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, July 24, 2015

Killer Eyes Copy Proof Sent-Still no Final Cover

I received the copy proof of Killer Eyes, and it was mostly commas here and there that needed to be inserted. I revised a sentence or two, but for the most part it was a very quick process. I didn't read it in its entirety, but for the first time I don't think I had to. It was COPY proofed after all, so it should be ready for publication now.

Which brings me to the unfortunate fact that the cover design is still not finalized. When my new cover design artist was assigned and came up with the radically different design, I liked it and even was excited about it. The silhouette of the martial artist was a welcome sight, and although I believed it needed tweaking, I thought it could be done with little effort and in no more than a day.

But that was near three weeks ago. After some initial tweaks that did improve the design, I thought we were headed in the right direction, and all would be final quickly enough. Here we are three weeks later, and still neither Killer Eyes nor the new design for Killer of Killers is completed.

It all seemed to hit a snag when I wanted the silhouetted figure on the KOK cover to be more like what the main character, Trent Smith looked like. Eager to see it, I went ahead and did it myself, as I have chronicled here on the blog. But it seems that the artist can't make it happen. She told me they are not allowed to use the author's design, (my improved design) for whatever reason, and as a result the design is still not finished.

I brought this up to Nancy, the Melange publisher, when I sent the final copy proof, and she deferred to the person in charge of the Cover Design department, but still no word back to me. I'm left in Limbo it seems about that. My contract does give Melange until August to release the book, but August is a week away. So we'll see what happens.

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