Overview

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 wrong with the incomparable Kim Harrison, a grossly misshapen Christmas with the remarkable Lynsay Sands, ...

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Holidays Are Hell

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Overview

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 wrong with the incomparable Kim Harrison, a grossly misshapen Christmas with the remarkable Lynsay Sands, a blood-chilling-and-spilling New Year's with the wonderful Marjorie M. Liu, or a super-powered Thanksgiving with the phenomenal Vicki Pettersson, one thing is for certain: in the able hands of these exceptional dark side explorers, the holidays are going to be deliciously hellish!

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
This dark fantasy anthology adds an element of horror, or at least fright to the ho-ho-ho of the season. Holidays Are Hell gathers novellas by four hot young authors on paranormal themes: Kim Harrison (For a Few Demons More), Lyndsay Sands (A Quick Bite), Marjorie M. Liu (Dark Dreamers) and Vicki Pettersson (The Scent of Shadows). A thrilling stocking stuffer.
Library Journal

In this unusual paranormal collection by some of the genre's best-known authors, readers are treated to a surfeit of holiday romances that range from Thanksgiving to Chinese New Year. A fledgling witch invokes a spirit with frighteningly unexpected results in Harrison's winter-set "Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel"; a woman on the run from the madman who turned her into a shape-shifter finds unexpected love in Lynsay Sands's "Run, Run, Rudolph"; a Chinese undercover antiterrorist operative and a renegade necromancer join to stop a band of life-stealing vampires in Marjorie M. Liu's exotic "Six"; and a superheroine returns to the real world to fight for children and finds love as well in Vicki Pettersson's "The Harvest." These fast-paced, off-beat tales will pique the interest of sophisticated readers.


—Kristin Ramsdell
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061983320
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 30,867
  • File size: 559 KB

Meet the Author

Kim Harrison

New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison was born and raised in the upper Midwest. Her bestselling Hollows novels include Dead Witch Walking; The Good, the Bad, and the Undead; Every Which Way But Dead; A Fistful of Charms; For a Few Demons More; The Outlaw Demon Wails; White Witch, Black Curse; Black Magic Sanction; Pale Demon; A Perfect Blood; Ever After; and The Undead Pool, plus the short-story collection Into the Woods, The Hollows Insider, and the graphic novels Blood Work and Blood Crime. She also writes the Madison Avery series for young adults.

Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there are occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus.

Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sign of the Zodiac novels, a six-book urban fantasy series set in her hometown of Las Vegas. Though she'll always consider that glittering dust bowl home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think).

Marjorie M. Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of paranormal romances and urban fantasy. In the world of comic books, she is also the writer of NYX: No Way Home, Black Widow, X-23, and Dark Wolverine. She lives in the American Midwest and Beijing, China.

Biography

Bestselling paranormal fantasy author Kim Harrison went all the way through school with nary a thought of becoming a writer. A biology major in college, she took only the required English courses needed to graduate. So when the writing bug hit her later in life, she found herself at a real disadvantage with grammar, spelling, and other basic weapons in the scribbler's arsenal. However, her love of books was her saving grace. Always a voracious reader, Harrison instinctively recognized the role of plot, pacing, and character development in good storytelling. She set about writing with great enthusiasm and plugged away for the better part of decade, until she was able to bring her skills up to par.

Harrison's debut novel grew out of frustration with a growing pile of rejection notices. In an attempt to get publishers' attention, she set out to craft something deliberately weird and edgy. She conceived a motley cast of vampires, werewolves, pixies, and witches, including a sexy bounty hunter named Rachel Morgan, and threw them together in a short story. Then, her agent introduced her to editor Diana Gill, and together they refined and expanded Harrison's idea into a full length novel.

Published in 2004, Dead Witch Walking became a bestseller, launched a blockbuster series, and catapulted Harrison into a pantheon of paranormal superstars that includes Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Christine Feehan, and Sherrilyn Kenyon. As if to validate her inclusion in these ranks, Harrison's stories have also been included in several bestselling paranormal collections.

Good To Know

  • Harrison claims that her muse exists in music. In our exclusive interview, she explained, "Music moves society more than most people realize. In my opinion, it's a soft manipulator of influence and change. I love the power of the musician who composes and performs. I envy their ability to put a nugget of truth in three minutes of sweat and emotional outpouring, colored entirely from their thoughts. And I'll admit that if I can, I'll steal that nugget of truth, study it, facet it, polish it, and place it in my writing."

  • On her MySpace page, Kim lists the following as her heroes: "My parents. Anyone who pursues their dreams when no one believes they can reach them. Single moms and dads."

  • Rachel Morgan and her otherworldly cohorts exist in and around an alternate version of Cincinnati, Ohio -- a "little big city" Harrison was familiar with from her Midwestern youth. She always tries to incorporate "Cincy" sights into her series novels, so readers are likely to find allusions to Eden Park, the Cincinnati Zoo, and other local neighborhoods and landmarks.

  • As a tribute to one of her favorite actor/directors, Harrison has given some of her Rachel Morgan novels titles that play on well-known Clint Eastwood films: For a Few Demons More, Every Which Way but Dead, The Outlaw Demon Wails, etc.

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    Read an Excerpt

    Holidays Are Hell


    By Kim Harrison

    HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

    Copyright © 2007 Kim Harrison
    All right reserved.

    ISBN: 9780061239090

    Chapter One

    I stuck the end of the pencil between my teeth, brushing the eraser specks off the paper as I considered how best to answer the employment application. What skills can you bring to Inderland security that are clearly unique to you?

    Sparkling wit? I thought, twining my foot around the kitchen chair and feeling stupid. A smile? The desire to smear the pavement with bad guys?

    Sighing, I tucked my hair behind my ear and slumped into the kitchen chair. My eyes shifted to the clock above the sink as it ticked minutes into hours. I wasn't going to waste my life. Eighteen was too young to be accepted into the I.S. intern program without a parent's signature, but if I put my application in now, it would sit at the top of the stack until I was old enough, according to the guidance counselor. Like the recruiter had said, there was nothing wrong with going into the I.S. right out of college if you knew that's what you wanted to do. The fast track.

    The faint sound of the front door opening brought my heart to my throat. I glanced at the sunset-gloomed window. Jamming the application under the stacked napkins, I shouted, "Hi, Mom! I thought you weren't going to be back until eight!"

    Damn it, how was I supposed to finishthis thing if she kept coming back?

    But my alarm shifted to elation when a high falsetto voice responded, "It's eight in Buenos Aires, dear. Be a dove and find my rubbers for me? It's snowing."

    "Robbie?" I stood so fast the chair nearly fell over. Heart pounding, I darted out of the kitchen and into the green hallway. There at the end, in a windbreaker and shaking snow from himself, was my brother Robbie. His narrow height came close to brushing the top of the door, and his shock of red hair caught the glow from the porch light. Slush-wet Dockers showed from under his jeans, totally inappropriate for the weather. On the porch behind him, a cabbie set down two suitcases.

    "Hey!" I exclaimed, bringing his head up to show his green eyes glinting mischievously. "You were supposed to be on the vamp flight. Why didn't you call? I would've come to get you."

    Robbie shoved a wad of money at the driver. Door still gaping behind him, he opened his arms, and I landed against him, my face hitting his upper chest instead of his middle like it had when we had said goodbye. His arms went around me, and I breathed in the scent of old Brimstone from the dives he worked in. The tears pricked, and I held my breath so I wouldn't cry. It had been over four and a half years. Inconsiderate snot had been at the West Coast all this time, leaving me to cope with Mom. But he'd come home this year for the solstice, and I sniffed back everything and smiled up at him.

    "Hey, Firefly," he said, using our dad's pet name for me and grinning as he measured where my hair had grown to. "You got tall. And wow, hair down to your waist? What are you doing, going for the world's record?"

    He looked content and happy, and I dropped back a step, suddenly uncomfortable. "Yeah, well, it's been almost five years," I accused. Behind him, the cab drove away, headlamps dim from the snow and moving slowly.

    Robbie sighed. "Don't start," he begged. "I get enough of that from Mom. You going to let me in?" He glanced behind him at the snow. "It is cold out here."

    "Wimp," I said, then grabbed one of the suitcases. "Ever hear about that magical thing called a coat?"

    He snorted his opinion, hefting the last of the luggage and following me in. The door shut, and I headed down the second, longer hallway to his room, eager to get him inside and part of our small family again. "I'm glad you came," I said, feeling my pulse race from the suitcase's weight. I hadn't been in the hospital in years, but fatigue still came fast. "Mom's going to skin you when she gets back."

    "Yeah, well I wanted to talk to you alone first."

    Flipping the light switch with an elbow, I lugged his suitcase into his old room, relieved I'd vacuumed already. Blowing out my exhaustion, I turned with my arms crossed over my chest to hide my heavy breathing. "About what?"

    Robbie wasn't listening. He had taken off his jacket to show a sharp-looking pinstripe shirt with a tie. Smiling, he spun in a slow circle. "It looks exactly the same."

    I shrugged. "You know Mom."

    His eyes landed on mine. "How is she?"

    I looked at the floor. "Same. You want some coffee?"

    With an easy motion, he swung the suitcase I had dragged in up onto the bed. "Don't tell me you drink coffee."

    Half my mouth curved up into a smile. "Sweat of the gods," I quipped, coming close when he unzipped a front pocket and pulled out a clearly expensive bag of coffee. If the bland, environmentally conscious packaging hadn't told me what was in it, the heavenly scent of ground beans would have. "How did you get that through customs intact?" I said, and he smiled.

    "I checked it."

    His arm landed across my shoulders, and together we navigated the narrow hallway to the kitchen. Robbie was eight years older than me, a sullen babysitter who had become an overly protective brother, who had then vanished four-plus years ago when I needed him the most, fleeing the pain of our dad's death. I had hated him for a long time, envious that he could run when I was left to deal with Mom. But then I found out he'd been paying for Mom's psychiatrist. Plus some of my hospital bills. We all helped the way we could. And it wasn't like he could make that kind of money here in Cincinnati.



    Continues...

    Excerpted from Holidays Are Hell by Kim Harrison Copyright © 2007 by Kim Harrison. Excerpted by permission.
    All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
    Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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    Customer Reviews

    Average Rating 4
    ( 74 )
    Rating Distribution

    5 Star

    (24)

    4 Star

    (32)

    3 Star

    (16)

    2 Star

    (1)

    1 Star

    (1)

    Your Rating:

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    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
    • Posted April 26, 2010

      I Also Recommend:

      Great for Sampling Dark Urban Fantasy Authors

      If you've read Kim's Harrison's Hollows series, this book is a great addition, and one you'll be glad you read later, as events that take place in this anthology are referred to in future novels.

      Lynsay Sands's story was laughable, but not her best.

      Marjorie Liu isn't someone I'd read before, and this short didn't leave me wanting for more.

      I absolutely loved the Vicki Pettersson short and couldn't wait to dive further into her Zodiac series. Her short was more of a spin-off, taking a turn from the original narration from the main character in her series and this gave readers a different insight. Brilliant.
      If you read her Zodiac series and were unfortunate enough to have missed this short, you wouldn't be lost without it.
      But you'd be missing out on some incredible back story.

      4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted December 9, 2008

      more from this reviewer

      A reviewer

      'Two Ghosts for Sister Rachel' by Kim Harrison. Teenager Rachel recuperates from I.S. disease that killed her father and nearly killed her, but left her new powers as a witch in training however, she misuses her new skills with a resurrection that may prove lethal.--------------- 'Run, Run Rudolph¿ by Lynsay Sands. Nick and Jill are to play Mr. and Mrs. S. Claus, but instead shapeshift in a flight for their lives when John tries to shoot her with a destabilizing ray.------------- 'Six' by Marjorie M. Liu. Necromancer Joseph warns Six, a member of the Chinese Squad Twelve, of a deadly vampire plot.----------- 'The Harvest¿ by Vickie Pettersson. Retired Zodiac warrior Zoe Archer must return to the mortal realm to rescue her newborn granddaughter. ------------- These are well written thrilling fantasy novellas with the added bonus that Ms. Harrison¿s tale stars a younger Rachel Morgan.----------------- Harriet Klausner

      2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted July 3, 2013

      Holidays may be Hell but this book is a slice of heaven

      Gotta love these ladies, every single story is fun and well written.

      1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted October 22, 2012

      GREAT READ YOU WILL ENJOY

      ALL THE STORIES WERE GREAT FUN TO READ DIDN'T WANT THEM TO END

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 13, 2009

      Enjoyable................

      Liked the 2 authors already, now I am ordering books written by the other 2. I enjoyed this anthonology. Of course, I wanted the stories to be longer. But, I really liked it, nonetheless.

      1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted March 31, 2014

      How are holodays hell?

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted January 23, 2014

      Link

      Just random acts of fighting.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted August 10, 2013

      Really Enjoyed This

      The stories were a lot of fun.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted May 3, 2013

      Worth it for Kim Harrison

      While the other short stories in here are okay, the teenage Rachel Morgan story sets so much in motion and gives such a telling glimpse into why Rachel is who she is, the book is a treasure for fans of the series.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted March 13, 2013

      Ah, so here you are...

      Old friend.

      0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted March 14, 2013

      Blackstar

      Freeze, intruder.

      0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Anonymous

      Posted March 12, 2013

      Fine i will

      But i still have mine

      0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

      Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
    • Posted April 18, 2012

      more from this reviewer

      I got this book mainly for the Kim Harrison story but I really l

      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 how she's still recovering from Rosewood Syndrome and her desire to join the IS. We also get to read her very first adventure as the precursor to the Hollows series. It was a really great read!

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted August 17, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      Great Book!

      I would have to say that this book was a good one for sure. I liked it because it has different stories. I would recommend it to everyone!

      0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted June 26, 2009

      I Also Recommend:

      Talk about some bad luck?

      It is also a good read....goes with the series. I enjoyed it and can't wait for the new one to be released!

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted March 23, 2009

      I Also Recommend:

      Great read!

      I really enjoyed reading these short stories. I've only read Kim Harrison before, but I am looking for things by the other authors as well now because those stories were very good, too.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted February 17, 2009

      Great holiday read

      Stress relief for the holiday rush

      0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    • Posted February 10, 2009

      more from this reviewer

      I Also Recommend:

      Not so Holidays

      The individual stories are easy reads. They are a great use of imagination, and a wonderful way to escape everyday through the paranormal. But due to the limited size of the stories, they are lacking in the essentials that most of these writers use to create a wonderful sense of drama, romance and overall movement to keep the pages turning. I was mildly disappointed with the grouping of these writers also. Yes they are all paranormal romance writers, but that is all they have in common. If someone is looking into buying this book they would do better to buy one of the individual stories from the authors and not this compilation of novelettes.

      0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    • Anonymous

      Posted April 8, 2010

      No text was provided for this review.

    • Anonymous

      Posted June 3, 2011

      No text was provided for this review.

    See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews

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