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.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Now Alan Rickman has passed

Another famous performer has passed. Alan Rickman, who is credited with roles in Robin Hood-Prince of Thieves, in which he played the evil sheriff of Nottingham, Die Hard, in which he played the evil terrorist dude, and the Harry Potter movies, in which he played a character named Snape.

My favorite role of Rickman's, however, is Alexander Dane in the movie Galaxy Quest. And why wouldn't it be? Galaxy Quest happens to be one of my all time favorite movies. At least in so far as comedies are concerned. And Galaxy Quest was a home run. It was a spoof of the Star Trek universe, meaning, it was loosely based on the post-Star Trek-years of the real life Star Trek actors. And it was hilarious. Rickman played his role perfectly, and it's a movie I can watch over and over again.

So here's to Alan Rickman. An actor whom I never mentioned because he wasn't the type of actor who played a hero. He often played the villain. But he's an actor who deserves recognition, and unfortunately a sad farewell.

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