Author Update (February 2017)

Hiya Guys!

So we survived the second month! Yay?

Well… I have still got that want of adventure going… so who knows what will happen this year?

I finished Pretty Little Liars and have been binge watching the Vampire Diaries… It’s a miracle I get any writing at all done, but I have been writing The Diary of Elliot Parker, it’s certainly been a challenge to focus this month. I keep getting distracted. The Diary of Elliot Parker returns soon so I have had to get a bit more focused on the project.

I’ve been getting better at guitar and have been even writing a couple of songs, a little… we will see… its new territory for me but I enjoy the improvements I am making.

Every mountain is climbed one step at a time, I am climbing that mountain very slowly!

Not much happened this month to be honest. I did some writing. Stayed on my lonesome for Valentines day, got addicted to the new Ed Sheeran songs. Procrastination this month is at an all time high but I am hoping to really get some work done on The Diary of Elliot Parker and I am also writing that mountain of a project I keep calling “the big project” which is a very creative nickname as you can tell. The big project is really coming along and has taken on a life of its own. Which is both great and terrifying. I love watching it grow however fast or slow.

I also started a diet in the middle of the month… I got a nasty surprise on the scales after not looking for a few months and that made me not so happy. So I started that diet with the aims to loose as much of the weight as I can. The hope is to at least loose 10 kilos or more before the end of March. I am aiming to cut down on my carbs and swap them out for veggies or protein, no more eating like a hobbit for me. With the ribs exercise is limited at the best of times so I am going to be a bit grumpy and extra sore but I need to start working towards getting the waist I had back when I thought I was skinny and wanted to loose weight then. So I started this diet with a 32.5 inch waist… I’ll let you know at my next update in March what the current losses are… I am hoping they will be substantial.

Of course I need to throw a little plug in for The Diary of Elliot Parker 🙂

The Diary of Elliot Parker is out now!!! I am happy that it’s now launched. Why not read the whole thing before the coming release of more chapters?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MG21QLX

And as always… I just want to remind you that there are books that are open, and available to you. So here is the link to my amazon author page, why not see if something takes your fancy?

May luck and adventure be on your side!

ARA xxx

February Flashbacks- Time to Catch up with Elliot Parker

PART ONE

So, arappleby.com has recently had the feature called The Diary of Elliot Parker. This feature is about to restart and launch into the next part of Elliot Parker’s story, but first can I direct you to the link to buy the first part of Elliot Parker’s diary where everything can be read and enjoyed to catch you up fully

Well here we go for a little recap to catch us all up. I hope that I get this all sort of right, this is a good way for me to test my own memory.

So… Elliot has a friend called Clover. Elliot liked a boy called Stan. Clover started talking to Stan and pursuing him. Clover then dated Stan. (Not the first time Clover has gone after someone that Elliot liked.)

Elliot has strange dreams where it’s supposed to be a safe place, only accessible to Elliot but that is so not the case. A stranger has access to the room of the dream.

Elliot is still very aware that there is an unconditional love for he who shall not be named aka the ex-boyfriend Adrian Ferisle. Sad huh? Adrian is naturally a difficult relationship: friends or otherwise. He knows how to get under Elliot’s skin to cause a lot of anger and hurt- intentionally or not.

Therefore, Elliot knows the tricky situation with the love life cannot last. After struggling to move on for so long Elliot has developed a crush/feelings for a friend, Jonas. Which is a bit of a difficult situation because you never know if or when it would ever be safe to confess something like that to a friend, especially someone that is inspirational. Especially when you have remained in denial for months and months.

Elliot’s strange dreams that seem to be hackable are able to push into a dream in a dream, where Elliot becomes the stowaway girl on a pirate ship under attack and finds a plan to save captain and crew.

Clover and Elliot have a falling out. Elliot remains silent in the matter hoping to work things out but Clover has other ideas. When Elliot decides to put Elliot first and draw a line Clover reacts badly and while Elliot remains silent on the matter Clover goes out of her way to run Elliot’s name through the mud assuming that Elliot will not know or find out. Which sucks. And Elliot knows. Elliot knows everything…

Except… That the dream hacker is …. Well, to know that, I suggest you go and buy the first part to The Diary of Elliot Parker to find out who the dream hacker is and get ready for what is coming next for Elliot Parker and that diary.

Here is the cheeky little link for The Diary of Elliot Parker available now!!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MG21QLX

February Flashbacks- Counting Corvids

Counting Corvids

A magical girl, the blend of her race and another combined must leave her childhood home to a new country where she can be safer. Or so it should have been, she encounters life threatening situations and a boyfriend from hell!

https://www.amazon.com/Counting-Corvids-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B01GEBKVUM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GEBKVUM

Chapter One: Here we go

This story is as old as time itself, but as new as the ink I write with. This story is my life, my death and what happened next.

For my story to begin to make sense an open mind is needed. Many generations ago my family stemmed from three sisters, triplets. Daughters of a Goddess, Hecate. They were born in the exact same place as I, a stone circle on a Scottish island. I had been over a thousand years after the triplets, my great, great, great well you know where that is heading. Like their birth, my birth had an effect on the world. When we were born, all the magic in the world stopped for a short while.

The daughters of Hecate each held power over an elemental property; flames, earth and mist. These three women started a new species of magic, a new species of witch, the Elementals. There are rumours that the three founders of the line are still alive after consuming the last breath of Hecate. It is said they are the elders and guides for our magic.

It is said that as the three sisters altered the destiny of one man, the ripple caused death after death of many. Neither good nor evil claimed them damning them and by extension me into an afterlife in purgatory. Since then we have been attempting to build an alliance through generations of good karma. Of course no good deed goes unpunished. The witch hunts were brutal.

At some point the elders sent word during the trials, should a child of all three lines be born into eligibility then they shall forge the path from purgatory into a new world and afterlife. As with all ancient stories they become rumour, fairy tale and myths. And that is why I am here, standing in the same stone circle at the turning of the years, like my mother did twenty one years ago at this very moment when I was born.

The three of us are no longer alone in the circle. In this darkness is where the story starts. There was a blinding flash of violet light in the circle before the world went black. The magic had once again stopped. In the darkness three voices chorused. Of course I had no idea what they said, I was out cold. From the gist of what Dad has said that the myth or legend of a chosen one, well that is me, he was the only one managing to stay half conscious to hear. I can’t quite explain why. Anyway it seems that I am the supposed guiding light my ancestors have been waiting for. No pressure. As the sun rose on the New Year it rose on us also, around us surrounding the circle had been hundreds of magpies, they had stopped watching me, instead they glared at the single crow taking flight away from the circle.

The wings of the magpies burst into flames as they swarmed and dived at us until the wings stopped burning and the magpies themselves plumed fresh char free feathers.

I’m not sure if it was the entire event or my childhood that freaked my parents out the most. You see, the problem is I didn’t have a normal childhood, my parents couldn’t risk me going to school. I was the breaker of hundreds of years of tradition, I had been born with powers, specifically basic flame powers.

Safe to say my shooting flames made my parents jumpy. I remember feeling lonely as a child, I struggled with mastering my power, my emotions. Apparently when I was three I had a strange encounter with a magpie. I liked magpies, I always have even if it was something I shouldn’t be proud of, my parents were wary. Once I had bowed to a magpie, it bowed back and flew to my shoulder. Since then I have always thought of magpies as sweet companions despite my parent’s very clear unease. The amount of hushed whispered arguments I had heard from the stairs always swam through in the darkness.

I think the magpies at the circle sealed our fate. Mum insisted we move to a town in Texas that is filled with magic that way I could learn to master my new abilities in peace without fear of discovery, so they say. I hated the idea, but I had no choice or no way to argue.

Chapter Two: “Home Sweet Home”

There is darkness all around, except for a glimmer of silvery moonlight shining on the grassy slope to the eerie shadow of a circle made of stone inside are three people stood waiting. In the distance quiet waves but an echoing wind howling louder and louder, the three figures struggle to stay balanced in the darkness.

Everything stops, a blazing violet light encircles and traps the stone circle, the three figures are clear for a moment, and the light grows brighter and denser until nothing is visible with in it. The light stops, and the figures lay motionless on the ground.

*

A young woman bolts upright in her bed, at the window stands a crow, watching her quietly before it cawed, in surprise the woman whips her head around in time to see it explode in a ball of fire. In seconds she was no longer alone in the room, still shaking as her parents rushed in, in a panic. The young lady, Willow, finds no answer, even once she has prepared herself for the day. Not quite sure on a solution she resolves to do a little exploring to distract her, not knowing just how true those words were.

*

The area around her seemed nothing like the promises her parents had made. This was in no way a good or remotely trendy neighbourhood. On the surface, everything was bleak and miserable. In fact everything here seemed desperate, buildings and people alike whether it was for love or money was indistinguishable.

The local park lacked in so many ways, everything was left to its own devices, pathways, grasses, fences. Walking alone here, seemed ever so slightly other worldly, that was until Willow felt impact in her shoulder, a girl had run into her and sent her flying, the girl carried on running, her pursuers closely behind her.

Willow jumped up confused, baffled and curious rubbing her shoulder; she followed in pursuit of the girl who had managed to get herself a little trapped.

Willow without thinking tried to help, pulling one of the girls pursuers attention away. Willow couldn’t believe her eyes at the towering man who looked more like boulders in shape then human, the girl had started to try to fight back. Not quite sure if she had done it on purpose or by accident, Willow had started blasting this creature with ball after ball of fire.

After a few attempts Willow succeeded as the thing burst into the exact same flames as the crow on her window sill, that very morning, but this time it was accompanied by an agonizing scream from the beast.

The girl and the remaining thing turned to face her, the thing disappeared into thin air as the girl stood staring at Willow.

“Hey how did you…? I mean… what are…? I mean… Hi, I’m Madison but most people call me Madi,” Madi extended her hand but Willow stared at it, “I have to go” she stammered before turning on her heels. “Wait! Wait who are you? You saved my life.”

“Willow” she through over her shoulder as she carried on walking, Madi caught up with her. “Can I at least get you a coffee to thank you, something or anything?”

Willow stopped “Only if you can tell me what just happened.” Reluctantly Madi agreed as she led Willow into a small dingy diner, sitting in a booth next to the furthest corner window.

“That thing what was it?”

“It was a Quake”

“A what?” Madi stared at Willow stunned for a moment.

“A Quake is a demon,” she studied Willows face as she spoke. “A Quake demon, is a low level demon, up to around five of them in an area are low risk threats, any more then that and they have the potential to cause some serious damage.”

“Oh, right, I see so why were they chasing you?”

“I am a Delicai, a good being, a good witch in theory, I make mistakes, I accidently caught their attention and well, that is how we got here.”

“Right I see how do you know all this stuff?”

“It’s a family thing, I’m guessing by your reaction that was your first vanquish.”

“First what? Yes, I guess it was.”

“So erm, what are you?”

“To be honest I’m not really sure, mum once said I was an Elemental, well that our heritage was, I am not so sure.”

“It makes sense, I can’t get a reading from you, good or evil. Elemental’s are essentially in no-mans-land that way.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well Elemental’s reside in purgatory for an eternity, which is the case until the ever-so-mysterious chosen one finally materializes and makes an alliance in either good or evil.”

“How cheerful” Willow’s words spoke, remaining as neutral an expression as she could manage.

“I wouldn’t worry too much it’s not your responsibility to make the alliance is it? After all, you seem to be just coming into your powers.”

Willow smiled politely across at Madi who patted her on the arm, Willows body tensed with a sharp intake of breath. Her eyes unfocused, in her mind she could see another Quake demon crashing through the Window. Willows eyes snapped open.

“I thought you were just a flame elemental but it looks like you just had a premonition, oh… wait your first? Does that mean you’re an earth one too?”

“We have to go”

“Wait why?”

Willow didn’t have time to answer, the Quake demon came crashing through the window throwing the shattered glass everywhere, and moments later Madi soared through the air hitting the back wall as Willow scrambled out of its path.

Once more with evert effort she could muster she set to work on igniting the demon repeatedly until it was consumed in fire chasing after Willow who lead it out into the empty parking lot before it finally exploded sending her flying towards a hedge. As Madi reappeared searching for Willow in the hedges among the chaos. “Wow that was some explosion huh Willow” Willow murmured from the hedge before dragging herself from the branches.

February Flashbacks- Devil Take the Hindmost

Coryburn Girls: Devil Take the Hindmost

The Coryburn Girls are up to no good. On the cusp of the change they find themselves thrown in to the start of the delicate tensions of a war that they hadn’t anticipated. While navigating their own fresh starts the possibility of a life beyond their sisterhood beckons, they are lead down the start of a separate path, but will they find each other before its too late?

https://www.amazon.com/Coryburn-Girls-Devil-Take-Hindmost-ebook/dp/B012KLKF7O?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc#nav-subnav

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coryburn-Girls-Devil-Take-Hindmost-ebook/dp/B012KLKF7O/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Chapter One

It was but a day and night that had passed by, time trickling like sand in a timer. Dusk was returning to the town that had been so eerily quiet for most of the day. Kayetelynn and Annabella had been laid slumped against the walls of their bedroom, unmoving and unconscious. In the middle of the room, a heavy wooden box with the most curious carvings, sat playing host to the gloriously impressive, blood diamond that had been stolen, many times over history and twice by the two girls rendered motionless.

Chrystyne and Eustace each sat patiently on their daughter’s beds. Waiting, watching Kayetelynn and Annabella slowly begin to rise, lifting the fog from the haze of unconsciousness. Aching and confused the girls struggled to find their bearings in the dim room.

Eustace was the first to speak; he was cool, calm and calculated, his voice trickled slowly as he spoke; “What did you do?”

The internal cringe, the knowing there was no way to hide this mistake or make it a secret.

Kayetelynn was unsure, she shrugged before she pulled herself unsteadily to her feet, the once blood soaked bandage fell from her hand, landing on the floor crumpled, stark bright white against the opulent rug at her feet. Annabella swallowed slowly staring at the unravelling bandage, pulling it away gently, to reveal scarred palms and fingertips. Her eyes drifted through her foggy memory back to the box.

Staring at the diamond and box as though somehow she could accuse it of this strange feeling that was sweeping over her in her consciousness; Annabella felt strong, much stronger than she had ever felt before. Her parents could see the scars, it was then that their parents truly began to understand, a cold panic swept them. Even their usual pale features seemed to some how become a brilliant white. Both Chrystyne and Eustace ran from the room in a panic running to the basement that had remained locked for years. Unsure of what to do Kayetelynn and Annabella ran after their parents.

Down in the dusty basement Annabella and Kayetelynn stared curiously at their parents sighing relieved in front of a mirror. The mirror, heavy, ornate and beautiful, showed only the image of the room, and not the four breathless occupants ignoring the piles and layers of dust that swept across the room.

In one swift motion Chrystyne’s hand came down on Annabella’s cheek; reprimanding her for putting them all at risk. Bewildered Annabella and Kayetelynn were directed back to their room rather aggressively. The relief had left Chrystyne as soon as a reality had settled back in.

Chrystyne lifted the diamond from the box. Finally ready to explain. “This, this saved our bloodline, by stealing your own blood.” Kayetelynn and Annabella looked on bemused. Eustace grumbled, adjusting himself before he began to speak. “The blood diamond absorbed your blood, did it not? I asked a question.” Kayetelynn nodded, he continued, “The box is but an old Nosferatu legend. It is believed to be a destroyer and a maker of our very existence. By taking your blood, it saved our most direct bloodlines, now the purest of the pure. But in preserving ours, it has destroyed many others. Half fangs, they are now what they once were, it will have undone them. And we are in danger.”

Chapter Two

Their father seemed weaker, like he had the weight of the world upon him, now wrapped in a shroud of concern and worry.

“If as you say, that the stone has undone them, am I wrong in presuming they survive?”

“There will be a tide of hell unleashed, desperate hell. Annabella what have you done?”

Annabella struggled to reply, unsure of how they knew that this had all been down to her, like somehow this had all been intentional, “I only did as the dream dictated.”

This did nothing to sooth her parents. “Tonight we must leave here. Tonight you will go to London and us to the boarder just as we planned.” Eustace left the room to summon the coachmen and carriages. In haste he loaded their luggage to leave ahead of the girls.

“You will meet the luggage in London, and you will need this.” He handed Annabella a sealed envelope. “These instructions will help you when we cannot.” His last words sounded uncharacteristic of his normal manner, they were heavy and sorrowful. Perhaps more that he was forced to bid farewell too soon; in conditions that he would in time break his heart, as though he knew the fates before them. The myths that had been created to the legends of the stone and box, in old stories that had been passed to generations as bed time tales.

“There will be a fall out; there will be a time that half fangs will know no other way. Their very existence as it had been all these years has become them, their last shred of identity in our existence; they will be unwilling to go back to what they once were. Mortal lives will pain them. Be wary of their clumsy pursuits.”

Kayetelynn nodded and hugged Chrystyne, “for the dead, we travel fast, my dears be at speed.”

Kayetelynn and Annabella said one last goodbye before setting themselves into a carriage made of the darkest wood and most decadent of fabrics. They sat restless as the wheels began to creak and bounce at speed against the old cobble stone roads.

February Flashbacks- Winds of Change

Coryburn Girls: Winds of Change

Two girls on the journey of discovery, but are they about to lose all that their family had built? Will they destroy the life they know in pursuit of their own gains and adventures? What is the fascination with the stone that will change the destinies of everyone they have ever known?

https://www.amazon.com/Coryburn-Girls-Change-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00XEPEDU6?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc#nav-subnav

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coryburn-Girls-Change-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00XEPEDU6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Chapter One

In the crisp warm air Kayetelynn and Annabella walked arm in arm through a dimly lit garden; taking the time to smell a rose on their stroll. As though nothing out of the ordinary could ever happen in their lives; as though nothing out of the ordinary ever has happened. In complete honesty, tonight was a rare night off from chasing leads as politely and as unassumingly as possible. It had become an exhausting experience, often met with dead ends at the assumption that the girls were in fact no more then dreamers or trouble stirring to have something to gossip over.

It took Annabella a few moments longer than it should have to recognise the man that had come to a stop in front of them. He seemed to be a truly disgruntled and agitated figure of a man; he pushed a piece of crumpled paper into her hand.

“My- is it really you? Where have you been?” Annabella had caught him; he was immensely uncomfortable; unconsciously in his anxious state he stroked his beard, shaking his head to her question unwilling to actually speak, hoping to get away. Barely the shadow of a man they once knew.

Annabella was baffled that it taken her so long to recognise his face, after all this time she had never imagined he could change this much. “Tarron?” she pushed but he shook his head and pointed at the paper. Kayetelynn unfolded the crumpled paper and stared at the messy scrawl, “it’s an address?”

Finally he spoke, “I heard you were looking for something. That is the very last address that I was able to track it to.”

Annabella stood still in disbelief, “but Tarron that doesn’t explain the beard, you look ridiculous.” Kayetelynn’s comment dismayed Annabella who had hoped the two would be able to get along. “Kayetelynn, hush it suits him, don’t worry about Kayetelynn. She’s not been herself lately.”

Which was a lie, this was very Kayetelynn like behaviour, but Tarron nodded and excused himself despite Annabella’s weak protests; as quickly as he had come, he had disappeared.

Annabella smacked Kayetelynn on the arm agitating her sister, “what was that for?”

“You didn’t have to be so mean, he was helping us, we haven’t seen him in months and the first thing you chose to do was insult him.”

“He is being a baby”

“Lynny, you are the one acting like a child”

“I am not. I am angry. Why aren’t you? He left and didn’t even apologize; we got caught because he abandoned us, for all we know he could have told the guards where we were.”

Annabella sighed and pulled Kayetelynn to the side of the path, away from any eavesdropping passers by. In a hushed voice she finally spoke, “we got the box and we got out, we should be thankful we managed that. Do you not think that time and time again we have persuaded him to flout every one of his morals; he does it every single time because it is you who asks it of him. He loves you and you don’t feel a thing for him. He knows that, and yet still he is clinging to misguided hope that you will change and love him as he loves you. I am sorry Lynny but you don’t seem to want to even think about the entirety of this painting so please next time you see him, just apologize. Like it or not right now we still need and we are still using his help. So just think about that next time you snap at him, we still need his help. You know we do.”

Kayetelynn soured at her sister’s reasoning, more so that she had chosen to take someone else’s side over hers. It didn’t matter that Annabella was right, what mattered to Kayetelynn was her wounded pride.

Chapter Two

The air was dark and cool as Kayetelynn and Annabella made their way over the final hillside that stood in their path. Finally confronting their next adventure, before them was a seemingly unassuming home in the countryside that they had been seeking all this time. When the house finally came to view the ground seemed to lurch a little beneath their feet.

It was Annabella who took the lead like a hunting wolf on the scent of a kill. Annabella rarely wanted to take the lead for anything, not openly at least. But now more than it had ever been, the idea of being the leader was little but a thought in the tiny corner of her mind.

Annabella had felt the pull of what she had for so long been searching for; from the ridge of the hill it had all seemed so much harder, but now that she reached the walls of the house she could feel something calling to her. Everything began to feel that bit easier for her. She dragged Kayetelynn past the cold, ice-frosted windows towards the back entrance, quietly and with ease she picked and pulled at the lock hearing the final click she smiled.

Kayetelynn was open mouthed as Annabella made a line straight into the study; as though she had always known this house. Kayetelynn was in awe of her sense of direction, but her admiration fell into a sense of unease at an army of taxidermy squirrels, badgers and foxes that lined every single space around her. Annabella hissed at Kayetelynn to follow her, having seen the hundreds of draws lining the study room. Kayetelynn began to rifle through them making a considerable mess. It was Annabella who dropped to her knees and felt around the corner of the heavy rug, pulling it back to reveal a loose floorboard that creaked below her feet. It took a little bit of effort for Annabella to gently prise it open quietly.

Feeling around in the open space she felt the cold, hardness wrapped within a bundle of cheap rags. She peeled the layers of fabric away like it was an onion until she saw the core. The thing that had occupied her every thought for the last few months; night after night, with that same strange dream. The desire that had fuelled her determination and her search was now in her hand, the cold glinting blood diamond. Carefully she wrapped it back up and placed it within her bust before she replaced the floorboard wanting to keep a safe hold of the stone and never wanting to let it out of her sight.

Annabella and Kayetelynn left the door unlocked as they left; sensing that feeling that they had long overstayed their unwelcome; getting away would be a thousand times more important than locking the door behind them.

Somewhere within the house its owner had indeed awoken, with a start, leaping from his bed he ran to the window. There in the darkness he saw the figure of two girls running, desperate to get away. Clutching at his chest he knew what had been taken. It wasn’t fear that had overtaken him at the loss of something precious. Instead he smiled as he watched them leaving over the edge of the hill. “At last it is finally gone; it can be their nightmare from now.” He mumbled to himself.

He smiled getting back into his bed he nuzzled at his wife kissing her neck in the darkness. Uncaring of what mess could await them in the morning. His desire that had long since been suppressed seemed to awaken and with it a new energy.

February Flashbacks- Skimming the Surface

Coryburn Girls: Skimming The Surface

The Coryburn Sisters are beginning to embark their way into adulthood, somewhere that has never interested them. Not your average girls the sisters tear a wayward path for their future, using the help of their best friend along the way, right and wrong is never black and white but when the lessons are being ignored where will their path of destruction lead?

 

https://www.amazon.com/Coryburn-Girls-Skimming-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00SFQUYXY?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc#nav-subnav

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coryburn-Girls-Skimming-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00SFQUYXY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

The first few chapters as a taster just for you😉

Chapter One

It all began that night within the darkest shadows, in some of the darkest most secret corners of the street; that concealed the three dark figures skulking quietly along their narrow pathway avoiding the dim light that illuminated the old cobbled road about them. Between each of their own racing heartbeats they managed to snatch glimpses of the quietness echoing before them; the soft breathing of slumbering folk, tucked away in warm beds. A place they themselves should have been on this particular night. Out of sight; out of mind; and out of trouble.

It was the tallest of the three figures, who rather awkwardly abandoned its company; leaving the safety of the darkness, crossing over into the dim light of the road to lean on an empty carved doorway. Poised reluctantly to wait for what would come to feel like an eternity in frozen insecurity. Had he not been pulled into the midst of the plans tonight he himself would have been curled amongst the warm nest of blankets. That would surely have been much safer and far warmer and wiser than his current perch skulking in the doorway very alone and very anxious.

The abandoned company began to move again as they carefully slipped into a further void of darkness, the dank darkness of the nearest alley. Arms outstretched in that bitter darkness searching for the cold metal of a door knob. Finally, catching the cold metal in outstretched fingers the door was opened with the strangest care. A small flood of light met the figures. Two haunting young women masquerading in navy guards uniforms. One took the hand of the other and pulled them both inside closing the door behind their swift footsteps. Plunging the alley back into the solitude of darkness the last light their lonely ally would see that evening.

The leading womanly figure rapidly walked, calculating the paths before them through a hallway and beginning an ascent up a narrow dimly lit stairwell. In a rush and flurry their footsteps barely made a sound on the dusty wooden path.

Not once missing a door or taking a wrong turn the women navigated with acute direction, like those that have walked the ways a hundred times or more. They found themselves in the entrance way to a beautiful room. Striding past the shimmering glass cabinets and marble stands. They bypassed exhibit after exhibit carefully constructed. Not letting their eyes wander or flitter distracted over their surroundings. Like hawks focused on prey, they had not ventured through the darkness to peruse the surroundings, they had their minds set on something else. Something that to them was far more delicious, an adventure.

What they had hunted was a little to the left, in an exquisite red velvet lined case, sat so comfortably they had found what they sought, A flicker of candle light bounced around the surface of this particular cold, hard, unyielding stone. The candle light had set soft prismatic shimmering reflections, like the tides of the sea of still waters, bouncing from the soulless diamond. Crystal clear and gloriously cut, there was a pause of pure admiration. It was then that with extreme care they pulled the diamond gently from its casing and slipped it in a silken pouch that was hanging gently around the neck of one of the women.

In the distance of another room in the adjoining chamber, muffled voices carried; echoing in the darkness with every footstep. Without missing a beat, both of the women lowered their gaze and moved swiftly back towards the stairway as quietly as they could manage.

Below the girls, voices began rising up the stairway headed in their very direction. Without hesitation they took the only possible direction left to choose, that wouldn’t lead them into the hands of the guards, up.

As gently as they could manage, on their race to freedom, they manoeuvred a swift flurry of rushed footsteps they reached the exit to the roof. The search for the key to the lock had begun, finding that the key they were looking for had fallen into the dim patch of cold dust a corner. A frenzy of voices below them alerted the women to the urgency of their current predicament. Fumbling with the dust they made attempts to secure the key into the lock; they pushed the heavy door in the hope to open it enough to squeeze through. Neither had spoken in the evening but stifled groans fell from their throats in their efforts to push and shove the door just a little more, with its heavy rusted hinges their only chance to win their freedom leaving them little choice to break their silence.

They made a final attempt; with little time between themselves and the approaching guard, they combined the remainder of their strength.

Chapter Two

The door finally gave way, falling under their sweating bodies and snapping at the hinges. It sent both of the women stumbling onto the roof falling forwards in their combined efforts. Their location had now become alarmingly obvious and confirmed their presence to the guard in their pursuit. The women ran to the edge of the roof top searching for some means to be able to descend from their desperate situation; a stairway, a nearby balcony, anything.

Their nearest chance of escape was also their slimmest chance to escape, a nearby roof top. With little choice they made their way to the gaping open door way that was beginning to fill with the lamp light of the owners of the voices that they had heard. Exhausted, panting men making their ascent became the warning that the girls needed of their impending dangers letting them know, just how far away they were from being apprehended.

Veering around back to the view of the edge of the roof; they had one chance to make that final leap for freedom. With an alarm beginning to ring and sirens exhausting themselves from within the bowels of the building they began their run. At speed towards the edge of the roof, taking that leap, they seemed to float more gracefully than they had imagined towards that roof top. They stumbled forwards a little more than they had expected landing on their fronts.

Elated with their luck and survival they resumed their running, laughing as they jumped between the rooftops and sliding their down lower and lower towards street level as quickly they could manage. Ensuring a safe enough distance between them and the sirening museum they had left behind. They had made their escape.

It seemed that with good fortune; by the size of their evening so far they had found themselves with a great deal more luck then they had thought that they would need. But that was the charm of not following the rules. They stumbled upon an unattended carriage without hesitation or encouragement they pulled themselves onboard and started back towards the museum, at speed. The cobbles jolting at the wheels bouncing them over and over as they navigated their path.

They skidded to a stop in the path of the anxious figure that had abandoned them to the doorway earlier that evening. Having watched the sirens and the alarms of the museum being raised to the world splitting and screeching through the night. One of the women reached her arm down to the man and pulled him aboard. Her voice was somehow both soft and stern in its command “Tarron, get in!” He disappeared from the street into the darkness of the carriage.

As quickly as they had arrived, they had sped off into the darkness once more until they believed that they had finally cleared enough distance between themselves and the museum. Eventually slowing before finding a safe, out of the way place to fall apart laughing hysterically at their escapades of their evening.

Stepping out into the moonlight the young women’s eyes seemed to sparkle as vividly as the diamond they had just stolen, that now swung gleefully in the pouch hanging from the neck of the girl who by some miracle owned the gloriously hypnotizing, vivid green eyes. Her beaming smile completing her natural beauty as she released her hair from the guards hat letting it fall loose, with a glossy light chocolate brown sheen in lose curls draped over her shoulders. She hugged her partners in crime.

Jumping back in excitement she pulled off her partners guard’s hat letting a curtain of fiery, red, cinnamon-ginger hair cascading around her flushed cheeks. Her bright honeyed, amber-brown eyes meeting the captive from the darkness of the carriage. Tarron, a tall, mousey brown haired blue eyed man who raised the first question that he had obviously been bursting at the seams to ask. “Did you get it?” The women burst out laughing as they dangled the pouch teasingly before his face. Knowing that he would try to catch it to see the girl with the green eyes pulled it out of reach.

The women, sisters, twin sisters; bright and beautiful had roped Tarron into tonight’s activity; not that it had really taken much effort, not that he ever really had much choice. Tarron had long since become like the twins personal pet in some respects. Kayetelynn the green eyed beauty and her fiery haired sister, Annabellarose (commonly called Annabella by those she cared for) had known Tarron for what had begun to feel like an eternity, but childhood always seemed like it would last forever, now they were getting wiser about the flighty nature of time it seemed almost right to describe it as an eternity. It would be true to say that they had almost grown up together if it wasn’t for the fact that the girls though thoroughly immature in their pursuit of adventure were on the day to day norm, perceived as wiser than their years, and much beyond their time.

It had made perfect sense to the girls to have their most loyal, doting friend, Tarron act as their lookout boy for the evening.

Finally agreeing on a safe place to hide the carriage and the horses for the meantime they resumed their desire to slide back into the darkness of the night.

 

February Flashback- The Darker Path

Well this story is something that was honestly written to be a short: designed, created and written on a train commute.

It was a great way to use the train commute to keep creative.

The Darker Path follows a character into the discovery of a new world having seen human horrors the world of sci-fi monsters isn’t the horror she expects. The real monsters are people.

Sure a character or two maybe based on someone I know but it is bloody fun to write I enjoyed it. I am tempted occasionally to revisit this project and re-create it but expand it and give it more to it, see what happens when the characters are allowed to keep pushing it forward and see what happens as the monsters realise they are not the monsters they think when they see what humanity has done, in its attempts to destroy one character… I want to know if that is something that you would want to read? Let me know and I may just make it the next project once The Diary of Elliot Parker is finished.

So this story is on arappleby.com

So here are the links to the three parts!

https://arappleby.com/writing-exercises-2014/the-darker-path-1/

https://arappleby.com/writing-exercises-2014/

https://arappleby.com/writing-exercises-2014/the-darker-path-3/

 

 

The 2017 Project

Well… So far, so good. But I seem to have hit a few 21 day challenges at once. I have taken on eating one piece of fruit a day and so far so good. The Positive aspects challenges of: people, places, things and me. I am also doing the three positive things a day challenge. I am really enjoying that bit of new life homework. I do it when I go to bed each night. The more I have been working on the positive aspects the more I have been feeling an increased the benefit of purposefully looking for the best in each day. It is a pleasure. That is not to say that everyday it is an easy task, but purposefully looking for good in each day is having a knock on effect.

I think I am going to add a dream journal to my hopes to achieve in 2017, but so far no dreams to journal. Somewhat for research purposes I have been trying to learn tarot, so I try to try a draw each night to familiarize myself with my cards. I am very familiar to certain cards already, so hopefully I can learn some more… Perhaps I might put my results on here… Not sure if anyone is interested? I am hoping my notebook that I am using will help me to learn some more.

I still haven’t had a day where I haven’t been apologizing for myself, but that is ok, one step at a time. Maybe other things have to fall into place first?

So I think I can say I completed a few of the 21 day challenges, I am going to keep them up as unfinished for the moment for the 21 day challenge to keep me working on them at the moment. I like that happiness homework so I hope I can keep it going, so far so good.

I am making progress on a couple of the 24-7 goals. In particular numbers 1, 10, 12, 17, 22 for the moment. I will let you know if I achieve them I promise.

 

The 24-7 goals:

1- Write The Diary of Elliot Parker Part 2

2- Do NANOWRIMO

3- Write The Diary of Elliot Parker Part 3?

4- Write the first book of the big project

5- Finish spine tattoo

6- Finish magpie tattoo

7- Finish musical rib tattoo

8- Look for an agent/publisher for the “big” project

9- Learn to drive

10- Learn guitar

11- Finish knitting the cable knit jumper

12- Finish knitting the blankets

13- Improve views on here

14- See a west end show

15- Try and succeed at least three times on the 21 day habit swap

16- Win the lotto jackpot

17- Look for the positives more often

18- Meditate regularly

19- Keep making emotional progress

20- Keep hope and loose more doubt

21- Make posts for here in advanced, consider adding pictures, try to avoid leaving it to the last minute

22- Try to grow my hair long- aim for below the shoulder this year.

23- Become even more open-minded

24- Discover my own special brand of writers magic,

Habit swapping:

Break- Stop apologizing for myself so often. I do it a lot, it is something that really bothers me, mainly because I apologise for things that are completely not my fault and nothing to do with me. I am sick of apologizing for my own existence.

Make- Eat at least one piece of fruit a day. It is supposed to be healthy right?

Make- Write/plot at least an hour each day even on rest days. I have to start getting stricter on myself.

Make- Create and stick to a writing schedule. I have to start being more organised.

Break- Stop being hard on myself, speak kinder words to myself instead. That pretty much explains itself.

Make- A daily list of 3 positive things that I like about my day. Because sometimes it is easy to forget that there were brief sunshine moments.

Make- A daily list of 3 things that I like about myself, physical, non-physical. Because, it can be hard to show yourself some love.

Make- A little notebook of positive aspects, a once a day entry of 10 things that are positive. Literally a list of positive aspects about people, places, things; maybe one day I will post it on here.

That’s all I have for now, it might change or grow.

February Flashbacks- Breathing Smog

Well this is where it all began, Breathing Smog. This is the story of two girls, the differences of how they grow up and the different lives they lead and how their worlds collide.

So let’s give you the link now….

https://www.amazon.com/Breathing-Smog-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00M0MOJWG?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc#nav-subnav

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Breathing-Smog-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00M0MOJWG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Currently on a special discount price for the next 7 days just for you!!!  Grab it at the lower price while you can!

 

And here is a little sample of the first couple of chapters…

Chapter One

It all began really, when two girls were born on the same day, at the same time, in the same hospital. But they could not have been more different; and would have severely different kinds of an up bringing. Perhaps an introduction is necessary. I am the voice for both of these girls, a narrator, if I must be named at all. Both girls where born of remarkable families.

Amber Andrews born at quarter to one in the morning on a dark chilly day mid April, looked much like her mother  but had neither her mothers eyes or her fathers. She went home from the hospital to live with her mother and her great grandparents, a wonderful and inspiring selection. A family of future, a family of promise and of love.

A stark contrast to the home Nina Black was to arrive. A mother that would work to strive for her daughter’s upbringing, in the way she saw fit, despite a lazy lousy father’s feeble efforts. Perhaps a harsh description but it is none the less a simplistic honest description. Now allow me to be clear I’m not saying this house wasn’t filled with love, because it was, an immense amount of love, provided by her mother enough love for both of her parents. But enough resentment for the life she could have led.

Nina and Amber grew fast, blindingly so, both girls where walking weeks before their first birthday, both girls happy and content in what little a one year old knows. Nina’s first birthday was a true celebration perhaps her final celebration in a family soon to be torn apart at the seams. For you see, Nina’s mother and father had not long been married, for complete honesty I must explain. Nina’s mother, Victoria, had married Edward because she was pregnant and it was the right thing to do at the time, she didn’t want the child growing up with the social stigma of being an illegitimate child; or perhaps it was her vanity and name that would be under the microscope for raising a child on her own.

But Victoria knew Edward wasn’t right for her, she knew deep down that marrying Edward was wrong, he was wrong, and he was a danger. But she knew all this and yet proceeded to marry the father of her child, in October before the birth of her daughter and before her own twenty-first birthday had passed.

What little that I can assume of this marriage is that it was an unpleasant and unfortunate incident which gave way to a tide of many mistakes. Perhaps I should also confirm now for you that this is being written some twenty odd years later and much has changed; socially, politically and of course economically.

But at the time Victoria was of worthy and higher class then Edward. She had her own plans; had she not gotten pregnant and married him would be to become a nurse and rise through the ranks to matron or was it sister? She could never settle because it was never enough. She always wanted to marry a doctor or a lawyer or a barrister.

However she married Edward, perhaps at first it was love. He was a foolish hap-hazard boy that would go through life flitting through a few jobs exactly that, in his traditional hap-hazard foolish ways, but more importantly he was immature. The man she chose to marry never grew up or established a clear grasp of reality, with the same mentality of a child at times.

By about 2 years of age Nina could see what was going on and would say to people that daddy hits mummy. Victoria now had no choice; her daughter could see the conflict and things had to change. But things where changing rapidly, Edward left to live with his parents and Victoria now had to raise a young child as a single mother with a mortgage and bills a single mother can ill afford.

Edward, well Edward was a petty man, he came back to the house whilst Victoria and Nina where out. He came to the house and took silly things like bread and milk and his clothes. Edward by his actions laid down the pathway he would take in the raising of the child, an absent father. An absent father with too much to say with little thought other then himself.

*

Amber was an angel, her mother though not a natural had her grandparents support, her parents even though they had spent what felt like a lifetime separated, and her brother’s support. In their opinion it was better to be safe raising a child than to be in a bad relationship putting herself and her daughter in danger.

The family in all their discussions had agreed that Amber was to assume her father had died and was with the angels. Amber was never to know her father as bittersweet the lie this was far from the truth. Amber’s mother Cindy was outstanding in her conviction. Cindy was a beautiful and smart woman persevering in her education to develop herself a career. She wanted to show her daughter she could do anything she wanted if she tried hard enough.

Both girls where enrolled in ballet which they both loved and adored. Both girls enjoyed and loved the time they spent in ballet on the Saturday mornings. But for one this love would be taken away. Nina’s father had her stay with him every other weekend and he declared that morning lessons took away from his time with his daughter. But a few hours for a child’s happiness taken away, by a bitter man with only himself in mind; wanting to win a war. What harm would it have been to even watch the lessons? To spend time with his daughter whilst she did something that she loved? As young as she was at what right was that his decision? At what right did he have to stop his child from doing something that she loved, just because it delayed his times? His concern was for getting on the motorway before it got crowded because he had moved to another county so it was enough distance from his ex. As simple as that, he moved county to get away from an ex. A county to get away from his responsibility as a father; a responsibility he was not willing to undertake and keep.

It could be that perhaps I am being too harsh in my description, or perhaps I have little to no sympathy for this guy. Surely inserting my own opinion into what I say is my right? As a narrator I should be allowed. I’m not going to do an entire paragraph ranting on about how I have the right to input my opinion though I’m sure it’s never done and I’m sure it’s a silly idea. Anyway… back to the point?

Amber however continued with ballet and she loved it. Although during little ballet shows and showing the family what she had learned made her beam with pride there was sadness, a longing for the father she never knew, she wanted to make him proud. Anyone could see and understand that the family dynamic wasn’t quite what a normal family should be. She knew that a family was a mum and a dad, somehow having all that love left a void, a void she knew she had but didn’t understand.

It’s stunning the similarity, both brown eyed babies with dark hair, doing ballet, but now you have to trust me; it’s not me being a lazy narrator, it is just the way it was.

Believe me now when I say I could write page upon page about both of those men, their short falls and their flaws. But where is the fun in that? Why not let these men show themselves when the time is right or perhaps there is never a right time for this kind of thing? What I can explain I shall, what I know the honest answers to I shall reveal when the time is right. Until then the order shall remain.

After a short while Nina joined her first school yes admittedly it was the youngest class. Nina had been enrolled in a Catholic school, and it was one hell of a school. Massively overwhelming, and there was a building that was said to be haunted, and lots of ghost stories. It was a beautiful school; it wasn’t too shabby, she even liked it at first. But then things never turn out quite right or at least they don’t if Edward has anything to do with it. He forced Victoria to pull Nina out of school because it was Catholic.  He really is doing himself no favors here.

Well as anyone can imagine and understand being a single mother is hard, and earning a living was hard on Victoria, so she turned to child minding. That way she could spend time with her daughter while trying to earn some money, being self employed. Well unfortunately parents didn’t always pay and things got tricky. The children where right little, for lack of a better word, demons. There’s only so long you can put up with rubbish parents palming their child on to another because they can’t handle them and then refuse to pay. I would use the cliché all good things come to an end but this really wasn’t all that great.

*

Amber was being sent to other styles of dance now a little older, the main trio ballet, tap and jazz. Amber loved the dancing and it was doing wonders for her; it was a perfect form of free expression. Living under a roof of strict upbringing, Amber’s great grand parents, Veronica and Edmond were strict and a lot was expected of her from a young age. And that was perfect, for someone to have family that believed so much in them and it was beautiful, to see that much love in a family. Things weren’t perfect but they where close. Something Nina in years to come would wish that she had.

But sadly Amber’s great grandmother a remarkable woman passed away from cancer, and this would not be the first time Amber’s life would be afflicted with so much tragedy caused by this same illness. With the loss of Veronica, Amber’s appetite changed and so did she, she was involved with the world of dance, the pressure to be perfect, and as we all know the media has its role to play of what is perceived as perfection. Amber’s attention focused on the one thing she could change she wanted to be thin and pretty; just like the girls in magazines and on television. She did the only way that she could understand at that age, she wouldn’t eat as much.

With only the influence of girls her own age in the dancing world, she felt a pressure to be thin, something the women and most of the men in this family were not so genetically flawed and a little too young to understand she took note of what the other girls where saying.

*

Nina had seen ice skating on the TV. She thought it was fantastic she would slide her feet along the floor pretending to be an effortless ice dancer. Her mother did what she could and enrolled her in ice skating courses at the local ice arena. She was a natural; the instructor even said that for the next term she could skip five grades! How fantastic was that? But that happiness and pride was short lived, yet again the ugly monster that is Edward rears his head, and yet again Nina was forced to give up something that she loved. Edward, heaven knows how or why Victoria fell for him, an awful and immature man. I would expect it was a case of bad boy syndrome, he was cool he was funny but he was bad, he was vindictive. Yes vindictive he made its own life difficult, he made sure his job was that insignificant and his living costs just high enough that when the child support agency had done their assessments he had managed to get out of paying anything. He is certainly turning himself into the villain of our story almost effortlessly. Yet anyone could sympathize; perhaps it was hard for him to spend time away from his only child? Maybe he struggled? But unfortunately it is easy for him to lie his way through life, what appears to be the only thing he can successfully do in this girl’s life. The only thing both of her parents really knew how to do.

Both girls clearly smarter then I would have given credit for where taught to read and write well before schooling age, something both mothers could and should be proud of. Amber was home schooled, she got to spend time with family and learn all the time, something that was absolutely perfect for her. Both girls were bright, and so eager to learn. Nina however did not suit being schooled at all. She was an outsider right from the start.

Victoria was told off by Nina’s school for teaching her to read and write because she had taught Nina the wrong way. Nina had nothing to do in her first year because she was already reading and writing properly and the teacher didn’t cater for this so Nina suffered, she had nothing to occupy her and keep her mind going and learning, she was sat at the back of the class doing things she could do in minutes that was expected to take an hour or even a day for the other students.

This bred negative feelings about school. In Nina’s second year things where no better, in fact Nina had never felt so alone, she played on her own at break times. Things did not improve at all during her third year in fact it got worse. She was bullied relentlessly.

One day on her way outside to the playground the bully in her class attacked Nina and pushed her against a wall and slammed her against it, hitting her head into the wall again and again. Nina practically melted against the wall crying as the girl walked away. That wasn’t the only negative thing to come out of that year. Nina stopped eating lunches and most of her other meals.

She wouldn’t eat at all. Her teacher one day lifted up her lunch box at the end of the day to find it was still full, she kept Nina behind and brought Victoria in to the class room after the rest of the class had gone, to talk.

The teacher told Victoria about the lunch box and the pair of them arranged for Nina to eat lunch in the classroom with the teacher under supervision. Probably not the wisest move. Victoria took Nina to the hospital where they forced blood tests from an unwilling girl who swore from then on she would hide her eating, that no one would find out and make her do anything like that again. Victoria without realizing had ended up creating a larger problem then she anticipated in her motion to try to fix it.

Victoria really seemed to try to do all that she could to help her daughter; she would go to the ends of the earth and back again for her. But the one thing Victoria was struggling to do in her eyes was to make up for the fact that Edward was her mistake all along. Nina really was the best thing to come out of that woman’s life but he was the worst, a constant connection to an ex she would do anything to forget. Who would blame her? I am sure most women and men alike have had an abusive ex at some point, whether emotional or physical, all they want at the end of it is to forget and move on, but with a child involved its almost impossible.

Chapter Two

Unfortunately both girls weren’t very healthy by this point; aged eight going on nine these girls had some issues. One issue being they were plagued by tonsillitis, frequently, so frequently certain forms of antibiotics became useless on the girls. That being the case they ended up having their tonsils out in the same hospital they where born in. The hospital, at the time was preparing to bring out a new leaflet of the friends of the hospital. Unfortunately for Nina the photographer was in on the day of her operation and they took a picture of her on her way into surgery. When the leaflet came out she was on the cover!

Something such a shy, self conscious girl severely lacking in confidence found strange and uncomfortable, but in years to come she would actually find a silly little pride in that leaflet. But until then Nina would struggle with her emotions and her eating. It came to the fourth year of school; things couldn’t be more stressful for such a young child.

It was this year the bully was someone that everyone liked, a blonde haired blue eyed child with a disgusting personality, funny though that such a person was a popular child. This girl made life awful for Nina, the girl and her two friends where cruel, and even when the ring leader was to leave mid year the girls two friends continued.

Heaven knows if a child can really understand and realize the impact they can have on another’s life, but it was not a good road to begin with. Even with Victoria stepping in and speaking to the teacher nothing was done, a ridiculous neglect on the schools part, and that teacher.

On one of Nina’s weekends with her father he pulled a dirty stunt, he sat Nina down and started talking to her. He pulled out a pile of letters and showed them to Nina saying that Victoria couldn’t afford to pay her bills, and that Nina should come and live with him. A dirty underhand trick, to try and take a shallow child from its mother. The only problem was that Nina wasn’t shallow and she loved her mother to the ends of the earth.

It made Nina determined to stay with her mother; she refused to be taken in by money. Mid-way through the year Victoria having taken out loans and credit cards to try to save the family home to make mortgage payments on her own lost the battle.

Without any help from Edward even though his name was on the mortgage the house was repossessed, and Victoria and Nina had to move. The council had agreed after looking into everything, hell they would have looked into who the cats mother was if they could, had agreed that they would put the pair in a council flat, unfortunately said council flat was in a bad neck of the woods, hell even police officers have called it a “Hill Billy inbred” council estate. Victoria and Nina definitely stuck out like a sore thumb.

The flat was small and pokey, on the third floor in a building filled with a drug den and some what it’s almost impossible to describe as anything other then cheap trash. Yes I the narrator would consider these people this way, not by any stereotypical assumption but because these people where exactly that by behavior, appearance and intelligence.

The kids in the area picked up on how different Nina was to them, she was bright, and she had a future, something that it’s doubtful they had. Nina wasn’t allowed to play with the children either, she was kept separate. Because even with little contact between Nina and the local kids they managed to find a way to make Nina understand the children as dangerous and bullies.

So bullied at school and in her local area Nina had it coming in from all sides. I would expect if Nina had kept a diary it would be a depressing read. She had a deep sadness in her heart and no outlet; she had hidden it every day since she dared to remember.  Something had truly changed with in her soul the night her father played his petty attempts at taking the child from her mother, in the soul aim to spite Victoria.

If he had truly cared for the child he would not have used such a cheap, tacky trick but he would have made an effort every time she visited, instead his soul aim to hurt Victoria was failing, and failing fast.

Edward had found a new woman a few months before, a funny story I suppose in hindsight, and a little out of our timeline but it seems necessary to speak of it. This was months before his dirty trick. His new girlfriend, Mercy, had practically moved in with him from the first date. It came to Nina’s first weekend with her father since this new woman. By the evening all was not right. Nina was in bed early. Edward called Victoria to tell her that Nina’s weekend had to be cut short because Mercy couldn’t cope with Nina being around; basically taking her time away from Edward.

I want you to keep in mind that Mercy had spent time as a nanny; she was proving herself to be a real piece of work that deserved Edward. Victoria didn’t take too kindly to this and demanded Nina be brought home right away so in the middle of the night her belongs were packed up and Edward brought her home. I’m no nutritional expert but Nina was given a donut as her lunch, now you see even if a child has an eating problem not that Edward knew or probably even cared, a donut is not a lunch for a growing child. Especially one that actually liked vegetables (see I did say Nina was a strange child didn’t I?). Well now my rant about diet being over and possibly with more stories of this woman to come; I shall leave the stories and distastes over her alone for a short while.

But after these events Nina was wising up to her father, who and what he was. She didn’t want to be his burden every other weekend and she didn’t want to be around a toxic and evil environment. So she refused to go on the weekends to her fathers.

It took a little time before it became apparent to Victoria that this wasn’t a phase and it wasn’t going to change in the near future. So Victoria found she had to explain this to Edward who demanded he spoke with his daughter.

The conversation was cold on her part, perhaps some dialogue would explain. “Hello Nina, your mummy says that you don’t want to see me. Is this true Nina?” Sounding intimidating and threatening in her young ears. But it was surprising how strong and firm her 9 year old voice was saying “yes it’s true”.

The child had the courage to undo her mothers actions of marrying him to give Nina what she thought would be a stable life all those years ago. Nina had so much courage and strength to hold her ground when inside she was crumbling.

There was so much darkness in this girl, it wasn’t fear, it was her honesty to the reality she had around her, she could see the demons, but on her own, singing to herself she felt at ease. Like all she had to do was sing, and the hurt would melt away for the time being.

*

However over protective Victoria was of Nina it was nothing compared to how over protected Amber was, by her mother Cindy her grandparents and great grandfather. Amber rarely made friends her own age, she always found it easier to talk to adults, and they made more sense. By spending so much time with her family, she became a little socially restricted; she lacked confidence and came across as shy.

One night her mother took her to the theatre, to see her first musical, and she loved it. Almost at once Amber knew that that is what she wanted to do, she wanted to be on a west end stage, and nothing and no one was going to stop her.

*

Meanwhile things where getting worse for Nina at school the old ring leader of the group of girls that had spent so much time bullying her was returning and she knew what this meant for her. In her final year of primary school things were hard. There was this awful supply teacher; one day, during silent reading time Nina had sat sideways on a chair facing the window reading a book. There was another girl on the table that read a magazine.

The teacher began to loose his temper, yelling at a quiet class to be quiet, to turn around and face their desks. Far too engrossed in her book Nina seemed not to notice until the teacher was standing behind her forced her round to face the table lifted her chair and practically threw her chair with her on it into the table so it wasn’t sticking out. He then took the magazine from the girl who was reading it and yelled that it wasn’t a book, and it was unacceptable behavior and threw the magazine at the girls face.

The next day the students a whole class full told their teacher what happened and she didn’t believe them, a class of thirty students insistent that this was truth where ignored and nothing was done.

Later in the day the math students who where in the top set where pulled aside to their lesson separate from the class including the girl with the magazine and Nina, all the students gathered around the far end of the table from this man. That wasn’t the only horrifying ordeal Nina suffered that month.

When everyone else was at break Nina had to get something from her bag when two of the bullies started on her. Nina went into the bathroom to get out of line of fire, but the girls followed her in and trapped her into the cubicle, and a horrifying truth escaped her mouth, a quiet truth that she had been hiding, “I wish I was dead” as break time ended the girls left. They had gone to the teacher saying Nina had said that she wished that they were dead. Something that Nina profusely denied. Although this thought had crossed her mind, a dark sinister thought, and not for the first time. Nina told the teacher what happened, and what had been happening over the past few years at the school and that she had told the teachers before but none had done anything at all to stop it. Not one intervention, not one effort to stop it, and this teacher followed suit and did nothing. Stood by and did nothing.

Later in the year the class were doing a drama skit from a book they liked and a ginger haired boy approached her and said you will be a perfect Hermione, with a puzzled look from Nina he explained to her, all about Luke Potter, and all she had to say was “we could have been killed or worse expelled” while he played Ron and his friend was Luke. Their drama skit was a success. Admittedly a little while later she read the books and she loved them. Yet another thing she was to have in common unknowingly with Amber who had discovered them and read them with an intense focus.

But things where starting to change for both girls, they had reached the age and time for secondary school, Amber was to remain home schooled but Nina would end up with another school she would detest.

Let the February Flashbacks Commence

Well it is February and the perfect chance to have a February Flashback…

It’s a chance to see some old stories… and yes if you wouldn’t mind hopping along to my author page and investing in a few stories I would be very grateful…

Here is the linkage… https://www.amazon.com/A.-R.-Appleby/e/B00N96X5L8

This is a little untold before information on my writing “career” as it were.

We are going to be going through the old school first ever writes.

So at the late but apparently early age the last year of my teens I began writing. The very first story that I wrote, Breathing Smog. It took a fair while and there were often times when I thought I couldn’t do it, that I would never finish the story. It felt like the hardest mountain to climb, physically and mentally. Safe to say when it was finally finished I was over the moon. Elated and over joyed. The cover, the artwork you can see on the Kindle book was done by my own fair hands on a coach ride. It took a while to complete and the coach was bouncy but it got done.

The link to Breathing Smog is just here: https://www.amazon.com/Breathing-Smog-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00M0MOJWG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

My next project was The Darker Path which was written on train journeys commuting into London. It was a project that kept me going at writing when I found Breathing Smog too much of a struggle. Something to keep me writing when writing Smog was too hard for me. So there are three links to the three available chapters. It has one character based on an old friend, the two leading males… I made up completely. I had someone ask me who the men were in the real world. But it is only the girly friend who is based on a real person, oh and yes the lead is totally myself at the tender age of nineteen.

So those three links I hear you say… (I hope.)

https://arappleby.com/writing-exercises-2014/the-darker-path-1/

https://arappleby.com/writing-exercises-2014/the-darker-path-2/

https://arappleby.com/writing-exercises-2014/the-darker-path-3/

The Coryburn Girls series… well it was fun. It was silly. It was my alter ego at her worst. In a way. The deadly, sexy, decisive and stubborn woman. I loved it. Being the bad guy. The saucy, troublesome, graceful woman. I am definitely not graceful, deadly, sexy, decisive or saucy but I definitely am stubborn and maybe a little troublesome if the mood takes me. This story began at some point in my early twenties. Inspired by a friend and I wanting to just embrace what we were not, so I rolled with that idea and ended up with the girls who destroyed their world.

Here is the link to the first https://www.amazon.com/Coryburn-Girls-Skimming-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00SFQUYXY/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

Here is the link to the second https://www.amazon.com/Coryburn-Girls-Change-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B00XEPEDU6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

Here is the link to the third https://www.amazon.com/Coryburn-Girls-Devil-Take-Hindmost-ebook/dp/B012KLKF7O/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

So Counting Corvids, something that I hadn’t mentioned but probably should have this was my third story written to completion like this. It was a struggle because I wanted the reader to draw their own conclusions as to what things looked like. I wanted the reader to just have the chance to use their imagination and read into it what they wanted to see. I suppose sometimes I wanted to over explain and others, under explain. It sucked but timing was a struggle. I must admit I did try to plan it in more impact scenes rather than pursue the active characters, what they were like within on their own. I hope you all enjoyed it.

So here is a link to Counting Corvids https://www.amazon.com/Counting-Corvids-R-Appleby-ebook/dp/B01GEBKVUM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8#nav-subnav

And I finally want to talk about … The Diary of Elliot Parker. The secret is… it is a recent experiment and a definite challenge. I have loved every minute of it and hated a few minutes as well at the same time. That moment when you stare at a blank page and you think “oh my god what on earth am I going to write today right now?” And that gives away my secret, this project is largely what I call an “on the fly” project/experience. Sure I had an idea/end goal for the block of entries. But I didn’t have a set plan. I have however discovered that I know what I want to happen in some ways but I want to give it time. I let myself just enjoy whatever inspired me. Whatever mood I was in when I sat down to write for The Diary of Elliot Parker I would find my mood changing. I would come away from a writing session maybe having written only one entry that day or a few. I might sit down very upset or wound up, by the time I came away from it I felt less resistant and I felt happier. I felt the catharsis of writing. It was wonderful to just let go of the mood that I approached the writing with and just settle down into the Elliot Parker mode. To feel Elliot Parker’s voice reminding me that “my name is Elliot Parker”. That was the only thing I had to be. I didn’t have to think about anyone else’s character progression, no one else’s story. It was literally focus on one character and how they felt and who they wanted to be. A great experience to say the least. I really enjoyed being Elliot Parker and I can’t wait to pick up the rest of the story.

So here is a link to The Diary of Elliot Parker