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.



Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Vikings Show Pretty Good

About two years ago when the show Vikings began on the History Channel, I started watching it, but stopped. Now that the third season has just finished, I've begun watching it again, and I'm liking it better than the first time I gave it a chance.

One of the reasons I stopped watching it the first time was that I just didn't agree with the writing. There's this Viking guy, and he has ideas that the top Viking guy, called an "earl", doesn't agree with. And for that reason, the "earl" is mean to the guy and treats him with contempt. But I just didn't buy that. Here we had the leader of this Viking community who has a top warrior on his side, a top explorer with vision, and because that warrior has "ideas" he treats him with gross disrespect.

Again, I didn't buy that, and quit watching the show. But after resuming watching, it's growing on me. So the good Viking guy eventually kills the bad "earl" and he becomes the "earl." Okay. I just finished with season two and it ended well. Now the good Viking guy who became the "earl" has just become the king of the Vikings. No need to spoil the how and why it happened, but I ended up agreeing with how it was written. It turned out to be a good show worth watching.

And I'm glad I waited to watch it after the fact. By using the "on demand" feature of my cable service, I'm able to watch these shows without having to bear with the commercials. Nor do I have to wait week to week to see the next episodes. Nor do I have to wait a year to see the next season's continuing story line. Well, I will after I'm done watching season three.

In the meantime, then, I'll find another series to watch. There seems to be no end of these Premium channel shows, or Cable channel shows. And most of them have been quite good--complete with top notch acting, great directing, and production values on the level of feature films. Beats Network TV hands down.

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