Any Given Doomsday (Phoenix Chronicles Series #1)

Any Given Doomsday (Phoenix Chronicles Series #1)

by Lori Handeland

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780991395590
Publisher: Lori Handeland
Publication date: 11/06/2014
Series: Phoenix Chronicles Series , #1
Pages: 378
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

Lori Handeland sold her first novel in 1993. Since then she has written many novels, novellas and short stories in multiple genres--historical, contemporary, series, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and historical fantasy.

She has been nominated five times for the RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, winning twice, for Best Paranormal and Best Long Series Contemporary. She is a Waldenbooks, Bookscan, USA Today and New York Times best-selling author.

As well as writing The Nightcreature Novels, The Phoenix Chronicles, The Shakespeare Undead series, The Luchetti Brothers, the Rock Creek Six and numerous stand alone novels, Lori also writes gritty, sensual western historical romances under the name Lori Austin.

Lori lives in Southern Wisconsin with her husband enjoying occasional visits from her grown sons.

She can be reached through her website at www.lorihandeland.com or www.loriaustin.net

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

On the day my old life died, the air smelled of springtime—budding trees and just-born flowers, fresh grass and hope. I should have known right then that something was coming.

I’ve always been psychic. I’ve never once been happy about it. In fact, I did everything I could to drown that gift in the realities of a normal life.

But normal went out the open doorway that morning in early May, and I never got it back again. I’m not sure I ever really had it in the first place.

I went to work as always. I’m the first-shift bartender at Murphy’s, a cop bar on the east side of Milwaukee. Twenty- five and still a bartender. I’d be more concerned about my career arc if I hadn’t already tried being a cop—and failed.

Cops and psychics don’t mix. Go figure.

Not that I’d ever broadcast what I could do. I wasn’t a complete moron. However, sometimes those flashes were impossible to hide. Sometimes hiding what I knew would have been more criminal than what I’d seen in the first place.

Of course I’d tried to downplay it; I’d tried to invent excuses for the information that came to me in a way I couldn’t explain. But what excuse is there for something like that? I was never able to come up with one that made any sense.

The cops I worked with didn’t trust me because they didn’t understand me. They avoided me as much as they could, unless they needed my help. When they asked, I had little choice but to answer, if there was any answer to be had. Eventually my too accurate hunches had led to a disaster, and I’d had no choice but to leave the force.

Thank God for Megan Murphy. Without her, I don’t know what I would have done.

Luckily Megan had been in my situation before— without income, alone in the world, and desperate. Just because I was the reason she was a widow didn’t mean she wasn’t going to help me.

A lot of cops become private detectives when they leave the force. I had the training; I even had a gun. All I would have had to do was get my license and hang up a sign.

Elizabeth Phoenix—dick for hire.

Can you imagine the business I’d get just from the walk- ins?

In the end, I’d taken the job at Murphy’s. I figured I owed Megan, and at the time I’d wanted nothing more than to be flogged daily for what I’d done. Becoming a bartender in a cop bar after getting my partner killed was a good place for that.

That morning I had customers pounding on the door before eleven a.m. There’s a reason beer made Milwaukee famous. When the sun shines and the temperatures climb above freezing, people in my hometown make a beeline for the Miller Lite.

I propped the front door wide open, all the windows, too, and watched the just-sprouted tree limbs waver, sending dappled shadows dancing across a sidewalk the shade of storm clouds. The spring wind stirred my hair, and goose bumps sprang up all over my body despite the uncommon heat of the day. I was possessed with a sudden and undeniable urge to—

"Leave."

The five off- duty cops at the bar glanced up from their beers and sandwiches. They looked at each other, then back at me.

"Not you," I said.

They returned to their meals, but not without a few eye rolls and one derisive snort.

Why on earth had I said that out loud? No matter how hard I tried to be normal, the truth remained—I wasn’t.

The lunch help hadn’t arrived yet, but that didn’t matter. Everyone at Murphy’s was a regular. Often, when Megan had a problem late at night with one of her kids, she’d toss the keys to the top cop in the place and go about her business.

"Kenny." The man looked up from his Reuben with a scowl. I was already headed around the end of the bar. "Got an emergency. I’ll be back as soon as I can. The lunch shift will be here in ten."

Kenny’s scowl of annoyance became a frown of confusion. "What emergency? You didn’t even get a call."

What else is new? I thought.

I did use my cell phone once I got into the car, but Ruthie didn’t answer, which wasn’t surprising. Sometimes I wondered how she juggled all the responsibilities in her life without two extra sets of hands.

Ruthie was an ancient black woman who ran a group home on the south side of Milwaukee amid an explosion of ranch houses built in the 1950s. Nice yards. Good schools. A lot of last names that ended in ski.

Back in the old days, Ruthie had been the only African American within thirty miles. She hadn’t cared. Amazingly, no one else had either. Ruthie was like that.

People who would have walked across the street to avoid a… well, let’s not say the word, took to Ruthie like a long- lost auntie.

Nowadays a few more colors had popped up amid the Caucasians, though the majority of the names still ended in ski.

Twenty minutes later, I parked at the curb and contemplated the only two- story house on the block. Things appeared quiet. Why wouldn’t they? At this time of day, the kids were in school. Ruthie might not even be here.

However, I’d learned over the years that whenever I felt the urge to see Ruthie there was always a damn good reason.

I got out of the car and headed up the walk.

Ruthie was a no- nonsense throwback to a time when parents ruled with love and an iron fist. Once Ruthie took you in, she never gave you up. She understood that part of the problem for throwaway kids was the being thrown away. She was the only mother I’d ever known— or perhaps the only one I allowed myself to remember.

I reached the porch before I saw it—that tiny sliver of shadow creeping onto the cement through the half- open door. My hand automatically went to my hip, but my gun hadn’t been there in months. I missed it then more than I ever had before.

Though I knew better, I pushed open the door and began to call her name. "Ruth—"

The scent and sight of blood caused the word to stick in my throat.

I found her in the kitchen, lying in a puddle of sunshine and blood. She’d always loved the sun, really hated blood.

I dropped to my knees. I wanted to check for a pulse but her throat … She didn’t have much of one left.

"Lizbeth." Her eyes opened. "I knew you’d come."

"Don’t try to talk." How could she talk? "I’ll call—"

"No." She closed her eyes, and for an instant I thought she was gone. What would I do if I lost her? She was the only person who truly loved me on this earth.

"Ruthie!"

"Shh." She patted my knee, leaving a bloody splotch. Strange, but her hand looked as if it had been bitten, mangled. For that matter, so did her—

"I’ve been waitin’ for you to come around, but you haven’t."

I winced. I’d been working a lot of hours. What else did I have to do? Except visit the woman who’d taken me in off the streets.

"I’ll come more often. I promise."

Her gaze suddenly bored into mine. "When I’m gone, it’s up to you."

"Ruthie, don’t—"

"The final battle," she managed, though her voice was fading, "begins now."

She grabbed my hand in a surprisingly strong grip for a dying old lady, then my skull erupted in agony and everything went black.

Excerpted from Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland.

Copyright © 2006, 2008 by Lori Handeland.

Published in 2008 by St. Martin’s Press

All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Customer Reviews

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Any Given Doomsday 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 298 reviews.
verysmallgiant More than 1 year ago
A dark and erotic supernatural thriller. A psychic ex-cop turned bartender finds herself thrust into a dark world of un-humans in the midst of the biblical war between good and evil. Dream, magic and legend are the strands that weave this tale. Faced with losing a beloved friend, and dealing with an ex-lover that is full of surprising secrets, Elizabeth Phoenix is forced to find her way through a world she never would have believed existed. A steamy, action packed romp through an alternate reality. For fans of the supernatural, it is well worth the time. I look forward to the series.
katbella More than 1 year ago
1st in series and can't wait for more
Dianne57 More than 1 year ago
Lori opens the new Series "The Phoenix Chronicles" by introducing us to Elizabeth Phoenix; ex-Milwaukee cop, psychic and as we soon find out so, so much more. Elizabeth is very much like you and me, ( paraphrased from back cover) "she's lost her partner, job, a man - but she keeps going on." And that say just about everything that you'll need to know about this book. "She keeps going on."
We soon find out that the end of the world as we know it is soon coming; and through a variety of things that happen to Elizabeth, she will be the only one to stop it. Lori has set up this world wonderfully, her characters are vividly drawn and perfect, you either sympathize with them, love them , dislike them, or even hate them...Lori knew what she was doing when she wrote them.

A fast paced read, filled with many questions. But unlike some authors, Lori actually take the time to give us enough answers that we never feel frustrated or cheated and leaves just enough unanswered questions to keep us wanting more. Though the characters could certainly bemoan the hand that fate has dealt them, they don't. This makes for a very refreshing read, and may I also mention that Elizabeth is reminiscent to Jessie McQuade, the female lead from "Blue Moon". She's tough, sharp, wise cracking, and funny as hell.

Ms Handeland makes a point of mentioning Laurell K Hamilton and wanting to write urban fantasy. Well I'm here to tell you that Lori has outdone herself, let me explain: When Liz gained a new power from sex magic (yes that's how she gains new powers), she does get a bit upset with the new status quo. She had never wanted any power to start with and had hoped there was a way to get rid of it...(sound familiar to you yet? Does Ms Hamilton's character Richard come to mind?) but this from her mentor/sex magic partner Sawyer, brought it into context for her - "Did it occur to you that if you don't follow your destiny, if you become the normal woman you think you wish to be, the world you wish to be normal in will no longer exist?" And with this one simple deep thought and phrase Liz accepts who and what she is. I wish Ms Hamilton would take a page from Ms Handleland and realize that her characters need to learn this lesson.

I encourage you to read this first book in this new and exciting series. I know I will be waiting with bated breath for the next installment "Doomsday Can Wait", to be released in May of 2009.
SpiritLioness More than 1 year ago
From the very first page, I loved this book. It drew me and and kept me wanting more. Best of all, it had a little bit of everything that I love all wrapped up in one package - Mystery, Fantasy, Mysticism/Supernatural and Romance. As a bit of a warning, there's a few sex scenes and not all of them are consensual. I wasn't expecting it, but it works well in the story. Liz Phoenix is a psychic and considers her gift to be more of a pain than a blessing especially after it got her partner killed when she was on the police force. Due to that incident, she finds herself working in a cop bar owned by her partner's widow. She's 'called' away from one morning by an inexplicable force compelling her to visit Ruth's house where she finds the woman, her foster mother, dying from an attack. Ruth tells her that the final battle has begun and it's up to her before gripping her hand which causes Liz to black out only to waken in the hospital. That single event leads Liz down a path reliving some of the memories and places of her childhood. For starters, she has to deal with having to work with her ex-boyfriend, Jimmy, who she kicked out her life years ago. Mix that with being plunged headfirst in the reality of the hidden world around her and a new power she has no real idea about. Now she's got to learn and accept her role in this 'new' reality while fighting her own demons. The pace of the book is great and it's an easy, fun read. The writing draws you into the story, captivating your attention and leaves you wanting more at the end.
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Phoenix used to be a police officer but you can't be a cop and a psychic.  Now she's a private investigator and a bartender.  One night she got the undeniable urge to go see her foster mother.  When she arrived she found her bleeding, torn up, and barely alive.  She stayed alive long enough to transfer her powers and knowledge as a seer to Elizabeth, she said a few words and then she died.  Elizabeth woke up in the hospital four days later and that's when her adventure begins.  She is the new leader of the Light and must be trained well and soon. Absolutely fantastic!  Elizabeth meets a lot of different creatures in this story but most are just introductions to some she might encounter later in this series.  She must learn so much, so fast, that the story might seem rushed.  If you know what she's become, then you know there's no time to waste.  Things must happen quickly!  I'm heartbroken over Jimmy and what they went through but we'll have to see now that turns out in future books of the Phoenix Chronicles series.  I'm hooked on another amazing series by an equally amazing author!  I look forward to the next book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to recive this book as an ARC and just finished reading it. Although i have never heard of Lori Handeland before i opted to give the book a try. I was not disappointed. Lori Handeland has created a world so vivid and imaginative that you won't want to put this exquiste book down! She not only has the talent and skills to match Laurell K Hamilton but her story leaves you wanting more right away. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Laurell K Hamilton. I can't wait for the second installment in what is sure to be a quick favorite.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Elizabeth Phoenix has always wanted to be normal but she's never fit in anywhere. She never knew her parents and was a street urchin until she was taken in by her foster mother, Ruthie. And, oh yeah, she's a psychic. She's working as a bartender when she's compelled to leave in the middle of her shift to go to her foster mother. She finds Ruthie lying in a pool of blood barely clinging to life. Ruthie lives just long enough to tell her it's up to her, the final battle has begun. Elizabeth finds she's now the leader of a band of seers and demon killers at the dawn of the Apocalypse. The book leaves the reader anxious for the next installment in spite of a whiny heroine who just wants to be 'normal.' Her whining goes on for far too long considering she clearly doesn't have a choice. The bad guys have been trying to kill her ever since tneir successful attack on Ruthie! She seems to have adjusted by the end of the book and hopefully her character will continue to mature.
sschleicher on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Not a fan of this genre so this book was a struggle for me to even start. I finished reading it just because I like to finish books I start. I will not be reading any other books in this series but if you like fantasy give it a try.
Eren0317 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This was an ok read, but having read LKH, I'm kind of spoiled on the whole urban fantasy deal. The book moves very quickly and it did keep my interest, but it just seemed to be a re-run of other things I've read. I didn't like that fact that religion was a definite and not a belief, but that's my deal.
new_user on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I had limited expectations for this book after reading Handeland's Nightcreature series. While I enjoyed the werewolf books, they were simple romances at their core, late night snacks rather than five-course meals. I picked up Any Given Doomsday largely on a whim. I didn't even intend to read the book that night, but then I couldn't stop. The book just moves that fast.In Doomsday Handeland stretches her wings to craft a fuller tale, consisting of two chief elements: the romance and the thriller. I would say she satisfies on both counts. First, in the character Elizabeth Phoenix, Handeland creates an everywoman. Naturally, Elizabeth has plenty to say about life and a funny, sarcastic way to say it, but she has one trait that's woefully missing from many paranormal and romance heroines. She's endearingly self-deprecating, down to earth and just plain sympathetic, right down to her resignation when she learns she's gotta save the world. The reader doesn't have to grind teeth to tolerate her. Elizabeth's reactions to her insane world are genuine, and we learn about the baddies as she does. The device Handeland uses here is mostly dialogue, but there are no page-long monologues that begin with, "Magic is..." We read the explanations of the world's-folkloric-monsters-come-to-life (whoa, awesome idea) in between her conversations with the two leading men in this book, who are fleshed out as flawed men rather than fantasies put to writing (not that they couldn't be fantasies, ;). The way they are developed speaks to Handeland's skill. Elizabeth's differing relationships with these men is multi-layered, and we learn about them both through Elizabeth's memories and inner dialogue and even more interestingly, the character's opinions of each other. What's the term here, a dog fight? ;P Learning about these guys is interesting, one a powerful Navajo witch and the other a monster hunter (and her ex). One's slightly ruthless gamma, the other a lost-soul type. Naturally, we want to redeem both. *leer*In fact, for the first half or so of the book, I thought I was reading something along the lines of Rachel Caine's Ill Wind or perhaps a Buffy for Adults, complete with a deceased spirit guide who can only tell the heroine so much because rules are rules, a device as much a staple of storytelling as the haunted castle or "once upon a time." We learn about her world and her past relationships, the news in 30 seconds, right from the beginning of the novel where the action starts and from there we're mostly interested in Doomsday and what Elizabeth's gonna do about it. Then the romance begins. I won't give anything away, but I will say this: Handeland's not afraid to make her character sacrifice. Elizabeth goes through a lot to shape her character into a hero we can be confident will save our unworthy arses. There are some darker moments (I did say flawed men, didn't I?) but the reader gets the impression Handeland wants us to read the next book to learn the method to her madness. I just hope that Elizabeth's fun new sex-as-a-weapon habit doesn't become Anita Blake, if you catch my meaning. It was well-written and logical in the flow of events here, but, alone, that plot device may lend itself to abuse. No way to tell until we read the next book though. This is the first book, the first battle in the war, as Elizabeth says, and I will definitely be looking out for the second.
RtB on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Reviewed by JenOriginally posted on Romancing the Book in Nov 2008ARC won at Library ThingLiz Phoenix has always been a little different. But when she discovers her foster mother near death, Liz comes to find out just how different when she¿s thrown into a paranormal world she never knew existed. And how prominently she fits into that world.This is the first book in Lori Handeland¿s new series, The Phoenix Chronicles. These books follow Liz as she comes to terms with her new life, exploring her new powers, and saving the human world from destruction. Book two is scheduled for release in mid 2009.I won this book in an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy) drawing on Library Thing. It was my first full length Lori Handeland novel. I wasn¿t entirely sure what to expect. The publishers aren¿t marketing the book as romance, where in the past her books were. I always get a little nervous when an author deviates from the genre he/she gained their fan base. But I think there¿s enough ¿romance¿ ¿perhaps not in the traditional sense, seeing as there isn¿t a happily ever after ¿ to keep fans happy.I like this world Lori created. She pulled paranormal creatures from a variety of cultures to spin a unique world. And the character of Liz is unlike any I¿d read before. She¿s thrown into this bizarre world, has this totally unique role and is so unsure of herself, stumbling through her new role in life, yet she deals with it with sarcasm and trial and error. I think it was the sarcasm that won me over. A word of warning though. If you have a weak stomach when it comes to blood and gore, you¿re forewarned.
jenreidreads on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I did not have high expectations when starting this book. It isn't even the sort of novel I prefer to read. But I have to give it credit¿it doesn't try to be something it's not: a high-quality, literary novel. For pete's sake, it's about a psychic ex-cop who suddenly finds herself the leader of a federation sworn to eliminate demons on the planet! (Demons are the children of humans and fallen angels, of course.) Almost everything about this book is ridiculous: the plot, the dialogue, the characters. Liz, the main character and narrator, can absorb people's powers by having sex with them. I'm serious. But whereas other reviewers have condemned this book because of all these things, I simply found Any Given Doomsday to be amusing. Sure, it was not very well-written, the subject matter is pretty cliché, and the characters are basically one-dimensional, but come on, couldn't you tell that from the cover? It was a quick read, and I've certainly read worse books¿the fact that this novel isn't trying to pretend to be better than it is is a redeeming quality to me. This isn't exactly a glowing recommendation, and I highly doubt I'll read any of the sequels, but it was an entertaining way to spend the afternoon, hence the three stars.
whitty222 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
This book reminded me of a very racy "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". It kept me interested enough to keep reading, but I also thought that parts of it were a little too much. Call me a prude, but the idea that a heroine gets superpowers through sex to advance the agenda of the "good guys" was a bit off-putting. I enjoyed it for what it was, a quick, fun, read that I didn't have to think too much to enjoy.
meersan on LibraryThing 3 months ago
A fast pace and numerous sex scenes fail to improve this paint-by-numbers exercise in supernatural suspense. Regrettably insipid psychics and vampires feel purely market-driven: next time put the characters behind the wheel.
jigj119 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I wanted to actually finish this book before I reviewed, and seeing as I was one of the Early Reviewers, it says something about the book that it took me this long. I think the idea overall is good, and the universe is well-crafted, but it's the actual style I had trouble with. It seemed like she was trying to make an action/thriller movie in print, which just doesn't work for me. There's no suspense, except maybe whether or not they'll survive a battle, which after a few times of that you quickly realize that they will. It seems like most of the real mystery and intrigue is at the beginning, but all the questions get answered fairly quickly, leaving very little reason to keep reading afterward. That said, if you like a book of action and sex, this will probably be pretty entertaining.
noelsbear1 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
It has taken me so long to review this book because it has taken me such a long time to read it. I kept putting it down because I could not get into it. This book is unenjoyable, even if one likes the supernatural. It is poorly written and I would not recommend it.
rampaginglibrarian on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I was sent this as an advanced copy. I think Handeland is trying to ride the wave of the vampire/supernatural/love story series. The language was a little too hyperbole-filled and some of the situations laughable (when they weren't meant to be.) Somewhat predictable but an entertaining, fast read.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Reason for Reading: I was intrigued by the ex-cop, psychic demon hunter aspect of the plot.Summary: Ex-cop Elizabeth Phoenix has always been psychic but she's tried to keep it under control and under wraps most of the time. But when her beloved foster mother is killed by monsters she visits Lizzy in her mind to tell her that she is now the seer over all the demon killers and she remains with Lizzy to teach her to recognize non-humans. It is in this way that she learns her boyfriend Jimmie is half vampire and one of the demon killers. She is sent out into the desert with a mysterious Navajo shape-shifter to awaken her psychic powers to their fullest and learns that learns that the prophetic Apocalypse is well underway unless she and her demon killers can save humanity.Comments: The plot is based upon the Book of Enoch, a Jewish writing which is non-canonical (not part of) either the Bible or the Torah. This book has many scholarly interpretations and Handeland has gloried in the literal interpretation, allowing her to tie her paranormal world to a Biblical mythology. I'll admit right up front that I quite enjoyed the book; it's what I would call a guilty little pleasure. It was a fast read, exciting, lots of action and very Buffy-like that it kept me reading. The dialogue was cheesy at times but so what. The book is supposed to be paranormal romance though I wouldn't call it as much romance as I would plain s*x. The first half of the book is all action, but the second half introduces some quite explicit s*x scenes. While this isn't what I normally read, I found myself going with the flow and basically having a fun read. I'm a grown-up, married woman and while I am deeply religious, I'm not a prude and don't mind a bit of a romp when it's aimed at adult women. So, no literary winner here. Definitely not to everyone's tastes. Just a fun little read that would make a good plane or beach read. I'll be continuing the series.
ajpohren on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Any Given Doomsday was a good read. Not completely what I was expecting, but rather good nontheless. I will be curious to read the others that follow in this series.
bigdee on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Part bodice-ripper, part supernatural action story, this book isn't sure what it wants to be when it grows up. I don't mind foul language, but it was a little overused here, almost like the author used an expletive whenever she couldn't come up with a phrase she liked.Would I read other books in this series? Probably not.
tina on LibraryThing 3 months ago
There are not many books I've given up on, no matter how bad it is. I came very close with this one. I was very excited about receiving this book in the early reviewer group, but I was very disappointed. This book started off good, but l lost interest towards the end. It was a little to much for me.
cabridges on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Really didn't work for me. The supernatural genre is getting old fast, with every book coming out crammed with vampires, ghosts, werewolves and more, but done with flair and originality (such as the books by Jim Butcher or Kim Harrison) it can still be engaging. This wasn't, not enough to hold my interest. The protagonist reads like a porn parody of Buffy, or maybe Anita Blake (which is sad since Anita Blake rapidly became a porn parody of herself) and isn't terribly likable while not being interesting enough to overcome that lack.
kbuxton on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I tried to read this but couldn't get into the story so gave up.
bknrd on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I received the advance of this book via LT early reviewers. It sounded quite interesting and I love anything set in the midwest. Unfortunately, the book just fell flat. It barely kept my attention. The characters are interesting but the plot was overly predictable. I would recommend reading Kim Harrison or Karen Armstrong for a supernatural mystery. They both have deep character development and hold the interest of the reader wanting them to read more and more. I would try to read the next one in the series just to see if Handeland has developed more as a writer.
jwhenderson on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I am a book lover and enjoy well-written fantasies but this book did not make the grade for me. The book seemed somewhat derivative and was unable to hold my attention in spite of, or perhaps because of, the extremes of violence and a plot device that I found unbelievable.