Black Hearts And Hungry Bears-The Vase of Many Colors by Steve Shear

Black Hearts & Hungry Bears: The Vase of Many Colors by Steve Shear.

The Vase of Many Colors Books I, II, and III explore the orthodoxic ills in Western Religions in a way that taps into the emotions of ordinary readers looking for serious and important content while at the same time wanting a truly exciting story. To achieve this, it utilizes three distinct parts in which first-person accounts describe the journey of Ira Neebest from birth until he returns from the jungles of India after being kidnapped by ISIS and the Iranian Ayatollah for writing The First Coming, a Nobel Prize winning novel about the evils of religious orthodoxy.

The first part, An Eye for an Eye, (Book I) portrays Ira’s parents and their love affair made in heaven… if only they were left alone to relish it. It also portrays their family, religious Jews on Ira’s maternal side and devout atheists on his paternal side. That in and by itself makes for serious conflicts, but that’s the least of it. When Rebecca, Ira’s mother, becomes pregnant out of wedlock carrying Ira in her belly, all hell breaks loose. She is disowned by her father and despised by her mother-in-law. What happens to them reminds me of Romeo and Juliet, well at least Juliet. The second part, Black Hearts & Hungry Bears, (Book II) revolves around Ira’s wife, Natalie who was born into a truly dysfunctional, poor Catholic family and abandoned at the age of ten. She was left at a Catholic boarding school, raped at the age of fifteen by monk teaching there, and then accused of causing his demise. Much later she met and fell in love with Ira at an art studio in Florence, Italy. She could not have imagined what was to follow. The third part, The First Coming, (Book III) describes Ira’s remarkable journey including his own book, The First Coming, and the trouble it caused him and Natalie. He was shot, kidnapped by Iranian extremists’ intent on beheading him; he was left to die in the Indian jungle where he confronted a giant white tiger and other creatures during his fits of delusion. In the meantime, Natalie was poisoned by the same extremists and remained in a coma.

All of this between the front cover that displays the very vase of many colors and the back cover that quotes several 5 Star reviews.

5 Stars: Raw, challenging, and it will test your intelligence!

For those of us who read Author Steve Shear’s ‘The Vase of Many Colors’: An Eye for an Eye, we have waited patiently for book two, ‘The Vase of Many Colors’ Book Two Black Hearts & Hungry Bears. I encourage you to read book one, but you can jump in at any time. In book one, the family Rabbi instills and enforces doctrine, morality and commandments, it is the fear and guilt that either glues or unglued Rebecca. The results of extreme control (physically, mentally and spiritually proves devastating).

Steve Shear’s main character Ira Neebest tells his family’s story in uncompromising honesty. This is a story that centers around Ira’s parents, grandparents, and his mother Rebecca’s aunt and uncle. You will also meet Ira’s wife Natalie, her friend Sam, and her grandfather Harry. The meat of the story centers around Ira, Natalie, and friend Soma. The story you are about to read is raw, challenging, and it will test your intelligence, and may provoke religious conflict in your predetermined mindset.

As with book one, the author sets up each chapter with the main character’s name. Chapter one opens when Natalie finds herself in a semi-conscious state. Snippets of time race through her mind like a movie on fast forward.

Chapter Two finds Sam watching the New York Knicks play the Boston Celtics when the game was interrupted by a News Flash. Ira Neebest had been kidnapped under the watchful eyes of the FBI.

Meet Catherine who wanted to be a famous lady boxer, because she wanted to be with boys playing baseball, soccer, and hockey. That was long before she realized how corrupt and violent boys…men could be.

I invite you to read this first-person account, detailing Ira Neebest life, from birth until he returns from the jungles of India after being kidnapped by ISIS and the Iranian Ayatollah for writing a Nobel Prize winning novel about the evils of religious orthodoxy (Ira Neebest and The First Coming).

It is Natalie’s restless comatose state that engages the reader in revisiting the most hellish events in her life, like her great venture into the legal system from the wrong side of the bench. I quote Natalie:

“I’ve never been in a courtroom,” I remember telling Sam once again as we entered the courthouse along with half the town of Montpelier. Some of the residents were patting me on the back, wishing me luck; others whispered words of hate. I started to sit in the peanut gallery when Totentanz came out of nowhere. Then the judge, Dante, God damn it! He yelled at me. “In front, little lady, where you belong,” he hollered. “Counselor, please look after the defendant. She may not be with us very long.”

I invite you to read ‘The Vase of Many Colors’: Black Hearts & Hungry Bears (Book Two) and ‘The Vase of Many Colors’: An Eye for an Eye (Book One) as we patiently wait for ‘The Vase of Many Colors’: Ira Neebest and The First Coming (Book Three).

I personally enjoy Author Steve Shear’s writing style and storytelling, as he takes his readers into the life of Ira Neebest. All his characters are vivid, relatable and remember-able.

Editorial Review (Book Marketing Global Network).

Product Details:
Book Two in the ‘The Vase of Many Colors’ Series
Paperback: ‎265 Pages
Publisher: ‎Independently Published (January 27, 2022)
Language: ‎English
Global Library: Fiction (Literary)

Amazon Print:


Message From Author Steve Shear: My early paintings (1986 – 2013) can best be described as expressionistic and surreal portraiture/figure, often larger than life. Most are from live models and from my sculptures, but others come from my imagination. My objective was to elicit an emotional response through composition, color, shapes, and the application of paint, while at the same time retaining the correct anatomy, either realistically or through purposeful exaggeration. In the latter part of that earlier period, I pushed the envelope by combining abstraction with these real and surreal approaches to the figure in order to create a synergistic result. One example of combining these approaches is the Sisters of Baghdad.

Many of my ideas came from my drawings (virtually thousands of them) which were created out of my head on almost a daily basis. An example of this is The Chess Queen. In 2013 I put the paint brushes and sculpting tools aside and began writing fiction, first poetry then novels, screenplays, and stage plays. Six of my novels have been published and two of my stage plays. See below.

In 2020 I began painting again. This time I turned to color and shapes rather than portraiture and figure. My paint is applied in thick layers exaggerated even more so by multiple layers of glue serving as an underpinning. The glue not only adds thickness to the paint but also runs in ways which produces unique shapes that take on lives of their own. Several examples are shown on this website.

Two of my more recent paintings (immediately below) are truly larger than life depictions of a ‘Vase of many Colors’ and of the Greek mythological bad lady Medea. Each painting is 32×48 and relies heavily on multiple layers of glue to add ‘serious’ thickness to the paint.

In the past, my work was exhibited at a number of galleries in Boulder, Denver, Tucson, and here in Brentwood California. I spent five years painting under the watchful eyes of Jean Packard, a graduate of the Chicago Art Institute, two summers at the Charles Cecil Art Studio in Florence, Italy, and several years at the Boulder Art Academy in Boulder, Colorado. I also trained in sculpting under Valentin Okorokov, an accomplished Russian trained painter and sculptor.

The Trials of Adrian Wheeler was my first published novel (L&L Dreamspell, 2011). It was awarded runner-up in the San Francisco Book Festival 2015. I am happy to say that The Trials of Adrian Wheeler has been optioned as a movie by EVW Entertainment (producer of the movie Break the Stage), and the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie.

The Wild Rose Press published The Fountain of Youth, my second published novel, in May of 2017. It has received exceptional reviews, some of which appear on Amazon and Goodreads. Also, the stage play has just been completed. The screenplay has also been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie. The Click, my third novel, was published by The Wild Rose Press in September of 2019, again the screenplay has been written by Erik Wolter and me. EVWE is now looking for partners to produce the movie.

All three books of my trilogy, Confronting Religious Fanaticism – An Eye for an Eye, Black Hearts & Hungry Bears, and Ira Neebest and The First Coming have been published. In addition, my first book of poetry, Metaphorically Speaking was just published.

My wife, Susan, and I collaborated on The State vs. Max Cooper and The Steele Deal (published by ArtAge Publications), courtroom plays in which the audience serves as the jury. Both are being produced around the country.

I have been writing poetry for over fifteen years (some of which has been published) and am also a portrait and figure artist and sculptor, having been represented by a number of galleries in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. I am presently represented by the Delta Gallery in Brentwood, California and online by Vango Art. I spent two summers at the Charles Cecil Art Studio in Florence Italy and several years at the Boulder Art Academy.

I practiced patent, trademark, copyright and other forms of intellectual property law for over 40 years, and I was the executive director and founder of Silicon Valley Seminars. We conducted intellectual Property workshops throughout this country, Israel, Germany, and Canada since 1984.

Prose Poetry Paintings and More by Steve Shear:

Amazon Author’s Page:

Professional Website:

Paintings-Drawings and Sculpture For Sale by Artist Steve Shear


Twitter: @steveshearbooks

Author’s Page At Book Marketing Global Network:

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