Books by "August Li" (20)

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Two men, each with a hidden destiny. Can they defeat a web of deceit and dark magic to ensure their fates intertwine?

Bedouin Isra al-Grayjaab’s dreams lead him to Janan, an amnesiac beggar on the street of Qena—one who steals his heart and starts him on a seemingly hopeless quest. With only their wits, Isra’s knowledge of the desert’s secrets, and the aid of a mercurial djinn, they must recover Janan’s past. But neither can predict his true identity or the lengths others will go to see that his mind remains broken and his true power out of his reach.

In a sweeping romantic adventure that takes them across the Eastern Desert to the modern streets of Cairo and on to the luxurious Red Sea Coast, Janan and Isra seek a truth that will either bring them into each other’s arms or tear them apart forever.

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Colina de Lavanda

2018 Advent Calendar | Warmest Wishes

Lord protector of whores, thieves, sorcerers, and deviants.

Owning a parcel of land the railroad needs to cross means Edward gets to run the border town around the station as he sees fit. What starts as a place to indulge his varied appetites becomes a haven to society’s castoffs, and if Edward encourages legends about its founder to flourish, well, he’s not so much a liar as a man who wants to protect all the cultures living in peace. Being mayor means folks might ignore his vices, but they also expect him to fix what goes wrong.

When a crushing heat wave and drought threaten not only the town’s diverse holiday celebrations but its very existence, Edward must turn to the one man he’d rather french kiss a timber rattler than face—the icily elegant Cantonese mage Edward walked out on but never stopped loving.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2018 Advent Calendar "Warmest Wishes."

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Incubus Honeymoon

Arcana Imperii

Arcana Imperii

As the so-called magical creatures go, I’m low on the hierarchy, and my powers aren’t much good to human mages. I’m a lover, not a fighter, through and through. I’m also selfish, lazy, and easily bored. But I’m damned good at what I do.

Too bad that won’t get my arse out of this sling.

Do one—granted, uncharacteristic—good deed, and now I’m held hostage to an arrogant faerie prince, trying to track down the one who summoned him while dodging gangbangers, gun runners, and Nazis. Add the powerful mage guilds scrambling to gather firepower for some doomsday event they’re sure is around the corner, and my cushy life of leisure might be nothing but a memory. On top of that, something’s compelling me to change on my most fundamental level. I’m not sure what I’ve got myself mixed up in, but nothing will ever be the same.

Bloody hell.

Featuring a new twist on urban fantasy combined with fast-paced action and intrigue, the Arcana Imperii series books are standalone adventures, each completely accessible to new readers.

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The sea is full of jealously guarded secrets, but everything washes up eventually….

Betrayed by a trusted partner, Nathan figures he might as well be lost and heartbroken in the sunshine, and he heads to the coast of South Carolina, to stay with a friend and find a new direction for his life. But despite his efforts, he is lost in the fog, unable to find a guiding light and sometimes unable to find a reason to go on. His only respite from depression and anxiety is the soothing rhythm of the tides and the comfort he draws from proximity to the water.

When the sea sends a lifeline in the form of a strange and beautiful man, it’s easy for Nathan to ignore all the things that don’t add up about his new friend. But the tides can turn without notice, and it’s those mystical traits that will either finally lead Nathan safely to shore or drown him in confusion and despair.

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Blessed Epoch Vol. 1

Blessed Epoch
Blessed Epoch Universe

Books One through Four of the Blessed Epoch

When mage Yarroway L’Estrella and knight Duncan Purefroy are both assigned to escort Prince Garith to his new bride and kingdom, neither is sure he trusts the other, but a disturbing secret and another ally forces the three to work together, in Ashes and Echoes. After Yarrow leaves Duncan and Sasha to find a cure for his magical affliction, in Ice and Embers, the pair are left on their own to deal with Duncan’s new realm of Windwake and Sasha’s former family of assassins. Sasha gave up everything when he chose to stay with Yarrow and Duncan and to not kill Prince Garith; now, in Iron and Ether, all three must face the consequences and deal with a threat to Garith’s twin kingdoms. In Cairn and Covenant, Octavian Rose was given a second chance thanks to an assassin’s unexpected mercy. Through the years, determined to make a name for himself and retain his morals while doing so, his actions will have much larger consequences than he could have ever imagined.

See excerpt for individual blurbs.

Ashes and Echoes First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2012. Second Edition published by DSP Publications, December 2014. Cover Art by Anne Cain annecain.art@gmail.com Ice and Embers First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, March 2013. Second Edition published by DSP Publications, March 2015. Cover Art by Anne Cain annecain.art@gmail.com Iron and Ether First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, September 2013. Second Edition published by DSP Publications, June 2015. Cover Art by Anne Cain annecain.art@gmail.com Cairn and Covenant previously published by DSP Publications, September 2015. Cover Art by Anne Cain annecain.art@gmail.com

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Calling and Cull

Blessed Epoch | Book Five
Blessed Epoch Universe

Book Five of the Blessed Epoch

Whose hand will orchestrate the change in the world?

The decade-long war with Johmatra is over, but peace hangs by a thread in Garith’s kingdom. Yarrow, isolated in his island realm, refuses to abide by the treaty or to follow the dictates of the priestesses. Others—Octavian Rose among them—are uneasy with the growing military power of the temples, and the mage island of Espero remains a tenuous ally. Garith knows his people cannot weather another conflict and that infighting will leave their lands vulnerable to further invasion. The arrival of a Johmatran ambassador with his own agenda calls everyone’s loyalties into question.

Sides will be chosen, and the consequences of those choices will have repercussions no one can foresee. Even among the turmoil, Yarrow is determined to have his vengeance against the thirteen goddesses and heal the world’s magic. But how far will he go, and what lines is he willing to cross? As unlikely alliances are forged and enemies are revealed, Prince Thane seems to be the key to forgotten knowledge that will shape the future—and some will do whatever it takes to control him.

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Kitchen servant Yoli is one of only three men who know a carefully guarded secret about High Commander Koehen, the brilliant general who united their lands against a common invader. The enemy wants that secret, and they are willing to use either kindness or cruelty to obtain it.

Yoli must decide if his loyalties lie with the commander, who has shown him more affection than anyone in Yoli’s life, or with his own best interests. High Commander Koehen’s attention is capricious at best—he summons Yoli only when it is convenient for him, and Yoli knows there’s little hope of a future together. Is a glimmer of a hope for love worth sacrificing a chance for prosperity beyond his wildest dreams?

2nd Edition
First Edition published by Silver Publishing, 2013.

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Cairn and Covenant

Blessed Epoch | Book Four
Blessed Epoch Universe

Book Four of the Blessed Epoch

An assassin’s unexpected mercy granted Octavian Rose his life and freed him from his father’s control, but it left him with little more than the clothes on his back and the determination not to waste his chance at a life of his choosing.

As Octavian sets out to make a name for himself, he refuses to compromise his ideals for money or status—a decision tested as he works his way up the ranks as a mercenary fighter and novice mage. Along the way he forges friendships, takes lovers, and makes bitter enemies, all while striving for the power he feels he deserves and can wield fairly.

With the advent of the Blessed Epoch and the discovery of new cultures, the world is changing. Octavian’s decisions will affect not only those closest to him but will have profound worldwide consequences that he cannot begin to imagine. For twenty years, Octavian does what he must, and his choices bring him brilliant victories alongside crushing losses. Time and again, he must choose between what is right for all and what is beneficial to him, while hoping for the wisdom to tell the difference.

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Fox-Hat and Neko

2015 Award Winners

A Harmony Ink Press Title

Tsukino Ayumu is new to Yuuyake. When he lived in Tokyo, he always kept his head down, content to remain unnoticed in the crowd of students around him. Now in a small fishing village, he connects with Ikehara Haruki, his first real friend, and builds a close friendship with two girls, Shizuka and Chou. The four friends stick together as they forge their path through the haphazard world of dating and relationships while preparing for life after school ends. But fate will intervene, with Ayumu’s plans in particular, as the village’s young people are targeted by an unseen threat. Suffering violent and shocking dreams, Ayumu comes to discover that the spirit world has plans for his destiny. Despite his personal belief that he’s nothing but ordinary, he must learn to fight—and lead—to protect the friends he would die for. The mysterious Fox-Hat and Neko know Ayumu better than he knows himself, and he must decide if they will point him toward a path that leads to a happy ending for all… or the end of everything he knows and loves.

 

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Iron and Ether

By
Blessed Epoch | Book Three
Blessed Epoch Universe

Book Three of the Blessed Epoch

Sasha was born to, and has always defined himself by, the secret assassins' Order of the Crimson Scythe. He chose the love of Yarrow L’Estrella and Duncan Purefroy over his duty to his clan, forfeiting his last mission and allowing Prince Garith to live. Now, the order—previously Sasha’s family—has branded him a traitor. He’s marked, and that means the brethren of the Crimson Scythe won’t stop until Sasha is dead.

Garith’s twin kingdoms balance on the brink of war, and all three men have reasons to help the king, whether loyalty, duty, the interests of their own lands, or gold in their pockets. Still, Yarrow and Duncan are willing to abandon their reasons to seek out and destroy the assassins’ order to keep Sasha safe. But Sasha isn’t sure that’s what he wants. Loyalties are strained by both foreign invaders and conspirators in their midst. It’s hard to know which side to choose with threats piling up from every direction and war looming, inevitable, on the horizon. Their world teeters on the precipice of change, and Sasha, Duncan, and Yarrow can only hope the links they’ve forged will hold if Garith’s kingdom is torn apart.

2nd Edition
First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2013.

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Ice and Embers

By
Blessed Epoch | Book Two
Blessed Epoch Universe

Book Two of the Blessed Epoch

Despite their disparate natures, Yarrow, Duncan, and Sasha united against overwhelming odds to save Prince Garith’s life. Now Garith is king and the three friends may be facing their undoing.

Distraught over Yarrow’s departure to find the cure to his magical affliction, Duncan struggles with his new role as Bairn of Windwake, a realm left bankrupt and in turmoil by his predecessor. Many of Duncan’s vassals conspire against him, and Sasha’s unorthodox solutions to Duncan’s problem have earned them the contempt of Garith’s nobles.

When word reaches Duncan and Sasha that Yarrow is in danger, they want nothing more than to rush to his aid. But Duncan’s absence could tip Windwake into the hands of his enemies. In addition, a near-mythic order of assassins wants Sasha dead. Without Yarrow, Duncan and Sasha can’t take the fight to the assassins. They are stuck, entangled in a political world they don’t understand. But finding Yarrow may cause more problems, and with his court divided, King Garith must strike a balance between supporting his friends and assuaging the nobles who want Duncan punished—and Sasha executed.

2nd Edition
First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, March 2013.

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Ash and Echoes

Blessed Epoch | Book One
Blessed Epoch Universe

Book One of the Blessed Epoch

For the past few years Yarroway L’Estrella has lived in exile, gathering arcane power.  But that power came at a price, and he carries the scars to prove it. Now he must do his duty: his uncle, the king, needs him to escort Prince Garith to his wedding, a union that will create an alliance between the two strongest countries in the known world. But Yarrow isn’t the prince’s only guard. A whole company of knights is assigned to the mission, and Yarrow’s not sure he trusts their leader.

Knight Duncan Purefroy isn’t sure he trusts Yarrow either, but after a bizarre occurrence during their travels, they have no choice but to work together—especially since the incident also reveals a disturbing secret, one that might threaten the entire kingdom.

The precarious alliance is strained further when a third member joins the cause for reasons of his own—reasons that may not be in the best interests of the prince or the kingdom. With enemies at every turn, no one left to trust, and the dark power within Yarrow pulling dangerously away from his control, the fragile bond the three of them have built may be all that stands between them and destruction.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, June 2012.

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A Grimoire for the Baron

Steamcraft and Sorcery | Book Two

Sequel to Boots for the Gentleman
Steamcraft and Sorcery: Book Two

Former archivist Reg Whitney, expert thief Querry Knotte, and the clockwork boy known as Frolic are fugitives from Halcyon living on a small island. While Reg is content to lead a safe and settled life, there is trouble in paradise: Querry is bored, and Frolic can’t help but ponder his own existence.

When Querry and Frolic get caught breaking into Baron Starling’s villa, all three men are bamboozled into accompanying the baron on a quest for arcane knowledge. But their jungle destination holds more danger than anyone on the expedition expects.

Reg knows their crew is made up of criminals—the kind who can’t be trusted—which puts a strain on the trio. He’s certain the baron and the mercenary Jean-Andre, are hiding something that puts them all in danger. Querry and the baron grow close, leaving Reg and Frolic feeling alienated. Frolic’s friendship with a fey servant just strains the trio’s dynamic further. Even if Reg, Querry, and Frolic survive the quest, their relationship will never be the same.

2nd Edition
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, October 2012

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On Tinsel Wings

On Tinsel Wings and This Same Flower

Patrick Harford sees hope as magical and beautiful, too delicate to hold—and everything in his life has proved him right. An unhealthy home leaves him hiding in the shadows as he tries to come to terms with his sexuality.

Patrick finds solace among the performers at the Allegheny Mountains Renaissance Faire, where he discovers a love of performing and costumes. As he starts to come out of his shell, he meets Yu Elion, an apprentice blacksmith. Yu gives Patrick a glimpse of fairy-tale love.

But just when hope starts to blossom, it withers. Cynical after a past filled with failed relationships, Yu keeps Patrick at a distance. Working two jobs has disastrous consequences. And an obsessed fan takes things a step too far. After seeing all he’s built start to crumble, Patrick doesn’t know if he has what it takes to try again on his own, and Yu might not have the strength to be the one Patrick needs.

2nd Edition
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, July 2013.

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In order to survive high school, Cole, Cam, and Bobby came together as friends and lovers to form a coven to practice magic. Then after graduation, Cam and Bobby escaped the small, backward town where they grew up and went on to success, leaving Cole behind.

Ten years later, a series of tragedies brings Cam and Bobby back to Cole, and leads them to a powerful man named Darius Thorn, who wants to hone—and control—their magical skills. But after being apart so long, the trust and devotion they once felt isn’t as strong as it used to be, and they’ll need to reforge their bond and combine their energies to survive.

3rd Edition
1st Edition published by Tease Publishing, March 2009 2nd Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, May 2013

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Boots for the Gentleman

Steamcraft and Sorcery | Book One

Steamcraft and Sorcery: Book One

Hired by a mysterious faerie gentleman to steal seemingly worthless artifacts, Querrilous Knotte is seen as a traitor by the humans of Halcyon. But as long as he’s getting paid, Querry doesn’t mind. When his client makes a cryptic comment about a certain house, Querry contacts his old flame Reg—a former street rat who now works in the Royal Archives—to learn if the property contains anything of value.

Though Reg has no answers for him, Querry learns there is indeed something precious in the house, something Reg is convinced will bring nothing but trouble. The armed guards that attack the thief prove Reg’s prediction true, and he can’t leave Querry to face it all alone. Not when Reg’s feelings for the man may not be as extinct as he'd thought.

The trouble is, Querry's heart doesn’t just belong to Reg anymore, and surprisingly, Reg’s heart no longer belongs only to Querry. In the end, it may not even matter, because if Querry, Reg, and their hearts’ desire can’t stop Lord Thimbleroy from draining Halcyon’s magic, they won’t live long enough to regret their unresolved romance.

Second Edition
First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, August 2011

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Neskaya

Bittersweet Dreams

Every nine years, on the winter solstice, Prince Neskaya's people conduct a ritual called the Midvinterblot, sacrificing nine horses, nine bulls, nine hogs, and nine men in the hopes of the return of light and fertility. With crops failing for the third year in a row, the sacrifice to win back the gods' favor is especially important. But the gods are demanding more than the usual tribute: they demand the life of the king's only son, Neskaya.

Lars, Neskaya's best friend and secret lover, is willing to fight for the life of the man he loves, despite Neskaya's odd complacency. Lars has no choice but to seek supernatural aid to save him, and he'll have to somehow convince Neskaya to fight beside him against the entire hungry village if they are to have any chance to survive.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

2nd Edition
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, December 2010

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Snowdrop

Steamcraft and Sorcery

A Steamcraft and Sorcery novella

When pickpocket Robin Pastorious comes across some graphic photographs of a young man suffering in bondage, he knows he has to liberate the victim—even after seeing the long, distinctive ears that mark the subject as a faerie, a creature Robin has been taught to hate and fear. Robin finds that the fey Snowdrop is afflicted with somewhat loose morals, a desire to be restrained, and a learned fear of reprimands, so naturally his ensuing encounters with Robin are both blistering and sporadic. But the faerie’s distant, fickle nature eats away at Robin’s sanity, and Robin ends the relationship.

That’s when the village comes under attack by the fey and Robin is captured and put on a train with the very man who tortured Snow. Will Snowdrop mount a rescue and find a way to convince Robin of his sincerity? Or will the pain of their shared past darken any possible future?

2nd Edition
First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, September 2011

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