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.



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Football, the Greatest Sport

For me, football is the greatest team sport. It's the greatest game, period. I have always had a passion for football. I played whenever I could. I would rather be on a football field, playing football, even in a sandlot game, than anywhere else and doing anything else. That's what football meant to me. My wife thinks I should have been a football coach. And I did dabble in it for a bit.

It's weird that my own high school football experience was cut short, but that's another story from a long and distant past. The story that is current, which is the story that has me excited, is my new upcoming novel called Second Chance. It's not a biography, no. I didn't do any of those things in the novel. But I did dream the story. You see, for forty years I had been having a  recurring dream about football. Particularly high school football. Not necessarily of things I did back then. More like things I might have done if I had been a wiser teenager.

I don't suppose I'm the only person who could have done things better as a teenager. But I continued to have dreams about football that might have or could have been. And one day I had a dream about a football player who gets a second chance. It wasn't me. It was a dream, but it was a dream as if I was watching a movie. And when I woke up, I thought to write it all down. After doing that, I thought to myself that it was about time I wrote my fifth novel, and it was going to be about football -- more specifically about the football dream I had. And I did.

I had procured a publisher for my book John Dunn - Heart of a Zulu, and when I mentioned that I had just completed a sports novel about a football player, my publisher was interested in publishing that, too. And because football starts in August, that was the date my novel was pegged to be released. Even ahead of the John Dunn novel.

So I've been working very hard on it the last couple months, and I'm glad I have been. Because I'm not a newbie when it comes to getting published. I've already learned to go over and over and over that manuscript before it's published. And I have. And Second Chance - A Football Story is as pristine a manuscript as you can get. I won't say it's perfect. Typos have a way to stay hidden. So I will read it one more time and submit it on Monday for this August's publication.

I'm very pleased at this point. Because after this, I have my John Dunn book to polish up. Even though it's already polished up. Doesn't mean it can't be more polished up. Gang way!

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