Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

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.



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

New Novel Started, but Killer Eyes Still Being Revised

I've already started writing Second Chance, my new novel about a football player who lost his opportunity to play his senior  year in high school, but received a fluke second chance when he was 28. My outline/synopsis reads pretty well, so I thought I'd go ahead and begin writing the first chapter just to see how it turned out. So far so good.

As for Killer Eyes, the book I'm really excited about, it's improving by leaps and bounds. I never thought I'd like a book as much as the first one, Killer of Killers, but Killer Eyes is turning out better than I hoped. For a while, as I've posted here, I was worried about a couple snags in the story line. But those snags have been ironed out, and now that it's fixed, Killer Eyes is turning out great.

There's a lot of action, probably about as much action as in Killer of Killers, and there's a theme, even, which also was present in KOK. But it's not the same thing all over again. It's vastly different in many ways. For one thing, in KOK, the main character, martial arts master Trent Smith never once used any kind of a weapon other than his own bare hands. They call it empty hands. And his opinion of guns and knives? Well, I'll quote him: "Guns and knives...weapons of cowards."

But that's not to say that Trent Smith isn't a master with many types of weapons besides his empty hands. Being a Judan, he's an expert in many of the traditional weapons of the Japanese martial arts, and there's a lot of them. And due to the circumstances in Killer Eyes, Trent is forced to use at least one of them. The katana. That's the famous Samurai sword. You see, Trent is attacked by a lot of 'ninja-like' villains, all wielding katanas and when you're facing twenty plus 'ninjas' with katanas, it's best to have a katana, too. And Trent is an expert with a katana. (He trained for over twenty years at the world's greatest martial arts academy in Tokyo.)

Anyway, with the wrinkles ironed out, all that's necessary now is to keep polishing the prose, and make sure that the typos are fixed. Every once in a while I find a typo, and it only goes to show that no matter how many times you read through a manuscript, you'll keep finding those pesky things. So you fix it and you do it again. And all the while you make the writing better. Which is how you make your writing great. Constant improvement results in a well written story. And what author wouldn't want that?

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