Welcome to the excerpt tour and release event for The First Life of Vikram Roy by Laxmi Hariharan! The First Life of Vikram Roy is book #1.5 of the Ruby Iyer Series, but can be read as a stand alone novella.
With over 100, 5 and 4 star reviews across Amazon, Goodreads and Netgalley, don’t miss this chance to get your copy of THE MANY LIVES OF RUBY IYER. At 99p/c & Rs 69 for this week only.
This is BOOK 1 in the Ruby Iyer series. A YA ACTION THRILLER with strong dystopian undertones, and a kick-ass protagonist, taking you on a white knuckle ride through a disintegrating Bombay City. It’s also placed as FINALIST Indie Excellence Awards 2015 & as YOUNG ADULT FINALIST in the 2015 IAN Book of the Year Awards.A girl desperate to rescue her best friend. A cop willing to do anything to save the city he serves. A delusional doctor bent on annihilation. A terrifying encounter propels Ruby Iyer from her everyday commute into a battle for her own survival. Trusting her instincts, she fights for what she believes in, led on a mysterious path between life and death on the crowded roads of Bombay; and when her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Braganza, she will do anything to rescue him. Anything, including taking the help of the sexy Vikram Roy, a cop-turned-rogue, on a mission to save Bombay. The city needs all the help it can get, and these two are the only thing standing between its total destruction by Dr Braganza’s teen army.
As Bombay falls apart, will Ruby be able to save her friend and the city? Will she finally discover her place in a city where she has never managed to fit in? And what about her growing feelings for Vikram?
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.
“A killer ending and the pacing of the story and the build-up is really good. I related to Vikram, really liked it.” Richard Sheehan, Author and editor
“I raced through the book… And the killer ending! Oh my God! It left me with a hangover, and makes me want to physically push the author to write the next book in the series faster.” Ritesh Kala, Book reviewer & blogger
If you’re looking for books like Hunger Games, then this dystopia romance, The Ruby Iyer Series.
I walk past Churchgate station, against the human tide surging towards the trains. Lawyers, engineers, blue-collar workers, newly minted MBAs on their first job. All united by the lifeline of this city, by its local trains. Not the most elegant means of transport, but it’s the fastest way to get around the city and it’s the only way to avoid the traffic jams. Just as long as you don’t mind having your nose jammed into the throat of the man ahead. But I am not getting on the trains today.
I enter the small café and order a cup of their extra-special chai. Then, I settle down to wait for him. I hope Vishal really does show up this time. The last time, he said he’d come and never did. But, I can be patient. Persistent too.
I order another cup of chai and finish that too.
The light is fading outside. Around me the tables fill up with early diners. The smell of food wafts through the air and my stomach rumbles.
Where is he?
Another chai arrives. I let this one cool. I am all chaied out. I don’t touch this cup.
He arrives suddenly.
Vishal walks in, stops at the entrance and looks around before spotting me. As he walks towards me, the college girls at the other tables follow his progress. Crew-cut hair, a cut-off T-shirt showing off the tattoo snaking up his arm, and jeans torn at the knees. He looks down at me, dark eyes shadowed, before dropping down in the chair opposite. Behind him, the headlights of the slow-moving traffic bounce off the windows. The honking of the cars pours between us, filling the silence.
“Tea?” I ask, and without waiting for an answer, I look around for the waiter, who materialises at his elbow, placing a glass filled with the milky brown liquid.
“How—?” I ask, then shut up.
This is his local café. His hostel is just around the corner. He must eat all his meals here.
The waiter appears, placing a plate of food in front of him.
“It’s dinner time.” Vishal shrugs and is about to dig in. He pauses, asks, “Do you—?”
I’m already shaking my head. “No. Mum’s waiting for dinner.”
The words are out before I can stop myself. Damn. Fuck. As if the contrast in our situations isn’t stark enough, I had to go point that out, right?
Vishal doesn’t say anything. He digs into the food. Eats.
I swig the water from the glass, wishing for something stronger. Still, it’s good to see him eat. He has a healthy appetite. He seems strong, vital. Alive. A rush of brotherly love surges up, taking me by surprise. I look away. Tilting the glass of water, I drain it off to the last drop. Before I can ask for a refill, the same waiter appears and tops me up.
“Quick service,” I comment.
“They know me here,” Vishal says, voice neutral. His plate wiped clean, he drains his own glass of water and leans back with a sigh. “Why did you want to meet, Vikram?” he asks.
I grasp my fingers around the glass of water.
What does he see? A brother? An enemy? The favoured son? I lean forward, steeple my palms together so they form a pyramid on the table.
“Vishal, come home,” I say.
There’s stunned surprise on his face, then he bursts out laughing. A quick short burst—harsh. Loud enough for people at the nearby tables to look up at us.
“Losing your touch, you are, Bro. You sound like one of those newspaper ads for runaways.” He makes a rectangle of his hands, miming an ad. “All is forgiven. Come home.”
“Forgive us, Vishal,” I say, keeping my breathing even. Calm. I pour my heart into the words. Can he see that I mean it? I want to tell him how sorry I am. But I don’t want to sound like I am pleading. Though, of course, that is exactly what I am doing.
“It’s too late, Vikram.” His voice is even, steady.
“It’s not. It isn’t,” I insist.
Our eyes clash. An uncertain look flashes across his, making him look more like the teenager he still is, rather than the grown-up, street-smart man he’s pretending to be.
“It’s not too late. Never too late,” I say.
“Look. Vik. Your mother doesn’t want me there. I was never a part of that home.”
“She’s not all that bad, Vishal. It’s just … you remind her of Dad’s affairs, all those other women in his life.”
He doesn’t seem surprised when I refer to Dad’s flings in the plural. It’s not something we’ve ever spoken about. But I know that he knows too.
“I know she didn’t make you very welcome. But she also didn’t disown you, throw you out to starve, did she?” I plead.
“Dad wouldn’t have allowed that,” he says.
But his voice isn’t very convinced. He doesn’t meet my gaze now, instead looking across to the crowd on the next table. He pulls out his packet of cigarettes and lights one. The waiter brings him an ashtray immediately. He doesn’t offer me one and I don’t ask either.
I press my point. “She did give you a roof over your head all these years.”
“Then, at the first opportunity, moved me to a hostel.” He says it without malice, blowing out smoke. He looks at the cigarette.
“It’s one of the finest colleges in the city. A good hostel.” I defend her.
“My point. Exactly.” He looks up and smiles a little. Just one side of his lips lift. It’s not a happy smile. Cynical. “Which is why I say, let it go. It’s fine where I am. I’ve found my place here. I never did belong at your home.”
He gets to his feet and I follow him.
“The bill?” I look around for the waiter.
“It’s on my tab.”
Seeing the look on my face, he smiles. This one reaches his eyes, lights up his face. He looks mischievous, almost happy.
“I can pay for your chai, Vik. It won’t put me on the street.”
Relieved, I follow him out of the café onto the footpath. “Do you need anything else, Vishal?”
“Money, you mean?” He says it without heat. “No. Dad’s made sure my hostel is all paid for, till I graduate. And I get a monthly allowance.”
“He planned it all out, didn’t he?” So, Dad’s thought this one all the way through.
“Maybe he had to,” Vishal agrees.
“Did he know what was coming?” I wonder aloud. He prepared for the worst, he did.
“I think he sensed … something.”
There it is, that look in his eyes again. He knows something, Vishal does. Something he’s not telling me. I ask quickly, “What do you mean? Tell me.”
A shutter falls over his eyes, his features freeze. “I have to go, Vikram. People are waiting for me.” He turns to leave.
“Wait, Vishal.” I stop him, and when he looks over his shoulder, I ask, “Your mother. Where is she?” All these years and I’ve never dared ask him about his mum.
There’s something like puzzlement, then wariness, on his face.
He frowns, then says, “She’s gone.”
“What do you mean?” I ask.
But he continues walking, not replying. Hands deep in pockets, his shoulders hunched and his face thrust forward so his chin almost touches his chest.
“Is she dead?” My voice follows him, but he doesn’t turn back.
Is she alive? Is that what he meant?
It’ll be a few more years before I get the answers to my questions.
happens next? Click 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.
FROM THE AUTHOR
announced in her next newsletter.