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.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Martial Arts Stories--the Best Stories

When I consider which movies, (or stories,) I've liked the most throughout my life, I always conclude it was movies or stories that had great martial arts action. That means great characters or great heroes taking on bad guys with something other than a gun. They use their bare hands. Or as martial artists say, empty hands. That, to me, is real fighting, or real self defense. Someone attacks you and you take them on with just your bare hands. And kick the shit out of them.

Movies that come to mind are my favorites like the Transporter movies, and the Bourne movies. There's some great  martial arts fighting in those movies. I would like to include the Bruce Lee movies, but those movies are dated, and they don't really hold up to today's standards, imo.

Which is why I wrote Killer of Killers. Trent Smith, the main character, is a martial artist. The world's greatest martial artist, in fact. He detests guns and knives. But being the world's greatest martial artist also means he's an expert in a lot of different weapons. Not guns, and not necessarily knives, either, but swords, like the katana, and a slew of other weapons used by martial artists. Even so, Trent's weapon of choice is his bare hands. Empty hands. And he's the best. No one can even compare. Not even other master martial artists. It's like he's the undisputed champion.

But to make a movie about the world's greatest martial artist, or a book, it means you have to have a great story. Which is why I worked so hard on Killer of Killers, and its upcoming sequel, Killer Eyes. Can't wait for that one, but I'm making sure it's as good as it could be. It has to be flawless. Not just the spelling, or the grammar, but the story, the sequences, and the prose. Everything. I'm trying harder than ever. And it's working, because I've learned so much about writing since I began writing books. It's like anything. The more you do it, the better you get. And I'm better than ever as a result. Stay tuned. Killer Eyes is coming soon. But if you haven't yet, start with Killer of Killers. After all, that one is Book One in the Killer Series. Killer Eyes is Book Two.

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