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.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Comic Book Heroes and favorite things

I used to read comics. Don't anymore. But when I was a kid, comic books were like another dimension. I was twelve years old when I bought my first comic book. I bought four of them. I didn't know much about comics then, just saw some that other kids brought to school. I saw Batman and Superman on TV, but never read the comics. But when I chose four at the local drug store, I really chose at random, based on what I perceived as "cool" covers.

They were all Marvel, and they were Superhero Groups. The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, and the X-Men. The fourth one was a comic book satire called Not Brand Echh. It was volume no. 1.

Well, the FF, and the X-Men have become movies by now, and I understand The Avengers will soon be a movie too. It was the X-Men that I liked best. Just something about it gave me a sentimental attachment. It was weird. Because a couple years later, it was cancelled. Talk about weird. All my favorite things got cancelled.

At that time, my favorite TV shows got cancelled. I talked about the Wild, Wild West already, but another favorite TV show, Star Trek, also got cancelled. Then the comic book, The X-Men got cancelled. A few years later, my favorite rock band, Black Sabbath, broke up. That was the worst.

But Star Trek came back as movies, although they all sucked, and the X-Men came back as the new X-Men. Even though it took off in popularity, I still had that sentimental attachment to the original X-Men. It's weird. I seem to always like the original thing better than the new thing. I'm old school.

I was charged when Black Sabbath reunited for their live tours. I was at every one. At least every one that was in California. Front row seat every time. Still, I am disappointed they won't put out a new studio album. It seems even when there is good news, it has a cap on it. Such is life.

Oh well. Time for work.

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