Ruby White has no job, no direction in life, and just enough money to last a month - if she eats only rice and her cat catches his own meals. When her best friend, Anise, holds a dress-up party, Ruby drowns her sorrows and meets Damien, whose vampire costume belies his sweet nature. With time on her hands, Ruby soon finds herself at a seminar for those who are Hyper-Auto-Aware, a condition she never knew existed, run by the Jaasmyn Empire. To Ruby's astonishment, she is offered a job. Providing everything from meditation CDs, candles and 'specialised sleeping aides' (otherwise known as pillows) to private classes with a psychic therapist (a parrot), the Empire offers solutions for every physical and metaphysical problem ever conceived, and many that haven't been. Ruby swiftly gains a reputation within the Empire for possessing extraordinary abilities even though her 'talents' are in fact no more than guesswork and sarcasm. Ruby ignores her misgivings about the Empire's ethics. and enjoys fitting in somewhere for the first time in her life. As Ruby disappears into the mire of mind, body and spirit, her friends and family try numerous ways to lure her back.
Fortunately Ruby's friend at the empire, DeDe, is on to Jaasmyn and orchestrates an unforgettable media expose.