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text 2015-08-14 17:24
Fabulous Finds Friday: August 14: Pop Culture Essays Edition
The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination Of The Boy Who Lived - Neil Mulholland,Robin S. Rosenberg,Wind Goodfriend,Misty Hook,Richard E. Heyman,Danielle M. Provenzano,Karl S. Rosengren,Emily C. Rosengren,Carol Nemeroff,Peter A. Hancock,Michelle K. Gardner,Nancy Franklin,Susan Engel,Jessica Leigh Murakami,E. David Klon
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale - James B. South,William Irwin
Doctor Who and Philosophy: Bigger on the Inside - Courtland Lewis,Paula Smithka,Mark Wardecker
Finding Serenity: Anti-Heroes, Lost Shepherds and Space Hookers in Joss Whedon's Firefly - Glenn Yeffeth,Jane Espenson
Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors Discuss Their Favorite Television Show (Smart Pop series) -
Watchmen and Philosophy: A Rorschach Test - Mark D. White,William Irwin,Christopher Robichaud,Jacob M. Held,Anthony Spanakos,Joseph Keeping,J. Robert Loftis,James DiGiovanna,Christopher M. Drohan,Robert Arp,Aaron Meskin
The World of the Golden Compass: The Otherworldly Ride Continues - Scott Westerfeld,Maureen Johnson,Diana Peterfreund,Elizabeth Wein,O.R. Melling
Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts - David Baggett,Shawn E. Klein

One of my favorite sub-genres is the pop culture essay collection, especially collections about favorite book series and television shows. I recently bought a copy of one of my favorites, Mapping the World of Harry Potter, and realized that it was actually produced by an imprint that specializes in just these sorts of things, called Smart Pop books, a division of small publisher BenBella Books. Out of curiosity, I went to their site...and ended up adding at least 10 books to my TBR. But I also stopped in at my local used bookstore- and found some of them for fifty cents apiece (free, if you take into account I used store credit instead of cash)! Of course, they aren't the only publisher in the genre-- Open Court also does those popular titles that incorporate philosophy into pop culture (The Simpsons and Philosophy, Harry Potter and Philosophy, etc) which I've enjoyed immensely and have started collecting. And I'm sure I've grabbed some others from other publishers I haven't bothered to research.


This Fab Finds Friday is a bit different, in that I'm combining things I found at the used bookstore this week with books I've rediscovered on my own shelves.


I'm hoping to get my hands on ones about Supernatural and Narnia soon, as well as Batman.


If anyone has some good suggestions for ones I should look out for, please let me know!

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text 2015-02-12 16:26
Met in a Bar: Romance Novel Style
Truly - Ruthie Knox
Her Best Shot - Shannyn Schroeder
Liberating Lacey - Anne Calhoun
Enemy Within (Unseen Enemy Book 1) - Marysol James
The Trouble With Valentine's Day (Chinooks Hockey Team) - Rachel Gibson
One Hot Texan - Jane Sullivan
Blue Skies - Catherine Anderson
Indecent Proposal - Molly O'Keefe
Mystery Man - Kristen Ashley
His Risk to Take - Tessa Bailey

Not everyone has a sweetheart nor wants one.  They say you can't meet anyone nice in a bar. Who says you want someone nice?  Who says you are nice? :) 


Happy Valentine's! 


Here are some great romances that started in a bar!


My lists are never in any particular order.


1.  Truly by Ruthie Knox  $2.99


May Fredericks hates New York. Which is fair enough, since New York seems to hate her back. After relocating to Manhattan from the Midwest to be with her long-distance boyfriend, NFL quarterback Thor Einarsson, May receives the world’s worst marriage proposal, stabs the jerk with a shrimp fork, and storms off alone—only to get mugged. Now she’s got no phone, no cash, and no friends. How’s a nice girl supposed to get back to safe, sensible Wisconsin?
Frankly, Ben Hausman couldn’t care less. Sure, it’s not every day he meets a genuine, down-to-earth woman like May—especially in a dive in the Village—but he’s recovering from an ugly divorce that cost him his restaurant. He wants to be left alone to start over and become a better man. Then again, playing the white knight to May’s sexy damsel in distress would be an excellent place to start—if only he can give her one very good reason to love New York.


2. Her Best Shot by Shannyn Schroeder Free! 


With college graduation looming, three childhood friends vow to make spring break their last blast of pure fun. But at least one of them didn't count on such incredible heat...Layla Sharpe is definitely more math ninja than bikini babe, and her future has been calculated with razor precision. Convinced to let loose over spring break, Layla is finally ready to party--until her car breaks down halfway to her destination, leaving her stranded in Georgia with a mouthwateringly hot pool shark. She knows more than enough about angles to learn the game, but this week she wants him to appreciate her curves...
Phin Marks has never met a girl like Layla. She's more Star Wars geek than seductress, and when he offers her a place to stay while her car is in the shop, he's counting on the attraction between them to set the nights ablaze, no strings attached. But every moment he spends with Layla makes it harder to let her go. Can he persuade her to gamble in the most dangerous way possible...on forever?


3. Liberating Lacey by Anne Calhoun


Newly divorced Lacey Meyers wasted too many years yawning through sex in the missionary position. Now she's looking for a hookup with a man who can make her shatter. What she gets is a hot younger cop with handcuffs. . .and he's not afraid to use them. Hunter Anderson knows the score-though classy, successful women like Lacey might play with guys like him, at the end of the evening, they walk. But when one night leads to another and then another, he finds himself getting too attached to a woman he can't have. Lacey knows Hunter-gorgeous, hard-edged and eight years younger-won't want anything permanent. No matter how hot and daring he makes her first public sex, quickie, backseat encounter and secret fantasy role-play, she can't mistake adventurous sex for emotional involvement. They both know it's got to end, and soon, or someone's going to get hurt. But can either of them go back to life without the other?


4. Enemy Within by Marysol James


hen Emma Cartwright gets some very (very) bad health news, she handles it in just about the last way that anybody who knows her would expect. Namely, she heads out alone to a bar on Friday night, intent on having her first-ever one-night-stand. A single night of escape with a scorching guy, and then she’ll focus on her treatment and recovery. After all, what’s one night, really?

Ever since coming back from Afghanistan two years ago, Dean Jessop’s life is all about ‘just one night’. No commitment; nothing permanent; nothing long-term. He meets Emma and one night of hot sex later, she sneaks out of Dean’s place while he sleeps – and they both think that’s it. Neither expects to see the other ever again.

A month later, a chance encounter brings them back in to each other’s lives. They strike an agreement which includes: casual sex only, nothing too personal, and they can end it anytime with a single word. What Emma and Dean don’t count on is developing strong and real feelings for each other, despite Emma hiding her disease and Dean running from his guilt.

When Dean finally tells Emma what happened in Afghanistan, she wonders if she can confess her own dark secret. But can she really expect him to forgive her for hiding her illness from him? If she tells him the truth, will he be there for her through it all? And can she help him make peace with his own demons?


5. The Trouble With Valentine's Day by Rachel Gibson


It's the one day each year when being single is a sin . . .


The Trouble With Valentine's Day?


It just plain stinks!


Kate Hamilton should know. Dumped by her boyfriend, burnt out by her job, she's returned to Gospel, Idaho, where a Mountain Momma Crafters' original poetry reading is about as good as it gets on a Friday night. Then her first attempted seduction of a hunky stranger is completely rejected. So much for her self-esteem!


It turns out that Rob Sutter, former ice hockey madman, owner of Sutter's Sports—and the hunky stranger who told her to get lost—has been more than burned by love and isn't looking for a relationship. But then he and Kate find themselves in an ultra-compromising position in the M&S Market after-hours, giving the phrase "clean up in aisle five" a whole new meaning, and causing a whole lot of gossip in Gospel . . .


6.  Blue Skies  by Catherine Anderson


Carly had to wait 28 years to see what a man looked like. Born with Lattice dystrophy, Carly's sight has only recently been restored; and to celebrate, she accompanies a friend to a bar. Unused to alcohol and the attention of a handsome cowboy, Carly lets Hank Coulter take her to his truck, but that humiliating experience not only leaves Carly not caring if she ever has sex or sees Hank again but pregnant as well, which threatens her sight. As soon as Hank finds out, he tries to convince Carly to let him help her. The two agree to a marriage in name only to solve Carly's financial problems, but Hank realizes that he's in love and sets out to do whatever it takes to turn their temporary arrangement into something permanent. Readers might need to wipe away tears as they read Anderson's latest contemporary romance featuring another of her Coulter brothers, since few will be able to resist the power of this beautifully emotional, wonderfully romantic love story.


7. One Hot Texan by Jane Sullivan



Rebel Cole McCallum is back home, but not by choice. If he doesn't get married soon, he's going to lose his inheritance. But who would want to marry a complete stranger? Lucky for him, he has his pick of women. What this bad boy didn't plan on, though, was choosing the least likely candidate…and finding her irresistible.



Wallflower Ginny White is ready to break free of her prissy reputation. When she discovers sexy Cole McCallum has returned, she knows he can teach her a thing or two. She's sure she's hit the jackpot when he asks her to marry him, even if it's only temporary. Six months is more than enough time to make this one hot Texan hers…!


8. Keeping Her by Kelly Lucille


At 28, Clytie Persephone Jones has reinvented herself into exactly what she wants to be. She changed her name, put herself through school, and is taking chances on a risky art career. She’s not looking for marriage; she doesn’t need anyone to run her life for her. What she yearns for is passion. She wants to burn under a man’s touch. A lukewarm simmer won’t cut it. She’s holding out for the real thing.

Demon is a Wolf Shifter. A seven-foot tall x-Navy SEAL, with no name but his call sign. Banding together with other outcast shifters and rogues for safety and the first real brotherhood he has known, he asks for nothing in life but the protection and solvency of his self-made “pack.”

Neither of them expects the connection that flares so fast between them. Clytie wants time to get to know him. Demon figures he’ll just bring her right home into his bed and keep her there.

Can she deal with both the reality of an Alpha shape-shifter and the danger presented by Demons past?

With his chiseled jaw and thick blond hair, Harrison Montgomery was born to lead. Four generations of Montgomery men have served the state of Georgia, and now he’s next in line. Harrison, though, is driven to right wrongs: namely to clean up the political mess left by his father’s greed and corruption. But Harrison must first win his congressional bid, and nothing can get in his way—not even an angel who served him whiskey and gave him a shoulder to lean on and a body to love for a night. Problem is, she’s pregnant. Scandal is brewing, and there is only one solution: marriage.
Damage control? Ryan Kaminski can’t believe that a cold, calculating political animal now inhabits the body of the emotionally vulnerable stranger who gave her the most unforgettable night of her life. Really, she doesn’t want anything from Harrison, except to be left alone to have her baby in peace. But Ryan is broke, jobless, and essentially blackmailed by Harrison’s desperate family to accept this crazy marriage deal. For two years, she will have to act the role of caring, supportive wife. But what is Ryan supposed to do when she realizes that, deep in her heart, she’s falling in love?



Gwendolyn Kidd has met the man of her dreams. He's hot, he's sexy, and what started as a no-names-exchanged night of passion has blossomed into a year and a half-long pleasure fest. Sure, it's a little strange that he only appears in her bed at night, but Gwen is so sure he's the one, she just can't turn him away...

Hawk Delgado knows more about Gwen than she could ever imagine. She's gorgeous, headstrong, and skittish about relationships. But Hawk is facing his own demons, demons that keep him from connecting with anyone. Yet when Gwen is drawn into Denver's lethal underground scene, Hawk's protective nature comes out full force. The problem is, when Gwen gets a dose of Hawk's Alpha attitude in the daylight, she's not so sure he's the one anymore....


10.  His Risk to Take by Tessa Bailey 99 cents!


Homicide cop Troy Bennett had a reputation with the Chicago PD for being fearless and in control—until the night his daredevil partner is killed during a raid. From that moment on, he swears he’ll never again be responsible for the loss of a loved one. To escape his demons, Troy transfers to the NYPD, bringing him up close and personal with Ruby Elliott, a beautiful, street-savvy pool hustler.


Reckless and stubbornly independent, Ruby embodies everything Troy’s avoiding, but when she walks into the pub he’s at with his new coworkers and blows his carefully laid plans to hell, Troy knows he has to have her—risks be damned. But there’s a connection between Ruby’s shadowed past and a case Troy’s working involving a notorious Brooklyn felon, throwing her safety into jeopardy. Confronted with his biggest fear, will Troy push Ruby away to keep her safe or fight to keep her in his arms where she belongs?


Vote for the best: Met in a Bar: Romance Novel Style


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review 2012-03-04 00:00
When He Was Bad...: Xmas/New Year (Harlequin Temptation) - Jane Sullivan This was a pretty good book about opposites. The heroine has just written a best selling book about bad boys and their appeal to women and how to avoid them, she considers herself an expert because her whole life she saw her mother give in to them again and again abandoning her. She is also a psychologist and she is not happy when her friend and publicist gets her a spot on the most outrageous radio show with the hero.

The hero has the reputation for being a bad boy and he lives up to it in their interview but that is in a way his persona that makes him who he is and he gets employment from it. The heroine gets an idea to interview him for her next book and their meeting doesn't end that well, with the hero making a pass and her almost falling for it.

I liked the book a lot, Nick may have come across as shallow and a jerk at the start but as we get to know him, he is really not, he just has two personalities and I loved it how he apologized and helped Sara when she is yet again abandoned by her mother. These two know that getting together will be bad for their careers but somehow they can't resist and spend the holidays together, talking, getting to know each other and making love.

I especially enjoyed the end quite a bit when the hero confronts who he wants to be head on and makes a big gesture to salvage Sara's reputation.
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review 2012-01-29 00:00
Tall, Dark and Texan - Jane Sullivan After the initial hiccups I found myself liking this book quite a bit.

The heroine is driving around in a trailer with whatever she owns to LA to become an actress since she wants to be a star, after living in a small town where everyone worked in a factory and with so many siblings, she felt invisible, so after living in New York for few years she knows LA is the place to be, she isn't delusional and knows what she is doing but she finds herself car-jacked in a shady street in Dallas and then rescued by a big man in motorcycle who takes her to his home in a ware-house where the guns make her think he is a criminal and she actually accuses him of that, pissing him off.

The hero is actually a bounty-hunter who did a good deed by saving her from freezing. All his life people have been intimidated by his size so he is kind of solitary. The heroine has nowhere to go and no money so he allows her to help him out on a job but that goes wrong but she somehow finds herself a job and then convinces him to let her stay with him.

Once the hero opened up he was a sweet-heart. He grew up in a tough neigbourhood where everyone wanted him in his gang because of his size but he wanted no part of it and then his brother got shot and he became a bounty hunter. He is lonely and he realizes so is the heroine, who thinks by getting a boob job and her face on magazine covers her life will be worth-while.

Soon they are lovers and he knows he loves her but is knows that she will leave. It takes her a little bit more time to realize she loves him, she does have a very stupid moment in the endwhere she walks into danger for money but the hero made the book for me.
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