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.



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Vase - Rewritten and Ready

Once again, my novel The Vase is undergoing submissions. To agents and publishers. But this time I'm going slow. Now that I read through the entire manuscript, making improvements where I believed they were necessary, the manuscript is better than ever. So much so that I'm giving the agent route another shot. But I'm not going full steam ahead with that. I'm only going to query maybe five or six agents at the max. If there are still no takers I'm not going to worry about it.

Publishers were quick to offer contracts the last time I submitted. And that was before the manuscript was as polished as it is now. I'm hoping to land another print run publisher. I do want the book in bookstores. Yes, my goal is the Big Five. But I'm not so set on that. Getting published by the Big Five seems ever elusive to me. And there are probably several reasons for that. The first of which is the fact that you need an agent for that. But if I don't get there, there are other reputable publishers out there that don't require agents, and some can be a great home for The Vase.

It's funny in a way. Because at one point, The Vase was the first of my five novels to get a contract offer. But before it could get published, the publisher folded. Then another publisher offered a contract. Then that publisher underwent some major internal problems, and I pulled the book from their lineup. Then Killer of Killers was published first. Then The Vase got four more contracts offered. I finally settled on Penumbra, but now Penumbra is undergoing problems of their own, and I pulled The Vase once again making it available to another publisher. Which means now, The Vase will be the last of my five novels to get a contract offer. Weird. It was the first and it will be the last.

But after all is said and done with publishers, I don't want to go the POD route. It's not the best way to get your book published. Yes, it's better than being self-published. And yes it's better than not being published at all. But it won't be in book stores. And that's what I'm looking to as a criteria this time. Does the publisher get their books into bookstores? We'll see how that goes. Stay tuned.

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