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.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Created a Map of Zululand

Most every book I've read about the Zulus and the Anglo-Zulu War has included a map of the area. Sometimes two maps or more. I wanted to have a map included in my upcoming book, John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu, as well. But I didn't want to trace any other maps, or copy them. I wanted it to be all original art by me.

So I google-mapped South Africa and traced the satellite image of the region, particularly the rivers, towns, and Zulu kraals which factor prominently in the story. And of course the battle sites. I had to do a lot of research to locate the positions of some of the Zulu kraals which had not been included in any map that I had ever seen. Particularly Cetshwayo's two kraals, Ondini and Mangweni. I'm wondering if any of the prior authors even knew where they were. I have to believe they did, but for whatever reason they weren't in any of their maps.

One point about the kraal called Ondini. The name Ondini was given to two of Cetshwayo's kraals. One was before he became king. According to John Dunn, in his autobiography, John Dunn, Cetywayo, and the Three Generals, the original Ondini kraal was in the vicinity of Eshowe and "near the coast."  Eshowe is on every map I've seen, and is still in existence in modern day Zululand.

But again, Mangweni and the original Ondini were never portrayed. I researched and learned where the Mangweni kraal was and I'm confident I have positioned it correctly. As for the original Ondini kraal, I believe I positioned it correctly as well.

The second Ondini kraal was Cetshwayo's royal  kraal he built after he became king, and it's also called Ulundi. No problem for finding that location since the final battle of the war was fought there. Thank goodness for computers and the ability to make my map look professional. The final version is completely rendered on the computer. It will be an excellent map to which readers can refer when reading the story. Look for John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu this coming this November!

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