About the Author: 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 where she works as a TV and print journalist. She tells life stories and can often be found travelling the globe researching the next big holiday hotspots for readers to enjoy. Since becoming a mother anything even remotely sad makes her cry. She’s a sucker for a good romance and tear-jerker movies are the worst. She’s that woman in the cinema, struggling to muffle audible wails as everyone else turns round to stare.
P.S Jo’s pretty certain one of her daughters has inherited this gene.
Jo loves to hear from her readers and they can connect with her on:
Her website: www.jokessel.com
1. Do you ever wish you were someone else? Who?
Most of the time I’m very happy being me, but occasionally I wish I’d been born into a different era and was a female member of the French bourgeoisie during Louis X1V’s reign. In fact, when I was about ten years old and standing on the sweeping staircase of a grand hotel in northern France’s seaside resort of Deauville I had the weirdest sense of déjà vu that I’d already been there and had been wearing one of those voluminous dresses that women wore in the seventeenth century. I kept insisting to my mother that we must have visited this place before, but she insisted that we hadn’t. Déjà vu or flashback? Perhaps I really had been somebody else in a different life – who knows!
2. What did you do on your last birthday?
My last birthday was memorable. For starters it was gloriously sunny, a rare commodity during May in the UK. I escaped London with my husband and three young children and drove to the countryside, where a gourmet pub lunch (roast beef with roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding, yum) was followed by a long walk through woods which were carpeted with bluebell flowers. The woods were so thick with tall bluebells that it was magical and surreal- it was hard not to believe that fairies were darting around between our feet.
3. Do you have any tattoos? Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?
I have no tattoos, although I love them on other people and think they’re really sexy. But sadly I have a phobia of needles which means the very thought of having one done to myself makes me feel faint.
4. Do you have any phobias?
Returning to the tattoo question, yes, my phobia is needles. I tend to faint every time I have an injection. Blood tests are better than immunizations. It’s worse when things are injected IN to my body. My imagination just runs riot. Say if I’m having a typhoid injection I just imagine the typhoid disease coursing through my veins and it makes me feel physically sick. It was tough being pregnant because then they tend to take blood tests every few weeks and somehow I had to learn to desensitize to it.
5. Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
My life is much brighter now that it was two years back. Just over two years ago my mother died, suddenly, in her sleep. She hadn’t even been ill. She’d gone to bed one night and just never woke up in the morning. She’d suffered from a major aneurism in her brain and slipped into a coma which she never woke up from. I was really close to my mom and found not being able to say goodbye very hard. I was traumatized by this for a long while (and still am to a degree) but it’s true what they say. Time does heal and I feel stronger now. I only wish that my mother had been alive to see my two books being published. She’d have been so proud.
“We got so busy living life that we forgot to live our dreams.”
Danni Lewis has been playing it safe for twenty-six years, but her sheltered existence is making her feel old ahead of time. When a sudden death plunges her into a spiral of grief, she throws caution to the wind and runs away to France in search of a new beginning.
The moment ski instructor Olivier du Pape enters her shattered world she falls hard, in more ways than one.
Their mutual desire is as powerful and seductive as the mountains around them. His dark gypsy looks and piercing blue eyes are irresistible.
Only she must resist, because he has a wife – and she’d made a pact to never get involved with a married man.
But how do you choose between keeping your word and being true to your soul?
Weak at the Knees is Jo’s debut novel in the new adult, contemporary romance genre – a story about love, loss and relationships, set between London and the heart of the French Alps.
Late afternoon Olivier and I are playing with interlocked fingers, sitting side by side on the balcony step, basking in the sun.
“I’ve been thinking about your birthday. Is there anything in particular that you’d like to do?” he asks.
“I don’t think so. Birthdays are no big deal and twenty-seven is hardly one of the big ones.”
It’s getting dangerously close to thirty and my life is still not exactly sorted. He rubs it in.
“There’s only three more years to go until you join my decade! Look, forget about it being your birthday. Let’s just say we’ve got an evening to spend together to do something a bit different. What would you like to do then?”
I’m not brave enough to ask what’s going to happen to us, to ask whether he’s going to have left his wife by then, or whether he’s expecting me to stay as his bit on the side. But perhaps I won’t need to. Because if I can summon enough courage to tell him exactly what I’d really like to do for my birthday, his answer will probably tell me all I need to know. There is something I’ve been desperate to do since we got together, but it’s not been possible seeing as our affair has to be kept secret. It doesn’t seem much to ask and for most couples it’s the simplest thing to do. I can’t bear to look at his face, to see his expression or to read his reaction, so I fixate on our fingers instead, making pretty puppet patterns.
“Actually, there is something I’d like to do,” I say. “I’d like to go out and eat at a restaurant, just you and me.”
He’s silent for the longest moment. His fingers stop moving and so, it feels, does my heart.
“Do you know how difficult that is for me Danni?”
His face is tight and serious when I look up and drown in his clear blue stare. I can barely breathe. It feels like the question mark hanging over our relationship and future has just jumped off the page, quadrupled in size and wrapped itself tight around my windpipe.