The whole idea for Now is Our Time came after a friend told me a story. It was a real-life tale about a divorce which became ugly and acrimonious because, let’s face it, not all marriages can end amicably. Not all couples can ‘consciously uncouple’ like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. In this instance a British guy had married a New Zealand girl. They’d had three children and lived in the UK. Ten years later they split up. The New Zealand girl wanted to go back home and take the children with her. The English guy battled to prevent that from happening. He didn’t want his children spirited to what is literally the other side of the world. So began an ugly custody battle.
Now is Our Time explores the gritty reality of love, marriage, divorce, children, when it works and when it doesn’t work. And yes, there is a custody battle at the heart of it. Here the relationship is transatlantic, between British Claire and American Jonah Kennedy. As I was writing it Gwyenth and Chris split up. Before I wrote it Madonna and Guy Ritchie split up. There must be hundreds of other less high-profile couples like them.
Whilst the adults might find it easy to move on, what about the children? That is also explored in Now is Our Time, when multi person POV’s allow the reader to get into several of the different characters’ heads. San Diego and London are not exactly round the corner from each other. It’s a long way for Mom or Dad to go visit for the weekend.
Everyone will have a different opinion on what the final outcome should have been for the New Zealand girl and the English guy – I’m not at liberty to divulge, but in the end a court and Judge did come to a decision. Everyone will have an opinion on what the final outcome should be for Claire and Jonah. Their case also ends up in court, but I’m not going to give any spoilers! If you do read the book, however, I would love to hear your thoughts on how Claire and Jonah’s story does finally end……………
Here is an excerpt from Jo’s novel Now Is Our TIme.
Jonah’s back was to her and she took the opportunity to observe him for a couple of minutes transfixed, watching his muscular arms at work, picking up the tongs and turning the chicken thighs and burgers over. She’d always loved every glorious inch of his body, warts, scars and all, but if she had to choose her favourite part, it would be his strong, sportsman’s arms. She could feel her breath quicken. She wanted to touch them. She needed to touch them. She tiptoed barefoot towards him and caught him unawares, pinning her stomach against his back as she ran her hands up and down his triceps. Half a minute later he spun round to face her and they stilled, their foreheads touching as the tips of their noses performed a languorous Eskimo kiss.
“Do you know what?” he said, his forehead still glued to hers.
“If it’s possible, I think you’re more beautiful now than you were when I last knew you.”
“It’s not ‘rubbish’,” he mocked her accent, wearing a playful smirk on his face. “It’s the truth. I think thirty-seven must be the perfect age for a woman. You’re coming into your sexual and physical peak.”
He trailed his hands to the hem of her black vest t-shirt and wormed his way underneath, stroking her bare back before teasingly slipping his hands towards her front, tickling the sides of her waist as his fingers continued on a northbound trajectory, lightly grazing her breasts. Claire’s breath hitched.
“Do you have any idea what you do to me? What you’ve always done to me?” Jonah asked.
Claire shook her head, but really she did have a very good idea. And if she could have taken her mind off his travelling fingers she might have found the courage to admit that he made her feel as nobody else had done and how her body ached for him. She floated her hands from his biceps to the back of his neck and pulled his mouth urgently to hers, whimpering as he parted her lips with his tongue, her whole body tingling with desire.
“If we wait a bit longer,” Jonah whispered with their mouths still meshed, “it will be even more sensational.”
Claire was pretty sure he wasn’t talking about the chicken. She nodded in agreement, pulling away with a smile.
“I think we should eat then,” she suggested.