REVIEW TOUR, EXCERPT & #GIVEAWAY - Layers of Light (46. Ascending #4) by Sherrie R. Cronin

@GoddessFish, @hotchoc84 (Charlotte), @cinnabar01,

#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.

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So when the three American girls came to her office begging for help in finding their friend, Amy knew this had all the markings of a case that would get her in trouble with the agency. The involvement of three American students only made it more probable this would reach the press and the ears of Amy’s superiors back home. A savvy woman would give these girls the brush off.

“What did you say her name was?” Amy asked.

“Usha.” It was the tall confident girl with the long blond hair girl who spoke first. “She’s really smart and so happy to be in school, and she has these beautiful big trusting eyes and you’ve got to help us find her.”

The girl with the East-Asian ancestry jumped in. “The school’s been busy with the aftermath of the earthquake all week. Last night they got a hold of her mother who says she has no idea where her daughter’s gone and so the school now says she’s a runaway who couldn’t handle the advanced classes and they’re washing their hands of it!”

The pretty one with the head full of black curls picked up the narrative. “We know better. There’s no way that’s true. Usha was doing great in her classes. She has to be in real trouble.”

“Okay,” Amy said. “Start at the beginning and tell me everything you know. No holding back.”

The three girls starting talking all at once. Amy smiled at their vehemence, their innocence and their concern for their friend. There was an uncle from another city, and huge debts to be paid. The girl wasn’t even from Darjeeling so there was no one local to help her. Amy looked at the photo one of the girls had on her laptop. She sat for a minute in silence as she studied Usha’s face.

A young hopeful human being, full of potential. Just as all young people were. Was that reason enough to get involved? Of course it was.

5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

As usual S. R. Cronin has created a brilliant story interwoven with history and hard hitting/taboo topics. I was uncomfortable to say the least, child trafficking and the multiple activities that are associated/go hand in hand with it are always tough to handle. Even though it's not too detailed it's enough to paint a vivid picture.

The relationships are fab. I love how four teenage girls, from different backgrounds, facing obstacles that most adults couldn't handle and with varied skill sets bond. They become champions for each other in a relatively short amount of time.

The end brought tears to my eyes, left an ache in my heart and was beautifully written.

The 46. Ascending series has continually built on solid foundations and become stronger with each new book.

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

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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.

Apparently 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.

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46 Ascending -

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Treasure Hunting for a Good Time

Leaving the Nest to Touch the Sky

Touching the Sky to Save the World -

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