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, July 14, 2014

Killer Eyes-Chinese Female Villain from Nanking

Since when has a villain in a story ever been a Chinese woman? Mostly they are men. Mostly white men. (But that's okay, since mostly the heroes are white men, too.) Increasingly white women are becoming the heroes, (or at least the protagonists) in stories. That's probably because women are doing a lot of writing lately. But even though these women writers often make their protagonists women, I ask how often do they make the antagonist a woman? My guess is not as often.

It's becoming more common of late that non-white men are being written as villains. And I've even seen a few white women represented as villains. Or at least as antagonists. But off the top of my head I can't think of a single non-white woman who's ever been a villain. I do remember the Vin Diesel movie called The Pacifier, where a middle aged Chinese couple were the antagonists. But that was a light movie, a Disney movie, at that, and not serious. And it wasn't just a single Chinese woman, it was a married couple from China who were on a mission as spies.

But I can say that Ming Sang, a young Chinese woman makes a very good villain. In Killer Eyes, the sequel to Killer of Killers, Ming Sang is the leader of the Killers Guild. And she is a killer. She has beautiful eyes. They are mysterious, but they exude an evil, too. How? Well, you'd have to see them. It could be the way she carries herself, her demeanor, and it gets expressed in her eyes. It's the complete package. An evil package. And she is also a martial arts expert.

But so is Trent Smith. Trent Smith is regarded by his peers as the greatest martial artist in the world. And Ming Sang's ego wants that person as her own. She wants Trent Smith by her side or failing that objective, she wants him dead. Which will it be? Oh, to be sure there is a whole lot more going on with Ming Sang than just her infatuation with Trent Smith.

For one thing, there's NANKING. It's where she was born, and it's where her parents were born. You see, Nanking, China is her home town, and if you don't know what happened there during World War II, I would suggest you Google it. Most people are familiar with the Holocaust that took place in Europe during WWII, but they don't know about the Holocaust that took place in Nanking. It could be what influenced Ming Sang and her evil ways.

Look for Killer Eyes soon. You just might learn a lot about real history. Like Nanking.

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