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, September 11, 2014

Second Chance @ 13,000 Words

My fifth novel, tentatively called Second Chance is at 13,000 words now. I don't really know the total word count yet, meaning I haven't set any goal for a word count for this novel. My Killer novels had a goal of 90,000 words, and the two books average that. The Vase is about 87,000 words and John Dunn is over 120,000 words. But since Second Chance is what might be called a "sports' novel, I don't think it has to be that many words. I'm not saying it won't be, I just don't think it needs to be.

Of course any novel should only be as many words as it takes to tell the story. But I don't consider myself a short story writer. Nor do I write short novels. I think any novel that is over 70,000 words would qualify as a regular novel, whereas novels with a word count of 40,000 and less would be considered a short novel. Words counts in between could probably go either way.

I think MG/YA novels are usually short novels, or books with 40,000 words. No wonder so many people choose to write MG/YA books. They're easier to write! Plus the fact that they're more likely to get published. I'm sure that publishers are more willing to give the green light for an MG/YA novel than novels for adults. That's just the way it is. Money is the bottom line. And I think the bottom line is that MG/YA novels tend to sell better.

As for Second Chance? I don't intend it to be an MG/YA novel, but I think it could fit into that category. It's about football after all, and a lot of youngsters are into sports stories. There's no hard core adult material in it, so that wouldn't make it unsuitable for youngsters. I won't promote it as an MG/YA book, but who knows what a publisher might do? If I get a Big Six publisher to publish it, they can do whatever they want. And I wouldn't mind.

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