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, February 22, 2016

Black Sails and Walking Dead - both great

Until I start watching Arrow again, both the Walking Dead and Black Sails are the only shows I'm watching now. Black Sails is about mid-season in its fourth season, and Walking Dead has just resumed its sixth season. And so far, both have delivered.

My favorite pirate captains, Captain Flint and Captain Vane are allies, as they resumed their alliance by the end of season three. They have upped the stakes in their war against civilization and their reasons are valid. But a new captain has entered the story line now. He's the famous Blackbeard the pirate, played by one of my favorite actors, Ray Stevenson, who I liked in the HBO show Rome. I'm wary, however, because in the trailer for next week's episode, Blackbeard and Flint are shown getting ready to duel it out with pistols. I'm getting tired of characters who are supposed to be allies fighting amongst themselves. That's why I was glad to see the ex-slaves on the island decide to become allies with the pirates rather than killing them. But it was Flint's great speech that convinced the leader of the ex-slaves to join them rather than kill them, and it was a well written episode.

And The Walking Dead has finally made Rick and Michonne a couple. It's something I had believed should happen and by the end of last night's episode it happened. Well, at least they hooked up for a romantic evening. I don't know for sure if they will continue that, but I hope they do. I had always believed that they should. Apparently I"m not the only one who believed that. I understand fans of the show also believed it. I'm glad the writers shared that belief. Both are strong characters, and Michonne had Rick's back from the beginning. She's saved his life at least twice, and of course, Rick saved Michonne's life, too. So they are an ideal couple if you ask me.

I'm not sure who this "Jesus" character is or what he's about, but I'm guessing he will be a new regular character from here on out. I'm also guessing he will become one of the "beloved" characters, joining Rick, Michonne, Darryl, Glenn, Carol, Carl, Abraham, and "all the rest." It's okay with me if he does. He seems like an interesting character so far. And that's one of the reasons The Walking Dead is TV's most popular show for six years running now. They have great characters, which is a paramount factor in maintaining fan interest. I don't doubt they will continue that.

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