Today is a virtual book excerpt stop for Marie Astor and her novel Over the Mountain and Back. Marie is going to be giving away a $25.00 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commentor during the tour, so make sure to comment below (and leave an email address if you'd like to be entered to win.)
For more chances to win, you can visit other stops and comment there as well.
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 my website: www.marieastor.com.
With his father gone missing and his mother losing her grip on reality, Peter Bailey’s life is no picnic. 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.
“Let’s see what you can do, Silverboard,” Peter whispered under his breath, gently lowering the board on the glistening white snow. A snowboard so magnificent deserved a name and he could not think of a more suitable one. It had popped into his mind the moment he saw the board’s shimmering silver surface. Even before he could grasp the rope pulley, he felt himself gliding up the mountain. Peter looked down and saw that the board was carrying him uphill. For a moment he almost panicked, uncertain of what to do next. As if in an attempt to reassure him, Silverboard flashed brightly with blue light. Gradually, Peter’s panic subsided and was replaced with curiosity. Snowboarding uphill was an entirely new sensation, and he was beginning to enjoy it as Silverboard slithered seamlessly up the mountain. In an attempt to make a turn, Peter shifted his weight as he would normally do with a regular snowboard and almost tumbled downhill. Wow, steady! Peter thought to himself and felt Silverboard grow firmer underneath him. Okay, now try going up again, to the left. Immediately, Silverboard carried Peter in the desired direction. Wow, thought Peter, I can steer it with my thoughts! This was a new sensation, and it would take some getting used to.
At the sight of the smooth, powdery snow that lay on the uppermost peaks of the mountain, Peter felt his heart race with anticipation. Up until now, these soaring cliffs had been unreachable to him since the lifts did not go that high up the mountain, but with Silverboard he could go anywhere he wanted. From his pocket Peter took out the omniometer - his father’s last invention - that he always carried with him. He had found it in his father’s lab, in the basement of their house, shortly after his father had gone missing. The word “omniometer” was written on top of the box that contained the instrument. The device could scan a variety of objects, ranging from houses to mountains and could generate a blueprint, akin to an x-ray. Peter carried the omniometer with him to scan the mountain for the hidden ice pits or boulders that often lurked behind deceptive layers of snow.
Here we go, thought Peter, up those cliffs! Obeying his command, Silverboard soared up the mountain. Peter’s ability to steer the board grew every minute, and he could feel Silverboard quiver ever so slightly every time he was about to make a turn that concealed a rock or an iceberg as if to warn him about the obstacle. He took a moment to catch his breath and take a look around. He was standing at the very top of the mountain and could not wait to race all the way to the bottom. As if sharing Peter’s joy, Silverboard beamed a flash of blue light.
“Where does that blue light come from?” Peter asked himself as he pointed Silverboard down the mountain. Before he could realize it, he was up against a yawning chasm with sharp, icy edges. The gap seemed to have sprung out of nowhere, and when Peter finally saw it, he was right against its edge and it was too late to stop. He struggled to make a sharp turn, but the snowboard’s edge slipped over the ice, and Peter felt himself tipping over and tumbling down the icy crevice, falling faster and faster. It was all happening so quickly that he couldn’t even think of anything to grab on to, and then before he knew it, the fall ended, and he smashed into a deep mound of snow. Shocked by the intensity of the fall, Peter lay still for several minutes, trying to gather his wits. When he got up, he saw that he was at the bottom of an ice cave that seemed to go on for miles. But how could this have happened? Peter wondered. Why didn’t I see the ravine on the omniometer, and why didn’t Silverboard warn me?
Books by Marie Astor:
For Young Adults:
Over the Mountain and Back – a fantasy adventure novel
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.
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