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, April 24, 2014

Miranda from "Made to Last" by Melissa Tagg

I got a little behind on posting about this one!  Made to Last came out last September and the book in the series, Where Love Begins is already due to be released at the end of the month.  Which is exciting, for you, if you haven’t read it yet, to be able to grab the next book right away too!

Made to Last starts with a Lie, a very little lie that became a big lie.  Miranda Woodruff is the host of a hit TV show called From the Ground Up.  She loves her job and will do almost anything to keep it even if that means pretending she’s married, when the intended wedding never actually took place.  For interest, on the show she talks about her “husband,” sharing truths about what she learned while working with her former fiancé as if the wedding they’d planned had gone through.  The lie doesn’t seem to hurt anyone until the show’s next season is on shaky ground and her boss decides letting the public see Miranda’s mystery husband will be great publicity.  A look-a-like, Blake aka Blaze, is hired, and it seems like everything will be covered until a former investigative reporter, Matthew arrives to blog about Miranda’s daily life.  Of course Matthew is fun to be around, sincere, and heroic so what’s a “married” girl to do!?

With all this groundwork, (excuse the pun) I felt like the story had a little bit of a slow start.  It took me a bit to get into, but by the second half a lot was happening and I was completely immersed by the end, and wanting more.  I’m really glad that the second book coming out will feature Blake because he was one of the most likeable supporting characters I’ve “met” in the novel world!  But let’s get back to Miranda and Matthew…
Miranda builds everything from furniture to tree houses!
Obviously there romance has one big obstacle in the way, but what makes their story heartfelt and worth the read is the depth of their character.  As I mentioned, it took a little while to get connected with them, but once it happened, they became as real to be as friends.  Miranda’s overburdened and full of guilt over the lie, and Matthew has several big failures that keep him from feeling worthy.  It was great to experience how both characters overcame their personal battles and I enjoyed that the events at the end didn’t play out in a clichéd way.  Throughout, their relationship seemed believable and I was glad that Matthew picked up on Miranda’s lie earlier in the book than I thought he would.   

It’s fun in a romantic comedy to have that kind of secret element, but it’s kind of stressful when the main character is perpetuating a lie that you know will come crashing down on her.  I was glad that it happened when it did.  I guess I was feeling the stress along with her!

If you like contemporary romance, and have ever enjoyed those home improvement shows, I think you’ll have fun with this one, I did!


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


  1. Great job on this one Monica! I adored Made to Last and I just read Here to Stay and it was even better! It was so hard to put it's awesomeness into words!

  2. Monica, I love your artwork soooo much. Thanks so much for sharing it. Matthew and Miranda are close to my heart, so getting to see them sitting so happily in the treehouse, makes me happy for sure. Thanks a bunch. You're so talented!