My Take on Zombies By Way of My Apex Novel, Desper Hollow

By Lesley Conner
on September 05, 2019

Guest post by Elizabeth Massie, author of Desper Hollow

Zombie fiction offers all sorts of variations on the living/walking dead mythos. Most of these novels or short stories are apocalyptic, end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it epics, featuring scores of shambling, ambling rot-bods coming after one community or other filled with terrified but fighting-the-good-fight, still semi-normal human beings. As we all know, zombies are not only dangerous because they eat living flesh right off the bones of their victims, but if they bite you, you will likely become one, too. Very few things are as terrifying as a large mob of raggedy, jaw-snapping, drooling, brainless, hungry once-humans heading your way through the forest or down the road, or over the field. And stink? Whew!

So, I thought, Hmmm. (Yeah, I actually thought, Hmmm.) Then I thought, I want to write a zombie novel. Zombies are fun, right? I mean, sure, I basically know what they can and can’t do. Maybe I can find a somewhat different take on the living dead.

Now, I live in the Shenandoah Valley of western Virginia. Beautiful territory. To the east are the Blue Ridge Mountains. And to the west are the famous and often infamous Appalachian Mountains. I’ve spent a lot of time in the mountains, driving around, hiking, geocaching. There are some fairly populated areas. There are small towns. There are tiny communities. And there are far flung individuals who live apart from almost everyone else.

And so, instead of creating a vast palate for my story, I brought it down. I shrunk the setting to the vicinity of Beaver Dam and Desper Hollow. I limited the number of human characters. I came up with a story that features no more than five zombies at a time. Oh, the zombies are as dangerous as any in a huge mob. They eat flesh and brains. But five are more than enough for my mountain folks to deal with.

It was all Granny Mustard’s fault, of course. She was the one who wanted to create an “immortality moonshine” that, rather than making animals and people live forever, created zombies. And once Granny met her brutal end, Granny’s socially-inept granddaughter, Jenkie, decided to create her own zombies, keep them in the back of her Desper Hollow trailer, and invite people from Hollywood to come see them, film them, and make her famous. Several folks from Beaver Dam thought that wasn’t such a good idea, however. They decided they had to get involved. To their own peril, naturally. I mean, we’re talking zombies here.

Check out Desper Hollow!

Pick up your own copy of Desper Hollow and save 25% on it and everything else you purchase in the Apex store all month long! Use discount code SEPTEMBER at checkout!

Women in Horror Month eBook Sale

By Lesley Conner
on February 09, 2017

In February we celebrate the women who send chills down our spines and leave us hiding under our blankets. We watch horror movies written, directed, and starring women. We feast our eyes on horror artwork created by women. And we read the horror novels and short stories penned by women writers.

February is Women in Horror Month, and because of this we celebrate!

To help you celebrate the month that toasts the women who create creatures that go bump in the night, we have marked the eBook editions of our horror titles written/created by women. From now until the end of the month, you can grab Let's Play White by Chesya Burke, Sing Me Your Scars by Damien Angelica Walters, Seasons of Insanity by Gill Ainsworth and Frank W. Haubold, Desper Hollow by Elizabeth Massie, and Harlan County Horrors edited by Mari Adkins for only 99 cents!

You can take advantage of this awesome price direct through Apex, or pick them up from Amazon, B&N, or Kobo. So why not buy them all! Each eBook will cost you less than a dollar and you will have a large selection of stories on hand that prove that yes, women indeed can create some amazing horrors!

Celebrate Women in Horror! Get Desper Hollow for 40% off!

By Lesley Conner
on February 11, 2016

To celebrate Women in Horror month, we’re running 48 hour sales on select books throughout the month of February.

Today and tomorrow only, get Desper Hollow by Elizabeth Massie for 40% off! That brings the print edition down to only $8.97! And you can get the eBook for the insanely low price of $2.40!

Use discount code Massie40 to get in on either of these amazing deals!


It begins when hardheaded mountain matriarch Granny Mustard decides she wants to live forever. Then she dies. Her slow-witted but equally hardheaded granddaughter Jenkie decides to pick up the ball and run with it, taking Granny’s unperfected immortality moonshine recipe, a socially-inept friend named Bink, and dreams of fame and fortune to an abandoned, isolated trailer up in Desper Hollow.

But slow-witted doesn’t stand against the terrible mountain power Granny initiated. Jenkie’s experiments with the immortality moonshine only worsen the trouble with Granny’s original recipe, bringing dead critters and a few stray folks back to a state of hungry, vicious, mindless animation. Now a stash of the living dead is locked up in the back of the trailer, a howling herd that has Jenkie terrified. And Armistead, one of the red-eyed living dead, seems way too alert for comfort. 

Mountain resident Kathy Shaw and Hollywood reality show pitchman Jack Carroll find themselves caught up in the growing terror surrounding Desper Hollow. They can’t avoid it and must face it head on. So must Armistead, who fights the fog of his ghastly condition to discover the truth of who he really is.

Don’t wait! This amazing deal is only good today and tomorrow! Use discount code Massie40 and celebrate women in horror!


Ten Books to Give for All Hallow's Read

By Lesley Conner
on October 06, 2014
1 comment

October is here and with it comes all things fall. The leaves are painting the skyline orange, yellow, and red, pumpkins are creeping into everything from coffee to Oreos, and horror movies and novels are finding their way to the top of to-watch and to-read piles.

Another cool thing that’s going on is All Hallow’s Read. If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, go here. Neil Gaiman does a wonderful job explaining it. I can wait.

Back? Okay. Isn’t that the coolest thing ever? A new holiday tradition where we give our family and friends scary books. The horror geek and book nerd in me are squealing with joy! But then of course, the question becomes what to give. To help you make the best decisions of which scary titles to share with your friends, I’ve scanned my bookshelves and the internet for suggestions.

Ten Books to Give for All Hallow’s Read.

  1. October Dreams (AKA October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween) edited by Richard Chizmar and Robert Morrish – Suggested by Maurice Broaddus, author of Orgy of Souls and I Can Transform You and editor of Dark Faith and Dark Faith: Invocations.
  2. Survivor by J. F. Gonzalez – Suggested by my bookcase. Honestly, anything by J. F. Gonzalez would be a good pick, but this book scared the crap out of me when I read it, and he’s currently working on two novellas that tie into the storyline from this novel.
  3. Alabaster Pale Horse by Caitlin R. Kiernan – Suggested on Twitter by @djerfisherite.
  4. The Night Country by Stuart O’Nan – Suggested by Douglas F. Warrick, author of Plow the Bones.
  5. Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill – Suggested on Twitter by @ElioSchmie.
  6. The Mist by Stephen King – Suggested by, well, I want to say my bookcase, but as I’m scanning my Stephen King titles, I realize I don’t own Skeleton Crew, which is where I first read The Mist as a young girl. Recently a friend and I were talking about how frightening this novella is - we both read it around the age of 13 - which is why it made this list. And now I must buy myself an All Hallow’s Read gift to fill the hole in my Stephen King library.
  7. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury – Suggested by Jerry Gordon, editor of Dark Faith and Dark Faith: Invocations.
  8. The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson – Suggested on Twitter by @Stephenspower.
  9. Urban Gothic by Brian Keene – Suggested by my bookcase. As with J.F. Gonzalez, you could basically give any Brian Keene title for All Hallow’s Read and be good, but I picked Urban Gothic because it’s my favorite of his novels. The entire book reads like a 80s horror movie, with teenagers who end up places they shouldn’t, wild chases, violence, and death, and as a girl who grew up loving those movies, this book was a blast to read.
  10. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King – Suggested by Elizabeth Massie, author of Desper Hollow.
And that's it. Ten scary reads to give to your family and friends for All Hallow's Read. What books would you suggest people give? Leave a comment to let us know.

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