Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?
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.
Monday, November 30, 2015
The main example is this: You have a teenager who wants to murder another teenager because that teenager's father killed his father, but the killed father had murdered a beloved citizen of "Alexandria" and he was not only a murderer, but a wife beater and a child beater.
Now I've heard of wives who continue to "love" their abusing husbands, but it's not the same when it's a kid and he/she is being beaten by a parent. That kid will hate that parent. Not just for being beaten, but for being witness to his/her mother being beaten.
More true to life was the Daredevil TV show, when they showed the backstory to the Kingpin, who witnessed as a child his father beating his mother. The Kingpin hated his father for doing that, and even killed his father for doing that.
Now I'm not saying it's okay to kill your father for any reason, but I am saying that the Daredevil story had it right, whereas the Walking Dead story is, well, stupid.
I know, I know, you need conflict to keep a story interesting, but when you have stupid characters doing stupid things, it's boring. There are so many intelligent characters on the show, I wish they would feature them since they are far more interesting. Or make the stupid characters smart. Or just have the stupid characters killed off, as this world really has no room for stupid characters.
Which is probably what the show is intending to convey. Let's see it happen, then, and I'll give it props. But when the stupid characters are only there to keep bringing the others down, like, say, Dr. Smith kept on doing in the old TV show Lost in Space, it will be just another stupid show like Lost in Space became. Please, do not extend the roles of the stupid characters, otherwise, the demise of the show will result. As it did for Lost in Space. That's all.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
The Bourne trilogy was a trilogy until the fourth Bourne movie came out. So now it's a franchise, which is another way to say a series. So I guess my killer series will be considered a trilogy until I write a fourth book. Then it will truly be a series. I suppose that means I'll be compelled to write that fourth book. Not so easily done considering I'm still in the beginning stages of Book Three.
And after Book Three? I have no clue where Trent Smith, the world's greatest martial artist will be. Where he'll go, or what he'll do. But that's the quandary of a series. You have to keep it fresh. Meaning you have to have new ideas, new characters, and new stories.
It reminds me of the show called Vikings. How many times will Ragnar's brother, Rolo, be languishing over his secondary role to his brother? How often will he be considering betraying him, as he's doing once again in season three. It's like every season we have to see Rolo kicking himself for not being as great as his brother, and considering betraying his brother to make himself great.
Sheesh, it's the same story over and over again. Don't get me wrong, I like that show. I like the characters, the plots, and the turn of events. I just wish Rolo would finally accept his place as "brother to the king" rather than harboring the sentiment, "Why can't I be as great as my brother the king?"
I mean, already Ragnar has granted Rolo mercy and spared his life for betraying him in season one. But ever since then, instead of being grateful for his life, he continues to question his own lack of greatness, and finding a reason to blame it on Ragnar.
Well, I can guarantee my Killer Series won't be anything like that. Still, it's a long way off. Got a lot of writing to do.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
My bio is just a single paragraph, which is way shorter than the bios of some of the other authors on there. Hey, they gave me a word count which I didn't think I was supposed to surpass. I didn't realize that many of the other authors weren't so mindful of that word count. Some have bios that would take up an entire page.
It's cool, though, because I just used the same old bio that I have on Amazon.com, the Melange Books website author page, the Penumbra Publishing website author page, and even the Goodreads author page. So it doesn't matter. Wherever you go, you'll see the same bio on me, except for my blog, that is. And that's because my blog is first and foremost a means of promotion for my books. Three are published now, and the fourth is due out sometime in 2016.
That will be four books published which is quite a relief, because I had written those four books before I even sought representation or publication. It was only after I finished John Dunn did I start to look to get the books published. And now that they are, I'm glad I didn't waste my time.
I've got the fifth book written--Second Chance--and I'm writing two more at this time--Killer on the Payroll and Inside the Outhouse. We'll see how those go. After that? Who knows?
In the meantime, back to promotion. Buy Killer of Killers and its sequel, Killer Eyes, today. Buy The Vase, too. And look for John Dunn in the summer of 2016.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
So I used most of the day to read through the first half, and of course in doing that, you revise at the same time. It didn't need a whole lot of revising, really. But you always improve the prose as you read through it, and that's almost a never ending thing. I'll be happy to finish it by tomorrow, and that means the current read through.
It's a story for anyone who knows anything about football. I'm afraid that narrows the audience somewhat, but if you consider the number of football fans in the country, you would think it's not a problem. It might be considered a story more for boys, but there are strong female characters in there, particularly the girlfriend of the main character.
Second Chance is a what might have been type of football story. And I'm thinking it might be something a lot of former football players might be able to relate to. That is if they missed their senior season of high school football due to an injury.
On another note, the new season of Da Vinci's Demons is pretty cool. I've watched all the episodes except the final episode, which I'm learning is the final episode of the entire series, not just season three. The Turks are the heavies, and that's fitting. I mean the Turks have been just as evil as any evil empire out there, and that includes the Nazis, Imperial Japan, and even the Mongols.
Don't agree? Just ask any Armenian. That will end the argument. History is full of brutality, and the Turks surely have their place in that history. So in the show, the Turks have invaded Italy. I'm not even sure that ever happened, but in the series finale, we should see how Leonardo Da Vinci is able to repulse them. Should be fun. I'll probably watch it tomorrow night. I'll post my thoughts then. Bye for now.
Monday, November 23, 2015
But Bruce Campbell was also the star of the Evil Dead movie, that had continued in the Army of Darkness movie which was also tongue-in-cheek, but still well written and a great movie. It was popular enough to be brought back by STARZ for the new show, Ash vs. Evil Dead. It's well written, and Bruce Campbell, now middle-aged, is in top form to reprise his role.
Let's hope it stays entertaining, at least. You have another character, a funny guy named Pablo, and he provides a different kind of comic relief that complements the comic relief of the main character, Ash. It's over-the-top bloody, but that seems to be a STARZ trait, seeing as how Spartacus was also that way. But both shows are good, and it's something to watch. I remember thinking TV was great during the sixties, but during the seventies, eighties, and even nineties TV had slumped. But for the last decade or so, TV is back!
Sunday, November 22, 2015
But, whatever. Walking Dead is still going nowhere, what with the stupid teenagers acting stupid. You have the nutty teen girl who doesn't want to live in the safety of people who don't want to kill her. And you got the stupid teen boy, who, even though his father was a child beater and a wife beater, and a murderer to boot, harbors a revenge factor, meaning he wants to kill the man who saved his life at least once, and twice if you count the time Carl saved him.
It's stupid writing, but there's some good stuff, too. I like that head lady, Deanna? and her appreciation of Rick, as she should be appreciating him. And I like Carol, and I like Michonne, but I don't like the ridiculous Morgan and his continued insistence of preserving a bad guy's life. But hopefully, Carol will put a stop to that. If she does, that will be cool.
Whatever. It's a show that's been going on for five years, now, so you have to expect some shaky plot twists, and stupid characters, otherwise, how do you have the internal conflict? You can't just have zombies over and over again. So there you go.
On another note, I've got to keep making progress on my MG/YA novel, as it's been in limbo for a week or two now. I have to figure out a plot twist, a subplot, and a climax which won't be easy. It's not going to be as long as the others, but that's okay. MG/YAs don't have to be.
And I've got to complete Book Three in my Killer Series. Books One and Two turned out so well, I must say, I'm very proud of them. Killer of Killers and Killer Eyes are some of the best stories I've ever read or watched. Ever. No bias intended, but they are so good, it's unbelievable. I set a high bar with those two books, so I have to make sure book three is up to that standard. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
But you know what? We're living in some real history right now. ISIS or ISIL, or whatever you want to call it, is on the warpath, and it's been going on for a long time now. America and Russia, longtime rivals, have become allies to fight them. It's some heavy duty stuff going on.
It makes all the fictitious stuff insignificant. Yeah, I love my books, movies, and the stories on TV, but it's all fictitious and altogether insignificant. Well, wait a minute. One of my books is largely not fictitious. That would be my soon-to-be-published John Dunn book.
John Dunn was a real historical figure. He lived an adventurous life in South Africa during a really adventurous time. Back when the Zulus were still an independent nation, and when the colonies in Africa were still in their infancy.
John Dunn lived with the Zulus, and he married Zulu women, and had half Zulu children. He was a white Zulu. A Zulu chief, even, and the top advisor to the Zulu king, King Cetshwayo. They had attained a close friendship, so much so that Cetshwayo refused to go to his own coronation if John Dunn wasn't with him.
It so happened that Dunn's son was ill at the time, and Dunn chose instead to be with his son rather than go with Cetshwayo to his coronation. Cetshwayo understood the priority of being with a dying son, but without Dunn he would not go to his coronation. Think of the scale of this. Cetshwayo was going to be crowned KING! And he would not go without Dunn. Instead, he sent his best witchdoctor to Dunn's residence, and believe it or not, the Zulu witchdoctor managed to cure Dunn's son.
And this is all true. Cetshwayo was finally able to get crowned king with Dunn at his side. Again, it's all true and it's all in my book, John Dunn - Heart of a Zulu. Of course, there's a whole lot more. Like a Zulu civil war, which is where the book begins, and then the Anglo-Zulu War.
The book ends shortly after the conclusion of the Anglo-Zulu War, but that doesn't mean the adventures of John Dunn concluded. There was a lot of action after that, particularly another Zulu civil war. And then the rest, as they say, is history.
Yeah, that's one exciting story. A couple books have been written about it. Oliver Walker, 75 years ago, wrote two historical novels featuring the John Dunn story. I bought and read one of them. But it read like it was written 75 years ago. The prose is not as fluid as mine is, and I'm not trying to brag or put Walker down. It's just an older book, that's all, and out of print, too, btw.
I instilled a little more fiction in my John Dunn story than Walker did. For instance, I gave Catherine Pierce a larger role in my book. She was Dunn's first wife, his "great wife" but Dunn wrote next to nothing about her in his autobiography, which I own, and read cover to cover several times. But I made her a strong willed woman in my book, which I hope female readers can appreciate. Even though the side story with Catherine Pierce is fictitious, I made sure it didn't conflict with any of the real history that took place in that time.
For that, (the real history,) I used Dunn's autobiography as my main source, but I used the writings of Ian Knight and Donald Morris, too. Enthusiasts of the period know those names. And I'm pretty confident AZW enthusiasts can appreciate the book I've written. It will come out in 2016, and time is moving fast. Can't wait for the editing process to begin.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
And then after offering his former captors sanctuary, they turn on him and steal his motorcycle. Not that I'm going to miss the motorcycle, but the episode just didn't sit well with me. Oh, and still no word on whether Glenn is alive or dead. It's as if the show suddenly had a feud with the actor who played Glenn, and decided to just leave him out of all future episodes. Well, they have so far and it's been three episodes. They don't seem to care about Glenn.
But Darryl is one of the most popular characters in the show, more so than even Glenn, so I suppose the show can't go wrong having an episode about him, but when they turn him into a patsy, that won't bode well in keeping him a fan favorite. Now he's just another chump. And who cares about chumps? Here's hoping they don't maintain the chump status with Darryl. We liked him as he was before. An efficient zombie killer who doesn't let others get the jump on him. Oh, wait. So much for the second part of that. Oh well.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
So the search for the actress for Susie Quinn continues. I mean, if they made the move this year...by that I mean starting tomorrow...then she could play the part. But that won't happen. Heck, I'd call myself lucky if the movie could be made in time for Dustin Clare and Amber Heard to play their respective parts, and still be young enough. Yeah, I know. It won't. Can't blame a guy for dreaming. You know...sometimes dreams come true. Sometimes.
Monday, November 9, 2015
And still no Glenn. Not a hint of him. Sure there were people, particularly Maggie, who were wondering about his fate. Maggie was all about going out into the wild to find him, but the community is surrounded by zombies, so her plan was scrapped. She's stuck behind the walls with the rest of them. Oh, except for Abraham, Darryl, and Sasha, that is.
Rick or someone mentioned them, and that they might draw the zombies away, which is all fine and good, but when you have episodes where nothing really happens, like yesterday and last week, there's nothing interesting to talk about, and you are well on the way to losing your audience.
Walking Dead was a great show because of the action, the characters, and the events. The last two episodes, it seems, they depended only on characters to carry the show. And it's not working. Especially since they focused on the wrong characters. No Darryl, no Carol, very little of Michonne, and, likewise, not enough of Rick. Combine that with no action and no events you have a recipe for lower ratings and a consequent cancellation.
But Walking Dead has been a chart topper for a long time, so I suppose it will survive. Perhaps next week it will get back on that roll, and these past two duds will be nothing more than a footnote.
Friday, November 6, 2015
Same thing with DaVinci's Demons. We were watching it weekly, for the first two seasons, but now season three is available all at once, and we can take in two episodes at a time. I still have a lot of problems with DaVinci's Demons, starting with the actor playing the main character, and with a lot of the details that have been portrayed in that show, but whatever. A TV series about Leonardo DaVinci was long overdue, and I'm glad they finally made one.
The Flash and Daredevil are two good shows about comic book superheroes, and I'm glad to have the entire series available all at once. Of course, both shows have had one season so far, but I think they're doing a good job, and I look forward to future seasons.
One of my all time favorites is the show on Cinemax called Banshee. I watched the first two seasons, and am looking forward to season three. I liked the series Strike Back, also, but was disappointed with the poor role they gave Dustin Clare, about which I've already blogged not long ago. Dustin Clare, of course, is my first choice to play Trent Smith, as soon as the movie people decide to make my Killer Series into a movie or TV show.
And if they do, it would be a great martial arts show to behold. It's up to me to keep the source material coming, so that an audience can binge watch instead of waiting for me to come up with something new every week. Or every year. Best to get it done in advance. Like homework. don't wait until the last minute. Learned that in high school.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Monday, November 2, 2015
An episode following the questionable demise of the beloved Glenn character is a special 90 minute episode and probably one of the worst episodes in the entire history of the series! Not a hint of Glenn, not a clue as to his fate, not a thing. We get only a back story on Morgan, which explained his newfound "all life is precious" attitude, even in the aftermath of murdering scumbags wiping out every innocent person they could find in the peaceful community of Alexandria.
Look, in the real world that we're living in now, I mean the real world that's not a TV show, it would be nice if everyone had that "Eastman" belief. Which is all life is precious, and you don't kill. But in the Walking Dead world, Rick and Carol have it right. Even after Morgan explains his story to the "wolf" he spared, the "wolf" still proclaims that if he lives, he'll kill Morgan and everyone else that he can. So, it's as if Morgan is truly being tested on his newfound belief.
But so what? Who cares? Morgan is a fool if he can't understand that he's now living in a kill or be killed world. Sooner or later, if he keeps that up, he'll be killed, and we'll be rid of him. Do I want that? No. I want Morgan to get smart, like Rick and Carol, and deal with the world as it is now. It's the f-ing Walking Dead, dude, and it is what it is. If boring shows like last night's are where the show is headed, this better be the last season. Cuz it's gonna get bad ratings and be canceled anyway. That's all.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
I am also confident that all typos are eliminated, and it's an error free book. Nothing is wrong with that book, and I even feel that it could well be the best book I've ever written. Killer of Killers is my favorite book, but Killer Eyes, really, is a continuation of that same story. It picks up where Killer of Killers leaves off, so it could be considered an extension of the same book. Well, it's called Book Two, after all, so, yeah, it's the second book of a continuing story.
It's a story that centers around the world's greatest martial artist, a man who detests guns, as does this author, and detests injustice. But what moves the plot is the wonder drug Eternity. Called that because of the drug's ability to cure disease and stop aging. But when you have a drug like that, there are people who want to hoard it and administer it to only those people worthy of living forever. It doesn't mean mistakes can't be made and mistakes are certainly made. And it doesn't mean that there aren't side effects. There certainly are side effects.
All in all, the Killer Series is currently a two book run, and yes, there will be a Book Three. Can't say exactly when Book Three will be ready, it's still a WIP. But don't worry. Each book is a self contained story unto itself. None of the books in the Killer Series end with a cliffhanger. I never liked waiting a year to see how a cliffhanger is resolved in TV shows that end a season that way. Nor would I like it in a book. So no, it's not like that with my books. Each book has all the immediate issues resolved. There may be a continuing story arc, but nothing urgent in terms of immediacy.
Buy your copies today. They are both available, and you'll love them if you like Martial Arts thrillers. I can guarantee it.