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)


  1. Thank you for the opportunity :)

    Jill McHale

  2. Marie...I love your contemporary romances. They all have such a dose of humor in them. Does Over the Mountain and Back have the same kind of humor in it?
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  3. I really loved the exerpt. A really great sounding story.

  4. The world-building sounds exciting!


  5. I'm thinking maybe Lara should have listened, but what an adventure.