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.



Thursday, July 31, 2014

From Martial Arts to Israel to the Zulu War to Football

I have written four books, and have started a fifth. But unlike some authors, I'm an author who doesn't stick to just one genre. Obviously, Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes are martial arts action books. That genre could be called Thriller or Action Adventure. The Vase is set in Israel, and has to do with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so that genre could be called Suspense or Intrigue. John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu is definitely Historical Fiction, even though many of the events that take place are not fiction and the characters really lived, and really did most of the things they do in the book.

But my latest novel, Second Chance, which I've only just begun, by the way, is a football story. I'm not sure what genre that is, maybe Sports. And the funny thing about that one is that I actually dreamed the story. Not from beginning to end, but I dreamed the plot of the story. I'm inundated with football right now. My oldest son played at his high school, and was a great player, earning All League, Most Valuable, and League Offensive Player of the Year awards. He just played in the North South Charlie Wedemeyer High School All Star game, and he even scored a touchdown in that game.

My youngest son is starting up in Pop Warner football at this time, and will be having his first football practice tomorrow. I'm the kind of father that goes, not only to every game, but to the practices as well. And maybe it's because of all this football around me, not to mention my own football memories, that prompted the dream. But I thought it was a great story, so I started writing it. But that's four different genres with five books.

I've heard that authors should stick to one genre. That way they have a platform, or a brand. Their brand is the genre they write, and their platform, like a blog, will focus on all things that include that genre. Well, I can't do that. I think it's because I have a lot of different interests. I love martial arts action movies, for one thing. And that's why I wanted to write about the world's greatest martial artist in my Killer books.I have an interest in Ceramics, being a ceramics teacher, so that's why I wanted to write The Vase. I have an interest in the Anglo Zulu War, and that's why I wrote John Dunn. And I have an interest in football, thus Second Chance.

Even though I do plan to write a third book in the Killer series, it's not unlikely I will stray to yet another genre altogether, one which I haven't written in yet, and that is what I intend to do with an MG/YA book I've been planning called Inside the Outhouse. And what is my interest that sparked that idea? I'm a Middle School teacher! So having an interest in what my job involves led directly to the idea for that future book. And that would make five different genres. We'll see what else pops up.

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