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.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Vase - What a story!

As I'm rereading and improving the writing of The Vase, I'm finding myself in awe. Not of the writing, which, btw, is improving with every read-through, as it should. I'm in awe of the story. What a story! I was noting in yesterday's blog post that it's the most original story ever. And as I'm reading it, and improving the prose, I'm remembering why. You'll never read or watch a story as original as this. But originality by itself is not what makes a story great. You've got to have great characters too. And as you'll see below the header of this blog, there are great characters in this story.

Not just the Palestinian potter. There's an art professor, who works for Shin Bet. There's an IDF captain who leads Kidon. And there's the beautiful assistant to the director of Shin Bet, herself a former IDF captain. Not to mention the reality series ghost hunter, and his show's producer!

Oh, and there are bad guys. Who else? Hamas terrorists. Except they're not Hamas. You see in this story Hamas strikes a temporary truce with the Israeli government which is to last at least as long as the Pope's tour of the Holy Land. But typical of any extremist group, there's a faction of Hamas who will have nothing to do with a truce with Israelis. And the Israelis of course have their own faction who shares the same extremist view, meaning they won't tolerate a truce either. And you wonder why peace is so hard to come by in that region!

So yeah, put all that together and you have great characters and great villains and a great backdrop and a great original premise that blows your mind. That premise being a VASE. A vase that has ancient recordings contained in its grooves. And not just one vase, really. There are a lot of vases that have recordings in them, and they span the length of two thousand years. Yes, in the story we get to see actual scenes from history that date back to two thousand years ago.

Can't wait to finish the rewrite. It's not really a rewrite, it's more like a revision or edit. But it will make the story better, and most definitely the writing will be tons better. So my decision is to once again try to break into the Big Five. It's not time to give up yet. Not with the greatest story that's been written in this current century going for me. That's saying a lot. But I believe it.

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