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NOVELS

Before the Rose

The Wooden Rose

After the Rose

The Mystery of
The Wooden Rose Trilogy
REIKI
Reiki Training Manual
WICCAN & PSYCHIC
Book of Shadows, an Experiential Guide

Jump the Broomstick

Psychic Guidance

Best Names & Numerology

Magickal Rune Vibrations

The Witches Companion

The Kitchen Witch

Book of Spells

Psychic Powers

Book of Tarot

Book of Runes

Little Book of Spells

Little Book of Cord and Candle


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The Wooden Rose by Best Selling Author Soraya

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The Wooden Rose
by Soraya
Kilmarnock South Ayrshire Tel 01563 884101

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Soraya's first novel, a romantic mystery delves into the esoteric and paranormal. Based in and around Glasgow and Ayrshire this is a new slant on Tartan Noir.

The Wooden Rose will take you on an emotional journey where you will feel the pain of loss and the joy of discovering friendship love and family.
In the 1880’s gypsy lad Eddie carves a token of his love from a piece of wood and gives it to his sweetheart. Through love and life, tragedy and sorrow, the wooden rose bridges the gap and brings the past into the present.

With the rose newly in her possession, Alina Webster is facing her own challenges and life changing circumstances but a chance encounter helps her to find her true path and establish herself as a professional psychic consultant based in Glasgow.

The frequent appearance of an old gypsy woman in her dreams worries Alina but as she opens herself to her abilities she begins to use her knowledge of Tarot, Runes and Numerology to investigate the reason for the old gypsy woman’s appearance and discovers a long forgotten murder mystery. In the process the rose creates a catalyst that restores love friendship but above all family to Alina’s life.

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Reviews for the Wooden Rose

This was a lovely read: refreshingly different. The author leads us through a tragedy in a traditional Romany community through to its long reaching repercussions in today's modern world. You reluctantly leave the ancient traditions of the charming rural community only to be rewarded by the twists and turns faced by our modern heroine. The characters are beautifully observed and the sentiments within are strong but never over done. I couldn't put it down and look forward to reading more of this author's work. Brenda Frew

As someone who has read and constantly has a number of Soraya’s titles open such as her kitchen with and psychic powers books I was intrigued to read her offerings on fiction. The story starts out with a young gypsy couple in the 1900s who are starting their relationship and romance together. You are immediately transported as the internal dialogue is written with a Scottish accent so it feels like you are hearing them talk instead of just reading. Without giving too much away, tragedy strikes and things are changed. The book later on continues to present day and follows the story of Alina who when we first meet her is not a happy lady at all, then a tragedy occurs in her life which forces her to re-evaluate her life and make changes. We then begin to discover that she is a pagan who works with tarot and is very gifted. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in two sittings. I don't want to give too much away as I don't want to spoil the story but I think fans of Lesley Pearce and Kate Morton would enjoy this along, as It is that kind of style where there are multiple stories that then link up and it also has the added interest of psychic side of things. Go on read it. Brilliant read By E. Savignon

A Spiritual love story spanning time. A lovely story to read, interesting, although naively written in parts. I loved the esoteric detail in the story, l haven't found anyone who writes like this. As l read through the tale l wondered if there was a touch of truth in part- is part of Soroya's past in there? Worth a read, you might need tissues at the end! Nicky.

So glad I came across this book. It was a lovely story. I passed "The Wooden Rose" on to my friend and she thought it was great too an Amazon Customer

Absolutely Brilliant! A lovely story of grief and healing, love and loss. I can't wait for the next book! Moonshinestar

I would recommend you buy this book! A lovely story, full of romance and tragedy…. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down and finished the book in a matter of hours. I cannot think of anything negative to say about the book and will definitely be recommending this book to my friends. What a talented lady! Sharlene Slattery

Beautiful story and well written. Easy to follow. Looking forward to the next one. xx Loopyloo

It's a really good story I'm enjoyed both stories separated by 100 yrs and loved the characters from both timescales...I've just finished chapter 23 and I'm sitting here crying, I am absolutely loving this book...I even went and looked out my Tarot cards and my little book as I am loving the explanations of the packs and the Spreads
Wow... I'm finished, I want to read the prequel and the sequel NOW....I loved Alina; I can actually see her in my mind’s eye... Spoiler alert** I had goose bumps when the remains were found and I loved that Alina, Ronnie and Sally were thought of as a team who could be hired to find missing persons, my immediate thought was let them find poor Madeleine McCann.
I am actually quite drained after reading the book and I have spent the day looking at Soraya other books including her Spells books. I'm looking though that and Soraya's Rune book.
I'm totally tuned into everything around me… Feels like my skin is prickly, tingly, really strange! Thank you for this amazing story and for sharing it with us X Joanna McNeill

A poignant love story with elements of history and mystery. A real wee page turner, with instantly likeable characters, and a moving story line. As a first foray into fiction for the author, who is well known for her factual books on tarot and paganism, this novel is a great mix of esoteric themes and human interest with a fascinating crossover between the historical travelling community and that of the present day. Top marks! Lovely. Just lovely! Tori Poppins

 A wonderful story that everyone would enjoy. Truly enchanting. Resonated with me on many levels and encompassed in the story are some wonderful pearls of life wisdom. A great union of past and present day culminating together and a clever mix of a variety of esoteric disciplines. Believer or no believer - this is an inspired story that will resonate with everyone at some level. Enchanting! Mel Sinclair

Couldn't put it down! Fascinating story from beginning to end. Thoroughly enjoyed it and the coincidences are amazing too! Can't wait to read the next installments. Amazon Customer

I loved it! Couldn't put it down. A really good story written with raw passion. Amazon Customer

Fabulous book.... I started reading this book and soon found myself being transported into the storyline. A very well written book that you find difficult to put down. A must read. Elizabeth Holzke

Chapter 1 1889 A Travellers’ Camp near Glasgow Green

“Hurry Rosa yer Da wants tae leave in ten minutes.”
“Ah’m hurryin Ma, Ah’m goin’ as fast as Ah can,” said Rosa. She could hardly think straight as she hopped about pulling on her black boots and fastening the laces. She was excited at the thought of seeing Eddie again, tall handsome Eddie with his dark curly hair. She couldn’t remember the first time that she saw him, but she had known all her life that he was hers. The last time they had met was at Musselburgh Fair when all the travellers got together to reunite, share good times, meet up with family and friends, and trade with each other.
She was sixteen now, her raven black hair came half way down her back and her green eyes shone under long dark eyelashes. Soon she would marry, and the only boy she would marry was Eddie. Her young heart fluttered when she thought of him. Eddie was so clever with his hands. He was an artist with wood, he didn’t just make things, he made beautiful things. He made shelves for his Mam’s precious ornaments, and he had carved the shapes himself and painted flowers and ivy down the sides. He made clothes pegs to sell round the doors too, but that was different.
Rosa carried a wooden token in her pocket. When no one was watching, she would take the token out of her pocket, look at it, and think of Eddie. Her Eddie had made it for her when he was fourteen and she was only ten. He had carved a lovely rose on the surface of it, and each time she looked at it or held it in her pocket, she thought of her Eddie. It was just a simple piece of wood, flat, about two inches across and half an inch thick, but she could feel the love in it. She was never without it and had never shown it to anyone. It was something special to her and Eddie.
“Hurry up lass,” her father called as he hitched the horses to the front of the wagon.
“Stop yer day dreamin’ and get up on the wagon.”
She loved her Father; he was a big strong man with black curly hair, arms like tree trunks and hands like shovels. They were taking horses he had bred and trained to trade at the fair.
They were leaving Glasgow today, and it would be two or three days before they would reach Musselburgh. Soon they would meet up with friends and family. There would be horseracing and reunions. The young girls would be posing and showing off new dresses that their mothers or grannies had sewn for them, and young men, boys really, would be strutting and acting manly. Everything had to be perfect in this very proud culture and each family would vie to be and have the best; everyone went to Musselburgh Fair, it was traditional.
Mary’s Mother had taught her how to scrub, clean, stack, and stow everything that they needed in, on, and around the big wagon. Pots and pans hung from the sides of the wagon and sang a merry note as they travelled. Everything was spic and span, for they were fussy about cleanliness.
Each night after a long day in the wagon, John would stop in the same place that his family had done for generations before him. There were trees to shelter the tent that they would put down to sleep in, because the wagon would be full of things that they needed when they were travelling and things that they could sell or swop. There was lush grass for the horses to graze on, and a running stream nearby for fresh water.
As soon as the wagon stopped, Mary and Rosa would jump down and begin to unpack the things they would need. They always carried wood to start the fire and Rosa would set that out. Mary would gather the slats from where they were stored under the wagon and she would use these to build a floor for their tent. They often erected their big tent if they were staying somewhere for a week or more, but when they were travelling, the smaller tent was fine for their needs.
With the fire started, Rosa helped her mother while John roped off an area and untied the trading horses from the wagon before turning them loose in the secured space. The lead horses were unhitched and turned loose with the others.
Their two terriers ran around excited to be free, but their big lurcher Suzie was tethered safely, with just enough rope to wander a short distance, otherwise she would have been off exploring and hunting for game. Mary set up the chitty prop, a three legged cast iron pyramid shape with a large hook for holding a pot over a fire, as Rosa fetched the water. Fire lit, kettle on to boil water for tea, and animals tended to, they could now sit and rest a while under the stars.
This is how they travelled; always following familiar routes and stopping at familiar places, each place would hold memories of previous times and previous journeys. Each morning they would rise early, feed the animals and stow all their belongings back in and around the wagon and continue on their journey.
As they neared Musselburgh, they would catch sight of others travelling to the fair and there was a stir of excitement in the air. Finally, they arrived and lined up in a queue to enter the grassy field. They waved and called to other families arriving or queuing. They could see the Morrison’s, the Wilson’s, and the Boswell’s and there were others approaching that they would know, and some of their own family, their second cousins, the Stewarts, would be there too.
Rosa could hardly contain herself.
“Mind yer ane business Rosa and dinnae let yer Da catch you ey’in up these boys,” her mother whispered.
Rosa was horrified and embarrassed “I’m no ey’in up boys, Ah was jist lookin’ for…”
“I know who yer lookin for,” replied her mother. “It’s that Eddie McGuigan. A guid boy mind ye, but dinnae show yer keen.”
Rosa blushed and her ears were burning with embarrassment.
“I like him Ma, he asked me to remember him last year.”
“Wheesht, here’s yer Da!”

Chapter 2

It was a hard life being a traveller, but it was a good life and a life that they loved. Mary, Rosa’s mother, was a good-looking woman of average height and build, but it was her dark hair and eyes and her self-confidence that made her stand out. She always knew what to do and got on with doing it. There was nothing shy or retiring about Mary, and that was what her husband Johnny loved most about her.
Mary always got what she wanted, and in her younger days, she had had a nasty mean streak about her, but that was before she and John got together. She was more understanding and tolerant as an adult than she had ever been. He was known everywhere for his knowledge and skill with the horses, and it was probably that same skill that he used on Mary, settling her when she was about to fly off in a tantrum, or calming her when she was agitated.
Mary had two loves in her life; Rosa, her darling daughter and John, her big strong husband who in spite of his outward stern appearance, had a soft kindly heart and would do anything to help another. John didn’t take any nonsense from anyone though, and could drive a hard bargain making sure that he got the best of any deal.
The sun was shining as John was unhitching his horses from the wagon while Mary and Rosa began to fetch the makings for their tent. They unloaded slats of wood from underneath the wagon for the big tent and with the help of nearby children; they began to put it together.
The wooden shapes for the floor went down first to establish the hexagon shape, leaving an uncovered space in the centre for the stove that they carried with them. Other children would dash in to help, and each would hold a length of wood while Mary and Rosa secured poles to the tops, holding the frame together and maintaining the shape.
There was lots of laughing and teasing as the children supported the frame, then Rosa and Mary, standing on either side of the frame began to throw and catch a big tarpaulin cover up and over. The tarpaulin had cords attached at various points to make the job of pulling the cover over easier.
Often they collapsed on the ground laughing and rubbing their aching arms from the effort of the task. Coloured cloths were fetched from the wagon and draped on the inside walls, and rugs were laid on the boards.
Finally, the stove was set up in the middle of the floor, and a long pipe attached to fit directly under the smoke hole at the top of the tent. The stove would keep them warm at night and with a kettle at the ready, there was always a cuppa for anyone who called in.
Outside, Mary set up the chitty prop, and young Rosa fetched the wood to start the fire. Before long, a large cast iron pot of soup or stew would be hanging from the chitty prop. Food was always cooked outside, keeping the tent free from smells and spills. There was always plenty to share among friends and family members.
The muscles in Eddie’s arms bulged below the rolled up sleeves of his red and black checked shirt as he set up at the fair though he was oblivious to the admiring glances from some of the young girls. Thick dark hair framed his handsome face tanned with the summer sun. All he could think about was seeing his Rosa.
Eddie was a hard worker and talented too, he just put his head down and got on with things, and when he was working with wood, his mind would drift off into his plans for the future, the future he saw with Rosa. He knew that he was going to marry Rosa and that they would make a family together.
He could see it in his mind’s eye as though it had already happened. A big family, boys and girls; the girls would help their Mam and marry well and the boys, well they would work with him. He would teach them how to look at a windfall tree trunk that others would pass by, and he would show them how to read the wood and see what things they could make from it. He would teach his sons how to create beautiful pieces of work that the wealthy would have on show in their fancy homes.
He was twenty now and had been learning to hone his gift for carpentry since he was a child, starting off just whittling bits of wood into little ornaments, making clothes pegs and selling them door to door. Eddie progressed to making three-legged stools and by the time he was in his teens, he was making special pieces; wooden spoons for stirring the pot, bowls, beautifully turned, carved and polished, containers with lids for sugar and tea, children’s pull along toys, garden furniture, and wooden ornaments that the wealthy were happy to purchase. He had made good money and saved every penny he could. He was going to speak to Rosa’s Father when he saw him next. He knew he could give her a good life with the money he had put by and his plans for the future.
Rosa was helping her mother to set up their camp when out of the corner of her eye she saw Eddie approaching. She glanced quickly at her mother as her cheeks began to glow bright red.
“Ma,” she whispered.
“I see him.”
Rosa kept her eyes downcast as Eddie approached, and not once did Eddie look in her direction.
“Excuse me, Aunty Mary,” he said, as was the custom in his culture, “Could Ah speak tae Uncle John?”
“Ye’ve never had a problem speakin’ tae him before Eddie, dae ye think ye might have wan the noo.”
Eddie shuffled his feet showing his discomfort, but he could see that Mary was teasing him. Just at that moment, Uncle John appeared back from chatting to other family members who had just arrived.
“Eddie,” he said, looking at Eddie sternly under heavy dark bushy eyebrows. Eddie’s stomach might have been churning, but that was no comparison to what John was feeling. He knew in his soul what was coming, but he wasn’t ready to let the apple of his eye, his little Rosa, go that easily.
“Uncle John, a word.”
“Well, spit it out and Ah’m warnin’ ye, Ah’m nae in the best o moods,”
Eddie bristled at John’s sharp tone. “Ah could come back an’ see ye.”
“Jist git on wi’ it lad, Ah’ve things tae dae.”
Eddie drew himself up to his full height, stuck out his chin and his chest, looked his uncle in the eye, and said, “It’s an important thing Ah wish tae speak tae ye about, but if ye huvnae time tae be civil Ah’ll come back.”
“Jist haud yer horses’ lad, ye got me on the wrong foot. Ah feel Ah know whit ye want to speak tae me about an it’s churnin’ in ma’ stomach. Say yer piece.”
John stepped closer to Eddie to put his arm over his shoulder. Surprised by the fact that Eddie was taller than he thought, he wondered why he hadn’t noticed, he was dealing with a full-grown man now, but in his mind and heart, to John, Eddie was still a lad. He did what any other proud man would do to avoid his embarrassment, and stuck his hands in his pockets.
“Let’s take a walk,” he said to the young man.
They walked in silence away from the hustle and bustle of everyone chatting and setting up for the fair. Both men were a generation apart, but both with the same person in mind. Finally, Eddie stopped, looked his uncle in the eye as he looked back at him, took a deep breath, and said, “Ah’ve loved yer lass since Ah was wee, an’ she was just a babe. Ah’ve watched her grow and become the beautiful lass like the flower ye named her for. The past four years Ah’ve worked and saved and every penny is for Rosa’s future.”
His uncle fixed his gaze on him, just stared at him silently saying nothing while his mind went into overdrive.
The words poured out of Eddie like a desperate plea. “Ah’m askin’ ye for her hand man,” he almost shouted.
John stared at him, the fear becoming a reality, the pain of that reality written on his face.
“Same time, same place, next year, if ye still feel the same ye can ask her yirsel, an’ if she agrees ye can marry on the first day of May at the Tinkers Heart.”
Eddie’s face lit up, he punched the air and did a dance right there in front of John.
“She’ll say aye, I know it.”
Eddie ran off back to his pitch and as John walked back to his wagon he watched Rosa helping her mother.
“Ah’ve jist seen that young Eddie,” he said to no one in particular, but really so that Rosa could hear. “Turned into a fine man,” he said, and climbed into his wagon where he poured himself a whisky, sat down and stared at the wall in front of him, seeing nothing but the memories of his daughter’s birth and early years. Thinking of her blossoming into a beautiful woman, he wondered how he would feel to let her go, to start her own life. When Mary came in his face was wet with tears, she sat beside him and reached over, placed her hand in his and gave it a comforting squeeze. No words were necessary between them for she understood how he felt.

Chapter 3

The atmosphere at the Musselburgh Fair was electric and exciting. Friends and families merged and mingled, lurchers and terriers barked, children played, and the men did what men do. They traded horses, ponies, and dogs, showed their Persian rugs, tin pots and other crafts and looked on proudly at their sons and daughters. They exchanged wares and ideas on how to make a living, places to go to sell their wares, and places to avoid.
The men were a sight to see, all wearing jackets, flat caps, and often waistcoats below. Shirts tucked into dark trousers were clean and white with no collars, but a colourful patterned scarf at the neck. They all stood in a group making loud exchanges as they performed the almost religious ceremony of trading and bargaining. With each offer or counter offer, the men would slap hands, but even that had a specific format. A spit on the palm and a full-handed slap was a deal, but if only fingertips slapped then the bargaining would continue. The seller held his hand out asking, and the buyer would state his offer and slap. The men had idiosyncrasies that would give each other clues to what they were thinking. Some would touch their caps between slaps. Some would turn and pretend to be walking away. Others would complain loudly and throw accusations, but there was always a bargain sealed.
A horse buyer would gradually make his way around so that he could stand directly in front of the horse seller and pretend to be mildly interested. He might stroke the horse, have a look at its teeth, pick up a leg, and feel its joints. The seller would know by this that a sale was imminent and the bargaining would begin.
“Guid enough horse.” (Slap)
“What’ll ye offer?” (Slap)
“Forty an’ not a penny more.” (Slap)
“Ah yer jokin’ man; Sixty an’ not a penny less.” (Slap)
“Sixty? Yer a robber Ah’ll give forty-five.” (Slap)
“Fifty an’ ye have a deal.”
A spit on the palm and a hand held out, a spit on the palm and a full-handed slap and the deal done.
“Now gimmie a penny back for luck,” the buyer would say, and as was the custom, the seller would give the buyer a coin or two and the bargain was sealed.
Young men would stand by and watch the exchanges learning the craft, and then they would discuss among themselves the skills or failings that they had witnessed.
“Aye, he couldha got cheaper,” or “He couldha got more if he hung oot a bit.”
They in their way would take on board lessons that they had learned, that they would use themselves when their time came. Overloaded with testosterone, they rode their horses bareback, raced each other, and performed tricks to impress the girls. The girls giggled and looked coy and pretended to be unimpressed by the boys.
In the middle of all this, the women gossiped and bragged about their children while they skinned hares for the pot. Some chopped vegetables and fetched split peas and lentils that had been soaked overnight. Dumplings and potatoes added to the stew ensured that there was plenty of filling food all.
Everyone gathered around the campfires and shared the food that had been prepared earlier in the day, and then out would come the pipes and the tobacco for a relaxing smoke. Some of the old grannies would smoke a clay pipe and ponder while they remembered and shared stories about their own younger days.
Those that could play a tune would fetch a musical instrument, fiddles would be fine-tuned, flutes prepared, and box accordions stretched and squeezed. Some would have the traditional Celtic drum the bodhran, and others would be happy with a tambourine or a set of spoons. Others still, with no instrument, would sit open legged on a wooden box and tap a rhythm on the box to accompany the music.
The women and girls would dance and twirl on boards laid out for the purpose; boxes were set out around the space for others to sit on and participate, playing an instrument, or singing, or just enjoying the spectacle. The atmosphere was warm, friendly and exciting, the smell of wood smoke from the fire scented the air, and the night was clear and bright under the full of the moon.
Eddie and Rosa sat side by side quietly chatting. She felt pretty in her new dress, with its full drindle skirt that she had helped her mother to sew. With her head down, she studied the bright blues and reds of the fabric as she wondered what to say to Eddie. They both felt different now that Eddie had declared his intentions. He told Rosa what her father had said. For now, they could sit together or hold hands, perhaps even sneak a kiss if no one was watching, but all eyes would be on them now for it’s the traveller’s way to be chaste before marriage.
After the fair, the only way that they could communicate would be by messages passed by word of mouth, or for those that could read and write, and at that time, there were only a few with this skill, a note. It would be twenty years before a public telephone appeared, but there were so many of their kind that it was always possible to pass a message from one to another by those who were moving from place to place.
“Ah’m sixteen now, next August when we come to the fair next year Ah’ll be seventeen. If ma Da says we can marry on the first of May Ah’ll be nearly eighteen an’ you’ll be nearly twenty-two. It all seems so far away,” she said as she looked into his dark brown eyes. His dark curly hair fell over his brow and curled over his collar at the back. They were so entranced with each other that at first they were unaware of the chant.
“Rosa, Rosa, Rosa, give us a dance.”
She giggled and got up and moved to the centre of the circle and gave an exaggerated bow. Everyone knew Rosa loved to dance, and had she not been so engrossed in conversation with Eddie, she would have been the first to start the dancing.
The fiddle stuck up, the flutes joined, and the circle of folk began to clap in time to the music. The bodhran beat out its rhythm and Rosa threw her head back with a laugh. She began to dance a jig, her feet matching the rhythm on the boards. She held her skirts up a tiny bit and her black laced boots were visible below them. Round and round the circle she danced, skipping and twirling, the sound of her heels joining the beat of the music, her dark hair flying behind her and then she began to pull other girls into the circle where they joined in the fun of the dance. She was so happy that she wished she was married to Eddie now, and that this could be the beginning of their life together.
As the night ended, a singing voice filled the air and Rosa knew that it was her Father. He was singing the song that his Father used to sing to his Mother.

Johnny was born in a mansion doon in the county o’ Clare
Rosie was born by a roadside somewhere in County Kildare
Destiny brought them together on the road to Killorglan
One day in her bright tasty shawl, she was singing
And she stole his young heart away For she sang...

Meet me tonight by the campfire, come with me over the hill.
Let us be married tomorrow, please let me whisper 'I will'
What if the neighbours are talkin’ who cares if yer friends stop and stare
Ye'll be proud to be married to Rosie, who was reared on the roads of Kildare.

Think of the parents who reared ye, think of the family name
How can ye marry a gypsy? Oh whit a terrible shame
Parents and friends stop yer pleading, don't worry aboot my affair
For Ah've fallen in love wi’ a gypsy, who was reared on the roads of Kildare?

Johnny went down from his mansion, just as the sun had gone doon
Turning his back on his kinfolk, likewise, his dear native toon
Facing the roads of old Ireland, wi’ a gypsy he loved so sincere
When he came to the light of the campfire, these are the words he did hear

Meet me tonight by the campfire, come with me over the hill.
Let us be married tomorrow, please let me whisper 'I will'
What if the neighbours are talkin’ who cares if yer friends stop and stare
Ye'll be proud to be married to Rosie, who was reared on the roads of Kildare.