Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Holidays Are Hell (The Hollows, #5.5)” as Want to Read:
Holidays Are Hell (The Hollows, #5.5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,369 Ratings  ·  275 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
Paperback, 374 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Harper (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Holidays Are Hell, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Holidays Are Hell

On the Prowl by Patricia BriggsMen of the Otherworld by Kelley ArmstrongStrange Brew by P.N. ElrodMust Love Hellhounds by Charlaine HarrisDead After Dark by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Best Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy Anthologies
32nd out of 210 books — 274 voters
Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea HandlerYou Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning by Celia RivenbarkStop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank by Celia RivenbarkMiss Taken by Cleo ScornavaccaBright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster
Titles I love
47th out of 176 books — 59 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
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
Sep 06, 2010 AH rated it liked it
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 15, 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
Nov 13, 2014 Louisa rated it it was amazing
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)
Aug 23, 2008 Janice (Janicu) rated it liked it
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
May 03, 2013 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
Jenn Dattilo Watts
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
Jessica ❁ Far Dareis Mai ❁ 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
Jan 14, 2009 Wendy rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jun 16, 2010 Kat rated it really liked it
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 14, 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
Heather G Gentle
Nov 25, 2008 Heather G Gentle rated it liked it
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
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
May 11, 2015 Rita rated it really liked it
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.
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
Dec 03, 2007 Sarah rated it liked it
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
Sharon Stevenson
Jun 14, 2014 Sharon Stevenson rated it really liked it
This was a bit of a mixed bag for me; I've rounded up to 4 stars in total from 3.5 average because this is totally worth getting just for the Kim Harrison story.

'Two Ghosts For Sister Rachel' is the best of the bunch and gets 5 stars from me. Kim Harrison just knows how to write an awesome story; this novella manages effortlessly to be heart-warming, funny, action-packed and suspenseful.

'Run, Run, Rudolph' by Lyndsay Sands is a cute Christmas time story and I quite liked how it started. I didn'
Jan 03, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 08, 2016 Rubee rated it it was amazing
I only read "Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel" by Kim Harrison from this anthology. Why?
Well, I was in the middle of reading "White Witch, Black Curse", the 7th book in The Hollows Series, and I really wanted to know more about this Pierce character. I had a feeling that he appeared in a novella or short story somewhere because of the chemistry that he shared with Rachel after appearing (literally) out of nowhere.

I stopped reading just to locate this book and what I found was very insightful into
Nov 06, 2014 Chrissy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
The Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel story was incredibly cute. Slow at first, but I loved the ending. This one is part of the Rachel Morgan series, but being that it takes place before the series actually begins, it's still easy to understand. If you get a chance though, do read the rest of the series! She's one of my favorite authors.

Run Run Rudolph is alright... slightly annoying that the main girl is pretty dense (should I run away from a bad guy or keep my part in the parade?). Kinda wanted me
Jan 07, 2009 Stacie rated it did not like it
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.
Kim Harrison - Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel

Rachel betted with her brother, that she can summon her father. Her brother wanted her to ho study earth magic, but she wants to work for The I.S.
She summoned a different ghost. He helped her to find missing girl.

Lynsay Sands - Run, Run, Rudolph

Jill got zapped and now she can shift to any person she wants. Her brother and the crazy guy that zapped her created this machine. And now the crazy guy wants her as a guinea pig for his experiments.

Marjorie M
Jul 31, 2015 Jenevieve rated it really liked it
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
Dec 20, 2011 July rated it it was amazing
Kim Harrison's story was really the reason I bought this book. Love, love, loved reading about Rachel Morgan's first meeting with Pierce. The story was really well-written and showed Rachel's character so well. It also gave really good insight into her family, which was very welcome.

I was also pleasantly surprised that the other stories in the collection were very high quality too. Though I hadn't previously read Liu or Sands, I liked their contributions and will likely check out their other wor
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
☂ 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 lik
Carolyn F.
Anthology. Two stories were great, two weren't.

Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel by Kim Harrison. This story takes place when Rachel first met Pierce so actually should be read before the entire Hollows series. Rachel was to become an IS officer but is 18 and has to have a parent or guardian sign a permission slip until she turns 19. Her brother says if she does a complicated spell to bring her father back, he'll sign it. She does it but brings Pierce instead. They find out there's a criminal that w
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon
  • No Rest for the Witches (Nightcreature, #7.5) (Magic, #3.5) (The Others, #3.5)
  • Weddings from Hell (Night Huntress, #2.5; Brotherhood of Blood, #3.5; Nicki Styx, #2.5)
  • Powers of Detection: Stories of Mystery & Fantasy
  • Blood Lite II: Overbite  (Otherworld Stories, #10.3)
  • Huntress (Cin Craven #3.5, Black London #1.5)
  • Moonglow
  • First Blood (Includes: Laws Of The Blood, #5.5; Vegas Vampires, #5; Vampire Babylon, #2.5; The Guardians, #3.5)
  • Over The Moon (Mageverse #3.5)
  • Demons: Encounters with the Devil and His Minions, Fallen Angels, and the Possessed
  • Never After (Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon, #6.5)
  • Night's Edge
  • The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance
  • Crimes by Moonlight: Mysteries from the Dark Side
  • Mistletoe & Magic
  • Evolve: Vampire Stories of the New Undead
  • Inked (World of the Lupi, #5.5)
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 14 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)

Share This Book

“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.” 0 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.” 0 likes
More quotes…