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ApocalipstickHell in a Handbag

Lisa Acerbo

Also by Lisa Acerbo

Hell in a Handbag series



Blush of Death

Liquid Foundation


Life is bad after the apocalypse . . . the undead just made it worse.

“My dreams pre-pandemic included a high school graduation party before attending college and marrying an attractive future lawyer. Instead, I'm praying for a long, sharp knife and a big gun to survive the undead.” —Jenna

Jenna Martin lives in a world gone insane after a mysterious pandemic kills much of the population. Being alive after an apocalypse is bad, but it is made worse when the multitudes killed by the disease return ravenous for human flesh. Jenna, in serious trouble and pursued by undead, heads to the safest place available, a cemetery.

Ready to give up, she finds the strength to persevere for one more night and meets a group of survivors willing to take her in. The group caravans to Virginia, where they plan to inhabit an isolated inn called High Point, but the undead are always close behind. Packs of zombies, known as Streakers, attack, leaving Jenna and the other survivors battling for their lives and racing toward safety.

Once safely isolated at the inn, the group rebuilds society and Jenna begins a relationship with Caleb. Although he withstood the virus, he has not come out unscathed. He and some others now labeled the New Rave have changed into what many would call zombie kin—vampires.

Jenna's falls hard and fast for Caleb, which causes more problems than she ever expected in the fledgling society. But there are worse things than vampires and zombies searching for her, and they arrive at the inn's door ready for destruction.

To my daughter, Dominique.

Thanks to everyone on the DLG Publishing Partners team who helped me so much. Special thanks to Michelle, the ever patient editor and the amazing cover designer, Wren Taylor.




Lisa Acerbo

Cover Design by Wren Taylor

This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, business establishments, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law.

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

Published in the United States of America by:

DLG Publishing Partners

PO Box 17674

San Antonio, TX 78217


The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Sneak Peek of Book 2

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

About the Author


The world was upside down and this boneyard a sanctuary—a flimsy metal barrier protection. Evil roamed the streets.

When the world had been normal, a cemetery was a place to avoid, Jenna thought as she scaled the fence, Now it’s my haven thanks to this locked gate. I’ll take the small pleasure these days, she reminded herself.

The oversized, mud-encrusted camouflage jacket she wore—fouled by stains of death—caught in the spokes and she teetered for a moment on top.

Her body seesawed before the crash, ground reverberating upon her hard landing.

A groan exited chapped lips. She bent and traced her already swelling ankle with dirt-stained fingers. Rolling it back and forth, the sad realization formed that survival had become a little more complicated.

With the first step, a sharp inhale stung her lungs before she huffed out the breath and limped into the hushed graveyard.

Pain be damned.

The overgrown, bleached-by-the-sun grass crunched under each footfall. She’d never been so thankful the residents here died well before the coming of the pandemic.

Fallen headstones separated her from the crypt. A blinding sun against the horizon made it swim in her vision. Her ratty backpack itched aching shoulders and caused drops of sweat to roll down her back. She tugged the backpack close feeling for the container nestled within. That box was her motivation to lurch forward.

She studied the graves stretching before her in every direction.

“By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes . . .” Shakespeare unit in English class. A remnant of a life full of family, friends, and school long ago.

Gone. All gone. But they would come. Always did.

Three days searching for a safer place. Little sleep and less food. Sanctuaries few and far between.

The angels adorning the dead called to her.

Would she join their ranks, or would her fate be that of so many unfortunates?

Her scarred hand embraced the rough stone. Fingers roamed over the carved name.

“James Smith.”

Was he really dead? Why not join him? Lie down, Give up. End it. Time to die. Words bounced like cannon balls and demanded reaction.

A scream formed, but Jenna swallowed it, jerking lank and greasy hair off her neck. The mocha brown tresses had once been a source of joy and pride. Now they were one more problem without a band to keep them out of her eyes. Finding an elastic, locating anything useful these days had become damn near impossible.

Don’t despair. A promise to her mom when she was a teen. That was three years ago but seemed like a lifetime.

Wanting to live, Jenna hobbled onward.

A mass exodus of birds flying overhead and a flurry of leaves behind her, had her picking up the pace. Heavy heart ramming against her ribs,

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