Thursday, April 19, 2018

Demons Of Damascus

A brand new project!

  Demons of Damascus is a new short project I am working on that is a true story, from many years ago. It is the story of a young Syrian boy who escapes from abuse and famine during the drought of 1930's Syria. It is a very interesting project, one of the few non-fiction shorts I will have done...

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Empress is now released!

The third book in the Gecko's Gate series is now available in bookstores everywhere! Get your copy today! Get it on Amazon here!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

New Book Trailer For Gecko's Gate : The Empress!

Check out the new trailer for The Gecko's Gate : The Empress, set for release on March 31, 2018, from Sands Press. The third book in the Gecko's Gate Series is now available for pre-order on, Amazon, and direct from Sands Press... The Empress is also now available early as an e-book!! So get a copy today ahead of the release date!


Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Sneak Peek At The Empress!

  The desert sun was already high and hot as Alibesh was led out of the keep in chains, lowering her face and squinting to shield her eyes from the sudden bright light, as well as the stares of the reptile citizens of Stigia. There was no throwing of fruit or vegetables at her, no screams of her being a defilement to what the Empire stood for. The female gecko was not surprised by this. Here in Stigia, the citizens would not part with any food, even if it was half rotten, lest they might starve the following day. And although they were obedient to rule, they did not shout out in support of it. She had ignored the Emperor's requests for two days, infuriating him to the point that he had decided to keep to his word about forcing her to fight. The Stigian arena was on the east end of the walled city, next to the barracks and the armouries. Amilkar was practically being dragged along behind Alibesh, also shackled. She paid no attention to him or the guards who led them onward, instead taking in every detail of the city as she walked. Horned lizards scurried in every direction, anxious to keep out of the soldier's way as they performed their tasks.
  Alibesh knew what was ahead. There would be no wooden swords in this arena. Stigia's reputation for brutal exhibitions with real weapons and real blood was legendary, a tradition supported by each emperor who had assumed the throne of the Empire. To be victorious in battle in the arena meant that a soldier would be considered among the elite of Stigia's armies, and many had died trying to achieve such recognition. Only the most highly skilled and experienced fighters would dare enter, as the arena was ruthless as much as it was bloody.
Her thoughts were interrupted as one of the guards yanked on the rope tied to her shackled wrists, dragging her suddenly forward. She did not change her expression to give the guard the satisfaction that he had affected her in any way.
  They continued through the city streets, and the two captives remained the center of attention to passing citizens. Alibesh watched without attracting attention as they passed the stables. Inside she could see large Iguanas and tortoises ready to be saddled. But her eyes came to rest briefly on wasps, ready to take wing once untethered and brought out into the open air. She had but a moment to see them, the guard yanking on her restraints again. She lowered her gaze so as not to allow her captors to realize what she was looking at.
As the entourage drew closer to the arena, Alibesh could hear the shouts and cheers, punctuated by the clash of steel. As they met with the back of the crowd gathered around the battle, Alibesh could feel eyes upon her. She turned, looking back behind her, seeing only Amilkar and the remainder of the guards escorting them, the citizens in the streets nothing more than an unfocused blur. Her eyes went upward, to the dark spires of the keep. There stood a dark figure high above, staring down at them. It was the Emperor. Alibesh stopped in her tracks for a moment, returning his stare defiantly, until the guards yanked her by her bonds, pulling her forward once again.
  The crowd parted for them, still jostling and shouting at the fighting already engaged in front of them.  The lizards near them stared at Alibesh in disbelief as she was led through them toward the outer stonework of the arena. They halted at the edge, looking down into a pit with a sand bottom, surrounded by elaborate stone walls separated every ten feet by columns. The crowd peered down at two reptile combatants, fully armoured and armed with swords. One of them was a horned lizard, clad in the copper metal of the soldiers of the Stigian army. He had a copper shield along with a short sword, dodging the swings of his opponent. His adversary was taller and slender, a monitor from the badlands to the north. His armour was a dull, unpolished steel, and the long sword he clasped was curved cruelly. They danced around and toward one another in successive clashes, the crowd cheering them onward.
  Alibesh watched with interest, even as she felt the stares of some of the spectators upon her. Her vertically slit irises observed the two reptiles fight, her brain registering each move, each strike and defense in a very analytical way. It was second nature to her. And she was very aware of who would be tasked with fighting against the victor in the battle before her. SHE would be the next to enter the arena. She could still sense the Emperor watching her, waiting to see if she would give in and submit to his wishes. She dismissed his gaze, pushing the thought from her mind. Alibesh knew that it would only aggravate him further to be ignored. It brought the slightest beginnings of a grin to her scaled face as she watched the fight continue. Her hands ached restlessly for her sword. She could feel her pulse quicken slightly, could hear her own heartbeat in her ears as she watched the two fighters attack each other again and again. Sand flew as they lunged back and forth in the arena, each strike and parry of steel bringing a noisy reaction from the crowd surrounding them.
  The heat beat down mercilessly. The clash of metal, the grunts of effort played out in slow motion in front of her. It was a ballet in her mind, and her eyes watched each move, each muscle of the two fighters. Her analysis suddenly shifted gears, and she began to see the openings that they left in their defense. Momentary holes that Alibesh knew she would have capitalized on in combat. Instantly.
  Her grin grew a bit wider as she continued to watch the exhibition. What more could it be? They were amateurs at best. The horned lizard of Stigia lunged forward in short-sighted attacks, while the monitor defended, trying to use his height as an advantage over his shorter rival.

   “This is where we will die.” whispered Amilkar from behind her.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The Gecko's Gate : The Empress!

The Gecko's Gate series is now a trilogy...

  Coming in Spring 2018, The Gecko's Gate : The Empress will bring forth a new adventure in the world of Evaria! Follow Chase, Kiko, and Jonas as they embark on yet another Quest to keep the realm safe from the tyranny of the Stigian  Empire.
  The new Emperor, Cyrus Malthor, has returned to seek an ancient artifact that will ensure his conquest over the entire world of Evaria, and will stop at nothing to retrieve the Sword of Xanth.
  But a young female gecko, raised outside of the protection of the rainforest and an expert with a sword, joins forces with The Three, bringing new action and adventure to this epic saga...

The Empress... To be released worldwide in April 2018!!

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Blood Post


  The Blood Post is a project I have been working on that is really beginning to take shape! This will be my first Thriller/Horror title, and I am very excited to see it evolve as I work on it... In the meantime, I will share the newly designed cover for the book, created by Leona Oates of Vertigo Productions.

  Dennis Stein

False Pharaoh

  False Pharaoh is a new project I have in the works, a story of conspiracy and mystery set  in ancient Egypt. I won't say too much about it at this point, as the story is in its infancy still, but I hope that it will become an amazing tale. I have several different ideas for the plot in this story, as the reader follows the life of the young Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

  What really ended Tut's rule? You will have to read it to get my take on it!

  Dennis Stein

A Sneak Peek At The Sequel to The Gecko's Gate

Here is a little unedited piece of the upcoming sequel to The Gecko's Gate...

The sail billowed and the wooden deck planks creaked as the boat surged forward on the calm of the eastern sea. The companions could taste the salt in the breezes as the sun reflected off the clear waters. The wind was steady but light, a beautiful day for sailing.
  Kiko watched over the side as vast coral reefs went past below, the water so crystal clear that she could see every detail, and her eyes shone in wonder. Fish, both large and small, in every colour of the rainbow swam alongside the boat curiously. It suddenly became obvious to Kiko why the fishing city of Patima was painted with such bright colours.
  Chase and Jonas stood at the bow, watching the horizon, and the crew was at ease. The toad fisherman checked the sail rigging, and stowed away nets while the boat captain manned the large wheel near the stern. He occasionally hollered orders to members of his crew, which would send one or perhaps two of the toads to quickly check on something, or adjust the sail.
  As Kiko watched, one of the crew stepped up beside her and cast a long line with a baited hook off the side of the boat, wheeling it out by hand until she could no longer see it behind them. He sat on a barrel next to her, holding the line wrapped around a thick, short stick. He simply sat and waited. Kiko smiled, wondering if he would catch anything.
  Just then, amid the calm peaceful motion of the boat, the Captain broke into song in a thick hearty voice...

On we go across the sea,
To fish and bring our catch to thee.

We fish for fish, we fish for whales,
So we come home with many tales.

The other crew instantly joined in, until a dozen toad voices rang out in a joyful chorus…

Oh, we fish and sail, we fish and sail,
Till we come home through the gale.

We fish and sail, we fish and sail,
Till we come home with many a tale...

  The three friends laughed just as heartily as the crew as they finished their song, and Chase felt his spirits lift slightly, that for the first time, maybe they could accomplish this mission after all. His thoughts were interrupted by some sort of commotion along the side of the ship.
  The toad sitting next to Kiko let out a holler as he jumped up off the barrel he was sitting on, straining to keep hold of his fishing line. Kiko's eyes brightened in surprise.
  "You've got one?" she asked excitedly.
  "Aye lass!" he exclaimed. "Give us a hand!"
  She jumped forward, helping grab the line and pull it in with the fisherman.  It was heavy, and each time they pulled another arm length of line in, Kiko could feel it quivering with the fight of a fish. It took several minutes to get whatever had taken the bait up alongside the boat. The toad suddenly grabbed a long pole with a hook on it from beside him on the deck and leaned over the side while Kiko continued to pull the line. He reached down, fiddling with the pole in the water. Kiko was back away from the side, and suddenly heard splashing as she held on tightly. Moments later, the fisherman heaved on the pole, bringing a large red flopping fish up onto the deck with a wet 'thud'. It was enormous, at least to Kiko.
"Aha!" yelled the Captain. "Thar be dinner tonight!"
  Kiko smiled wide as she looked up at Chase and Jonas and the others. They all clapped, laughing and cheering. She turned back to look in wonder at the large red fish, still flopping around feebly, spattering water all over the deck. The fisherman quickly grabbed it by the gill, and hauled it back to a hatch in the deck. Throwing it open, Kiko could see that it was a compartment filled with ice. The toad then hefted the huge fish in and shut the hatch.
  Things settled for a while, the crew going about their duties, and Kiko joined Chase and Jonas at the bow of the ship.
  “So, good with a bow AND a fishing line! We’ll never go hungry again!” said Jonas with a smirk, elbowing Chase.
  “And I guess with YOU around, we’ll never be short of laughs!” Kiko shot back, grinning.
  Their conversation was ended with another yell from the Captain.
  The three friends turned forward, seeing a massive mist-shrouded island coming slowly into view. Just looking at it gave them all a slight chill, despite the warm sun on them. It looked simply evil. Twisted mountain peaks rose on either end of the landmass, and high rocky cliffs could be seen. Chase hoped that it wouldn’t take them forever to find what they were looking for, and he felt his spirit sink slightly at the sight of this grotesque looking piece of rocky land jutting up out of the sea.
  “I don’t like the look of that!” said Jonas quietly, adjusting his sword belt.
  “It looks ugly.” agreed Kiko.
  It grew larger in front of them as the boat sped along the sea, looming like a giant shadow in spite of the clear day.
  “Well,” began Chase, “It can’t be worse than Stigia.”
  The three were suddenly startled by the Captain’s voice behind them.
  “Nay laddie,” he said, looking with dark bulbous eyes at the island they approached. “That’s one place even the horned ones won’t go…”