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.



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tentative Title for Book Three in Killer Series

Last night I was mentally brainstorming titles for Book Three in my Killer Series which I'm outlining at this time. Actually, I went ahead and wrote the prologue. Only for my Killer books do I write prologues. Neither The Vase nor John Dunn have prologues.

It came out pretty well, but I had no grip on a title, and I think I came up with a possible title now. Killer on the Payroll. Sounds different than Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes, doesn't it? It's supposed to. I was thinking Killer in a Box, because the story is about a kind of martial arts tournament that takes place in an arena on an unnamed island in the South China Sea. But after considering that title, it sounded too much like Jack in the Box. So forget it.

The tournament is being held by the Triads, which is a Chinese gang and one of the most powerful syndicates in the world, right up there with the Yakuza of Japan and the Mexican and Columbian gangs in the Americas. Well, really if you include the Russian and Italian gangs, and so many more, which I do include up to thirty, all of them are pretty powerful.

Anyway, all the gangs of the world are coming to participate, with their deadliest killers or fighters competing in the tournament to determine who is the world's deadliest killer. Trent Smith, being the world's greatest martial artist eventually finds himself participating in that tournament, even though he had made it a point to never work for anyone, particularly a gang. But it happens, for the Yakuza of all gangs, and for him to qualify to participate, he has to be on the Yakuza payroll, thus the title of the book. It has a ring to it, I think, at least more so than Killer in a Box.

So, for now, I'll call it the working title. Usually, my working titles end up as the title but not always. For instance for Killer of Killers, the working title was The V Shaped Man. But that changed to Killer of Killers which is way better. For The Vase, the working title was Lord I Am Not Worthy, but that changed to The Vase which is way better. But Killer Eyes stayed, and so did John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu, at least so far. We'll see how that goes.

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