MONDAY BLUES (40)

BOOKS FOR YOU

Hi Friends,

I was planning to share something different. I know it must be quite irritating to keep promoting your books repeatedly. Unfortunately, I had no other options but to keep marketing them as far as possible. I welcome suggestions from all of you to boost the sales of my books. There’s another reason why I wish to push for more sales.

As you are aware of my own depression problem, and how being the victim of bullying not only affected me but also my daughter. Both of us almost lacked any iota of confidence until ‘I found my voice through blogging and wonderful friends like Cherie White, Kym Gordon Moore, Luisa Zambrotta, and Belladonna with Cindy Georgakas, Tammy, and Elvira through their constant motivation and support helped me overcome my fear. I am also grateful to Shri Kaushal Kishore, Padmaja Ramesh, Rupali, Suman Pal ji, Shanky Salty, Preetverse, Madhusudan ji, Rekha Sahay, and Mousumi ji for cheering me up with their beautiful posts. I thought of raising funds from which a part of the income would be contributed to the victims of depression, bullying, and those feeling low in confidence and displaying a suicidal tendency. Kindly bear with my singing ūüėāūüėāūüėāūüėā

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SUNDAY SURPRISE (84)

CLAW OF ATTRACTION : KAREN MCSPADE ARC BOOK REVIEW

Book review

Author Karen McSpade has done it yet again. She has successfully managed to keep her readers intrigued with her second book in the Crystal Beach Paranormal cozy mystery, ‘ Claw of Attraction.’ Wow, I love the way, she drafts her stories and splits them into short books and ends them at such an interesting point that you can’t help but look forward to the next instalment and buy it to continue the story from where it ended in the previous one. Wow! This entire series is too good to be missed. Excellent work, dear Karen.
In Catch Scratch Murder, Sidney Grace, a reporter working for Living It Large in Boston magazine, rushes to help her maternal grandma Ada Mae who’s been arrested on the suspicion of murdering her friend, Marie Beauchamp. Besides being a nosy reporter, she’s also a witch who has discovered her power to see ghosts just like her granny. She finds out the real killer and now the story continues in Claw of Attraction. Her grandma is missing. Fearing her safety, she seeks the help of Ernie and when she goes to her grandma’s room, she’s shocked to find an astonishing sight? What’s it? Will her grandma live or die? Who was Marie’s killer?

To find out what happens next, just get Claw of Attraction. The story progresses as Sidney accidentally bumps into her old flame, Ben Chalmers in a grocery store, Eternity Foods. They promised to meet but then there’s an unexpected twist in the tale. Another body turns up while the Crystal Beach Mini-Golf Invitational Tournament is in progress. The suspense builds up and there’s tension and excitement. Sidney is in for a great shock. Will she be able to solve this one? Or something else is on the cards. Suspense, excitement, thrill, makes this book a perfect paranormal cozy mystery. Definitely deserves a five-star rating. This book will be available on Amazon on January 24, 2023. Do grab it and enjoy a great read.

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SUNDAY SURPRISE (83)

MY DREAM DESTINATION.

Hi Friends,

Today, I wish to share some exotic locations,

Where I intend to spend my dream vacation,

Along with my beloved family,

And spend my days happily.

( IMAGES : GLANCE.COM)

Nainital ( Uttarakhand, India).

Chicago ( The USA)

Jeju Island ( South Korea)

Pyramids in Mexico

Whitehaven Beach, Australia

Mauritius

National Museum of African American History, Rwanda.

Bora Bora island, French Polynesia.

Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Purulia, West Bengal, India. Unfortunately Purulia is not in Kolkata as mentioned in the pic. Purulia is one of the districts in West Bengal.

Alps Mountain from Germany side.

Sayama Hills, Tokyo, Japan.

Venice, Italy.

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DESPAIR VS HOPE

A POEM BY ME

Wounded pride and low self-esteem,
Have turned me into a zombie. 
Living just for the sake of my precious one,
As I am screaming for my liberty. 

My soul is struck in this very body, 
Desperately searching for a way to get salvation. 
How long would I have to torment myself? 
When will I reach my destination? 

I wish to rejuvenate my broken soul, 
And I seek God's Divine Grace. 
May He give me the strength to fulfill all my responsibilities. 
And then take me to His Place. 

Nowadays, I am afraid to sleep. 
Scared of the horrific thoughts going through my mind. 
I  toss and turn every night. 
Peace of mind, I am yet to find. 

This can't go on forever, 
I refuse to give up the fight to survive. 
I won't let anyone bully me, never. 
In Optimism and hope, the human lives thrive. 

Every single day teaches me a lesson. 
Some old while some are new. 
Get out of your mind's prison. 
The world's out there for you. 

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DELIGHTFUL SATURDAYS WITH MY FAVORITE AUTHORS AND POETS (64)

MARY HIGGINS CLARK (IMAGE WITH INFO : WIKIPEDIA)

Mary Higgins Clark was an American writer  of suspense novels. She was born Mary  Theresa Eleanor Higgins on December 24,  1927.With her debut suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, in its seventy-fifth printing,  each of her 51 books was a bestseller in the United States and several European nations. As of 2015, all of her books were still in print.

Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins happened to be the second child and the only daughter of Nora C. (Durkin) and Luke Joseph Higgins. Her brother, Joseph, was older than her by a year and a half. She had a younger brother, John. Her mother was born in America and also of Irish ancestry, and her father was an immigrant from Ireland.

She took a keen interest in writing at a young age of seven when she started composing poems and short plays to be enacted by her friends. She also started maintaining a journal to record the daily events in her life.

The¬†family¬†had¬†a¬†property¬†in¬†the¬†Bronx¬†and¬†a¬†vacation¬†home¬†on¬†Long¬†Island¬†Sound,¬†and¬† they also earned income by running an Irish pub. Despite¬†the¬†fact¬†that¬†Higgins¬†Clark¬†was¬† just¬†a¬†baby¬†when¬†the¬†Great¬†Depression¬† started,¬†her¬†family¬†initially¬†escaped ¬†unaffected¬†and¬†even¬†insisted¬†on¬†feeding¬†the¬†jobless¬†men¬†who¬†came¬†to¬†their¬†home.¬†When¬†Higgins¬†Clark¬†turned¬†10,¬†the¬†family¬† started¬†to¬†run¬†into¬†financial¬†difficulties¬†as¬†a result¬†of¬†many¬†of¬†their¬†patrons¬†who¬†couldn’t¬†pay¬†the¬†bar¬†tabs¬†they¬†had¬†racked¬†up.¬†

Higgins¬†Clark’s¬†father¬†was¬†compelled¬†to¬†fire¬†a¬†number¬†of¬†employees¬†and¬†put¬†in¬†extra¬†overtime,¬†spending¬†hardly¬†more¬†than¬†a¬†few¬†hours¬†per¬†day¬†at¬†home. The Higgins family suffered a major setback when Mary discovered that her father, Luke Joseph Higgins, passed away in his sleep in 1939. Mary’s widowed Mom, Nora, was unable to get a job as she was 52 and had not worked for 14 years. Mary Higgins Clark had to give up her bedroom so that her mother could get rent from paying boarders. To add to their misfortune, Mary’s older brother, Joseph, had injured his foot over a piece of metal, leading to severe¬†osteomyelitis. When¬†the¬†young¬†boy¬†needed¬†numerous¬† blood¬†transfusions,¬†Higgins¬†Clark¬†and¬†her¬† mother¬†fervently¬†prayed¬†for¬†him,¬†and¬†their¬† neighbours¬†flocked¬†to¬†their¬†home¬†in¬†great¬† numbers¬†to¬†donate¬†blood.¬†Joseph¬†Higgins ¬†lived¬†despite¬†the¬†physicians’¬†grim¬†warnings. Higgins Clark believed that their prayers were important in his recovery.

Mary Higgins Clark believed that their prayers were important in his recovery.

Higgins Clark obtained a scholarship from the Congregation de Notre Dame de Montreal to attend the Villa Maria Academy after she graduated from Saint Francis Xavier Grammar School. She started working as a switchboard operator at the Shelton Hotel and used to listen to the residents’ conversation. Her earnings were not enough for the family. Her mother took up a job as a babysitter to supplement the family income. Her older brother, Joseph, joined the Navy in 1944 after his graduation. Later on, he died after contracting spinal meningitis. His mother started receiving pension, thus, easing the pressure on Mary Higgins Clark.

Mary Higgins married Warren Clark in 1949 who died in 1964. Later, she married Raymond Ploetz in 1978 and they separated in 1986. She married again in 1996 to John J. Conheeney who died in 2018. She had 5 children. Her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, and daughter in law, Mary Jane Clark are also authors by profession.

Mary Higgins Clark breathed her last on January 31, 2020 (aged 92) at Naples, Florida, U.S. Nevertheless, she still lives forever in the hearts of her numerous admirers.

HER MOST POPULAR WORK

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (69)

THE SCIENTIST WHO TURNED INTO A MONSTER ( PART 7)

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Shafeeq and Ajmal had just managed to end the call and were about to step out when the police made their way in. Inspector Shashank and his men arrested both Shafeeq and Ajmal. They confiscated the gadgets from them.

During interrogation, Inspector Shashank probed them, ” Do you confess to killing Dr. Harshwardhan and wiping out his entire family? There’s no use denying your involvement in the heinous crime because we have proof of your crime. Now, don’t waste my time and start talking. Don’t force me to use my baton.” Shafeeq and Ajmal preferred dying rather than ratting out their boss, Ahmed. Just then, Ajmal thought of using Harsh’s idea and said, ” Sir, you need not tell us twice. We are ready to confess to our crimes. Both of us are working for‚Ķ.. ” There was a pause as Shafeeq glared at Ajmal, indicating him to shut up. Ajmal ignored his warning and said, ” Our boss is none other than the great scientist, Dr. Sunny Sharma.”
Shafeeq grinned at him as Ajmal winked back.

Inspector Shashank Khare had high regards for Sunny as he had always contributed a generous part of his income for social welfare programs. He lost his temper and yelled, “What rubbish! It looks like you are both under the influence of alcohol and spewing out nonsense. ” Shafeeq said, “If you don’t believe me, then why don’t you check his bank account? He is working for a terrorist group and planning to launch a bomb blast in New Delhi. He is inventing strange gadgets which rips apart the human bodies and sends their mutilated corpses to an unknown dimension. In fact, Dr. Harshwardhan owed him money after losing heavily in gambling for quite a long time. Sunny threatened him to ruin him and his family if he didn’t pay back within a week. He hired us to do the dirty deed for him and paid us quite a huge sum. He taught us how to operate his gadgets. And here we are! “

Inspector Shashank found it hard to believe their fabricated story. He contacted one of his trusted men to check whether there was any discrepancy in his bank account. Shashank had a huge shock awaiting him as the two terrorists’ claim turned out to be true. There was a huge fund transfer that was traced back to an anonymous source. A few hours later, there was a Flash news that declared a bomb blast near Connaught Place in New Delhi, killing at least 50 people.

It was simply too much for Shashank. His hero turned out to be a traitor. How could anyone betray his own motherland? He was furious. The next day, The Police Department in Mumbai convened a meeting and they got the search warrant to raid his lab and house. They called his assistant, Lavanya, who claimed that the scientist was innocent as he was in Nainital for the past one week and couldn’t have committed such a heinous crime. The lab was perfectly clean. They didn’t have enough evidence that could link Sunny to the crime. Shashank was frustrated. He got the details of Sunny’s residence in Nainital.

He immediately left for Nainital with a few trusted men to conduct an inquiry.

Meanwhile, Ahmed had learned of the arrest of his accomplices and was proud that they had implemented Harsh’s suggestion. He had listened to their interrogation as they had bugs planted on their bodies. Immediately, he had called one of his gang members in Delhi. They had kidnapped and murdered an army cadet and sent their own recruit in his place. Mohsin, a twenty year old, misguided youth was an IT expert, who cracked the secret code and entered easily. It was he who had contacted his friend to plant the bomb in the busy market area.

Sunny was having his breakfast by the poolside table when he noticed Inspector Shashank and Sub Inspector Govind marching towards him. He smiled and extended his hand to greet them. He said, ” Good morning, Inspector! What can I do for you?” The Inspector brought out the handcuffs and said, “‘I am sorry, Dr. Sunny Sharma. You are under arrest for being the mastermind behind thebgruesome murders of Dr. Harshwardhan and his family. The assassins, Shafeeq, and Ajmal have named you as their boss. Your bank account shows an unexplained money transfer to the tune of 1 crore rupees. What do you have to say in your defense? “

Dr. Sunny was shocked beyond words. He couldn’t believe that his best buddy and his family died because of him. He looked petrified and then snapped out of reverie. He said, ” Look, there’s been a huge misunderstanding. First of all, I don’t know any Shafeeq Or Ajmal. They are probably trying to frame me for a crime that they had committed. ” He then told them that three people had always stalked him and how they had forcefully snatched those gadgets from him. He had successfully thwarted their attempts to plant a bomb in Mumbai and had no other option but to send them to the black hole. Shafeeq and Ajmal might be the members of the same group, planning to avenge the death of their comrades. He had indeed met his friend Dr. Harshwardhan before leaving for Nainital and entrusted his gadgets to him. After that, he had no idea as to the incidents that took place after his departure from Mumbai.

Shashank wanted to believe him but his duty as an officer demanded the proof of his innocence. Right now, things were looking very bleak for Sunny as the circumstantial evidence pointed him as the criminal. Inspector Shashank said, ” Sir, I have been your great admirer and wish to believe you. Can you give us any evidence to prove your innocence? “

Sunny was silent for a while and then he suddenly smiled. He said, ” Yes, I can prove what actually happened. When you arrested those fellows, you must have recovered my gadgets from them. Do you have it with you? ” Shashank nodded and answered, ” Yes. ‘we were going to show it you, had you denied your involvement in the whole affair! ” He took out the pendant and the remote. He asked them to follow him to his room.

He connected the pendant to his laptop and rewound the time of recording. Shashank, Govind, and Sunny watched the tale of horror unfold. Sunny couldn’t believe his own eyes. Harsh had broken his trust and ended up losing his life. Sunny knew that he was taking a big risk by leaving his gadgets with Harsh. He had modified it with an inbuilt miniature camera to record everything.

Watch out for the next episode for more thrill and adventure.

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SHORT STORIES FRIDAYS (68)

THE SPECIAL NOTEBOOK : A SHORT STORY BY ME.

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

Neeraj got ready to school. He didn’t want Radhika to know about his near escape from the jaws of death. A policeman was standing guard outside his house. Neeraj just told her that the police thought it was a good idea to provide them with security, as the killer might be hunting for the remaining links to Amit.

Meanwhile, Radhika’s curiosity couldn’t be contained. She tried questioning Neeraj about the missing diary. He told her, “Mom, that diary is an important evidence linked to Amit’s death.So, I handed it over to the police. Don’t you want his killer to be caught? Besides, he might come to finish us off. ” Radhika sighed, ” Ok. If that’s what you insist. But I am dying to know what kind of secrets Amit was hiding from me? Don’t you think I am entitled to learn the truth? “

Neeraj didn’t respond. He simply shrugged and went to school with one of the security cops following him to school. Radhika called Archana ( Amit’s ex-wife) and arranged to meet her in a cafe. As she was about to step out of the house, someone hit her on the head. Everything blacked out. When she woke up, she was in a dilapidated warehouse, with her hands and feet firmly bound with tight ropes. She had a handkerchief stuffed in her mouth. She had a splitting headache and was struggling like a fish caught in the net.

She heard someone laughing at her. He said, ” Welcome to my paradise, honey! I must say Amit had great taste in women. Look at you! Who could guess that such a precious beauty would be a mother of a fifteen-year-old boy.” Radhika was too shocked to see her kidnapper. “This couldn’t be true,” she muttered under her breath, ” I must be dreaming. It might be a concussion.” The kidnapper chuckled, ” Unfortunately, you aren’t dreaming. You didn’t expect me, am I right? Don’t you ever read mystery novels? The criminal usually turns out to be the one whom you suspect the least.” He removed her gag and she burst out, ” What did I ever do to you? Why have you kidnapped me? I am all my son has got. How much money do you want?”

The kidnapper shook his head and said, ” Tsk‚Ķ Tsk. I appreciate your maternal love. But my freedom is more important to me than your foolish sentiments. No, I am not going to discuss my plans with you. I am going to make your son do my dirty work.” He gagged her again and left her struggling to get free from the tight ropes that were beginning to hurt her.

Neeraj finished his school and came back home. He was astonished to find no one standing guard. The door was ajar. Fearing the worst, he dropped the school bag and rushed in, followed by the cop. His mom’s handbag was lying on the floor with its content spread all over. He checked all the rooms and started panicking to find her missing. He cried in agony and dropped on to the couch. The cop went to fetch a glass of water and offered it to him. ” Why’s everyone after my mom? ” he wailed, “What does this sick bastard want? “
” Now, now! Young man, “said the friendly cop, ” Take a deep breath and relax. I have already called Subhash sir. He will be here any moment. Don’t you worry. Inspector Subhash will rescue your mother.” The place was soon swarmed with cops and fingerprint experts. As Neeraj sobbed over a cup of hot cocoa, the landline began to ring. Subhash put it on speaker. ” Hello, Inspector, ” chuckled an evil voice, ” It’s good that you answered the phone instead of this bitch’s son.” Neeraj seethed in rage. He yelled, ” Mind your language, you skunk. If I get my hands on you, I will pack you to hell if you ever dared to hurt my mother.” Inspector Subhash signalled him to keep quiet as he started to speak, “Let’s cut out the crap. What’s your demand for the ransom?” The kidnapper replied, ” That’s a wise move, Inspector. Better tell that hot headed boy to hold back his tongue if he wants to see his mom alive. Well, I heard you have an interesting diary in your possession. Just hand it over to me and the lady is yours. Do not try to trace my call. Drop the diary at the Old Godown near Wadala by 10 PM tonight. Radhika will be home before dawn.”

Inspector Subhash said, ” Alright, it’s a deal.” He disconnected the call. Neeraj was worried. Subhash said, ” Don’t you worry. I promise to make sure your mother is safe.” He left with his men as Neeraj was wondering over his mom’s fate.

The next morning, Inspector Subhash arrived carrying Radhika in his arms. She was too weak to walk. Neeraj was delighted to see his mom but then his grin was quickly replaced by lines of worry. ” What happened, Inspector?” he questioned as Subhash gently lay her on the couch. He winked at Neeraj, ” Don’t you worry. She’s tired because of her traumatic experience yesterday. I can’t share the police secrets with you. She’s safe for now and so are you. We have caught her kidnapper. He’s safely behind bars. Just relax. There’s nothing to worry about. However, I would still advise you not to be complacent and let your guard down.” The inspector was about to leave when Neeraj suddenly hugged him. He said, ” I can’t thank you enough for saving my mom. What about the diary? ‘I guess the killer must be having the last laugh.” The inspector grinned, ” Thank you so much for your confidence in the police. Do you really think we would have compromised with an important evidence? I have my own way of solving the case. Be rest assured, you can now continue to lead a normal life.”

Neeraj thanked him as he saw his favorite cop walking off in style. He had a newfound respect for him. He considered him a hero, next to his father. Later that night, he wanted to talk to his father and tell him that he was wrong. He picked up his special notebook and wrote :
Dad, meet me tonight.

It was well past midnight when a strong wind blew and his father’s soul appeared before him. Pranav was still looking worried and said, ” Thank God! You summoned me. I know the reason behind your call. But the danger is not over yet.” Neeraj didn’t look convinced and replied, ” Though you were right about our lives being in danger, with my near accident and Mom’s kidnapping, Inspector Subhash rescued both of us. He told me that the kidnapper was behind bars. The kidnapper has to be the murderer, right? Because he demanded the diary as the ransom. ” Pranav said, ” You are wrong, my champion detective. Don’t you see the common link between your accident and your mom’s kidnapping? “

Suddenly, it dawned on Neeraj. He said, ” No dad. It can’t be‚Ķ‚Ķ “

Watch out for the next upcoming thrilling episode of The Special Notebook for more dramatic turns.

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VERY INTERESTING VIDEOS FROM WHATSAPP AND YOUTUBE

Hi Friends,

Before I sign off for the day, I would like to share these very interesting videos. This one is from YouTube and very cute and hilarious.

WhatsApp video

Three men & three women climbed the Monster Python Peak of Sanqing Mountain in Shangrao Jiangxi, and were fined 6 million yuan by the Court. Their courage were most admirable despite being fined 1 million yuan each, they completed the impossible task and let the World know about their performance. Let’s take a look at the video footage of their climb from the drone. Scary, so scary…. These people are too brave and deserved World accolade. I know that there are people who are not afraid of death just for their own satisfaction and paid the fine too.

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POETIC THURSDAYS (59)

LEARN TO APPRECIATE: A POEM BY ME.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com
Learn to appreciate the goodness in people. 
And life will appreciate you. 
Leave aside your ego and pride. 
You will feel blessed too. 

Learn to appreciate the gift of love, 
Don't hanker after money. 
It's a precious gift from God above. 
It's sweeter than chocolate honey. 

Learn to appreciate the life you live. 
Don't be jealous of those leading a better life. 
Just focus on your goals to achieve. 
Jealousy is sharper than a knife. 

There's a difference between appreciation and flattery. 
Appreciation comes from the bottom of your heart. 
Flatterers praise you only to get something from you. 
It's their intention that sets them apart. 


Learn to appreciate people who are with you. 
Do take time to spend with them. 
There's no use pining for them after they are gone. 
And cause painful memories to stem. 

Learn to appreciate the value of time. 
And also the gifts of Mother Nature. 
Wasting time is no less than a crime. 
Respect people for what they are and not for their wealth or social stature. 

Appreciation is like a health tonic. 
It helps to heal internal wounds. 
It cheers you up, boosts your morale, and is so unique. 
Acts of appreciation always come around. 

And now, I also attempted a Haiku.

HAIKU

Flowers bloom and wither away.

As the seasons and people always change.

The only certainty is death.

Since it’s Haiku, I kept it short but I would like to say that true and adorable friends like you are precious gems whose Friendship is genuine and will always be eternal. ‚̧‚̧ūüėäūüėäūüėäūüėä. Hope and true, selfless friendship never die.

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AMAZING WEDNESDAYs (90)

AMAZING FACTS

Hi Friends,

I have gathered some more interesting and astonishing facts for you. Are you ready to have a look at them? Yes, let’s start.

( IMAGES WITH INFO : PINTEREST AND WTFFUNFACT.COM)

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