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.



Monday, September 22, 2014

Middle Grade/Young Adult Movies Keep Popping Up

No matter how good, how bad, or how terrible they are, MG/YA movies keep getting made. Twilight, as horrible as it was, became a movie. To me, Harry Potter was equally horrible. Still, it was popular enough to make the author of the books a billionaire. Hunger Games, which had the worst concept I could think of, is another successful movie franchise despite the despicable premise. What do they all have in common? They originated as MG/YA books.

Why were they so horrible? For starters, Twilight changed the entire premise of what a vampire was supposed to be. Why? To get teenaged girls to love them, that's why. Harry Potter was a direct rip off of the X-Men premise, (but with sorcerers instead of mutants.) And Hunger Games was nothing more than kids killing kids. I kid you not.

Furthermore, look at the plots of those movies, (at least the first release of each franchise.) The plot of the first Twilight was a "good" vampire who fell in love with a non-vampire, and then the rest of the movie was him protecting her from a "bad" vampire. Okaaay. The first Harry Potter, aside from the direct rip off of the the X-Men premise, (a school for the gifted,) the plot was the "gifted" students playing an intramural game on broomsticks. Really. And Hunger Games...like I said, it was kids killing kids, but in some kind of televised game show. Pathetic.

Now, The Maze Runners is out, and again, it's from an MG/YA book. I haven't seen it yet, but I have no doubt it will fall into the above categories. Well, they're for kids. And kids go to movies. So there you go.

I don't write MG/YA, and my "Killer" books are no way for kids. Kids could read The Vase, but it's not really for kids even though one of the main characters is a fourteen year old boy. My WIP, called Second Chance might be considered an MG/YA book, but I'm not really writing it to be.

Now, I do have one project on the shelf that I'm actually planning to be an MG/YA book. I've mentioned it before. It's called Inside the Outhouse, and I don't have much more than the first page written at this point. It should be a fun book to read, and a fun book to write. In the meantime, keep an eye out for Killer Eyes, John Dunn, and then Second Chance. Then I'll get to Inside the Outhouse and make a deliberate run on the MG/YA genre. We'll see how it goes.

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