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!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Joanna & Crockett from Stealing the Preacher by Karen Witemeyer

Stealing the Preacher.  This book has a title that’s just too good to pass up!  Crockett was my favorite secondary character from “Short Straw Bride” so I was delighted to get to follow along with him in this one.  It’s not just his story though; it also belongs to Joanna Robbins, the sweet, sincere, yet spirited daughter of an x-outlaw!  Full of action and humor, it’s one of those stories that screams to be made into a movie.  If you’re bored and don’t know what to watch, forget it, just grab this book instead!


The story starts out with Crockett on his way to a preaching interview when he’s abducted right off the train.  Things get even more off track from there, but as time goes by we see that maybe it’s just God’s way of putting him on the right track.  Joanna was praying for a preacher for her abandoned country church, when Crockett comes into her life in an unconventional way.  While she can see how perfect a fit he is for her church, things don’t fall into place all that simply, and that’s where the fun of the book lies with all the little twists and turns!

The great mix of humor and heart makes this one of those books that you just don’t want to put down once you’ve started.  Of all the romance stories I’ve read, I think this is the only one where the “meet-cute” happens when the heroine is handed a rope attached to the guy!  A bit awkward, but you have to admit that is a pretty good birthday present for a single woman!  Trust me; you’re going to love this one.

Check out the fun trailer for the book.


I was given a review copy of this book by the publisher.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Martin & Adora from The Hero's Lot by Patrick W. Carr

Patrick W. Carr’s wonderful saga continues with “The Hero’s Lot.”  If you haven’t read the first book, “A Cast of Stones,” don’t bother jumping in part way, make sure you start from the beginning.  The second book picks up where the first left off and continues with Errol’s story.  Since I focused on Errol’s character in my review of the first book, I’d like to discuss some of the other characters this time.
Ideas for Adora's look
This is not a romance trilogy, but in this book, the spark of interest between Errol and Adora has flamed into an unwavering relationship.  We get to know Adora, her spirit, determination and strength, as her character is developed throughout the book, but we’re never given any thoughts directly from her perspective.  I’m so used to reading romance stories that switch between the man’s perspective and the woman’s that it was different to read only Errol’s thoughts, but no less enjoyable.  The story switches instead, between Errol’s perspective and Martin’s perspective, since for the greater part of the book they are on separate quests.  As much as I want to go on about Adora, because princesses are always such fun, really the second most important character in this installment is Martin.


My favorite chapter involving Adora is “Blood Rose.”  In this chapter, the intensity of Errol & Adora’s feelings for each other comes to the forefront.  While attending a wedding ceremony, Errol is thrust to the dance floor, being the highest ranking eligible bachelor in attendance, and is offered a rose by each lady seeking his betrothal.  To accept the rose, is to accept the lady who offers it.

Back to Martin… Martin is not a glamorous character.  He is a fat, middle-aged high ranking priest (Benefice) with a desire to protect the kingdom.  He is earnest and kind, but not without regrets from past mistakes made.  Following Martin’s side of the story you learn about the world’s framework and history with each new discovery he makes.  Why is Errol important?  Who are the Solis?  Does Aurae really speak to men directly?  The answers to all these questions do not disappoint, but of course I’m not going to explain any of them because you’ll just have to read the book yourself if you haven’t yet!
Martin's description from "A Cast of Stones"-
“Martin glided into the room, resplendent in red robes with a wide gold belt and a large silver chain of office around his neck. With a serene nod, he bade them to stand. Errol gaped. The air of authority surrounding Martin appeared so natural. How had he ever thought him to be a simple priest?”

More Characters

Before I sign off, I want to add that I was happy most of the characters from the first book returned in this one, and many of the secondary characters continued to grow and develop.  It was fun getting to spend time with Rokha, Ru, Merodoch, Cruk, and Rale again.  I admit I was a little afraid that this second book wouldn’t live up to the first, but with each chapter I was drawn further into the world as the story continued to build on itself flawlessly.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, “A Draw of Kings” which comes out in February!


I was given a review copy from the publisher in exchange for my opinion.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Errol Stone from A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr

When I picked up “A Cast of Stones” I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, I love medieval fantasy, but it’s a difficult genre with Tolkien’s standards to live up to.  My trepidation being stated, I honestly loved every minute of reading this book.  The world is original and believable, and Errol, what can I write about Errol?  He’s not even a likeable character.  He’s the underdog type of hero, but he’s not even a loveable Bilbo Baggins kind of underdog, he’s a filthy teenage alcoholic, the town drunk.  He’s practically an anti-hero in the beginning. I love it.

Ideas for Liam's look

Errol’s a great hero because he’s human.  We get to see him rise to the occasion while also being shown his insecurities and failings.  I even like that he has an attitude towards Liam, the poster-child of the kingdom, the hero who fights like a god, attracts all the ladies, and is perfectly humble to boot.  No one could ever have a reason to hate him, he’s just that perfect.  I think most of us have experienced jealousy at one point or other, so to have a hero that also has those feelings makes Errol even more relatable.  Making him the main character rather than Liam who is the classic hero-type, is a big part of what makes the story special.

By the end of the story, Errol has changed a lot. These last two images portray my idea for what he might look like towards the end of the book.

Like every great epic fantasy, “A Cast of Stones” has a fully loaded roster of cool characters.  There’s a good mix of personalities, ages, and abilities among the people Errol meets on his journey.  The cast of female characters is just as good as the males.  Some of my favorites are the butt-kicking girls from his time with the Caravan, Ru & Jhade, and the kind-hearted noblewoman Adora who’s introduced towards the end.
Rohka, beautiful & dangerous

I’m glad that I didn’t read “A Cast of Stones” when it first came out because it would be hard to wait for the next installment, “The Hero’s Lot!"  This week I’ve been reading it, and as soon as I’m done I’ll be sharing about it with you!

If you'd like to read this story, the exciting thing is, right now, the kindle version is free!  So, if you read ebooks make sure to knab it! Cast of Stones, A (The Staff and the Sword Book #1)   

Also, check out the official trailer featuring original music, and Patrick W. Carr's website: http://patrickwcarr.com/