Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Colina de Lavanda by August Li – 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.

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Advent Calendar Day 19

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Dreamspinner Press



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Angela☆☆☆☆
Combining magic, mythology, tall tales, and the American Old West, August Li’s Colina de Lavanda is a fascinating tale. While in pursuit of his own personal pleasures, Edward built a small railroad town that is the very definition of diversity – both socially and culturally. Society’s outcasts have found a safe place to call home and live in harmony with one another. That is, until Mother Nature and a travelling charlatan both descend upon his town and threaten not only its inhabitants, but its continued existence.

One of the things I liked about this story was Edward’s imperfections. He’s not a perfect hero, not by any means. When he reveals his past to Shu and confesses his transgression, it’s clear that his creation of Colina de Lavanda was not a selfless act and that bothers him when so many of the town’s residents look to him as their savior and protector. But as Shu points out, few seemingly selfless acts are truly selfless and in the case of Colina de Lavanda, what truly mattered was that it was the safe haven so many of its residents needed. Shu does not argue that the ends justify the means, but rather that in creating a safe place for himself and allowing others with similar predilections to move there, Edward created a sanctuary for many, giving them a safe haven to call home as well. The best part though, is that Shu doesn’t shame Edward for his imperfections and past mistakes. Shu may have walked away from Edward in order to protect his own heart when Edward refused to give up other men, but he didn’t shame Edward for that nor did he make Edward grovel when the man realized what was truly important – love. Just as Colina de Lavanda offered Shu a second chance in life to find his own happiness, he offered Edward a second chance at love, and Edward was smart enough to grab on to it with both hands… literally.



AUGUST LI plays every game as a mage. He thinks the closest thing to magic outside of games and fantasy is to bring things into existence from nothing, which he does in words and images. As a proud trans man, he hopes to bring diversity and representation to all those who want to see themselves in the art and stories they enjoy. He’s a perfectionist, travel enthusiast, and caffeine addict.

Gus makes his home on the coast of South Carolina, where he spends his days in search of merpeople, friendly cats, and interesting pieces of driftwood. He collects ball-jointed dolls, tattoos, and languages. He believes in faeries and thinks they’re terrifying… but still wants to meet one.

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https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Warmest Wishes: Colina de Lavanda by August Li to read and review.

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