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.



Thursday, January 5, 2017

Movie Sequels to look forward to

As a man who appreciates the cool, tough alpha male hero, as opposed to the cool, tough alpha female character of whom I blogged recently, there are some good movie sequels coming soon.

Triple X, or XXX is one of the top sequels I'm looking forward to. I was first introduced to Vin Diesel as an actor playing a tough guy in the movie Pitch Black. When I saw that movie I thought that Vin Diesel made a great tough guy, the likes of which I hadn't seen since the golden age of tough guys. I posted about them just recently. And in XXX Diesel played a great tough guy. The first sequel to XXX was without Diesel unfortunately, because Diesel made the mistake to take a role in a Disney movie instead. And with no apologies, Ice Cube didn't cut it as Diesel's replacement in the role. But Diesel is back in the third installment of the XXX franchise, and I'm glad for that. It's a role made for Diesel, just as Riddick is a role made for Diesel.

Then you've got the sequel to John Wick coming soon. I was never convinced that Keanu Reeves made a good tough guy, but he is a good actor, and he was convincing in the role of tough guy John Wick in the first movie. Let's hope he can carry that through the sequel as well.

Then you've got the sequel to Jack Reacher coming soon. Like Keanu Reeves, I've never been convinced that Tom Cruise was a tough guy. He did make a convincing tough guy in the Mission Impossible movies, however, and as Jack Reacher, he was passable. I guess his acting skills were up to the task, so I do look forward to the second Reacher movie soon.

Then, for me, at least, there's the top tough guy in the movies today. It's Jason Statham. He's the real deal when it comes to tough guys, and he brings that authenticity to the screen every time. The first time I saw him was in Transporter. I was convinced from the get go. All three Transporter movies with Statham as the main character Frank Martin, were terrific. Then they replaced Statham with some no name actor, and the franchise bottomed out. But Statham went on to play other tough guys, and he's been great in all of them. Unfortunately, it's not another Transporter movie coming soon, it's another movie featuring a tough guy role he played. It was a remake of a Charles Bronson movie called The Mechanic. Usually remakes are not as good as the originals, but the Statham remake of the Mechanic was by far the superior movie, and that's saying a lot, because Charles Bronson is most definitely on that list of tough guys from the Hollywood golden age of tough guys! So the sequel with Statham reprising his role as the mechanic is called Mechanic Resurrection, and I look forward to seeing that one as much as any of them.

So that's four sequels of tough guy movies. And my character Trent Smith from the Killer of Killers books is right up there with the best of them. Trent Smith, being the world's greatest martial artist could probably beat any of them in a match. Whether on the street or in the ring, Trent Smith is dominant. It's why he's the world's greatest martial artist. Which may bring me to the third and perhaps final story for Trent Smith. The third book will have Trent Smith prove that not only is he the world's greatest fighter, he's the world's greatest killer. But how can that be? First you'll have to read Killer of Killers and then Killer Eyes. And when you're finished with those two books, look for Book Three in the killer series. I've toyed with titles, but I'll not put out tentative titles anymore. I'll wait until it's finished. Then I'll announce it here on the blog. Until then...


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