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Like my previous two owners, Sophia Deveraux was desperately in need of my special services.  My name is Rose, or Rosa—I answer to both. As you’ve learned from the two previous stories, I am a scrimshaw doll. I am not an ordinary bone doll because I carry a gypsy curse, requiring me to protect my current owner in matters of the heart. Although, if my owner betrays me, then he or she could be the one to suffer…but most of them know better.

I met Sophia on her birthday in 1838. Once I got to know her, I decided our story would be a bit different. I sensed a strength of character in her, a determination if you will, to survive no matter the odds. At that point, she had no idea what she would be capable of and didn’t understand why these terrible things happened to her. However, she did know, without any doubts, that the young major pursuing her was definitely not the man of her dreams.

With the major’s first attack, she lost everything—her family, her friends, her home. Thrown into the stockades with the Cherokee, Sophia finds herself on her own until a Cherokee elder takes her under his protection. Good thing too because it was very difficult to help her when she went and got herself kidnapped, leaving me behind.

By the time I caught up with her, she was in dire need of my assistance, so I got right to work. Once our hazardous and deadly journey on the Trail of Tears began, Major Todd had already faced several disasters of my own devising as his bid for Sophia turned into a sinister obsession.

Now, just so you know, with my ever-present gypsy curse, there is no room for doubts.  Thankfully, I made the right choice in letting Sophia take charge of her life. Mostly. For instance, the moment she laid eyes on her handsome Choctaw, her heart knew he was meant for her. And yes, I’ve been at this love thing long enough to know love never goes smoothly. Truth be told, she did have a few doubts about Clay Jefferson. Such as, could a man obsessed with finding his family’s killers be able to find room in his heart to love her too? Besides, second guessing myself isn’t allowed. There is absolutely no wiggle room in a gypsy curse. It’s all or nothing. I actually had more fun manipulating things from a distance. It’s difficult being an inanimate object with cursing powers. Timing these little “mishaps” without being caught is really hard to do.

As for the rest of the story—do you think Sophia handles the growing tragedies she and Clay face on the journey to their new home?  Or, does Major Todd take advantage of Clay’s doubts and capture her, making her his wife?

The Trail of Hope should have a release date any day, so make sure to visit me at  (http://heidivanlandingham.com) — Rose

If you found yourself needing help, would you want a mysterious, cursed gypsy doll by your side?

Native Oklahoman Heidi Vanlandingham is a cross-genre author and writes young adult urban fantasy, adult paranormal, and historical fiction. She has an insatiable love of learning and would rather read a great story than breathe. She lives with her husband and two teenage sons.  To learn more about Heidi, please check out her website.

Be sure and friend Rosa the gypsy doll on FACEBOOK!

(photo credits: http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee278/cat021594/Rose-2-122.jpg, http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/gg76/PitbullChick_photo/Cherokee.jpg )