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.



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Acknowledgments and Dedications

Most books or novels have a page near the beginning that acknowledges someone who might have been helpful in the creation of the book or a page that dedicates the book to someone who the author might feel provided some kind of inspiration toward the creation of the book.

I do have an acknowledgment page in both Killer of Killers and The Vase. In KOK, my first book, I dedicated the book mostly to my family, (my brother, wife, and sons,) but I also acknowledged the martial arts academy who assisted me with the martial arts terminologies and philosophies. KOK has a lot of martial arts philosophies, and those philosophies are the same ones from that particular martial arts academy. It's where my son trained, and being a regular attendee, I was able to interview the senseis (instructors) and the shihan (that's the top guy who runs the place) and use the terms and philosophies that are used in that academy.

I dedicated The Vase to my colleagues and coworkers at the school and district where I work. I've had such a great experience being a teacher in the school district of my home town, that I thought it would be appropriate to cite them in the acknowledgment page for my second book.

My third book, Killer Eyes, the sequel to KOK is coming out this summer, but I haven't really considered to whom I will dedicate that book. The question is who inspired me for that book? A lot of people really have inspired me, and not all of those people were mentioned in those first two books. Probably no one really cares, but dedications are personal things - to the author if no one else.

That's why most authors dedicate their books to their spouses, their children, or even their parents - people who touched their lives in some personal way, or had a hand in the creation of the book - which is what I did for my first two books. But now that I'm on my third book, due out in a couple months, it's time to think about who's next. Not sure. Maybe I won't have an acknowledgment page. Not for my third, nor for my fourth, the John Dunn book. Still, it remains to be seen. We'll see.

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