Hello Friends! A huge welcome today to Marie Astor, author of the young adult novel Over the Mountain and Back.
Marie will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so please take a minute to comment and give Marie a shout out for her new book!
Read on to learn more about Over the Mountain and Back:
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.
Here are some words for you from Marie:
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: http://www.marieastor.com.
Excerpt from Over the Mountain and Back
It was clear that each Bookbrownie had an assigned task, which they began to carry out immediately. Some were unwrapping their tools to begin repairing books that needed mending, and others began shelving books into their assigned spots. Even though Broderick was only interested in matters that presented potential for some kind of gain, he could not resist a spark of curiosity watching these amazing creatures and was amazed to see how skillful and ingenious they were at their work. Some of the books were as big as the Bookbrownies themselves, and yet the Bookbrownies managed to lift the mighty volumes with the aid of specially designed levers, wheel them to the assigned bookcases on tiny gurneys, and then hoist the books into their slots with custom-made cranes. All of this specialized equipment was concealed during the day, and the Bookbrownies quickly uncovered it from their hiding places.
However, Broderick was not hiding in the Library to observe the customs of Bookbrownies, and after a few initial moments of wonder, he began to survey the crowd, looking for the higher-ranking Bookbrownies who would possess the information that he was seeking. Broderick spotted two Bookbrownies standing apart from the others in the corner. The older one, with gray hair, was sporting impressive sideburns along with a formidable mustache and a neatly trimmed beard. He wore a navy-colored suit of fine wool. Broderick noticed a heavy gold watch chain hanging from the Bookbrownie’s pocket and assumed that he must be important. Indeed, his hunch was correct, for the Bookbrownie who caught Broderick’s attention was Sigurd, one of the most skillful bookbinders among Bookbrownies, much esteemed by the Chancellor and all Bookbrownies. During his long service to the Library, Sigurd had been entrusted with the most challenging book restorations and had always succeeded. Furthermore, he had overseen the sacred task of maintaining the volumes of the Epistemon for over forty years. The gold watch had been a present from the Chancellor on Sigurd’s thirtieth anniversary of being the binder of the Epistemon. Now, in his advanced age, he had decided to retire to spend more time with his family. And so, Sigurd was in the process of teaching the secrets of his craft to Hercules, a young but very skilled and capable Bookbrownie, who had been selected as Sigurd’s successor to maintain the Epistemon volumes. Hercules had been Sigurd’s apprentice for the past year and was about to undertake his first independent assignment without Sigurd’s supervision.
Broderick strained his ears to hear the conversation between the two Bookbrownies. He could not make out much, but then he saw the older Bookbrownie walk towards the aisle adjacent to the bookcase that Broderick was lurking behind. For a moment, his heart raced wildly with fear of being discovered. If he were indeed found out, he had something in his bag that would render Bookbrownies helpless, but his aim would remain unaccomplished. Broderick held his breath until he saw that the Bookbrownies were heading towards the book case against the back wall of the aisle. The older Bookbrownie pressed on something that turned out to be a concealed lever, and the façade of the bookcase slid up, revealing a hidden door with a safe lock. Sigurd twisted the wheels of the lock in a series of complicated rotations and opened the door.
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