Throughout the evening, Golden stared at Naed the Wise, as Button affectionately called him. He sat beside Button, listening to the conversation intently and nodding his head from time to time, but barely speaking a word.
He can’t be much older than me, Golden thought. He is very handsome in his stylish garb. Naed was only a couple of inches taller than she and very slim. His wavy, long brown hair was tied back, creating hundreds of curly ringlets. He had hazel eyes, a Greek nose, thin lips, a cleft chin, and a rectangular face. He wore a buttermilk-coloured V-necked tunic with long sleeves, trimmed with embroidery on the neckline, cuffs, and lower hem. Over his tunic, he wore a long, olive-green woollen cloak, tied at the neck, and a reddish-brown Celtic belt tied around his waist. He had black form-fitting tights on underneath his tunic and short, tan-coloured calf leather boots.
Golden’s eyes were drawn to the beautiful silver wolf ring that he wore on his right hand. The wolf was crafted with fangs bared, ready to devour its prey, and had two fire-red rubies for its eyes. Golden recalled that Button had told her previously that the wolf was an important animal in Darach culture. It symbolized guardianship, loyalty, and spirit. Golden also couldn’t help but notice the tattoo of flowing water on Naed’s right bicep, peeking out from his rolled-up sleeve. He must be from the River Clan, she thought.
Excerpt from Dagger of Urachadh: Attack from the Underworld, p. 118.
My partner Dean is my soul mate. He is sweet and kind and very intelligent. I tease him that he is like a “walking encyclopedia”. Naed is Dean spelled backwards. The character Naed the Wise is based on his life. Dean has enriched my life. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like without him. I thank him for his support and encouragement to write this book.
Karen E. Mosier
At dawn’s first light, Golden and Button made their way across to Devil’s Island on Naed’s makeshift raft. A few feet from shore, Golden grabbed the rope, jumped into the knee deep water, and found a large rock to tie the boat to, using the special knot Button had taught her. She pulled it snug, then looked at Button, waiting on the raft. He gave her a confident nod. Then she waded to the jutting shoreline, found a sandy spot to climb up the steep embankment, and stood up and looked around.
Balsam fir, common juniper, creeping juniper, tamarack, jack pine, white spruce, and black spruce densely wooded Devil’s Island. Beautiful yellow buttercups dotted the landscape.
Golden did not know what to do or where to look. All she knew was that the Dagger of Urachadh was supposed to be somewhere on Devil’s Island. She turned around and waved to Button, then headed into the forest.
So far, so good. No danger yet. Golden let out the breath she’d been holding, took a new, deep one, and kept walking through the bush.
- Excerpt from Dagger of Urachadh: Attack from the Underworld, p. 153.
When I first started writing my book I did a lot of research on the web. I wanted to capitalize on places with unusual names in Saskatchewan for my book. I was surprised to find out from my searching that Saskatchewan has its own Devil’s Island. King Island, which is a small island on the western side of Waskesiu Lake in Prince Albert National Park, used to be called Devil’s Island. Later it was renamed to King Island to honor former Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King who established the park. It was said that the “Cree had a legend that this island was inhabited by supernatural creatures of a mischievous or demonic nature .” The moment that I read this statement, I was intrigued. I knew I would have to feature Devil’s Island in my book!
Karen E. Mosier
1. Wikipedia. King Island (Saskatchewan).
The Great Prince
Before they even had time to rejoice in this turn of events, there was yet another bright flash of light, even more brilliant than the first one, and instead of the magnificent stag, a glorious prince stood before them, a gold crown on his head.
Very tall, broad-shouldered, and muscular, he had a tanned face and a full beard, and he was armed for battle. A bronze breastplate covered his red tunic of the softest silk. In his left hand, he held a throwing spear made of iron, with a leaf-shaped spearhead of obsidian. His right hand rested on the hilt of a two-handed, double-edged sword, its point on the ground. A wide leather belt with a large, ornate buckle encircled his waist. The ebony hilt of a dagger protruded from a sheath, lavishly decorated with silver embellishments, that hung on a leather strap from his belt. On his shoulders, he wore a purple mantle, fastened in the centre with a bronze brooch pin in the shape of two snakes and a sword, inset with an onyx gemstone.
Instantly, Button dropped to his knees. “Hail, my lord, Great Prince Alexander, son of King William Glenn, Chief, Lord, and Captain of the Darach realm.”
Excerpt from Dagger of Urachadh: Attack from the Underworld, p. 141-143.
I used to spend one week every summer in junior high out on the farm near Fiske, Saskatchewan with my uncle Gordon Alexander Weenk. The character the Great Prince in my book is based on his life.
My favorite memories are riding on the tractor with him while he did the summer fallowing. We would crank up the country music on the radio. His favorite song was Mull of Kintyre by Paul McCartney. We would have the AC cranked up and share a hot Coca Cola. The sunshine penetrating through the glass of the cab’s window heated up the Coke almost to the boiling point. Uncle Gordon Weenk was the best listener in the world and we could talk about anything. Then in the evenings we would go outside after dark, look up at the stars, and find the different constellations like the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cassiopeia and Orion’s belt.
He died on December 6, 2008. I have no words to express how much I miss him and how much he meant to me. The teenage years were a very tumultuous time for me so I will never forget the time that he spent with me and the peace that I felt being out on his beautiful farm.
Karen E. Mosier
They travelled all morning. They were just about to stop to make lunch when they stumbled upon a mysterious place. They were approaching an aspen forest, but it was unlike any grove of trees they had ever seen before. Every trunk and every branch of every tree was crooked and twisted. Some trees were growing upwards, others were bending downwards, while others were growing sideways or in spiral shapes. It had a foreboding, evil feel to it. It was a strange phenomenon to behold. Golden remembered what Grandpa Gordon had told her; that deformed plant life was a sign of high energy in that spot.
“What is this place? This is amazing!” Golden asked.“I am gobsmacked. I have never seen anything like it,”
Button replied. “Let’s take a quick gander!”
They tied their horses securely to a tree, then cautiously made their way through the small grove. It was a captivating place.
- Excerpt from Dagger of Urachadh: Attack from the Underworld, p. 139
One of the coolest places that I have ever visited is the Crooked Trees near Hafford, Saskatchewan. You can check them out here:
The Crooked Bush | Tourism Saskatchewan
You will hardly believe your own eyes. The branches twist and turn giving this unusual forest an eerie feeling. The origin of their deformation is unknown. I just had to add this unique place to my book!
Karen E. Mosier
1. Tourism Saskatchewan Canada. The Crooked Bush. www.tourismsaskatchewan.com/listings/51/hafford---the-crooked-bush
2. Robin and Arlene Karpan. 2018. Saskatchewan’s Best Scenic Drives. Touring the Thickwood Hills: Battlefords, Burma Road and Crooked Bush Loop. P. 141-142. Parkland Publishing.
Golden had many pleasant recollections of spending summer vacations on Grandpa Gordon’s farm. She’d helped with chores, feeding the cows, collecting the eggs, working in the garden, mowing the grass, and digging vegetables from the garden. She missed her grandpa very much. Her dad had died when she was only five years old, so Grandpa Gordon had played an important role in her life. Many bittersweet memories came flooding back just from looking at his picture.
“Grandpa Gordon, how can I live without you?” Golden whispered out loud.
Excerpt from Dagger of Urachadh: Attack from the Underworld, p. 9-10.
I personally believe that there are only one or two people you will meet in your lifetime that will make a profound difference in your life. Once such person in my life was my uncle Gordon Mosier. The character Grandpa Gordon in my book is based on his life.
Uncle Gordon came into my life during a period of great upheaval and change. I got reacquainted with him as an adult during this time of personal crisis. Although he didn’t have a formal education or a degree from a university like Grandpa Gordon in my book, he had years of wisdom and experience in how to navigate the world and to make the best with what you have.
He gave me many words of wisdom that I have used over the years including “If today isn’t exactly how you like it, you can always work on making tomorrow a little bit better” and “Life is what you make it”.
He died on December 4, 2015. He was like a father to me. I still miss him, but I am so grateful that God brought him into my life when I needed him the most.
Karen E. Mosier
Instantly it turned pitch-dark, as though someone had covered her eyes, even though her eyes were wide open. She could feel a breeze blowing against her face as if she were moving extremely fast, yet she was still standing in one spot and had not moved her feet. Then, as quickly as it had gone dark, she could see again. Golden looked around and gasped in surprise.
She was no longer in her grandpa’s study. Instead, she stood inside a ring of fifteen standing stones. They towered over her, as tall as the trees on her grandpa’s farm. Looking up, she saw a perfect ring around the top, made by smaller, flat stones laid atop the large vertical ones. Beneath her feet was a level pavement of large, perfectly cut stones, in odd-sized shapes, filling the space inside the standing stones. They fit together perfectly, leaving no cracks or holes, like pieces in a puzzle. Golden thought each of them was larger than any of the rocks in her grandpa’s rock pile at the back of his property.
Excerpt from Dagger of Urachadh: Attack from the Underworld, p. 11-12.
When I first started the writing process, I wasn’t sure about what I would write about for my first fiction book. It is commonly recommended that an author pick a topic that he or she is familiar with. I thought about that for a while, and since I was born and raised, and lived all my life in Saskatchewan, I decided that I would write about my own province.
As I started my web search to identify all the unique places to visit in Saskatchewan that I might want to highlight in my story, I found an interesting article about the Mystery Rocks in Saskatchewan:
The origin of these rocks remains unknown. Some speculate that they are likely a unique rock formation, while others postulate that this location “is one of a few magical vortex power spots on the earth, others located across the globe like Stonehenge ”. Whether or not these rocks are Saskatchewan’s own Stonehenge remains to be seen. But regardless, I thought these mystery rocks would make a great addition to my book!
Karen E. Mosier
1. Ryan Wunsch. “Mystery Rocks of Saskatchewan”. Ryan Wunsch Photography. 22 September 2016, http://ryanwunsch.com/mystery-rocks-saskatchewan/