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.



Friday, January 1, 2016

What Lies Ahead in 2016

The years fly by, and now so has the year 2015. Today is the first day of 2016, so what lies ahead? My John Dunn-Heart of a Zulu book will be published this year. It was a long time in the writing, and I really think it's an entertaining book to read. It's based on a true story. A really fascinating story about a white man who lived with the Zulus in South Africa. It's a story that hasn't really received a lot of attention. A couple writers did write about John Dunn. Oliver Walker, in the 1940s wrote a couple novels about him. I have one of them. Charles Ballard wrote a thesis about him, which became a nonfiction book, I believe. But all three of those books are out of print, and near impossible to acquire.

Ian Knight, the world's foremost authority on anything Zulu or Zulu War, wrote a small piece on him, more like an essay, really. But it did contain some valuable information on Dunn, which I used in my book. But no one else seems to have given much attention to the John Dunn story. Not even the people or historians in South Africa. Donald Morris did mention him in his book, The Washing of the Spears, which was appropriate. That book is like the "bible" on the history of the Zulus.

But what else will happen in 2016? Well, I expect to finish my two WIPs, Inside the Outhouse and Killer on the Payroll. Inside the Outhouse, my first MG/YA book, is a book I'm writing for my students, who are MG students, btw. They want to read my books, but since my books aren't for kids, I can't let them. So that one is for them.

Killer on the Payroll may be the final book in my Killer Series. It will wrap up the Trent Smith story, and I'm not sure if I'll write any more books after that. It takes a lot of time and the return is not really worth the effort. I found a small degree of success with it. But that small degree of success is too small, imo. It was fun, but it was also a lot of work. A lot of work that paid no dividends. Like my artwork. That's why I don't draw or paint anymore. It's a lot of work. Work that doesn't return anything other than a small satisfaction of knowing I created something nice. Like my music.

So what will I do instead? Who knows? I'll be teaching art like always and I'll be fulfilling my fatherly responsibilities. I have a son in college and another son in the eighth grade. That takes a lot of time and work, too.

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