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, October 24, 2016

Walking Dead - Dead to Me

Walking Dead is dead. Too much is too much. It's not pleasant. It never was. But it used to be fun to watch. Well, it's not fun to watch anymore. Of course, it's been a gory show. Bashing in skulls of zombies is one thing. But bashing in skulls of living, breathing, fan-favorite characters is another.

Okay, so for six months, the fan base had been warned that one of the main characters was going to get his/her brains bashed in. So the fan-base had time to prepare. But then the villain, Negan, played by Jeffery Dean Morgan, whose best role remains The Comedian from The Watchmen movie, bashes in not just one skull, but two. Abraham and Glenn. Both characters were well-liked characters, good characters, characters you would not want to see get killed.

Abraham was in the midst of forming a relationship with Sasha. A black woman. Abraham was a white man with red hair and had just left a relationship with a Hispanic woman. He chose the black woman. But before the relationship could get going, he's dead. Hmmnnn...

And Glenn. He's Asian and is also involved in a biracial relationship. His wife, Maggie is white and she is pregnant. So more than Abraham, Glenn had a lot to look forward to, meaning he's going to be a dad. But now he's dead. But these guys are more than just dead. The audience had to look on as both characters get their brains bashed in. Yeah, I know it's just acting. They're not really dead. It's all special effects and make up and whatever. But we're talking story here. In this story, they are brutally killed, mutilated, even. And even worse, the audience had to watch as Negan goes the extra mile to break Rick's spirit. How? Well, by having him chop off his son's arm. This was too much.

I guess the writers realized it, too, because at the last minute, Negan relents, apparently satisfied that Rick's spirit was broken. So no arm gets chopped off. But the whole build up was nasty, gross, unpleasant, and too much. Way too much. Many people are done with this show for that reason. I may be too. We'll see. Look. Too much is too much. I know I have killing and blood in my books, particularly my two Killer books. But rest assured potential readers. It's not too much.

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