Cover reveal (+giveaway): THE CAGE

I love cover reveals. They tell you such much about a book, and something about seeing an eye-catching image makes it so real. I'm thrilled to share the cover for THE CAGE, my new young adult series with Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, that comes out this summer. This book has been in the works for a while. It all started at a writing retreat where a fellow author told us stories about bear research she and her husband and done in zoos. I've always been fascinated by zoos; it's amazing to have such a huge variety of wildlife in one place, with creatures from different continents right next to each other. It all leaded me to wonder, what if PEOPLE were the ones behind the bars?

I love movies like PLANET OF THE APES that turn the tables and make humans into the less-dominant species. I had so much fun creating a frightening and dark world where human teenagers were the caged wards of a more powerful species. For fans of THE MADMAN’S DAUGHTER series, THE CAGE isn’t quite as dark, but there is plenty of madness, monsters, and ill-fated love. I hope you love this cover as much as I do!

Here we go….

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The full description of THE CAGE:

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 and time periods, 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 appears--a handsome young guard named Cassian--they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: their captors aren't from Earth. And they have taken they five teenagers to an otherworldly zoo--where the exhibits are humans.

When 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?

THE CAGE releases May 26, 2015.

GIVEAWAY TIME:
Let me know what you think! Leave a comment on this post and you'll be automatically entered to win one of the very first advanced review copies of THE CAGE. I'll announce the winner here next week. It's open internationally! And remember, newsletter subscribers always get exclusive first access to big news like cover reveals and sales, along with special subscriber-only giveaways. You can sign up below.

Announcing WISHBONE, a unique short story giveaway

My newsletter subscribers already got a sneak peek at a new giveaway I'm running. Not subscribed yet? You might want to subscribe for future issues, as there are big things coming regarding NEW books! You can read the full Sept issue here.

What is WISHBONE?

If you follow me on twitter you might have heard me dropping hints about this giveaway, codename WISHBONE. Well, WISHBONE is a story. It's one-of-a-kind, meaning it only exists in one place, for one special reader. It's a short story, hand-written, about the winter when Juliet and Montgomery were children, and first found a puppy they named Crusoe. 

Interested? It gets better.

WISHBONE is written in a custom MADMAN'S DAUGHTER journal (pictured below). One winner will win the journal with the story handwritten and signed by me inside.

How did this idea come about?

One night I had the idea for a never-before-seen short story set in the Madman's Daughter world, and wrote it down. Instead of publishing it widely, I decided to send it to one (just one!) reader. It appears nowhere else but within the pages of this journal. Call it an experiment, to connect an author directly with a reader.

How to Enter
Because this is all about personal connections, to enter I want to get to know YOU. Send a photo or a scan of a note in your own handwriting to meganshepherdauthor@gmail.com. It can be why you like this series, or why you want the story/journal, or just a hello :) I'll pick one at random. 

Giveaway fine print: Open internationally. Deadline October 1, 2014. I reserve the right to republish your note on this newsletter or on social media.

UPDATE: for my subscribers who have already entered, thank you! 

Home from Turkey, off to England...

My husband and I got home on Sunday from two weeks in Turkey. Though we were there for vacation, I had the opportunity to stop by my Turkish publisher's offices in Istanbul to say hello. I was able to meet the Madman's Daughter's Turkish editor, Senem, and Dogon Egmont's foreign rights manager, Kerem. They were wonderful hosts. (Our first sample of Turkish coffee!) I took this photo of their other YA translations.

Now I'm home for a few weeks, working on the second book in THE CAGE trilogy, before heading to the UK at the end of the month to give a keynote talk at the International HG Wells Society Conference at Durham University. It'll be September 27, and if you live in the UK and are interested in attending, you can find more information here.

I studied at the University of Edinburgh in college and fell in love with the city, so I'm extending the speaking engagement by a week to rent an apartment and have a mini writing retreat, though I suspect I'll be doing just as much coffeeshop-visiting and castle-gazing as writing :)

Presenting...the Foreign Editions

Did I mention I love our mail lady?

She brought two big boxes of foreign editions! Which is fortuitous timing, since tomorrow morning my husband and I are hopping a plane overseas. Check out these beauties. Can you tell I'm proud?

Best mail delivery ever

Best mail delivery ever

The UK/Australian/NZ edition of Madman's Daughter

The UK/Australian/NZ edition of Madman's Daughter

UK/Australian/NZ edition of Her Dark Curiosity

UK/Australian/NZ edition of Her Dark Curiosity

French edition

French edition

Portugese edition

Portugese edition

Spanish edition

Spanish edition

Slovakian edition (Bascom's personal favorite)

Slovakian edition (Bascom's personal favorite)

And the one I'm particularly excited about, the Turkish language translation, because I'll be in Istanbul tomorrow!

Turkish edition

Turkish edition