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, December 8, 2015

Not One for Politics

I've said it before. This is not a political blog. Nor do I make references to politics in any of my books. I have found that discussing politics brings out the worst in people. Just why that is, I'm not so sure. I've seen an incredible lack of courtesy in people who are political. On every aspect, and on both sides of the political aisle. The way people behave while discussing politics is repugnant to me.

I am not political. Really. I've stated that I am against guns. Or more accurately, that no one should have a gun. But since so many people do have guns, then I'm willing to go the other way and say everyone should have a gun, like in the days of the Old West. Of course, I believe in the equality thing. Meaning, equal pay for equal work, equal rights for all, etc. And equal access or equal non-access to guns!

As for my characters. Like me, Trent Smith, in my Killer Series, is not political. Like me, however, he hates guns, which might be considered a Liberal thing. But he most definitely believes in capital punishment, which might be considered a Conservative thing. Other than that, there is no reference to Trent's political ideology. He's just a guy who believes in justice. Straight up and simple.

As for the characters in The Vase, you have the Palestinian family of the main character, Muhsin Muhabi, and they are not much into politics, either. They are agnostics, meaning they are not devout Muslims, or radicals, or extremists. All Muhsin wants to do is protect his wife and son, since he's already lost one son to the violence extremism can wreak.

Professor Weiss, Captain Mathias, and Mary Levin could be called Israeli patriots. They work for Shin Bet, and you can bet they do a good job. It's my perception of all Israeli government officials that they do a good job or their nation will cease to exist. The way I see it, the Israelis have no room for error. Not with their very existence hanging in the balance.

Which is one of the reasons I wrote The Vase and made it take place in Nazareth, Israel. It's the perfect setting for a potter, a religious war, and conflicting viewpoints. Talk about the need for conflict to make a great story, the setting of contemporary Nazareth can't be topped.

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