Hi. I’m Sherrie Cronin, the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending. I’m now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of my books makes it obvious I’m fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.
I’ve made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. I’ve lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now I answer a hot-line. Along the way, I’ve lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves me and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how odd I am.
All my life I’ve wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. These days I live and write in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where I admit I occasionally check my phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.
Learn about the new series at https://troublesome7sisters.xyz/.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love the sense of discovery. Making up stories has always been a joy for me, but now that I plan my tales and put them down on paper I have come to appreciate those moments when something happens that totally surprises me. It's great fun and the twists that I didn't see coming turn out to be my favorite parts of each of my books
What do your fans mean to you?
Far more than I would have guessed. I began with the idea that my stories were a creative form of self-expression, and it wasn't until I had that first novel finished that it occurred to me that I desperately wanted to find like minded souls who would read and enjoy what I had written. I'm a shy introvert, so this sudden need for others surprised me.
My books are kind of idealistic and intellectual. There is a fair amount of action and drama too, but at their heart my books are most appreciated by people who like to learn things while they read, and by people who enjoy wondering about human capabilities and the nature of reality and the meaning of life. So when I find a fan, I know that I've also found a kindred spirit of sorts, and that means the world to me. I'm driven now to keep writing the kinds of books that my fans will like.
It’s the 1200’s in Ilari, a small mythical realm somewhere between Europe and Asia. Peace and prosperity have reigned for generations. That doesn’t mean every citizen is happy, however, or that peace will last.
In the outer nichna of Vinx lives the seven troublesome daughters of an intellectual farmer and his ambitious wife. Ilari has no idea how lucky it is to have this family of misfits, for the Mongols are making their way further westward every winter and this prosperous realm is a tiny plum ripe for picking. Desperate, the seven sisters will devise a way to save their realm. Can their odd mix of magical touches and preposterous ideas possibly work?
As the date of the Mongols’ return draws near, Ilarians must work together if they are to have any hope of surviving. Gypsum, the sixth of seven sisters, has joined the reczavy, a group living on the edge of the desert and known for their sexual promiscuity and playful ways. Now she will need to coax this recalcitrant group into becoming life-saving warriors of a very different kind.
Iolite, the youngest of seven sisters, has a rare condition that scares many. When she forges a connection with a roving army on horseback, she learns that they plan to invade her homeland. Once a secret cabal inside of Ilari’s army imprisons Iolite to force her to provide information, Iolite wonders how much she owes them. What she does once she is freed will determine the fate of her people.
Celestine, the fifth of seven sisters, is the family beauty and a talented musician, but she hides her love for another woman beneath her public persona. She struggles to inspire her fellow citizens once she learns an invasion of her country looms.
A 13th-century artist meets an impoverished man who understands her. She wants to run away with him and paint all day, but her country faces an invasion and her unusual visual powers hold a key to her realm’s defense. Then the artists she admires decide her realm must surrender to the invaders to survive. Those who don’t agree are no longer welcome. Olivine must pick where her future will lie
A 13th-century woman spends her life training to join her nation’s army. Once she succeeds, an invasion looms and she learns parts of the realm won’t be defended, including the one where her family lives. Is her loyalty with the military she’s always admired? Or is it with her sisters, who plan to defend their homeland with magic? Everyone is counting on her to fight for what’s right. But what is?
A tenderhearted 13th-century woman discovers her betrothed heroic army officer is not what she thought, and she’s pregnant. As her homeland prepares for a Mongol invasion, she finds she possesses a mythical power that scares everyone but could save the realm. Can she raise a baby, placate an absent military husband who thinks he’s stopping this invasion, and save her homeland?
A highly-educated 13th-century woman discovers the prince she loves may sacrifice her homeland when the Mongols invade. Devastated, she turns to her six sisters, the tough farmers she grew up with, and her own growing powers of telekinesis as she and the helpful witches of the forest devise a strategy to save them all. Will it work? Maybe. It’s certainly what happens when a woman thinks too much.
Everyone in the secret organization x0 would admit telepathy creates as many problems as it solves. Those problems worsen when budding psychic Lola discovers another group of telepaths helping a powerful media empire. This group is willing to destroy anyone capable of challenging them. Can the talented people Lola cares about learn to trust each other and work together in order to save the world?
Seeing the future is a nuisance. Ariel does her best to shut it out, until she stumbles on a group of clairvoyants using their talents to get rich. Then she meets a second bunch obsessed with surviving an upcoming near extinction event.
Both factions seem dangerous and a little crazy. They don’t get along, and each thinks Ariel’s particular abilities are hard to find and exactly what they need.
As an exchange student in India, a Texan teenager develops an unexpected ability. Once human trafficking touches her world, her mysterious talent shows hope for locating her friends. But, she will have to trust in abilities she barely believes exist and summon more courage than she thinks she has. And there will be no going back.
Uncover the startling truth before time runs out in this complex search for an ancient artifact.
Alex once walked away from a rare ability to warp time. Now, he's drawn into a treasure hunt just as his school explodes with white nationalism. As both situations become more dire, he knows he needs to relearn the skill before the past destroys his own future.
An idealistic shape changer at a pharmaceutical company discovers corporate secrets that hide surprisingly vile plans. Someone will kill to protect mysteries the company has worked so hard to hide. On a sales trip to the South Pacific, he is arrested, hunted by an unsavory boot camp manager, and finds love, all while learning how his unique abilities can keep him from being the next murder victim.
A Nigerian beauty searching for her captive sister seeks a fellow psychic to help her. What she finds is a cranky Texan who denies her own talents. An ancient group of telepaths wants to ignore both women, but how can they? The sister's captors are turning more dangerous, and common links are forging these two radically different women together in ways even they don't understand.
The Green Stone Tower
on July 21, 2012
This fun and ultimately hopeful book takes the reader along familiar paths lined with faeries, gods and magic powers but introduces enough twists and new ideas to satisfy a jaded fantasy fan like myself. As the fair haired singer Johnny makes his way from the normal lows of a young man's life in a half-real half-mythical world to ultimate love and enlightenment on the other side of the green stone tower, the author manages nice bits of political satire, takes well-aimed jabs at religious intolerance, and even gives unique insights into the character and motivation behind the "evil" god of shadow. Near the end, the book takes a dive into metaphysical concepts, and in my opinion such a direction does not usually go so well for a story. However, in this case philosophical riffs about the nature of life, death, time, and space are well enough handled to preserve the reader's emotional attachment.
I wish that 4.5 stars was an option here, because that is what I would like to give this book. I found the pace good, the characters likable, and the story enjoyable. Although the plot ties up nicely at the end, there clearly is a sequel coming and I will be watching for it.
Journey To Light: Part I of the High Duties of Pacia
on July 22, 2012
This is a complex and intriguing tale of politics, sacred duties and gifted chosen ones in a fictitious land with tantalizing parallels to our own. The strength of the story lies in the many rich characters and in enjoying the development of their only partially revealed destinies.
Because in this first book of three the author is weaving together several story lines that will certainly intertwine eventually, the reader has to be a little patient and be willing to not always move through the plot in a direct fashion. Some story lines are stronger in this first book, and better developed than others. My favorite, and the one that carried the book for me, involves an amnesiac fighter and a prudish sisterhood that will make anyone raised catholic chuckle out loud. Others, like the story of two quasi-human creatures who resemble a wolf and a bat, are sketched more lightly. I am sure more will come later.
A reader should consider this full tale to be a three book endeavor. After enjoying the author's wit and imagination throughout this first book, I am anxious to pick up the next one.
A Bear Tale
on Oct. 02, 2012
A delightful story about the clash between civilized expectations and the wild in each of us. I particularly liked getting bits of the various animal's points of view, and the author's obvious familiarity with the part of the country that she describes. Although told with a sparse poet's touch, this tale leaves room for wry observations about love, life and road repair. It's not a story without sorrow, but in the end it offers a hopeful message about the places where humans and the rest of the world meet.
Goddess-Born (A Tale of Two Worlds)
on Dec. 08, 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed Goddess Born. Although I also enjoyed Rush’s earlier Green Stone Tower, this is a richer book with more suspense and more levels of intrigue. I enjoyed the underlying political story with its surprising revolutionary who fights with her pen, and appreciated the two poignant love stories, only one of which can end well. The two goddess-born main characters are worth cheering on, both individually and together, yet this book counters their virtue with a thoroughly bad character to boo at, at least one morally ambiguous character, and one of the more horrible mythical monsters I can ever remember. It all takes place in a sort of 1700's-ish world that is believable without a lot of overt detail and into which both magic and revolution fit so nicely.
The book offers a few more battle details that I personally care for, and I struggled with gods and goddesses so powerful and yet so human, but these are minor quibbles and perhaps unique to me. Basically, this is a fun fantasy book with a good heart and underlying positive message. I was sorry to see it end.