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 17, 2015

Second Chance @ 71,367 and Counting

My WIP, Second Chance, is not even at the climax yet, and it's over 71,000 words. That means this book might reach over 80,000 words, which is not what I thought would happen. I'm not putting in any filler. I'm writing it as it comes. I had thought it would only be about 70,000 - 75,000 words. My shortest novel. But not anymore.

It's interesting how that works. I outlined the story, but as you write, a lot of other things happen that aren't in the outline. It's like the writer is actually living the story. It's real for the  writer. That's probably why readers will never connect to a story like the writer does. Maybe some readers do. Those readers who are more empathic. And there's probably a lot of readers who are.

For Second Chance, however, only readers who know football will be able to connect to that story. I hope a lot of readers like football. It's kind of a personal story for me. I played football, I loved football, so much so, that at one point in my life it was the most important thing to me--the most enjoyable thing. I made many mistakes, however. And wouldn't you know that the mistakes I regret the most in my life are those mistakes I made regarding football.

If someone can say that their worst mistakes were those that involved football, then you can also say that their mistakes weren't so bad. After all, how important, really, in life is football? It's only a game. But for me, in my life, it's true. My mistakes regarding football have been the ones that have haunted me for most of my life. I've had recurring dreams for the last forty years about those mistakes. Even the story in Second Chance came to me in a dream. A dream! Maybe once I'm finished with this story, it will be some kind of a "coming to terms" thing.

One thing that resulted from my mistakes, at least, was they enabled me to advise my oldest son. And from that advice, he's living his football "dream." He was a star running back for his high school team. He was the team's MVP, the league's Offensive Player of the Year, he made the All Star team, played in the All Star game, scored a TD in the All Star game even, and he's playing in college now. So it could be true that because of my advice he's not making the same mistakes I made.

Second Chance is a football story. Who reads football stories? Maybe no one. We'll see.

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