Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?
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, December 29, 2014
So at this point, it's two days later, right? Right. So what would a woman do after spending the night at a hotel room, and then leaving the next day, only to come back the day after that? Well, one thing for sure is that she wouldn't be wearing the same yellow dress. And THAT is the error I caught. She was still wearing that same yellow dress. But I fixed it. Now, (which is two days later,) she's wearing a crop top and tight jeans. So yeah, changing her clothes after wearing the same dress two days in a row, is something that SHOULD have happened with this woman.
It's all good now, and I'm just about done with this read through. Then I'll send it to Melange and it should be released by this summer. At least that's how it happened before. I look forward to it. It will be three books down, and one more to go. Then back to the WIPs.
Thursday, December 18, 2014
It could be considered a romance story, because Trent Smith, the main character has a couple of romantic flings during the story. It's most certainly a story of justice. Justice for those innocent victims who had been murdered and their killers let off by a corrupt justice system. Does that make it a suitable story for Christmas? Maybe not, but it's still a great story, fun and exciting to read.
How about The Vase? There are religious connotations in that one. Three major religions are represented in that book. And that's because the main characters are Jewish and Muslim, and then there's the Pope. But he only makes an appearance in the climax of the story. But someone else makes an appearance, too. Who? Would you believe Jesus Christ?
And if Jesus Christ makes an appearance in The Vase, how can that be? Well, you'll have to read it, and find out. I think you'll be convinced that it was entirely possible. You'll see.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
I've talked about Amber Heard as the best actress suited to play Samantha Jones, the police detective Trent Smith falls in love with. But I've also talked about how I just couldn't find an actress to play Susie Quinn, the beautiful exotic dancer he also loves. But while watching Strike Back, I saw an actress who MIGHT be right for the role. Her name is Milauna Jackson, and she looks good in Strike Back. Here's her picture.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
And why is it taking so long? After all, I actually wrote the first draft something like five years ago. But the following year, I wrote John Dunn, and therefore didn't revise it. Then I was so busy trying to get Killer of Killers and The Vase published, I still didn't revise it. I only started revising it this past year, only after Killer of Killers was published and The Vase was published, and then I re-edited Killer of Killers, and rereleased it as a second edition.
That took a lot of time, and of course during that time I learned a lot about writing novels, editing, and the publishing process. Which was all good. Because I'm putting all that knowledge into the revisions of Killer Eyes. So that means Killer Eyes will be the best manuscript I've ever submitted in terms of a pre-published manuscript.
The Vase was the key. As I said before, Melange Books told me all about POV and other writing issues, but they were loose enough to let authors do it "their own" way. But I was too green to do it my own way. Green and arrogant. The Vase publisher, Penumbra Publishing, was not "loose" and had no inclination to let authors write "their own" way. They were very strict.
At first I resisted these new rules about writing. I was used to Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.G. Wells. I was not well read in the modern sense, having very little experience with the novels of today. But with Penumbra, and their strict editors, I slowly came around. So much so, that I wanted to revisit the editing of Killer of Killers. Fortunately for me, the people at Melange were open to that, and permitted me to do that, and then rereleased Killer of Killers as a second edition.
And thank goodness for that. Now, Killer of Killers and The Vase are thoroughly edited, to the standards that meet today's guidelines of editing regarding POVs, verb use, and dialogue tags. So, if either of them are ever reviewed, I'm confident that those particular things won't be subject to any criticism. It's all about the story, plot, and events. And hopefully, no one will have a problem with any of that. I certainly don't.
So, again, with Killer Eyes, all of those things are good from the get go. Or at least they will be by the time I submit it. Which will be soon. Every passing day is a day sooner, that's all I can say at this point. But I'm happy with it. And I should be sending it in within the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Same thing for Christmas, and every other holiday. Happy whatever day it is that should be wished as a happy one. I think that covers everything.
Now back to writing. I am STILL finding things to fix, correct, or improve in Killer Eyes. I even found a typo the day before yesterday. It just goes to show, that I was right about not sending it yet to my publisher. I can find solace in knowing that my first book, Killer of Killers, is without typos. I've gone over it and over it, since it's been rereleased, and it's clear of typos. No clunker sentences either. It's a completely clean text, and it should be. It took a lot of rewrites, and then a second release.
But kudos to Melange Books for allowing it to happen. Yeah, you can argue that the editing process should have taken care of all issues before the first release. But I don't blame Melange. They tell you what is best in terms of POV and other things, and then they give you license to write the book the way you want. That process is best for experienced writers, which, of course, now I am. But for my first book, well, let's just say it was a great learning experience, and with the second edition, I got it right.
But Killer Eyes won't need a second edition. I'm getting it right the first time. And it's cleaner and cleaner with every read through. I think I'm on my final read through. But I've said that the last three times I've read it through. We'll see. Stay tuned.
Monday, December 8, 2014
But the day will come when my sons move out to go to college, and then, if they're anything like me and my brother and sisters, they'll never move back. That will kill me. But I'll have more time to write books, no?
Don't think so. My wife is the one who is always demanding my time. She's the one who considers my book writing efforts as direct competition for my attention. I swear I give her more attention than I give my books. Had I given my books more attention, they'd all be finished by now. All five of them. And then some.
But whatever. I'll have to remember one thing. It's your family that matters more than anything, not your art, or your music, or your writing. Your wife, your sons, and maybe even your students, if you're a teacher like I am. Writing is great, though. You get to create your own worlds, your own characters, and your own events. Your own antagonists and villains, and even entire races of alien life.
But the latter would be directly tied in to my sci fi story I began writing years ago, and adapted into a graphic novel, that I never finished. I've been thinking of finishing it lately. Boy, would my wife get mad at me then!
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
But I've been working on Second Chance at the same time. And it's over 36,000 words right now. I really don't know how many words it will total, but I'm at least half done right now. maybe more than half way done, which means it won't be as long as my other books.
I'm thinking the book might max out at 60,000 words. Maybe not as much as that. But I still think it will qualify as a novel. Even books with 40,000 words qualify as a novel, albeit a short one, but Second Chance will be more than that for sure.
It's fun, because a lot of it is about football, which has been one of my passions throughout my life. It seems like I've had a lot of passions. From art to music, and from writing to football. It's made me a very busy person. I've never been idle. I always want to be doing something. Something creative that is. And writing books has been my latest passion. It's been a great ride. And I'm still on it.