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, December 12, 2013

Miranda and Taggart from Gunpowder Tea by Margaret Brownley

This is the first book by Margaret Brownley that I’ve read, and it was great fun.  It’s got everything: mystery, suspense, romance, and humor all set in the Wild West.  If you want a story that’s mostly upbeat and light-hearted this is a great pick!

The story follows Miranda Hunt, aka Annie, an operative for the Pinkerton Detective agency as she takes on the job of tracking down a mysterious train robber.  Enter mysterious outlaw/ranch hand, and you get Jeremy Taggart, who’s really a special operative for Wells Fargo, Miranda’s rival agency!  Being “in the know” about who these two are, as they struggle to figure out each other’s identities while falling in love, was part of the fun.  While the romance aspect could be called predictable, I found it no less enjoyable, and I was kept guessing as to who the real villain was right up until the end.  I love the way the events of the story played out.  Once the villain was revealed, I could think back to little clues I’d read throughout the story and it made perfect sense.  The clues really solidified the surprise ending for me.  The plot was very well thought out and paced.

Miranda and Taggart were both well fleshed out characters, and both very likeable.  Having Miranda be part Kikapoo added an interesting dynamic to her heritage and appearance.  Taggart struck me as the classic good guy type you might see in an old Western.  Together they made a great couple, and I had a hard time coming up with a drawing that would represent them well enough.
“What poison do you have planned for today?” he asked. Annie kept her features deceptively composed.  “Gunpowder.” He grinned.  “Sounds lethal.” It took every bit of willpower not to be charmed by his crooked smile. “Not lethal enough.” 
If you haven’t read this one yet, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it if you’re into stories with spies, detectives, and intrigue!  After reading it, I discovered that it’s the third in a series titled “Brides of Last Chance Ranch,” but while each book shares the same setting and some of the characters, “Gunpowder Tea” is an independent story, and I have yet to read the first two books before it.  Having read this one, I’m hooked and definitely want to go back and read the others sometime.
I love how the book cover is so expressive with the look Taggart’s eyes and that little gun in Miranda’s hand...

I was provided a review copy of this book, thanks Margaret!

Visit Margaret Brownley's Website: http://www.margaretbrownley.com/



  1. How cute!

    Another series I need to check out. :)

  2. I'm reading this book right now!
    I love it, and your artwork is perfect for it. :)

    1. Thank you! It was such a fun story, I'm glad you're enjoying it too!