Wine and Roses Release Party

August 8, 2014

WineRosesLGHello everybody and happy Friday! My name is August Li but most people call me Gus.  I’ll be here on the Dreamspinner Press blog throughout the day today to celebrate the release of my latest novel, Wine and Roses.


Those of you who are familiar with me and my work will know I’m primarily a fantasy author. I have a sweeping fantasy series called the Blessed Epoch featuring epic conflicts, mages, knights, assassins, and large scale battles. As much as I love writing that series, I wanted to go in a different direction with Wine and Roses. While it is set in the same universe as the rest of the Blessed Epoch, it features “ordinary” characters because I wanted to explore the lives of people living in this world who aren’t princes, pirates, or sorcerers. After all, those kinds of people can only exist with “average” people to support them. So, Alain (the blond on the cover) is a vintner and farmer, living and working on a winery that has been in his family for over five hundred years. Granted, he’s a very superior vintner and makes exceptional wine, but he wants nothing to do with the power struggles of the privileged and would be happy to be left alone and take care of his land and his grapes.


Of course war affects Alain, his family, and Mountain Shadow Winery, and this is how he meets Breeze, who is just a soldier for hire. Breeze’s interests at the start of the book are pretty simple: some excitement and some money to spend. He’s outgoing and can be crass as often as he’s charming, but there’s a lot more to him than that….


Wine and Roses is also the closest I’ve come to writing a true romance novel. Most of my books are more High Fantasy with some romantic elements. Wine and Roses, while it has some fantasy elements—I had to put at least one fight in—is a love story at the core. It’s set in a fantasy world, but I hope it might appeal to those readers who don’t want the outside conflict in epic High Fantasy. I hope it can appeal to readers of both genres.


Here’s the book blurb and buy link for Wine and Roses. Best of all, it’s on sale for 25% off between August 8-12.



Mage Yarroway L’Estrella decided the Battle of the Starlight Bridge when he summoned fire from the heavens. The blaze decimated much of the vineyard that has been in Alain Lamont’s family for nine generations. Mountain Shadow Winery may no longer be able to support Alain’s family or the dozens of others who call it home, but Alain vows not to fail all those depending on him.


Mercenary Fabrezio Orvina d’Caelus, Breeze to his friends, appreciates Alain taking him in when he’s badly wounded after the battle, but he has no intention of living the dull life of a farmer any longer than necessary. Though he likes the vintner, he sees Alain as soft and sheltered, hardly a man who can understand a warrior’s calling.


As they live and work together, Alain realizes Breeze isn’t exactly the amoral opportunist he suspected, and Breeze sees more strength in Alain than he thought possible of a simple winemaker. Life on the estate is richer and less boring than Breeze first imagined. With ingenuity, courage, and cooperation, they may devise a way to revitalize the vineyard and move beyond the pain and loss of their pasts.




Buy Link


I’ll be around throughout the day with more information on the world and characters of Wine and Roses. I’ll have excerpts and a giveaway later. Until then, feel free to ask me questions, and I’ll do my best to answer.


My questions for readers:


Do you read fantasy? How do you feel about reading about the “ordinary” people in a fantasy world? Or would you rather read epic storylines about powerful characters?


How much external conflict do you like in your romance? Do you prefer it when characters are facing a lot of obstacles or when they can focus on the love story?

5 Responses to “Wine and Roses Release Party”

  1. H.B. says:

    Congrats on your newest release. It really all depends on what kind of mood I’m in. Sometimes I like seeing the characters face some obstacles and other times I’ll rather fixate on the romance.

  2. Augusta Li says:

    Thanks! This one was a different direction for me, but I enjoyed it.

  3. JJ says:

    I love the cover and the title.
    I really enjoy fantasy stories, and like both big epic and reading about ordinary people. For me, there should be some obstacles along with the love story.

  4. Susan says:

    Fantasy is my favorite genre, starting with LOTR in fifth grade. I like the inclusion of ordinary characters, as ordinary people make up most of any world. I also think conflict is part of romance, which may just be my own experience, but I like to see it in novels.

  5. Gus says:

    Thanks, JJ and Susan! I think Wine and Roses has a good mix of romance and conflict. Always glad to meet readers who like fantasy. Reading and writing fantasy is my first love and what comes most naturally to me–even if the characters are ordinary people. Though I don’t think if them as ordinary. Breeze and Alain are pretty special to me :)

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