Welcome to the blog tour of The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer, by Laxmi Hariharan. I’m thrilled to be a participant in this blog tour, as I had a sneak peek of Ruby, being a beta reader and editor. You will not be disappointed in this fast paced, dystopian Young Adult Thriller, taking place in Bombay.
There are many twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Laxmi Hariharan’s unique voice in her writing gives you, the reader, the opportunity to immerse yourself in Ruby’s world, and not letting you go until the last word of the very last page.
Enjoy… I know I did!
From the author: Ruby was born as a weekly web-series. But right from the first episode, readers would email to ask me what was going to happen next. So I wrote The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer – completing it in six months. Ruby has her own energy. She is the master, I am her slave. She bids I follow. Ruby is her own person, she always finds her way. I hope you will enjoy this excerpt from her story.
THE WIND RUSHES by me, screeching in fury. No, it’s the girl I am holding in my arms who is screaming, her fear so palpable it throws a shroud of terror over us. Her nails pierce my skin, and she hangs on to me as if worried if she is going to disappear in a poof if she lets go.
I knew what it is to be afraid, to feel powerless, desperation lancing though your nerve-endings. I was there not too far back, in a place I did not recognise … Only I had clawed my way out of that cesspool of fear. I cannot … will not let this happen to someone else.
A nameless strength courses through me, firing up my blood cells; it’s stark and alien, filling me with power. I have spent my entire life coming towards this.
Holding on to the girl in that narrow space between the rail tracks, I know I can save her.
There is no going back now.
Trying to cushion our fall, I lock my grip around her. Hugging her around the waist, I swing our joined figures so we spiral over the tracks, then twist my body as if I am an aerial acrobat, so that when we hit the ground on the other side I take the full brunt of our combined weights. Just in time, too; the local train thunders past, its hot, dusty air booming out over us. The dense dust cloud it has disturbed wraps us tight in a cocoon of shared desperation.
The girl’s breath is hot, her body heaving as she sobs, pressing her face into my shoulder. I pat her shoulder awkwardly. Damn! It’s very disconcerting to see someone else break down like this—what do I say to calm her down? There, there, you almost died; but really, you have nothing to worry about now.
I push the girl off me so she rolls to the ground. While I swing myself up to my feet she lies there crying, paralysed with fear.
Leaning down—thwack—I slap her cheek. “Enough! Pull yourself together,” I say sternly, trying not to be pulled in by her wretchedness. Truth is, I am as scared, as relieved that we managed not to be hit by the train as she is. I just can’t … won’t show it. As long as I act strong, I will stay strong.
I am relieved when the girl hiccoughs once, then her crying subsides.
To my right, the platform is buzzing around the local train, which has come to a stop at the station, disgorging its passengers—it’s like water from a broken spout. Like locusts through a cornfield, I feel the excitement of the crowd mounting. The tension of those boarding the train climbs to fever pitch; there they are, embarking on their journey, life rolling on one stop at a time. A man leans over from the open doorway of the train, the space engorged with human flesh packed shoulder-to-shoulder, like asparagus lining a tin can, ready to be devoured.
“Hello, beauty! You want?” He rubs his crotch, grinning ear-to-ear, obviously delighted with himself while the man next to him snickers. I am on the ground next to the train tracks, and no one is worried about my safety. Of course not! All they see is a girl, someone to be harassed because of her sex.
My lightning tree is now throbbing steadily, echoing my heartbeat. It’s restive, hungry for more action. I walk up to the train and smile, sweetly fluttering my eyelashes for good measure. He blinks, then looks to the—now silent—man next to him for approval. Making up his mind, he bends towards me. Grabbing his leg, I heave. He flies in a perfect arc above the empty train tracks behind us, hitting the platform edge on the other side before crashing to the ground by the side of the tracks.
“Who’s next?” The adrenaline is running high now inside me, bubbling its purple-red storm. I rub my hands over my jean-clad thighs. I can try to clean my palms as much as I want, but they will never be rid of the stench of innocence stolen. Placing my hands on my hips I look up at the now silent wall of manhood. I am breathing heavily as if I have run for miles. Come at me; just come. Give me an excuse to make you feel even a little of the helplessness I have felt.
I feel strong enough to take on the world. I am on a roll. They stare down, all of them, each face echoing the blank look of the next, a chalky facade of incomprehension at what has just taken place.
About Ruby and Laxmi
The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer is a character driven, Young Adult dystopian thriller, with a kick-ass female protagonist 🙂 taking you on a white-knuckle ride, through a disintegrating Bombay city.
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 its annihilation.
When Ruby Iyer’s best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Kamini Braganza, she will do anything to rescue him. Anything, including taking the help of the mysterious 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?
Add Ruby on Goodreads
About Laxmi Hariharan
A near life experience told Laxmi Hariharan to write. She never stopped. Laxmi is the creator of Ruby Iyer, and the Amazon bestselling, eLit Gold winner The Destiny of Shaitan (Bombay Chronicles, 1). She has been a journalist with the Independent, and a global marketer with NBCU and MTV. Laxmi also blogs for Huffington Post, among others. London is where she writes. Bombay is what fires her imagination.