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, September 25, 2015

Interesting News About The Martian

I just read that the new movie called The Martian was written by a man in Mt. View, California, which is in the area where I grew up. (I went to high school in Mt. View.) It was originally a self-published eBook, that became popular to the point where agents, publishers, and movie producers were contacting him instead of the other way around. Talk about a positive turn in a writer's life. Wow.

If only it could be so easy. Or maybe it wasn't. I understand it wasn't his first book. I read that he hates his first book, which wasn't published, and all copies but one have been destroyed. Well, so what. If agents, publishers, and movie producers are contacting you, you did something right, no matter how many books you've written.

But the guy was a computer engineer. He had a large following, I understand, since he was a program writer for some video game company. It wasn't just any company, I believe it was a big one, or at least the video game was big. I don't know much about video games, because I never play them. I'm from the generation right before the generation of video game junkies.

All I am is a teacher. I can reach some kids and maybe their parents, but I have no avenue to a large computer-based following, like this guy apparently did. Of course, the story must be compelling. As I understand it, it's about a manned mission to Mars, and a Martian storm separates one of the astronauts from the others, so they believe he's dead and take off without him. So the astronaut is stranded on Mars alone and figures out how to survive until a rescue mission saves him.

As I write this, I'm reminded of the 1964 movie, Robinson Crusoe on Mars. (I loved that movie, btw.) I wonder if this guy was influenced by that movie. Like The Martian, it was about an astronaut who was stranded on Mars. It seems like a similar plot, but what makes The Martian different is the fact that this writer used his computer knowledge to make the computer related elements accurate.

The only thing I read that wasn't accurate, was the fact that Mars doesn't have storms. So who knows. Maybe one day someone will like Killer of Killers or The Vase enough to contact me with the desire to make a movie. Maybe the day pigs fly. So let's get started on inventing pig wings. LOL.

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