What to Read Wednesday

09 Oct

October is flying by! Thank you for joining me for What to Read Wednesday. Today I’d love it if you’d help me welcome author Jo Kessel. She’s sharing her TOP TEN about what people don’t know about her and then her latest release WEAK AT THE KNEES! Love the cover!!

Take it away Jo…

Weak at the Knees Tour Banner2





  1. I have really curly hair, but I spend most of my life straightening it and when people I know well see me with my hair in its natural ringlet form, they think I’ve spent hours attacking my mane with a curling tong! I don’t know why I don’t like my hair natural – people say it suits me, but I guess I don’t think it does. Whenever I’m in a hot, humid climate I get what I call ‘Caribbean hair’ (do you remember the scene from Friends when Monica’s hair goes hilariously wild when they’re on the Caribbean?!) Well, no joke, that’s exactly how my hair reacts to humidity. And when that happens, I don’t even bother to straighten it. It’s not worth it, because all my hard effort is undone in a flash.
  2. I’m a yoga fanatic. Most people who know me know this, but what they don’t know is that I can do an excellent ‘head balance’. It’s the closest I get to looking like an acrobat from Cirque de Soleil. I get up into the position with control, keeping my legs straight, and once completely upside down I can split my legs, twist my torso and get into a whole load of weird looking positions. It’s my one and only party trick.
  3. I play the flute. It’s not the sort of instrument (like a guitar or piano) which you can easily play in public, by getting it out and strumming or tinkling away on the ivories, which is why not many people know I play it. But I used to actually be quite good at it, much better than I am now. I’ve got horribly rusty and my mouth starts to ache if I play it for any length of time because my muscles are out of practice.
  4. I went to Music College. While I was still at High School I won a place at one of London’s top music academies which ran Saturday school for young musicians. And that’s how I chose to spend my weekends – my girlfriends couldn’t believe it and they thought I should be going out with boys instead! I studied flute and piano. When I was 18 I had to make a choice between going to University and continuing at Music College to become a professional instead. But I just don’t think I was good enough to ever have really made it as a classical musician.
  5. I grind my teeth at night. I’ve never heard myself doing it and I keep telling my husband to record me. It’s apparently the most deafening, odd noise which is impossible to recreate awake. My sister (who’s a dentist) has heard me and thinks I must be ruining my teeth by the sounds of things. When I go away with the children and share a room with them, they hear me. They think the noise sounds like I’m scratching the sheets with my finger nails.
  6. I used to be a Gothic. You wouldn’t know it from the way I dress now, but when I was a student I used to dress in all these weird black clothes, wearing my hair incredibly long and backcombed and bright red lipstick.
  7. I’m very short. People don’t realise this because I usually wear high heels. Actually, they’re more like wedge heels, because regular high heels give me back ache.
  8. I’m a terrible cook. I’m that mother at school who, when there’s a cake sale on, buys ready baked cakes from the supermarket and dresses them up as her own. I usually buy chocolate fairy cakes with icing, melt a hole (using a teaspoon dipped in boiling water) in the middle and stick in a sweetie for decoration. They sell like hot cakes (excuse the pun!)
  9. I’ve got a shoe collection to rival Emelda Marcos. Well, ok, perhaps I don’t have that many, but I have a serious addiction. I acquire shoes which I sometimes don’t even ever wear because they’re too uncomfortable and yet I never give them away, because one day I might just wear them. Plus now my youngest daughter uses them as dressing up clothes. There are several high wedges which she has her eye on for when she grows up.
  10. I’m obsessed with hanging my washing out in the garden. This is a mixture of wanting to be environmentally friendly (i.e. not putting the drier on) and between loving the smell of clothes that have been dried outside. I always watch the TV weather forecast in the morning (you have to be careful putting washing out with the weather we have in London!) to see if it’s feasible.   



Week at the Knees2Book Blurb:

“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.
About the Author:

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.
Contact the Author:


Posted by on October 9, 2013 in Day to Day Life


8 responses to “What to Read Wednesday

  1. ChristineWarner

    October 9, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Thanks for joining me on What to Read Wednesday Jo 🙂

  2. Loralee Lillibridge

    October 9, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Thanks for sharing your very interesting 10, Jo! Wishing you success and looking forward to reading WEAK AT THE KNEES. Cheers!

  3. lizaoconnor

    October 9, 2013 at 8:25 am

    We you are interesting. I can’t cook either. I played the trumpet and also decided I wasn’t good enough. I had great tone, lacked stamina. Your yogo stance sounds very cool. I can’t even do a handstand. And the book sound very interesting.

  4. Jo Kessel

    October 9, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Thank you so much for having me and my book Weak at the Knees today Christine! Do you remember that scene from Friends with Monica’s hair? It still makes me laugh when I think of it! I’m glad you liked my 10 Loralee. And Liza, what do you reckon a flute and trumpet duo would sound like?!

  5. sarahballance

    October 9, 2013 at 9:33 am

    LOL! I used to play the flute…and not very well. In school I had to choose between band and chorus and there was no way I was going to sing, sooo…(No clue how to play it now, 20 years later. But I do suddenly feel old, lol.)

    Great list, Jo! Congrats on your release. The cover is gorgeous!

    • Jo Kessel

      October 9, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      Thank you so much Sarah…………..thrilled you like the cover!

  6. Tasty Book Tours

    October 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Thank you for hosting today!

  7. Calisa Rhose

    October 11, 2013 at 8:55 am

    I’m still laughing about your hair. Sorry, but I am possibly the only person on earth who fully understands! Oklahoma humidity is the worst. Before moving here at the age of eleven my hair had to be frozen with extra extra hold spray (after being in curlers all night– and yes I know I’m dating myself with this admission) to hold a curl three hours until the camera clicked on picture days. Once in Oklahoma, I did everything I could to keep it remotely straight. It stayed in braids a lot–that looked nothing like tidy Laura Ingals’. Boys loved to shoot staples into my “Bozo” mop from four feet away because they stayed…all day!

    Good luck with your writing, though it doesn’t sound like you need it, Jo. 🙂
    *waving crazy to Christine*


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