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.



Sunday, March 13, 2016

Walking Dead - Carol Regresses

I never liked regression. The Carol character in the Walking Dead regressed. She started out as a timid, afraid victim of a wife beater, who evolved into a badass, unafraid killer of bad guys, and then in tonight's episode she reverts to the timid, second-guessing victim that she used to be.

To me that's BS. In tonight's episode, she's victimized, brutalized, and faces being murdered by a gang of murderers, and she reverts back to her timid, second guessing, I don't want to kill anyone self? Well, at least the show ended with her doing them in, but she regretted it. It's a far cry from the person she had become. As fans of the show know, Carol had evolved into the kind of person who killed when she needed to, and she didn't have any qualms about it. Now she's back to having qualms, and I hate that kind of writing.

It's as if the writers are trying to instill in the audience a sense of morality. I don't need anyone instilling in me any sense of morality. I don't watch shows to be lectured to. Why? Because I don't need anyone telling me how I should act or behave or what to believe in. I certainly don't need any TV shows telling me that.

Actually, as I was watching tonight's episode, I was thinking that if I had written this episode, I'd have Maggie and Carol fight their own way out, kill all of their captors, and rejoin Rick and the gang no worse for the wear. It's the way it ended up, albeit with Carol's regressed sense of morality or humanity, which at this point in the show, (season six) they should have a good handle on by now. Meaning they know what they have to do to survive. If others can coexist and contribute, then great. But if others are nothing more than cold blooded killers out for only themselves at the expense of everyone else, than all gloves are off.

So no more regressions. Please. That will ruin the show for me. One thing readers can count on is they won't be lectured in my books. And there will be no character regressions. My characters grow, evolve, and become better. They don't revert to square one in their development. Because when characters do that, it makes it as though the journey to that point was for nothing. And I don't like wasting my time.

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