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.



Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Vacation--What to Write?

Summer Vacation is here, and that means more writing. For me, anyway. I got a head start on my newest book, tentatively called Second Chance, and I've been full speed ahead with the revisions to Killer Eyes, the sequel to Killer of Killers. And this is the year that I'm supposed to write The Killers Guild, which is the third and possibly last installment of my Trent Smith saga.

So far I have a good start on Second Chance, mostly due to the inspiration I received from that dream I mentioned on the blog back when I had it. It was in May I think. I dreamed of a new story, and then the following day I wrote the synopsis/outline, which I based on that dream, and for the rest of the week I tweaked that synopsis. But since I was so motivated or inspired by that story, I went ahead and started writing it. I wrote most of what will probably be chapter one, about 3500 words or so, and I really like the way it turned out.

But I'm now back to finishing the revisions to Killer Eyes, and I've put Second Chance aside to do it. And I think I should. Killer Eyes, in its current state, was filled with too many holes, too many inconsistencies, too many loose strings. I had written it over the course of about two and a half months during one of my summer vacations a couple years ago, before Killer of Killers was even published. And I wrapped up the first draft not even knowing if Killer of Killers would ever get published. But now that it is, and Killer Eyes will follow, I'm making sure that it is just as good, just as well written, and just as consistent.

In fact, in many ways, Killer Eyes is proving to be better, which it should be. I'm not saying it IS better, just in many ways it could be considered better. Why? Well, there's more action, more killing, and more blood. In fact it's a much more violent and intense story than the first one, and it's not that way because I wanted it to be. It just turned out that way.

You see, for my Killer books, I just let the stories go where they went, like I was just the observer, like if I was watching a movie in a theater. I didn't even write an outline for the first one. And even though I did for the second one, it still went where it wanted to go. Like I've said before, it's not as violent or as gory as a Quentin Tarrantino movie, or like the STARZ show Spartacus, but it is violent, and it is bloody. At least some parts of it are. And again, I didn't exactly want that. It just happened.

When it's released, and you read it, you'll see what I mean. It should be out by the end of the year. Cant wait. As for what I'm going to write this summer after the revisions to Killer Eyes are done? What I'm hoping is that I'll stay in the Trent Smith mindset and proceed with The Killers Guild. That's the plan, although every writer knows that the best laid plans do go awry. We'll see.

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