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.



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Killer Eyes finally registered

I wasn't in a hurry to register Killer Eyes with the Library of Congress, because I had already registered Killer of Killers way back when I finished writing that one. Since my character, Trent Smith, and the original story were already copyrighted, I didn't have an urgency to get it done with Killer Eyes.

But Killer Eyes is due to be published this summer, so I went ahead and registered it with the Library of Congress last night. It cost 35 dollars, which is affordable, so I figured to go ahead.

Of course, in America, all original work is automatically copyrighted, and you don't have to do it officially with the copyright office at the Library of Congress. But it's better protected that way. For instance, if someone else were to write about Trent Smith, or use any of my ideas from KOK or Killer Eyes, the only way I could sue them is if I had a copyright registered already.

My other novel, The Vase, is also registered with the Library of Congress. So that's three of my books copyrighted, or registered now. Like I pointed out, all work is "copyrighted" but only when it's "registered" will it count in any courts.

I should do the same for my songs. I remember once, many years ago, I had composed a song on the piano. I was only fourteen years old, but it was a pretty good song, or at least I thought so. I never did anything with it. And I pretty much forgot about it. But a year or two later, that same tune that I had composed, or one very similar to it, became a hit on the radio. It was the song The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, by Traffic. I'm certainly not saying Traffic copied it from me. I was a nobody. They most certainly came up with the tune on their own, and since they were already a famous band, they had the means to record it, perform it, etc., and it became a hit.

So, similarly, my stories are such that if anyone were to come up with the same ideas, say, in KOK, Killer Eyes, or The Vase, I've got proof, now, that I had the ideas first. That's all.

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