30 September, 2015

#BookReview :: Ready.. Steady.. Exit by P.C. Balasubramanian


Gautam completed Chartered Accountancy after several attempts and to his luck, landed up with Anand a close friend and brilliant CA, to launch an Accounting Services company named FAB. He finds love in the same profession, without much ado. Can life really be all that simple and straightforward? Can mere accountants build a valuable, visible, scalable and glamorous enterprise that could also grab business from across borders? That's when Vimal comes in with a delectable package, an impressive consulting profile and his smart and very beautiful sister Ruchi, who agrees to support these starry-eyed entrepreneurs with her marketing acumen. FAB grows but relationship depletes. Some pull the strings, while others become puppets. Should they continue with the current arrangement or exit completely? Ready.. Steady.. Exit is a humorous, dramatic, romantic, enlightening and entertaining read. This story and narrative will inspire every reader, even more so if you are an entrepreneur or a Chartered Accountant or someone associated with financial services. 

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The story involves two Chartered Accountant friends who have recently earned their degrees. Their plan is to start a CA firm. As Gautam and Anand set up and start to flourish, they are pretty happy with the way things were going. Then they come across Vimal and Ruchi who seemed like talented personalities and thus to lure them to the company, they offer the new duo a stake at the company.  Things should take off for the better, right? Or will they take a turn for worse? Who can be trusted? 

The book was almost everything I expected it to be. The plot offers a fresh avenue to the story. It is certainly not your average churn-of-the-mill love story. Instead it brings forward today’s middle class youth and the problems (and solutions) of new blood entrepreneurship. It was really refreshing to read about energetic minds getting to work out their way in the business and figuring out their moral boundaries. So, it is safe to say that I liked the plot quite a bit. Especially that cliffy ending! The characters were well developed for most parts. I personally would have loved more back story on some of them, but then I am crazy about that. It will not necessarily bother other readers. And yes, there’s a bit of romance in there too – so you romance buff do not have to be completely disappointed either.

The language used in the book is simple yet better than the last few books I have read by Indian Authors. As such, it was a pleasant change, even though the bookworm in me wanted a little bit more refinement. The narrative was handled well enough. The pacing was good and kept me from putting down the book. Overall this is an entertaining book.


Review Copy received from Srishti Publishers


29 September, 2015

#SpecialFeature :: #Interview with Laxmi Hariharan, #Author of Ruby Iyer Series


*** Special Feature - September 2015 ***

Quick Recap:


Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I've been writing since I was five. Then when I lived alone in Hong Kong ten years ago, I started writing what was to become The Destiny of Shaitan there, publishing that in 2012. Once this book came out there was no looking back. I've pursued the novelist's career since with intent.

What inspires you to write?
I write mainly to understand myself. I am not open with my feelings to the world or even to myself. The only way I find out what I am thinking and really feeling about something is through my writing. I grow with each book find a part of me, which I never knew, existed. I also write because I am fascinated by the human condition. What makes people do the things they do, I want to understand human motivation and why not everyone has the same journey in life. 

What kind of research goes into your book?
I draw from experiences a lot. Mainly it's chance meetings with people, a chance comment from someone, or I am reading something and something pops inside. I am learning to recognize this 'feeling' because then I know I am onto something. Then once I am in the book, I research as needed. For example, the Youthenasia trip of Ruby Iyer – in The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer. It's very inspired by Ayahuasca – a brew used as a traditional spiritual medicine in ceremonies among the Indigenous peoples of Amazonian Peru, many of whom say that they received the instructions in its use directly from the plants and plant spirits themselves. Native communities use it for divinatory and healing purposes. It's a way to let down the barriers in your mind, lose the ego and face your deepest emotions. Something I've heard about first hand and wanted to use it.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story? 
Ruby Iyer was inspired by a couple of things. The rape of the journalist in Bombay, which really made me angry and reminded me of all the experiences of being felt up on almost every train/ bus ride in Bombay. I wanted a strong female character; one who would not take things lying down anymore; basically hit back and follow her emotions without worrying about the consequences. It grew from there. Because the setting is Bombay, in this series I touch upon on the rich-poor divide in the city, the geographical divide between South Bombay and the rest of the city and I also draw from the history of Bombay; that it was originally seven islands gifted in dowry to Charles II when he married Catherine of Braganza. And then I followed that thread to what a utopian Bombay would look like. If it went back to becoming those seven islands – with no pollution or corruption or people.  And as I am writing Second Lives, the theme I want to touch upon is again the low ratio of women to men in India, due to female infanticide and how this impacts a future where there are very few people left to carry on the human race.

Please share three interesting facts each about the Ruby & Vikram.
- Ruby hates being told what to do, loves chai, and especially feels like she has to stand up for the underdog; those weaker than her. She is a firm believer in giving as good as she gets, and can't bear to see those who she loves in pain. 
- Vikram is attracted to feisty girls though he'll never admit it. He hates wearing an uniform (go figure!), and believes in justice, in the triumph of good over evil. He prefers to follow the rules' he is an idealis. Secretly Ruby admires that though on the face of it she thinks it just makes him boring. 

Do you think that it is easy for your readers to connect with your characters? Why so?
Teenaged girls love Ruby's diaries. I think they do see themselves in her – that phase where emotions and hormones war with each other. Her experiences in being ignored by her mother, hating her brother, idealizing her father, yes they see that in themselves. And then when she turns out to be quite kickass – in general readers, girls and boys like that strong action figure status of hers. Also all my readers love Vikram and many find Panky endearing. 
They are all 3 very strong characters, very different and I particularly enjoy writing their coming of age stories; they have had very different childhoods in the same city and bring out different facets of what it means to grow up in a society where you have to balance tradition with modernism and fight to carve out your individuality. Especially a city/ country where there is no concept of personal space; well how do you find yourself here? It's a challenge and you have to really want it I think. To be your own person.

I hear that there may be a book telling us Panky’s story. Is that true? What can we expect from it?
Yes, I have an outline for Pankaj Mehta's story already. Tentatively titled Secret Lives. I need to complete Second Lives – the finale to Many Lives first though.

What do you have planned for Ruby in the long run? Only one more full length novel to go or could we expect some more?
I want to finish these five books in the RUBY IYER series first: three coming of age stories and two action-thrillers. I already will have a story set in the Ruby universe out in the UnCommon bodies anthology coming out in November. Titled UnTamed – it features Ruby's granddaughter Leana Iyeroy. The series after Ruby Iyer, the Girl, caution series is basically Ruby's daughter Ariana Iyeroy's story. Yeah, so Ruby and her descendants will keep me busy for a while. 

Whatever happened to Destiny of Shaitan? I thought that was going to be a part of a series too?
I did complete the next book in the series, Return to Seven Islands. But I am not sure I will publish it as Ruby Iyer took over. Though if you read UnTamed, you'll see, it begins to tap into the future I outlined in Shaitan. It seems there is a theme to my writing, I keep going back to it and picking it up. "We all unconsciously seek out people events and situations that duplicate our core trauma(s) in the hope of eventually triumphing over the situation that so wounded us" Alexandra Sokoloff, pulls out this quote by Freud, in her novel Screenwriting Tricks for Authors. That's the human condition, the "repetition compulsion", Freud called it. Something which rings true for me.

If you could pick any famous author to review your book who would you pick and why?
You know, as I was writing this I realize, it's not so much other authors but I want readers real readers to pick it up and read it and then tell me what worked for them or didn't. I find this most satisfying

Name three things that you believe are important to character development?
I am realizing I need to understand the formative years of the character, where they grew up, their family situation, their economic circumstances as this has a big impact on their character development.
Also, I really am more and more trying to figure out what is it that they really want? What's missing inside (or they think is missing) that they are going in search of. What are they hiding from themselves? That secret they cannot face up to.
And then how they appear to the world. Their 'public persona' the face they like to wear so the world cannot see who they are. What is it they'd like to project, which is the opposite of what they really are?

Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so what helps you to get over it?
I am of the school that does not believe in writer's block. It normally means I haven't plotted something well so I need to go back and check the framework of what I am writing. What I do worry about is that if I don’t start travelling and meeting new people and finding myself in new situations again, then I may begin to feel a bit like I am in a loop. So even if I can't just travel as such, I do try to more and more meet people I personally find interesting and fascinating so it sparks off new conversations and thoughts.

What part of the writing process do you enjoy the most?
All of it – but mostly when I am writing furiously and something pings inside and I realize I have discovered something about myself. I get goose bumps then, and then I know I am on the right track for the character and the book, too. It means I am being brutally honest, putting my own fears and hopes out there. It's very personal.

Do you know the ending of your books before you finish writing them?
I always have a general idea about where it's headed but always my characters surprise me. They may just add on that something extra I hadn't anticipated myself

Anything else that you would like to share with your readers?
Hope you enjoy The RUBY IYER series. Do tweet and tell me if you do. And do subscribe to my newsletter to get a free copy of the first novelette in the RUBY IYER DIARIES.

Her Books:
See My Review of The Ruby Iyer Diaries ( Ruby Iyer #0.5) 

This novelette is a companion book to The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer. A peek into the soul of an angry, young girl, who will come of age in a city on the verge of total annihilation. Ruby kept a diary from the age of ten till she ran away from home at sixteen. It is from here that I picked out a few diary entries for The Ruby Iyer Diaries. This short series of vignettes from Ruby's life, tells you more a little more about the origins of Ruby Iyer. 

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It is Free on Amazon, Get your copy now!

See my Review of The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer (Ruby Iyer #1)

When her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him. 

Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to be. 
Ruby knows something must be done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr. Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best friend, save the world from total destruction. 

Armed only with with Vikram, a cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from. 

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See My Review of  The First Life of Vikram Roy (Ruby Iyer #1.5)

His family is being held to ransom by a deadly mastermind. 

Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram's father bring his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same. 
Vikram thinks things will be better now that he's gone. He's met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered. 
Now, his family's life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them. 
From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers. 






About the Author:
She almost died. But when dystopia romance author Laxmi Hariharan had a near death experience, she was told to write. Laxmi is the creator of dystopian romance series, RUBY IYER SERIES (The MANY LIVES OF VIKRAM ROY - FINALIST Indie Excellence Awards, the bestselling The RUBY IYER DIARIES , The FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY, The SECOND LIFE OF RUBY IYER & VIKRAM ROY, PANKY's FIRST LIFE), and the Amazon bestselling, eLit Gold winner, The Destiny of Shaitan (Bombay Chronicles, 1). If you're looking for books like Divergent and Angelfall, you'll love the RUBY IYER SERIES.

Laxmi writes books similar to Hunger Games while listening to electronica & progressive rock, and downing innumerable cups of extra sweet ginger-chai. She is also an avid photographer of street art and believes she was a tree -- a redwood -- in her past life. London is where she creates. Bombay is what fires her imagination. 

Receive a free copy of THE RUBY IYER DIARIES when you sign up to her Newsletter 


Reach Laxmi On 
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28 September, 2015

#BookReview :: I Don't Wear Sunscreen by Kavipriya Moorthy

For Laksha, life is a gift wrapped in red ribbon. But that’s all shattered when she falls for the misogamist. His ambivalence and vacillation always keeps her at bay, turning her into a neurotic. She gets betrayed by the most credible, loses her job, feels devastated and dejected as incidents crowd upon her corrupting her naiveté.
Enigmas unfold revealing every glitch. Who will clear her blurred skies? What invigorates her career and life? Will she ever forgive her beloved? And how will Laksha survive?
The story also revolves around her rapport with Pallavi, a childhood friend and the relationship she has with her silver-tongued mom. Focusing on how experiences change perception of little things, this contemporary tale gives a better meaning to friendships, relationships, solitude, pain, compassion and success.
More often than not, Life drags you down to the adversities and thrusts outward to shine. It is your grit that truly matters when you reach rock bottom, and left with no choice other than to pick yourself up and leap forward, however arduous it may be!

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The blurb of the book really caught my attention as it gives off the impression that the book has something ‘real’ to offer to its reader.

This is essentially the story of an ordinary and middle class girl called Laksha. At the beginning, Laksha seems to have everything that one could possibly ask for with her life set on a track that made her happy. She had friends, dreams, aspirations and a spring in her steps. But an unexpected and appalling experience leaves her almost broken and threatens the core of her life. Will she be able to recover from it? How will her friends and family react? What will she choose – to give up or to fight on?

The plot is the real star in this book. I loved the way the plot was set up and followed through. I admit that I didn’t always agree with the way things took shape, but in the end, that did not matter. The author seemed to have a clear vision about how she wanted the plot to unfold and I respect that. The second thing that shined its light throughout the book was realism. Even though this is a work of fiction, there were so many things that reflected our real lives that it was easy to relate to them. For instance, the friendship between Laksha and Pallavi – the way they were while growing up and the phase where they drift apart for a time while trying to settle in with the changes in their respective lives. It felt very real as I have experienced the same thing. The characterization was done well, especially with Laksha, her mother and Pallavi. They are easy to relate to and feel very real. I enjoyed the fact that the author has taken care to portray ‘strong women’. She shows us that it is not so easy to break down women and that they have the strength to fight back and move on from no matter what life throws at them.

Once again, my only problem with the book lies with its language. The blurb of the book and the actual book feel like they have been written by two different people. The language used in the book is plain and by plain I mean it is like the common lingo used by early teens when they ‘hangout’. While I do understand that simplicity means a lot to this generation, I just do not understand the riff-raff conversation language featuring in a book. It is possible to keep it simple yet sound a bit refined without using big words or pretentious language. Call me old fashioned, but I expect a book to enchant me not only with its plot and characters but also its language. 


To round up, the book certainly stands out from the crowd and is a short and light read.


Review Copy received from the Author

#BlogTour :: The CEO and The Cowboy & For Ruby's Love by Starla Kaye


Starla Kaye's Double Audio Book Tour
for 
The CEO and The Cowboy (M/M Romance Novella)

and 
For Ruby's Love (M/M/F Romance Novella)



BLURB - The CEO and The Cowboy
The whole thing about relationships and feelings confuses the heck out of Calhoun. He’s a simple cowboy and he’d been planning to marry a long-time friend for a while. When he finally realizes it doesn’t feel right, he lets her go. He probably shouldn’t have gone to her wedding to another man, but she wanted him there. But that’s when he really gets confused. His eye is drawn to a seriously hot businessman…and that sure does unnerve him…and yet….
Emotionally burned by the last man he thought he’d loved, Daniel isn’t anxious to replace him. But there is something about the proud, bedroom-eyed cowboy who shows up at his friend’s wedding. The CEO isn’t even sure if the cowboy’s gay, although the heat firing between them makes him wonder….
What he does know is that he plans to find out.

Book Title: The CEO and The Cowboy
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Date Published: July 7, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, GLBT, gay romance
Heat Rating: 4
Page Count: 40
Narrated by: Chase Johnson
Length: 1 hr and 25 mins        

~~~~~

BLURB – For Ruby's Love
Calhoun’s a simple cowboy with more problems in his life than he can handle at the moment. After nearly two years, he struggles to hang onto a relationship with Daniel, his first male lover. Daniel is worried about him because of the fire, his concern for his prized breeding mare, and because he is determined to buy the neighboring ranch to expand. But Daniel isn’t a businessman without goals of his own for expansion, a fact that frustrates Calhoun as well. He doesn’t want to lose Daniel, but will their differences finally be too much?

Daniel considers himself a lucky man to have met the rancher, someone almost his opposite and someone who he doesn’t want to live without. Standing beside the moody Calhoun has been difficult since the fire that burned down a horse barn, took the lives of two valuable horses, and traumatized a favored mare. Along with all of that, his harried friend is determined to expand his ranch holdings. Daniel is against the purchase and would prefer to find a way to slow the man down. Lately, he’s also begun worrying if maybe he isn’t enough to satisfy his lover’s needs.

Complicating everything even more, Ruby shows up later than expected at Calhoun’s ranch to honor a job as a horse therapist that her father had agreed to before his sudden death. She knows what happened to the mare and is certain she can help her, if given the chance. But the stubborn rancher can’t get past the idea of her being a woman, someone not strong enough to work with such a damaged horse. They butt heads over the matter until she finds an ally in Daniel. He is concerned and yet believes in her abilities. Another problem arises, though. She and Calhoun have been skirting around an unwanted attraction, and then she discovers another surprising interest between her and Daniel.

Book Title: For Ruby’s Love
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Date Published: January 20, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, erotic romance, GLBT, gay romance, western, ménage
Heat Rating: 4
Length: 135 pages




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Excerpt from The CEO and The Cowboy (PG13 Rating)

“Want a tour?” He desperately wanted to get him up to his bedroom. He wanted to strip
him out of that Western-cut suit, find out if he was a boxers or briefs man. He was curious if
those pecs were as muscled as he suspected, if the abs were six-packed. He longed to….

“Why did you really bring me here?”

Surprised, he stood quietly for several long seconds, debating how to answer. Then he
decided actions might just be better than words at the moment. If he had the nerve. Yes!
Yes, you do.

He moved directly in front of him, watched the man’s nostrils flare, and his eyes widen.
But the cowboy didn’t step back, and he didn’t look ready to send a fist into his face. Nerves
tangling in his stomach, he put his hands around Cordell’s neck and leaned closer.

The big man tensed, but still didn’t tell him to back off. He didn’t say a word, just stood
there looking wary, but determined. Clearly curious. Cautious, too.

Unable to resist any longer, he slanted his mouth over the tempting lips. Fire seared him.
Need. Desperation.

Cordell stiffened even more, and he was pretty sure his cowboy had never done this
before. He appeared uncomfortable, and his heart pounded so hard he could feel it. Yet he
didn’t pull away.

Not wanting to frighten the man off, he gently slid his tongue along the crease of those
lips until, finally, they opened. He had to have more, but he had to go slowly.

Surprising him again, he felt Cordell put his arms around his waist, pushing under his
suit coat, pulling him closer. God, yes!

Heat raged through him, and he felt the warmth of the body pressed against his. Their

hearts thudded, chest against chest. Then the man shuddered even as they tangled tongues.


Excerpt from For Ruby's Love (R Rating)

Calhoun couldn’t have been more shocked to open the door and find Ruby masturbating.

Never in his wildest dreams would he have imagined such a thing happening in here. But, damn, he would be dreaming about this for months, maybe longer.

He knew this was a very private moment. He should stop staring at her, back away, and pull the door closed. They need not ever mention what he’d discovered. Yet, instead of being the gentleman and leaving, he stepped into the room and closed the door behind him.

“That’s such an incredible turn on.” He felt like an idiot the instant the words left his mouth. He hadn’t lied, though. His body pulsed with desperation. One hint of encouragement and he would be on the bed, licking off those sweet cream-coated fingers, and driving into her himself.

“Ummm,” she struggled to speak, no doubt embarrassed. Her face flamed as she held still, looking uncertain about pulling her fingers free. “Well, this is awkward.”

He shrugged and took a hesitant step closer. “I suppose for you it is.” He inched nearer, his heart pounding. “I’m pretty much enjoying the view.”

“Really?” She worried her lower lip and dropped her hips to the mattress, slipping her fingers from her body.

“Hell yes!” He concentrated on not running to the bed, pleased she hadn’t demanded he leave. “I’ve never had the pleasure of watching a woman do that.”

She gave him a shy smile. “I don’t do this very often. I just…. I just got so frustrated. I couldn’t sleep. I….”


He sucked in a breath and hazarded walking another few feet in her direction. “Are you still feeling…frustrated?” God, he hoped so. He could take care of her problem, and his. 





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Starla has been writing and publishing in different romance sub-genres and lengths for twenty years. Her first published book, Tug of Love, was a “sweet” romance published with iUniverse. Currently she mainly writes edgier romances with an erotic or slightly naughty focus.

She enjoys writing about strong-willed, independent women who butt heads with equally determined, self-confident, and slightly domineering men. Her belief in relation to her heroes is to find them their perfect match, but make him really work for the happily-for-now or happily-ever-after with the woman who wins his heart. Of course, she likes her heroines to be challenged as well. Love isn't easy.

To date she has published 20 novels, 38 novellas, 8 anthologies, and 18 short stories. Starla writes for Decadent Publishing, Black Velvet Seductions, and Blushing Books.

Social Media Links




Starla Kaye is generously giving away $25 Amazon/Eden Fantasys Gift Card during this book tour. Complete the rafflecopter entries for your chance to win.

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26 September, 2015

#BookReview :: Milan (A Wedding Story) by Simi K. Rao

About the Book:



Milan (A Wedding Story)

When a daughter turns marriageable age, what should a responsible father do? Easy--wed her to the most suitable boy who comes knocking on the door. Jai Bharadwaj, Mili's father and owner of The Serenity Tea Estate in the idyllic Nilgiris would've probably liked to do the same, but being who he was, he had to ask her first. What would she say?




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Set in the beautiful hill station of Connoor, Milan is the story of Mili, Ahaan and their ‘arranged marriage'.

Mili’s father, a tea estate manager in the Nilgiri Hills, finds a perfect match for her. Ahaan is an eligible bachelor in every way and the best part is that Mili and Ahaan are not strangers who are brought together in this blessed union. But Mili has her reservations about marrying Ahaan and as she gets caught up in the whole situation, can she hold on to the dorky image of Ahaan that she remembers or will she fall for the hunk that he has turned into.

Mili is an interesting character with various shades. The first thing that I liked about her is her ambition to make a career in the music industry. Anyone who deviates from the traditional path of doctor / engineer / mba, has my respect instantly – especially the artictic ones whether fictional or real ;). She is enchanting for most parts except when she reacts badly to anything that doesn’t conform to her opinions. She sure did test me a bit. However, Ahaan is perfect for her… They complement each other so well that together they are complete. I liked Ahaan’s character and his convictions. The author paints a pretty picture throughout. Whether it is the backdrop of Connoor or the wedding setting, it is easy to picturize everything with the way she describes them. 

Though I understand that it is not always possible to round up everything perfectly, given the restrictions of a novella, I couldn’t help but feel a bit lost. There were so many questions in my mind and some characters were left without closure. This novella could have been really good if only a few loose ends were tied up.

In the end, the story was good and so were most of the characters. As such it made for an entertaining read.


Review Copy received from the Author

About the Author:
Simi K. Rao was born and grew up in both northern and southern India before relocating to the U.S., where she has lived for several years. She is the author of multicultural contemporary romantic fiction.
The inspiration for her books and other creative projects comes from her own experience with cross-cultural traditions, lifestyles and familial relationships, as well as stories and anecdotes collected from friends, family and acquaintances.
Rao enjoys exploring the dynamics of contemporary American culture blended with Indian customs and heritage to reflect the challenges and opportunities many Indian-American women face in real life.
Much of Rao's down time is devoted to creative pursuits, including writing fiction, poetry and photography. She is an avid traveler and has visited many locations around the world.
A practicing physician, Rao lives in Denver with her family. Her published works include Inconvenient Relations and The Accidental Wife. She is currently at work on her next release.

Contact the Author:
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25 September, 2015

#BookReview :: The First Life of Vikram Roy (Ruby Iyer #1.5) by Laxmi Hariharan

His family is being held to ransom by a deadly mastermind.

Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram's father bring his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same.

Vikram thinks things will be better now that he's gone. He's met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered.

Now, his family's life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them.

From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers.



After Ruby Iyer Diaries and The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer comes this novella, that can be read as a standalone, to take us further into the Ruby Iyer series.

Vikram had made an impression on anyone who had picked up The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer. He is not just an eye candy, or just a man in uniform, or just someone to put Ruby Iyer into contrast [or make her pulse race faster ;)]. He had this persona that demanded to be felt and seasoned readers had also picked up on the fact that he knew more than he let on… In short, he demands attention and affection from his readers. So, I was pretty excited when I had first heard that Laxmi Hariharan is coming up with a novella about Vikram.

The First Life of Vikram Roy is very similar to Ruby Iyer Diaries in the respect that it chronicles the life of Vikram before he meets Ruby and The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer happens. We get to see Vikram – the kid and his family life.  Growing up Vikram did not really have an easy life but his confident choices in most cases shaped him up as the person he finally becomes. As a result it was fascinating to see his background and see him grow into the man we were introduced to earlier. I have to admit that initially I was a bit disappointed as since the moment I heard about this book being in works, I had been expecting to hear some cop stories filled with action and adventure. I wasn’t expecting the author to go so far back in Vikram’s life or this to be a diary of sort touching upon the important moments of his life. But I got over that disappointment as easily as I realized that though this book doesn’t have as much action as I expected, it offers something else that is equally interesting. The book certainly opens up new avenues as it brings a lot of questions about the series into focus. It makes the reader wonder why did ‘this’ happen and why did that character do ‘that’ and what was the motive for ‘this’… Yes, I know the last sentence didn’t make much sense, but then I am trying real hard not to give out spoilers here. At the same time I want you to know that there is another level in the plot that will really make you wonder.

The author maintains her style of narration and if anything, it feels crisper in this instalment. And OMG the ending… That ending!! She just keeps getting better – both at narrating stories and leaving us hankering for more.


Review Copy received from the Author


#ReleaseDayBlitz :: The First Life of Vikram Roy (Ruby Iyer #1.5) by Laxmi Hariharan

About the Book:

His family is being held to ransom by a deadly mastermind. 

Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram's father brings his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same. Vikram thinks things will be better now that he's gone. He's met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered. Now, his family's life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them. From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers. 

If you’re looking for books like Hunger Games, then this dystopia romance series, The Ruby Iyer Series is it.





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An exclusive excerpt and GIVEAWAY from The First Life of Vikram Roy
The Ruby Iyer Series—by Laxmi Hariharan

I hear the staccato of shots being fired, followed by yells and howls of pain. Then, the sound of something being smashed and everything goes quiet. The TV no longer chatters. I look to the open door. The recreation room is down at the end of the corridor. The sounds of shots get closer. Without giving myself a chance to think I make a run for the door slam it shut, lock it and it’s as if that’s a signal to the rest of the men to jump to their feet. Without a word, the ten of us scram to our bunks, pull on trousers and shoes.We get our hands on whatever weapon we can find. No guns, none of us have guns. So I grab my cricket bat. (As if that’s going to make a difference?)
 Around me the others too are grabbing cricket bats and hockey sticks. Neil grabs an iron rod. An iron rod? Where did he get that from?  We drop to the floor, crouch and wait. 
Should I hide under the bed? Nope, no way. Like, that is going to help. 
And then a crash as the door is broken down, hacked by what looks like an axe till it’s in pieces on the floor and through it step through two men. One holding a machine gun, the other wielding an axe which he drops to the floor and instead grabs the the gun slung over his back. They are both wearing balaclavas, so we can’t see their features. Of medium height, they are muscular and dressed all in black: Black jeans and sweatshirts, their hair covered by the hoods. Their backs are to the door. They point their guns at us, signalling to us to put our hands up. I hesitate, not looking around but sense that the others too are not sure what to do. The first gunman points his gun at the nearest recruit … a boy just out of his teens and shoots him in the head. 
There is a collective gasp from the room. A chill runs through me. Who are they? How did they break through the security measures of the force base? And then they are foolish enough to barge right into the heart of the training facilities of the force and shoot its cadets? Why? Why would they do that? The gunmen gesture to us and this time we follow their orders. We walk to the wall at the back of the bunkhouse and line up, hands on our heads, staring ahead.
An alarm rings out then. Finally! It’s been almost ten minutes since the shooting started. Still, the reinforcements should be here soon. Now all we need to do is keep these gun men distracted enough so they don’t kill us. As if reading my mind, the guy who’d shot the young recruit moves forward, his gun trained on us. I draw in a breath and hold it. The sweat trickles down my back. My heart is racing so fast I am sure if I look down I can see it leaping out of my chest. The gunman passes me, walks to the end of the line; then back to the middle where I am. 
"You have no idea what this is about do you?" He asks.
He sounds young, as if he is barely a man himself. And something in his voice … muffled as it is, it sounds familiar. A faint recollection  grabs the edge of my mind, And then I forget everything because he leans close to Neil who is next to me, and smashes the butt of his gun into his stomach. Neil falls to the ground, moaning, holding his middle. I firm up my stomach muscles. I know I am next, I must be. I want to squeeze my eyes shut, but don’t. The gunman leans to the other side, and shoots another man in the head. 
This chap collapses without a cry. What the fuck? I want to jump him right then, but that would be really stupid of me. I am not going to help anyone if I get killed will I? There are six of us left in the room now. One of the younger recruits lets out a sob, at which gunman no 2 holds his gun at him, so he shuts up immediately.
The gunman asks me, "Where are the plans?’
"What are you talking about?" I reply, trying to stay calm, struggling not to show how scared I am inside. 
He only grins and in response, and without taking his eyes off me, holds his gun up and I know what what he is going to do and I scream. "No!" But it’s too late. This time he’s shot two more guys in succession. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. These guys are desperate, or crazy or both. 
Besides me Neil stirs on the ground.  
The gunman takes a deep breathe, as if trying to calm himself and says, "Don’t pretend to be dumb. If you don’t get me the blue prints of the security arrangements being planned by the force for Bombay; the one that you and your team mates are being trained for, then all the rest of you die too."
Only six of us left now. Four young lives, gone just like that. I feel sick. What the fuck are these guys upto? And … and how do they know about the plans? This is top secret. The only reason I know about it, is because I’ve overheard the training officer speaking with the ACP about it on the phone last week. And only because I happened to be waiting outside his room then. And how does this gunman even know that I know the details?


Want to find out what happens next? Click here


About the origins of Ruby Iyer:
Growing up in Bombay, my daily commute to university was inevitably nightmarish. It's just how public transport is here. The man behind you on the bus will brush up against you. You know you are going to be felt up on a crowded train platform. All you can do is accept it and get on. Or so you think. I did too, until, a young photojournalist was raped in the centre of Bombay in broad daylight.  It made me furious. Nothing had changed in this city in all these years. Then, I had a vision of this young girl who would not back down; who would follow her instincts, stand up for herself regardless of consequences.  Thus Ruby Iyer was born. Make no mistake, Ruby’s her own person. She leads. I follow. You can download the RUBY IYER DIARIES, the prequel novelette in the series free HERE






About The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer
2015 Readers' Favorite (Bronze) YA Action
 YA Finalist 2015 IAN Book of the Year Award
Finalist 9th Annual Indie Excellence Awards

When her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him. 

Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to be. Ruby knows something must be done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best friend, save the world from total destruction. Armed only with Vikram, a cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from. If you’re looking for fast-paced books like Hunger Games or dystopia fiction like Angelfall, the Ruby Iyer series is perfect for you. 


DOING MY BIT
All SEPTEMBER earnings from the RUBY IYER SERIES will be donated to SAVE THE CHILDREN: SUPPORT CHILD REFUGEES OF SYRIA. All the RUBY IYER books with their brand new covers, are on SALE all this month at 99p/c & Rs 69/49. Click HERE to buy them. 

YOU can also donate to SAVE THE CHILDREN directly HERE 


About the Author:
She almost died. But when dystopia romance author Laxmi Hariharan had a near death experience, she was told to write. Laxmi is the creator of dystopian romance series, RUBY IYER SERIES (The MANY LIVES OF VIKRAM ROY - FINALIST Indie Excellence Awards, the bestselling The RUBY IYER DIARIES , The FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY, The SECOND LIFE OF RUBY IYER & VIKRAM ROY, PANKY's FIRST LIFE), and the Amazon bestselling, eLit Gold winner, The Destiny of Shaitan (Bombay Chronicles, 1). If you're looking for books like Divergent and Angelfall, you'll love the RUBY IYER SERIES.

Laxmi writes books similar to Hunger Games while listening to electronica & progressive rock, and downing innumerable cups of extra sweet ginger-chai. She is also an avid photographer of street art and believes she was a tree -- a redwood -- in her past life. London is where she creates. Bombay is what fires her imagination. 

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GIVEAWAY
The First Life of Vikram Roy, The THIRD book in the RUBY IYER Series, launches this month. To celebrate the launch of the FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY I am giving away a $30 gift card. Winner will be drawn, Oct 1, 2015, and announced in my next newsletter.

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