Thursday, April 18, 2013

Found in Prague

 Found in Prague
 Dana Newman

Genre: YA Romance/Travel

After receiving an odd email during her first semester of college, Katica Coleman traverses fearlessly across the Atlantic Ocean to Prague in the heart of Europe looking for answers to her family's past but ends up finding so much more. Katica quickly learns that it's easy to fall in love while meandering through the winding cobblestone streets, snow-covered castles and aromatic crepe cafés of the magical country that is her family's homeland. But is the charming Czech boy with the intoxicating accent and cool, charismatic gait someone she should let herself get lost in? He always seems to come to her assistance at just the right moment, but can he really be trusted? Katica cannot help but wonder whether she should listen to her wary gut or give in to the giddy waves of excitement coursing through her body....

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Excerpt 1:
But that thought only held her attention for so long. Within a few minutes her mind was already drifting off to la-la land once more when Mr. Zips came to the rescue. Tapping one finger against the worn radio knob, scratchy 1960s music came to life in the cab, and Mr. Zips began absent-mindedly bobbing his head to the beat. When the chorus of “Pretty Woman” began, he even drummed his thumbs lazily and hummed along under his breath. Katica chuckled within and felt grateful for the distraction. She forced her mind to sing along to the parts that she knew from the movie with the same name. She did not get so lucky with the next tune, which was a hardcore punk song from the 1980s that featured lots of angry screaming. It may or may not have been in English, she couldn’t really tell, but it was definitely something she had never heard before. So she laid her heavy head against the window and tried to focus on the passing sights instead, or lack thereof, rather. With furrowed brows, she scanned the roadside, searching for the castles, churches, cafés, and romantic cobblestone walkways that she had read about online. Since buying her plane ticket six weeks earlier, she had not been able to control her daydreams of sharing a rich, warm, chocolate-filled crepe with a dashing foreign guy while sitting inside a cozy café with a view of a snow-covered castle. She rolled her eyes at herself for the second time that day and sighed aloud, pushing the dream away as she had so many times before. Meeting a boy and eating crepes is not what you are here to do, Katica reminded herself. But then, with a grin and a giggle, she admitted that it would certainly be an added bonus.

Dana. Found in Prague (Kindle Locations 323-336).

Excerpt 2:
“I’m Katica.” She broke the silence first and held her right hand out toward Michal. He shook her hand. It was smaller than his and fit snugly in his palm. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m Michal.” Their handshake was firm and launched rays of excitement up both their arms. When their hands separated, they simultaneously darted their gaze away from each other. The electricity between them was overwhelmingly intense. They fidgeted. Katica tucked her wavy locks behind her ears, and Michal adjusted his backpack strap. A lock of his smooth hair fell out of place and danced on his forehead. Katica turned her eyes back toward Michal and found him shifting his glance toward her as well. She swallowed hard as her heart began to race in her chest and butterflies fluttered in her stomach. Long silent seconds passed between them as they both waited for the other to speak. Neither wanted the conversation to end, but neither knew what to say next, either. Say something! Michal ordered himself, racking his brain for an idea. Say something or she might leave! The silence made Katica suddenly aware of her hands. She didn’t know what to do with them. They felt like long, gangly ropes of awkward vines just hanging at her sides, so she slid them into the back pockets of her jeans. Her stomach flipped and flopped nervously, and she was seconds away from saying that she had better get going just to end the discomfort. Lucky for both of them, though, Michal finally thought of something to say.

Dana. Found in Prague (Kindle Locations 689-702). 

Excerpt 3:
A dark figure strode powerfully toward them from the other side of the bridge. Katica had seen it charging at them out of the corner of her eye, which is why she had darted her head away from Michal before even noticing that he was about to kiss her. The figure was moving quickly, and within moments they were able to make out that it was a man in a black trench coat and a shabby fisherman’s hat. “Můj bože, je to opravdu možné?” The stranger pointed his boney finger at Katica and barked something to her in Czech once he had gotten within twenty feet of them. She leapt a few steps back as he continued to march closer. Michal moved his body in front of Katica to act as a shield between her and the crazy man, but Katica feared that he would just plow right through Michal to get to her. “Kdo jste? Co chceš?” Who are you? What do you want? Michal looked directly into the crazy man’s eyes and spoke sternly to him in Czech. The man in the trench coat stopped in his tracks, just five feet from Michal and Katica. “Můj bože, je to opravdu možné?” he said again, looking past Michal into Katica’s frozen-with-panic face. She stared at him in stunned silence. Her brain churned on overdrive, trying to process who this guy could be, why he was yelling at her, and what he could possibly be saying. She came up with no logical answers. “Kdo jste? Co chceš?” Michal repeated once more, this time a little calmer. Now that the man in the trench coat was not rushing toward them, he didn’t look quite so dangerous. As Michal

Dana. Found in Prague (Kindle Locations 970-984). 

Excerpt 4:
Michal skimmed quickly through the multitude of different crepe options, from sweet and creamy chocolate mousse to salt and savory ham with cheese, before locating the one he would order without so much as a moment of deliberation. Instead of closing his menu, however, he kept it open to shield his face while he stole glimpses at Katica, who peered down at the list in her hands with pursed lips and deeply concentrated eyes.
They bore into the pages before her and twitched back and forth as she examined the options. She looked adorable like that, and the impulse to kiss her shot forcefully through Michal’s chest once more. Do it! Just kiss her right now, coaxed the daring side of his brain. She’s the most amazing girl you’ve ever met. What are you waiting for? he asked himself. But then the more rational side of his mind kicked in and talked him out of it. No, not now! it argued. Not while she’s so deep in thought on something else. It’s not the right time. You don’t want your first kiss with Katica to be at the wrong time. The mischievous side was about to make its rebuttal when the case was decided by an outside factor. Katica had picked out a crepe, or palačinka in Czech. She nodded her head decisively and slapped the front and back cover of her menu together, dissolving the moment in an instant. She placed the menu on the table in front of her and shifted her eyes and attention to Michal, completely unaware of the conflict that had been raging inside his head. “What?” she asked with a giggle, noticing that Michal was staring strangely over his menu at her. “Oh, nothing,” he spat out, abruptly folding his menu shut and placing it on the on top of hers. He would sound crazy if he told her even half of what he had been thinking, so instead he simply answered her questioning eyes with, “I’m just happy to be here, that’s all.”

Dana. Found in Prague (Kindle Locations 1097-1109). Unknown. 

Author Bio:
Dana Newman, like Katica Coleman, the main character in Found in Prague,
is a second generation Czech-American. Her childhood was filled with dinner table stories about dynamic adventures of life in another land during another time. After graduating from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida in 2008, she set off on her own adventure with Prague as the destination. To write this book, she has woven the vivid stories from her childhood into her own travel experiences and then sprinkled a little fairy dust on top.

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