Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Layers of Light by S. R. Cronin (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

by S. R. Cronin


GENRE:   science fiction/fantasy



A Texan teenager develops an unusual ability when she becomes an exchange student in India. Once human trafficking touches her world, her mysterious talent shows hope for locating her friends. If she only knew what the talent was and how to use it.
A stranger makes her an unexpected offer. He will train her to find her missing friends, but she will need trust in ideas she barely believes and more courage than has ever been expected of her. Also, she’ll never be normal again.
She accepts his offer, intending to show those guilty of unspeakable crimes just how powerful a young woman can be.


One of the biggest adjustments was not having a cell phone. Teddie was surprised to discover texting was a big part of her life. However, the school was adamant; no students were allowed to have cell phones. At least she had her laptop, and today she had gotten to video chat with her parents before class. The sight of the two of them sitting on the geranium-filled porch in the Texas evening had left her yearning for surroundings she was used to.

That night, she starting sleepwalking.

She didn’t remember getting out of bed, or walking down the hall or going out the door of the school. Didn’t they keep it locked at night? She thought they must. Maybe she had climbed out the window? Could she do that in her sleep?

Yet there she was, walking down the street in front of the school in the middle of the night. Lights were mostly off and half a moon was high in the sky. A group of older boys stood huddled together a couple of blocks away, smoking cigarettes. If they noticed Teddie they ignored her.

She looked around. The mountains in the distance glistened with snow and she took the time to enjoy the view without people jostling into her. The boys down the street all wore jackets, and Teddie wondered if she’d thought to grab a coat. She glanced towards her arm, and the next thing she knew she was back in her bed, with no memory of how she got there.

Well, sleep-walking was supposed to be an odd phenomenon. It had probably been set off by homesickness, to be honest. Good thing her subconscious found ways to navigate her in and out of the school. This time. Hopefully it wasn’t going to become a habit.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sherrie Roth grew up in Western Kansas thinking there was no place in the universe more fascinating than outer space. After her mother vetoed astronaut as a career ambition, she went on to study journalism and physics in hopes of becoming a science writer.

She published her first science fiction short story long ago, and then waited a lot of tables while she looked for inspiration for the next story. When it finally came,  it declared to her it had to be a whole book, nothing less. One night, while digesting this disturbing piece of news, she drank way too many shots of ouzo with her boyfriend. She woke up thirty-one years later demanding to know what was going on.

The boyfriend, who she had apparently long since married, asked her to calm down and  explained how, in a fit of practicality, she had gone back to school and gotten a degree in geophysics and spent the last 28 years interpreting seismic data in the oil industry. The good news, according to Mr. Cronin, was that she had found it to be entertaining and ridiculously well-paying. The bad news was the two of them had still managed to spend almost all of the money.

She was now Mrs. Cronin, and further good news was that they had produced three wonderful children whom they loved, even though, to be honest, that was where a lot of the money had gone. Even better news was that Mr. Cronin turned out to be a warm-hearted, encouraging sort who was happy to see her awake and ready to write. "It's about time," were his exact words.

Sherrie Cronin discovered that over the ensuing decades Sally Ride had already managed to become the first woman in space and apparently had done a fine job of it. No one, however, had written the book that had been in Sherrie's head for decades. The only problem was, the book informed her it had now grown into a six book collection. Sherrie decided she better start writing it before it got any longer. She's been wide awake ever since, and writing away.

Social Media Links


Email me at lola.zeitman@gmail.com



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My review: 

4.25 stars

Layers of Light by S.R. Cronin focuses on Teddie Zeitman as she discovers her special power and becomes pivotal in a struggle against sex trafficking that encompasses multiple countries and requires an eclectic group of individuals to work together. The danger strikes too close for comfort, and Teddie will have to learn who to trust and who to be wary of.

This book is part of the ’46. Ascending’ series and is a science fiction/fantasy tale for mature audiences set in the contemporary world with its all-too-dismaying evils. Once again, the author follows several points of view, each with a separate storyline, but weaves a mesmerizing tapestry that is both thought-provoking and somewhat disheartening as it highlights the challenges that face females the world over. Due to the frank description of some of the horrific aspects of sex trafficking, the story is not recommended for younger readers nor those who have triggers related to sexual abuse.

I appreciate that the books in this series can indeed be read as stand-alone tales but are all connected. It’s a little surprising that Teddie was kept in the dark about the other members of her family for so long but I enjoyed getting a chance to see another side of her after her pivotal role in helping take down racists at her high school that is depicted in Twists of Time.

The multiple threads in this story—the impoverished girl whose virginity makes her such a valued commodity, the orphaned child groomed for the sex trade, the attractive teen whose gender threatens to derail her dream of climbing mountains, and Teddie’s very memorable visit to an exotic foreign land, all combine to make a compelling and eye-opening tale. I enjoy the psychic elements and the chance to see different cultures and I can only hope that there are groups of people who are able to access talents beyond the norm. There are delightful reminders that attraction can occur for the unlikeliest of pairs and chilling interludes that underscore that there are truly evil beings in the world…in other words, there’s a little something for everyone. I’ve enjoyed all of the stories in this series that I have read thus far and I look forward to discovering what other amazing talents are showcased.

A copy of this title was provided for review


  1. Thanks for the review and for hosting me on your blog. It's a pleasure to be back here.

  2. How long does it take you to write a book?

    1. I do first drafts pretty fast. The books I've done so far have taken me about 6 months each. Then I rewrite them multiple times, and that takes at least as long. I'm going to try my hand next at shorter novels requiring less research.

  3. This is a gorgeous cover...did you help design it?

  4. No, although I did help design the original cover and my designers used it to guide the colors on this one (which I love!) This second cover is the work of an online group called DDD and they do amazing work.

  5. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

    1. Thanks Rita. I appreciate your following along.

  6. great cover and human trafficking stories always get my attention
    sherry @ fundinmental

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Thanks Sherry. It's a difficult topic to write about and hard to strike a balance between so many issues. I'm glad you like the cover.

  8. This sounds like a great sci-fi read!