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.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Romance Necessary?

In all of my books, there is an element of romance. Since tomorrow is Valentine's Day, it made me wonder if romance is really necessary in a story. I think it depends on the story, the characters involved in the story, and the circumstances. After all, doesn't romance depend on those things in real life? I believe it does. Because romance is part of life. It's part of living. And whenever you have people doing things around other people, especially members of the opposite genders, then romance is bound to happen. It's normal, natural, and inevitable.

In Killer of Killers, the MC, Trent Smith, is not looking for romance. He's looking for vengeance. Not for himself, but for the increasing number of innocents that have been slain with no justice being administered to the murderers. It affects him, even across the world, as he lives and trains in Japan. He returns to America, the land of his birth, and he figures to make it right. But he's single, still young, and romance happens. And then tragedy happens. Because unforeseen tragedies are also part of life. It happens. And Trent Smith is forced to deal with it on his journey of vengeance. He feels guilty about it, because it could be true that he brought it on himself.

But that's reality. Everything we do has innumerable consequences, and when you go the road of violence, as Trent does, violence is bound to follow you, and violence gets people killed. There's a lesson in there somewhere, I think. Does Trent ever learn it? You'll have to buy your copy of Killer of Killers to find out.

In The Vase, there is romance, too. The MC is a married Palestinian potter whose wife left him, but she comes back to him and their romance is renewed. But it's a rocky romance, particularly since they had lost a teenaged son to the violence over there, and they're trying their best to make sure their other teenaged son steers clear of it.

And then there are the Israeli characters defending themselves, (as they see it,) from the violence that has fallen upon them, and romance ensues with them, also. It's a complicated arrangement, since the IDF, (the Israeli Defense Force,) is full of young and single people. Their dedication to the preservation of Israel is their common priority, but romance has it's way of surviving even the toughest of times. Can't give away too much here. You'll have to buy your copy of The Vase to learn more, (although the blurb underneath my blog's header reveals some of the details.)

So what are you waiting for? Click on the links to the right of this post and buy one or both books today!

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