THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE GHOST CHRONICLES

The best stories lie at the intersection of truth and imagination. The Ghost Chronicles series 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 ANGEL OF THE SEA, CAPE MAY.

The Ghost Chronicles is a planned trilogy and the third book will be out in February of next year. If you’ve already read The Ghost Chronicles 1 & 2, I hope you’ll leave reviews everywhere. Doesn’t have to be a long review, just a line or two will do 🙂

All best,

~Marlo

P.S. Here are some of the previous reviews for the series:

“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

“I loved this book right from the beginning… I loved following Michael on his journey and I could feel the emotions behind the entire story. The sadness that his mother felt; Michael’s frustration and anger. Empathy for Melissa. I am not one who typically reads books more than once, but this one will remain on my Kindle to read again in the future. That doesn’t happen often, but when I find a book like this, it’s a treasure to hang on to!” – Leila, Life as Leels, 5 stars

I was pulled right into this story… I will definitely be reading the second book! – Stephanie’s Book Reviews, 5 stars

“Everything in this book seems to be written with great thought and care. Nothing seemed to be rushed or ignored…Paranormal that makes sense? Too good. Learning how to be dead? Yes, please!” Enthralling Dimple

“This is definitely one to add to your (probably neverending) TBR. With exciting characters, a heartbreaking narrative, and a story that will leave you bursting with questions in anticipation for the next book, Marlo is one to watch.” – Between The Pages, 4 stars

“This was a well written, steadily moving, paranormal tale…The characters are well defined and very realistic. The scenes are easily visualized. – Rockin’ Book Reviews

“This series continues to be spell-binding!” – Natalie Zaman, Author of Magical Destinations of the Northeast

“With wonderfully competent writing and a powerfully concise style, Ms. Berliner easily holds her readers enthralled throughout this high-octane, thrilling ride.” – Joel R. Dennstedt, Readers’ Favorite, 5-stars

“There is so much for readers in this book and the author makes it feel so real that readers find themselves believing in the mysterious world she creates.” Divine Zape, Reader’s Favorite, 5-stars

“Paranormal YA fiction at its best!”Melinda Hills, Reader’s Favorite, 5-stars

“This episode of the Ghost Chronicles was action packed.” – Stephanie’s Book Reviews

“If you love all things supernatural, you’ll adore this addictive series. A must read and highly recommend!” – N.N. Light

 

KIM BRIGGS is in the house for TEAM PINK!

Hi everyone! I’m Marlo Berliner, author of the award-winning, Amazon #1 bestselling series, THE GHOST CHRONICLES. And I’m pleased to welcome you to the YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online until April 8th!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PINK TEAM–but there is also a red team, a gold team, a green team, a purple team, and a blue team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
 
Directions: Somewhere on this post I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the PINK TEAM, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).
Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by April 8th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

 

I’m super excited to be hosting author Kim Briggs today for the YA Scavenger Hunt! We are part of the PINK TEAM. Kim has given us an interview with Starr Bishop, the main character of her STARR FALL series.

CHARACTER INTERVIEW of Starr Bishop

by Kim Briggs

  1. Please tell us about something about yourself.

Honestly, I don’t like to talk about myself. I’m more of a take charge, “let’s do this” kind of girl, but I’m not bossy. I’m not comfortable with small talk. It makes me anxious to sit around and chitchat at parties. I’d much rather be the person handing out punch and delivering slices of cake. Speaking of desserts, have you tried s’mores? They are to die for. I would kill for one right now. (Don’t tell Treadwell. I’d hate for him to get any ideas.)

     2. How did you handle the way your life changed? One moment, you’re the perfect student, then suddenly you have unknown enemies?

 In the beginning, I didn’t handle it very well. I sat around, curled up in a ball at the halfway house for three days. Then it hit me. I was done feeling sorry for myself. I was Starr Bishop and I was going to get revenge for my friends’ deaths. I dressed like a Goth and went to Club Black. That’s where I met Christian. Well, that’s where he saved me. My life was working out, my friends became my team, my family, and now, well, I’m not sure of anything anymore.

As for the enemies, I had no idea I had so many until the youth group dance. Reality hit me hard that night. Then Frank took a bullet for me. My life is in shambles.

     3. Was there ever a time when you felt helpless at the way your life has turned out? What did you do? Who was there to help you?

I’m feeling pretty helpless right now. There’s a lot of things that happen in Starr Gone. A lot of things. I can’t even mention them to you without spoiling the events, but you know what I realized? I’ve got myself, and in the end, that’s all I need. I can either be a china doll kept high up on a shelf, too fragile to touch or I can manipulate my situation and kick some ass. I’m leaning toward ass kicking.

     4. Among your friends, to whom would you entrust your very life? Why?

Frank and Di without a doubt. Frank took a bullet for me. He’d do it again if I asked him. Just to be clear, I would never ask a friend to put their life on the line to protect mine. The risks I take and the actions that follow—I accept all responsibility for the consequences.

Di would do anything for me. We grew apart for a few years, but I knew, hell, I know, that I can trust her with my life. Case in point, she didn’t tell anyone that I went to her house Saturday night after my alleged fatal car crash. Well, she did tell Christian, but he was the only one. She didn’t tell Frank that I was alive. She even went to my funeral and watched him suffer. She will always be there for me. I can’t say that for my other friends.

I haven’t known Ben and Coda for very long, but they’re so protective of Christian I feel like they would be protective of me too. I can trust them. Even if Christian changed, I know they haven’t.

      5. How was it like being the granddaughter and heir to Chamberlain Chocolates?

When I was a little girl, there would be vases of candy all over the mansion. My mom never let me eat any—she was terrified I would leave a wrapper or a chocolate stain on the wall, but I’d sneak treats when she wasn’t looking. My dad would shove handfuls into my pockets. Being heir to Chamberlain Chocolates as a five-year old was pretty fantastic. Now, it’s a burden. I don’t want it.

      6. If you had one wish, what would you wish for? Absolutely anything is possible.

Well that’s easy. I would wish that my dad wasn’t killed in the car accident. I would give anything to have my dad alive.

      7. Looking back over all that had transpired, what is the one thing you would change, if you could?

The day I showed up to take the Leadership exam is the day my life changed forever. For weeks I couldn’t get past the idea that if I skipped the test, my life would have remained the same but that’s not true—General Treadwell and the Organization would have found another way to bring me in. They are not going to rest until I become the assassin they want me to be.

But right now, I wish that I never fell for Christian. I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for what he did to me.

Kim also has a Rafflecopter Giveaway for you!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again for hanging out with us! The secret number you needed to find on Marlo’s site is 17. Your next stop on the YA Scavenger Hunt is with author Larissa C. Hardesty. Best of luck on the hunt!!! GO TEAM PINK!!!

A #1 BESTSELLER IN FOUR COUNTRIES!!!

I’m super pleased to announce that for most of this week, THE GHOST CHRONICLES has been a #1 bestseller in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia in all of its categories! It’s trended in the top three before, but never grabbed that #1 spot…until now! I am so incredibly grateful to all my readers! Thank you so much!

LOL, when I made this graphic on Tuesday I didn’t even know about the book being #1 in Australia!

I hope you’ll also check out THE GHOST CHRONICLES 2 which was just recently released and is also gaining momentum.

You can add both to your Goodreads TBR list here:

THE GHOST CHRONICLES: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28054797-the-ghost-chronicles

THE GHOST CHRONICLES 2: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35097006-the-ghost-chronicles-2

AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14560514.Marlo_Berliner

More good news to come, so stay tuned!

~Marlo

Booksweeps Giveaway!

THE GHOST CHRONICLES is part of an awesome giveaway! From now until April 2nd I’ve teamed up with 55+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of paranormal & sci-fi romances to 2 lucky winners, PLUS a brand new eReader to the Grand Prize winner!

Oh, and did I mention you’ll receive a collection of FREE ebooks just for entering? ;D

You can win my award-winning novel, THE GHOST CHRONICLES, plus books from authors like Kathy Lyons and D.D. Miers.

It’s super easy to enter, just click on this link:  http://bit.ly/prn-march2018

Good luck and enjoy!

YA FEST PA 2018 is almost here!

Hey everyone, Spring is in the air! And that means it’s almost time for YA FEST PA 2018! Twenty-five Authors, One Epic Day!

The multi-author book signing event will be held at the Palmer Branch of the Easton Public Library on April 21st, 2018. The address is 515 Church Street, Easton PA, 18042. And here is the schedule:

Golden Ticket Event – 1:00 PM

Mini-panels – 2:00 PM

Signings – 3:00 to 5:00 PM

Be sure to sign up for the Golden Ticket Event early, as tickets are limited! You can also reserve titles you wish to purchase ahead of time.

We’re also having a Kickoff Event at B&N Bethlehem on April 20th from 7 to 9 PM for educators. The address is 4445 Southmont Way, Easton, PA 18045

Hope to see you there!

~Marlo