The Jade Lioness by Christina Courtenay: Release Day and Competition!


Jade is something that is undeniably Oriental and for me the mere word evokes images of the Far East and exotic settings. It’s been considered precious for millennia and has been used from prehistoric times, first to make tools as it’s such a hard material, then later merely for ornamental purposes. It has great significance for Asian people and is thought to embody many virtues. And no wonder – it’s truly beautiful!

The first time I saw a jade object I was seventeen and visiting Hong Kong with my parents. The shops there were full of jade jewellery – chunky bracelets, delicate rings and pretty necklaces. I loved the colour and feel of it (it’s lovely and cool to the touch) and could totally understand why the Chinese found this material so attractive. As I have green eyes, I immediately felt that this was the perfect accessory for me and I came home with quite a few additions to my jewellery box …


At the time, I didn’t know that there are actually two types of jade – the minerals nephrite and jadeite – slightly different in colour and hardness, but similar enough that they were thought to be the same thing in the past.  Nephrite comes in many shades from almost white to dark green, as well as reddish, whereas jadeite has more colour variations, even blue, lavender and pink.  In the finest jade, the colour is supposed to be evenly distributed.  Both types are polished to a shiny finish, with nephrite being more resinous while jadeite can have a mirror type shine.

The translucent, emerald-green jadeite is the most sought after variety – the more see-through the better (like the bowl in the photo).  It was traditionally considered a “gem” (and a royal one at that since the Chinese emperors loved it), although it is actually just a stone or rock, and it was more highly prized than gold or silver.  In fact, the Chinese valued it the way Europeans did with gold or diamonds.


So, when the time came to choose a title for the third instalment in my Japanese trilogy, the word jade sprang to mind and we ended up with The Jade Lioness. I think it captures the essence of the story and I hope the readers will agree!

PrizesToday is paperback publication day for The Jade Lioness, and to celebrate we thought we would give you the chance to win a signed copy of the book plus a little piece of jade – there are two sets up for grabs:  a necklace or a little figurine, together with a lovely Chinese silk pouch for each.  A third runner-up can win the book and a silk lipstick case in jade green.  To be in with a chance, just leave a comment below and tell us what you think about jade and/or the colour green (which is a calming and positive colour I think, signifying spring and rebirth, although sometimes it’s also the colour of poison!).  Does it have any special significance for you?

In the meantime, here’s the blurb for The Jade Lioness:-

Can an impossible love become possible?

Nagasaki, 1648 Temperance Marston longs to escape war-torn England and explore the exotic empire of Japan. When offered the chance to accompany her cousin and Captain Noordholt on a trading expedition to Nagasaki, she jumps at the opportunity. However, she soon finds the country’s strict laws for foreigners curtail her freedom.

On a dangerous and foolhardy venture she meets Kazuo, a ronin. Kazuo is fascinated by her blonde hair and blue eyes, but he has a mission to complete and he cannot be distracted. Long ago, his father was accused of a crime he didn’t commit – stealing a valuable ornament from the Shogun – and Kazuo must restore his family’s honour.

But when Temperance is kidnapped and sold as a concubine, he has to make a decision – can he save her and keep the promise he made to his father?

The paperback of The Jade Lioness is now available to order on Amazon UK & Amazon US.

Find out more about the author, Christina Courtenay, on her website or follow her on Twitter @PiaCCourtenay.

44 thoughts on “The Jade Lioness by Christina Courtenay: Release Day and Competition!

  1. Oooh, I’m loving the blurb! And the title is perfect. It signifies the many virtues and strength. I also love jade. I have a smooth jade egg and it makes me feel very calm when I hold it. I ADORE the cover! Wishing you many sales, Christina! 🙂 xx

  2. Thank you Sheryl! Yes, I think jade is very calming and I just love holding jade objects too, so cool and smooth 🙂 xx

  3. Sounds a lovely Story and Jade is the Stone of Love as well as Healing
    The beautiful green colours of the stones has a very calming effect to who ever uses it
    Good Luck with your book Christina and Thanks for the chance to win

  4. Love the cover of your new book Christina. At one time I was very superstitious of the colour green! But since getting older, I love the colour. The most precious thing I own which is green, is a brooch belonging to my late Aunt. It is an Emerald green stone, surrounded by silver filigree. I love it. I also like buying the small green stones, laying them in the bottom of a dish with a tea light. Beautiful. Good luck with your lovely new book Christina … Rosemary x

  5. So looking forward to reading this. Very much enjoyed the first 2. I love the colour green and the feel of jade.

  6. Jade, to me is essentially oriental. I love the colour and the way it’s carved into so many intricate things, particularly lions. I have some Jade leaf earrings that I love. Just looking at carved Jade conjours up a sense of place, the noise and smells. Magical!

  7. Thank you, Marcia – I like the sound of that, ‘the stone of love’, perfect!
    And thank you Rosemary – that brooch sounds beautiful! I was told ages ago that green cars were unlucky, but I’ve had mine for 13 years now and love it 🙂

  8. Thank you, Margaret, so glad you liked the others in the series 🙂 I totally agree about the feel of jade, lovely and smooth.

    Cheryl – I couldn’t agree more, it’s just so Oriental, isn’t it! Your earrings sound lovely 🙂

    Thank you all for your comments! xx

  9. We had some jade ornaments when I was a child. I have no idea what became of them, but I remember loving the feel of the stone, even holding them whilst I watched tv.

    Good luck with the new book. I look forward to reading it.

    Jayne x

  10. I didn’t know there were two types of Jade. You learn something new every day. Both daughters had a Jade necklace bought for them for good luck for their christening. Love the cover. Have a great publication day x

  11. Can’t wait to read this one! As for Jade, it has to be one of the most tactile of beautiful “gem” stones. Also, did you know that for the Maori of New Zealand Jade, known as Pounamu (or “greenstone), plays a very important role in Māori culture. It is considered a taonga (treasure) and it increases in mana (prestige) as they pass from one generation to another. The most prized are the oldest and these are said to have thier own mana. I always find it fascinating to learn about how differnet cultures view the same thing 🙂 Good luck with the book. xx

  12. Thank you Tanya – I have a jade necklace and love it, great christening present! 🙂

  13. Many thanks Brigid and no, I didn’t know that about the Maori – fascinating! I love learning things about other cultures too and I can see why they would value jade items 🙂

  14. I have always loved the colour green, maybe because I am from the Emerald Isle, if I was lucky enough to win this giveaway I would give the prize to my lovely twin sister who does so much for others. Can’t wait to read some more Choc Lit books, only just discovered you!!

  15. Looking forward to reading your new book. To work with jade must be very satisfying, wresting the smooth cool designs from such a difficult material, I work with paper strips. Needless to say greens feature a great deal in my pictures, just as they do in Nature. As I grow older my garden has reverted to a green texture of shrubs which only need a prune occasionally.

  16. For many years I hated the colour green, especially bottle green, as it was the colour of my school uniform. Recently though I have come to embrace the beauty of the colour!

  17. I have always loved anything green – I think because there are so many different greens in the natural world – it really is very calming. My whole house is decorated in shades of green (and white). And as for jade – I am a geologist and I never met a rock I didn’t love, so this one, being green as well, is well up there at the top of the list, just begging to be touched. Put them together in a book, and reading is my favourite pastime, what more can I say? Keep writing your lovely stories – taking me away from the every day world….

  18. Jade means a lot to me. 7 years ago my mother and I celebrated our 60th and 30th birthdays respectively by taking an amazing holiday to Singapore and New Zealand. Both have amazing yet cometely different Jade. We did buy a few pieces and every time I see any jade it reminds me of that great holiday, especially now my mum is I’ll and unable to travel anymore.

  19. I went to see jade being cut and polished in China and it was fascinating, it can only be done using diamond tools as jade is such a hard stone yet they manage to create these wonderful intricate, delicate designs. I spent my 40th birthday there and was given a beautiful jade Dragon for long life. Good luck with your book

  20. Jade represents China, beautiful, endlessly fascinating and yielding and unyielding at the same time.

  21. Very interesting synopsis. Should be a top read.
    As for green, common enough for many to mistakenly assume it is a prime colour, it is nevertheless totally cool, especially in it’s shades of emerald and, of course, jade. A shade evoking Oriental mysticism, I can see why you have found jade so captivating, Christina.
    Wish you the very best for your book – hope it does well.

  22. I have jade as a colour in my bedroom and it is very calming I have a small jade stone that a friend sent me too. I never liked the colour green but this lighter colour is great and goes lovely with my favourite colour duck egg blue. I would love to read the book as well.

  23. Jade (the word) reminds me of my first job at my local fish and ship shop. It was ran by a Chinese family, and their first grandchild was called Jade. As well as selling the best fish and chips around, my boss, Mr Yeung, taught me how to cook rice soup and egg fried rice. I used to love working Saturday lunches, having rice soup and that was when Jade (with her mum) normally popped by!

  24. Thank you all for your comments! It’s great to hear all the different views about green and interesting the way we associate colours with certain things. Jade does make a pretty name too – if I’d had a third daughter I might have considered it as my other two both have names starting with a J 🙂

  25. The book sounds like a really good plot. The title and cover (which is beautiful) definitely give it an oriental feel. I can see why jade would be linked to spring because of it colour – it does make me think of freshness and greenery. Spring is my favourite season so maybe jade would be my favourite gem/stone too.

  26. Hi Christina, I have already read all three of the books in the series. I pre ordered The Jade Lioness on Kindle as I had just read Book 1 and 2 and couldn’t wait. I love Jade and the colour green. Green is in so many shades of nature you only have to look around you to realise it can’t be unlucky. Thats how I feel.

  27. I think jade is very beautiful and very calming. I am excited to read The Jade Lioness.

  28. Jade is a precious stone, I have a small carved dragon biting its on tail made of pale green jade. It has followed me for many years.
    I have just read Trade Winds and started on Highland storms. Love your books, Christina!
    Good luck with The Jade Lioness!

  29. Loved the book, indeed the entire series. And I love jade too. I have some jade polar bears I bought in Canada and they are very tactile.

  30. Thanks everyone for the lovely comments! I’m really enjoying hearing about all the different jade ornaments/jewellery and your views on the colour green. I persuaded my DH to paint our bedroom a very pale green and it’s definitely a “calm” colour to wake up to 🙂

  31. I bought one in Hong Kong but you have to be careful with them as they break easily (or maybe I’m just clumsy 🙂

  32. Well, what a superb piece of writing, Pia. Gorgeous pics. I love Japan and visited Hong Kong recently. This is a ‘must read’. Could me in the competition, please.

  33. I fell in love with this cover at first sight. And then I read what it’s all about. I NEED this book. I have a jade bracelet gifted to me by a friend years ago. Jade is a soothing colour. And that’s how I feel about the cover of The Jade Lioness. Soothing to my soul. It has captivated me. ♡

  34. What a striking title for your new book and what images that brings to mind.
    Greens and blues are my favourite colours, especially in my crystals. Among my treasures are a green jade Buddha pendant that I used to take on holiday, airport delays and any holiday stresses just faded away when I reached up to touch him. Also a pale green candle Chinese dragon, it looks just like jade, or rather it did when new, has gone paler by now, though I would never think of actually burning it!

  35. Jade to me represents the earth. It is an earthy color that brings images of trees and plants springing forth. In winter it reminds me of the beautiful pine trees and Christmas. It is an earth color for an earth person, such as myself. I love the cover of the book and will be reading it very soon. Thank you for the giveaway. Jade, such a beautiful color, so full of strength, just like the Jade Lioness.

  36. Thank you Aklima and Joy! Yes I find it a very soothing colour too :-). And I love Chinese dragons! I’m pretty sure I had a Jade Buddha pendant too – must look for him. Xx

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