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.



Friday, June 10, 2016

Second Chance almost ready

My football novel, Second Chance is almost ready. I've been going at it full steam for the last month and a half, revising, editing and proofreading over and over and over again.

And it's one of the most polished books I've ever seen at this point. I dare say all typos have been discovered and corrected. There are no inconsistencies or time mistakes, meaning no more chronological errors. I found them all. Fixed them all. And I'll go over it again today.

I plan on sending it this weekend or early next week. I know I've sent other files of it before, but those files were full of errors. I learned this with my first book. You don't wait to see if it needs fixing. You fix it right away. And that's what I'm doing right now.

I've been thinking of covers. I looked up some stock photos and found some good ones. The number of the character's jersey in the book is 24, so I'm hoping the cover designer can change the photo numbers to 24. If not, I'll have to go over the book again and change the number. Which is no big deal. So here's some possible cover ideas:

This is one of my preferences. If the number can be changed to 24, I might very well choose this for the cover. It's a photo that strikes me. The player conveys confidence here. And that's Tony Belmont all the way. Tony Belmont is the football player who is the main character in Second Chance. He's a great player. Particularly a great defensive back. He's a great athlete, and he knows his football. He's better than all of his friends, and he's well respected for his great football skills.

So why didn't he play in college or the pros? Because he didn't even play his senior year in high school. He was injured. And for years he regretted it. He has a recurring dream that he didn't miss it. But he did. And then one day he is confronted with an offer to have a second chance. Thus the name of the book. Second Chance - a Football Story. And there's a lot of football in it. So if you like football, this book is for you.

Let's look at some other possible covers.



This is another photo that I could go with. It has the same feel as the one above. Again, I hope they could change the number to 24. I would think a designer could do that.

I like the other one better, though. I like the way the other one is slightly turned. This one has the guy facing you squarely. Something about that isn't right. I guess it's not the way a DB would line up against a wide receiver at the line of scrimmage.

But if the guy was going to make a tackle he would. So I suppose that would work. Although this guy is not preparing to make a tackle. You never would be standing straight up like this to make a tackle. You'd get bowled over if you did.

Anyway, it's a good photo, and it could work.

Let's look at some others.



This one has a lot going for it. There's no number visible on the jersey, so that problem is eliminated. The player here conveys confidence, like the players in the other photos. I like the lights behind him. And I like that he has a football in his hands.

Actually, the more I look at this photo, the more I like it. I think I'll send all three to Knox Robinson, and tell them I would approve any of them.

What else is there? Let's see.


Well, I like this one. But wait a minute. That's my son right there. It's a photo of my son, Mark Anthony, during his Junior year in high school. He was a great running back. He was fast, agile, great hands, great moves, and had great vision. He was strong enough to bulldoze through the strongest defensive line, but he was also fast enough to outrun the fastest defensive backs. Speaking of speed, he had more breakaway runs than any runner I had ever seen. It was just as possible for him to break an 80 yard run for a TD as it was for him to bust through a linebacker for a tough first down. His Senior year, he was his team's MVP, and the league's Offensive Player of the Year.

Well, that's all for now. Time to get back to making sure the manuscript is ready to send. Look for Second Chance, a Football Story coming this summer at a bookstore near you. Or just check out this blog. I'll have a link to the purchase page. And there's always Amazon.com.

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