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.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Second Chance over 67,000 words

...and counting. Because my WIP Second Chance hasn't even reached the story's climax yet, after which the resolution or denouement will follow, which could put the word count up to 75,000 words. That's a guess of course. It might reach 80,000 words or over. Even if it does, it will still be my shortest novel. But anything 75,000 words or above will still qualify as a novel.

I certainly don't want to put anything in there that shouldn't be in there. I think I've done a good job up until now. It's a sports story, a football story, and during my search for an agent for John Dunn, (which isn't going very well, btw,) I've seen agents who represent sports stories, so I'm keeping tabs on those guys, just in case I'm still looking for an agent when it comes to Second Chance. (And by the looks of things right now, I probably will be.)

Speaking of agent searches, I am discouraged. When I first started querying agents way back for my debut novel, Killer of Killers, I was getting bites left and right. Requests for partials and fulls, it was encouraging, and I did land an agent. (Well chronicled on this blog.) Even though that agent didn't work out, my point is there was interest out there for KOK.

But then a strange thing happened. For The Vase, a novel that I thought would garner even more interest, garnered next to no interest from agents. Although the flip side of that is that The Vase attracted a lot more interest from actual publishers than KOK did. I was offered four different contracts for The Vase. I actually had a collection of publishers from which to choose. That was very encouraging, and I guess having publishers interested in publishing your book is better than having agents interested in representing it. Although that is arguable, since it's the agent who get you into the Big Six.

KOK got just one publishing contract offer. But that's all you need. And Killer Eyes will be published by the same publisher, meaning the contract has already been offered and signed.

Next up is John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. I thought that historical novels were popular. But so far no agents are interested. I've been rejected by about a dozen agents at this point, but that's not what's bothering me. What's bothering me is that no agents have requested a partial or a full. It's reminding me of what I went through with The Vase. And that's discouraging. Still you keep at it, you don't give up. If I had given up, KOK or The Vase would never have been published. Or Killer Eyes.

That's all.

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