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, January 16, 2017

Fiction vs. Reality

I was so bothered by that movie Patriot's Day which showed the Islamist terrorists doing their dirty deeds. But my own book, The Vase has Islamic terrorists, too. But The Vase is fiction. The terrorists in The Vase are fictitious. All deaths that occur in The Vase are fictitious deaths. And because it's all fictitious, it's entertainment. That was one of my points in yesterday's post. Fiction vs. reality.

Sometimes fiction represents reality. Like the movie Patriot's Day. It represented real events. Those deaths and maiming really did happen. Sure war movies that depict real battles could be considered representations of reality. Like the movies that are about real battles. The movie Zulu, starring Michael Caine is one of those. I mention that one because that movie is about the battle at Rorke's Drift, which took place during the Anglo Zulu War. It really happened.

So those actors in the movie Zulu did represent real people, and many of those people did get killed. But that was like a hundred and fifty years ago. And my soon to be released book John Dunn; Heart of a Zulu will have not just the battle at Rorke's Drift in it, but three other battles from that war, too. And all were real battles and the people who fought those battles were real people. I included real English soldiers and real Zulu warriors in the book. And of course, John Dunn was real.

So what is entertainment? When it comes to books, a good plot with action, conflict, humor, and good writing is necessary to be good. What I don't like is something too outlandish, or too far-fetched. I've complained often that a female fighter beating up every male fighter she comes across is a little too far-fetched. I still don't accept the premise of these super female fighters wholeheartedly. It's too far-fetched. I still believe a woman can be a strong character without resorting to fighting and killing. To me, fighting and killing is a male thing. Using your head intelligently, however, to solve problems in ways that don't involve violence is not just a male thing. It is also a female thing. And I might wager it's the superior way.

So why wouldn't a story feature a strong woman who solves problems with her intelligence rather than with guns? In my book, John Dunn, Catherine Pierce is such a woman. Why does Hollywood seem to think women have to be violent? I say women don't have to be violent. And I say I'm right. Is there anyone who disagrees with me? I didn't think so.

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