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, October 17, 2016

Whisky not Whiskey - if you're British

So in my John Dunn book, John drinks whiskey with Captain Walmsley, almost like a nightly ritual when the rest of the family had retired for the evening. Except in my research I discovered it's not whiskey. It's whisky. And that's because they're British. At least Captain Walmsley is British. John of course was born and raised in Africa and had never been to Britain. But he is Scottish descent, and the South African colonies in the story are British colonies, so that means the whiskey they're drinking is whisky. And more to the point, it's Scotch Whisky.

Yes, whiskey is made in America. So if this were a story taking place in America or about Americans then, maybe they would be drinking whiskey. But it's not in America, and they're not Americans. Again, it's all taking place in British South African colonies and Zululand, so the whiskey they are drinking is whisky. Scotch whisky.

So I am glad I made that distinction before my John Dunn book was published. I'm no whiskey connoisseur. I'm not much of a drinker at all, actually, so I didn't know about the difference between whiskey and whisky. Fortunately, I continued my research, and when I researched the "whiskey" that British people drank, I learned it was "whisky" made in England or Scotland.

I also learned that bourbon is an American whiskey, and for that very reason it was probably not served in South Africa where the British had established their colonies. So I changed all scenes that had bourbon or "whiskey" to scenes with Scotch whisky. And I made these corrections in time, thank goodness, so that my story, John Dunn; Heart of a Zulu will be more authentic.

Btw, brandy is okay. The British did drink Brandy. Brandy and Scotch whisky. So I sent the new file last night, and hopefully, I won't be finding any more errors. But if I do, I'll fix them. Just want to make sure I fix them in time. Stay tuned. John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu is coming soon!

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