Spectacular Settings #WEPFF Challenge No. 1 featuring All Souls Trilogy & Eternal Curse Series #amwriting #amreading

Since I’m new to this group and challenge I hope it’s okay to break the rules just a bit. For the first part of this challenge, I’m sharing a bit more than a paragraph and at the end I’ll offer my explanation. A scene with a spectacular setting that takes my breath away from, Shadow of Night: All Souls Trilogy Book 2 by Deborah Harkness.

From Amazon.com; click to shop.

“My attempts to reach the Old Lodge’s future from its past were unsuccessful. I focused on the look and smell of the place and saw the threads that bound Matthew and me to the house- brown and green and gold. But they slipped out of my fingers repeatedly.”

Obviously there is a sense of magic here-
time travel and colored threads connected to
locations future and past. There is also a sense
of searching or discovery.

“I tried for Set-Tours instead. The threads that linked us there were tinged with Matthew’s idiosyncratic blend of red and black shot through with silver. I imagined the house full of familiar faces-Sarah and Em, Ysabeau and Marthe, Marcus and Miriam, Sophie and Nathaniel. But I couldn’t reach that safe port either.”

I see the speaker, a woman, and her companion Matthew,
in a blur of colored threads passing by familiar places
that never quite come into focus. There is a dark element,
but it’s not menacing.

“…My fingers kept returning to the same strand in the warp and weft of time that was not silky and smooth but hard and rough. I inched along its twisting length and discovered that it was not a thread but a root connected to some unseen tree. With that realization I tripped, as over an invisible threshold, and fell into the keeping room of the Bishop House.”

In the midst of green and gold, red and black silky threads,
the speaker finds a brown, rough, and twisted
one that turns out to be a root; anchoring her to a place she
knows, the Bishop house, which already has
an old and rustic comfort to it, even though it’s not described.

There are so many elements at play in this passage, but the setting is key. They way she describes her effort to return to another time sets the tone of the action and events, which in turn sets the mood and atmosphere of her final destination. We don’t know exactly what the Bishop House is just from reading this passage, but we get a sense that it is a place more important and special to these characters than the others already mentioned.


For the second part of this challenge, I will share an excerpt from one of my published works which will be re-released soon. I chose this scene for two reasons. I think the setting is crucial to the action of the story and I feel it sets the tone for the overall story/book.  A scene with a hopefully spectacular setting that may take your breath away from, Eternal Curse: Battleground by Toi Thomas.


ECB coverI was almost in tears thinking about the first time I held his hand with the full understanding of the differences between boys and girls. I was innocent, but not naïve and very curious. I had just turned fifteen, he was about to turn nineteen, and his grandfather had just died. It seems that tragedy was our matchmaker. After Grandpa Leo’s funeral, he’d wandered off from the reception and everyone was looking for him. I remember finding him in the Secret Cave, an underground catacomb he, Sheldon, and I had found when I was much younger and smaller.

I remembered that Michael and Sheldon had gone off to explore, as boys like to do, and that I tagged along. At that time, Sheldon and Michael were close in age, at least physically, and I was the ten-year-old tag-along little sister. I stumbled into a crevice in the ground, but Michael caught me before I fell in. Even though I was small, Michael wasn’t much bigger than I was, so we both began to slip down into the hole. Sheldon leaped over Michael and pulled him back, bringing me up along the way. Then he jumped down into the hole and shouted back that we’d discovered a hidden cave.

Later we made a rope ladder and tied it down to some nearby trees, to be used as a safe entrance to our new secret hiding place. We would go there to play for hours at a time, and sometimes we’d go so we could hide from the adults whenever we needed to. It was Sheldon who suggested that’s where he’d probably be after Leo’s funeral, but he wasn’t interested in going to look for him. I decided to go into the wilderness on my own to find Michael. For some reason, I knew he needed me, but I didn’t know why. Looking back on it now, I think maybe Sheldon thought the same and that’s why he didn’t want to go.

Eternal Curse: BATTLEGROUND © 2015 Toinette Thomas

Be sure to check out the other entries in this challenge and be dazzled by spectacular settings.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Published by

Toi Thomas

I like reading, writing, cooking, dancing, movies, and music. I'm a big kid and choose to see the world in my own special way. Yes, I'm educated, but I haven't let that stop me from being who I want to be. I'm a wife, teacher, author, blogger, and more.

32 thoughts on “Spectacular Settings #WEPFF Challenge No. 1 featuring All Souls Trilogy & Eternal Curse Series #amwriting #amreading”

  1. Love your explanation and I concur. The passage of yours is from a book already published? I HAVE to read it. Tremendous job! The setting is crucial to the action. You write well.

    1. Thanks for reading it. It’s going to be released with a little polish on some of the other aspects of the story, but this part isn’t being changed at all. It reminds me of my own childhood which is probably why I wrote it.

  2. Your excerpt works well with the tactile threads and different coloured houses. The extract from your book takes us back to a setting we all have or have imagined as children, a secret and secure place away from the adults, to play or ponder. A wonderful place to be able to return to when emotions are high with grief. Welcome to WEP. Hope to see you next time.

    1. Thanks for the welcome. I’m learning so much already and enjoying the passages others are sharing. I hope to join up again next time.

  3. Thank you for sharing your work. I did WEP for a while but lost the habit. I don’t dabble in fiction much myself so WEP was a good excuse to try. I believe in it, though. I’m glad you’re doing it.

    1. Thanks. I think the next one I do, I’ll ask for feedback. I just have too much going on to offer in return this time, but I’m still glad I contributed.

  4. Toi

    No worry about breaking the rules, we are a lax group especially when it’s the artistry that’s under scrutiny, how can real limits be established. We call them guidelines.
    Your choice of Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness was moving. I’m not familiar with this novel but through your observations, I wish I were.

    I saw the hope of connecting to the past and Matthew, of family and memories but also a failure to reach her goal, then a new discovery, the root, and the Bishop House. You’re right the setting is the key for a novel that promises many surprises.

    Your excerpt from the Eternal Curse: Battleground was beautifully written and your setting the key. A story of childhood fun and exploration can lead the reader to such magical places, and this you did. The three characters and their relationship to that enchanted underground cave where I get the feeling powerful change takes place.

    “It seems that tragedy was our matchmaker.” is my favorite line.

    Thank you, Toi, for sharing your novel Eternal Curse: Battleground with the WEP Spectacular Settings Challenge. Please join us again in October for a thrilling, chilling Halloween challenge of Childhood Fright vs. Adult Fears.

    1. Thank you, Yolanda. I considered offering a more descriptive piece, but I like the simplicity of this one and was afraid any other piece would give too much away.

  5. Very nice, Toi! I’m always amazed at how writers of sci-fi or fantasy (okay, the good ones) transmit so much information about unfamiliar / imaginary / impossible places in so few words — and, to boot, involving us in the tension of the narrative. Great pick for a setting-setter 🙂 Loved yours, too! Put me right back in far-off times of exploring and the excitement of discovery. My grandmother lived in the mountains, and a cousin and I spent countless hours exploring the forest. Great memories 🙂 Thanks for that!

    1. I’m glad you liked it. The All Souls Trilogy is full of imagery that isn’t overdone. As for my piece, it really is more about taking the reader back to a simpler time than it is about the description.

  6. First of all, WEP is like the Pirates Code. More about guidelines than rules. I loved the tactile sensuality in your excerpt from ‘Shadow Of The Night’. My fingers itched to reach out and find a thread! So clever. Love the first line of ‘Eternal Curse: Battleground’. Very intriguing. Captured my imagination immediately. The subsequent scene tumbled me back through time, to my own childhood of discovery and secret places. A great place to be. Good luck with the re-release!

  7. Hi,

    Excellent! Yes, it caught me up. Now I’m wondering if the reason she went in the cave to find Michael is exactly what I think.
    All the best with your new release.

  8. You’ve drawn me into both stories, each distinct, but each irresistible. And yes the setting here is queen. I really loved your opening line: I was almost in tears thinking about the first time I held his hand with the full understanding of the differences between boys and girls.”

  9. Toi, first let me apologise for not coming by! With all the reading/commenting/twittering/Google+ing, I thought I’d been to visit, but no! I’m currently doing my second visits with judging in mind.

    We are a generous bunch, so don’t ever worry too much–the only rule is the break the rules. With creativity, we sometimes have to push the boundaries.

    Loved having you as part of this challenge, and both parts of your entry fill the brief so perfectly. I loved your shared setting. Not a work I am familiar with. I love the imagery, so I can change that easy enough. One great thing about this challenge is how we’ve introduced new authors/poets to each other.

    I love the premise of your story. Childhood dangers and fears is always riveting. That is actually heading into Halloween WEP territory–Childhood Frights and Fears. I hope you join us and we are more than happy to give feedback.Thank you for sharing your soon-to-be-republished story with us. It’s a winner by what I can see!

    Denise 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Denise. At least you made it. I can’t say the same. I over-committed myself and will have to go back some other time to finish this hop, but it has been a blast.

  10. I like stories about time travel and have read quite a few. This one that you shared sounds interesting. Welcome to the WEP challenge, it’s been a fun group in the past and I’m sure it will continue to be a great place for us to show our writing and get to read some excellent work. Stretching the rules a bit is okay, and I’ve done it myself a few times. Enjoyed your entry!

  11. Hi Toi, and I apologise for the delay in getting to your entry. Yesterday saw publication of my first attempt at an erotic novel – I usually write thrillers.
    I like your choice for the scenic passage and I can see your reasons for the extended version, and I like your observations.
    The excerpt from your WIP looks good too, and I noticed that both your choice and your excerpt are written in first person POV. It’s good when it can be pulled off, so I look forward to seeing it hit the screen. Good luck with it.

Comments are closed.