THE CAGE hits shelves today!

It's official...THE CAGE is now available for purchase!

The Maze Runner meets Scott Westerfeld in this gripping new series about teens held captive in a human zoo by an otherworldly race. From Megan Shepherd, the acclaimed author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy.

When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn't know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn't alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora's past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?

Get your copy today!

You can buy your copy from your favorite independent bookstore or one of these online retailers:
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Signed copies are available from my family's bookstore, Highland Books in Brevard NC. They ship internationally, too. More details here.

Blurbs for THE CAGE + giveaway!

What other authors are saying about THE CAGE:

“Gripping and addictive—Shepherd has delivered again! A captivating mix of intrigue, deft twists, and complex questions, this is a must-read.” --Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, New York TImes bestselling authors of These Broken Stars

“A brilliant, exciting tale of what it’s like to be human, even when all hope is lost. Shepherd perfectly contrasts freedom and entrapment, humanity and alien nature, loss and love.” --Beth Revis, New York Times bestselling author of the Across the Universe series.

“Megan Shepherd’s The Cage is a thrilling sci-fi/thriller mix with a healthy helping of Lord of the Flies. This fast-paced speculative tale will keep you thinking long after you turn the last page.” -----Aprilynne Pike, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wings and Earthbound

“Riveting and haunting, The Cage is both a suspenseful page-turner and a thought-provoking look at humanity. With its terrifying premise and captivating plot, this is a story that truly lingers. I can’t wait for the next book!” --Megan Miranda, author of Fracture, Hysteria, Vengeance, and Soulprint

I'm giving away a book by each of these authors plus an ARC of THE CAGE. That's five books in all to one lucky winner! Just use #thecagegiveaway on Twitter or Instagram to be entered to win. (US only, giveaway ends Friday 5/15/15)

If you haven't preordered your copy yet, do so before it hits shelves on May 26!

You can preorder from your favorite independent bookstore or one of these online retailers:
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Signed copies are available from my family's bookstore, Highland Books in Brevard NC. As a bonus, any preorders from Highland Books will get this free THE CAGE sticker sheet! They ship internationally, too. More details here.

Happy reading!


Exciting things are afoot here at Muckross Farm. Last week the mailman delivered these creeptastic ARCs of SLASHER GIRLS AND MONSTER BOYS, a new YA horror anthology coming out in August with stories from me, April Tucholke, Cat Winters, Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Carrie Ryan, Jay Kristoff, and many more fantastic authors.

And we're giving away one of these hot-of-the-presses ARCs to some creative readers who are ready to be frightened...


We want to see you at your creatively slashiest. Show us your macabre side and post a pic of something scary to Instagram or Twitter, under hashtag #SLASHERGIRLSARC


1. Hold a seance
2. Read a horror story in a cemetery
3. Recreate a horror scene from film/tv
4. Play light as a feather, stiff as a board
5. Say Bloody Mary 3 times in a mirror at midnight
6. Show us your Slasher boyfriend/girlfriend/platonic friend--Pinhead, Freddy, Xenomorph Queen...
7. Draw a chalk outline of a body on a sidewalk. Possibly yours.

SUPER SPECIAL ENTRY: Dig your own shallow grave. Anyone who goes to this much trouble will be placed in their own pool, i.e. your chances of winning are extremely good. Shallow grave guidelines: Be safe about digging. We’ll not be responsible for bodily injury due to spade mishaps, digging near power/gas lines, or digging on a too hot day, etc. Keep it safe, keep it shallow. On a beach, perhaps. Or in your garden.

Enter the giveaway as many times as you want (but dig your grave only once). The Special Pool entries will be given priority.

And don’t let us hinder your slashy creativity. If you have other ideas, let’s see them! Tweet us your fave horror quotes! Show us your…scary dogs? Just keep it legal. And don’t forget to RT and use the hashtag #SLASHERGIRLSARC

 (US-Only, ends Monday, May 18)

Announcing a new book, THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL!

I have very special news today!

My first middle grade novel, THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL, will be published by Delacorte (an imprint of Random House) in fall 2016! This announcement went out yesterday in Publisher's Weekly:

I've been anxiously sitting on this news for a few weeks now. THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL began last fall, on a long solo car ride with a broken radio. As I drove through the countryside in silence, watching white fences and horses roll by, I remembered a family trip we took when I was a little girl to Ocracoke Island where the wild ponies live. I was probably six or seven, and since my parents wouldn't let me have a horse, I decided I would catch one myself. 

And that inspired the start of THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL. A girl, an overgrown garden wall, and a winged horse that no one else sees. It's a book about war, and death, and believing in magic even when no one else does. I'm so fortunate that Rebecca Weston, a brilliant editor at Delacorte, fell in love with it too. She sent me this package, inspired by a collection of magical objects from the book, along with a figurine of the winged horse. The minute I opened the package, I knew Rebecca had fallen in love with Emmaline and the secret horses as much as I had.

THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL is a very special book to me, and I'm so excited to share it with you next fall. Thank you for everyone who has supported me as a writer. I hope that you pick up THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL for yourself or for a young reader in your life. I wrote it as a book that could be shared between parents and children, teachers and students, siblings and spouses. And it doesn't mean I'm going to stop writing young adult fiction, either. My new YA series, THE CAGE, comes out May 26, and I have many more middle grade and YA ideas to come.

I'll sign off as the Horse Lord does in THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL:

Ride true,


A sneak peek at THE CAGE

I came home yesterday from a week-long writing workshop to homemade cookies, an almost-finished chicken coop, and a package from my publisher that contained finished copies of THE CAGE! This is my first time seeing the book in its final form, and it's just beautiful. HarperCollins has always done an exceptional job capturing 350+ pages of story and translating it into a single visual image.

You can read the first chapter of THE CAGE at Hypable.

It hit shelves on May 26 but you can preorder now and get extra bonus goodies.

Isn't it striking?

Upcoming workshop at Spellbound bookstore

Local friends! I'm giving a writing workshop for teen writers this Friday at 6pm at Spellbound bookstore, just north of Asheville NC. 

Here's the info:
This is a “Choose Your Own Adventure” interactive writing workshop, opening with Megan talking to teens about a writer’s life and how she became an author, then discussing the four key elements of story and collaborating on creating a story framework together. For ages 13-18 only. Admission is $15 or purchase of one of the author’s hardcover books from Spellbound. (This includes pre-ordering The Cage.) Pre-registration (by Thursday April 9, 2015) is required. Register online (below), in person, or by phone. Please call Spellbound staff at (828) 708-7570 with any questions

Here are more details.