Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?
A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis
Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.
Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.
Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart? The brilliant professor from Bethel University? Or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?
Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
But don't be clueless. I mean, there are people out there, even relatives of mine, that have said they don't know how to order them. Sheesh. If following the directions on the publisher's website is beyond your comprehensive capacity, then go to Amazon.com. The Melange website (publisher for Killer of Killers) even has a link to Amazon if that's what you'll need to do.
My stats page says that literally hundreds of people from all over the world are viewing pages on this blog. That is exciting to me, and it will keep me blogging. But let's start buying books, people! It doesn't matter what country you live in, or what part of the world you're from, as long as you speak and read English, you will enjoy the action-filled, thrilling, and suspenseful stories that both Killer of Killers and The Vase have to offer.
After all, Killer of Killers takes place not only in America, (New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Bemidji, and St. Paul,) it also takes place in Tokyo, Japan. As for The Vase, it takes place both in Nazareth, Israel, and even Hollywood. But the stories, and the characters, the plots, the subplots, the suspense, everything, is what will make both books worthwhile to read.
But you've got to buy them first. Doesn't matter to me if you buy the print or digital copies.Sheesh, the eBooks will only cost 2.99 (The Vase) or 5.99 (Killer of Killers) so it won't break the bank. And if you prefer print, like I do, then an extra ten bucks won't dent anyone's bank account, either. You won't be disappointed. I'm confident for that. You decide. Let me know what you think.
Monday, December 30, 2013
What did I get? Well, there was some fantasy, so check, there was some romance, so check, there was some adventure, and check, but even though there was some action, it wasn't action packed, so no check. And as for exciting? No check. It wasn't exciting. Not really.
And as for the other items that did find a check, you'll note I only said there was SOME, but in none of the cases were there a lot. Not even close.
Well, the fantasy was there, and just enough to be acceptable, because I didn't want too much fantasy in what was supposed to have been based on a true story. But the adventure fell short. Being set in feudal Japan, with witches, demons, samurai warriors, and a Shogun, how could it not have had adventure? Still, this movie fell short on adventure, and that's not all. For a movie like that, I would have wanted more action, too, more romance, and absolutely more excitement.
Because it was void of excitement. Maybe Keanu Reeves is getting too old for a part like that. Maybe he was just young enough, but imo, he didn't LOOK young enough. He looked too old. No, he wasn't wrinkled, or gray haired, but he was far from the young, vital, and energetic character we all saw in the Matrix movies. Had he looked like that, it would have been much better, but he didn't, and it wasn't. I know time catches up with all of us, but considering it's catching up with him, just as it is with other stars of his generation, maybe it would have been wise to seek out an actor still in his thirties. Especially since the romantic subplot had him paired with a very young and beautiful Japanese girl, and the story made it clear that they were supposed to be the same age, because they met as kids, and they were about the same age as kids. But as adults, Keanu was waaayy older than the young Japanese actress who played the part of the Japanese girl who had grown up.
|Keanu in 47 Ronin-too old|
|Keanu in The Matrix. Just right, minus the shades|
But the movie wasn't a failure. It was okay. Just okay. But really, okay is just not good enough. I don't think so. And I don't believe anyone else thinks so either. It could have been great. Unfortunately, it wasn't.
Friday, December 27, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
And if you do, drop me a line for some feedback. The sequel to Killer of Killers is now being revised, and I expect to publish it sometime in 2014.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Merry Christmas everyone!
Monday, December 23, 2013
Promotional price: $0.00
Coupon Code: EY69H
Expires: December 24, 2013
I have always been the kind of person who finishes what he's started. And even though Killer Eyes and John Dunn are finished, they are not revised, and a book is not finished until after the revisions are finished. Boy have I learned that by now. A dozen times over, in fact.
But it's always nice to have a new project on the horizon. Something to look forward to and it keeps you going. Once Killer Eyes and John Dunn are published, I will write my third KOK book, and then start my new project. I'll talk more about it later. Until then...keep writing!
Friday, December 20, 2013
In the meantime, if anyone out there is considering one or both of the books as a Christmas present, which one would be the better present?
That depends on who would be reading them. If it's a man, over age 18, and he likes Jason Statham movies, or Vin Diesel movies, or martial arts movies starring anyone, then Killer of Killers is the right book for him. But women have loved Killer of Killers, too, by the way. It's not just about killing. It's a romance, a very good romance, but there is a lot of fighting, a lot of killing, and action scenes galore.
The Vase, on the other hand, is a completely different kind of book. I wouldn't call it an action thriller, like Killer of Killers is. It's more of a suspense. There's action, there's romance, and there's suspense of a different kind. A buildup to the climax, which results in a surprise appearance of a special person in history. The person for whom Christmas is celebrated. That's right. Jesus Christ himself makes an appearance in The Vase. I don't think that's a spoiler. I won't go into it any more than that. But it does qualify The Vase as a book that would be suitable as a Christmas present.
Once you read it, you will see what I mean. But you'll have to buy it first. Click on the images to right, and buy your copies today!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
I guess that's a risk I'll be taking. All I can do is ask, or inquire if they would be open to buying bookstore copies to put on their shelves, but if they don't know anything about the book why should they do that? After all, they never heard of me or the book. But if they were to read a copy, and then realize that they liked it, perhaps that's when they would be inclined to buy copies to sell in their stores.
I mean it sounds logical. More so than if I didn't offer a book for them to read. I suppose it could backfire. I could give away all ten of my copies, and then all ten stores never do anything after that. There's no guarantee they'll even read it, but such is life. There are very few guarantees about anything. If any at all.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
But that doesn't mean you can't buy your very own copy outside of the Bay Area. After all, Amazon.com is always there, and it's there for anyone who lives anywhere in the world. So if you are reading this, and you don't live in the Bay Area, or no matter where you live for that matter, even in another country on the other side of the world, all you have to do is visit Amazon.com, just like you might for anything else you'd be buying from them. Or just click on the image to the right of this post, and you can buy your copy from the Melange website, too. No matter where you live. That's the great thing about the internet. It's there and it's accessible to anyone anywhere.
Still, there are those people who do things the old-fashioned way. Like actually going to stores, shopping, and browsing. And then just happening to find something that they might want to buy. Those buyers are a high percentage of the buyers of books. And it would behoove me to get Killer of Killers and The Vase into bookstores at as many locations as possible. My work is definitely cut out for me.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
My plan is to give a free copy to whomever it is in charge of ordering books. Believing that person will like my books, I'm then hoping that same person will then order books from Melange or Penumbra to sell at his/her store.
The drugstores probably won't work, because I've already talked to someone at Walgreen's for instance, and whomever it was I talked to informed me that the decisions of what books to stock in Walgreen's book section is made by someone somewhere else, which wasn't anyone at that particular store.
As for libraries, I don't doubt they would take a book or two to stock on their shelves, but that really wouldn't help me as far as sales is concerned, would it? I don't think so. That's the whole point of libraries. Libraries offer the opportunity to read books without having to buy them. And if I give a copy or two to the local library, then that will preclude the need to buy one. Maybe I could loan a copy to whomever it is in charge of buying books for their shelves. I'll have to check on that.
But bookstores, like the local Barnes and Nobles should be my best bet. I can meet with the B&N mannager, like I have done before, and give them a free copy in the hopes that they will then stock his/her shelves with books ordered from my publishers. (That time, however, that particular B&N closed down a month later, but there's another one a little father away.)
And there are smaller bookstores still around, and I'll do the same thing for them. Because the cover to Killer of Killers is so awesome, I'm hoping it will draw interest once it's on a bookstore's shelves, and then prompt sales. That's how it works sometimes. And I think it will work for KOK, too. As for The Vase, well I like the cover, but it might take a little more investigation for that one on the part of the buyer. Unlike KOK, I don't think the cover will prompt sales. But anyone interested in the Middle East, the Palestinian situation, the world of Ghost Hunters, and a great plot, story line and interesting characters, will like that book. Even Christians, Muslims, and Jews will like it.
Why? Well, because the main characters are Palestinian Muslims and Israeli Jews. Well, one of the Israelis is really an agnostic, but things change. For the better? Or for the worse? Well, you'll have to read The Vase to find out. Let me know what you think when you do.
BUY YOUR COPIES TODAY!
Monday, December 16, 2013
I learned so much from Penumbra Publishing when they published The Vase that I just had to apply those lessons to Killer of Killers, and Melange was cool enough to allow it. And why wouldn't they? After all, it's a Melange publication, so logically, they would want one of their books to be at a standard of writing that would make them look good. So it happened, and now it's done!
That means it's time to buy people! Killer of Killers is ready to be read! Now more than ever. All of that work that I had been blogging about over the past five months, (yes, since July!) in the revisions to Killer of Killers, the editing, if you will, the fixing, for lack of better word, is done, and I am thrilled for that. Just holding the book is a thrill. Reading parts here and there is also a lot of fun.
But for a reader, someone who enjoys a great story, a great character, a great plot, and great villains, this book is for you. Oh, there's great action, too, by the way, and even great romance. Killer of Killers has it all. So no, it's not just about killing. But like the title suggests, the people who kill get their due. It's one of my favorite quotes in the book. "Justice is rendering each killer that which is his due." That's what Trent Smith says to Abraham Soriah when Soriah asks him for his definition of justice. It's a great quote. A spot on quote! It's in Killer of Killers! Buy your copy today!!
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Not that it was a disaster before, but it didn't meet the standards I had reached after the editing to The Vase at Penumbra Publishing. Fortunately Melange Books was on board with bringing those standards up to my newfound expectations, and after three months of constant upgrading, meaning revisions to the above specifics of focused improvement, Killer of Killers, the second edition is ready for all comers!
So that means no more waiting! Anyone and everyone who might have been inclined to buy a copy, well, now's the time to act on that inclination! I'm busy with the sequel right now, even though it's already done, just working on revisions now, but Killer of Killers is ready to be bought, to be read, to be thoroughly enjoyed, and I dare say, ready for any and all reviews. I am confident it will hold up to any potential criticisms, and pass all expectations of literary standards and creative storytelling. (The storytelling, actually was always there.)
So don't wait on it. Let me know what you think. I'm game. I'm ready. Even for suggestions or for what people might want to see in the sequel. Slip me a note. Let me know. Maybe I'll put it in there. I always add stuff during the revisions stages anyway. I did it for both Killer of Killers and The Vase. I could do it for Killer Eyes, too Or The Killers Guild. Not sure about the title yet. That's another thing that might change. But we'll see.
In the meantime, click on images to the right. Don't be a faker. Buy one or both books today. Not tomorrow, because tomorrow's already here!
Friday, December 13, 2013
Regardless, there is something else that is just as important as a commitment to writing. And that is promoting your work. I've promoted both Killer of Killers and The Vase since publication, but there is so much more I can do. I've decided that it will be necessary to get free books to people who would be most likely to enjoy the books, but people who are also in a position to see those books made available to others who would be likely to buy them.
The most obvious people are people in book stores. Meaning the people who own, run, or work in bookstores. I'll have to have a small collection of my books and take them to these people. Tell them about the books, let them have a free copy, and hope that they will take the time to read them. Once they do, I'm confident they will enjoy the stories and then order some copies to sell in their bookstore.
So, yeah. That's my next step. Just as soon as I get my copies from Melange. I'll keep you posted on that progress.
Thursday, December 12, 2013
I'm not saying my books are better books than the great classics now. I'm not saying they're up there with Melville's Moby Dick, or Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities, and the like. No, I'm talking about the popular novels of current times. You know, the ones that have become movies the last few years. Big movies, too. Not only do I not like them, they are actually repulsive to me.
Novels are works of art. And art is subjective. Isn't that what every literary agent tells you when you solicit their representation? It's subjective. And I like the books I've written way better than those written by J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Stephenie Meyer, or E.L. James. I'll take Killer of Killers and The Vase over Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, or Fifty Shades of Grey any day. And yes, I've picked them up at book stores and read the beginnings of them. Didn't catch my interest at all.
But Killer of Killers and The Vase? Those are books for me. Great stories, great characters, and yes, even great themes. There are lessons to be learned in both of those novels. Once you've read them, I think you'll agree. Try them out. Get a copy of one or both, and after you've read them, let me know. I'll be here.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
So anyway, here's how Killer of Killers starts:
Side note: The changes I made from the first edition to the second edition, here in the Prologue, are all about maintaining a consistent 3rd Person Limited POV. Which is quite significant to anyone who understands the specifics of that. And anyone who has read the two versions should see the difference immediately. And anyone who is reading this for the first time, well, even better, since it's the best and final version of the book, after all. And I'm very happy with it. Yes, very happy indeed. So my thanks to Nancy at Melange Books for her hard work in making it happen.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
But hey, it was my first ever review! I didn't know I was supposed to thank the guy! I sure wish I did. Because I sure feel bad that I didn't. And since then? No more reviews. No one bothers. But how can I blame anyone? I don't give any reviews, so I'm just as guilty. Because I don't read anyone's books. I really believe that most if not all authors are just like me. They don't read anyone else's books, just sit on their own books, and hope someone reads their books. Perhaps that guy was an exception. The one exception. The lone author who bothered to read someone else's book, and I was lucky enough that it was mine he chose to read. And he gave it the greatest review I could have hoped for.
There is one thing I won't do. PAY for a review. That is just pure bullshit. It's paying someone to give you a good review. You know they will. Because if an author pays someone to give his/her book a review, and then it's a bad review, well... no more business from that author! These kind of reviewers are nothing more than literary prostitutes, no? They want to get paid for it. Yeah, I've checked online for book reviewers, and that's what I found out. They want money for doing it. Just like a whore. So that means one thing. It's not a real review. Not even close to being real.
Nope. But that guy a year ago, I didn't even know who he was. Didn't know him from Adam. I just thought that he was someone who happened to pick up the book and then read it. And then wrote a review because, 1-he liked it, and 2-he liked it so much he wanted to write a good review!
Here's to hoping someone else will read Killer of Killers and like it just as much. And The Vase, too, by the way. That one's bound to lift some spirits. Enough to get a good review? I hope so. We'll see. But when will we see? Who knows? In the meantime, I have to get these books in some bookstores. Get them seen. By book READERS, not just book writers. People who actually want to READ books. And then I'll have a better chance to get reviews. And the beat goes on.
Monday, December 9, 2013
And since then, I've had two of my books published. Killer of Killers and The Vase. I'm in the revision stage for Killer Eyes now, and that will probably take me half a year.
Christmas is coming soon, and with a wife and two sons, aged 17 and 11, that will be a major time for me to consider taking off from writing. I always want each Christmas to be the best for my sons. And then back to writing. It's a blast, for me, anyway. I'll be at it more than ever now.
Friday, December 6, 2013
Thursday, December 5, 2013
But Nancy was relieved that the corrections needed were "few" as she said. Only two. And that is few. So she said she'll fix those things, and the second edition of Killer of Killers will be released by December 12th. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
So for the second edition of KOK, I thought about using a common martial arts image, of a fist and hand. I found the image I was looking for, which was this:
By the way, right now, the PRINT copy is reloaded. So anyone who wants the PRINT version to hold in their hand, to physically turn paper pages, then it's ready to buy. Just click on the image to the right and the Lulu link is where you go for your print copy. For digital copies, though, better wait another couple of days. I'll let you know.
Monday, December 2, 2013
Just thought I'd clarify. I'm hoping to stir up interest. And perhaps I'll post another excerpt tomorrow. Check back to see, if you're interested. Until then.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
So here's the excerpt:
End of excerpt. Maybe I'll make this a regular thing. That passage was written in the very first draft, by the way, and had undergone very little revision in the months and years that followed. I've always been partial to it, and I'm glad it survived all the editing since then.