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, March 24, 2014

A Romp Through 1893: The Invitation

It’s Monday!  Mondays are hard and we all need something fun to get the week going so on this Monday I thought I’d share something special with you.

Last year you may remember me posting some random teasers about a project I worked on for Deeanne Gist.  Deeanne had a wonderful idea that screamed to be made a reality.  She wrote, we plotted, we schemed, we consulted, I drew, and drew, and drew, and then her son added the music!  The result is now online for you to view on youtube  and the mobile site here: Romp1893.com

The Invitation is an original story Deeanne wrote using her main characters Cullen & Della from “It Happened at the Fair.”  As you follow along through the adventure you get to choose what Cullen should do next!  Will he or won’t he make it in time?

In the coming weeks I’ll share about the making of it, but for now please watch, enjoy, and if you liked it please “like” it on youtube and share it with your friends!

Thank you,


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Glynna & Dare from “Fired Up” by Mary Connealy

Fired Up is the 2nd book in Mary’s Trouble in Texas series; I was hooked with the first one and fired up for this one!  It didn’t disappoint in any way, but some of the doctoring situations made me a bit squeamish.  I’m not so good with blood and have a very vivid imagination!  Despite my aversion to all things medical, the book was still a great read.  Mary’s books are always exciting with a good mix of drama, adventure, and romance- all the elements of a good Western!

The story picks up shortly after the events of book one.  While it’s not necessary to read the first book (Swept Away) before diving into this one, I think doing so would make it more enjoyable.  The first interactions between the main characters Glynna and Dare really sparked my interest back when I read it.  I loved the tension between them, and reading Dare’s first impression of her, comparing her to a lioness.

Glynna's first husband's surname was Sevier, her second's was Greer.
True to his first impression, Glynna continues to be a feisty, strong woman, but in Fired Up we also get to see the depth of her character and her vulnerable side.  With her 2nd no-good husband dead and his ranch returned to its rightful owner Luke, Glynna has little options and chooses to move into the café in town with her two children in order to make a living.  The only trouble is… she can’t cook to save her life!  Luckily her good looks are enough to still bring customers in for a meal, and then strait to Dare, the self-appointed town Doctor who had a hand in previously recuing Glynna.  With business booming and romance in the air all is well.  Oh, except for the avalanche, an epidemic among the natives, all kinds of sick patients, an angry son, a threatening fire…  I told you it was exciting!

Dare can't keep his eyes off Glynna

Throughout the story Glynna struggles between making things work at the café and giving her children what they need.  Her son is filled with anger from the men who’ve treated Glynna poorly and won’t let Dare have an inch.  Dare, madly in love with Glynna tries to help the boy, but is having a crisis of his own when it comes to his Doctoring.  Never having received any official training, he starts to feel that practicing is wrong, but with no one else in town to do it, he feels compelled to keep helping people.

You’re in for a ride with this one.  I assure you the ending is satisfying, and of course the foundation for book 3 is clearly laid by the end of it, keeping me in anticipation for the next!

*Art Note- I knew I had to draw Glynna proudly displaying a burnt something!  I originally was going to draw in guys swooning off their stools over her, but decided to keep it simple.  That's where the above sketch of Dare came from.  I just thought it would be funny.

(I received a review copy of this book from the publisher)


Giveaway #1 Winner announced!

Thanks to all of you who participated in my first giveaway, and wished me a Happy Blog Birthday!


 the winner is.....

 Melissa Jagears!

 Congratulations Melissa!

 If you didn't win, don't fret my friends, there will be more chances to win soon!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Madison from “Barefoot Summer” by Denise Hunter

 The book cover for “Barefoot Summer” looks very calm and relaxing yet like still waters, there is much more going on beneath the surface.  It’s a story about overcoming fear, grieving, healing, and of course, romance.  The setting is contemporary and takes place in Chapel Springs, Indiana along the Ohio River.  The heroine, Madison is a 26 year old Veterinarian who enjoys acting in plays during her spare time, yet for some reason she’s decided to enter the annual Sailing Regatta.  Enter it, and win it!  Her only problem is she doesn’t know how to swim, let alone sail.

The reasons for Madison’s obsession with sailing are what give her character depth.  It was her brother Michael’s dream to be the youngest sailor to win the Regatta, so with the deadline of her 27th birthday upon her (the youngest record holder being from age 27), Madison feels it’s her last chance to fulfill her deceased twin’s dream and bring closure to her grief.  I love that despite her fear of water, lack of both sailing skill and knowledge, and lack of a working ship, she’s determined enough to still move forward with entering the race.  She has a strong heart and even goes so far as to take lessons from Beckett, the one man who’s unnerved her since high school, to accomplish her goal of entering and winning the race.
Instead of drawing Madison with her love interest Beckett, I decided for a more artsy piece this time and drew Madison with her brother Micheal and his boat.
Beckett, by the way, is great.  There’s a lot that Madison doesn’t understand about him, mainly his feelings towards her.  He’s kind, considerate, and also hurting inside.  I have to say, he’s one of my favorite dream-boat heroes.  Dream boat, get it?  You like that one, don’tcha!  I know, I know…
Moving on… Denise did an excellent job of stringing the story along at a fast pace by revealing both Madison and Beckett’s feelings and their history, bit by bit along the way.  It’s hard for me to not throw in spoilers, it was so satisfying when, inevitably they got together and both characters gained healing from their past.  It didn’t happen in the expected way.  Is letting you know there’s a happy ending a spoiler?  In my defense, it is part of the romance genre after all!  If you’re looking for a good read in a contemporary, summer setting, I highly recommend it.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Celebrating a great first year! Enter to Win! (ended)

*Update (3/20/14) We have a winner!  Melissa Jagears, congratulations!  Thank you all for entering, there will be more giveaways coming soon!

Guess what?  March 18th marks Novel Characters 1 year anniversary!  That's less than a week away!  I'm so excited, so thankful, and so blessed to have had a successful year, and to look forward to continue with this endeavor.  Thank you so much for visiting this blog, reading these great stories, and encouraging me as an artist.  As a thank you, I'll be doing some giveaways, and so, without further ado, here's the first one!  Dan, da, da, dun!

Enter for your chance to win!

I'm giving away a signed & numbered copy of my book featuring a collection of sketches, and an original mixed media piece of unframed artwork (also signed) celebrating the joy of reading!   These items will be shipped straight from my desk to yours!

For more details on the book, check out the amazon.com listing. The special art piece, titled "Explore" is #1 in a series I did on 6x6 inch scrapbook paper!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
To enter, click one of the entry options & follow the instructions on the rafflecopter widget above!  I apologize to my foreign readers, but this time around the contest is open to US residents only, thank you for understanding!

Thank you again, for making the first year of blogging on Novel Characters a wonderful experience!

God bless!


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Amelia from the “Heiress of Winterwood” by Sarah Ladd

I know I mentioned in one of my past posts that I’ve been participating a little in the ACFW book club, this was last November’s pick.  I really got into it and it’s been one of several titles I’ve been meaning to post on for a while.  I’m glad to get the chance to share about it with you now!

After reading the back cover, I expected this to be the kind of story where there’s a marriage of convenience towards the beginning with the rest of the story being about how the couple falls in love after the marriage, but I was pleasantly surprised that it played out much differently.  In fact, by the end of the book the wedding still hasn’t happened, but of course it’s clear who the main character, Amelia is marrying.

The story starts on a sad note, with Amelia’s best friend Katherine passing away in childbirth.  As the child’s Sea Captain father, Graham is away, Amelia promises Katherine that she will take care of her daughter Lucy.  The task becomes a joy to Amelia, and she’s determined to raise Lucy as her own, but she’s got one complication.  Amelia will lose her father’s estate, Winterwood, if she is without a husband for it to be legally passed on to by the age of twenty-five, and her fiancé Edward Littleton, wants nothing to do with the girl.  While Amelia continues trying to persuade Edward to change his mind concerning Lucy, Edward is busy making plans to use the estate’s money for business investments with her uncle.  Just when it seems Amelia’s options are slim, Lucy’s father Graham arrives seeking out his daughter, and Graham may just be the solution Lucy’s looking for.

Full of romance and some surprising twists, this is one story that doesn't disappoint.   Amelia is a heroine who has to face some tough choices but refuses to compromise the most important things in life.  For that, she's a wonderful character and I know I'll enjoy reading her story again sometime.