Sunday, September 27, 2015


Like plenty of authors, I too have mood music that goes with my prose. (*cough*) All rhymes purely unintentional. 
TMCRA has a romantic suspense plot and so these are the songs I've chosen to get me back in the write frame of mind. If you have any suggestions to add to this list, I'd love to expand it.

Now, while the heroine of TMCRA will never go out of her way to "look good" for a man or "appearances" she learns to compromise with couture for the greater good.

This is not so much the song, but the video just makes me grin.

Everyone needs a cheerleader. And both my LONER protags will learn how to lean on each other.

The girl should not get hurt.

LOVE is a satire.

I can't NOT have Maroon 5 on a list...any list.

And don't even ask about the death toll in this book.
I'll have a Bollywood list up soon. :)

Friday, September 25, 2015


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.

Book Links:
Goodreads I Amazon

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

Ash and I have agreed whoever shows up late for cricket practice has to roll out the pitch—and roll it back up after practice. And so, here I am, on the pitch— just rolled out by Ash—ready to bat. I watch her run in for the next ball. When she raises her arm her shirt stretches firmly across her chest, outlining her breasts. I can't see the shape of her nipples at this distance, but torture myself for a second imagining what they would look like, if she wasn't wearing that shirt. The ball hits the uneven pitch and bounces at me. I manage to duck just in time so it flies over me rather than at my face. I look up to find Ash grinning. 
"Well played." She gives me a thumbs-up sign.
"You mean well avoided, right?" I walk across the pitch to hand over the bat and the batting pads we wear to protect our legs. "I don't get why we don't wear helmets during practice?"
"Scared, Vik?" She dares me to contradict her. 
She likes pushing me to my limit. Constantly testing me. As if she's seeing how much I can take before I hit back. It turns me on. Or maybe I just like being tortured by her. 
"No. Just being careful," I reply.
I take the ball from her and grip it between my fingers the way she's been teaching me. 
"Wow, you sure like to live by the rules, don't you?" Her voice is bored.
"No, just don't want to be stupid." I try to raise an eyebrow at her. It's something I have picked up from Tenzin. I've seen him use the same expression with great effect. It makes him look cool and aloof, yet sexy. Or so I've heard the girls whisper.
"What are you trying to do?" She looks confused.
"Uh! Nothing." I obviously need to practise more in front of a mirror. I walk to the end of the clearing in preparation for my run-up. "Ready?" I yell to where Ash is taking guard. 
When she nods, I run onto the pitch and bowl. The ball bounces off a rough patch and goes full tilt at her. Ha! Ash is getting a taste of her own medicine.
The next moment, I am running towards her fallen figure. The ball has grazed her head, before flying over the wickets and into the woods beyond. No. No. I didn't mean for that to happen. I hope she's okay. Please, please let her not be hurt. My heart is beating so fast now I can hear the blood pump in my ears. 
"Ash!" My voice comes out all choked. 
Dropping to my knees, I pat her cheeks lightly. Is she unconscious? She's not dead, is she? A thin stream of blood trickles from her temple. I bend closer, bring my face parallel with hers and place a finger below her nose. When I feel her warm breath brush over my skin, I heave a sigh of relief. 
"Ash. Ashley, can you hear me?" I ask again, with more urgency, patting her cheek again. She doesn't move. 
Should I try giving her the kiss of life? Not that I know how to do that. Or perhaps press down on her chest? I place the heel of my right hand in the centre of her chest. 
"What are you doing?" I feel the rumble of her voice through my palms.
"Ash!" I cry in relief. 
She looks at my face, then down to where my palm is still resting on her chest.
"Oh!" I remove my hand. "Sorry, I thought you were dying."
"You are such a pussy, Vikram."
"What do you mean?" My face warms at her words. 
"Here I was hoping for some mouth-to-mouth … You know?" She blinks her eyelids at me coyly.
It only maddens me further. "You mean like this?" I touch my lips to hers, and desire slams painfully into my groin. 
Giggling, she pushes at me, so I sit back on my heels. 
"Too late now, dummy." So saying, she springs to her feet, dirt clinging to her jeans, her white T-shirt splotchy with grass stains. Bits of mud stick to her braid. That's when I completely, utterly, crush on her. 
"Ash …" I whisper.
"Come on." Still smiling, she holds out her hand, and taking it, I rise to my feet. "Let's head back, shall we?" 
We're still holding hands as we enter the school building.
Dad was right. I really do need to work on my timing.

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. 

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. 

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

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

OUTLANDERED in Edinburgh

In the Footsteps of 

James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.

Let me tell you right off that Scotland was everything Outlander promised it to be: charming, historical, majestic and quiet. I saw endless glens and lochs, ancient mountains, kirks and castles, fairy pools and Culloden.

I started in Edinburgh, stayed at the Radisson Blu hotel. It's a great location for a first-timer in Scotland, bang in the middle of the Royal Mile, equidistant from Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood House Palace. I lucked out as Queen Elizabeth left for London the day I reached Edinburgh. No one is allowed to visit Holyrood when she's in residence. My reaction to seeing where the queen passes a few weeks/ months in a year: She sits on chairs that are 300 hundred freaking years old? The poor queen!

In addition to the regular touristy things I did in the Scottish capital, I also traced my book boyfriend James Fraser's movements around it. I'm quite certain that I found the close his printing press was on, and Madame Jeanne's establishment. Of course, no one can miss World's End pub, or the 3-4 watering wells strewn about the Royal Mile, the kirk, the graveyard etc from Voyager.

My impressions of Edinburgh, even apart from the excitement of outlandish trails, was the flavor of the city. Food was fantastic and plenty and varied, and so were the sights. The city is almost like a roller coaster, its closes and wynds going up and down, mostly steeply. A detailed Edinburgh post will be forthcoming...if I'm in the mood.

As this one is about Outlander, we went on to three of the Starz series filming location castles - Doune, Blackness and Linlithgow - all within driving distance of Edinburgh. You could do them in a day and come back by nightfall. 

I didn't. I went onward into the highlands from there.

I leave you now with some sights from Edinburgh and its environs. Next post will be about the Scottish sun. Yup. The sun does show itself there...every day.

Sunday, September 6, 2015



Kuru Kshetra Battlefield.
        Day 17 of the Great Kuru War, seven thousand five hundred years ago.

Death is hot.
That surprises me. I’d imagined death as cold and brutal. Merciless. But in truth, death is hot as blood, and constant like a heartbeat.
Thrum. Thrum. Thrum. My lifeblood ebbs to the rhythm. My head ripped from its torso by Anjalika, the arrow of death that burns even now with the energy of the sun. Struck from behind like some novice. Felled in battle by that lily-livered usurper the Heavens smile upon—Prince Arjun. Brother Arjun.
What have I done?
I harness the thought. Cease all reflection and wrench free of my mortal body. I soar up, up into the gloaming, snapping the ties that tether me to life. Dead, I have no use for ties.
“A matter of perspective, Karna, O son of my godsire.” The unearthly words strum through the air, and I quiver like a plucked bowstring, overcome as much by the voice as its blasphemous claim. “Bonds of devotion nourish the soul, brother.”
There is that word again. Brother. Unpleasant laughter wells up in me. Alive, I am abandoned, denied my birthright—Celestial or royal. Death, it seems, changes everything.
A bright, nebulous light brings forth Lord Yama, the God of Death, atop his divine mount. His elephantine thighs ripple beneath a silken dhoti, ochre and crimson of color, as he guides the mammoth water buffalo to a halt. An iron medallion sways against the God’s powerful cerulean torso, its center stone an ethereal blood orange.
Hypnotic. Pulsing with life. I am drawn to the stone.
“Piteous waste,” Lord Yama mutters, surveying the carnage of war far below us.
I trace the trajectory of his gaze and behold the battered remains of my army drenched in the evidence of its mortality. Is it true? Have we died in vain?
Words form inside me and I will them out. “Shall we go, my lord?”
“Ha! Impatient to be judged, are you? Anxious to have your fate revealed?” asks the Judge of the Hell Realm. His red-black eyes burn with intelligence and compassion in a blue-tinged face that is long and lean and hard. “Rest easy, brother-warrior. You are not bound for the Great Courtroom.”
Not bound for Hell? Where then? Fear has eluded me for so long that I take a moment to recognize it. A hollow-bellied feeling it is, as annoying as a bone stuck in my throat.
“My lord, I have done bad deeds…terrible deeds in my life. I have waged wars, this horrendous bloodshed, and all because my pride could not—would not abide rejection. I have sinned. I must atone for my actions.”
Lord Yama smiles in a way I do not like. “You have redeemed yourself admirably, Karna. You forfeited your life for the greater good today. The deed far outweighs any misguided ones. Be at peace, brother, and enjoy the fruits of your karma.”
There is but one place to enjoy such fruits—the Higher Worlds.
I’d rather burn in Hell for eternity. I say so. “I won’t live amongst the Celestials.” Coexisting with the very souls who’ve spurned me is unthinkable. Watching her—for she would surely reside in Heaven soon—will be eternal torture.
Yama shakes his head, the horns on his crown slashing to and fro. “I thought you might say that. Relax. Your destiny lies elsewhere.”
“Am I to be reborn then? Am I to begin a new life, and forget the past?” Pain, sharp as a blade, lances through me at the thought. Forget my past? My family? Even her? Was that my punishment? To forget all that made me human?
It must be so. For have I not betrayed them as surely as I’ve betrayed my prince regent?
“Human rebirth is not your destiny, either. You are chosen, brother. Your war skills are needed for a higher purpose.” The God slips off his mount, his garments rustling in agitation. “This unjust war has pushed the Cosmos to the vortex of a cataclysm. Tomorrow, the Kuru War will end. Fearing its outcome, the Celestials rolled the Die of Fate and have unwittingly bestowed on Demon Kali untold powers.” Lord Yama bares his fangs in disgust at the foolish gamble. “Imagine the havoc that asura and his minions will wreak on the weak if left unchecked. The Human Realm must be safeguarded during Kali’s dark reign.”
I can imagine the horror only too well as I have battled with evil all my life. But I am done with wars. I am done with defeat. I won’t waste another lifetime fighting.
“With due respect, my lord, I am not the man for this task.”
“You are not a man at all,” Yama thunders, fists shaking. “You are the son of Surya, the Sun God. Accept that you are no ordinary soul.”
I say nothing. I think nothing. I feel something but I squash it down.
Lord Yama’s thick black brows draw together. “Demon Kali will try to pervade every particle of good that exists in the Cosmos, beginning with the corruptible Human Realm. Once he obliterates all of humanity, he’ll set his sights on the Celestials. Kali will not stop until he’s destroyed our way of life. But you can stop him. You are light to his darkness. Do you understand now why you had to betray him? Your beloved humans need you, Karna. I need you. Our father believes in you. Claim your rightful place in the Cosmos.”
Impatiently, Lord Yama removes the iron medallion from his neck and holds it out. The vermillion sunstone glows as if its soul is on fire. Nay! It is my soul that is on fire.
Indescribable energy curls through me. I gasp, though not in pain. I shudder and feel myself grow large, grow hot. Was this rebirth?
I am strong, full-bodied and lethal once more. Then I roar as light bursts forth from my very core and I throb with glorious, blinding power. When I come to myself, my world has changed again. Bubbles of color shimmer all around me: cobalt and saffron, azure and rose. By karma! They are souls. Infinite floating souls.
“Behold the spectrum of life: the worthy, the notorious, the righteous and the sinners.” The God of Death’s soul was a worthy sapphire blue with a tinge of silver. “Your duty, should you choose to accept the office of the Soul Warrior, is to hunt down the red-souled asuras and crush them. Whatever you decide, I wish you a long and successful Celestial existence, Karna,” Yama booms out and vanishes into the purpling sky.
The parley has stunned me. The world of color holds me in thrall. I was dead. Yet, now I am not. A new path lies before me. Unwanted, unwelcome, I insist on principle. I close my eyes. Open them to stare at the medallion cupped in my hand—a golden-hued hand at once familiar and not—and know myself for a fool. I do want this. It’s what I am.
Bastard-born. Rebel. Son. Husband. Father. Warlord. And protector. I fist the talisman, buoyed by its concrete warmth. This is who I am.
I am the Soul Warrior.