Stephen Writes

Novels and Short Stories by Stephen England

Pre-Order the Signed Edition of Embrace the Fire!

Posted By on May 20, 2016


Pre-order the SIGNED edition of this exciting new Shadow Warriors thriller, to be released June 3rd, 2016!

Or order the SIGNED editions of all three full-length novels (Pandora’s Grave, Day of Reckoning, and Embrace the Fire together at a special discounted price of only $50 + shipping!

Embrace the Fire Cover Art/Synopsis

Posted By on March 19, 2016



“He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself.”

In the Middle East, refugees fleeing dictatorship and terrorism pour across the borders into Europe, destabilizing countries already in the throes of economic crisis.

But not all who seek refuge share the same reasons for so doing. . .

In the UK, the nationalist far Right gathers strength—fueled by a government unable or unwilling to protect its own.

England is on the brink. All it will take to send it tumbling into the abyss. . .is a single push.

And in the midst of it all, two men have arrived in London, dark harbingers of death to come. One of them is a terrorist, responsible for one of the most successful attacks against the West in the years since 9/11. The other is an assassin, come to take his life.

Fifteen years Harry Nichols spent as a CIA paramilitary operations officer. Fifteen long years at war, tracking America’s enemies across the world. Hunting them down—killing them. Before they could strike.

Until the Christmas Eve attacks on Las Vegas forced him to resign from the Agency. Attacks which killed hundreds of innocent Americans, claimed the life of the woman he had sworn to protect. The woman he loved.

Forced out into the cold, Nichols has found himself in the UK, operating without sanction, without law. A man without a country—come to London with a single purpose: kill the man responsible for the attacks in Vegas. Avenge her death.

No matter what it takes. What lines must be crossed. What faiths must be betrayed.

There are no rules, not any more. Only vengeance.

His career with the CIA is over. His war. . .has only just begun.

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Embrace the Fire Update

Posted By on January 28, 2016



For those who have been awaiting the next installment in the Shadow Warriors series (And waiting. . .and waiting–I know), your wait is nearing an end. As of earlier this month, the manuscript for Embrace the Fire is complete and is now under-going an extensive edit.

Release date coming soon, along with cover art.


In the Middle East, refugees fleeing dictatorship and terrorism pour across the borders into Europe, destabilizing countries already in the throes of economic crisis.

But not all who seek refuge share the same reasons for so doing. . .

In the UK, the nationalist far Right gathers strength—fueled by a government unable or unwilling to protect its own.

England is on the brink. All it will take to send it tumbling into the abyss. . .is a single push.

Lion of God: Episode I, Coming July 28th!

Posted By on July 27, 2015

JET-Lion of God Episode I-final

Earlier this summer, I was selected to be one of the launch authors for bestselling action author Russell Blake’s JET Kindle World. The end result is the first novella of the Lion of God trilogy, which arrives on Tuesday. Shadow Warriors fans, look for some very familiar characters to crop up in significant roles.

“The Jewish people do not forgive. . .we do not forget.”

It is the year 2000, and with the new millennium has come the fresh promise of peace in the Middle East. But when a pair of IDF reservists are brutally lynched in the West Bank town of Ramallah–the graphic imagery of their final moments broadcast around the Western world. . .all hopes of peace are shattered.

As Israel mourns her dead and America attempts to salvage the peace process, the Mossad is tasked with finding and bringing to justice those responsible for the butchery, activating a Kidon team led by a young assassin known only as Ariel. . . The “Lion of God.”

But as the hunt narrows, it quickly becomes apparent that nothing is as it seems. And vengeance is not the only agenda in play. . .

St. Patrick’s Day Excerpt of Embrace the Fire

Posted By on March 20, 2015

And. . .as promised for fans of the Shadow Warriors saga, a special, never-before-seen excerpt from the manuscript for Embrace the Fire.
(For readers of LODESTONE. . .pay special attention to names)


(The real-life Jackie Duddy)

“I served with Nick Crawford,” Harry said finally, breaking the silence. “From Iraq, to Lebanon, to Afghanistan. . .what seems like a score of god-forsaken places in between. I would have given my life for him. Nearly did, more than once. What she said back there—is it true?”

“It is,” the Irishman replied, not looking at him, “every word of it.”

Good men die. Harry’s knuckles whitened around the steering wheel as he moved in on the sedan, closing the gap before a truck could change lanes and cut them off—the bellow of an airhorn filling the night around them. “You were a CIA asset then . .your days with the Provos were over. Why?”

Flaharty sighed, an impatient sound. “You honestly think Davey was the first to suspect that I’d had. . .a change of loyalties, boyo? He wasn’t. This game we’re all in together—you, I, the widow Crawford—you can stop playing, if you want. Give up. But you never get to leave. I had to prove myself, prove to them that nothing had changed. That everything was as it had always been.”

“So you built the bomb.”

“Aye,” Flaharty responded, shaking his head. “I built the bomb. Tell me, Harry—tell me honestly. . .did you ever hesitate to kill an enemy?”

No, came the response to his lips, the instincts that had kept him alive all those years in the field rising to the fore. Never. And yet something stopped him. “This was different.”

“How?” the Irishman demanded, a short, barking laugh escaping his lips. “She was with Five in Northern Ireland. . .her kind have been hunting me and my brothers for decades. Her husband—your sodding ‘mate’? He was a Para.”

His voice grew low and cold. “Many’s the time I put on the gloves and went round after round with Jackie Duddy when we were both lads. He was like a brother to me. . .up till the fine Sunday morning when the Paras shot him down in the car park. Shot a seventeen-year-old boy in the back as he was a-runnin’ away. I can still see Father Daley running out in front of us as we tried to carry him to safety—his handkerchief stained red with blood—waving it before him as a flag of truce. But the Paras were having no truce. . .and Jackie wasn’t the only friend I lost that day.”

“Nick wasn’t there on Bloody Sunday,” Harry said quietly, his eyes focused on the road ahead.

“No, he likely wasn’t,” Flaharty conceded, “and that’s not the way war is, you know that. You may never get the man who shot your brother in the sights of your rifle, so you shoot the sod next to him and tell yourself it’s justice. That’s war. And you’re not going to ask me to regret what I’ve done.”

Special Holiday Shadow Warriors Deals!

Posted By on November 28, 2014


This Black Friday through Cyber Monday, take advantage of special deals on signed gift copies of the Shadow Warriors novels, Pandora’s Grave and Day of Reckoning, 25% off, four days only!!! The perfect gift for the thriller fan on your Christmas list.

Buy Pandora’s Grave

(Copies will be inscribed to the buyer unless otherwise specified–please note if gift)


Buy Day of Reckoning

(Copies will be inscribed to the buyer unless otherwise specified–please note if gift)


Or. . .buy them both together for extra savings!

(Copies will be inscribed to the buyer unless otherwise specified–please note if gift)


Interview With Thriller Author Robert Bidinotto

Posted By on November 14, 2014

author2 -- hat -- cropped SMALL


Stephen England: It’s my unique pleasure to sit down today and interview a man who is not only a brilliantly talented author, but someone I consider a personal friend. Welcome aboard, Robert—it’s great to have you with us here on Stephenwrites.

Robert Bidinotto: Thanks so much for this opportunity to chat with you and your readers, my friend.

SE: You and I first met in 2010, at a political rally where we were both speaking. It wasn’t until the following year that we re-connected—to find that we had both become independent authors in the meantime, with the launches of Pandora’s Grave and HUNTER coming only weeks apart. What was the path to publishing like for you?

RB: It’s been a wild ride, Stephen, filled with unlikely surprises and unexpected pleasures. I confess that I didn’t anticipate my late-life career change from writing and editing nonfiction, to writing thriller novels. Since I was young, I harbored fantasies of trying my hand at fiction, but two things always stopped me.

First, I just didn’t have the confidence. For a nonfiction author of political-social commentary and reviews, the prospect of crafting plots, dialogue, and characterization was way outside my comfort zone. Fiction writing requires completely different skill sets, and I honestly didn’t think I possessed them.

Second, I was deterred by what I knew about traditional publishing. I knew that it would take a long time—if ever—to get an agent and a publisher. I’d also been burned during a previous nonfiction book negotiation, where I wasted a year jumping through hoops and doing everything required of me—only to have the plug pulled by the publisher at the end, and then being dumped by my agent. And I knew about publishers’ onerous contract terms, which virtually guaranteed that even if I did get published, I almost certainly wouldn’t be able to make a living at it.

SE: Indeed, such prospects would serve as a strong deterrent. What served to move you past all of that?

RB: My fear was offset when I lost my magazine editor job. And my hesitation over the state of publishing was overcome when I learned about exciting new self-publishing options, and the huge successes of some “indie” authors. So, in early 2010, with nothing to lose, I took the plunge and started writing HUNTER in earnest.

I self-published it in the summer of 2011. After five months of decent sales, Amazon listed it in a post-Thanksgiving promotion, named it an “editors’ pick,” and gave it spotlight treatment. It immediately soared up the Kindle bestseller list to #4, becoming the #1 title in “Mysteries & Thrillers” and also a Wall Street Journal “Top 10 Fiction Ebook.”

SE: I remember that Sunday very well—watching HUNTER’s rankings was like watching the launch of the moon rocket. (more…)

The Secret Agenda Behind Obama’s Use of “ISIL”. . .Not So Fast

Posted By on September 8, 2014



ISIS/ISIL. . .these terms, both standing for the recently christened (pun intended) Islamic State, have flooded the media for months, and have recently proved to be yet another source of controversy for the Obama administration within the conservative blogosphere.

The conspiracy theory, which has been circulating for the best part of two months but gained fresh fuel late last month in the form of a blog post from Lt. Col. Allen West (Ret.), is essentially this: That President Obama is using the term ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) rather than ISIS (inaccurately translated by West and others as The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in a deliberate effort to legitimize the claims of the group to the entire region and more particularly deny the existence of the state of Israel.

On the very face of it, this seems to stretch plausibility. . .since when has using the proper name of a group denoted agreement with their claims? I and others whose attention is focused on the Middle East routinely reference Hizballah, the “Party of God”, without ever suspecting that we would be accused of believing that the terrorist group has anything to do with God. But while President Obama and those of his administration have done much that is worthy of criticism, this is one instance in which they simply can’t seem to catch a break.

You see, the conspiracy theory West and others have been promulgating relies upon one simple, easily-disproven premise. . .that the final “IS” in ISIS refers only to Iraq and Syria, not the broader region. The reality is more complex–and less conducive to the type of clickbait “journalism” so beloved of the blogosphere.

The Arabic name of the group is al-Dawla al-Islamiyyah fi al-Iraq w al-Sham, abbreviated in a derogatory manner by their Arab opponents as DAESH or occasionally DAIISH. But to our parsing of the name itself. . .”al-Dawla al-Islamiyyah” references “the Islamic State” and even someone with zero knowledge of Arabic can clearly see the reference to Iraq. The controversy arises when one comes to “al-Sham“, which Allen West would have you believe stands for “Syria”, the final “S” in “ISIS.”

However, it doesn’t–or at least not Syria in the way we think of it as Westerners today. The Arabic term for the nation of Syria–which itself only dates back to the French Mandate of 1920–is “al-Suriya“, not “al-Sham“, which refers rather to the area known historically as “Greater Syria”, a region stretching from the shores of the Mediterranean in the west to the banks of the Euphrates in the east, south to the border of the Arabian Desert, and north to the Taurus Mountains of modern-day Turkey.

An area long referred to in Western literature as–wait for it. . .the Levant. So you see, whether one uses ISIS–correctly defined as “The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham”–like much of the Western media, or the administration’s choice of ISIL, “The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant”, you are referencing precisely the same geographical area. An area which does, in fact, encompass the nation of Israel. . .what, you’re surprised that an Islamic terrorist group would refuse to acknowledge the existence of the Jewish state in their name? What rock have you been living under for the last six decades?

But as noted earlier, the use of the correct name for a group does not denote, to any rational person, agreement with the ideology expressed therein. And it would be dangerous in the extreme to minimize the Islamist goals by using, as West did in his piece, a mistranslated name which would suggest to the casual reader that the group’s ambitions are confined to the nations of Iraq and Syria.

In short, while ISIS and ISIL are functionally identical, “The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” is the single most accurate pure English translation which can be used–and given the cluttering of search engine results for “ISIS” with everything from Egyptian goddesses to comic book characters–the most rational choice for the administration.

So enough with the magic secret squirrel “coded message to the Islamists” conspiracy nonsense. President Obama’s real message to ISIL is the one he’s broadcasting in the clear–the one that has already resulted in the beheading of two Americans.

It’s: “I have no strategy.”

LODESTONE: Upcoming Release

Posted By on August 21, 2014


Enjoy an excerpt from the opening of this exciting new novella in the Shadow Warriors series, coming September 19th!

Get signed up for the e-mail list to get it first!

10:23 P.M. Local Time, July 23rd, 2006

The sky over Lebanon


            Deceleration. The MT1-XX parachute billowed open in the night sky above him, snapping his shoulders back against the harness and pulling him out of freefall.

Over six years at this game. . .and he still didn’t like the idea of jumping out of a fully-functional aircraft. He glanced down at the earth, nearly twenty-five thousand feet below him, remembering the words of his first jumpmaster at Benning.

“Earth’s a big place. . .so don’t worry, son. You’re not gonna miss.”

  Right. He glanced up and to his left, catching a brief glimpse of the two members of his team, their chutes deployed against the night.

He’d led the stick off the ramp of the C-130 only moments before, but already the roar of the plane’s massive Allison turboprops had faded away, leaving only the sound of the air streaming past his helmet.

An FN-FAL battle rifle was strapped to his leg with paracord, its weight reminding him of their purpose. The reason for this jump.

Forty minutes till landing. Another twenty, maybe twenty-five till they were on the target.

Might as well enjoy the ride.

Available NOW–TALISMAN, A Shadow Warriors Short Story

Posted By on March 19, 2014


Available now. . .TALISMAN, a new Shadow Warriors short story.

“We are going to find the people who did this to our country. And we are going to see them burn.”

With America still reeling from the largest terrorist attacks to strike the homeland since 9/11, a Clandestine Service strike team is dispatched to the Mediterranean to target the man responsible for financing the plot—Saudi Prince Yusuf ibn Talib al-Harbi. Codename: TALISMAN.

For CIA paramilitary operations officer Jack “Tex” Richards, his orders couldn’t have been more straightforward: by the time the sun rises once more over Monaco, TALISMAN will be dead. The plan is simple enough.

But as darkness falls, as the mission starts to fall apart, as the life of an American college student becomes inextricably linked with that of the prince, one truth is self-evident: there is no such thing as a clean kill. . .