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.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Penumbra Publishing Going Under

Received notice recently that Penumbra Publishing will be undergoing a "business model change" whatever that means. But the bottom line as far as I'm concerned will be that it's no longer going to be a publisher. Which means the rights to all of their books will be released to their respective authors.

So as soon as this summer, Penumbra will no longer be the publisher for The Vase. Which is somewhat coincidental. This summer will be the debut of my new publisher, Knox Robinson Publishing, which is publishing Second Chance in August, and then Heart of a Zulu in November. I suppose I can offer The Vase to them, and all will go on as before.

But with KRP publishing two books of mine already this year, I'll no doubt have to wait until 2017 for The Vase to be published. Sheesh, The Vase has gone through the ringers. Here's the history of The Vase. First, it was accepted for publication by Aberdeen Bay which is another POD publisher. I didn't accept that contract. Instead I went with Virtual Tales, and signed a contract with them.

But then Virtual Tales underwent their own problems and released the rights back to me. Then Cogito Media offered a contract for The Vase and I signed it. But then during the editing stage, several of the Cogito staff, including my editor and the acquisitions director resigned and the editor even told me she was suing Cogito. So much for them.

Since Cogito broke the terms of their own contract, I went ahead and signed with Penumbra. All went well for a while, even better than well, since I learned a heck of a lot from a man named Grayson Little who taught me all the finer points of writing novels in the 21st Century. And in case you didn't know, writing novels today is a lot different than writing novels in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. I applied that knowledge to all of my novels. Thus my style is up to par with what is expected in novels today. And that was all thanks to Grayson Little.

Okay. So that was then and this is now. I will request a letter from Penumbra which will signify that all rights to The Vase are reverted to me. Then I'll ask KRP if they want to publish The Vase. But first, I'll use this opportunity to improve the writing even more. That is always something I like to do. Use every chance I get to make the writing even better.

So I'll make it as good as I can, and then move on. First, however, I'm making Second Chance as good as it can be, and then I'll do the same for John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. They will be awesome books, and I can't wait for those to be published. Stay tuned.

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