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.



Monday, October 26, 2015

Hatred for Guns Projected into my Stories

Guns, guns, guns. It seems like a lot of, or most of the action stories, be they novels, movies, or TV shows, use guns. A lot of guns. It seems that most, if not all the action heroes use guns, unless their stories take place in an era before guns were invented, of course.

There's a couple shows, Bunraku, for instance, where the action takes place with no guns. That's because, in Bunraku, guns are outlawed. And now there's a new TV show coming soon, called Into the Badlands, where, like in Bunraku, guns are outlawed.

But in the real world, guns are prevalent. More than prevalent, actually, and society is surely paying the price for that prevalence. Movies, novels, and TV shows are reflecting that prevalence, often focusing on the price for that prevalence.

I hate the price that's being paid for that prevalence, although, fortunately, that price has not affected me personally, and I hope that remains true. Nevertheless, I have projected my own personal hatred for guns onto the main character in my Killer Series.

In Book One, Killer of Killers, Trent Smith never uses a gun. He is a deadly martial artist who can kill with his bare hands. He makes one comment in the story when he disarms a bad guy, and tosses the gun and knife away. "Guns and knives...weapons of cowards." That was the only allusion to his feelings about guns in the entire book, other than the fact that he never uses one.

In Book Two, I don't think Trent makes any comments about guns, but he still never uses a gun. He is forced to use a katana, however, and he just happens to be an expert. Being trained in Japan, that is a very realistic development. He's a master at Kendo, which is the art of using a katana. The fact that Trent Smith holds the rank of Judan automatically suggests he's a master with a katana, and he most certainly is.

But when it comes to guns, in Book Three, which is a WIP right now, I do put in there that Trent wishes guns had never been invented. Now I'm not so extreme in that belief, personally, but I do wish guns were limited to the military and police. I don't think 'Johnny Average' needs a gun. I don't believe in hunting, either, btw. I don't recognize the "sport" in shooting an animal that's grazing, and/or minding its own business in an area where it's at home. But the world is the way it is, and all I can do about it is write great stories. And that's all I'll ever be able to do.

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