Malice House – Spotlight

Happy Book Birthday to Malice House by Megan Shepherd!!

About the Book

Malice House by Megan Shepherd

Genre: Young Adult Horror, Mystery
Publishing date: October 4th, 2022


“One step away from our world lies another: a land of violent fantasies, of sharp-toothed delights. . . .”

Of all the things aspiring artist Haven Marbury expected to find while clearing out her late father’s remote seaside house, Bedtime Stories for Monsters was not on the list. This secret handwritten manuscript is disturbingly different from his Pulitzer-winning works: its interweaving short stories crawl with horrific monsters and enigmatic humans that exist somewhere between this world and the next. The stories unsettle but also entice Haven, practically compelling her to illustrate them while she stays in the house that her father warned her was haunted. Clearly just dementia whispering in his ear . . . right?

Reeling from a failed marriage, Haven hopes an illustrated Bedtime Stories can be the lucrative posthumous father-daughter collaboration she desperately needs to jump-start her art career. However, everyone in the nearby vacation town wants a piece of the manuscript: her father’s obsessive literary salon members, the Ink Drinkers; her mysterious yet charming neighbor, who has a tendency toward three a.m. bonfires; a young barista with a literary forgery business; and of course, whoever keeps trying to break into her house. But when a monstrous creature appears under Haven’s bed right as grisly deaths are reported in the nearby woods, she must race to uncover dark, otherworldly family secrets—completely rewriting everything she ever knew about herself in the process.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd comes a complex tale of dark magic, family secrets, and monsters that don’t stay on the page.

“A propulsively charming nightmare, pooling like spilled ink across your imagination.” — Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Hide

“Haunting and beautifully written . . . an exploration of the mysterious power of stories.” —Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Last to Vanish

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Author Bio

New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd’s first novel, The Madman’s Daughter (HarperCollins, 2013), was a Kids’ Indie Next List selection from the American Booksellers Association, won the 2013 North Carolina Young Adult Book Award, and received a starred review from School Library Journal. It was followed by two more books in the series, Her Dark Curiosity and A Cold Legacy, and was optioned for film by Paramount Pictures and TV by Gaumont Entertainment. Megan’s second young adult series begins with The Cage (HarperCollins, 2015), a New York Times bestselling title, and is followed by The Hunt and The Gauntlet

​Her young adult fantasy novel Grim Lovelies (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) was featured in the Winter 2019 – 2020 Indie Next List for Reading Groups and is followed by the sequel Midnight Beauties (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019). Megan’s debut middle grade title, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill (Random House, 2016), was nominated for the Carnegie Medal, received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness, and was written about in Time magazine and The Wall Street Journal. Her middle-grade novel Dog Star (FSG, 2022), based on the true story of the first dog in space, was nominated as an NCSS Notable Book. Her shorter works include the stories “Hide-and-Seek” in the young adult horror anthology Slasher Girls and Monster Boys (Penguin, 2015) and “Lady Firebrand” in the young adult historical fiction anthology The Radical Element (Candlewick, 2018). Her first book for an adult audience, Malice House (Hyperion Avenue, 2022), is about the daughter of a famous novelist who uncovers a malignant secret manuscript.

​“Born” into the book world, Megan grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Interested in foreign languages and travel, she earned a degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and later joined the US Peace Corps, where she spent two years living and working in a small village in Senegal. There, she partnered with a local elementary school to transcribe oral folk tales into an illustrated picture book to distribute to students. Though she has always been an avid reader, this project first sparked her interest in telling her own stories.

​Megan frequently speaks to schools and libraries and has taught for UNCA’s Great Smokies Writing Program, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the NC Writers’ Network. In previous lives, she worked for a book publisher, an environmental nonprofit, as a raft guide, a nanny, and a park ranger in Montana.

​When she is not writing, she can usually be found daydreaming in cafes, hiking in the mountains, and gardening at her 125-year-old farm in the mountains of Western North Carolina, which she and her husband share with their children, two hives of bees, eleven chickens, two cats, a scruffy dog, and several ghosts.

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