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, February 4, 2014

Free Books?

Talking about friends and family yesterday and why I wouldn't want reviews from them made me think about the free books that I'm supposed to be giving to reviewers. But instead of giving free books to potential reviewers, I've found myself giving them to friends and family.

That's not how it's supposed to work! But it seems to be the rule that friends and family EXPECT free copies of your books. It's like they have the attitude that, "Well, you're my friend, (or relative) so that means you should give me a free copy of your book!" Or..."Why should I pay for a book you wrote when you are my friend, (or relative?)"

My brother, thankfully, is an exception to that rule. He has bought two copies of each of my books that have been published, so that is appreciated, and I look forward to buying his book when it's published. (He's writing a fantasy novel, and it's very good, which, as a beta reader, I have had the opportunity to learn first hand.)

But just about every other relative (and friend) has expressed the expectation that they should receive a free book. And it's not as if I get them for free myself, mind you. I don't! Yet, the books that I did get, (at a discount from the retail price, admittedly, but still not free,) were supposed to be for reviewers.

And how has it turned out? Not one reviewer has received a book. But several friends and relatives have received free books, and as I've made clear, these are not the people I want reviews from. Even though undoubtedly, most if not all other authors are indeed getting their rave reviews from friends and family. I think it's unethical to a degree, but I don't really blame them. Not after what I've learned. That is, unless you're a known author, it's the only way you'll get those reviews!

Oh well.

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