Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland

There are a lot of ARCs of this book floating around, so if you still don't have a copy and are interested, there are a couple of contests going on that I know of.

1) Lady Vampire's Lair has this book among a trio of books she's giving away for a Halloween giveaway. Comments throughout October 6th-11th in answer to her questions count as entries. Here's the link.

2) Lori's Reading Corner has a contest until October 6th (tomorrow),comment to enter. Additional rules and the link is here.

According to Amazon, the book comes out November 4th.

This is a first book in a new series by Lori Handleland. I've read one other book by this author which I liked more than I expected because I wasn't really into a short story I read in the Dates from Hell anthology.

This series centers on Elizabeth Phoenix, a former foster child, and cop turned bartender with physic powers. She has the ability to touch things and tell where the owner is or has been. The story starts off with Liz feeling called by her foster mom Ruthie, and discovering her dying at her house. The prime suspect is Liz's ex Jimmy Sanducci, who she broke up with after discovering his infidelity through her gift (ouch!). This starts a series of events which open up a new world to Liz – she discovers that Ruthie was the head of a giant battle between good and evil, with supernatural creatures of all kinds and tales from the Book of Enoch being the basis of it all. The gist of it is that doomsday begins now, and Liz has to take Ruthie's place. Meanwhile she has to deal with her ex Jimmy, and her past teacher, Sawyer. Both men aren't completely human.

Overall: I thought the book was OK. There were fascinating world-building aspects like the Nephalim from the Book of Enoch, Liz's talent, and her dreams with Ruthie. There are also some hints of past history that I found interesting regarding Jimmy and Sawyer, but they were done in a way that I had just enough to understand it, rather than feeling like just enough was being held back to make me confused. The dialog is flippant at times, but flowed well, and it did seem to fit Liz's personality. The book does fit more under the urban fantasy genre than it does as a paranormal romance – there is no HEA, at least in this book, and the ending leaves a lot of room for further developments, but there are a few sex scenes and maybe more attention to relationships than I usually see in urban fantasy. Both relationships with Jimmy and Sawyer have a dark edge to them, mostly because everyone involved is pretty emotionally flawed. I am not sure who she will eventually end up with, but both of the men have not treated Liz well. I wasn't sure I liked either of them and sometimes I wasn't sure if I liked Liz either. Still, it does make the characters very interesting and I'd like to see how it develops. I'd like to see Liz more confident in her powers, which hopefully we will see in the next book. The author's letter to her readers in the back of the book mentions Laurell K Hamilton as an inspiration, and I could see maybe a hint of that regarding Liz's hidden power we learn about later. I have to say I sort of … mmm, I don't quite like it, because I think it has a potential to make the books take a turn into territory that many people complain about with Hamiliton's books, but this book is a far cry from that, so I'll just wait and see.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Random stuff

Ack, been in a class for work all week and too pooped at the end of the day to blog. So it's near the end of the Book Blogger Appreciation week that I mention – yeah it's BBAW at My Friend Amy! Lots and lots of givaways going on, check that out here and here. I have to say I had lots of fun doing the puzzle for the logic puzzle ebook giveaway. I can't walk away from a logic puzzle – quite a sickness. Lots and lots of giveaways there, I haven't even looked at more than what seems like 5%…

The cover for Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews got revealed today. My reaction is a mental "Eee!!". This one comes out April 2009.


  • Did anyone get the Any Given Doomsday book by Lori Handeland I posted about? I got mine today, but no one emailed me that I was going to get it, so if you signed up at Shelfari, chances are good.
  • Lesley's Book Nook is giving away a copy of Cry Wolf – just need to comment on her review here by 6pm GMT friday (that's soon…)
  • Via Dear Author – Tor is giving away free ebook copies of Emma Bulls' War for the Oaks – really recommend this book, so if you haven't read it, it's worth a download.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend


I got this in the inbox this afternoon – Lilith Saintcrow is putting up a serialized book for free online. For now the prologue and the first chapter are available. New chapters will be posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

"Selene" is the story of Selene and Nicholai, which continues the short story "Brother's Keeper" which was in the Hotter than Hell anthology I just read. The review for that one is here – vox | livejournal. These are characters that show up briefly in the Dante Valentine series. Here is the teaser from the website:


"Life isn’t easy for a sexwitch. Even your own body betrays you. It’s bad enough that Selene is part slave to Nikolai, the Prime Power of Saint City, but she’s got her brother Danny and she’s got her job at the college. In the postwar wreckage of an uncertain world, it’s pretty much all she’s ever allowed herself to want.

Then Danny ends up murdered, and Selene finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game. Indentured to a bloodsucking Nichtvren and helpless, told to stop trying to uncover the identity of her brother’s killer, Selene has nowhere to turn. If she’s a good girl, Nikolai will leave her a little bit of freedom. He’ll take care of her, and she’ll be safe–if she obeys.

But Selene hasn’t survived this long by being obedient to her cursed powers, or to the men who buy her time. Her brother was all she had, and now she’s ready to borrow, beg, lie, steal or kill–whatever it takes to avenge him.

And if Nikolai gets in the way, Selene will use every tool in her arsenal to make him regret it…"


And here is something cool from Shelfari. I also found out about this through an email this afternoon. Lori Handeland is an author I've read before (my reviews here – vox | livejournal), and through Shelfari, they are offering 1000 (yup, one thousand!!) Advanced Reader Copies of her new book Any Given Doomsday.

Looks interesting. The email says: The book follows “Elizabeth Phoenix, a former cop with extraordinary psychic powers, who is hot on the trail of a ruthless murderer — and her life is about to change forever.”

Here is where to go to sign up for the free book.

And here is the link to sign up for a free copy of "In the Beginning" , a prequel to the Phoenix Chronicles.


Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Thunder Moon by Lori Handeland

To be honest I didn't expect to like this book. I picked it up at Goodwill because I recognized the author as a popular one and I noticed that the published date was January 2008, so I thought I would swap it on paperbackswap. The only thing I had read by Lori Handeland was in the Dates from Hell anthology and the story in there didn't do it for me (my review of that is here).

So I was pleasantly surprised that I ended up sucked into this book. The heroine is a small town sheriff, with Cherokee blood. Grace McDaniel is capable and independent, and I liked her. She's tired and overworked but also irreverent and snappy. This is a supernatural romance, but instead of werewolves which I was expecting because of the world "Moon" in the title, the night-creature in this instance was one I'd never heard of before, so there were elements of Cherokee folklore that was new to me. The book looks to be part of a series, with references to Claire, who is the mayor, Grace's best friend, and probably the heroine of her own book, but I had no problems following it. A pretty decent read and while I sort of guessed the identity of the creature terrorizing the town, I wasn't completely sure about it till the end, which I liked. The only thing I found jarring was the sudden sex scenes in this book, which seemed to be incongruent with Grace's wary nature regarding men. I found myself saying out loud: what the hell, you're the sheriff, what are you doing?!! which brought down things a notch for me. Still, couldn't really stop reading.

Here's a review at Dear Author which meshes well with my opinion.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Dates from Hell by Harrison, Sands, Armstrong and Handeland

Dates From Hell
Kim Harrison

I've been having one of those slow months where I don't really feel like reading anything I have. This is bad since my TBR pile is at 104..sigh.. oh wait.. I won 4 books so its 108, SIGH (ok - not really if I think about it, I won, weee!). To solve this, I got the Dates from Hell anthology. I like short stories when I'm in a reading slow-down because I can read a complete story then take a break and it feels like less to commit to than a whole 300 page book. And sometimes it means I find an author I never tried before that I really like, which gets me all excited to find their books: thats a win-win.

This anthology turned out to be OK. I guess one of the downsides sometimes to short stories, maybe more so in fantasy/urban fantasy- its hard to get some great world-building in there. I often see that the stories are based in a world the author has their series in - which can be confusing to new readers if not done quite right.

"Undead in the Garden of Good and Evil" by Kim Harrison – This is a story of the vampire Ivy from Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, before Ivy and Rachel met. Ivy is working at Inderland security under an undead vampire and trying to advance up the ranks, except she doesn't want to do it the traditional way vamps do it (which is pretty much requires her to use her body/blood and submitting to older vampires). So we get some backstory here on Ivy which is very interesting if you have read and liked Kim Harrison's series and explains some of her angsty past. On the other hand, if you haven't read that series, this story (especially the beginning of it) can be confusing. I was a little confused myself for the first page or two before I got where the time period was and remembered some of the rules of being a vampire from Harrison's series. Once I got that I felt it was one of the stronger stories in here (but I'm a fan of that series too, so I'm not sure how much that colors my opinion).

"The Claire Switch Project" by Lynsay Sands - this is about a couple of scientists who are testing a ray on lab animals which is supposed to allow them to have cameleon-like abilities. An evil scientist, impatient to test it on humans, tricks our heroine Claire into getting into shooting range of this ray and zaps her. Now she can change into anyone she wants to just by thinking about it. Hijinks ensue when her best friend finds out and wants her to pretend to be super-moviestar Brad Cruise at their high school reunion, the same reunion she is invited to by her long time crush and fellow co-worker Kyle. I think the name Brad Cruise was a silly choice, and then half of the story takes place in the restroom as the heroine switches from Brad Cruise to herself and back multiple times, so to me this felt like the most goofy story in here. It also felt very high school sitcom (trying to get back at the mean girl in high school who became the mean woman at the high school reunion). It could be amusing for someone who likes this kind of humor, but not really my thing.

"Chaotic" by Kelly Armstrong – This too is a short story based in a world that the author has a series on – the women of the otherworld, but it centers on a new character named Hope who is half chaos-demon trying to use her powers for good. A newbie in her task, she runs into werewolf and thief Marsden, mentioned in the series (so I hear, but I haven't gotten to those books yet). This was a pretty interesting story and I liked how the author had a resolution to the story but also left some things unfinished – made the tale believable and I wouldn't mind seeing these characters again in the future to see where that relationship went. Also one of the stronger stories for me.

"Dead Man Dating" by Lori Handeland – Kit is a literary agent in New York City and she's out on a date, but when she finds herself pinned against an alley wall by him and she's not that kind of girl - she begins to feel strangely not herself. When demon hunter Chavez rescues her, she learns her date is dead – possessed by some kind of incubus demon which wants her in particular. There were a couple of amusing bits to this one (Chavez has a thing for girls who read), and a couple of annoying bits (Kit's self esteem issues), but overall it was in the "alright" category.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend