Monday, December 3, 2012

Over the Mountain and Back

Marie Astor is joining us again through Goddess Fish Book Tours. It's always great to have her at our Book 'Em North Carolina blog.

Marie will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


Dear Reader,

Thank you very much for joining me for Over the Mountain and Back blog tour. The story of Over the Mountain and Back began over twenty years ago when I was fourteen years old and decided to write a novel as an anniversary gift for my parents. It was going to be a fantasy adventure about a boy named Peter and a girl named Lara set in a magical country, Transadonia. I remember writing studiously on the pages of an ornate notebook I had acquired especially for the occasion. Back then computers were not yet widely used, so I had to pay extra care to my handwriting. A year later, Over the Mountain and Back was completed, or at least I had thought so at the time. Needless to say my parents were very surprised with their anniversary gift.

Years passed; I finished high school and went on to college. Lara’s and Peter’s story faded from my mind, replaced by the hustles and bustles of everyday life. Then, one day – the day that happened to be my thirtieth birthday, my parents presented me with a gift: it was oblong in shape and wrapped in shiny paper. After I opened the wrapping, I was stunned to find the long forgotten story I had written all those years ago.

Long story short, after two years of extensive work, I rewrote and expanded Over the Mountain and Back into a novel of 95,000 words. For me it had been an exciting journey to be reunited with my old friends: Lara and Peter, Forest Witch Ramona, Chancellor Libra, Bookbrownies, and, of course, Carnelion, among the many others.

I hope that you will join Lara and Peter on their adventure in Transadonia.

If you would like to find out more about my books, please stop by website:
Marie Astor


With his father gone missing and his mother losing her grip on reality, Peter Bailey’s life is nopicnic. Peter’s gray existence changes unexpectedly after he takes his new snowboard for a ride in the mountains of Colorado and is stunned to find himself in Transadonia – a hidden world
that coexists alongside with the Earth.

Lara Grover never listened to her elders, so warnings like “do not talk to strangers” mean nothing to her. When a boy from an unknown world saves her from an avalanche with the aid of a snow dragon, Lara is not stunned in the least. Instead, she joins Peter on his quest to help him realize the purpose behind his arrival to Transadonia.

Together, Lara and Peter embark on an adventure filled with perils, trickery, betrayals, and unexpected alliances.


When they reached the Epistemon chamber, Ragnvald stood aside reverently, waiting for the Chancellor to turn the dials of the safe lock to open the door. Even the room that contained the Epistemon instilled awe and veneration, for some of the Library rooms were said to have mysterious properties simply due to the nature of rock that had been used to build their walls. The rest of the Library building had been wired with electricity long ago, except for the Epistemon chamber, since the location of the chamber was a secret from everyone other than the Chancellor and a select few of his most trusted associates.

The Chancellor lit the torches on the chamber walls; he had always preferred the torches to a flashlight since the flashlight never gave sufficient light. The flickering glow of the fire flames illuminated the Epistemon amber case that stood in the middle of a large stone table, the only furniture in the room. The Chancellor walked towards the table with a heavy gait and slowly reached for the amber box. The lid opened, and the Chancellor removed the Epistemon from its case. The book’s leather binding was of an unremarkable brownish color and, aside from ancient symbols inscribed on its cover, the book could have been easily mistaken for an atlas or a dictionary or any other ordinary book, but of course it was much more than that.

His regal face filled with veneration, Ragnvald silently watched the Chancellor ponder the question that was to be asked. There were many questions they sought answers to. Who were the raiders and how were they connected to the Advisory Board? What caused the Library on the southern border to burn down? How did Carnelion manage to gain so much power? Yet all of these questions were too fragmented and failed to encompass all the predicaments that Transadonia was facing. In order to receive an answer from the Epistemon, the Chancellor had to ask the question that would see to the root of the problem, since the Epistemon would only answer one question at a time. And so he recounted again all the calamities that had assailed Transadonia of late and tried to see the pattern between them, searching for the one question that would include them all. All of these events are raising chaos in our land, distorting its order, thought the Chancellor.

“How do we restore balance in our land?” asked the Chancellor in a grave, somber voice, holding his hand on the Epistemon.

Both the Chancellor and Ragnvald awaited the answer with trepidation, their eyes fixed on the Epistemon. After a few moments the book’s pages parted with a response:

“An ancient secret was pried open
And now the balance of our world is broken.
To heal what has been broken, the Great Mine must be reopened.
In the world beyond, a Craft forged from the metal that shines with piercing light
Will seek its Rider to deliver Transadonia from the impending plight.”

After a few moments, the writing faded and the book closed itself. The Chancellor and Ragnvald stood dumbfounded by the answer that they had just received. The insight they had hoped for turned out to be a riddle. As if responding to their silent pleas, the book opened again, this time revealing a tightly written page with what looked like a diagram. Then something truly unfathomable happened: the page separated itself from the book and floated towards the edge of the table, landing in front of the Chancellor and Ragnvald. After that, the Epistemon closed for good.


For Young Adults:
Over the Mountain and Back – a fantasy adventure novel

Kindle link:

For Adults:

To Catch a Bad Guy – romantic suspense

This Tangled Thing Called Love – a contemporary romance about overcoming one’s inhibitions, learning to tango, and finding one’s true love match.

Lucky Charm – a humorous contemporary romance about love, luck and friendship.

On the Rim of Love – a contemporary romance about the unexpected power of love.

A Dress in a Window – a collection of short stories about love, coincidences, and fate.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @marieastor