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, September 30, 2013

Maggie from Maggie’s Journey by Lena Nelson Dooley

Today I’m excited to post about, “Maggie’s Journey” by Lena Nelson Dooley.  Lena has kindly offered me review copies of all three stories in her McKenna’s Daughters series so I can share about them with you!  As the series suggests, each story focuses on a different sister however, the fun part is, they’re not just sisters they’re triplets!

“Maggie’s Journey” is a sweet coming of age tale set on America’s west coast in 1885.  Much of the story concerns Maggie’s relationship with her mother, but there’s also tender moments with her Grandmother and a little romance with a certain gentleman as well.  Having the heart of an artist, she aspires to be a dress designer like her Grandmother, but her mother isn’t so sure.  When Maggie finds out about her adoption, her already strained relationship with her mother worsens, but as the title implies, she soon sets out on a life-changing journey.  Accompanied by her widowed aunt, her father’s debonair new business partner, and her tumultuous feelings, Maggie sets off to visit her Grandmother several states away.

By the end of the story her trip has taken her on a spiritual journey as well as physical, and I love that Maggie isn’t the only character with personal growth.  Charles, the main love interest, and both Maggie’s mother and father, all experience spiritual growth and come to have a deeper faith in God.  “Maggie’s Journey” was a good read, one that can be enjoyed by teens as well as adults.

Like Maggie, I have a passion for outfits, but personally I’ve never thought of becoming a fashion designer.  In the story, Maggie finds a dress made for her mother by her grandmother and decides to wear it for her birthday party.  Because it was worn by her mother, I think it would be an 1860’s style evening dress.  It could look something like the one above.

One of my favorite parts takes place on Maggie’s train trip home.  She sketches Charles while he’s not looking.  Ah the artist in love!

I’ll be featuring the next two stories soon! 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Free kindle book: Sept. 25th-29th

The children's book I illustrated is free on kindle today through Sunday. It covers a bit of a heavy topic, but is a touching story with a good message.

 Get it for free here:
 When My Daddy Died, I... (Things I Miss About My Dad)


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Katherine & Mama from Blowing on Dandelions by Miralee Ferrell

Although “Blowing on Dandelions” easily counts as historical romance, the romance between the main characters, Katherine & Micah, almost seems to play out in the background.  The real heart of the story lies instead, with the relationship between Katherine and her mother.  Throughout the story we get to read the thoughts of both ladies providing insight to their strained relationship.

These two characters couldn’t have a more different way of thinking from each other, which really added a truthful element to the story.  I’ve found that to be the case with my own family members, and it can be very frustrating, yet, realizing that everyone has a different way of thinking can help lead to understanding.  For Katherine, loving thy neighbor seemed to be an easier task than loving her own mother!  It was interesting to follow along with her as she tried to love and honor a mother who she felt had no love for her, while getting glimpses from her mother’s side as well.  Thankfully for Katherine, and for all of us, how we feel doesn’t always reflect what’s true.

I’m happy to report the story has a satisfying end, and while I slowed down reading in the middle, the beginning and end had some very exciting events that kept me in suspense.  The book hosted a spread of great secondary characters including Katherine & Micah’s children, town’s folk, and the guests of Katherine’s boarding house.  There were a couple mysterious characters in the boarding house that I wanted to know more about, and now having read the sneak peak for book two, it seems I’ll get my wish.

So much of the story reveals what’s inside each character’s heart, and that’s what makes this story special, that I hesitate to focus on their outward appearances.  But since Katherine’s mother was such a force to be reckoned with, I found myself wondering what type of lady she would be?

Here’s a quote about her from the book:
“A diminutive woman in a gray cloak and matching hat with a dust veil drawn over her face stood outside on the stoop.  Clutching a valise with one hand, she flipped up the veil with the other and frowned.”
What do you think, would she be more proper with a judgmental air, down to earth & down right stubborn, or something else?

Once you’ve read the book, let me know what you think!  Thanks to Miralee who sent me a review copy so I could share this post with you!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

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It Happened at the Fair- More Exciting News!

Back in April I posted that I had the pleasure of doing a few promotional illustrations for Deeanne Gist, and the exciting news I have for you is, it didn’t end there.  Since I finished those illustrations I’ve been working with Deeanne on a very special project soon to be released.  Sign up online to be notified when this interactive animated video goes live!

 That's all I can share with you about it now, more to come later!