This Changes Everything (Ember)

This Changes Everything  (Spanners Series, I)
Sally Ember, 2013
Timult Books
334 pp.
ISBN-13: 9781310232428 (Kindle, free)

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.

This is Vol. I of the Spanners Series. Vol. II is This Changes My Family and My Life Forever (2014). Vol. III is This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things To Change (2015).

Author Bio
Where—Clayton (St. Louis), Missouri USA
Education—University of Massachusetts/Amherst, M.Ed. & Ed.D.
Currently—Creve Coeur (St. Louis), Missouri USA

Sally Ember, Ed.D., has been passionate about writing since she was nine years old. She’s won prizes for her poetry, stories, songs and plays. She began meditation in her teens. Now, Sally delights fans of paranormal and romance by blurring the lines between fact and fiction in a multiverse of multiple timelines, often including exciting elements of utopian science fiction and Buddhism. Born Jewish on the cusp of Leo and Virgo, Sally's life has been infused with change.

In her "other" professional life, Sally has worked as an educator and upper-level, nonprofit manager in colleges, universities and private nonprofits in many parts of the USA before returning to live in St. Louis, Missouri, in August, 2014. Sally has a BA in Elementary Education, a Master's (M.Ed.) and a doctorate in education (Ed.D.).

Her sci-fi /romance/ speculative fiction/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian books for New Adult/adult/YA audiences, "The Spanners Series," are getting great reviews.
Vol I, "This Changes Everything," ebook is FREE everywhere, $17.99 paperback.
Vol II, "This Changes My Family and My Life Forever," ebook as $3.99 and paperback $19.99.
Vol III, "This Is/Is Not the Way I Want Things to Change," released @$3.99 as ebook and paperback $19.99 on 12/8/15. Look for Vol IV – X in 2016-2021. From Timult Books.

Currently, she meditates, writes, swims, reads and hosts her Google+ Hangout On Air (HOA) *CHANGES*, conversations with authors, LIVE almost every Wednesday, 10 - 11 AM Eastern USA (on hiatus until January, 2016).

Sally blogs regularly on wide-ranging topics and includes reviews, interviews, guest blog posts, and excerpts from her books. (From the author.)

Visit the author's website.
Follow Sally on Facebook.

Book Reviews
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 -

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

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

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

[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 - Crommich Industries

[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

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) -

Discussion Questions
1. HISTORICAL events ranging from Earth dates 250 BCE to 2013 are discussed in TCE. Choose one or more and discuss the pertinent Chapters' perspectives on the events, asking: is this plausible? What are the implications were this depiction to be accurate?

2. RELIGIOUS concepts, theories, and practices of Jews, Christians and Buddhists are discussed and depicted in several Chapters; the lead character, Clara Branon, is a practicing Buddhist raised Jewish. How do your own religious education, studies, practices and/or upbringing influence your opinions and understandings of the concepts and themes in This Changes Everything (TCE)? What new ideas does TCE inspire you to consider and what has your consideration led you to think?

3. BIOLOGICAL changes to humans are important parts of the Transition period that the Many Worlds Collective imposes on Earthers. Men are disproportionately affected. So are those with sexual orientation or gender identities that are considered "minority" until the Transition's events prove them to be otherwise. What do you imagine would actually occur in your own life, your family members' and colleagues' lives, were these changes to be imposed right now?

4. COMMUNICATION enhancements and improvements, such as the interspecies translator, nicknamed the "fish," make it easy for humans to connect individually and as a group with other species on Earth as well as off-planet. How would your life change if you had a fish? With whom or what would you like to communicate first and why?

5. The MULTIVERSE on-again/off-again romantic/friendship relationship between Clara Branon and Epifanio Dang occurs throughout The Spanners Series in various timelines. In TCE, readers are left believing what version prevails? Why or why not do you believe Clara and Epifanio are together as lovers/partners/spouses? What is your preference for the outcome of their relationship and why? How do you relate personally to this love story?

6. "Re-set" is a concept introduced in TCE and utilized to explain both personal and global/political/social alterations, chances to re-start and re-do decisions, events, choices for Clara and for Earth. What exact point in your life or in the planet's life would you choose for a Re-set and why?

7. What do you think of Clara's lesson on Return and ReInvolvement? How do these depictions relate to your current beliefs about death, consciousness experiences after physical death, and reincarnation?

8. If you were going to recommend that someone read or not read TCE, what would be your reasons?

9. How much of TCE do you believe is fiction, how much is fact, and how do you know?  How does this affect your enjoyment of the novel?

10. Please review the annotated list of Volumes of the Spanners Series (Appendix A). What else would you like to see discussed or depicted in future Spanners Series Volumes, knowing that the time frame is the same (beginning roughly at the beginning of 2013 and ending roughly at the end of 2041, Clara's term as the Chief Communicator)? Who else would you like to have as a narrator? Please let Sally know your ideas! sallyember at yahoo
(Questions provided courtesy of the author.)

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