During an unusual heat wave in Nazareth, a series of freak geomagnetic storms sets in motion a bizarre chain of events, all of which revolve around a lone ancient vase. The vase belongs to a humble Palestinian potter who depends on the largess of tourists to earn his meager living from sales of earthenware in the Old City Market. He is no stranger to violence, having lost his eldest son three years before, when Hamas terrorists convinced the boy to participate in a terrorist attack. The potter is determined to keep his remaining son safe, but he has no idea the terrorists are secretly recruiting him to follow his older brother’s footsteps in a plot to assassinate the Pope and the Israeli prime minister during an upcoming tour of the Holy Land. After being recruited by Shin Bet, the Israel Security Agency, a Jewish art professor plots revenge for the death of his only son in the same terrorist attack three years before. Realizing the terrorists use the potter’s shop as a clandestine meeting place, the professor convinces the potter to lend him an ancient vase from his ancestral collection for art history classes at the local university. With the help of a fellow operative, the professor plants a remote-control bomb inside the vase and then returns it to the potter. Meanwhile, the appearance of apparitions in the Old City Market – Roman soldiers, ancient Islamic warriors, and more – causes local Muslim holy men to curse a lucrative Lebanese restaurant located across the street from the potter’s shop. Desperate to rid his business of the spirits, the restaurant owner calls on the Hollywood host of a ghost hunter reality show. Despite the ghost hunter’s best efforts, things quickly get out of hand. Are the apparitions really ghosts or just Hollywood illusions? Perhaps they’re the result of a freak act of nature – or God. While the world reels from the amazing images, fear, hatred, and revenge spiral out of control, leading to secret plots, lies, and murder. Key people work together or against each other to stop the planned assassinations, but will a final apparition help turn the tide of events?
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Mark M. DeRobertis is an art teacher in San Jose, California. He holds a Master’s Degree in Education, Administration and Supervision, a Bachelor’s Degree in Art, and a California Teaching Credential, all of which he earned at San Jose State University. In addition to creative writing, his specialties include painting, drawing, and ceramic sculpture. Mark has written four novels: Killer of Killers, The Vase, Killer Eyes, and John Dunn, Heart of a Zulu. Mark’s blog, THE VASE, chronicles his writing experiences: http://metazoid.blogspot.com/
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