3 Stars for “This Changes Everything” from Alexander Crommich: Book Review

Three Stars from Alexander Crommich because he didn’t like the multiverse/ holographic structure of the novel (one star?) and didn’t appreciate the “spanning” nature of Volume I of the 10-Volume series (the other star?), not wanting to wait (I guess) for the details and stories coming in subsequent volumes. Oh, well, can’t be everything to everyone.

He made some great, insightful comments and put in a lot of time, so I am grateful for his review. Link is below some excerpts, here. First, from his email to me:

“I really liked the ideas you played around with in your book, but it would have worked better for me if you had picked one very small part of how the world changes that Clara gets involved with and followed just that vein. I think you tried to cover too much ground, in too many different formats and styles, to effectively do what you wanted to. Again, though, I really did find the ideas you discussed in the book quite interesting.”

-A. Crommich

from his review:
“This is one of those strange books that was, on the one hand, difficult to read, but on the other, fascinating….”

“The book deals with interesting subjects ranging from alternate realities, reincarnation, some fairly trippy interpretations of science, and alien life that’s truly alien.”

“First, the whole idea of aliens constantly resetting small chunks of the universe to try and get the best outcomes for everyone involved is downright cool. This book treats parallel universes as a given and goes to great lengths explaining the different ways the MWC plays around with them to create a greater galactic society. It’s always interesting when a book decides that alien life is not only friendly, but has a utopian agenda.”

“Second, when the presentation of the material works, it’s a very unusual take on things that I found enjoyable. My favorite part is still a council meeting in which MEMBERS of the MWC discuss how they intend to handle the advent of nuclear power on earth. That, as well as how they handle religion, involves sleeper agents, reality resets, calculating probabilities, and a whole host of funky stuff that’s quite interest.”

“In summary, this book never flows together into a focused novel, which is unfortunate given how interesting the subject matter is. It does, however, present enough fascinating ideas and viewpoints to partially redeem its shortcomings. I’d almost recommend treating it like a scrap book and picking out the various chapters that seem to interest you, rather than reading it cover to cover straight off the bat. All told, I give it a 3/5.”

http://alexandercrommich.com/2014/01/25/this-changes-everything-by-sally-ember-review/

Stellar Review by David ben Efraim for “This Changes Everything,” Volume I, “The Spanners Series”: The End of Humankind’s Loneliness

Stellar Review by David ben Efraim for This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series: “The End of Humankind’s Loneliness”

Excerpts and link to full review, below.

“From the moment I opened the book I felt that it was indeed a pure science-fiction novel; the author hits the nail on the head with the atmosphere she created, blending elements of comedy, mystery and surrealism together to give you, the reader, an unshakable desire to learn more about the aliens and the worlds they come from.”

“I found the story itself to be one of the most immersive and original ones I have read recently. Amongst the sea of science fiction novel clones, there is This Changes Everything, a book in which old ideas are taken in completely new directions (such as the whole intergalactic committee actually trying to help the humans), and new ideas are spawned by the dozens.”

This Changes Everything is certainly much more than what I expected from it, presenting us an enthralling and original storyline set in a majestic and extremely-detailed world, populated by many characters that will stay with you once the last pages are closed. I wholeheartedly recommend the book to science-fiction fans, especially the ones who prefer their literature to explore ideas and concepts through words rather than actions.”

This Changes Everything cover

http://quick-book-review.blogspot.com/2014/01/this-changes-everything-volume-one-by-sally-ember.html

Stellar Review by David ben Efraim for “This Changes Everything,” Volume I, “The Spanners Series”: The End of Humankind’s Loneliness

Stellar Review by David ben Efraim for This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series: “The End of Humankind’s Loneliness”

Excerpts and link to full review, below.

“From the moment I opened the book I felt that it was indeed a pure science-fiction novel; the author hits the nail on the head with the atmosphere she created, blending elements of comedy, mystery and surrealism together to give you, the reader, an unshakable desire to learn more about the aliens and the worlds they come from.”

“I found the story itself to be one of the most immersive and original ones I have read recently. Amongst the sea of science fiction novel clones, there is This Changes Everything, a book in which old ideas are taken in completely new directions (such as the whole intergalactic committee actually trying to help the humans), and new ideas are spawned by the dozens.”

This Changes Everything is certainly much more than what I expected from it, presenting us an enthralling and original storyline set in a majestic and extremely-detailed world, populated by many characters that will stay with you once the last pages are closed. I wholeheartedly recommend the book to science-fiction fans, especially the ones who prefer their literature to explore ideas and concepts through words rather than actions.”

This Changes Everything cover

http://quick-book-review.blogspot.com/2014/01/this-changes-everything-volume-one-by-sally-ember.html

Surprisingly Glowing #Review by Carrie Shepherd of “This Changes Everything”

Surprisingly glowing review by Carrie Shepherd for This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, who commented: “To be honest, I didn’t like it at first but kept on reading and then got that ‘Aha!’ moment and the next thing I knew I was on the final page. I very definitely am interested to see how the second in the series plays out.”

Excerpts and link to full review, below.

“The concepts that the author discusses certainly align with some of my own beliefs and, perhaps, this is what kept me turning the pages to see the direction in which the story would lead. By page 36, I was glad that I did. It was around this time that I started enjoying the spin the author put on past events, giving them flavor that played well into her version of the purposes behind past alien encounters.”

“I will say that very rarely do I finish a 248 page novel in the course of two days and that, even more importantly, I’m curious to see where the author takes this series in the next installment. This speaks volumes as to Ms. Ember’s writing skills and ability to keep her readers interested in her content.”

This Changes Everything cover

http://authortoauthorbookreviews.blogspot.com/

#DNF Review for #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING still shines!

Thanks, Samuel Alexander, for a thoughtful peek into This Changes Everything, even though you only read 100 pages (so far)! (DNF = Did Not Finish, so no rating)

http://readingismydrug.blogspot.com/2014/01/this-changes-everything-volume-1.html

This Changes Everything cover

“5 Wonderful Stars” for #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING!

Another 5-Star Review! for This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series.

This Changes Everything cover

Review and comments from Sandra Love, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7339622.Sandra_Love:

“Hello I really love this book. It was intriguing and well-written.”

She gives it “5 Wonderful Stars” and writes:

“First, I received a copy of this book exchange for an honest review.

“I really did enjoy this book I thought it was intriguing, brilliant and it held my interest from page 1 until the last word. I love reading about Clara Branon, who was visited by aliens one night, and wow it got very exciting. I truly believe in aliens and other worlds so this book was a book I would have read anyways. The details that Sally put into this book were amazing, and if I could have given her more stars, I would have.

“If you like sci-fi, fantasy and or aliens this is the book for you. I do recommend this book and I hope you try it because you won’t be disappointed.

“Well done, Sally! I look forward to your future books!!”

Buy links, excerpts and more: http://www.sallyember.com

“The Bluestocking Review” gives 3 stars to “This Changes Everything”

This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, has arrived! TCE has received its first “negative” review by someone who did not allow me to read it first and with whom I have no other relationship.

Since some of you aren’t on Facebook (where it is posted), I’ve copied it here in its entirety, mistakes and all.

I do appreciate whenever anyone takes the time to read and review a book of mine, so: Since thanks, Amanda Blankfield-Koseff. Best to you.

Book Review – This Changes Everything
December 24, 2013 at 5:32am
by Sally Ember (Smashwords) ISBN: 9781310232428

Dr Clara Branon is visited by alien holograms one night. Although this is not shocking to her because she has been visited by extra-terrestrials since childhood, this is the first time the beings communicate with her. They call her by her full name and inform her that she is to be their chief communication officer between Earth and the MWC (Many Worlds Collective).

Clara has to appoint a media contact to help her disseminate the information for the next few decades. At the same time, she has to explain to her son and other family members what she has undertaken to do. The book mixes world history and sociology together with extra-terrestrial occurrences. It uses comic relief and shows Clara to be a really eccentric person through the story.

Ember has structured the book into chapters, and chapter interludes. It becomes unclear whether this is a work of fiction or non-fiction at times due to the structure and academic style used in the interludes. There is only a loose plot and no villain as yet, which can make a reader lose interest. Ember has appendices where she lays out the ideas for a series of ten of these books under the banner of The Spanner Series.

You may like this book if you enjoy humorous Sci-Fi such as The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Amanda Blankfield-Koseff
2/5 HERE but she gives it 3 stars on Amazon Reviews!
@Amands5

https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-bluestocking-review/book-review-this-changes-everything/597463646994087

Gratitude Day!

Today marks the completion of my first ebook’s official first Launch into retail sales. I have many to thank for helping this happen. Here is my SPEECH in written form.

thank-you_gratitude_maui

First, I want to tell my son, Merlyn Ember, how much I respect, love, and appreciate him. His insights, lexicography, tech assistance, re-posting on Facebook and support have been invaluable to me as an author and as a mom. THANK YOU, Merlyn! And, THANK YOU to his partner, Lauren Harrison, my newest family member and friend, for her support and wonderful warmth.

Then, my second-oldest niece, Sarah Miranda, deserves her own special mention. Sarah is my first and most reliable Beta reader, my website developer and maven, on-tap tech help and Facebook quality control “friend” who re-posts on Facebook and corrects my mistakes. Sarah has inspired, supported, amused and informed me continually. THANK YOU, SARAH!

Next, my sister, Ellen Fleischmann. Without her generosity and support, there would not be such an amazing book cover. She has also supported, encouraged, re-posted on Facebook, and inspired me and my writing in numerous ways, including being THE instigator and prime mover of this entire push to publication and marketing since I was laid off from a trad job this summer. THANK YOU, ELLEN!

Special thanks to my cover artist, Willowraven, for helping me understand and develop my cover design with feasible and affordable guidelines without losing my vision or missing my deadline by too much! Visit her site! Give her your business (but not when I need her!): willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com

Next, my youngest sibling, Lauri Fleischmann Stern, for her ongoing support, re-posting on Facebook, and encouragement, ideas, and laughter. She is currently reading my book and I eagerly await her comments. THANK YOU, LAURI!

My mom, Carole Harris, in spite of technical hurdles, continues to leap over them (or knock them down) to support and encourage my authorship. She has also been a great friend, on and off Facebook. THANK YOU, MOM!

My sister-in-law, Laura Weis Fleischmann, even more hampered yet determined to overcome technical obstacles, remains a staunch supporter and is about to be a new reader of my ebook. THANK YOU, LAURA!

My brother, Jonathan Fleischmann, while mostly quiet about it, has nevertheless been a support and help to me and I THANK YOU, JON!

My long-time friend (since 1978!), Mario Cossa, has been a supporter and cheerleader for my efforts. I expect his enjoyment and critique of my ebook to start floating over the oceans and airwaves via SKYPE from Bali any day, now. THANK YOU, MARIO!

My newer friend (since 2011), Diana Ruiz, who drove all the way from Sonoma to Hayward yesterday, my ebook launch day, just to celebrate, encourage and support me, also treated me to lunch and then proceeded to post on Facebook and her own org page to support my ebook’s visibility. THANK YOU, DIANA! Send support to Women’s Global Leadership Initiative, her org: http://www.wgli.org

My recently departed but never-forgotten, long-time friend, Jaye Alper, figures into this ebook and series as the inspiration for one of the characters. She was too ill when I was drafting this to read any versions of it, but we did talk about it before she passed and I know she’s laughing and critiquing away and sharing it with her librarian contacts from wherever she is now. THANK YOU, JAYE!

Thanks also to many other friends, family members and supporters, including but not limited to: Christopher Ember Briggs, David Garelick, Pema Lama, Jim Shucart, Edward Elbers, Pamela Faith Lerman Gluck, Katie Schwerin, Bill White, Sandra Mellander, Heidi Henkel, Diane Stolar, Edina Adler, Helen Perdue, Suzanne Yeomans, Jennifer Foltz, Jennifer O’Donnell, Wendy Boldizar, Bill Weiss, Randi Weiss, Leo Weissman, Jody Serkes, Pat Lenobel, Bonnie Mulliken; Jeff Kravin and Julia Wersema; Debbie and John Paggi; Don and Fatima Frazier; Jeremiah and Elijah Kneeland; Emily, Noah, Amanda and Jamie Stern; Malka, Yakov, Akiva and Shaya Fleischmann as well as Adina, Talia and Estey Fleischmann; Ron and Scott Cytron; David, Michael and Kathy Rosen; Hillary, David and Adrienne Levin; all my colleagues and friends on Goodreads, #ASMSG and other FB, LinkedIn and Google+ groups’ members.

Thanks to those on Twitter whom I follow and who follow me. Especially grateful for the Retweets! #FF @sallyemberedd

Very important thanks to those who offered and then posted Author Interviews and read pre-pub editions/wrote and posted reviews: Pippa Green and others at the Science-Fiction Romance Brigade; Andrea Barbosa; Debbie Brown/Amethyst Eyes; Skye Callahan; New Book Journal; Shah Wharton; Bits, Bytes and Books “owner” and new author-friend, Ria Stone, author of Gina’s Dream; Zach Tyo; Lynda Dietz; Janice G. Ross. Links to all of these are on this website: http://www.sallyember.com Look to the right and SCROLL!

Thanks to Will Wilson for inviting me to his radio interview show which will air live on BlogTalk Radio, 11 AM EST, Friday, December 27: http://blogtalkradio.com/indiebooks

Special thanks to my first pre-pub reader and reviewer, fellow sci-fi author, Mary Josephine O’Brien, and best of wishes to her on the publication of her ebook, Shared Skies.

Thanks to all the groups, sites, book clubs, librarians, independent bookstore operators online and in person, and bloggers who post, re-blog and support indie authors and indie books. I can’t possibly name you all, but I hope you know how much your support and help with increasing visibility mean to us authors, typing all alone and creating who knows what in our little writing caves.

Special thanks to the Fremont, Redwood Empire and Hayward, CA, writers’ groups for critiques, support, inspiration and opportunities to do public readings, and encouragement.

Very special thanks to Jordan Rosenfeld, author/editor/blogger, for her professional information, inspiration and energy for improving my writing and for revision after revision.

Thanks and a tip of the hat in amazement to Mark Coker, Ted Summerfield and the entire Smashwords team for all your support, great instructional guides and videos, tech support and encouragement for my becoming and many millions of others being able to become ebook authors.

Thanks to Author U, Judith Briles and the team and invited marketing mavens there, for great webinars and advice for authors/writers. Take advantage of their “Mentoring Mondays”! Free! http://authoru.org/

Last and certainly not least: my spiritual teacher and long-time (since 1983) friend, Lama Drimed (Alwyn Fischel), who is the inspiration for many themes and topics in this series and for one of the characters (guess which one?), has my heart-felt devotion and eternal gratitude for so much, including all of his teaching, support, guidance and encouragement for my spiritual and professional paths. THANK YOU, LAMA DRIMED!

May all beings benefit.

Author Q & A on Goodreads and Google On Air Hangout on Release Date of “This Changes Everything” Register!

Join ebook author, Sally Ember, Ed.D., for Q & A online chat on 12/19/13, Release Date of This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, on Goodreads, 9 AM – 12 PM PST, FREE.

Join Goodreads (also free), then use the link, below, to post question/comments and register in advance or on the day of the event. SHARE!

ALSO, simultaneously, on Google On Air Hangout via youtube: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cqk9o94v7ovcdbdbq8q6mn26dns

Links to reviews, interviews, blog posts and buy links as well as excerpts on author’s website http://www.sallyember.com

This Changes Everything cover

Cover art by Willowraven.

SHARE! Thanks!

SYNOPSIS: Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, Ph.D., 58, is having the first of many home visits from holographic representations of five beings from the Many Worlds Collective (MWC), a consortium of planet and star systems all around the multiverse, over a thirty-year, increasingly Utopian period. Earth is being invited to join, formally, and the December, 2012, visit is the first one allowed to be made public. Making the existence of the MWC public means many Earthers have to adjust our beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and, well, everything we think and are. Clara becomes the liaison for Earth, the Chief Communicator, between Earth and the MWC. This Changes Everything relates the events partly from her point of view, partly from records of meetings of varying groups of the MWC governing bodies, and partly from her Media Contact, Esperanza Enlaces, employing humor, poignancy, a love story, family issues, MWC’s mistakes and blunders, history, politics, paranormalcy and hope.

https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/911803-chat-with-the-author-of-this-changes-everything-on-release-date

Pre-orders and Release Date for “This Changes Everything” free coupon!

Please share: Now in Pre-orders @ 50% $1.99 on Kobo, iBooks and nook, Sally Ember, Ed.D.’s first sci-fi/romance/paranormal novel, is getting 4- and 5-Star Reviews in pre-pub: see snippets from Reviews, below and full reviews on Goodreads. This Changes Everything, Volume I of <em>The Spanners Series release date is 12/19/13 via Smashwords to Amazon and all ebook retailers. Book club members, teachers and readers of THIS press release, contact Sally for coupon for free download from Smashwords to use after 12/19 – 12/31/13, sallyember@yahoo.com.
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/376197

What others are saying about This Changes Everything,
Volume I, “The Spanners Series” by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

“[This Changes Everything] is highly-imaginative, but for so many different reasons, and outside of the normal scope. There are times when I felt that I was reading an actual research report of true to life events. Honestly, I’m sitting at my laptop, questioning if Clara has provided this work to Ember, or if the two are one in the same. The experience is mind-altering, and would challenge readers to think beyond the bubble that we live in. I would surely recommend ‘This Changes Everything’ to anyone that enjoys a a well-written and researched Sci-Fi series. I will point out that it pushes the envelope, and toys with one’s perception. Well done! 5 Stars.”
–Janice G. Ross, author, 11/11/13
http://jgrwriter.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/review-this-changes-everything-by-sally-ember-3/

This Changes Everything by Sally Ember is a well-written, complex work that is going to add a strong title to a genre that can sometimes become bogged down with the same old, same old. ‘This Changes Everything’ is a book that I am very happy to have had the chance to read and I would recommend it to any sci-fi/fantasy fan.”
–Zach Tyo, Indie Reviews, 10/4/13
http://indiebookreviewer.blogspot.com/

“You have created your characters very well. I feel for Clara, I imagine her alienating a lot of people because her enthusiasm and drive and ability to push herself makes her someone who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. I would have liked more of the reporter’s life and I didn’t like Epifanio at all. He sounded arrogant and selfish. I loved that the aliens were chosen by lottery. You had so many good touches like that, which made the book a continuing surprise. I…have to say it is one of the most challenging, exciting and original books I’ve read.”
–(Mary) Josephine O’Brien, author, ‘Sharing Skies,’ 9/14/13

“You have written a wonderfully imaginative and original story with plenty of twists and turns. I really like your multiuniverse setting with different timelines and the concept of the ‘Many Worlds Collective.'”
–Sophekles, author, ‘The Serotonin Transfer,’ 10/8/13

“I love your sense of humor. I literally laughed out loud when Clara said that she had given him the name ‘Led.’ I also like that this is an alien story where the aliens are helping, rather than trying to take over the world. It’s a refreshing angle.”
–S.M. Koz, author, ‘Pangalax,’ 9/4/13

[after reading 1st 20 pages only] “…In a lot of ways I’m at a loss to critique this because it’s quite different than what I’m used to encountering. It’s a more immediate version of ‘Stranger in Strange Land’ by Heinlein. Now, what I say next is strictly speaking off the cuff at 11 PM after a couple of rum and cokes, but as it stands I’d probably rate this either three or four stars, depending on how it develops. Once I got into the ideas behind it all, I found it personally fascinating. I’m not sure how that would translate to a broader readership, but it’s nifty stuff. I like alternate timelines and the like…”
–Alexander Crommich, reviewer @ Crommich Industries

“The writing is complex and done extremely well….There were times when I almost forgot I was reading a work of fiction and not a news account of real events, and I would consider that to be skilled writing indeed….[D]id I enjoy more of it than not? Yes. Four stars. Did I like the overall content? Most of the time. Three stars. Was the writing of good quality? Oh, definitely yes. Five stars. My overall rating: four of five stars.”
–Lynda Dietz, Easy Reader, ilovetoreadyourbooks.blogspot.com, 11/4/13

About the Author
Sally Ember, Ed.D., is a published, nonfiction author and produced playwright (children’s theatre, Crystal Dreams; Grading System for adults) whose sci-fi romance/speculative fiction, YA, New Adult and adult series, The Spanners, starts with Volume I, The Changes Everything, uploaded in e-book format by Smashwords and for sale December 20, 2013. Volumes II – X are planned (see Appendix A, below). Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, is coming out in Spring, 2014, and the others are in various draft stages. Sally also has some short stories and articles published in ‘Out of the Kitchen,’ a journal available in the 1980s in print format only. She has co-written, edited, and proofread many nonfiction books and worked for a some magazines in the early 2000’s.

Sally was raised Jewish and is a practicing Buddhist meditator. She is also an almost-daily swimmer, a mediocre singer/pianist, avid feminist, dreamer, and devoted mother/ sister/ aunt/ daughter/ cousin/ friend.
Her website includes a blog: visit and comment, follow, “like,” and share! sallyember dot com.

In her “other” professional life, Sally has worked as an educator and upper-level, nonprofit manager in colleges, universities and private nonprofits for over thirty-five years in New England (every state), New Mexico and the San Francisco Bay Area (where she now lives). Sally has a BA, a Master’s (M.Ed.) and a doctorate in education (Ed.D.).

Interacting With and Finding Sally Online
Please write a review and give This Changes Everything a rating on SMASHWORDS, iBooks, Kobo, nook, whatever retailer you use for ebooks, as well as many other sites that bring readers to this book: Authonomy, Wattpad, Indiebooks, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7237845.Sally_Ember, her blog, http://www.sallyember.com. Help bring people to ‘The Spanners Series’ via any other website that invites readers to post comments and reviews of Sci Fi novels, especially if you LOVE it!

Sally would be delighted to visit your Book Club or class in person or via SKYPE to talk about ‘The Spanners Series.’ Ask her to co-develop curricula, projects and activities for your group/class members!

You will want to check on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSpannersSeriesbySallyEmber or her website to find out when the next Volume will be available.

Follow Sally on Twitter @sallyemberedd and please Tweet about this book and series! She will be posting excerpts of the upcoming Volumes on the Series’ FB page. Notices of those postings will be on Twitter.

For photos, images, music, bios and other memes relevant to Sally as an author and directly to ‘The Spanner Series,’ please visit her ten boards on Pinterest: “‘The Spanners Series’ includes…”; “Inspirations for the Earth locations in The Spanners Series”; “Music of ‘The Spanners Series'”; “Space Shots I like”; “Books that changed my life”; “TV shows and movies I actually like”; “Writers I Love”;”Resonating Pins” (from others’ boards); “Blog Posts”; and, “Flora and Fauna that amaze me.” She also puts up promos for her own and other authors’ books on occasion via “Book Billboards.” Please follow her Boards on http://www.Pinterest.com/sallyember gets you to her boards.

Cover Art by Willowraven: willowraven-illustration.blogspot.com

This Changes Everything cover

Visit Bits, Bites and Books Cafe today and in a week or so for comments about “This Changes Everything” and a full review

This author makes me blush! “Dr. Ember is a delightful person, full of energy and ideas. I do recommend her book [This Changes Everything] because it is a delightful mix of fiction, fantasy, stream-of-consciousness, and humor. She is the Alice Walker of the Spanner[s] generation.”

Visit using the link, below, for more of her opinion and later this fall, a full review!

Thanks, Ria!

http://bitsbitesbooks.weebly.com/blog.html

Lynda Dietz Review of “This Changes Everything” 4 & 5 Stars

Review of This Changes Everything by Sally Ember, Ed. D.
11/4/13
Easy Reader, Lynda Dietz

I was recently given a pre-pub e-copy of This Changes Everything , Volume 1 of The Spanners Series, in exchange for an honest review.

What if the world as we know it isn’t exactly as we’d always believed? What if we’re not the only sentient beings in the universe? What if the universe were not “only” a universe, but a “multi-verse” where many timelines occurred simultaneously?

The book’s title really says it all: this changes everything. Clara Branon is visited by the holograms of alien beings one night in her home, and her life from that point on is forever changed. She’s chosen as Chief Communicator, the contact person between the Many Worlds Collective and the Earthers, as they’re known by other species; it becomes her job to tell the rest of the world about the MWC and to help them accept it in order to transform our world into a better place for future generations.

I like the way opportunities for “re-sets” are available—how many of us would go back and change certain events if we could?—but are also shown as not always being the best option. Our life experiences shape us into who we are, after all, and if one or more of those is altered, we may not get what we want in the way we think we want it. I also appreciate the nods to authors like Douglas Adams, with the language-interpreting “fish” reminiscent of the Babel fish in his Hitchhiker’s Guide books.

Because Clara is writing/telling of the events occurring in multiple timelines, all the narrative is in the present tense, even for past or future events, which, as an editor, drove me crazy at first. Eventually, I got used to it, but it was occasionally a distraction…after all, past events require past tense verbs, unless the past is happening during the present or the future, in which case…oh, forget it. You’ll get used to it too, after a few pages.

Since the book is essentially a documentation of the initial visitation and transition time, there’s a lot of narrative with little dialogue, which slows down the pace in many spots. I’m a dialogue person, so the long stretches of complex details in the form of transcripts were a lot to absorb and at times felt like too much for one book. (Note: after contacting the author about this, I was informed that the manuscript had been revised and more dialogue had been added to the version that will be published in December.)

At times felt like it had a definite political slant, with a lot of liberal push, demonizing those who are staunch in their religious or moral beliefs as inflexible and unenlightened, classifying the wealthy as greedy, etc. I have to admit, I didn’t really care for that aspect of it, but that reflects my own personal beliefs and has nothing to do with the quality of the book itself. The novel also has a lot of Buddhist practices and teachings in it, including reincarnation (or ReInvolvement, as the MWC refers to it). I feel the need to mention these things because they’re so present within the book, and many readers prefer to be made aware of any controversial topics or religious leanings prior to reading.

There were parts that really tickled me, such as the explanation of crop circles: teenage alien graffiti, not much different than Earth teens taking a joyride and spray-painting the sides of bridges or boxcars, then racing back home before the authorities catch them. A recounting of an exchange between Clara and her son, Zephyr, over speakerphone had me giggling out loud, because it reminded me so much of phone conversations with my own mother.

The writing is complex and done extremely well. I didn’t see an editor listed, and I’m happy to say that Ms. Ember is excellent at self-editing. Grammar, punctuation, and spelling were non-issues, which was very refreshing in an indie book. There were times when I almost forgot I was reading a work of fiction and not a news account of real events, and I would consider that to be skilled writing indeed.

Because different book sites have different meanings to their ratings, I think of the star system as looking at a scale: did I enjoy more of it than not? Yes. Four stars. Did I like the overall content? Most of the time. Three stars. Was the writing of good quality? Oh, definitely yes. Five stars.

My overall rating: four of five stars.

http://ilovetoreadyourbooks.blogspot.com

“This Changes Everything” gets 5 Stars from Janice G. Ross

Thanks, Janice, for a thoughtful, enthusiastic, complimentary review of This Changes Everything, Volume I of The Spanners Series!

Some quotes, here, and the a link to the entire review:
“What Ember has created is a fascinating concept that addresses the what ifs of the world that we know. Not only has Ember written an exceptionally detailed Science Fiction novel that incorporates all the proper elements, she’s brought it to life in a remarkable manner. This Changes Everything does not follow a standard outline for a novel, as it chronicles the experiences of Clara Branon. The writing is very complex, causing readers to pay close attention; however, it is very intriguing.”

and, “I would surely recommend This Changes Everything to anyone that enjoys a a well-written and researched Sci-Fi series. I will point out that it pushes the envelope, and toys with one’s perception. Well done!

“As I consider the rating, I am torn between 4 and 5. I’ve considered five stars because of the quality of research and overall planning that has evidently been put into this work, also the fact that it is well-written. Four stars because of its complexity.

Then, Janice reconsidered and sent me an email changing the ranting to 5 stars, explaining:

“I decided to change the rating to 5 stars. The review is still
the same…. I welcomed the complexity, but was not sure that everyone could appreciate that fact….Your work has allowed me to raise the bar and increase expectations for future reviews. And that is a big compliment!… your work is exceptional.”

★★★★★

http://jgrwriter.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/review-this-changes-everything-by-sally-ember-3/

Free: I will profread…proofread 5 pages if you interact!

Authors, bloggers, other writers: I will trade interaction for light editing/proofreading! Trying to build my “platform” for pre-orders of my first ebook: Volume I, This Changes Everything, The Spanners Series and build buzz for sales. Pre-orders, $1.99 (50% off), 11/5 – 12/19/13, via Smashwords.com, iBooks, Kobo and Barnes & Noble. Release date: 12/20/13, via Smashwords and many other retailers, including Amazon, @ $3.99.

I will proofread/lightly edit 5 pages of any text you have for FREE for every way you interact with me between now and December 20, 2013. Choose one of the following for each 5 pages you want proofread!

1) comment on a post on my blog (http:www.sallyember.com)

2) follow me on Twitter (@sallyemberedd) and RT at least one of my Tweets

3) LIKE The Spanners Series Facebook page and leave a comment on a post there (https://www.facebook.com/TheSpannersSeriesbySallyEmber)

4) follow my blog and share it with your own blogosphere (http:www.sallyember.com)

5) write a brief review of This Changes Everything (TCE) which has excerpts posted on my blog, http:www.sallyember.com , and two other sites (http://authonomy.com and http://wattpad.com)
****5 pages proofread for EACH!
For each site, read and rate what you read, comment, back the book, put it on your shelf (whatever ways you can uplift it).
BTW I’m NOT telling you how to rate or rank TCE!

6) become a friend of mine on http://Goodreads.com and comment on any post I put on any group I belong to there (Sally Ember, Ed.D.)

7) add me to your circle and find me in any Google + Community to comment on any post I have in a g+ group (ssfember@gmail.com)

8) Become a follower of my 10 boards and re-pin at least one pin on Pinterest.com/sallyember

To “cash in” on the proofreading, contact me and send notice of which interaction(s) you did. Send your 5-page (or more, if more interactions) attachment to: sallyember@yahoo.com as a MS Word doc. I will use “Track Changes,” “Save As” with my initials appended, and email your proofread text back within 72 hours.

Thanks. SHARE this and let me know and you get another 5 pages proofread!

Happy interacting!

Another partial review from fellow author, Sophekles, on Authonomy

Dear Sally,

You have written a wonderfully imaginative and original story with plenty of twists and turns. I really like your multiuniverse setting with different time lines and the concept of the ‘Many Worlds Collective.’

“Clara’s character is well developed and the first person journal perspective makes the reader feel with her from the beginning.

“The story is very well written with plenty of vivid and original details that make the reader feel as if he is perceiving the scene directly.

“My only suggestion would be to reduce the number of comments in brackets.

“High stars and watchlisted for a really imaginative story and excellent writing.

“Best wishes and good luck in getting published,

Sophekles
The Serotonin Transfer

Book Review by Zach Tyo, “This Changes Everything”

“Overall I’m going to give This Changes Everything a 7/10 based on:
6/10 for readability – Ember’s story, while being well written, is a bit hard to follow at time. The transitions do come off a little rough at times.
7/10 for characters – As I mentioned earlier the main character is very well done and believable as a normal woman with this huge weight dropped on her. The support characters, however, tend to fall a little short and feel a little one dimensional.
8/10 for story – The story concept is wonderful and challenging at the same time. There are times when it gets a bit hard to follow, but these times are few and far between. Taking on the task of writing a story that covers multiple time lines and multiple universes is enough to warrant a hat tip to Ember.
8/10 for concept/execution – I’ve mentioned this several times already, but I feel the true x-factor for this story is the vast concept, and execution, of writing a story that spans time lines and universes. It so easily could have turned into a mess, but Ember really reigns it in and edited it down to a point where its, for the most part, easy to follow.
Thanks goes out to Sally Ember for allowing me to read and review this title. Though I know the review is a bit mixed, overall This Changes Everything is a book that I am very happy to have had the chance to read and I would recommend it to any sci-fi/fantasy fan.”

First full-read review for “This Changes Everything” from fellow author, Mary Josephine O’Brien

Here are some excerpts from my first full-reading review, from Mary Josephine O’Brien, a new author and avid reader who found This Changes Everything on authonomy.com (She gave permission for me to quote her pre-uploading the review.):

“It’s an amazingly complex and challenging book for a reader (not a bad thing). You have managed to create a wonderfully original style. The whole idea of watching the novel be written is excellent.

“At times, I felt as if I were being lectured at, but then this was interrupted, just at the right time, by a dialogue-driven scene or another person’s viewpoint entirely. The juxtaposition and entanglement of the writer’s personal life, faults, failures, friends, hopes and dreams turn this into a very warm and believable journey. The extraordinary mix of formal meeting minutes, diaries, personal logs, newspaper reports, radio excerpts and telephone conversations serve to give a rounded view of the whole arrival-of-aliens scenario.

“The time-hopping took some getting used to, as in I had to re-read a few times or look back to see if what I remembered was accurate but it all held together. Clever weaving of historical fact and alien explanation. The what-if re-sets had me sighing ‘if only’!

“You have created your characters very well. I feel for Clara, I imagine her alienating a lot of people because her enthusiasm and drive and ability to push herself makes her someone who doesn’t suffer fools gladly. I would have liked more of the reporter’s life and I didn’t like Epifanio at all. He sounded arrogant and selfish.

“I have to say that I found the book’s ending very satisfactory, and while this is a good thing in any book, I felt it didn’t leave me wanting more.

“I’m sure any traditional publisher will tell you to ‘tame’ it, to cut whole scenes, not to have it so choppy etc….[P]ersonally, I wouldn’t like to see it ‘prepared’ for publication. I imagine you will find a a lot of readers who won’t go beyond the first few chapters, as they’ll be resistant to the format, but equally I think you’ll find the people that will empathize with the book and your points both political and ecological.

“I loved that the aliens were chosen by lottery. You had so many good touches like that, which made the book a continuing surprise.

“The disjointed nature of both the book itself and the timelines in it pretty much mean that, apart from the first chapter (which, incidentally, is a very good opener), the chapters and sequences can be pretty fluid.

“Well done, Sally! A real tour de force, I wish you all the best with it and thanks for sharing it with me.”

Another reviewer comments on 1st 20 pps., This Changes Everything

“…In a lot of ways I’m at a loss to critique this because it’s quite different than what I’m used to encountering. It’s a more immediate version of Stranger in Strange Land by Heinlein. Now, what I say next is strictly speaking off the cuff at 11 PM after a couple of rum and cokes, but as it stands I’d probably rate this either three or four stars, depending on how it develops. Once I got into the ideas behind it all, I found it personally fascinating. I’m not sure how that would translate to a broader readership, but it’s nifty stuff. I like alternate timelines and the like…”

One reviewer’s…

One reviewer’s prelim remarks after starting This Changes Everything, Vol. I of The Spanners Series: “I think it’s the most incredibly original concept- well done, that’s not an easy thing to come up with. I have only scanned up to page 60 or so, but it is extremely intriguing and exciting….Those pieces I’ve read are so believable and natural.”

One reviewer’s…

One reviewer’s prelim remarks after starting This Changes Everything, Vol. I of The Spanners Series: “I think it’s the most incredibly original concept- well done, that’s not an easy thing to come up with. I have only scanned up to page 60 or so, but it is extremely intriguing and exciting….Those pieces I’ve read are so believable and natural.”