“The Crosses of Tarsus”

In her unreleased novel The Crosses of Tarsus, a Christian fantasy, Karyn Cantees Staggunveilsaworld of angels and demons, and how these heavenly and netherworld spiritscould be working in our lives. Demons goading harassing, tormenting, and forever taunting us, while angels prod, comfort, and endlessly toil to save us from ourselves and our demon foes.

A fire is burning in the dark.

The Plot

The battle for eternity begins in this first book of a supernatural trilogy where graphic descriptions of the netherworld arewoven through a story told by BAHAR, a 4,000 year-old spawn demon, who once lived on earth.

Bahar is tapped by SATAN to lead a historic mission and to solve a riddle that even Satan can’t solve. The riddle, Bahar discovers, is linked to two crosses smuggled out of Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution: one wooden and one made with gems reserved for the famous Faberge eggs. Are these thelegendary Crosses of Tarsus, he wonders?

However, the little spawn jeopardizes the assignment when he becomes enamored with jeweled cross heiress CASEY SIMPSON, a kidnapped sacrifice for Satan, who reminds him of his earthly daughter. More than anything, Bahar wants to know if his daughter is in heaven or hell. ARCHANGEL MICHAEL uses his knowledge of the daughter’sdestiny to obtain Bahar’s help in saving Casey.

The secrets surrounding Bahar–why angels know him and why a lowly spawn leads a historic mission–are as puzzling as the riddle.

As the race to solve the riddle and unlock the mystery of the crosses ignites, an apocalyptic battle between warring dark and light angels ensues.

Meanwhile, humans and their netherworld adversaries realize the crosses will not only save Casey’s dying grandmother, but are catalysts that willusher in the End Time forChrist . . . or Satan.

The Miracle of the Riddle

by Karyn Cantees Stagg

A woman standing in front of an open book.Many miracles surrounded the writing of The Crosses of Tarsus, beginning with God’s directive to write it. Butno miracle was so great as the writing ofthe riddle, and then, writing a book around a riddle I barely understood!

Somehow I sensedthe book should have a riddle.Since it was completely intuitive, I sat on the side of my bed, pen and pad in hand, asking Godto give me the words.

Very soon and with little effort, I wrote, “Its path lay north south east and west, Apath no demons foot doth press.” I knew exactly what it meant, given my start with the book. Hurrah!

It took longer to write the next two lines, “Its colors pierce the darkest night, but the dullest hath the brightest light.” I knewhow ‘its colors could pierce the darkest night,’ but, Ihad no idea how ‘the dullest could have the brightest light.’ After I wrote it, Ijust keptpondering, “How could thathappen?”

It seemed forever before the next lines came: “Water flows o’er glistening rocks, Refreshing one of Yahweh’s flock.” I wrote it, but I had no idea what it meant.

Thankfully, the nexttwo linescame quickly: “Seven times two for all to see, strips Satan of eternity.” Except, oops, that isn’t exactly what ended up in the book. I sort of knew what these two lines meant, but I was unclear what the “seven times two for all to see” line could mean to the entire trilogy. Two years later, when things were clearer, the line was changed to “Pairing the trinity for all to see.”

Most of my writing is done on the computer, but the riddle I wrote longhand. There were many starts, and the whole process probably tookthree or fourhours. I had a couple of pages of notes as to what I thoughtdifferent words or lines might mean. I wasn’t right about at least two of them. Those notes were unfortunately lost or tossed.

So, okay, at that point, I had a finished riddle, but only a few chapters in my novel.The rest of the book would center around a riddle that, quite frankly, puzzled me! I had to trust God that the riddle would lead me where I wanted and needed to go. This is what living the supernatural life is all about.

Sometimes I’m sorry I deviated from the “Seven times two” line, but it didn’t change the book in the least. With divine guidance, I followed the path to a finished novel.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you what the riddle means. That would ruin it! My hope is that you’ll buy and share the book with friends and family, telling them about the miracle of the riddle and encouraging them to look for miracles in their own lives!


A cross made of glass with blue and black colorsThe Riddle

Its path lay north south east and west;

Apath no demon’s foot doth press.

Its colors pierce the darkest night,

But the dullest hath the brightest light.

Water flows o’er glistening rocks

Refreshing one of Yahweh’s flock.

Pairing the Trinity for all to see,

Strips Satan of eternity.

Excerpts from
The Crosses of Tarsus:

A black and white photo of some clouds in the sky

In this excerpt, Satan and histen favored dark angels,Those Forever Within Range of His Voice,dominantsof Hades, are seen through the eyes of spawn demon, Bahar.

The sun completely vanishes and Master appears on the horizon with Those Forever Within Range of His Voice. I look longingly at them. Breathtaking! A sweet hysteria builds in me knowing heaven’s history is written on their backs–these angels who refused to worship at the feet of Jehovah, who challenged their Creator and became the dominants of Hades. And Lucifer, their leader, the most glorious of all, architect of a new light, or darkness, if you will, for the third of heaven’s angels who followed him into his own creation. I must calm myself, but the sight of Master and his favored Ten looming in the distance, moving slowly toward us, overcomes me and I bow low, as do all. But as they approach, reality supplants my giddy delirium and I shudder.

Tiles rattle and the roof shakes as the dark angelic troop arrive like gothic giants dropping from the sky in one seamless motion, a masterpiece of demonic precision. A deathly stillness fills the air even as the mighty eleven move toward us and the concerto builds to Master’s voice: “Everyone rise, except Bahar!”

Everything stops and I stay low, happy my time in his presence will be limited. I cannot see, but I know there are no pleasantries. Silence engulfs the moment like a great fog. Finally, Master moves. I know it is him because no one else would dare.

In this excerpt,spawn demon Bahar explains that he andfive warrior demonsare surrounded by light angels

Three angels are flying in the sky with their wings spread.As we soar, I lag behind the warrior’s skillful ascent and am hopeful, for many reasons, that the Supreme is erroneous about warring spirits. He is not. I see them first; seven angels scatter about the sky in front of me like wayward stars. I halt my ascent and look behind me: seven to my left, seven to my right, seven in the rear. We are surrounded. Up ahead the warriors suddenly stop. They turn to see what has come to war with them.

My heart beats as fast as it did when we entered this salt-laden, antebellum area, except this time, the cadence beats fear, not anticipation.

Never in three thousand years have I seen twenty-eight angels, and it is a cosmic moment. The earth should glisten and swell like the whole of heaven in their presence. I want to clasp my hands together, but dare not. Who could declare thatthey are not majestic?–the white, shining version of Master with his dominants. Their heights vary, but they are tall, at least eight or nine feet. In the darkness, they are as beacons of light. Their breastplates, called righteousness, look like white feathers. Faith or fidesis written in Latin across their shields. Around their helmets lie a crown of thorns. I’ve seen one or two angels from afar, and Gabriel through blurry vision, but this–stunning! The imagery, the metaphors! I thought it nonsense when I read through their Bible, especially that verse in Ephesians 6. Yet, here they are, glorious! Converging like a miniature Milky Way.

2 Responses to " “The Crosses of Tarsus” "

  1. Robert Lee Taylor, III says:

    I am seeing this for the first time. Something told me the last two days to return to your web site. When I did, I observed the information on your book, “The Crosses of Taurus”. I am a history major (loved John Moricle) and normally I don’t spend a lot of time reading novels. But, after reading and copying ‘The Riddle’ I became interested in your book. Is the Riddle answerable through the book, the Bible, both, or neither? I read about 20 to 25 books annually. All non-fiction. But I will make an exception with yours. From where can I purchase a copy?
    Otherwise, it is so nice talking with you. You know, leaving Williamson High School the beginning of our sophomore year was, probably–at least to this point, the most lamentable decision in my life. Girls will do it to you every time (Ha!).
    I am so grateful many of the kids in our class have accepted Jesus into their hearts.
    God Bless you, Child. The work you produce for the Lord is wonderful.
    Please be safe and at peace.


    • Hi Robert! My book is a Christian fantasy. I have had two offers to publish the book, but had no peace, and so declined. However, in the past couple of months God has given me a thumbs up, and once again I will step into the intimidating foray of publishers. I will message you with some information. God bless you, Robert. Your prompt came at a most auspicious time for me, so thank you!!

Leave a Reply