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, May 4, 2016

Second Chance nearing publication date

It's May already, and August is approaching fast. August is the month my fourth novel will be published, Second Chance, a Football Story. But Second Chance is not the fourth novel I've written. That would be John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. That one is being published in November.

The reason is simple. August is the month football season begins, and football fans are thinking about football. I am in that club. I've been a lover of football for almost as far back as I can remember. Since I was a little tyke. I remember being about seven or eight years old when I would watch football games on my parents' black and white TV. I would watch whatever game was on. College or pro, I couldn't tell the difference back then. It was football. And I loved watching it on TV.

Then I started playing. I was only eight or so when I was playing in a game with high school boys. They were all giants to me, but I was out there running around being in the game. Those boys were nice enough to let me believe I was on their team. They never threw me a pass, but that doesn't mean I didn't make plays.

I did make a couple plays that I remember to this day. I remembered from watching those football games on TV, defensive players would bring down an opposing runner by throwing themselves horizontally at the runner's feet, and then the runner would trip over them and fall down. Now that's not the proper technique of tackling, and it's not taught by any coach, but it worked, and I took that knowledge with me into that football game.

So I was only about half the size of these older boys, and it was a defensive play, where the opposing team ran a sweep around the left end. (My left, that is.) Remembering that type of tackling technique, I ran out there to meet the runner, and I threw my body horizontally at the runner's feet. Sure enough that guy tripped over my body, and I made the tackle! I felt great for having tackled a much older boy who was easily twice my size in both height and weight.

I was proud of myself for doing that. The boys on my team were impressed by my fearless act. But it didn't stop there. Now, again, those boys were never going to throw me a pass on offense, but I'm out there running patterns anyway. And on one particular play, a pass got deflected high into the air. I was in the perfect position to catch the deflected ball on the run. And I did.

So I'm running for the end zone, but being a little kid, the high school boys were a lot faster than I was. But one of the boys on my team made a block that enabled me to go all the way. Of course, it was a great feeling. In that game with the big boys, I made a solo tackle, and I scored a touchdown. The players were not patronizing in the least. It was all legit.

Well, I grew up, and my football career had successes and disappointments, and ultimately I wrote my football story. It's called Second Chance - A Football Story. It's not my football story, mind you. But it is a football story that came to me in a dream. I woke up and wrote it down, and now it's a novel that will be published this August. Right on time for football season.

Stay tuned people. It's another book coming to you from your friendly neighborhood author: Mark M. DeRobertis. The author of two martial arts action adventures, one suspense story in the Middle East, one Historical Fiction based on the true story of John Dunn in South Africa during the Nineteenth Century, and a contemporary football story.

So what's next? Maybe my MG/YA thriller/fantasy or my third Killer installment. We'll see.

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