They were moving much faster now, with Naum leading the way as before, and Peter following behind him, slashing through thorny shrubbery with the sharp blade of his hatchet. Soon the path cleared up and became wider; from a distance they could spot a small wooden house that stood on top of a hill. Concealed by the surrounding bushes, they were able to creep to the bottom of the hill from where they could see inside the window, and they hid deep down in the thick undergrowth.
“Now what?” Peter whispered.
“Now we wait. She’s got to leave her house sooner or later,” whispered Naum.
“And if she doesn’t?” whispered Lara.
“Then we’ll draw her out, but first let’s give her a chance to do it on her own.”
Through the window, they could make out a dimly lit small kitchen with pots and pans of various sizes haphazardly dangling from the walls. Lara and Peter immediately recognized the imposters that they had met at the inn in the fidgety woman with matted hair and the twig-like man who sat across the table. She was still wearing the same green dress, but he had changed his attire into loose-fitting, marsh-colored robes. The two were drinking tea from ornate china. As the children watched Ramona drop a cube of sugar into her and Leshii’s cups, they were enthralled to see the teaspoons begin stirring the sugar, jingling lightly against the delicate edges of the saucers, without either Ramona or Leshii laying a finger on them. What they saw next left them gaping with awe. In the middle of the table stood a large wooden bowl filled with a rich assortment of cookies that Ramona and Leshii consumed in the most unusual way. As soon as they would open their mouths, the cookies would slowly lift off the plate to glide directly into their smacking lips. Ramona held her saucer delicately in her hand, taking dainty little sips, while Leshii loudly gulped his tea and greedily chomped on cookies that flew into his mouth one after another. What made the cookies jump out of the bowl was not a spell, but the bowl itself, which made any food eaten from it pop right into your mouth. Ramona had inherited the bowl from her grandmother and enjoyed showing it off to Leshii from time to time, and he always admired it with childlike delight. Of course, the bowl was intended for bite-sized foods and was not meant for things like porridge or stew, which Ramona had experimented with once, when she was a child witch. It turned out be a complete mess.
Then the children noticed Ramona wave her hand lightly, sending one of the biscuits all the way to the edge of the kitchen, where it landed on the floor. There was a sound of a rattling chain, and to their outrage and dismay, they saw Ethan emerge feebly to pick up the cookie from the floor. His feet were bound by hefty shackles adjoining to a heavy metal chain that clanked and clinked with his every move. In the few days since he had been kidnapped, Ethan had undergone an unfathomable transformation. His face had lost its indolent, capricious expression, and his overall demeanor had been reduced to timid obedience. Ethan devoured the cookie almost instantly and silently retreated back to his spot in the far corner of the kitchen, where a pile of hay had been tossed on the floor in lieu of a bed.
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.
Marie will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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: 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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