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.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Readers-It's a Matter of Taste

Just as in food, a reader will want to read a book based on his or her taste in books. Obviously. No one wants to read a book that doesn't interest them. I sure don't. So speaking for myself, what books did I read? Well, I've already stated several times that the authors whose books I've read were Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. G. Wells, and Robert E. Howard. And those authors were writers of fiction, but a special brand of fiction. It was a mixture of Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Adventure.

Burroughs was an adventure novelist, mostly, because when one mentions Burroughs, the character Tarzan comes to mind. But he wrote a lot of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, too. H. G. Wells was Sci-Fi, but it wasn't the typical Sci-Fi like today. His books like The Invisible Man, The TIme Machine, and even War of the Worlds  contained huge elements of Fantasy and Adventure.

And my personal favorite, Robert E. Howard, well, he invented a sub genre of his own, which has been called Sword and Sorcery. This was the world of Conan the Barbarian, but Howard had other books, too, of Sword and Sorcery, most notably, King Kull and Solomon Kane. Howard also wrote Westerns, and other action packed adventure stories, and I have them all.

I don't read as much as I used to, because I dedicate nearly all of my time to my own books, which I've pointed out authors will do. They invest their time in their own writing, and I think it's something they should do. And that's because writers today won't be as good as writers in the past. But that doesn't mean they can't at least try. And trying your best can get results. It makes your writing better. Still, Melville, Dickens, Tolstoy, and Dostoyevsky will never be matched.

But that doesn't mean writers of today aren't or can't be good. And there is a difference in good writing and bad writing. You have to know how to write, and I'm not just talking about a, b, c, etc. It's an art, after all, and just like art, (and music, too,) readers will like different kinds of books and different kinds of styles.

If a reader likes what I like, for example, he or she won't be reading Romance novels. You know, the kind of books that almost always feature a naked or shirtless man on the cover. I still shake my head at the lack of imagination on those covers. But, hey, there's a market for that, otherwise, they wouldn't be there. And those readers may not even consider reading a book like Killer of Killers, which features loads of action, fight scenes, and intrigue.

Some readers won't like fiction at all. I've been mostly a reader of non-fiction in my later years. I like true history, and I am more inclined to read a book about Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Cleopatra than a book about someone who never existed in a world that never was.

Yep, it's a matter of taste. And the diversity out there is a good thing. There's a book out there for everyone.

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