The Mystery Blogger Award


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This post has been pending for a long time. Thank you, Priya from priyareflects.com for nominating me for the Mystery Blogger Award. The fact that I have written a detective novella ‘Deal of Death’ in the genre of mystery/thriller makes me feel extremely happy at receiving this award. Love the squirrel for being the cutest presenter of any award ever.

squirrel_play2-srgb-mystery-wb
Mystery Blogger Award

Coming to the award, it was started by Okota Enigma. She had an idea behind this award. “It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.”

So here are the rules of this award –

1. PUT THE AWARD LOGO/IMAGE ON YOUR BLOG. LIST THE RULES.
2. THANK WHOEVER NOMINATED YOU AND PROVIDE A LINK TO THEIR BLOG.
3.MENTION THE CREATOR OF THE AWARD AND PROVIDE A LINK AS WELL
4.TELL YOUR READERS 3 THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF
5. YOU HAVE TO NOMINATE 10 – 20 PEOPLE
6. NOTIFY YOUR NOMINEES BY COMMENTING ON THEIR BLOG
7. ASK YOUR NOMINEES ANY 5 QUESTIONS OF YOUR CHOICE; WITH ONE WEIRD OR FUNNY QUESTION (SPECIFY)
8. SHARE A LINK TO YOUR BEST POST(S).

The first three points are already attended to, so here’s the answer to number 4 –

Three things about me

  1. There are three men in my life who I love the most – my toddler, my husband and my father. There’s nothing that makes me happier than spending time with my Dad, having a heartfelt conversation with my husband and playing with my toddler.
  2. I quit my Banking job to become a writer and it is only recently that I became a published author. I nurture the dream to continue writing Detective thrillers with my protagonist Raya Ray and hope to see my book in the bestseller racks someday.
  3. I am a night owl. I can work till the wee hours of the morning but if you ask me to wake up early, I find it extremely difficult to implement.

Now coming to the five questions that Priya had asked me –

  • If you were to choose a pen name what would it be?

It would be Raya Ray. It would be a lot of fun writing as the protagonist of the detective thriller itself.

  • Share your best memory ever?

There are too many to write especially during those years when my mom was still around. But the one memory is etched in my heart forever was when I held my son for the first time after his birth. 

  • Tell me about your most romantic date

My husband and I have been friends for two decades now. We had lost in touch for a good number of years before meeting each other again in 2010. We met at a restaurant called Casapicola in Bangalore for lunch. When we started talking, it never felt like there was a gap in between. Even without expressing our feelings, we knew that we were meant to be together. 

  • If you were to act in a movie (or play a literary character) which one would you choose and why?

I wish I could play Feluda – the sleuth in Satyajit Ray’s detective novels and essay the role of Vidya Bagchi (played by the super talented Vidya Balan) in Kahani. Both belong to my favorite genre of thrillers and Vidya Balan is a personal favorite.

  • What would be the absolute worst name you could give to a child?

If you have heard Bengali nicknames, you would know that there are quite a few names that could scar the child forever. So Pintu, Ghoton, Babla are just a few among them.

I nominate the following people for this award –

Poonam

Esha

Sona

Suhasini

Maya

Abhijit

Kalpana

Jaya

Maheshwaran Jothi

Aditi

Manas

Rashi

Sudip

Romila

Sanjota

Preeti

I would want them to answer these five questions –

  1. Tell us one thing about yourself that nobody knows.
  2. Which genre of books do you enjoy reading the most and why?
  3. What is the best piece of advice or feedback that you received for your writing?
  4. If you were stranded on an island, what things would you take with you and why?
  5. What is the weirdest or craziest thing that you have ever done?

My best post till date is also a personal favorite –

https://soniasmusings.com/2018/07/22/a-piece-of-my-heart-rests-within-you/

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I had a great time writing it.

A new beginning at the seashore

Continued from the previous part here.

The TV channels had been abuzz with Industrialist Ajay Raj’s life imprisonment term. The CBI investigation had revealed a Bank locker in the name of his deceased second wife Nita containing shocking details of Ajay’s illegal dealings. He was arrested with charges of murder of Nita.

Tia sat on the cane chair sipping wine. The gorgeous view of the sea made her nostalgic.

Death in the lap of the sea
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

“Lawyer Misra has sent across the papers. You’re now the legal owner of your mother’s empire.”

Tia smiled at the lady with gratitude.

Ajay had killed Anu for her property. However, Anu had outsmarted Ajay by naming the then eight-year-old Tia as the official heir to her property. If anything happened to Tia until she turned eighteen, the property was to be handed over to a trust.

Except Anu and lawyer Misra, only Anu’s best friend Nita had known about this will.  Nita had stepped in to protect Tia by marrying Ajay.

Tia had turned eighteen last month. Knowing that Ajay had been planning to get rid of her next, Nita and Tia had devised a plan of faking Nita’s death. It had not only saved Tia but together they had managed to avenge Anu’s murder.

(199 words)

This is the 11th post written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign as per my theme ‘Shades of Perception’. This is a sequel of the 10th post that can be read here. Link to the remaining nine posts is here.

For this challenge, I am using four photos as prompts to weave two flash fiction stories and one real story behind the picture. This is my second picture prompt. 

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

Death in the lap of the sea

The fishermen had informed the local police on spotting a dead body on the beach. Tia identified it as her stepmother Nita’s body. The preliminary investigation had established death by drowning. It was shocking how Tia had lost her mother Anu exactly in the same location and also by accidental drowning a decade back. Considering that Anu and Nita had been best friends since college, the similarity in the pattern of their deaths was beyond explanation.

Death in the lap of the sea
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

Tia glanced at her father Ajay with questions running through her mind while pouring him a cup of tea. Did he follow the same modus operandi in getting her out of his way as her mom, she wondered! She was confident about his involvement in this unnatural death but lacked evidence to prove her point.

Ajay had been watching Tia very closely while sipping tea on the portico. Did she kill Nita to avenge the death of her mother Anu, he pondered! He knew that Tia had always held Nita responsible for Anu’s death and his ill-tempered daughter spelled danger during her moments of fury.

Mistrust and suspicion lingered in the air between the father-daughter duo as they watched each other’s next move closely.

 (200 words)

This is the 10th post written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign as per my theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the first nine here.

For this challenge, I am using four photos as prompts to weave two flash fiction stories and one real story behind the picture. This is my fourth and last picture prompt. Stay tuned to read the second flash fiction that I will write around the same picture in my next post. You could also consider subscribing to my blog if you like reading my stories.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

The forced inhabitants of a hilly terrain

The girl looked out of the one-roomed house at the dark clouds. The breeze sweeping through the Kans grass smelt of Durga Puja. A year back, she had celebrated their biggest festival with her parents in Bengal. Now she didn’t even know which part of the country they had kept her hidden.

Shades of perception
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

She had been kidnapped on the way to school. The kidnapper had gagged, blindfolded and sexually abused her. He had sold her at a brothel in a faraway hill station. She had been shocked to see his familiar face by chance.

Night after night, she bared her body to strangers as they raided it to satisfy their lust. She cried for the first few weeks and then converted her soul to stone. Last night she had spotted her kidnapper. She had covered her face and lured him into the room for the final act.

She turned to look at the brothel women watching the TV. The inspector spoke, “The man, stabbed to death has been identified as the maternal uncle of the girl who had sold the teenager for money. She lost her life due to strangulation during the struggle.”

But she had succeeded in seeking her revenge.

(200 words)

This is the 4th post written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign as per my theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the first three here.

For this challenge, I am using four photos as prompts to weave two flash fiction stories and one real story behind the picture. This is my second picture prompt. Stay tuned to read the second flash fiction that I will write around the same picture in my next post. You could also consider subscribing to my blog if you like reading my stories.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

The history and mystery surrounding the steps

This January, I decided to work on a travel diary based on the rich historical background of my home district Murshidabad in Bengal. I had moved out of my hometown Berhampore in 1999 for higher studies. For sixteen long years, I stayed in different cities owing to education and job assignments. When we moved back in 2016, Kolkata had become our new home. In the backyard of my memories, Murshidabad always had a strong influence. I extended my stay at my in-laws for a month this time. Every alternate day, I visited places of historical significance in Murshidabad to understand the folklore surrounding it, read up history books, listened to a tourist guide’s version of its history and clicked numerous snaps. This series formed a part of my BlogchatterA2Z challenge based on the theme ‘A dollop of Bengal”(letters H – M).

This photo was clicked at Nasipur Rajbari (Palace). This palace used to be the court of Debi Singha – the tax collector (in)famous for his atrocities towards the poor. A portion of this property has now been converted into an art museum and library. These steps with a tainted history of bloodshed and pain evoked a feeling of eeriness in me.

(198 words)

When the steps decide between right and wrong
Photo prompt – copyright@soniasmusings

This is the third post (nonfiction) written as part of the #MyfriendAlexa campaign on the theme ‘Shades of Perception’. You can read the first flash fiction around this picture prompt here and the second one here.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Backyard’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with Blogchatter

They coexist away from the crowd

Jane opened the door with her key. As she walked towards the sitting room, she heard sounds from John’s room. That idiot had again brought a girl home. Jane turned on the television to the maximum volume. Soon John came out of the room in a disheveled state with the fair and a voluptuous lass trailing behind him.

“Hey, didn’t hear you open the door. Meet my girlfriend Sandra. She is my colleague at the departmental store. Sandra, that’s my twin sister Jane.” Sandra gave a warm smile. Jane nodded curtly.

After John bade goodbye to Sandra, Jane asked, “It’s not even two months that we have moved here and you are already back to your philandering ways. I am really tired of this whole mess.”

“I like Sandra. I am hoping to make this work.” John assured Jane.

“I’ve heard this before. We have managed to escape twice but we might not be lucky the third time. Stop getting emotionally involved in relationships.” Jane was fuming. John shuddered at the recollection of the past incidents but he knew his heart was sold out to Sandra.

They coexist away from the crowd.png
They coexist away from the crowd

Continue reading “They coexist away from the crowd”

Link to download my first e-book ‘Deal of Death’ for free (limited period only)

In my last post, I wrote about my journey of writing my first novella ‘Deal of Death.’ The e-book was finally published on May 22nd by Blogchatter. As a debutante, I had been trying to get my friends and acquaintances interested in this detective thriller through the cover release, trailer release and intermittent posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. However, nothing could prepare me for the overwhelming response that l have been received for this book so far.

Even before the book was officially launched by Blogchatter on Twitter, there had been close to 80 downloads.

Deal of Death - 80 download
80 downloads before official launch

Within the next three hours, I had to request the team to restock my book as 182 of the initial stock of 200 had already been downloaded. The stock was increased to 350 soon after.

Deal of Death - 182 download
Day 1 at 182 downloads

With my announcement about the launch on various social media platforms, even the second day garnered huge response. I closed the day at 300 plus downloads with a request to restock again.

Deal of Death - 307 download
300 plus downloads by second day end

As I enter the fourth day after release today, it is a heartening sight to see 420 downloads.

Deal of Death - 420 download
Present statistics

The e-book is available for free download only for a limited period, so get your copy NOW. Presenting the blurb and the link to download the book –

Blurb –

Munshiganj is a quaint town with a rich historical background. It’s biggest attraction has been a temple and mosque co-existing within the same premises along with the tomb of Nawab Rehamat Khan. Recently though, the peace of this little town has been affected by the paranormal – the temple bell rings by itself daily at midnight.

Raya Ray, an ex-marketing honcho had been dealing with loss when a chance to help her Banker husband, Krishanu, marked her debut as a private investigator. Detective Raya Ray lands in Munshiganj in response to a call for help from Sharmila – the sister of her house- help Sutapa. Sharmila suspects foul play when the doctors at the town hospital tell her she delivered a stillborn child and detective Ray steps in to assist.

Raya steps into a field of landmines after the body of Dr. Sonam Misra from the same hospital is discovered on the deck of a steamer and she chances upon a secret safeguarded for ages inside the temple. With the help of local rickshaw-puller Habul, Raya starts unraveling the mystery, unaware of the danger lurking over her as a pair of blue eyes trail her every move.

As she puts the pieces together, detective Ray realizes that nothing and no one are what they appear to be.

Link to download the book –

https://www.theblogchatter.com/download/deal-of-death-by-sonia-chatterjee/

I would love to hear your thoughts about this book, so feel free to leave your comments here.