Title: WITHOUT BORDERS
Genre: Multicultural/Women’s Fiction
Word Count: 75,000
Amanda Smith’s grandpapa taught her the language of his birth country but died without revealing anything of his life before America. Determined to find answers, Amanda leaves her home in Texas for the city her grandpapa grew up in, Pécs, Hungary.
Captured by the beauty and history of the walled city without cultural borders, Amanda embraces all of its aspects, including the people ostracized by racial barriers-- Gypsies. Excitement flutters inside her when Luca, a Gypsy dancer, moves his hips with precision. And she yearns to know him more when she observes him caring for his dying sister. After a short, summer fling she agrees to an odd marriage proposal.
Before the wedding, her grandpapa’s brother visits. He exposes the real reason his brother fled Hungary for America. Secrets that open old wounds and reveal a connection with Luca’s clan. The Gypsy family rejects Amanda, and even her fiancé walks away because of clan loyalties. Now she questions everything she knew about her beloved grandpapa and must repair the wounds she didn’t intend to open.
WITHOUT BORDERS is multicultural/women’s fiction set in Pécs, Hungary. It is complete at 75,000 words.
I am a regular attendee of DFW Writers’ Conference and have recently spent time in Pécs, exploring the city and its culture.
Included below is the first page per your submission guidelines.
Thank you for your consideration.
In front of the café Amanda visited often, a plump woman in blue jeans fiddled on a cracked violin. Her dark hair danced and jerked with the movements of her playing. A boy, no older than fifteen, sat behind her beating a drum, and a man whose face had been baked in the sun provided harmony with his accordion. In his yellow and crimson tunic, he was the only one who wore the traditional garb of his people. Amanda had read Gypsy bands had gone out of style, yet this group of musicians gathered an audience on the corner of a walking path in Pécs, Hungary.
A gasp drew Amanda’s attention to a man who somersaulted out of the crowd. He must have been lurking among the spectators, waiting for his cue. He wore a gold vest over his bronze muscles, reminiscent of idol statues often seen in India. His quick steps moved to the music, and he slapped his body in a rhythmic percussion. The audience clapped as the music escalated faster and louder as the dancer kept in time. The fevered pitch consumed every movement and every thought on that corner. Everything in sight had become the song. Then at its crescendo, it ended.
After brief bows, the musicians started another tune, this one slower and more purposeful. The dancer raised his arms and snapped while he moved with precision through the gathering. He selected a couple of women, a few children, and a man and brought them to the front.