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, June 5, 2015

Random House Imprint Umuzi

I'm still excited about yesterday's big news, that Knox Robinson contacted me conveying their interest to  publish John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. Truth be told, I'd be very happy with them publishing that book. But my first choice of a publisher for that book would be Umuzi. Umuzi is the South African imprint of Random House, and Random House is one of the Big Six. Actually, Random House merged with Penguin, (another Big Sixer,) so that means the Big Six is really the Big Five now.

And a Big Six (or Big Five) publisher is every author's goal. It's like being what the media calls an "A" list actor. The Big Six/Five publishers are the "A" list publishers. It's like MGM, Disney, or Paramount Pictures compared to the many independent film makers out there. It doesn't really matter, though, because those independent film makers can make movies just as well as the "A" list movie companies, and so too can independent publishers make just as good books.

But the thing is John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu is a story about South Africa because it deals mostly with the Zulus, takes place mostly in Zululand, and features a pivotal event in Zulu history--the Zulu War. So Umuzi, (which is a Zulu word, by the way, it means hornet or wasp) being a South African publisher, would be the ideal publisher for a book like John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu.

Still, Knox Robinson is located in London, and that fact bodes well for the John Dunn story, because the British and their colonies in South Africa are the other major players in the story. And John Dunn is the son of a Scottish immigrant. The fact that Knox Robinson also has offices in New York bodes well, too, since I'm an American author, and the international thing won't be a factor. So whichever way the wind blows is the way I will sway. I heard a variation of that saying somewhere. It definitely applies to me.

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