My daughter’s friend Rachel recently launched her own artistic design business. Pretty ambitious for a high school student, huh? Her dream is to someday work in Disney Animation Studios, and as she prepares for college, she’s working on expanding her portfolio of art and character design.

So, I hired her to draw THE EIGHTH DAY characters for me to use on my website. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was really impressed. Not only is Rachel talented, but she worked with me through several drafts to get each character right.

What do you think?

Character Art by Rachel Gillespie at Artistic Expressions

You can help Rachel out by liking her Facebook page, Artistic Expressions. I know she’s eager for more work, so if anyone is looking for characters drawings, send Rachel a message and tell her Gabbey’s mom sent you!

Additionally, I have to share a link to THE EIGHTH DAY’s first blogger review. Thank you, Leandra Wallace, for your glowing praise — and for the recipe to a scrumptious dessert that wouldn’t last long at Jax and Riley’s house.

From Leandra’s review: “If there’s one MG book that you pick up in 2014, this should be it. And for those of you that might not venture far from the YA lanes, TED is actually a bit of a cross-over.”

I’m so glad she said that! Some of you may already know TED originally started as a YA manuscript and then morphed into a MG adventure series. But one of the holdouts from the YA version is Riley … whom Susan Kaye Quinn has told me is swoon-worthy. I’m pleased that Leandra, too, thought the book will have a cross-over appeal to YA readers. I hope she’s right!