THE GHOST CHRONICLES is a Finalist!

GLBadgeFinalist_2016I am proud to announce that THE GHOST CHRONICLES is a finalist for Best First Book in the 2016 New Jersey Romance Writers Golden Leaf Contest! Winners will be announced in October at the NJRW Conference. I am over the moon at all the wonderful accomplishments and professional reviews this book is racking up. Here are just a few:

“A haunting journey that will leave readers craving more.” – Natalie Zaman, co-author of the Sirenz series and Blonde Ops

“…Berliner’s touches give her novel innovation…” and“…dramatic and paranormal elements give this winsome tale flavor.” – Kirkus

“I loved The Ghost Chronicles. Simply loved it. Billed as a young adult novel with crossover appeal for the adult crowd, this book certainly got the attention of this adult…I highly recommend this book, and look forward to reading more from the extremely promising and talented new author, Marlo Berliner, as soon as I possibly can!”  Tracy A. Fischer for Readers’ Favorite, 5-stars

“…a most beguiling, intriguing, mystery-filled adventure. With a literary nod to the movie Ghost…and a certain resonance with the Odd Thomas series by the master of the genre, Dean Koontz, the story does remind us frequently that it is intended for Young Adults. And yet, the excellent plotting, precise editing, and well-projected development of storyline all guarantee that the writing is also perfectly suitable for an Old Adult.”  Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers’ Favorite, 5-stars

“This is an original and thought-provoking story that will keep readers wondering and looking forward to the next book in the series. It’s highly recommended.” – Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite, 5-stars

“For teens and adults alike, The Ghost Chronicles is an unusually thoughtful and mature take on supernatural romance that deserves attention for its efforts to break away from convention, all for the better. For curious readers old and new to the genre, The Ghost Chronicles is sure to set your mind ablaze, and puts “life” back into the “afterlife.” “ – James Grimsby for Self-Publishing Review, 4.5-stars

“Berliner has crafted a fascinating world, with layers of history and mythology intertwined, and this book is just the beginning of what promises to be an epic series.” – Sarah Wathen, YA Books Central, 4.5-stars

The reader reviews have been fantastic as well and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to each and every one of you that has left me a review on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Goodreads.

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Here are just a few of the reader reviews from Amazon:

This was great. I can’t believe this is a first novel. It was well written and good for ANY age group. I thoroughly loved it. It gave a great view of ghosts and what they could be like. I look forward to reading more of Marlo’s work. – Kindle Customer, ★★★★★

A Journey Worth Taking. From the very first page I knew this was going to be a good book. I was wrong. It was fantastic! Instantly I felt a connection to the man character Michael who, obviously, dies in a most tragic way. There was never a dull moment nor was there any scrap of detail left out. Marlo built a world I could visualize in my head. One that I could relate to. There was a little love, a little mystery, a little spook but a big life lesson. This was a delightful and easy read for me as I finished it in 3 days (full-time mom & job otherwise I would have finished in one sitting). Highly recommend this book to anyone. Can’t wait for the next installment! ★★★★★

Thank you all so much!

Now back to putting the finishing touches on Book Two :)

All best,

~Marlo

HOW SHE DIED…

tgcsmallthumbnailAs many of you know, the setting for most of THE GHOST CHRONICLES was inspired by The Angel of the Sea, an award-winning bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ that I visited several years ago. This spectacular inn has been featured on several television programs and in magazines throughout the world. Most notably, it was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of the “Best Vacations in the World” and included in her television talk show. The Angel of the Sea is one of the most recognized Victorian structures in the United States. Legend has it that in the late 1960’s, a girl fell to her death at the Angel of the Sea and did at one time, haunt the inn. The story of the girl has been included in several non-fiction books about ghosts in Cape May. My heroine in THE GHOST CHRONICLES, Sarah McConnell, was inspired by this legend.

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Angel of the Sea bed and breakfast, Cape May NJ

Many people have been asking me about the legend surrounding Sarah and the haunting at The Angel of the Sea, so I thought I’d tell you the backstory about her death. News stories say that the young girl, whose real name was Sarah Brown, was an Irish exchange student rooming at The Angel of the Sea. At the time, the Angel of the Sea was undergoing renovations, so they were providing exchange students with rooms for reduced rates. Sarah, like many of the exchange students, was working as a maid for another local place, the nearby Christian Admiral Hotel, for a man named Reverend McIntire. The story goes that Reverend McIntire was a religious man and made it mandatory that all of his employees attend church. If they didn’t attend, or were late, or weren’t properly dressed for church, they could be reprimanded. So Sarah completed her shift that day at the Christian Admiral Hotel and returned to her room at The Angel of the Sea to shower and change for church. Unfortunately, she discovered she had left her keys back at work. Since she didn’t have time to retrieve the keys, still get ready and be on-time for church, she took matters into her own hands. She crawled out of a small window at the end of her hallway (second building, second floor) and attempted to shinny along the ledge to get in through the window of her own room. Apparently, she reached her window safely but had forgotten the window also had a screen. When she tried to pry the screen off it suddenly broke free, sending her tumbling to her death. It is believed she may have lay in agony for hours before succumbing to her injuries, when her lifeless body was finally discovered by a gardener.

Since the Angel of the Sea has these beautiful balconies today that wrap around the whole building, many people have asked me how a girl was able to fall from the window. The answer is simple really. The balconies weren’t there at the time, as this old photo of the Angel of the Sea illustrates. The ledge to install the balconies had recently been added around the time of Sarah’s death. If you visit the Angel of the Sea today, a large framed version of this photo still hangs in the parlor lobby.

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Old photo of the Angel of the Sea which hangs in the lobby, date unknown

Over the years, guests at The Angel of the Sea have attributed a number of experiences to the girl’s playful spirit. It is said she has an affinity for electronic devices. Lamps, radios and televisions have all been known to turn on and off by themselves from time to time. Guests and staff have noticed items disappearing from one spot only to reappear mysteriously in another. Objects also fall from tables and dressers as if knocked off by unseen hands. Furniture and pictures have been seen wobbling or shaking for no explainable reason.

Most notably, the girl seems to have an aversion to locked doors. Given the fact that a locked door contributed to her death, it is not surprising that her ghost has been said to lock and unlock doors in certain parts of the inn, and in particular, the door to her own room has been found inexplicably unlocked.

The Angel of the Sea bed and breakfast truly is as beautiful and romantic and haunting as I portray it in THE GHOST CHRONICLES and I have truly fallen in love with the place and its rich history. To learn more about the Angel of the Sea you can visit their website, which includes more of that history and an interesting story about how the B&B came to be split into two buildings: ANGEL OF THE SEA

Better yet, go visit in person and fall in love with it yourself!

B-Fest Teen Book Festival, here we come!

b-fest

Barnes & Noble is hosting B-Fest, the first ever nationwide Teen Book Festival, a three-day event over the weekend of June 10 – June 12th celebrating all the best young adult literature has to offer. And I’m so pleased to announce that myself and Month9 author Brynn Chapman will be part of the festivities! Brynn and I will signing and giving a workshop for teens at three Barnes and Noble stores in NJ! Here is the official blurb:

“CONNECTING TEENS TO THE EXCITING WORLD OF PUBLISHING”

Workshop- presented by YA authors Marlo Berliner (The Ghost Chronicles) and Brynn Chapman (Boneseeker and The Requiem Red). This event is a must for any teen who dares call themselves an avid reader or fan of YA!
Marlo and Brynn will discuss how teens can discover the hottest new young adult books, receive content tailored specifically to their preferences, access exclusive excerpts and giveaways, and connect with their favorite authors online in a variety of new and exciting ways. Marlo and Brynn will also discuss how teens can begin writing and sharing their own fan fiction, flash fiction, poetry and short stories. The door to the publishing world is more open to teens than ever before, Marlo and Brynn will be here to help lead them through it!

Brynn and I are so excited to speak with teens about something we are very passionate about – encouraging reading, writing and literacy among young adults.

Here is the schedule of where we will be:

7:00 PM Friday, June 10th Barnes and Noble in Bridgewater, NJ.

Somerset Shopping Center
319 Route 202/206
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
908-526-7425

RSVP: Bridgewater Event

1:00 PM Saturday, June 11th Barnes and Noble in Hamilton, NJ.

The Hamilton Marketplace
425 Marketplace Boulevard
Hamilton, NJ 08691
609-581-2523

RSVP: Hamilton Event

11:00 – 2:00 PM Sunday, June 12th Barnes and Noble in Freehold, NJ.

3981 US Hwy 9
Freehold, NJ 07728
732-409-2929

RSVP: Freehold Event

This is going to be the biggest weekend of author events in Barnes & Noble history, including not just signings but trivia, exciting sweepstakes, giveaways (while supplies last), and more. Be the first to sample upcoming teen novels, take part in games, and discover great new reads. Follow along with the fun at #BFestBuzz! More information about the nationwide event can be found here: Barnes & Noble B-Fest.

Also, if you are a YA book blogger and would like to be on the list of YA blogs on our workshop handout, please send me an email at marloberliner@gmail.com by June 6th and we’d be more than happy to include your blog on the handout! Again, our goal is to direct teens to where they can find the best information about new and upcoming YA books. What better way to do that than to spread awareness of all the fantastic YA book blogs out there!

 

Good News – The Ghost Chronicles hits #9 on Amazon, $0.99 sale, and a book signing!

20160430_100117_001Friends and Fans,

I have good news to share! Yesterday THE GHOST CHRONICLES hit #9 in its category on Amazon in the US and #11 in the UK! 20160430_223609_001

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,980 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

Thank you all so much for making this happen! And the weekend’s not over yet…THE GHOST CHRONICLES will be on sale for $0.99 through 5/2. Please help me spread the word!

I also wanted to share the good news about my next book signing! I’ll be at the Barnes & Noble in Freehold, NJ on May 18th at 6PM talking about THE GHOST CHRONICLES and signing the book. I’ll also be giving away a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card to one lucky attendee who signs up for my VIP newsletter. More details about the book signing can be found here: Barnes & Noble Event.

Keep checking my Events tab here on my website for upcoming news about more signings and appearances. Better yet, sign up for my VIP newsletter on the right hand side of my home page so you can be the first to know about sales, giveaways, signings and all the other good stuff :)

The Inspiration for The Ghost Chronicles…and a giveaway!

tgcsmallthumbnailThe best stories lie at the intersection of truth and imagination. The Ghost Chronicles began this way, as well. I had my ‘eureka’ moment one day while sitting on the beach in the Outerbanks of North Carolina (for those of you who don’t know where that is, I urge you to find out and go visit). At the time, I was reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Chapter Eight, The Deathday Party, deals with ghosts and what it might be like to ‘live’ in the afterlife, so that provided the spark that ignited the fire to write The Ghost Chronicles. As a flood of ideas filled my head, I scribbled down a rough outline and the book quickly took shape.

That was the imagination part, but let’s face it, we also distill our own personal experiences and our own truth into our novels. When I was seventeen I was in a car accident that was not my fault. An accident that almost took my life. The thought of ‘what if I had died’ has been one that has haunted me ever since. So immediately I knew I wanted The Ghost Chronicles to be not only a story of what it’s like to be stuck in the afterlife, but I also wanted it to be about a boy who dies tragically through no fault of his own. The kind of story ripped from the headlines about a promising young person who has their life taken away far too soon. Unfortunately we read these stories nearly every day in the newspaper or see them on TV. The kind of young person you hear has died and you find yourself thinking, What a shame. They had so much going for them, such a promising future. Why did that have to happen? For this reason, this book was the book of my heart. I wanted it to be as realistic a story as possible of what it might be like to die tragically and be trapped in the afterlife as a ghost. Let’s face it, we all have to die and none of us can say with certainty what happens when we do. It’s the biggest fear of the unknown there is! Oh, we may think we know, or may have certain beliefs about what might happen, but what if it doesn’t happen that way? What if you are suddenly and unfairly taken from this life and now you’re stuck and don’t know why? How angry would you be? What would you do? How much would you begin to question all you’ve ever believed in? It won’t be completely apparent until later in the series, but I wanted it to be a story of great hope for anyone who has tragically lost someone they love, especially someone young. I’m also hoping readers will take away the theme embodied in this quote from the book – “Cherish life, it’s absolutely precious.”

angelcompleteviewThe setting for most of the story was inspired by The Angel of the Sea, an award-winning bed and breakfast in Cape May, NJ that I visited several years ago and fell in love with. This spectacular inn has been featured on several television programs and in magazines throughout the world. Most notably, it was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of the “Best Vacations in the World” and included in her television talk show. The Angel of the Sea is one of the most recognized Victorian structures in the United States. Legend has it that in the late 1960’s, a girl did fall to her death at the Angel of the Sea and did at one time, haunt the inn. The story of the girl has been included in several non-fiction books about ghosts in Cape May. Sarah’s character in The Ghost Chronicles was inspired by this legend. You can learn more about The Angel of the Sea by visiting their website http://www.angelofthesea.com/.

One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Michael and Sarah are lying side by side on the bare wooden floor of the attic at The Angel of the Sea, listening to the rain tapping out a spastic yet soothing rhythm on the old gabled roof above. It’s a romantic scene that I wanted to be reminiscent of the romantic attic scene in Mystic Pizza, a 1988 coming-of-age movie starring a young Julia Roberts. One of these days I’d love to see my attic scene from The Ghost Chronicles play out on the silver screen. (If you’re going to dream, dream big I always say.)

As it happens, I’m currently running a Goodreads giveaway of The Ghost Chronicles! Win one of three signed copies!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Ghost Chronicles by Marlo Berliner

The Ghost Chronicles

by Marlo Berliner

Giveaway ends April 27, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

If you’ve already read The Ghost Chronicles, I hope you’ll share the news about the giveaway with your friends. And leave reviews of The Ghost Chronicles everywhere :)

All best,

~Marlo