When I started planning this post the other night, it was just a book review. Then something happened. Jason Gurley, my cover artist, sent me an email saying he just couldn’t help himself and started working on my cover a couple weeks early. EEEEEE!!!! Attached were five images for possible covers, each breathtaking. It’s been kind of surreal as I have shared them with my family and some friends. We are looking at the cover of my book! Each step forward in the process has made my dream just that much closer to being a reality, but something about seeing cover options just pushed me over the edge…which oddly enough was appropriate to go along with my review of Charlotte Rains Dixon’s debut novel Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior.
Dixon created a character that is reminiscent of Scarlett O’Hara. Self centered, compulsive, and just plain over the top. Where Scarlett made me angry (I haven’t read Gone With the Wind since high school, so I wonder how I’d react to her now), Emma Jean simply made me shake my head and sometimes laugh out loud. I just cannot fathom thinking about myself that much.
The thing I love about Emma Jean is that after she commits the ultimate crime in her book—adultery—she realizes she is lost in life. She begins an earnest search for some sort of spiritual truth to bring her atonement for her sin. The thing is, she just can’t quite get the hang of being nice and her theatrics go from bad to worse once she realizes she is pregnant with her lover’s baby. Emma Jean is 48 and always thought to be sterile.
From here the story goes into a tailspin of hilarity. Dixon keeps the pace clipping with one surprise or disaster coming right after the other. It was one of those books that had me saying, “Just one more chapter,” every time I sat down to read.
Dixon is a Northwest writer, and I love that I have been to almost every setting in the book, with the exception of L.A. There is something about being familiar with what the characters are seeing and interacting with in their environment, just pulls me in even more. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of Emma Jean’s Bad Behavior. Without a doubt, it will brighten your day.