26 Sep 2014

Now is Our Time by Jo Kessel

A story of second chance love set between London and San Diego.
Thirteen years ago Jonah Kennedy was one of America’s top tennis players, whose six-foot-three bad-boy California looks won him hordes of female admirers.
Thirteen years ago Claire Jackson, a fiery, aspiring artist from London, was the woman who stole his heart.

But the two held a secret which tore them apart and sent Claire running back to England.
They tried to move on. Claire married, had a child and became a successful TV personality. Jonah married, had a child and settled for life on the road.
Thirteen years later and both divorced, their paths cross again. Their attraction is even deeper - they feel destined to be together. Claire’s jealous ex, however, has other plans.
Can Claire and Jonah hold on to their second chance at love or will their past secret haunt them forever? After all, thirteen is only lucky for some....
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Author Q&A

Do dreams ever inspire your writing? What did you last dream about?
Dreams absolutely DO inspire my writing and in fact, the idea for the book I am about to start writing came to me in a dream. The last dream that I remember was a couple of nights ago and was frighteningly disturbing. It was about my father being ill and the first thing I did after waking up was to telephone my dad to check that he was ok.

When did you first start writing? And when were you first published?

I started penning stories when I was about ten years old and never really stopped. I’ve always loved writing and have been lucky to work as a journalist. Moving onto writing novels from journalism felt like a natural progression. I published my first book, Lover in Law, two years ago.

What is it about 'chick lit' that appeals to you the most? Do you read other genres?

I read many genres (other than romance) and am a particular fan of historical fiction. But for me, nothing beats a good love story. I like to be moved and to relate to the books I read and that’s what a good ‘chick lit’ book offers – it gives me the chance to lose myself in somebody else’s story.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Now is our Time is a second chance love story. I’ve always hated the thought that our first ‘big’ love can sometimes get away and so, in this story, I wanted to explore that theme. My heroines are now starting to get older, moving on from their twenties into their thirties. Claire Jackson, my heroine, is 37, divorced and a mother of one. Her ‘big’ love got away, but even when he comes back into her life, she’s not sure it can ever work. She’s British (like me) and the hero Jonah Kennedy is American. They both have kids and blending their families as well as deciding where they will live is tricky……just as it would be in real life. The whole way through I’m rooting for them to finally get their happy-ever-after…………..but no spoilers here!

What inspired you to write it?
Love, as we all know, can sometimes go wrong. Friends of mine have got married and started families, but their relationship ended up in divorce. But divorce doesn’t mean ‘the end’. I wrote this to inspire all people whose lives haven’t necessarily gone smoothly………….just because the journey’s rocky, doesn’t mean it can’t end up well. Perhaps it can end up even better………….

Have you ever spotted anyone reading your books anywhere?
Most people tend to read my books on kindle, so it’s hard to spot what they are reading. However, when I’m picking up my children in the school playground fellow Moms dig their kindle out of their bag sometimes and tell me that they’re reading one of my books – it’s a lovely feeling.

Who designs your covers?
I use a website called ‘99 Designs’ to create my covers. I’m very particular and don’t settle until I’m 100% happy. I really hope you all like this cover.

If your latest book was made into a film, who would you cast?
Ooh, great question. I reckon Kate Winslett could be the heroine Claire and perhaps Hugh Jackman for hero Jonah Kennedy – do you reckon Hugh Jackman could pass for 37 years old?! I need someone tall, rugged, with sandy hair and a gorgeously athletic physique, because Jonah is an ex tennis pro. Any ideas?!

What's your favourite Chick Lit book that made it to the big screen?

One Day – although I’m not entirely sure that can be described as ‘chick lit’ – can ‘chick lit’ ever be written by a man?!

What were the last two books you read?
The Fault in our Stars, by John Green and Driven, by K Bromberg. Both were brilliant although completely different types of reads. The Fault in our Stars was one of my best reads of all time…………oh how I cried.

Name one female author who you think deserves to be better known.
Rose Tremain – she’s a historical fiction writer but she nearly always pivots her stories around a wonderful romance. She’s well-known here in the UK but I don’t think she’s that well-known in the US. I think a lot of readers of ‘chick lit’ would also like her books.

Where do you write?
I have my own dedicated study. It’s actually been a period of upheaval. I have boy/girl twins who have just turned 11 years. They wanted their own rooms and the only way I could do that was by giving one of them my upstairs study which I loved. I have instead had my garage converted into a study which is where I’m writing from now……only I don’t like it as much!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And did you follow the dream?
I actually wanted to be a Doctor when I was younger, to follow in my father and grandfather’s footsteps, but I ended up being awful at sciences at school, so that was out of the question. However, I have loved my career and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. So perhaps it was fortuitous that I was dreadful at physics, chemistry and math!

In the movie of your life, who would play you?
photo credit: Horustr4n via photopin cc
Maybe Anne Hathaway? That’s how I would like to look, anyway! I loved her in the film of One Day.

Speed Round...Top drink to make you tipsy? Champagne.
Shopaholic or shopadon't? I go through phases. Sometimes I’m a binge shopper and then I can go months without.
Sky high heels or closer to the ground? The biggest wedges you can imagine, like Baby Spice’s! I’m tiny and like to add a few inches, but thin heels give me back ache so it’s got to be wedges.
E.L. James or Jilly Cooper? Ooh, that’s a tough one. I love them both, but it’s E. L. James who I’d go back to re-read.
Cry baby or tough cookie? Like the shopping, I can be both. I’ve got a very gooey interior, but you’ve got to crack the shell to make it ooze out.
Exotic beach or enchanted forest? Exotic beach.

Jo Kessel is a journalist, working for the BBC and reporting and presenting for ITV on holiday, consumer and current affairs programs. She writes for several national newspapers in the UK including the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Express and was the anonymous author of the Independent’s hit column: Diary of a Primary School Mum.
When Jo was ten years old she wrote a short story about losing a loved one. Her mother and big sister were so moved by the tale that it made them cry. Having reduced them to tears she vowed that the next time she wrote a story it would make them smile instead. Happily she succeeded and with this success grew an addiction for wanting to reach out and touch people with words. Jo lives in London with her husband and three children. She loves traveling and since becoming a mother anything even remotely sad makes her cry. She’s a sucker for a good romance and tearjerker movies are the worst. She’s that woman in the cinema, struggling to muffle audible wails as everyone else turns round to stare.
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Rafflecopter Giveaway 
(Grand Prize: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card & Digital Copy of NOW IS OUR TIME, Two Runner’s Up: One will receive Digital Copy of WEAK AT THE KNEES and One will receive a Digital Copy of LOVER IN LAW )

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  1. Thank you so much for featuring my new release today! Oh gosh, now I see that gorgeous photo of Anne Hathaway, I fear she's way too stunning to play me in the movie of my life. But heck, we can all dream! Have a great weekend everyone.....

  2. Nonsense, Jo! You're just as beautiful! It was lovely having you on the blog :) xx

  3. Thank you for hosting NOW IS OUR TIME today!


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