Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Weak At The Knees by Jo Kessel (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Weak At The Knees by author Jo Kessel!

Author Guest Post

One Of My Own Writing Quirks

Walking! If I’m struggling with a plotline or how to map out a scene than I put my walking boots on and go out. I’m very lucky that where I live is on the doorstep of some fabulous parks and woods. There’s nothing like a good old stomp for clearing your head and when I’m working on a storyline I really go into very deep thought – so much so that if someone I know sees me and stops to talk to me, I startle, as if I’ve been woken up from sleepwalking. It really does do the trick though. As I’m walking I map it all out in my head and by the time I get back home I’m ready to put it to paper. I often wish that I took a notebook and pen with me to scrawl my thoughts on as I go, just in case I forget, but I never seem to. Somehow, once I’ve got it planned in my head, it stays there, all the words and dialogue firmly etched in my mind. And the best thing about walking is that the exercise does me the world of good and gets the creative juices flowing. So if I was stuck before I went out, I usually get a double dose of good writing time when I get back.

My mother sadly died a couple of years ago and we erected a park bench dedicated to her in these woods. If ever I’m really, really stuck, I go there and sit down to reflect. I don’t ask my mother for help, but somehow, just sitting there I feel a sense of peace wash over me and then, when I get back to my desk, things usually seem a bit clearer in my head.

About The Author

When Jo Kessel 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 hot spots 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.

Weak At The Knees by Jo Kessel ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Goddess Fish Promotions

Book Review

Weak At The Knees by Jo Kessel
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: September 20, 2013
Format: Paperback - 285 pages / Kindle - 459 KB
ISBN: 1490397604
Genre: New Adult / Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Weak At The Knees

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

“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.

Weak At The Knees received a 4 out of 5 ratings from a UK national paper, The Sun, which is the UK's most popular paper (2 million readers).

Book Excerpt:

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 shrug.

“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.

My Book Review:

Twenty-six year old Danni Lewis needs to make a change in her life. For the past eleven years she has been in a safe on again / off again relationship with her boyfriend Hugo. When her childhood best friend Amber suddenly dies, she takes to heart Amber's dying words to "seize the day" and go out into the world and discover herself, so she leaves London for a ski resort in the French Alps in search of a new beginning. Danni tries to move forward in her new life while trying to put her past behind her, and falls hard for married ski instructor Olivier du Pape, something that she swore she would never do. Danni battles with her conscience and struggles over whether to give in to the forbidden love and follow her heart's desire. Love is a funny emotion, and the heart has an unexpected way of changing people's minds and choices.

Weak At The Knees is an emotional story of a young woman's journey of self-discovery and coming of age. Author Jo Kessel weaves an intriguing story set in London and the French Alps, and told in the first person narrative about love, loss and relationships. The reader follows Danni on her personal journey of self-discovery; moving out of her comfort zone, making changes, and taking control of her life; and finding true love. I loved that the author allows the reader to get into Danni's head and discover who she is and what makes her tick: her inner demons, hopes, dreams, fears, and feelings about of love and loss. While Danni and Olivier's relationship is central to the storyline, the beauty of the story is watching Danni come into her own and discover the life that she wants to live.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the richly detailed descriptive settings of London and the French Alps. The author transports the reader to these wonderful locations with her vivid portrait of the culture and scenery that makes you want to travel to see the historic landmarks of London and the romantic snow capped mountains and villages of the French Alps.

Weak At The Knees is an emotionally intense story that deals with real life issues like chasing dreams, love, loss, relationships, adultery, and finding your true self that will leave you "weak at the knees."


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win A $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble GC

Author Jo Kessel will be giving away a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card during the virtual book tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.

  2. Thank you so much for featuring my new release Weak at the Knees on your fabulous blog today Kathleen, and I am so pleased you liked the book! Here's hoping all your readers had a happy Halloween yesterday Jo

    1. Hi Joanna! I really enjoyed reading Weak At The Knees. Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)

  3. Thanks for the chance to win!
    Sounds really good!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    1. Hi Natasha! Thank you for visiting, good luck in the contest giveaway! :)