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, January 28, 2016

Contract Arrived for Second Chance

As I expected, my third and latest publisher, Knox Robinson Publishing, has sent me a publishing contract for my fifth and latest novel, Second Chance - A Football Story. So that makes it official. Second Chance is now under contract and scheduled for publication. And with a print run publisher, too. Make no mistake. I will always have sentiments for Melange and Penumbra. Melange was the first publisher to offer me a publishing contract, and my two Killer books are published under their label. Penumbra, of course, has The Vase.

But sentiments aside, it's a step up when you move from a POD publisher to a print run publisher, and it's a big step up. Print run publishers get your books into bookstores. I've blogged about it a few times, so no need to go over all of that again.

Suffice it to say that every book I've written has found its way to publication. And hopefully my books will have more success in bookstores where most people go to buy books. Despite the computer age, and the Internet, there's just something better about buying books in a bookstore than buying them online. Even if online means going to Amazon.com where my books are available, as well as other online book-selling sites. But those online sites, even Amazon, can't beat a bookstore when it comes to buying books.

And I'm not just talking about me. I would say the majority of book buyers prefer to browse in a bookstore, walking through aisles, flipping through pages, reading back cover copy, and that sort of thing. It's up close and personal. You get to feel the books, smell the pages, sort through genres, sit and relax with a potential purchase, all before you go to that cash register. It's a far superior experience than clicking on a "buy" button on an Internet website.

Maybe it's nostalgia, and if it is, then I'm not happy to admit that the disappearance of bookstores is imminent. Because those of us who have preferred bookstores will not be around too much longer. We'll go the way of the dinosaur, and so will bookstores. How many other stores will that happen to? Not sure, but it's clear that bookstores are on that list.

But for now, bookstores are still around, and it will be cool to see my books in some of them. At least Heart of a Zulu and Second Chance. Can't wait.

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