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, June 13, 2014

Loose Strings and Tough Chicks

While finishing Killer Eyes, I'm dealing with the loose strings. I ended up tying up one of those loose strings, but in doing so, I untied another. It's the way of a series, I guess. Meaning if you have a series going, you WANT to have loose strings. It gives the reader a reason to read the next book in the series.

In Killer Eyes, Trent Smith is confronted with perhaps his most dangerous enemy. Certainly his most villainous. And it's a woman! Who would believe that? Trent Smith, in Killer of Killers, is the world's greatest martial artist! In the entire book, he never kills a woman. In fact, he never even fights a woman. He never has a reason to, but still it's not something he had ever done in the ten years he dominated the Japanese underground fighting circuits.

But in Killer Eyes, he is up against a very special villain. And yes, it's a female villain. Who would have guessed? I ask because I never believed in the "tough" female character. What I mean is the kind of woman who goes around beating up everyone, even men. Yeah, I know there are women who are tough. And I know SOME women can beat up SOME men. But when you have a female character that goes around beating up and killing everyone, even every single man she goes up against, it's just not realistic.

I have to believe that women do not WANT to beat up everyone. I have to believe that women don't WANT to go around being a "tough guy." I have to believe that women are DIFFERENT than men. At least in THAT regard. Women think differently than men. Being a macho man is a MAN'S thing. Being a macho man is not a WOMAN'S thing. So why would a woman want to be a tough guy beating everyone up? Do women want to see that? Do women get a kick out of seeing other women beating up every man she goes up against? I can't believe that.

I am not saying that all women want to play with dolls, and all women want to be cheerleaders. Take my favorite sport, for example: Football. It's a tough game. You have to be strong. You have to be fast. Am I a male chauvinist when I observe that, generally speaking, men are stronger and faster than women? I don't think I am. It's a physical fact. Generally speaking, of course. And in football, the stronger and faster players are usually the better players.

And in the game of football, there's a brutal element involved, too. You can get hurt. Sometimes, real badly. Why would a woman want to subject herself to that? Usually, they don't. But I always hear about a girl or a woman who does. And the last time I did, guess what happened to that woman...she got hurt! 

When it comes to fighting, you get hurt doing that, too. Killed, sometimes. Why would a woman want to hurt someone or risk getting hurt or killed herself? Why would a woman want to be a macho man? I think that question begs an answer. Because I think I'm right. Normally women don't. But there are exceptions, and that's my point. In Killer Eyes, the female villain is an exception. And a very special exception. I think that exceptions are made by the circumstances surrounding them. Often they are the circumstances that you are born into. And those circumstances shape you.

In Killer Eyes you will see what those circumstances are, and how they affected Ming Sang, the female antagonist to the world's greatest martial artist: Trent Smith. But don't forget, when you're a woman, there's another factor involved in a relationship with a man. Something that another man would not have. At least not with Trent Smith. When Killer Eyes comes out, you'll see what I mean.

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