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, December 15, 2014

I’ve missed you readers! Seasons Greetings!

Once again I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a spare moment to keep current with this blog!  I always miss it when I haven’t had a chance to post in a while, but the life of a freelance artist is sporadic.  I have dry spells of no work, and busy spells with so much to do I don’t know where to begin!  I’m still learning how to bring balance to my life with a schedule like this.  Since at the moment I’m entering a dry spell, I have time to share with you what I’ve been doing for the past few months! Hopefully soon I will get to posting the reviews I’ve had partly finished for far too long.  :)

I still stick to the fact that God’s timing is perfect, and even though it’s not always on the schedule I would like, I trust that He knows and is helping me get done what’s most important for me to do at the moment.  I thank Him that my busy time fell before Christmas so I could afford my expenses and that my dry spell is falling now so I can afford the time to enjoy the Christmas season!
So, here’s a brief recount of my busy life…


I spent most of September (too much time really) getting ready for our area’s annual Falling Leaves Art Studio Tour (always the first weekend in Oct.) and prepping for winter.  It gets cold fast in Wisconsin, all the sudden it will snow and the snow can stay for months.  (The cold started early this year, but at the moment we’ve had a few balmy 40 degree days!)


October came and went.  The Falling Leaves Tour was a success, then a couple weeks later there was a local Steampunk convention that I brought some of my art to as well.  It was great fun, I even got my mother to dress up in the spirit of it.  She’s my constant supporter by the way, and often attends shows with me.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Steampunk at its core is Victorian Fantasy.  You take the technology, fashion, and ideas of the time as a starting point, but after that, the sky’s the limit.  I love the creative aspect to it.

View more pictures on Instagram or Facebook:

Filling in the cracks during October, aside from the weekends when I did the shows, I spent every waking moment working on a children’s book.  I was contacted for a rush job, and completed the project the first week in November.  It varies of course, but I would usually ask for at least a 3-month time frame when completing illustrations for a 32-page kids book.  It was quiet a push, and I was so happy to get it done!  You can order the book, Christmas Eve here: 

It should be shipping any day now!


November was a blur… I spent a lot of time helping my mom with her house.  She had new flooring put in downstairs which meant moving everything in those rooms, and we’ve been trying to organize and re-arrange furniture so the space functions for both of us.  I did a few small jobs, and I’m most excited to share that I did some more illustrations for Deeanne Gist to go in her next book Tiffany Girl!  I’ll be sharing more about it once the book is out!


So, that brings us to December!  How is the month half gone already?  How is it only 10 days until Christmas?  Between the working, the helping, the shopping, and the decorating, just now, today, I finally feel caught up on all the life stuff!  But guess what?  Tomorrow I fly to attend a wedding and visit with family for about a week.  Can I ever catch a break?  I know I’m not the only one that feels this way.  Just take it one step at a time.  Take time to remember the true meaning of Christmas and celebrate!  (Advice to myself as much as you!)  On Sunday I attended a Christmas service where they handed out little cards with the meaning of each Christmas symbol.  It was a good reminder of what’s most important to focus on during this holiday season- Red for Christ's blood covering our sins, White for His purity, Green for our eternal life through Him!

Merry Christmas!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Girls of Ever After High by Shannon Hale

Hi, hi readers!

Today I have a very different kind of story to share with you.  I started this blog with the intent of doing a drawing for every book I read.  While I haven’t been religiously true to that, (because I’ve discovered it to be an extremely ambitious goal) I do want to share with you most of what I’ve been reading even if it is a bit random.  Admittedly, a lot of what I read falls under Christian fiction, but not all of it.  I like reading from all different genres, styles, and for different ages.  Kid’s books are seriously fun, trust me!  Some of them will surprise you, this one surprised me!
 Back in July I attended the San Diego Comic Con where my friend pointed out to me a franchise/book series that’s growing in popularity called Ever After High.  Curious, I had to investigate!   I discovered that the franchise was engineered by Mattel, who hired Shannon Hale to do the book series; they make dolls of the characters, and have animated webisodes up on youtube.  Mattel designed it to be a companion to their Monster’s High line, whose characters I never found to be that appealing, but Ever After High struck me on account of my love for fairytales and all things cute.  The outfits designed for the characters are downright fun, mixing old & new style elements.  I love how creative they are, but I shouldn’t be surprised from a doll company when it comes to outfits, should I?

What really surprised me was how fun the books were too.  Here’s a summary of the plot:
In the world of Ever After, the decedents of our original fairytale characters keep their stories alive by assuming their predecessor’s roles.  Thus, the daughter of Snow White, Apple White is destined to become the next Snow White and re-live her mother’s story for her own happily ever after.  In the same manner, Raven Queen, daughter of the Evil Queen is also destined to assume her mother’s role.  The only problem is she doesn’t want to be evil!  She wants to choose her own destiny, and not be forced into being someone she’s not.

When this comes to light, the kids of Ever After High start taking sides on whether or not to be a Royal like Apple (one who wants the same destiny as their predecessor) or a Rebel like Raven (one who wants to find their own destiny).  There’s a broad cast of interesting characters, some of whom don’t wish to take sides, like Cedar Wood (daughter of Pinocchio) and Madeline Hatter (daughter of the Mad Hatter) who both want to follow in their parent’s footsteps, but respect their friends who want a choice.

I have to admit, Madeline Hatter is my favorite of the bunch.  This piece of scrapbook paper begged to have her on it!

Mattel knew what they were doing when they hired Shannon to write for them.  The plot revolving around the choices we make and what happens next is simple, yet interesting.  The writing style of the books is casual, with the Narrator becoming a character at times.  Madeline Hatter can hear the Narrator because she’s from Wonderland and can do unexpected things without knowing how.  In a brilliant way, it’s completely believable.  In all the stories, there are little asides where Maddie chats with the Narrator, it gives the writing a cute and unique flavor.  Another style choice was the use of made-up slang such as “hexillent” instead of excellent, which could have been really annoying in the wrong hands.  As it is, I think the words help establish the high school setting without dating the story with real slang.

I was surprised that I enjoyed these stories so much, and I feel just a little empowered knowing more about something that kids are into these days. Doesn’t that make me sound old? I’m not that old. :P In my searches I found a bunch of fan art of the characters, so I guess that means I’m not the only artist to find them appealing! Check some of them out here: http://www.specktra.net/t/186132/ever-after-high-hexellent-fan-art

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Leah from Dreaming on Daisies by Miralee Ferrell

Dreaming on Daisies, Miralee Ferrell’s latest book, just came out this week, and I’m happy to be sharing about it with you today!  It’s the 4th book in her Love Blossoms in Oregon series (if you’re also counting the novella Forget Me Not).   I’ve enjoyed every book of Miralee’s that I’ve read so far, and this one is no exception.  If you haven’t read any of the other books in the series, it’s ok to start with this one, but I enjoyed it much more having already known some of the characters.

Leah Carlson & Steven Harding are the main love interest in this story, but what I love about Miralee’s writing is the multi-generational points of view.  In addition to Leah & Steven, portions of the book are also written from several of the other character’s points of view such as Leah’s dad Charles, and her brother Tom.

I also really like that all of Miralee’s main characters have very distinct and different personalities.  Her heroines are never the same type of girl.  Leah’s personality is almost an opposite of Katherine’s (the heroine from book 1).  She’s out spoken, quick to anger, has a hard time communicating her softer feelings, yet is an extremely hard worker.  She’s a fascinating character, and one you can route for with your whole heart on account of both her strengths and flaws!

Set in Oregon, in 1881, the story is about relationships, healing from past heartaches, and reconciliation.  Leah’s mother died when she was a girl, her brother ran away not long after, and her father has had an increasing drinking problem ever since, that keeps him from fulfilling his duties on the ranch he owns.  Desperate to keep the home she loves, Leah runs the ranch as best she can.  To help out this woman to captivates him so, Steven comes to live as a hired hand on the ranch when circumstances find him needing a new place to live.  He’s not there long before Tom shows up out of the blue, and he often wonders what he’s gotten himself into between all of Leah’s family discord.  Somehow, he just can’t seem to stop wanting to be by her side though.

Dreaming on Daises is one of those books that’s really worth your time.  The in-depth character relationships and sincere peak through the different character’s perspectives will leave you wholly satisfied.  Not to mention, that a happy ending doesn’t hurt too!  ;)

I was provided a review copy of this book.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Eden from Swept to Sea by Heather Manning

Hi Readers!

I’m so excited to share with you a book I’m absolutely in love with!  Heather Manning’s Swept to Sea!  It took me a while to decide what image I wanted to create to go with a review for it because there were so many great scenes! 

Swept to Sea is an exciting romance set during the year 1696.  Lady Eden Trenton is engaged to a horrible man who abuses her when she doesn’t offer him favors before their wedding.  In a desperate act, she flees to the shipyard and stows away on a ship.  Will she be in more danger or finally make her escape to a better life?

As it turns out a little of both along the way before arriving at this story’s very happy, satisfying, ending.  When Eden is discovered on the Dawn’s Mist, she couldn’t be in better hands with Captain Caspian Archer looking out for her.  It doesn’t take long for him to fall in love with her as he watches the tender way she cares for his young son Reed along their journey, but having been in an abusive situation Eden is far less trusting.  There’s plenty of adventure and swashbuckling to keep any fans of the pirate genre as happy as Jack Sparrow with a pile of rum, but the best part is the endearing way Caspian treats Eden.  As with any great romance, the relationship is the key, and there are just as many tender moments as there are action-packed ones.

My favorite scene is when Caspian offers to teach Eden how to swim.  I’d be terrified to go in water so deep, but as the scene proves, the right man will do wonders for courage.  He finally coaxes her into the water with these words:

"Trust me just for once, ‘Miss Eden’.” He hoped she noticed the wink he offered when he called her by the same name his son always did. Maybe she enjoyed answering to that name. She certainly liked the boy much more than she liked him. Maybe she would like him more now, too. It could not hurt to try. “I will take care of you. Let someone besides you take care of you for once. You may find that you enjoy it, milady."

I can’t profess how much I enjoyed this story.  It’s one of my favorites, and I hope that Heather will continue writing great stories!  She was kind to send me a review copy of this book, but that has nothing to do with why I love it so much.  ;)  Thanks for a great story Heather!

Check out Heather Manning’s blog to learn more about her: