through their relationship.  By the end, I was just as emotionally involved with Piper & Landon as I was Bailey & Cole.  It made me so thankful I had the next book in my hands already!  It would have been hard to wait.


Dani Pettrey’s site:

Here’s a fun character interview of Bailey on the Relz Reviews blog:

Here’s the post from the LifeWay blog where Dani shares a little bit about the town in the book:

Dive Alaska, I think the McKenna's business would be like this:

When I went to draw the characters I looked up reference on scuba gear.  I had no idea it was so complicated!  Check out these two great sites I came across.

Learn all about scuba gear for treasure hunting:

Dive Gear 101; this article was written by a real live Cole, and I think the girl in the picture would look like Bailey if her hair color was darker!


  1. I LOVE the sketches. You are an amazing artist! Thank you SO much for taking time to read Submerged and to draw Cole and Bailey. This is a serious keeper for me :) Blessings, Dani

  2. Wow, thanks Dani! I'm glad you approve! :D I've got about 120 pages left to read in "Shattered," you've got me hooked.