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: www.marieastor.com.
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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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.
The children walked quietly along the tracks. Once they left the clamor of the busy train station, the scenery changed to luscious woods that lined the tracks on one side and a gleaming silver streak of the river on the other. Here, in the valley, winter was almost over; the snow had melted completely despite it being the middle of January. The trees were dressed in coats of green leaves, and a carpet of springy, green grass covered the ground. They walked silently for some time, trying to go as fast as they could, mindful of the long distance they had to cover. Ethan kept up for as long as he could, but soon he began to feel tired and started to complain.
“Could we stop for some rest?” he asked peevishly.
“We have to keep going,” said Lara, “or we won’t make it to your uncle’s house in time, and I’ll have to tell him why we missed the train in the first place. Would you like that?”
Ethan did not answer and continued to shuffle his feet defiantly with a sullen expression on his face. But they did take a short break after all. Peter found that he still had some of the mushrooms that the Viglians had given him, and although it wasn’t much of a meal, it helped them quell their hunger. The children were on the lookout for a place where they could get a bite to eat, but there was none, so they kept on walking.
“We are getting close,” announced Lara as they passed by the next train station.
The scenery began to change, and while thick woods still continued on the left side of the tracks, on the far right the children spotted a string of brightly colored houses. The small, cheerful houses were of all colors imaginable: bright yellow, green, blue, and even red. Each house was complemented by a blossoming garden and was encircled with a neat fence. A sign read, Welcome to the Town of Migdad. This part of the country was mostly rural with intermixed stretches of farmland.
“Perhaps we could find something to eat over there!” exclaimed Ethan, pointing in the direction of the town. By now, Ethan had forgotten everything about his previous lapse and was back to his old self; to be fair, however, it should be noted that his little short legs were exhausted from walking, and his stomach was grumbling with hunger.
“Very well,” said Lara. “I suppose we could look for a place to eat, but we are not straying too far from the road.”
As the children walked towards the town, they saw an inn sign not too far from the road. Ethan was the first to notice it and quickly ran up the inn’s steps.
“Not so fast, Ethan!” called Lara. “Wait for us.”
The inn was painted a bright green color and was surrounded by a neat fence. A big, lettered sign on the front porch read Inn & Restaurant; underneath the sign, Dinner Served Daily, was hand-written in white chalk.