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.



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Knox Robinson Explains Delay

Okay, I received an email this morning from the publisher of Knox Robinson Publishing explaining the delay in sending the contract. She has been out of the office, but will send the contract when she returns. That's fine. I'm still very much excited about the prospect of receiving that contract, and reading it, and comparing it to others that I've received.

But at the same time, Knox Robinson is a larger publisher than most of the publishers from whom I've received contracts. I might say they are the largest. They have offices in London and New York, so that is evidence enough to believe it. My two current publishers, Melange and Penumbra are small independent POD publishers, and although I have a great relationship with both of them, and eternally grateful that they published my first two books, (first three books by next month,) I did have the goal to take a step up in publishers.

And finding a publisher that was not POD will achieve that goal. Knox Robinson is a publisher who puts out hardback editions and gets their books in bookstores. That means Knox Robinson might be more the size of Cogito, or even larger. Cogito fit that description too, and I came very close to being published by them, having signed a contract with them for my second book, The Vase. But their contract was not a good one, and I'm hoping that Knox Robinson's contract will be better.

Still, like I said before, as an author striving for a non POD publisher, I might have to make concessions, like I did with Cogito. I have to believe that Knox Robinson will be a much better experience than the experience I had with Cogito.

For one thing, I never had any communication with the publisher at Cogito. I was only contacted by editors, including the acquisitions editor who was the one who offered the contract, and then another editor who was editing the manuscript. But it was only when the acquisitions editor contacted me about leaving Cogito did I realize that Cogito was having some in-house problems, and then the other editor told me she was suing them, so I realized I had to get out of there, and I did.

From the start, it's been the top person at Knox Robinson contacting me, and offering the contract, so that is a good thing. Better to be dealing with the top person, (known as the publisher,) like I did with Melange and Penumbra. Nothing like having a great relationship with the boss. So I'm looking forward to a great summer. More later.

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