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!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Autumn & Blaze from “Here to Stay” by Melissa Tagg

Hi readers! 

It’s been a while; I’m noticing a trend when I look back on my posting pattern for this year and last. In the summer it seems hard to take the time for blogging. I’ve kept reading, but haven’t had the spare time to type up reviews and draw art for them, so it’s with great joy and personal satisfaction that I give you a new post today! 

Following the standard of many Christian Fiction series, “Here to Stay” is a sequel in a trilogy of three books featuring intertwining characters, staring a different couple each time.  While the format is familiar, the characters are anything but old hat.

I was so excited to learn that Blake Hunziker, (aka Blaze) a supporting character from Melissa Tagg’s first book published by Bethany House, “Made to Last,” was to be the star of “Here to Stay.”  He was such a funny and captivating character he almost stole the show.  He was more than comic relief with just enough mystery to his past to keep you wondering about his true personality.   Getting to explore his past, and spend more time with him was a great treat and made “Here to Stay” a very strong and satisfying sequel.  You can read the book by itself, but it’s one of those stories that you might appreciate even more after reading the first.

“Here to Stay” hit stores back in May, but we’re just coming up on the right season for the story which is set in fall and runs through Christmas.  Of course a good story will be good any time of the year, but to me there’s just something a little extra special about reading books during the season they’re set in.  I love that it always puts me in the right mood for the time of year, which in this case is Autumn.

Speaking of Autumn…  she, appropriately named, is our leading lady this time around.  Set back in Blake’s hometown of Whisper Shores off of Lake Michigan, Autumn Kingsley runs the rival inn to his family’s own hotel.  While the Hunziker hotel is impressive, modern, and everything new, the Kingsley Inn is in desperate need of repairs.  It’s charming, full of history, and entirely Autumn’s responsibility.  Of all her family member’s she’s the one stuck caring for the place, sacrificing her dream of travel and life abroad.

Autumn's dream is to live in Paris so I decided to draw her living it up, crepe & all.
Upon Blake’s return he and Autumn find themselves working together for the common goal of organizing the town’s much needed Christmas festival.  Their interactions are heartfelt and entirely entertaining.  There’s so many great scenes from “Here to Stay” part of what took me so long to get to my review was deciding what I wanted to illustrate to go with it.  There’s the bee hive incident on the porch… the bath tub incident in the dining room… the lighting incident in the town square…  this book simply needs to be a movie.  In the ended I opted for keeping it simple, sticking to what I do best with a few simple character drawings.  Enjoy!

Check out Mellissa Tagg’s website here: http://www.melissatagg.com/books



  1. I love it! This novel sounds really good and as always your drawings make me want to read it even more! :D

  2. I haven't read this one yet, does she get to go to Paris? If not, how fun that "she got to go" in your picture. :)

  3. This is so awesome! I really want to read this...