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Holidays Are Hell (The Hollows #5.5 - Two Ghosts for Sister Rach)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  6,626 Ratings  ·  288 Reviews
This holiday, spend quality time with family and loved ones—living and dead . . .

There's no place like home for the horrordays—unless you'd prefer a romantic midnight walk through a ghost-infested graveyard . . . or a haunted house candlelight dinner with the sexy vampire of your dreams. The (black) magical season is here—and whether it's a solstice séance gone demonically
ebook, 384 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
My favorite stories in this anthology were "Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel" by Kim Harrison and "Six" by Marjorie Liu. Ironically, they weren't Christmas stories.

"Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel" by Kim Harrison

This story looks into Rachel's past, when she was eighteen, fresh out of community college, and determined to recover from her childhood of severe illness and to get a job working for Inderlander Security. Her brother Robbie is in town for Solstice Night, and wants her to go back to west coas
Anthologies are always hit and miss for me. I'm usually happy if one story makes an impression. I picked up Holidays Are Hell because of the Kim Harrison story. Surprisingly, it was my favorite story in the book.

Here is my breakdown:
Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel by Kim Harrison - 4 stars
This is the story of an 18 year old Rachel Morgan. It takes place before Dead Witch Walking, before Rachel joins the I.S. and before she meets Ivy. We learn more about Rachel's illness as a child, her talents as a
Jun 12, 2013 Armina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-reads
Quite an interesting novella with great sense of humour and very inspiring. We are back in time when Rachel is eighteen and is still living at home with her great and crazy Mom. We meet her big brother Robbie who's coming home for the Solstice after being at the West Coast since their father died. Rachel goal is to start working for the I.S. despite the fact she is too young. She just wants to smear the pavement with bad guys and to win her independence. Robbie loves her but he doesn't think thi ...more
Jan 06, 2014 Louisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this anthology, it was just so great, Rachel meeting Pierce, and seeing her interact with Robbie, a continuation of the short story from Dates from Hell, which was so hilarious, and yeah, 2 other great stories! Loved so much!
My overall rating (3) is for the book as a concept and based on the two (of four) stories I've read. This is a theme collection for stories set in modern fantasy series and I don't read the other two series, so jumping in with these stories seems unwise.

I'm not sure I'll ever get around to reading the other two stories, so here are comments on the two I did read, Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel by Kim Harrison (in the Hollows series) and The Harvest by Viki Pettersson (in the Signs of the Zodiac se
Janice (Janicu)
For the most part I liked this anthology better than the first one, Dates from Hell. I think most were on the "good!" side.

"Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel" by Kim Harrison. In Dates from Hell we got a story about Ivy set before she meets Rachel, and in this story, we get a story about a young teen-aged Rachel before she ever joins Inderland Security. I thought this was well done because you don't have to have read the Rachel Morgan books to understand the world (much less confusing than the story
Dec 12, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This anthology features 4 short stories by some very talented women.

Two Ghosts For Sister Rachel gives us an eighteen year old Rachel before she joined the IS and moves out into the world. We also get a look at her home life and her true start at earth magic.

Run,Run,Rudolph is a fun story with a great romance and tense pursuit scenes. Jill and Nick make a great couple and I want more of them. It was funny,sexy, and very interesting.

Six is set in China and is the name of our heroine. She finds he
Apr 02, 2008 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have written up a little review of each story. I did not realize it when I started the book, but I have books and/or series of books by each of these authors on my TBR shelf. But have not yet read any of them, with the exception of one Kim Harrison's 'Hollows' book that I don't remember being terribly impressed with. So here goes--

Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel by Kim Harrison--
I have read the first book about the Hollows by Harrison and while it was okay I was not blown away and have not read a
Jenn Doyle
3.5 star overall (really wish we could give .5 star ratings on GoodReads.) Did not read the Lynsay Sands novella, but the other three were well done.

First off, The Kim Harrison short. I'd heard of this short from others who'd read the Rachel Morgan series, but this was my first chance to read it. It was really, really well done and made me want to go back and read the whole series again (starting from book 6, because NOBODY in their right mind wants to have to read through what happened to Kist
Honestly, I was a little disappointed by this anthology. I'd really been looking forward to Kim Harrison's story because I love her Rachel Morgan series and this story was supposed to explain why Rachel is the way she is. I'm not sure I buy that this story explains that, even if Kim Harrison thinks it does. It was nice to get a look at Rachel's brother and mother, but I think Ivy's back story in Dates from Hell was much more interesting and revealing.

Lynsay Sand's story was straight up romance
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel - The Hollows, 5.5

I think I would've liked this more if I'd read it in order the first time. As it is, I already know all the things that went down with Pierce, so I can't fully appreciate the sweetness of his and Rachel's first meeting.

ALSO--I didn't like Robbie (Rachel's brother) before, and I like him even less now. He's an arrogant, know-it-all, pompous ASS. He ditches Rachel with their crazy, not-handling-the-death-of-her-husband-well-at-ALL mother when she's FO
May 06, 2009 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short story collection concept: supernatural plus holidays, specifically the winter ones. One covers the winter solstice, one Christmas, one Chinese New Year, and one Thanksgiving. It was cool that they weren't all about Christmas; that aspect really piqued my interest.

I read this primarily for the Kim Harrison story in the Rachel Morgan series. This is the background story of Pierce, who becomes very much a part of the Hollows series in the most recent novels. Frankly, this impressed me. Harris
Jun 13, 2013 Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
3.5 stars

This short story was a little glimpse into Rachel's past. We learn more about Rachel's family and meet her brother, Robbie, for the first time. There is plenty of action as Rachel tries to summon the ghost of her father on the eve of the Solstice. Of course, this goes wrong and she ends up summoning another ghost by mistake. She must then help this ghost track down those who killed him and bring them to justice.

It was a very enjoyable read. It was nice to meet a younger and slightly m
Hazel G. (I ♥ Mancandy) *Craves the Angst Reviews* .
I got this book mainly for the Kim Harrison story but I really liked all the other stories as well. Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel is the Kim Harrison story and is the introduction to Pierce. Its a great little story and because Im a fan of Pierce, it was nice to see in detail the story thats been referenced in the Hollows books about Rachel and Pierce's first meeting. I love the Hollows and this was a nice little side story! We get an early look at Rachel. At this point in her life, we get to see ...more
Heather G Gentle
Kim Harrison-- decent-- I enjoyed seeing Rachel as a teen before she got into being a runner. I liked getting to know Rachel's brother a little since we don't get to know him in her Hollows series much at all. I don't know how much you'd get out of this if you don't read the series though.

Lynsay Sands-- a little too much of a straight romance for me but good humor and at least mildly entertaining.

Marjorie Liu- I found this to be the most interesting. Seems like this could be a stand alone and th
Kim Harrison and Marjorie M Liu produced to well-written novellas that can be read and appreciated by any lover of urban fantasy, even if those unfamiliar with their works. Vicki Patterson's short is excellent, but might be a harder read for those not familiar with her freshman series - but is a must-read for anyone who reads her books (explains the mysterious disappearance of Zoe Archer). The only disappointment was the short by Lyndsey Sand - written at a level best suited for a intermediate r ...more
ஐ Briansgirl (Book Sale Queen)ஐ
Anthology of four stories: Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel by Kim Harrison (Halloween); Run, Run Rudolph by Lynsay Sands (Christmas); Six by Marjorie M. Liu (New Year's); and The Harvest by Vicki Pettersson (Thanksgiving).

So far, only read... Run, Run Rudolph by Lynsay Sands. Okay, so the girl is made into a shape shifter, but if you discount that little detail then it's a fairly traditional yet humourous romance set at christmas time.

My rating is based on having read the one story above. It may c
This was a fantastic collection of very different but entirely amazing stories. I literally couldn't put it down til I was finished last night. I would've finished earlier if darn it, I didn't have to work. However, my nose found its way back between the pages come lunch time. If you haven't ever read these authors, I highly recommend picking it up and seeing if you like their styles. If you're already a fan, this is a read you simply won't want to miss.
May 11, 2015 Rita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vampires, witches
Read Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel. I really enjoyed finding out her hopes for joining the I.S. Very interesting adventure. Hopefully later on in the series, we will find out more about her brother Robbie.
Jan 07, 2009 Stacie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that contains short intro stories. Probably a ploy put out by the publishing company to gain readers. The only one worth reading was the first by Kim Harrison. The short by Harrison is a pre-quil to her herione series. The rest were a complete waste of my time.
Tabitha Tomala
I suggest this book if you are a fan of an author included in the anthology. If you aren't a fan, the drop in world building can make you stumble, but you might find new authors to read. I read this for Kim Harrison's Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel. It felt like coming home to friends I've missed since The Hollows ended. I don't think I'm ever going to find a series that has effected me as much as The Hollows.
I also enjoyed The Harvest by Vicki Petersson, which made me interested in her Zodiac ser
☂ ℬrandi

I thought this book was going to be more romance and less action-adventure. I was wrong. I thought it was going to be about Christmas specifically, hence the Santa-esque dress on the cover, ok, with a graveyard and dagger, but still, I was wrong. It was about the Holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. That actually ended up being cool. I thought I'd hate it. I was wrong. While I didn't love it to pieces, it was good for what it was, even if it's not my cuppa ☕. But if you
Patricia Solla
This is an interesting collection of short stories (paranormal and fantasy) set some normal and some not so normal holidays. The stories are well written and the material covered interesting.
get the next Marjorie Liu book

Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel - Kim Harrison
Rachel and Pierce and Robbie and Mom... Rachel is one of a few who survived a childhood illness that has kept her weak - though she struggles year by year to get stronger, pushing herself, mastering martial arts, etc. She is a strong natural witch, but rather than train more she wants to join the I.S. - paranormal police, following in her father's footsteps. She is 19 and of an age to apply, though too yuoung to do it with
Fangs for the Fantasy
Like all anthologies review, we’re going to look at the stories in this separately and then consider the book as a whole.

Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel by Kim Harrison

This story follows Rachel Morgan from the Hollows series, as a teenager before she joined the IS. This is the moment, mentioned in the book, when the young Rachel accidentally summons the ghost Pierce when trying to summon her father and with him manages to foil a crime for the IS. This is where Rachel’s path is set where, still re
Jun 28, 2011 Jenevieve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loaned-out
Review first published on My Blog. Check out all my reviews there!

Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel by Kim Harrison ~ A Rachel Morgan short set before the events in Dead Witch Walking. Rachel is trying to convince her brother to sign the papers to allow her to become a Runner but he is trying to convince her to go back to the West Coast with him and go to college to become a more powerful earth witch. He compromises and tells her that if she is able to perform this very old and powerful spell to rais
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of

Kim Harrison - Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel - I had a bit of a falling out with Rachel Morgan's The Hollows series after book four. I've long maintained that Ivy is in need of some serious staking, and as her relationship with Rachel increasingly became more of the focus of the series my enjoyment decreased (if a guy pulled half the possessive, needy, territorial garbage that Ivy does Rachel would never have put up with it). Plus after what ha
Sep 02, 2009 LMM rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal-pnr
I give this 3.5 just for the Vicki Pettersson story. Which is the only one I am going to talk about.

I HIGHLY suggest reading this short BEFORE moving on to book 3 of her Signs of the Zodiac series, even though it is technically a prequel.

It is pretty integral to the series. Gives us a huge amount of background information that I know I very much needed as a reader. And over all the story is very cool. ***SPOILERS BELOW****

The story is about Zoe Archer, right after her daughter Joanna's rape. Zoe
Dec 30, 2010 Karissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a compilation of four novellas edited by Kim Harrison. Overall I thought it was a great set of stories. I zipped through this book so fast. My favorite story was the Kim Harrison one; my least favorite Six by Liu.

- Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel by Kim Harrison
This was a great prequel to the Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison. It was a lovely stand alone story, but had more impact if you have read that series. It was fun to read about a younger Rachel who is still struggling to recover
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Kim Harrison, author of the New York Times #1 best selling Hollows series, was born in Detroit and lived most her her life within an easy drive. She's currently working on the Peri Reed Chronicles, and when not at her desk, is most likely to be found landscaping her new/old Victorian home, in the garden, or on the links.
Kim reaches out to her audience at Facebook
More about Kim Harrison...

Other Books in the Series

The Hollows (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows, #1)
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (The Hollows, #2)
  • Every Which Way But Dead (The Hollows, #3)
  • A Fistful of Charms (The Hollows, #4)
  • For a Few Demons More (The Hollows, #5)
  • The Outlaw Demon Wails (The Hollows, #6)
  • White Witch, Black Curse (The Hollows, #7)
  • Black Magic Sanction (The Hollows, #8)
  • Pale Demon (The Hollows, #9)
  • A Perfect Blood (The Hollows, #10)

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“Arms wrapped around me, I looked over the past boxed up and piled haphazardly about, like memories in a person’s brain. It was only a matter of knowing where a thought was and dusting it off.” 1 likes
“I like attics. They're as peaceful as God's church. Alone and apart, but a body can hear everything. The past stacked up like forgotten memories, but with a small effort, brought down and enjoyed again.” 1 likes
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