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, February 23, 2015

Remember-Opinions Will Vary

I had always been wary of soliciting reviews, but I had solicited some anyway, and my recent round of soliciting reviews has been bringing in some reviews. And one thing I knew before I ever solicited a review is that opinions will vary. Some reviewers will give you great reviews. But other reviewers won't. They'll give you a bad review, and that's just the reality of the world in which we live.

I've read blogs by authors who explained the reasons some reviewers give bad reviews. Sometimes a book might just be a bad book, written by someone who is still learning the craft. Some books aren't edited well, and they fall short of current standards. But there is another reason some reviewers give bad reviews. It makes them feel important. It gives the impression that they're an authority in the field of books, writing, and reviews. By putting someone else down, or their work down, it conveys a sense of superiority for them. Simply put, they get off on it.

But the most common reason for a bad review, I think, is that a book just might not be someone's cup of tea. And apparently a reviewer was of that mind for The Vase. Unfortunately, this was the first review The Vase has received. It wasn't a bad review, (actually it was since it was far from a good review.) She gave it three stars which I suppose puts it right there in the middle.

I can live with that. (At least I'm telling myself I can.) Look, of course I shoot for five stars, who wouldn't? But I don't have my friends and family members doing reviews. I've already talked about how phony that would be. All my reviewers are complete strangers. They don't know me from Adam. I've received some great reviews for Killer of Killers, but I just have to resign myself to the fact that you don't hit a home run every time you're at bat. Sure, every batter wants to. And every writer would like to please everyone with every book. Why else would they write?

I look at it this way. I welcome a review like the one The Vase just got, (actually, I don't,) but it's proof I don't get reviews from family and friends. I'm just glad it wasn't a full fledged trashing. Because I have to remember, that one of those kinds of reviews (an all out trashing, I mean,) is still out there. And I'll readily admit I'm not looking forward to it.

Meanwhile, for all writers out there, and artists of any sort, you will entertain a lot of people, and then there's the people who won't be entertained by what you do. Because tastes vary. It's a big world out there, and there's all different kinds of people in it. The kind of people who love what you do, the kind of people who don't love what you do, and then there's the kind of people who are right in the middle. (Like that reviewer for The Vase.) But again, that's okay. You just have to accept that fact, and keep doing what you're doing. That's all.

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