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.



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Killer Eyes and Heart of a Zulu

So Killer Eyes is in the works to be published now, and I'm back to work on John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. But I don't name my book for body parts. Like Eyes and Hearts. No. Just those two. It's weird that it happened that way for both of those books. I didn't plan it. Just happened.

So I am working on John Dunn, but it's my longest book. Even though it's historical fiction, based on the true story of John Dunn, it's like a fantasy in many ways. It's set in the nineteenth century, where muskets were the main weapons, but the new breach-loading rifles were just coming out. And it's set in Zululand, which the name Zululand in itself reeks of a fantasy setting.

The Zulus too are the stuff of fantasy, what with kings and witchdoctors, and an army of forty thousand blade wielding warriors ready to kill, and a lone white man making his life amongst them. A lone white man who became best friends with the Zulu king, I might add. A lone white man living amongst a nation of warlike black men, and accepted as one of them.

And a lone white man who marries fifty black women. Now that's something if you ask me. And over one hundred children. And here's the amazing part. It's true history. And John Dunn didn't just go around impregnating a bunch of black women, and then go his own way. No. Again, he married them, and he supported them, and raised his one hundred plus kids on his own land and cared for them, every one of them. He saw to their well being and made sure they were all cared for at the time of his death. It's a historical fact that when he died he mentioned in his will all of his wives and all of his children.

So this guy, John Dunn, was the real deal. A real husband and a real father. It's great if you think about it. These days, it's tough just to care for two kids, like I have. But these are different days. No doubting that. But no one's going to be writing a book about me and my two kids. Different days different times, and today is not the time of a fantasy-like life. Not with the rules, laws, and expectations of today. Such is life.

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