Rafflecopter chose again, and the winner is...
Congratulations, Veronica! I've sent you an e-mail, and you have until Saturday evening to contact me before we pick another winner.
And now for some assorted snack size reviews!
"Season"-ed Snack Size Reviews
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
This is a totally sweet escape read with an endearing heroine and a charming hero reminiscent of Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey fame. The setting is a Jane Austen dream, and certain lines and scenes are really delightful. The plot is fun and romantic. My quibbles stem from the hero's occasional attitudes or actions that rubbed me the wrong way a bit, a little like Tilney. That, and a little too much idealism for my taste.
My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison
I adored My Fair Godmother, so I was eager to give the sequel a try. It turned out to be another highly entertaining read, this time with Robin Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, and some important lessons about true wealth. The hero is quite dashing (although I'm not sure he came across as "country boy" as he later claimed to be), and the story is fun. Didn't love it quite as much as the first, but I'd certainly love to read a third if Rallison writes it!
Un-"season"-ed Snack Size Reviews
Falk's Claim: The Life and Death of a Redwood Lumber Town by Jon Humboldt Gates
I found this in the gift shop of the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park visitor center, and I'm so glad I picked it up! I read it in preparation for diving into the edits for Bleeding Heart, and I discovered some wrong assumptions I had made and some facts (etc.) I might want to add to the story. As far as wonderful anecdotes and an obvious passion for the history goes, this book is super helpful! But what might have made it more so would be more dates and clarification (especially during the middle sections of the book) that would give a more detailed timeline.
I have to note a line from the epilogue: "I realized that Falk, and all it stood for, would be preserved only in memories and photographs, for nature and civilization had conspired to wipe out the last vestiges of the town and the way of life it had represented." I have found this to be the case during my own visits to the site - so very little remains to indicate anything like a town had ever existed in that place. I hope that perhaps I can add "fiction" to that list of ways through which the town will be preserved.
My only experience with Star Trek before seeing the two newest movies within days of each other was seeing one of the older movies that had something to do with whales a while back. But I was curious enough to want to see Into Darkness (and yes, I'll admit that it was because of Benedict Cumberbatch). This movie and its predecessor are visually appealing, and the acting is really quite good. And the music for these new movies...very epic! I confess to wanting a bit more from Cumberbatch's character (I longed for more depth and complexity, but Cumberbatch's acting still didn't disappoint). Long-time fans will probably appreciate these movies the most, but after seeing this movie's predecessor, I at least felt a strong connection with the characters and an interest in the story, despite the fact that I'm not a sci-fi fan. (As a heads up for fellow squeamish movie-goers, my eye-closing moments mostly involved bone-crushing scenes - so just realize that there's not a whole lot of grossness, but rather more action violence.)