8 Apr 2013

Guest post: Megan Shepherd

How I became a Bookaholic.
By Megan Shepherd

I have always been a reader. Growing up in my family’s bookstore, I was surrounded by books from the time before I could walk. Books were like bricks to us—we built our lives on them. And though I was always an avid reader, I never truly crossed into Bookaholic territory until I went to one place that had almost no books.

After university, I joined the US Peace Corps and was sent to a tiny village in Senegal for two years to work with school children. The village had no electricity or indoor plumbing, and involved a hike through the desert to get there. Needless to say, there were no bookstores or libraries. So every time I went to my region’s capital town I would visit the Peace Corps office and stock up on books from our unofficial library. I’d forgo useful things like canned goods or batteries so I could fit more books in my backpack.

Temperatures in Senegal were regularly over 100 F, which meant that for the hottest part of the day, my village farmers would pack up their tools and sit under a mango tree for five or six hours until it was cool enough to work again. I adopted the same schedule, and used that time to read. I averaged two or three books a week, often hefty volumes and classics. I was fascinated by living in this tiny remote village and reading about all different places and times. I was hooked.

When I came back to the US, my addiction for books didn’t go away. I kept wanting to read a book every few days, and found myself in bookstores during lunch breaks and weekends, greedily looking over the titles, buying more than I should have but unable to quit. Now, years later, every room in my house is packed with books. I don’t feel guilty buying books anymore, because I know it’s supporting fellow authors. I’m just running out of shelf space!

London, 1894. Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself-working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumours about her father′s gruesome experiments. But when she learns her father is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations were true.

Juliet is accompanied by the doctor′s handsome young assistant and an enigmatic castaway, who both attract Juliet for very different reasons. They travel to the island only to discover the depths of her father′s madness: he has created animals that have been vivisected to resemble, speak, and behave as humans. Worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island′s inhabitants. Juliet knows she must end her father′s dangerous experiments and escape the island, even though her horror is mixed with her own scientific curiosity. As the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father′s genius-and madness-in her own blood.

About the author
Megan Shepherd was "born" into the book world, growing up in her parents' independent bookstore in Western North Carolina. When Megan is not writing, she can usually be found horseback riding, day dreaming at coffee shops, or hiking in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. She is represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary.

Find the author


  1. Great post!! It is really interesting that you became a Bookaholic only when you had no books around.
    I really want to read your book!! It sounds awesome.

    Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

  2. loving these guest posts. Sounds awesome


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