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, April 24, 2015

Publisher Interested in John Dunn book

A publisher responded yesterday. And that's a whole lot better than an agent. It's a pretty big publisher, too. Knox Robinson, which has offices in London and New York. I wanted a step up, and they are that. And they really must be interested, too, because I had only submitted to them the day before. When a publisher (or an agent) replies the very next day, that's a very good sign.

I can't get too excited. They haven't offered a contract yet. But they are the first to request the full manuscript and I sent it last night. How long will it take? Well, going by experience, it shouldn't be too long. I'd say two weeks at the most. It didn't take Melange or Penumbra any longer than that to reach a decision to publish KOK and The Vase. 

In the meantime, who knows, maybe another publisher will respond, too. Wouldn't that be something. If Knox Robinson does offer a contract, that would be great. They publish hard bound copies, which POD publishers don't. And they sell in Australia, Canada, and the UK, too.

So this is good news. Last night I worked on the manuscript until near midnight, polishing up the prose, and correcting some inaccurate details. I had to get my chronological order correct in terms of the death of Mpande and the inauguration of Sir Henry Bulwer as Lieutenant Governor of Natal. Mpande was the king who preceded Cetshwayo, and he died in 1872. Sir Henry Bulwer became Lt. Governor of Natal in 1875. But it's all good now. Can't wait to see what happens next. 

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