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.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tony Iommi

Last week I talked about Robert E. Howard, and how he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for being the great writer he was. He was a man, who not only was a great writer, but a writer who invented a genre: Sword and Sorcery.

Many imitators followed. But Howard was the first, and it’s a shame when someone is so original, and so unique, and such a magnificent talent, that they are dismissed by others who can never hope to match that talent. But Howard’s not the only one. Tony Iommi is another inventor of a genre, a true innovator, and a fantastic talent.

Tony WHO???

I am a musician and songwriter in addition to being a writer of novels, and I thought I’d bring up my favorite band again. Black Sabbath. The reason is because Black Sabbath’s lead guitarist, Tony Iommi, like Howard, invented a new genre. In his case a new genre of music. Heavy Metal.

Both men invented something new…something original…something that took off and exploded with popularity. And that’s a mark of greatness.

But even though both men are acknowledged by their peers, they are still amazingly unknown to the general public. I pointed that out last week concerning Howard.

Today, Heavy Metal is the mainstream of Rock music. But when Tony Iommi was the first to play it forty years ago, he was reviled. Now, it’s the in-thing and the musicians who play it KNOW he was first. They give him props. But most rock music fans have no clue who Tony Iommi is.

So here’s to the men who not only became great at what they did, but actually invented the thing that they did. Robert E. Howard – the inventor of Sword and Sorcery, and Tony Iommi – the inventor of Heavy Metal.

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