- KDP and Create Space
- Release Date
- April 2015
- Book 1 of Rifters
Tobias is a fox-shifter, stolen in childhood from his home-world. Now he works as an agent for the secretive and powerful sentinels, trying to bring an end to the interworld slave trade.
Etty is a street-smart spitfire from the wrong side of the tracks. She harbors untrained magical abilities and a deep longing for a better life. Can she channel these into working as Tobias' assistant?
Will they survive a life-changing mission where love and danger are only a heartbeat away, and the fate of rift worlds hangs in the balance?
May 22, 2015 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
199 people found the following review helpful
Tobias is trying to bring an end to the interworld slave trade and Etty harbors untrained magical abilities that would make her the perfect partner if they survive a life changing mission where love and danger are only a heartbeat away in this daring paranormal steampunk romance.
Etty and Tobias both have some personal issues that grab at the reader's emotions and they are strong and compelling. They grab the reader's attention and drew them into the adventurous nature of their romance. Their attraction smolders throughout the story with both trying to avoid getting intimate, but when their passion finally takes hold, it sizzles with lots of heat. The steady-to-fast paced and smooth-flowing plot keeps readers on the edge of anticipation with suspense and romance while the daring world ensures that the readers come back for more.
Expectation builds as Tobias sets about changing Etty's world and training her to be his assistant. Excitement builds as their mission, which has the fate of the rift world hanging in the balance, brings them into close contact with some upset natives and their enemies. The well written scenes and details capture the imagination and the well-orchestrated events ensure that the reader wants to know what happens next, especially during their mission.
As usual with steampunk, the world is a cross between old fashioned and futuristic but this one has some interesting elements and qualities that make it quite different – it has shifters but it also has some very intriguing worlds with fascinating characters and rifters. I don't normally get into steampunk stories all that much, but I have to admit that this one took me by surprise and I found myself caught up in it although there were some instances when I thought the story dragged just a little. Anyway I am looking forward to seeing what adventure the Rifters takes me on next.
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Book Review by Ashia (reviewer)
Oct 11, 2016 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
102 people found the following review helpful
I'm not a big fan of futuristic/science fiction romance, but Bronze Fox changed my mind! The author also put a fresh spin on it by having shifter characters and magic for a compelling, page-turning story.
Both Tobias and Etty are great characters--smart, engaging and delightful--with sizzling chemistry. Their romantic development was believable and done well. I love love love Tobias! He quite captured my imagination, and I wish I could read more about him (*hint hint)
The worldbuilding is superb--the descriptions are vivid and just enough to immerse the reader in her superbly crafted world. The action and adventure scenes ensure that the plot move forward and the reader is never bored with the tale.
A must read!
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BOOK INTERVIEW on May 2015
Interview by Laura
Diana, welcome to The Romance Reviews. We're excited to hear more about your latest release, BRONZE FOX, the first book in the Rifters series!
Q: Where did you get the inspiration for your Rifters series? What is the significance of the series title? How are the books tied together?
As sometimes happens with me, the initial inspiration came from an amazing dream. I woke after dreaming the opening scenes of BRONZE FOX and just had to write them down. They were so vivid and intriguing, I couldn't help adding more. That was the seed for the first novel, and then ideas for a whole series grew and blossomed.
The series title, Rifters, refers to individuals who travel through "rift portals" between worlds. They are a mix of adventurers, secret agents, treasure hunters, explorers, smugglers, and slavers.
Each book has a satisfying story arc and can be read alone. I don't believe in leaving readers with a cliff-hanger, in essence twisting their arm to buy the next book. If the series is good, they'll want to read more without requiring that kind of tactic. On the other hand, there is a larger plot that plays out over the course of the series, as events unfold in the struggle between the sentinels (who oversee rifter activity), and the crime lords who run the inter-world slave trade. Readers' enjoyment will definitely be increased by following through the series in order.
Q: BRONZE FOX seems to be a fantasy romance, with an otherworld setting. What's the draw of this genre for you?
I've always had an expansive and colorful imagination. The fantasy genre gives me a wonderfully broad palette of ideas to work with. I can let my imagination loose to explore all sorts of possibilities, without being limited by the normal constraints of here-and-now reality. I also enjoy exploring the dynamic of two people falling love, discovering the magic and beauty they can share together. Combining these two delightful genres, we get Fantasy Romance, my favorite place to play.
Q: Please tell us more about the heroine, Etty. What's her background? What events in her past made her into the woman we meet in the book?
Etty has grown up in a poor urban neighborhood, forcing her to become tough and streetwise, in order to survive. At the same time, she is trying to support her father who is unable to work because of a back injury. Disguised as a boy, Etty drives a cab, struggling to earn enough money to pay the bills and buy pain medicine for her father. This is how she meets Tobias, as he uses her cab to escape some thugs who are pursuing him.
Q: Do tell us about Tobias. What makes him a swoon-worthy hero?
To start with, he's really foxy (yes, pun intended ), handsome, charming, clever, and daring. In addition to this, he's also genuinely kind, showing consideration for people's feelings and point of view. Personally, I find that an irresistible combination.
Q: You mentioned that he was stolen in childhood, from his home-world. How has this shaped him into the man we meet in the book?
In my Rifters universe, shape-shifters are highly sought after as slaves. Each shape-shifting clan has certain strengths. The fox clan is especially clever, the wolves are amazing warriors, the snake clan excels at magic, and so on. This makes shifters valuable for their skills, but they are also kept as exotic "pets" for entertainment.
As a boy, Tobias escaped the slavers who took him from his home-world. He became a street urchin, living by his wits. This made him into a highly resourceful, self-contained individual. When a wealthy man became his patron and paid for an education, Tobias took the opportunity to become a sentinel agent. He loves the excitement and exploration that comes with his job, but he's also committed to ending the inter-world slave trade.
Q: What makes Etty and Tobias perfect together?
They both have quick minds, adventurous spirits, and compassionate hearts. This means they match each other well. They also develop a great chemistry, with much playful banter that was loads of fun to write.
Q: What, for you, was a romantic moment between them?
There are a number of scenes that spring to mind, but the ‘first kiss' is always a classic. Here is a brief excerpt.
"I've been thinking." Etty's voice wobbled, and she swallowed, starting again. "I've been wondering what will happen if the council decides against me. Is there any way I can stay here, working for you? I know I wouldn't go on missions, but maybe I could help Meg and Sally, or I could be a secretary, or maybe assist you in the workshop."
Her words rushed out. "I can't go back to Briartown and lose all this. I've come too far."
Tobias shook his head. "You're not going back to Briartown. I promise."
"But what if—"
Tobias pressed fingers softly to her lips, silencing her. "The job is yours. I'll make sure of it, even if I have to fight the entire council. This is one time I won't take no for an answer. I'm keeping you with me."
She saw passion in his eyes and heard the same in his voice. The effect was mesmerizing, especially combined with the friction of his fingertips on her mouth. Etty lost track of his words, a cascade of warmth rushing through her body. She stepped closer, drawn to him like a moth to a lit candle.
His expression changed, mirroring the longing she felt. His hand slid to cradle her jaw, his mouth coming down to meet hers. Breath mingled with breath, heat with heat.
Lightning struck dry tinder. All her pent up emotions, the attraction she had felt for him since the beginning, ignited. She answered his kiss with flame, her body pressed to him, her fingers twining in his hair.
Her need was so strong, it hurt. The taste and texture of his mouth, the male musk of his skin, the feel of his arms tightening around her, all filled her awareness. There wasn't room for anything else. No thoughts, no doubts, just this exquisite coming together.
"No," Tobias whispered, his voice barely audible. "This isn't…I shouldn't be doing this."
He pulled away from her, his features tight with restraint.
"I shouldn't have done that," he repeated, voice husky. "It won't happen again."
"Why? What's wrong with—"
"I won't take advantage of the situation…and you…" He grimaced, eyes troubled. "You don't owe me this. You don't owe me anything."
Before she could say another word, he strode off toward the house. As she watched him go, tears threatened, but she forced them away. This was no time to act like a child.
Tobias obviously didn't want an ‘entanglement', as Susan called it. It was high time to accept that and stop mooning over him. There were more important issues to deal with. Every bit of her needed to focus on passing the exam and acing her interview with the council.
Q: Please give us a sneak peek at book number 2 in the series.
I'm currently working on the second Rifters book, Veiled Snake. It begins just a few months after the first book finishes. Here is a brief excerpt from the first chapter.
Susan hurried across the frosty courtyard, her breath puffing like steam. Dusk closed around the Academy, and with it chill fog crept between the buildings. Shapes grew vague, receding into shadow and mist. It gave the familiar surroundings an alien, almost menacing, appearance.
She shook her head. What utter nonsense. It was just the residue from last night's dream, coloring her perception. The nightmare had been so vivid, so alarming, she'd felt off kilter the entire day. Hopefully Miranda would set her straight.
Not being a vision adept, Susan didn't know how to contend with such intense dreams. They'd been coming all week, and they felt important, as if her life and the life of others depended on them. Of course that was rubbish. She didn't have a prophetic bone in her body.
Miranda had experience with such things. She'd hear Susan out then share a remedy to banish the nightmares. Maybe a special tea or even a spell? There had to be something. She was worn to a frazzle from lack of sleep.
"Please be there," she muttered, taking the steps too quickly and slipping on a patch of ice. Just in time, she grabbed the railing, avoiding a fall.
A student had kept her after class, and now she was twenty minutes late. An awful feeling for someone who was punctual, to a fault. Miranda always ran behind schedule. Surely she would wait.
Susan glanced around, lifted her long skirts, and darted over a wide triangle flowerbed. There were no blooms to trample, this time of year, and no one had seen her. That combined with cutting through the rose garden, ought to take five minutes off her trip across campus.
Oh, good. The lights were still on in the laboratory block. She saw them glimmering through the gathering night. Soon, she'd be inside where it was warm and bright. No more of this childish fright, feeling as if something sinister moved in the fog-bound darkness.
"Sorry I'm late," she called, stepping through the laboratory door.
All the air whooshed out of her, as she froze, stunned. The place was a mess, with tables upended, bottles and vials scattered about, broken. One chair lay smashed to bits, in front of an equally demolished glass-fronted cabinet. It looked like a herd of wild horses had galloped through the room.
"Miranda! Are you here?"
A faint cry came from the storage closet.
She dashed over, and found her friend, propped against the inside wall. Blood seeped from a gash on the side of Miranda's head, and more stained the front of her lab coat. There were holes in the fabric that looked like bullets had torn through. Tears slicked her deathly pale cheeks.
"Mandy! We've got to get you help." Susan dropped to her knees and tried to lift her wounded friend. Foamy blood trickled from her mouth.
"There's no…time," Miranda gasped, choking on blood and saliva. "They took…the prototype. We…must…find them."
"Who took it?" Susan pressed her hands to the bullet holes, hoping to stop the bleeding. She needed bandages, fast.
"A face…in the window. I saw…eyes like…jewels…" Miranda's own eyes slid closed as she struggled to speak. "Hidden face…veiled, but I see it. You must."
"What face? When? You're not making sense." She tore her coat off and folded it over Miranda's chest, holding it tight against the wounds. How could she get help? There might not be time for a sending spell, and most everyone had gone home for the evening.
"The white snake," Miranda whispered, eyelids flying open. She stared at the ceiling, unfocused, her pupils dilated the same as when she had her visions. "She is a part…of this. She must be…"
Raw terror lanced through Susan, as her friend went limp and stopped breathing.
Q: What's up next for you?
I plan to finish writing Veiled Snake, then I have final edits on Dragon Soul, the third book in my Dragon Clan Trilogy. It should release sometime in late 2015 or early 2016. After that, I'll probably be writing the third Rifters book, Red Hawk. There's always another story brewing in my mind. For more information, trailers, excerpts, and reviews visit my website at http://dianagreenbooks.com.
Thank you, so much, for this interview. I'm always pleased to have a chance to share my work with readers.
Thank you for this interesting interview!
Since her childhood, growing up in New Zealand, Diana has been an avid storyteller. For years she enjoyed teaching art and special education, while continuing to write as a hobby. After she developed an auto-immune disorder, a career change was necessary, but happily this led her to become a professional author.
Diana's books are mostly romance, in the fantasy and science fiction sub-genres. She has been a finalist for the CRW Award of Excellence and the Aspen Gold Published Novel Contest. At present, she self-publishes and writes for the Wild Rose Press.
For more information, excerpts, trailers, and reviews visit
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