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, January 1, 2015

New Year Brings New Books

Happy New Year to anyone reading this, and the new year for me will bring new books. I've chronicled the publishing journey of Killer of Killers and The Vase, and I have talked about the imminent release of Killer Eyes. That one will be the first book of mine published in 2015. And then John Dunn will be revised. I can only suppose the revising of John Dunn will take the entire year.

And that's because John Dunn is a long book. Over 120,000 words. It's my longest book, and it's only half way rewritten, in terms of instilling everything I've learned over the years. That means POV, dialogue tags, and the correct use of verbs. And on the surface it doesn't seem as though there would be so much to learn. But there is. You've got to be sure you didn't use an intransitive verb as a transitive verb and vice versa. And you've got to be careful about consistency, and time lines, and who's doing what and when and where, and so much more.

No need to say that the longer a book is, the more effort it will take to make sure it's done correctly. Look how long it's taken me to make sure my first three books were done right. Killer of Killers even needed a second edition to reach that point. Killer Eyes won't, but I've been working on the revisions since last February or so. And in the next couple weeks, I can finally be sure it will be ready.

Which brings me back to the new year. 2015 will be a good year. Killer Eyes will be released. The revisions to John Dunn will be finished, and probably the first draft of Second Chance will be completed, too. And once the revisions to John Dunn are, um, done, then I'll get to revising Second Chance. But that one, I suspect will take the least amount of effort. It's being written with all of my knowledge already intact. Doesn't mean it won't need revising. Just not as much.

So again. Happy New Year, and I look forward to it. Stay tuned.

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