Riftmaker Book Blog Tour
About the Book:
A Steampunk Portal Fantasy
Young Adult Steampunk/Science Fiction
Save his boy, uncover a conspiracy, and master opposable thumbs—a dog’s work is never done.
Buddy’s favorite thing is curling up for a nap at the foot of Ethan’s bed. Then he stumbles through a portal to a clockwork city plagued by chimeras, and everything changes… Well, not everything. Sure, his new human body comes with magic powers, but he’d still rather nap than face the people of Excelsior, who harbor both desire and fear when it comes to “the other side.”
He discovers Ethan followed him through the portal and underwent his own transformation, and it becomes Buddy’s doggone duty to save him. Buddy finds unlikely allies in an aristocrat with everything on the line, a mechanic with something to hide, and a musician willing to do anything to protect her. Using a ramshackle flying machine, the group follows the chimeras deep into the forest and uncovers a plot that could reshape the worlds on both sides of the rift.
Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KTGKZC6
Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946382531
Draft 2 Digital https://www.books2read.com/u/bwYnB9
ARC copies available on Booksprout https://booksprout.co/arc/9126/riftmaker-a-steampunk-portal-fantasy?fbclid=IwAR2RuFLaFeOm5VrXcU-AuyHZ6Ebh-fhmkR1Fic3vAk99xONXH7Mo7-6vo0s
Buddy isn’t your ordinary hero. In fact, he’s not really much of a hero at all. You see, heroes are usually charged with saving the world and have sky-high aspirations. But Buddy just wants to go home.
He’s also a less than cookie cutter hero because he started off life as a dog. And no, I don’t mean that figuratively. When he’s in Berkeley, CA with his boy Ethan, he looks something like this:
Buddy’s not in CA anymore, however. He’s wandered through a rift that leads to another world, one where the laws of the universe are different than our own. I’ll lead it to Professor Fenwick to fill you in the details, but basically animals on one side of the rift are humans on the other, and vice versa. Buddy had no idea that when he approached the shimmer purple shape with its irresistible song that he’d land cold, nake, and in a new body in the city of Excelsior. Suddenly, he can understand human speech, and seems to have uncanny abilities no human in his world possesses.
The new world is exciting, but full of perils. Excelsior is visited each night by creatures called chimeras that can change the shape of their smoky bodies at will. But even once he evades them by moving in to a rooftop settlement called a Kitetown, there’s the citizens to worry about. Everything from “the other side” is feared and covetted in equal measure, and Travelers like Buddy have a way of disappearing. He meets a few friendly faces along the way, but none of them can help him return to his own world and the boy he left behind. It seems like the worst that could happen, until he finds out the Ethan has followed him through the rift…
An excerpt with Buddy:
“Who lives there?”
Grace adjusted the small dark glasses perched on her nose and looked where the odd newcomer was pointing. The pearlescent towers gleamed in the sunlight high above the busy, mud-spattered streets. They’d found the stranger a shirt at The Flea, and Grace tried her best to get them through the city without attracting too much attention. Their path shouldn’t have taken more than half an hour, but the man was constantly stopping to gaze at storefronts and bakery windows before abruptly tugging Grace’s hand in another direction to see the next sight. All the while, he bombarded her with questions. Though no stranger to this type of behavior in children, Grace couldn’t keep irritation from edging into her voice when seeing it in an adult. Then again, if she was right about him, he really was more like a child than he looked.
“Have you ever been up there? I bet it’s nice,” he prattled. Grace let out a snort. “I think ‘nice’ would be an understatement. Those towers belong to the ‘crats, and they run the whole city.”
“So, you have been there before? You have seen inside?”
“Not me, no,” she replied, putting her fists to her hips and looking up to the top of the nearest tower. “Other than Jeremy, I doubt you or I will ever meet someone who has been. Let’s just say it is an exclusive club.”
The stranger returned his gaze to her face. “Don’t they ever come down?”
“Some of them do, but it’s mostly their servants who come and go.”
“But, I do not understand. Why would they want to stay away? It is so wonderful down here!” He threw his arms wide to encompass the whole block.
“You only think that because you haven’t seen what is up there,” Grace retorted bitterly. Her tone did nothing to take the joy from his face.
“Ah, but as you say, neither have you.”
Grace chuckled in spite of herself. “Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there is some other explanation. Why do you think they live way up there then?” He turned his face towards the glistening heights again and pondered for a moment. “Maybe it’s the same reason you live up high.”
“Pah. You think they have to worry about chimeras? Trust me, they have plenty of security.” His eyes were glued to the top of the tallest tower, but their focus lay even farther away.
“No, not the chimeras exactly,” he murmured.
“Fear.” They stood looking at the towers for another moment before Grace gave the stranger’s sleeve a tug. He startled and shook himself before turning a smiling face back to her. “Or they just like the view.”
About the Author
Phoebe Darqueling is the pen name of a globe trotting vagabond who currently hangs her hat in Freiburg, Germany. In her “real life” she writes curriculum for a creativity competition for kids in MN and edits academic texts for non-native English speakers. She loves all things Steampunk and writes about her obsession on SteampunkJournal.org. During 2017, she coordinated a Steampunk novel through the Collaborative Writing Challenge called Army of Brass, and also loves working with authors as an editor. You can also find her short stories in the Chasing Magic and The Queen of Clocks and Other Steampunk Tales anthologies so far, and her next novel, No Rest for the Wicked is coming Spring 2019. She’s an equal opportunity Star Trek, Star Wars, and Firefly fan, but her favorite pastime is riffing on terrible old movies a la Mystery Science Theater 3000.
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