June 1, 2014

Jonathan Tarquinius

Can we please get a huge, hero girl sized round of applause for our very own Nancy Kimball? We have just returned from celebrating the release of her first book, Chasing the Lion. Girls, I really wish ya'll could've been there to par-tay with us. Because, if you haven't guessed yet, Nancy's hero Jonathan is a blazing comet of orange.

Joan, Checotah (aka Jonathan), Nancy, Lacy (aka Nessa), and ME!

Let me just say something and get it off my chest, 'kay? Jonathan is not here simply because Nancy is his author, and this is her blog. I hope that Nancy and I have proven by now that no hero ends up featured unless they have earned it. Rarely do we find a hero who just owns a place here. Most go through a process of earning it. I am here to tell you Jonathan owns it. Even more rare for me is finding a hero who draws me in and literally does not let go until the last page. Jonathan didn't just own this blog- he owned me. And I have to be honest- I intentionally didn't share much in this feature because I really want you to fully experience this book for yourselves. I'm inviting you to join me, and Jonathan, and step into the arena. But beware- it's a dangerous place, and you won't return the same.

Excerpt from Chasing the Lion:

Nessa shot Tao a dark look as she made her way to assist Quintus.
Jonathan smiled though it increased the pain in his nose. Nessa cleaned
Tao’s face and applied a salve to it before he left without saying another
word. Still a man of little speech.
Jonathan thought nothing could ever be more painful than having an
arm put back in joint, until Quintus set his nose. He had a new
appreciation for how often Seppios endured having it done.
Maybe it was the opium, or Nessa’s nearness, or the concern in her clear
brown eyes while she helped Quintus clean and dress the spear wound
again, but Jonathan ached to touch her. Quintus sat at his back, so
Jonathan let the fingertips of his burned hand come to rest on the smooth
skin of her elbow. She trembled, and he almost drew back, until he saw her
There was no fear in them.
Like a whetstone caresses the edge of a blade it sharpens, he traced the
silk of her skin to her wrist. Once there, he allowed his fingertips to play in
circles on the back of her hand while he watched her face. The blush he
loved appeared with a vengeance, and when her mouth parted, he wanted
nothing more than to taste it.

Copyrighted material used with permission.

Still not convinced this is a must-read? Watch the trailer HERE.

Gallant Score:
Jonathan was raised to be a "gentleman." In spite of the hand he is dealt, some things remain intact- namely his sense of right and wrong. And Jonathan does his best to stay out of compromising situations, and not give in to temptations placed in his path. He is Nessa's champion, and if his care for and towards her was all we judged on, he easily scores a five.

 Wounded Score:
It's hard to convey the depth of Jonathan's wounds, (mental and physical) without giving away important plot points. Jonathan is not a stranger to wounds of any kind. In fact, one might say that his time in the arena gives us a clearer picture of the ugly damage caused by wounds. How thankful I am that it also shows us the need for a Healer.

Softie Score:
There really is no place for "soft" in the Roman Colosseum, unless you are making a casual reference to the fur of the lion which is about to devour you. Jonathan is tough because he literally has no choice. His options are to kill, or be killed. Having said that, there is no shortage of tenderness towards Nessa.

Stupid Strike:
Jonathan is a man of action- but none of his actions are strike-worthy.

Swoon Score:
Ya'll caught the photo in the last post, right? So I really don't need to explain myself on this one, other than to clarify again that the real score comes from who Jonathan is inside. Add up all the qualities we judge for here, and you still don't get the whole picture of who Jonathan is. Not even close. He's everything that we hero girls hope for when we pick up a new book, wrapped up in one intense, muscular, gladiator-shaped package.

Nancy hardly needs an author introduction around here. :) But I would encourage all of you to head over to her Official Author Webpage (if you haven't already) and see what's happening there. (Do take the time to read her story about Finding Jonathan- it will blow your mind!)

Here's the deal, ladies! We are giving away one paperback copy of Chasing the Lion & 3 COPIES of the e-book to 4 randomly drawn commenters. Make sure you tell us if you want in the book drawing and leave an email address in a spam fighting format like: green-eyedgladiator (at) lion dot com

If you have already enjoyed Chasing the Lion, a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card can be yours- but we're changing up the rules a little bit.
Instead of giving a character name to be entered, we want you to share your favorite line from the book with us.

Drawing and winners will be announced June 14th! =)


  1. Natalie MonkJune 2, 2014 at 1:04 AM

    Okay, I'm reading CTL and I'm at the 75% mark. I haven't "lived" in a book this much in a long time. If someone doesn't make a movie of this, then, well, I'm going to, really wish they'd make a movie of this. :)

    Favorite line so far: He was praying for her.

    Another favorite: He didn't need a weapon... They'd made him into one.

    I'm really enjoying this story more than ought to be allowed. Stayed up this late reading it. :) My mouth dropped open at the twist in that last chapter I read. Can't wait to find out what's next.

    1. Nancy KimballJune 2, 2014 at 8:39 AM

      Natalie, that makes me SO happy. :) When you get to hear the audiobook, trust me when I say it's like watching the movie with your eyes closed. Thank you for having the courage to embarke on Jonathan's journey with him!

    2. Natalie MonkJune 2, 2014 at 7:54 PM

      Agh! Nancy! I'm right after the part at Ramses' house. I'm dying here! (Loving every minute. And loving these characters. Giiirrrrllll.) Gotta go finish it...

      Oh, did I read somewhere that "Jonathan necklaces" were available for readers to buy?

  2. AngiJune 2, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    OH MY! TOTALLY agree with what Joy had to say about Johnathan. He IS deep. There are so many facets to Johnathan, I feel like I've only scratched the surface in reading his story. I could keep going, but like Joy, I don't want to give anything away for those who haven't read Lion yet. So hero girls, make sure you get yourselves a copy of Chasing the Lion. You won't be sorry, I promise. Johnathan is worth it! :)

    My favorite line: Again I will rebuild you, and you shall be rebuilt.

    SO looking forward to the next chapter of Johnathan's story! :)

    1. Joy W. DoeringJune 2, 2014 at 8:49 PM

      Angi- thanks for the affirmation on Jonathan's character (and the book as a whole!) I am so glad that you loved the book! Welcome to Team Jonathan! :) Great line choice.
      Love seeing you here!

  3. Clari DeesJune 5, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    So glad to see Jonathan here! I was hoping you'd feature him! I LOVED Chasing the Lion, and I agree with all the orange heads score except the wounded one. I think he deserves all FIVE heads for that one. I mean REALLY! I just wanted to give him a big hug SO MANY TIMES!

    Can't wait to hear the audiobook, too. :-)

    Wish I could have been at the party, but I probably would have been fan-girling over Nancy, Jonathan, and Nessa a little too much. :-)

    1. Nancy KimballJune 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      There was much fan-girling happening, LOL, and a LOT from me as several esteemed colleagues were in attendance. =) I would have given Jonathan five orange heads for wounded too, so I'm a little scared of what a hero would have to go through for Joy to give him five, LOL. She did a great job though, and yes, the audiobook will be SO epic. We're on chapter 24 in production and it's just CRAZY amazing. Can't wait till I can share it!

  4. Melanie BackusJune 5, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    I can't wait to read Chasing the Lion. The strength of Jonathan....WOW!!!!!!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    1. Melanie BackusJune 5, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      Count me in, Please!

      mauback55 at gmail dot com

    2. Nancy KimballJune 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      You got it Melanie, great to see you here. =)

  5. Anna Weaver HurttJune 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Would love to read this one!

    Writer_weaver AT yahoo DOT com

    1. Nancy KimballJune 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      We'll get you in the drawing, Anna, thanks for stopping by!

  6. Keri-Elizabeth W.June 14, 2014 at 4:02 PM

    Jonathan sounds wonderful! I would love to be entered into the drawing if it's not too late. It doesn't matter which format. My email is keletitbe14 at gmail dot com

  7. Nancy KimballJune 16, 2014 at 5:50 AM

    I'm a day late I know (blame it on Father's Day and work on the sequel ;-) but this was my secret plan all along that EVERYONE wins!!! =D

    Be checking your inboxes today for gift cards and e-books and thank you all SO MUCH for your support of my own orange-head hero.

    Thanks to Joy for writing him such a great feature and be watching for our next orange head hero in less than 24 hours... you guys are going to flip. Seriously. =D

  8. Salyna xDJuly 22, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    I nominated you for the Sunshine Award! L)

    Please stop by my link to visit my post on it and read what you must do: http://kissedbooks.blogspot.com/2014/07/nominated-for-sunshine-award.html