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Shape of Secrets

by S. R. Cronin

Shape of Secrets - S.R. Cronin - 46. Ascending
Editions:Kindle: $ 3.99
ISBN: 978-0-985156-17-6
Paperback: $ 10.99
ISBN: 978-1-941283-37-0
Pages: 279
ePub: $ 3.99
ISBN: 978-0-985156-18-3

Sail the Pacific in this mystery adventure where things are not always as they appear.
Zane, a young man who can change his physical appearance, is starting his first job at Penthes Pharmaceuticals. It's nothing like what he expects. Soon he is drawn into a world of corporate secrets and dangerous knowledge. But the deceptions are only beginning. Sent on a sales trip to the South Pacific, Zane finds new friends with abilities as surprising as his own. Too bad an unsolved murder sends them all fleeing, as issues from back home threaten to destroy lives half a world away.
Can Zane use his unique talents to unravel the mysteries he's encountered? Can he find love in a world so different from his own? More importantly, can he find out who framed his friend for murder before it's too late?


His mom looked baffled when she met him at the airport. Zane realized it was his physical appearance. Damn.

As a teenager, he'd watched endless videos of shape-changing flounder, squid and octopi, learning how other creatures controlled their appearance and coloring. It wasn't magic; apparently it wasn't even difficult. Hell, cuttlefish could do it. But he was no longer a child avoiding trouble, or a boy in high school who benefited from not being easy to find. Once he was in college, there had been little incentive to alter his appearance. For the first time in his life he was surrounded by people who had no quarrel with him.

He'd kept quiet about his talents, even as a child. He was a loner, with no desire to show off and little desire for the attention lavished on the attractive. He liked being who he was. So no one, other than the now-deceased chameleon Balthazar, knew what sorts of physical transformations he could make his body do.


However, he often forget how his reflexes worked on his behalf without his conscious choice. Just like a cuttlefish's did. During his time in the lab, something in him knew appearing attractive would only bring him grief. You don't challenge the alpha dogs. So his body helped. He’d become a chubbier, shorter, dumpier-looking nerd with stooped shoulders and a receding chin. His whole body practically screamed, "Don't hurt me, I'm no threat." He'd hardly noticed the change.

But, of course, his mother did. The best he could do now was to take his time changing back, doing what he could get away with on the way home before he saw the rest of the family. His mom would think she'd imagined it.

Reviews:The Reading Addict wrote:

"This intriguing story combines ... science and fantasy, suspense, family dynamics, and world issues in an entertaining tale. ... I love the way seemingly unconnected elements are introduced and elaborated on until things start to weave together into a fun and complex set of mysteries." - The Reading Addict

Fabulous and Brunette wrote:

"I really enjoyed reading this book and I love the messages the author conveys and the questions she inspires throughout the book... There is so much going on ..., and the author writes almost consistently in such beautiful, detailed passages." -- Fabulous and Brunette

Workaday Reads wrote:

"Overall, this was a story that took me completely by surprise because while I expected to like it, I ended up loving it. There is so much in the story, yet it never gets confusing or overwhelming... This was truly a globe-spanning tale." -- Workaday Reads

46. Ascending is six interrelated novels about five family members who each discover they can do something extraordinary. The stories overlap in time and can be read in any order.


The second novel, Shape of Secrets, tells of Lola’s son Zane, a misfit genius who just wants to be himself and who has always had an odd ability to alter his appearance. When he lands in the sales department of a pharmaceutical company, he is sent to the South Pacific where he must deal with unexpected dangers. Shape of Secrets will take you to tiny island nations you’ve never heard of as it immerses you in a story about being true to who you are, and the importance of finding joy in your life.


About the Author

Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is 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 her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.

She's made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. She's lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she's lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who've grown up just fine, both despite how odd she is.

All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.