Guess Who Is A New Literary Agent…

…ME!!! I’m thrilled to announce that I am now an Associate Agent with the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in NY!!!

Don’t worry though! I’m still an author, so I’m continuing to write and freelance edit, as well. But this is something I’ve been working toward for a very long time and it’s a dream come true! All the details about what kind of books I’ll be representing are on the JDLit Agency website here: https://www.jdlit.com/marloberliner

And if you could help me spread the word among the writing community by sharing one of the tweets about the announcement, I’d be ever so grateful!

https://twitter.com/MarloBerliner/status/1062504006306672640

https://twitter.com/JDLitAgency/status/1062348402384625665

Who better to advocate for writers than someone who has been in the trenches herself? I’m looking forward to helping make dreams come true for some worthy writers 🙂

 

Ghosts…do you believe?

As many of you know, the setting for most of my best-selling series, 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 also 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. If you’d like to learn more about the legend of the haunting at the Angel of the Sea, you can read all about in this blog post: How She Died.

The Angel of the Sea bed and breakfast is as beautiful and romantic and haunting as I portray it in THE GHOST CHRONICLES series and I’ve truly fallen in love with the place and its rich history. As I write this, I’m working on the third and final book in the trilogy.

Since we’re heading into Fall and Halloween season, I thought I’d do a post about one interesting by-product that has come out of the publication of THE GHOST CHRONICLES books – everyone tells me their ghost stories! It doesn’t matter whether I’m signing at the Angel of the Sea or a Barnes and Noble store, everyone wants to tell me their ghost story. What’s been fascinating for me is finding out that people from all walks of life have a ghost story to tell. Even stranger still, is the fact that there are many, many similarities among the stories. When they’re telling me their stories, people have no way of knowing I’ve heard something similar before, but it’s something I’ve definitely been noticing. Basically, I hear the same stories repeatedly…and it’s made an impression on me.

Among the most common ghostly encounters people have told me over and over again are the following:

  • “I didn’t believe in ghosts at all until I had this experience, or saw XYZ with my own eyes.” (If I had a dollar for every person who has told me that, I could retire.)
  • “I awoke to something shaking my bed, as if someone were kicking the end of it.”
  • “I awoke to someone shaking or touching my feet, as if someone were trying to wake me up or get my attention.”
  • “I awoke to see someone standing at the foot of my bed.” (Many times they’ll mention the ghost looked more scared than they were, as if startled someone was in their bed. Many people have mentioned that the ghost was in old-fashioned clothes.)
  • Many people have said they felt the presence of a loved one who had passed away. Unmistakable smells (like cigar or perfume) or noises only associated with that person, like tinkering with their tools or a favorite motorcycle in the garage, things like that.
  • Many people have had their name clearly called out to them when no one else was present. Sometimes they can identify the voice as someone deceased, other times they don’t recognize the voice at all.
  • Many people report to me that ghostly activity is not steady, but seems to ebb and flow, coming back and forth during different times of the year. Months will go by and nothing will happen, then all of a sudden they’ll be a few weeks with a lot of odd activity.
  • Many police officers (including a police chief of a major town in NJ) have told me that police officers don’t report many of the ghostly incidents they experience for fear of ridicule, but that they do happen and they only sometimes mention it to each other. Most commonly when they have a building under surveillance at night and catch a glimpse of something they weren’t expecting to see.
  • People responsible for building security who told me they chase ‘phantom’ sounds and indistinct shadow figures that appear on security cameras, only to discover that no one is in the building or on those floors or those locked offices, and there is no rational explanation.
  • Hospital and medical personnel who have told me flat out they believe in ghosts because of all the activity and unexplained things that happen in hospitals and nursing homes.
  • The unmistakable sound of footsteps which defy explanation, many times in homes, sometimes in offices or businesses.
  • Indistinct shadow figures that are seen repeatedly in homes, but there’s no explanation.
  • A sudden, very loud knock or bang on a wall, as if someone were trying to get their attention, but no one is there, and again, there is no logical explanation for the noise.

For what it’s worth, only one person has ever told me they’ve gotten a bad feeling from ghostly activity. Most people tell me they get the feeling a presence is there and just trying to let them know.

So where do you stand on ghosts? Do you believe? I get asked this question more than any other. And after all the spooky stories I’ve heard and all the consistencies among the stories, I have to say…I keep a very open mind! Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts on ghosts. One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of THE GHOST CHRONICLES 1 or 2, your choice!

Also, I wanted to let you know about my latest upcoming event. If you’re interested in getting signed copies of my award-winning books…

December 1st, 8th, 15th 2018 All three Saturdays I’ll be signing THE GHOST CHRONICLES, Books 1 and 2, at the Angel of the Sea in Cape May, NJ during MAC’s Christmas Candlelight House Tours! The Angel of the Sea is the romantic bed and breakfast that graces the covers of both books in THE GHOST CHRONICLES series, and provided the inspiration for the story. Tickets for the tours can be purchased here: Christmas Candlelight House Tours   And you can respond to each of the events on Facebook here: Dec 15th, Dec 8thDec 1st

Hope to see you there!

And while you’re there, don’t hesitate to visit the Angel of the Sea for a look around. Tell them Marlo sent you! The romantic bed and breakfast is beautiful, both during the day, and lit up at night 🙂

 

A B.R.A.G. Medallion for THE GHOST CHRONICLES 2!

As of late I’ve been super busy writing, but I am pleased to announce that the second book in my GHOST CHRONICLES trilogy has been awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion! Look for the third and final book in this trilogy to come out in February 2019. And be sure to check out my events tab to see all the places I will be this Fall. Also, if you have read THE GHOST CHRONICLES 2, please leave a short review at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookbub or Goodreads – better yet, all of those places! I would be forever grateful. You, my loyal readers, are my best promoters!

Ciao for now!

XOXO

~Marlo

THE GHOST CHRONICLES 2 has been named a FINALIST!

Excited and honored to share that THE GHOST CHRONICLES 2 has been named a FINALIST in the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards for Best Regional Fiction: Northeast! The book takes place in Cape May at the Angel of the Sea B&B, as well as, Wildwood, Atlantic City, Boston, and Saugus.

To see some of the places and landmarks that were featured in the book, see this post Scenes in THE GHOST CHRONICLES 2.

More good news to come!

XOXO

~Marlo

Death of a Bookstore

Below is a post I wrote years ago, before I was published, but I thought I’d repost it now that  Barnes & Noble is in trouble. See this NYT article: SAVE BARNES & NOBLE!

Now this old post seems both timely and heartbreaking to me, especially since I’ve forged such close relationships with many B&N managers and booksellers over the years since the first book in THE GHOST CHRONICLES series was first released.

 

THE REPOST:

Our local bookstore, the Borders I’ve always taken my children to for so long, is closing down. So the other day, I took my two boys one last time. I didn’t think the excursion would make me feel so nostalgic and melancholy at the same time, but it did.

I’d always loved taking my kids to the bookstore. I’ve been taking them since before they were old enough to read. When they were toddlers, we would go for the story time readings, or just spend time playing with the Thomas trains the store had on display in the children’s section. It was a way to get out of the house on a rainy day and a good excuse for me to go buy a new book.

There’s something about roaming through a bookstore on the hunt for something new and interesting. Not knowing exactly what might catch your eye. Being able to pick up a book, feel the weight of it in your hand, read the exciting back cover copy and discover a fresh, new story. I wanted my children to experience that at a young age and be captured by the same love of books that I had been when I was growing up. So as they got older, we would make a bookstore run at least once a month.

This time though, everything about our favorite store had changed. The shelves were partially bare and the remaining books in disarray. To me, it somehow seemed disrespectful to the books that were left, and as we walked around, a hollow feeling settled into the pit of my stomach. Maybe I was hungry at the time too, but I don’t think that was quite it.

My older son’s reaction to our visit surprised me the most. He looked almost as melancholy as I did. I hadn’t realized just how much he had enjoyed going to the bookstore until he said to me, “Do you remember all those hours we waited in line for the midnight release of Harry Potter five?”

“Of course I do,” I said with a tiny smile. “Remember the awful excuse for butterbeer that they served?” We both laughed.

So we wandered around one last time, picked over the messy bins and shelves like old bones, and chose a few books.

As we left my younger son asked me, “Mom, do you think eventually all the bookstores will close?”

“I hope not,” I said, “I sure hope not.”

So, has a favorite bookstore near you closed lately? Do you think one day all the bookstores might be gone and if so, would this bother you?