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.



Monday, February 3, 2014

Don't Want Reviews from Friends/Family

I have no doubt that many authors welcome reviews from their friends and from their family members. No doubt that these reviews will be rave reviews. And that's what authors want--rave reviews. But when it's from your mother? Your brother? Even your cousins? Your friends? To me, that's only one step above that of getting reviews from paid reviewers. You know--those people who make a living by getting paid to give authors a rave review. In other words, these are not honest reviews. They are dishonest reviews. To me, a review should be from someone who you DON'T know, someone who read the book and then gives a review based on his or her honest and unbiased opinion of it.

That's not to say that all reviewers can do that. Many reviewers revel in bashing others, especially authors. They seem to have a perverted pleasure in hurting someone by giving a brutal, and often dishonest review, even though they don't even know that person.

So it's a cruel world. But it's the world in which we live, isn't it? It is. If you're creative, you have to put it out there, however, and what other choice do you have? Do nothing? Many people choose that option. They do nothing. Nothing creative, that is. And for those of us who choose to create? It's a risk. Some will like what we do, and others won't, and it's up to them to express those feelings, but there is also the dishonest out there. Some are paid to rave, and some just have a twisted pleasure to hurt. As for the latter, I would consider them to be the cruel element of society. But they exist. Unfortunately.

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