Thursday, November 29, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Over the Mountain and Back by Marie Aster


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.


Unbeknownst to the rest of the Earth, Transadonia had prospered peacefully for hundreds of years, yet recently its serene existence was plagued with an unrelenting string of terrible misfortunes that instilled panic and despair in all of Transadonia’s inhabitants, both magical and human alike, as they desperately awaited an answer to their troubles from the Chancellor. Even though the Chancellor was not involved in the government affairs of Transadonia, his duties were just as important as those of the king, if not more so, since he was the keeper of Transadonia’s ancient mysteries. The Chancellor was in charge of overseeing the University and the University Library, two of Transadonia’s most venerable institutions that were located in the City of Light.

The jewel of Transadonia and its founding city, the City of Light was an island, connected to the rest of the country by a bridge and a network of ferries. Transadonia had been founded by scholars who sought a place where they could practice sciences unhindered, and the value of learning had always been in high esteem there; hence, the name - the City of Light. It was the citadel of knowledge, and knowledge meant light. Initially, the City of Light had been the capital, but as time passed, and Transadonia’s realm grew, sprouting various industries that drove it away from its scholarly roots, the capital was moved across the lake to the town of Rigazom. The City of Light retained its paramount status and became a state within a state. The king reigned in the capital and oversaw the government and commerce matters of Transadonia, while the Chancellor resided in the City of Light, had complete autonomy in the matters under his charge, and often acted as a counselor to the king.

The Chancellor's name was Theodore Libra. He was a tall, lean man with broad shoulders, and despite all the hours that he had devoted to scholarly studies, his posture was perfectly straight, and his gait was swift and powerful. For the Chancellor, the learning process never stopped: some subjects took a lifetime to understand and master, and it was the Chancellor’s duty to constantly enrich his wisdom. Many of the disciplines that were wielded by the Chancellor had to be learned in solemn pursuit of knowledge, the success of which was determined not only by one’s willingness or ability, but also by one's intentions, since these were complex subjects, and they could only be mastered fully by someone who would not misuse this knowledge.

One of such subjects was reading the Epistemon. The Epistemon, also referred to as the book of insight was one of the most highly kept secrets of the Library. The Epistemon had the power to answer any question, but the book would only answer questions of utmost importance and only when the question was asked unselfishly. If the book detected any falseness in the seeker's mind, its pages would not reveal the answer and would remain blank. Furthermore, to receive the answer, the question had to be framed correctly; otherwise, the book would ignore it and respond with blank pages. Most importantly, it was up to the reader to understand the book's advice and find the means to execute it, since receiving the answer was only half the task. Afterwards, the wisdom of the advice had to be deciphered, which was a formidable undertaking in itself. The Epistemon also served as a history record of Transadonia. As each century came to a close, so did the corresponding volume of the Epistemon. At the onset of a new century, the completed book would spawn a new volume, and no one, not even the Chancellor himself, knew what secret powers of the Epistemon enabled its constant regeneration. It was said that it had to do with the magical origins of Transadonia itself, and beyond that nothing else was known. The Epistemon volume for each corresponding century was preserved with the utmost care in the Library as official historical record that could never be altered, while the new Epistemon volume would continue serving Transadonia.


AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

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


Books by Marie Astor:

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


Marie will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. 
Just a comment with your leave your name and email adress to enetr. For more chances at winning follow her Tour. (link below)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Interview and Giveaway: A Part to Play by Jennifer L. Fry

Today I have author Jennifer L Fry here with me. Let's Get to lnow her a little better.

Jennifer, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and lived in Texas until I was nine. After a brief period in Colorado, my family moved to Salinas, California, and I've lived in some part of California ever since. I truly am a (Northern) California girl at heart despite my southern roots. I've been writing stories since second grade, and although my attic is full of hundreds of pages of writing, I never came close to finishing a piece until I put my mind to writing my first novel, A Part to Play.
My other passions are art and teaching, both of which I do professionally. I met the love of my life when I was only seventeen and we've been together ever since (coming up on fifteen years). We don't have any children but we have two dogs and a cat so we have plenty of adventures. And most recently, my husband and I started our own business teaching after school and summer digital media arts classes. I hope someday that the combination of writing and running my business will support me so I can quit my 'day' job. Just gotta keep working hard to make that happen.
Do you prefer
Milk chocolate or Dark?
Definitely a good quality dark chocolate.
Coke or Pepsi?
Pepsi tastes overly sweet, so I like Coke better.
 Almond Joy or Mounds?
Neither, I'd rather have a Twix.

Romance or a Thriller?
I love a good romance built into a bigger story about personal change.
 Mystery or Horror?
Mysteries for sure. Some of my earliest reading favorites were Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries.
Did you always want to be an author?
According to my parents, I've been telling stories since I was old enough to talk, and writing stories since I learned to put pencil to paper. Writing is very much a part of who I am and how I experience the world, so I would say I have always had an innate passion for writing. I've wanted to become a published author since I was in high school, but I put that goal aside to pursue my interest in graphic design and teaching, and now I've come back full circle.
What authors had an impact on you growing up and as an adult?
I practically devoured books when I was a kid – there are so many great authors it's difficult to list them all. Lucy Maud Montgomery, William Pène du Bois, E. L. Konigsburg, Wilson Rawls, to name a few. Now, John Green is the author I most admire. He writes these amazingly sharp, spot-on young-adult novels that always leave me thinking afterward.
 Did anyone in your life influence you or encouraged you to be a writer?
Many people did! Everyone around me seemed to recognize my strong story-telling nature, and encouraged me to keep at it. I remember receiving a book from one of my grandparents called Writing Your First Novel when I was in eighth grade. I had a fantastic English teacher in high school who recognized my potential, and also ways I needed to grow. She gave me great books to read. She challenged me to put more depth in my writing. I thought of her the day I received copies of my book in print, so I looked her up and sent her a signed book to thank her for her help all those years ago. And of course now, as people review my debut novel, their feedback encourages me to keep at it!

 What is your writing atmosphere like?
A comfortable seat – the leather chair in my library or the cozy couch in my living room. A laptop. A cup of hot tea. And silence – I turn off my phone, close my email, and don't listen to music. I need complete focus because when I write I am inside of the story.
What is your favorite aspect or writing? Your Least Favorite?
My absolute favorite part is writing the first draft. That's when I can just let the story unfold organically. It often feels like I am discovering the story as I write it – it's this incredible feeling, as natural as breathing.
My biggest challenge is allowing the words to flow without self-editing. I have to turn off the inner critic long enough to tell the story that I want to tell – which takes a concerted effort on my part.
 Your current book your promoting is:
A Part to Play is about fifteen-year-old actress Lucy Carter who is sent away to a prestigious performing arts boarding school to escape the complete breakdown of her family; she is lost without the support of her parents, until she meets a mysterious musician whose talent, passion and own insecurities teach her to rediscover her love of being on stage and more importantly that she holds the key to her own identity.
 How did you come up with the story line?
In planning A Part to Play, I started with the emotional journey I wanted my main character to experience. I knew immediately I wanted to write a young adult story, and I wanted my story to have a strong message – that is, the importance of believing in oneself. Then, to develop my plot, I thought of my most favorite stories of all time from movies, plays, and books. One of these happens to be The Phantom of the Opera. I didn't want my book to be a retelling of that classic story, but rather I wanted it to draw inspiration from what I considered the most captivating parts. I loved the mystery and the powerful role that music played in the story; I also found the dark side of the Phantom intriguing.

How do you choose your characters names?
Naming characters is challenging, especially last names. I start with names that I like because I figure I am going to be writing and saying them frequently. Sometimes I try out names that get changed in a later revision because I find that the name no longer fits the character. Often, I will assign a moniker based on my personal associations with that name, be it good or bad. And finally, I try to avoid using names of people in my immediate circle of friends and family unless I am using it as a tribute, mostly to avoid confusion.  
~A Part to Play~

When fifteen-year-old actress Lucy Carter loses her older sister in a car accident, her mother shuts down and her father can’t hold the family together. Their only choice is to ship Lucy off to the Edmond School for Performing Arts. But boarding school is no cure for Lucy’s grief. With failing grades, wooden stage performances, and curfew violations, Lucy is threatened with expulsion. For the once talented Lucy, it feels as though she has nowhere to turn.

One night, Lucy hears mysterious music drifting through the school’s old heating system. The music leads her to a troubled but passionate songwriter whose brilliance gives her the strength to perform like never before. Yet their intense relationship puts Lucy in a precarious position: if she follows her muse, will she lose herself? And if she breaks it off, can she stand on her own again?


Excerpt : 

An image of a shattered crystal vase materialized in her mind. It was her mother's favorite thing, an heirloom passed down from her grandmother, usually found prominently displayed in the center of the dinner table filled with freshly cut flowers. The girls weren't supposed to touch it. About a month after Kate's funeral, dead flowers drooped over its edges, the water inside a brownish slime. No one seemed to notice. Lucy returned home from school one afternoon, the house silent per usual. She couldn't stand the sight of the wilted bouquet for another second, so she dropped the flowers in the trash and rinsed the vase in the sink.


Her mother padded into the kitchen just as Lucy dried the vase with a towel. She turned to look at her mother and suddenly the vase slipped from her hands, shattering against the porcelain tile with a sound that echoed through Lucy's very being. She cringed, waiting for her mother's reaction. But there was hardly a flicker of acknowledgment, just a quiet sigh, as her mother turned and left the room. Later that evening, her dad didn't even mention the white gauze wrapped around Lucy's hand where she'd cut herself cleaning up the glass fragments.


They hadn't shown much concern for her when she lived at home those months after the funeral, so she didn't see why they would be worried about her grades now. Somewhere in the back of her mind, in a place she'd nearly hidden from herself, she wanted to cry to her dad about how hard it was being without them. But then anger welled up. Why did they care now, about this?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jennifer L. Fry is a writer, artist, and teacher in Marin County, California, where she lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable dogs, and orange tabby cat. Though she has been writing since she was young, A PART TO PLAY is her first novel.









Amazon Author Page:


Author Website:


Buy the print book from publisher:


Buy the ebook from publisher:


Kindle version:


Nook version:



Book Video: 

Jennifer will award 2 of each 8x10 autographed print of an original illustration of one of her characters to randomly drawn commenters on the tour, and a grand prize of an 11x17 autographed set of all three main characters in the book. (US/Canada only) Jusat fill out the Raffelcopter below to enter.
For more chances to win follow the Tour > 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Giveaway: Morrigan by Laura DeLuca

Shuffled from place to place in the foster system, Morrigan doesn't know the meaning of home. Plus, she is different. She has power over fire, the ability to move objects with her mind,  and glimpse into the future. Just when she believes her life can’t get any stranger, she discovers her true identity.

Filtiarn, a knight with a dark past and a surprising secret, has been tasked with guiding the heir of Tír Na NÓg through countless perils to be returned to her family. Once Morrigan has been reunited with her mother and grandmother, their triad can save the forgotten land of magic from being devoured by an ancient evil.

Morrigan took out a white candle and a stick of dragon blood incense, and set them up in the corner of the room. She sat cross-legged, and leaned forward to light them. No matches were necessary. No lighter either. She simply touched her finger to the end of the wick, and with an iridescent spark, the candle flickered to life. It shone at first with a bright blue flame that gradually settled into a more normal orange. It was the same with the incense—another reason why she preferred not to have an audience.

She stared into the candle for a moment, and took a few deep breaths to clear her mind of all thoughts but those of the magic she intended to perform. Danu and Dagda sat on either side of her, instantly falling into silence, as though they knew she needed her complete concentration. Their energy beside her only seemed to add to the growing sense of power that charged the room.

Morrigan closed her eyes and began to shuffle the cards. As she did, she allowed her breathing to become more even. A silence filled the room as the rest of the mortal world fell away. Soon the only sound she heard was the light thump of her own heartbeat, echoed by the quicker, fast paced beat of the cats’ hearts. She wasn’t sure how much time passed as the cards slipped through her fingers. It might have been minutes. It might have been hours. When she allowed herself to fall into a trance, time became insubstantial, irrelevant.

The tarot cards were so old; the designs on the back were almost completely worn away. She had to shuffle gently to keep them from crumbling to pieces in her hands. Yet they held a power that she knew no newer cards could offer her. As she shuffled them, she focused her energy into them, silently requesting to be given the answers she was seeking.  She allowed the image of her mother to fill her mind. When she finally felt the cards had fallen into the order they were meant to be in, she placed the deck face down on the floor, and cut them with her right hand. Then, taking one last, calming breath, she lifted the top card from the pile. With a trembling hand, she laid it down and read it.

 “Wheel of Fortune,” she said aloud.

In the center of card was a wheel. As she stared at the picture, that wheel seemed to turn clockwise. The movements made her feel slightly dizzy. The bedroom around her became more and more surreal.  The scene on the card became her reality. The figure of the sphinx that sat on top of the turning wheel looked so very real. It might have turned its head to look at her. Its lips may or may not have moved. Morrigan swore she heard a deep, resonating voice whispering the meaning of the card into her ear. Destiny approaching. An unexpected and sudden change was coming—change that could lead to good fortune.

It was the card of fate and karma returned. It meant that she needed to be prepared—to expect the unexpected. Morrigan knew the cards were telling her something was going to happen—and soon. Her destiny, whatever it was, was about to be realized. Even if it did bring fortune, it still scared her to death. She considered packing up the cards right then and there. Her rational mind had every intention of doing just that. Her hands didn’t get the message her brain was sending. Before she knew what she was doing, she had already flipped over the second card.

“The Empress,” she whispered. She exhaled deeply. “My mother.”

It was the only interpretation imaginable. Even as she said it, the pregnant woman, crowned with stars and adorned in a gown decorated with pomegranates, turned to her and smiled. She was no longer a vague featureless stranger, but the same woman Morrigan had sketched earlier that day—a face that mirrored her own. It was an older version of herself, which she saw in the reflection in the nearby full length mirror, had turned chalk white.

The Empress was a symbol of maternal power—of strong feminine influence. But could it mean that her mother was returning? She had never allowed herself to consider such a possibility. To dwell on something so unlikely would have been too painful. But now, with just the flip of a card, she found herself daring to dream. There was only one way to find out for sure. She had to keep going with the reading.

 “Six of Cups.”

The third card in the spread represented her past, and even her immediate present. The six of cups specifically symbolized childhood, and she was, technically, still a child. But she had a feeling that her childhood was about to end quite abruptly. The cups in the picture were lined up across a high stone wall, each cup holding the memories of her past.

Her past. It was nothing but a childhood filled with longing—longings which were perhaps about to be fulfilled. She visualized herself taking each cup down from the wall, and pouring the troubling memories away. It was time to start fresh. A new world was about to open up for her. She had known it as soon as she had seen the image of her mother’s face. But what would that world be like? What was waiting for her in the future?

Morrigan turned over the fourth card.

“The Knight of Wands.”

The man on the horse carrying the staff had her baffled. Not because she didn’t know its normal meaning, but because as she stared at the card, it began to take on the physical attributes of the knight in her drawings. He had the same long dreadlocks, the same bewitching stare, even the same cocky smile. The familiarity did not cancel out the meaning of the card. The knight of wands was representative of a dark man filled with a kind of honey-tongued charm. He was also fiery and arrogant, a man with a definite possibility of a dark side. If the knight of wands was coming into her life, she knew she needed to proceed with caution.

She thought she was done with the fourth card, and was preparing to move on to the next, when once again, she found she had lost control of her body. This time, her hands refused to move, while her eyes forced their way back to the knight in the card. She watched as the long haired stranger began to move forward—wandering over various landscapes, some high mountains, some meadows and fields ripe for the harvest. He kept looking back over his shoulder, as though he were speaking to someone. He was on a journey, and he wasn’t alone. Morrigan didn’t need to see his companion to know who it must be.

So, her journey would soon begin, and she wouldn’t be traveling alone. She would have a guide. Whether or not that would be a good thing was another question best left to the cards to answer. The next card told her nothing she didn’t already know.

“The Moon,” she said. “Caution.”

It was a scary card. It warned of tricks and illusions. The two howling wolves that stood under the moon looked back at her menacingly, growling, showing their pointed fangs in a snarl. For the first time since she began the reading, Danu and Dagda made their presence known by lifting their heads and hissing threateningly in the direction of the beasts.

Even the cats sensed it. The journey she was about to embark on wouldn’t be all fun and family reunions. There would be obstacles and deceit, most likely from people she thought could be trusted. The moon was a sign that danger was certainly awaiting her. In was an ominous omen.


She hushed the hissing cats, and gave them each a gentle stroke to try to settle them down, though she was far from settled herself. Again she felt the urge to stop the spread. Her instincts were telling her that no good was going to come out of this reading. She was only going to scare herself. She should never have done it in the first place. When would she learn that sometimes it was best to let life play out without interference or prophetic warnings? Then again, she knew that to be forewarned might be her only advantage. So with more bravery than she felt, Morrigan flipped over the final card.

 “No . . . .” she gasped when she looked down at the terrible, skeletal face. “Oh no.”

She should have known. She thought a part of her did know even before she glanced down at the gruesome scene—a skeleton with a scythe in a field of body parts. With the divination going in the direction it was, what else could be the final outcome?

“Death,” she whispered. “Death.”

She knew that in most cases, the death card was a symbol of personal transformation rather than literal death. But a deeper sense of understanding told her that this time the card was meant to be taken literally. She saw only glimpses and shadows in her mind. Brief flashes of faces, some familiar, like her mother and the knight—some still strangers, like a beautiful, almost angelic blonde woman in a flowing white gown. But around them all, including herself, she saw the shadows of death.

Morrigan felt decidedly shaky as she gathered up her tarot cards. She placed them securely in the bottom of her bag just as she heard the door downstairs slam shut. The reading hadn’t made everything as crystal clear as she had hoped, but one thing was certain. Her whole life was about to change.

About the Author:
Laura "Luna" DeLuca lives at the beautiful Jersey shore with her husband and three children. She has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. Old high school friends would tell you she was always scratching in her notebook instead of paying attention in class and the children she used to babysit for always loved to hear her scary stories at bedtime. 

In addition to writing fiction, Laura is also the sole author of a popular review blog called New Age Mama. She is an active member of her local pagan community, and has been studying Wicca for close to eight years. She loves writing young adult novels, because it keeps her young at heart. She is the author of three published works including Destiny, Destiny Unveiled, and Phantom, and has several more projects in the works.

Author Links:
Site      Twitter      Facebook      Goodreads 


One Morrigan Prize Pack, It includes a signed copy of the book, a pendant, sage pack, two crystals.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Blurb Blitz: Watch Me Disappear by Vanaskie Mulligan

Lizzie knows it isn’t right to eavesdrop, but is it really eavesdropping if her neighbor Maura makes all of her phone calls on her parents’ pool deck in easy earshot of Lizzie’s backyard? And of course it’s wrong to go snooping around on someone else’s computer, but is it Lizzie’s fault that Maura keeps her computer turned on (and logged in to Facebook) all the time?

Lizzie Richard’s father has moved the family around every few years to advance his career, so she has never had a chance to develop the kind of “BFF” relationships she thinks most kids have. She’s bracing herself for another lonely year at her third high school when her new neighbor Maura gets sick of watching her little brother when she could be partying. Thanks to Maura’s plotting, Lizzie becomes everyone’s new favorite babysitter. Seeing her opportunity, Lizzie breaks her strict parents’ rules and uses Maura’s computer to create a secret Email address and Facebook account. She is quickly friended by Missy, a fellow transfer student as eager for a friend as she is. Things are looking up for Lizzie until Maura’s ex-boyfriend Paul sets his eye on Missy. Caught between her new best friend and the neighbor whose friendship promises instant popularity, Lizzie doesn’t know what to do—because she’s fallen for Paul, too.
I like the makeup better when I put it on myself. I apply it more lightly than they had, so it looks more natural. Try as I might, I’m not very handy at hairstyling, though. I can’t seem to tease the roots as Katherine instructed, and I have no luck with the up-dos they showed me. In the end, Katherine produces a small set of scissors and, while I hold my breath, trims some fringy bangs and layers, which we iron flat into a funky style. When we’re done, I don’t look like me, but I look sort of good. And good thing, too, because all the little pieces she cut are never going to fit into a ponytail.
“See,” Maura says. “That wasn’t so hard.”
“Maybe we should come raid your closet and see what we can do with that,” Katherine says, laughing smugly. She has gotten a little friendlier as the day has gone on. When I let her cut my hair, I think that sealed the deal. She is willing to at least consider extending friendship to me.
“You won’t find much interesting in my closet,” I say.
“What, no secrets?” Maura asks, suddenly turning our conversation away from the safe realm of appearances. My heart pounds. I’m not ready for this kind of conversation. Is this where they turn on me?
“No,” I say. “No cute clothes or skeletons.”
“How disappointing,” Maura says. “I thought there was a wild child in you that we had yet to uncover.”

 “You’ve met my parents. They don’t allow much for wildness.”
“Exactly. Kids with strict parents are usually the ones who let it all out when they step outside their parents’ grasp.”
“I guess I’m still pretty much within their grasp,” I say.
Maura makes a tsk sound. “I thought for sure there was more to you, Lizzie,” she says.

I shrug. I wish there was more to me, too.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Diane Vanaskie Mulligan began writing Watch Me Disappear during an after-school writing club she moderates for high school students. This is her first novel. She holds a BA in American Studies from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s degree in teaching from Simmons College. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she’s the managing editor at The Worcester Review and the director of The Betty Curtis Worcester County Young Writers’ Conference.  You can also find her occasionally strumming her guitar and singing at various bars in central Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband.


Connect with Diane: 





Diane will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
To enter just leave a commnet with your email address! for more chances to win please follow Diane's Tour: