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, December 11, 2014

Killer Eyes To Be Released in 2015

Just an update on Killer Eyes, the sequel to Killer of Killers. Since I'm still polishing it up, I'm resigned to the fact that it won't be released until sometime in 2015. I had been saying that it would be released by the end of 2014, but that is not going to happen.

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.

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