For Newsletter Subscribers Only: Raid My Swag Closet!

I'm reorganizing my office! In the process I discovered that I'm buried under lots of swag. To make some extra room, I've decided to give away *three* pieces of swag—you get to pick which ones!—to every person who requests them.

This is a special gift only for newsletter subscribers. Subscribe to my newsletter by May 22 in order to take advantage. The newsletter with instructions for how to chose & receive your swag will go out on May 23.

The swag closet, aka Cave of Wonders

The swag closet, aka Cave of Wonders

Aren't subscribed yet? No problem! You can subscribe here:

If you're already a subscriber, you don't have to do anything but check your inbox for the newsletter on May 23.

Here are a few examples of the swag you get to raid! (and you get to choose *three!!!*)

  • signed bookmarks
  • custom tea packets
  • exclusive short story cards
  • The Cage sticker sheet
  • Slasher Girls and Monster Boys poster
  • The Secret Horses of Briar Hill colored pencils and coloring pages
  • The Secret Horses of Briar Hill poster

The fine print:
Some swag items are limited quantity and will be first-requested first-served. The contest is open to US addresses only. Full details to be included in newsletter delivered to subscribers on May 23. So be sure to subscribe!!!

Netherlands YALFEST recap + pics!

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to the Netherlands courtesy of my Dutch publisher, Unieboek Spectrum, for their second annual Young Adult Literature Festival (YALFest, not to be confused with the United States' YALLFest!)

My Dutch readers are AMAZING! I got to schmooze with some contest-winners on board a canal boat tour (complete with cupcakes), meet booksellers at a meet-and-greet, and be interviewed by Dutch press and bloggers at my publisher's office. Sunday was the grand festival, where 500+ readers joined authors Lesley Livingston, Veronica Rossi, Victor Dixen, Gina Showalter, David Arnold, Donna Frietas, Amy Ewing, and myself for a day of panels, signings, and a fancy dress party.

Thank you, Netherlands, for showing an author a great time!

Announcing a new YA series, GRIM LOVELIES!

I've been a blogging slacker! Somehow it completely slipped my mind to shout from the (blog) rooftops that I have a new YA book deal!

That's right! A new duology inspired by fairy tales, magic, murder and mayhem, and Parisian pastries. What do you need to know about this series? It's dark (have you read my previous books??) but also a little bit dreamy and eccentric and whimsical. I'm diving back into similar themes I dealt with in The Madman's Daughter--the line between human and animal--but this time from the creations' perspective, and with a dose of dark magic and devilishly handsome princes.

Here is the official announcement and interview from, "Megan Shepherd's New Novel Is a Fairy Tale Retelling Unlike Anything You've Read Before." 

And you can follow along my Grim Lovelies Pinterest inspiration board as my research takes me on some twists and turns that might give you hints about the story.

Add it to your Goodreads to-read list and check in on Goodreads for more tidbits!


End of 2016 Round Up

My year in stats:
--Books published: 2
--Books written: 1 + 1/2 + 1/2
--Speaking events & festivals: 36
--Books read: 37
--Favorite book(s) read: ECHO by Pam Munoz Ryan, BONE GAP by Laura Ruby, AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White, UPROOTED by Naomi Novak
--Top obsessions of 2016: WESTWORLD, beekeeping, Savannah GA, podcasts (so many podcasts), waiting anxiously for ROGUE ONE to come out
--Proudest Work Moments: keynoting an SCBWI conference; teaching a 10-week writing course; THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL getting three starred reviews, an Indie Next List pick, on "best of" lists by Shelf Awareness and Kirkus, and featured in TIME magazine!

Looking forward to 2017, I have the conclusion to the Cage series, THE GAUNTLET, hitting shelves on May 23, as well as some news I hope to share soon about the *magical* new YA series I've been secretly working on!

Sending happy reading wishes to all of you out there. Here's to a great start to 2017, a new year with new possibilities!


It's here! The book of my heart, my debut middle grade novel, is finally out and on shelves today!

The description:

There are winged horses that live in the mirrors of Briar Hill hospital--the mirrors that reflect the elegant rooms once home to a princess, now filled with sick children. Only Emmaline can see the creatures. It is her secret.

One morning, Emmaline climbs over the wall of the hospital’s abandoned gardens and discovers something incredible: a white horse with a broken wing has left the mirror-world and entered her own. 

The horse, named Foxfire, is hiding from a dark and sinister force—a Black Horse who hunts by colorless moonlight. If Emmaline is to keep him from finding her new friend, she must surround Foxfire with treasures of brilliant shades. But where can Emmaline find color in a world of gray?


What people are saying:

“Emmaline's narration is unreliable, flawlessly childlike, and deeply honest; her faith in magic brings her solace and, possibly, healing. The magical realism is reminiscent of the Chronicles of Narnia, Elizabeth Goudge, or a child's version of Life of Pi...Readers will love this to pieces.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred review

"Endearing characters, metaphors for life and death, and a slow revelation of the horrors of war give this slim novel a surprising amount of heft."—Booklist, Starred review

"Dramatic and sorrowful" -Wall Street Journal

"Magical, terrifying, and full of heart. Open these pages, and ride true."-Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor-winning author

"A remarkable book. Astonishing!"-Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse


Where to Buy It:

THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL is available in hardback book, ebook, and audiobook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and all major retailers.

And of course, I always encourage you to buy a copy from your local independent bookstore. Independent bookstores have been incredible supportive of this book, and let's thank them for all they do in our communities by supporting them with our purchases!

Want a signed and personalized copy? You can order them from:
     Malaprop's Bookstore, Asheville NC
     Highland Books, Brevard NC
     Spellbound Children's Books, Asheville NC



The book's website has all kinds of fun things, like an Author Q&A and these downloadable coloring pages from the interior illustrations!


And be sure to check out my events page for full information to see if I'll be coming near you! Here's the official launch party information:

Malaprops Bookstore
Asheville, NC
Thursday, Oct 13, 7-8pm
Please join me for a fun evening celebration of The Secret Horses of Briar Hill! I'll be reading from the book and showing off the beautiful interior illustrations. Catered by Green Man Brewing and French Broad Chocolate Lounge!

THE GAUNTLET cover reveal!

Tomorrow my first middle grade novel, THE SECRET HORSES OF BRIAR HILL, hits shelves! But today I have a special treat for my young adult readers. Behold the just-revealed cover for the final book in THE CAGE series, THE GAUNTLET!

And here's what you can expect!

Cora and her friends have escaped the Kindred station and landed at Armstrong—a supposed safe haven on a small moon—where they plan to regroup and figure out how to win the Gauntlet, the challenging competition to prove humanity’s intelligence and set them free. But Armstrong is no paradise; ruled by a power-hungry sheriff, it’s a violent world where the teens are enslaved and put to work in mines. As Nok’s due date grows closer, and Mali and Leon journey across space to rescue Cassian, the former inhabitants of the cage are up against impossible odds.

With the whole universe at stake, Cora will do whatever it takes, including pushing her body and mind to the breaking point, to escape Armstrong and run the Gauntlet. But it isn’t just a deranged sheriff she has to overcome: the other intelligent species—the Axion, Kindred, Gatherers, and Mosca—all have their own reasons to stop her. Not knowing who to trust, Cora must rely on her own instincts to win the competition, which could change the world—though it might destroy her in the process.

THE GAUNTLET comes out May 23, 2017, and you can preorder it here!

You can also visit Young Adult Books Central to win a CAGE prize pack including the first two books in the series and lots of custom CAGE swag and stickers!

Let me know what you think of the cover! Are you excited for the final installment???