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.



Friday, February 20, 2015

Wow, John Dunn near 125,000 Words

That's quite a manuscript for John Dunn, my historical fiction story, based on the true story of John Dunn. It's currently over 124,000 words, and that doesn't include that extra scene I was considering putting in. The scene in question only moves the plot in one way. It shows the Zulus are getting antsy to fight, so much so that they had a fight amongst themselves, two different regiments, and up to seventy of them were killed.

But the story really doesn't need it. And since it's already so many words, I'm rethinking doing it. I'm closing in on finishing the revisions at this time, but that doesn't 'mean the revisions will be done. Same old story as with my other books, revisions are a seemingly endless thing.

But as I go through this manuscript I really am enjoying the story. The prose is good, easy to read, easy to follow, even though I do write through the POVs of several different characters. Don't worry, I've taken great pains to make sure there's no head-hopping anywhere. Any POV changes are differentiated by a scene break, and I really think the POVs are necessary to tell the entire story.

And that's because it's more than just a story of John Dunn. Sure he's the featured character, but other integral characters include Dunn's first wife, Catherine Pierce, the Zulu king Cetshwayo, other Zulu characters like Dabulamanzi, Cetshwayo's brother, and many British characters as well. Among the British characters, there's Theophilus Shepstone, his brother John Shepstone, Lord Chelmsford, the British commander of the South African forces, and many more.

It's an epic story, really. It would take a miniseries to depict it on TV. Not unlike the miniseries they already made about Shaka. And btw, Shaka is mentioned a few times in there. He's been long dead, but his legacy is very clear and pronounced in the story line. As it should be. Can't wait to see which publisher will be interested in this story. I'd think a British one would be likely to be interested. But I hope some American publishers would be interested, too.

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