destiny's consent
book one: the gypsy's song




“Laura Shepard Townsend’s talent comes from a powerful source.  She makes history come alive during a fascinating  era.  Her characters stole my heart.  Once begun, I could not put the books down. ”   
                                                  –Stella Page, Stella Page Design

“Dare to indulge a few hours with Laura Shepard Townsend’s first book, The Gypsy’s Song, and you will be rewarded with a world of inspiration, like playing inside the colors, patterns and textures of a rich Vuillard painting.  Starting on a night of lion stealing, this tale accelerates into the Gypsy world of color and spice, wisdom, play and inspiration.  Readers will want to put on layers and layers of patterned skirts, scarves and jewelry; let their hair go wild and join these women of Rom in a world lived with an acute sense of truth.  Townsend’s women are wild and free and stunningly authentic; born in her soul; grown up in her playful imagination and nurtured by her loving wisdom.  She has released them for our delight.  This book is a gift and a fine adventure.  She makes history come alive during a fascinating era.”                                       
                                                                            –Natalie Tirrell

“Laura Shepard Townsend’s style is reminiscent of Robertson Davies’ in The Deptford Trilogy.  She has created a splendid and empowering female adventure punctuated with wisdom.  I did not want the book to end.”         
                                                   –Rocky Graham, Prenatal Yoga

 “I finished your book on Sunday on the plane back from Chicago.  IT IS WON-DERFUL.   I laughed, I cried, I got chills; loved all the characters and can not WAIT for book 2.  You did a fantastic job!”                    
                                                                                       –Carol K  

“Your book is totally enthralling.  You are so smart and what a vocabulary…and the research!  How blessed you are to have a passion — and be good at it!              
                                                                     –Janice Shrewsbury

“Laura Shepard Townsend has created characters with great heart, soul and spirit, people with real lives with history and their hopes for the future.  The book is terrific, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.”                         
                                                                          –Lois Domanico

 Kudos to you!  Two people, besides me, read your book and gave rave notices. One, a graduate of Brown U. in Library Science, now a librarian, thought your writing ability quite remarkable.  She said you should send the book to Oprah.  Do do that!

I truly can’t believe that you created this brilliant story – full of laughter, sadness, joy, hope understanding, love– a complete feeling for the nature of a young girl in full experience of growing in maturity!” 
                                                                       –Janet Shrewsbury

 What a triumph!   Congratulations on a wonderful piece of work.  I am loving it!  Thank you!               
                                                                     –Patricia Townsend

“Kudo! Kudos! Kudos!  Whatta book!  Everone who reads it cannot wait till the next book comes out. I am formally requesting to buy two of your next book when they are published.  If this note sounds effusive, it was mean to be!                 
                                                          –Irene Vito

“What a fantastic book!  It is an adventure saga that is so beautifully conceived and written that I found myself frequently rereading paragraphs and whole sections to better savor the rich imagery and wisdom.
   There is always something going on and the story moves in a grand arc through one fascinating and momentous setting after another. This book begins the life story of a Gypsy wise woman as told by the woman, Angelica Grastende, herself.  It begins with 12 year old Angelica and her family living with their gypsy clan and traveling through the European country side in their beautifully painted horse drawn wagons. It’s an idyllic time that is soon to end but the characters and events of this early period in Angelica’s life are vividly lovingly drawn so well I never wanted it to end.  When it does, I said “oh no!” but each adventure that follows is equally engaging and beautifully drawn.
    I don’t want to spoil the story but I will say that, due to a catastrophic event combined with the effects of  WWI in Europe,  Angelica, her mother and father, and her grandmother Lena who was the clan matriarch and sorceress are forced to leave their beloved countryside and all  their belongings and cross the Atlantic to America.  The story of their crossing could be a book in itself as could be the story of their life as  members of a small traveling circus through the hinterlands of America of the early 20th century. I Loved This Book!  I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series from Laura Shepard Townsend.” 
Found this and its sequel in the “little free library” box near me. Being a resident of Venice (albeit temporarily- for school) and also someone who plays Roma music and has spent time among them in Serbia and Macedonia, I felt this was really well done. Such an enjoyable yet thought provoking read! More please! 

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