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.



Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Episodes that Pack a Punch

I'm still watching The Walking Dead show when it's new episodes, that is, but I'm not often satisfied with it. My wife and I may watch an entire episode, and then turn to each other with disgust, as absolutely nothing happened in that episode. It didn't further the storyline forward at all, it didn't provide any revelations toward the plot or characters, and it was just a waste of an hour watching the darn show. With The Walking Dead, it happens often, and perhaps it's the result of a show that's in its sixth season. Despite being based on a currently released graphic novel, it must be running out of source material. I guess that sort of thing is inevitable.

I remember a time when the James Bond franchise was doing basically the same plot every ensuing movie. Only recently, with the Daniel Craig version of Bond, the producers have moved away from the formula plot for Bond movies. You know, there's a mad scientist, or a demented billionaire, or an evil organization seeking world domination or even world destruction, and as Bond investigates, he is captured and held prisoner for a time, but then he foils the plot and is reinforced by a cavalry of government agents, and the show concludes with a shoot out in the scale of a major battle.

With The Walking Dead, there are so many characters that episodes often stray to show what's up with so and so, and even though the audience sees what's up with so and so, nothing happens to further the plot or reveal any answers to any questions.

But with these White Queen and White Princess shows, each show is jam packed with events and twists, and turns, that it's like in one episode  you've got the equivalent of an entire Walking Dead season. That's what I call packing a punch. Wow.

Again, I'll watch an episode of Walking Dead or any other show, and walk away from it as having not even watched it. Nothing happened. No sense of entertainment had been achieved. But these shows about England's War of the Roses, on the other hand, are like an entire season per episode. That's great writing. It's faster paced than Downton Abbey. Which is also quite good. But it's based on real events. And I like that. Like my John Dunn book. It too is based on real events.

And talking about John Dunn, the final galley changes have been submitted, and no more revisions will be forthcoming. I'm hoping that it's because no more are needed. And if that's the case, I'll be a happy camper. Can't wait for July. Because it's in July when the John Dunn book is being released. And July is right around the corner.

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