Julia Ash

Julia Ash’s favorite books are contemporary or near-future which push into the imagined, and her debut novel THE ONE AND ONLY lands squarely in that sweet-spot. Like the books she reads and writes, she mirrors the melding of extremes in her personal life. While the bulk of her career was spent working in public relations for a school system — focused on facts and information, she grew up in a historical home — haunted by the paranormal. She lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, near the ocean, and belongs to a hunting-and-fishing club in the Pocono Mountains.

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"Ash offers an epic, blood-borne twist in the novel's final third that should surprise horror fans."

Kirkus Reviews


Hometown Eastern Shore of Maryland

Favorite author M. R. Carey

Favorite book THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey

Day job Author

Favorite line from a book "It was freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrived," from THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater

Favorite word Fantastical

Passion in life Making the fantastical believable through my writing!


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1-73208-161-1
Page count: 377pp

In this debut horror fantasy, bioterrorism lowers a blanket of darkness and scarcity on the world, but one woman may be capable of returning the light.

Chinese terrorist Huo Zhu Zheng released F8 in 2029. The bioweapon destroyed human and animal populations, national infrastructures, and resources worldwide —though Zheng did inoculate his own people from the sickness. Microbiologist Ruby Spencer’s unique blood made her immune to F8. She and Dr. Emory Bradshaw worked toward a cure. Then F8 mutated in animal carcasses to become ZOM-B, which spread to humans and reanimated them after death. Now, in 2032, Ruby is part of President Ava Newton’s Special Warfare Council. But the scientist would like nothing more than to spend time with her husband, Clay, and their new baby, Gabby. Instead, Ruby and Clay must visit Taiwan for a week to study captive zombies to please the president. The couple try to think of it as a late honeymoon; China and Taiwan don’t suffer the privations (food, water, and electricity rationing) that most of the world does. Awaiting them at the American Consulate is Lt. Col. Quinton “Ox” Oxford. Too bad the embittered lifelong Marine has decided to deliver Ruby and the secrets contained in her blood to President Vladimir Volkov of Russia. This twisted, sprawling tale from Ash wouldn’t be complete without a typhoon and a container ship full of zombies bearing down on her heroes’ location. The author’s bleak future is captured by this passage: “In the U.S., receiving government approval for air travel was as common as seeing a flock of birds, a herd of cattle, or a nest of rabbits. It just didn’t happen.” And while the zombie action is exceptional, readers will likely find themselves rooting for the messy demise of Ox, whose lechery boils from the page. At one point, he thinks: “The only thing better than stripping clothes off a woman was stripping her of everything she loved.” In addition, Ash offers an epic, bloodborne twist in the novel’s final third that should surprise horror fans. Ruby becomes someone not to be trifled with; a meaty sequel would be welcome.

A smart, gory, and sleazy zombiefest.