CHASING ZEUS: A Journey Through Greece in the Footsteps of a God (E-Book & Print on Demand)

A soon-to-be published 2nd edition of "Zeus: A Journey Through Greece in the footsteps of a God" edited by the author with a hyperlinked table of contents and endnotes.  Anyone wishing to review or comment on this new edition may receive a free digital edition for their effort by linking to Netgalley at:

This offer is good until May 31, 2014.

THE CURSE OF THE MINOTAUR: A Tale of Ancient Greece (E-Book Only)



    Like The Once and Future King and The Lord of the Rings, The Curse of the Minotaur is an action-packed tale written for young adults of all ages, from 11 to 80.  Set in Bronze Age Greece some 250 years before the Trojan War, it tells of a world where fantastical monsters, good and evil sorceresses, and power-mad kings stalk the earth, and the old gods and goddesses appear to their worshipers in dreams and as animals.  But it is also a world on the brink of momentous changes: a monstrous, sea-girded volcano is threatening to wipe out mankind, and heroes — mortals with superhuman powers and all-too-human weaknesses — are newly emerging to challenge the old balance between men and their rulers and gods.  One of these, a teenage prince named Théseus, goes to the island of Crete to try and kill the Minotaur, a flesh-eating, bull-headed man that has been terrorizing his kingdom.  There, the prince finds himself falling in love with the Beast’s half-sister, an enchanting Cretan princess named Ariádne.  Meanwhile, the Minotaur awaits him in the spooky depths of the Labyrinth, less of a bloodthirsty monstrosity than a confused and abandoned child starved into savagery. 

   Stone’s tale is enriched by the addition of a series of endnotes, images, and maps that place the action in its historical and mythological contexts and lend considerable depth to this well-known and eternally fascinating story.

  Available at the following e-bookstores:

Amazon -- 

Barnes and Noble Nook -

Smashwords (for Apple, Sony, Kobo, etc.) –


ZEUS: A Journey Through Greece in the Footsteps of a God   (Bloomsbury: Hard Cover only)


Critical Praise:
    "The author opens the book in the time when Zeus was nothing but 'a primal, amorphous power—the God of the Bright Sky.' Then Stone unrolls the vast, complicated tapestry of Mediterranean culture: swift, appealing accounts of doings on Crete, the unthinkably destructive volcanic eruption nearby in 1640 BCE, the rise and fall of Krónos and the Titans, the stories of Promethéus, Pandóra’s jar (box was a mistranslation), the Minotaur and its labyrinth, the founding of  Thebes, the exploits of Perseus, Hérakles and other primal heroes, the rise and fall of the House of Átreus, the Judgment of Paris, the Trojan War and the Peloponnesian Wars. A lucid and lucent retelling of those most marvelous tales." (Kirkus Reviews)

    "The supreme deity of Greek mythology has his lusty, tempestuous story recast in engaging fashion by Stone...As a guide, Stone is informed, enthusiastic, and entertaining, the very qualities needed to ignite interest in the timelessness of Greek mythology." (Booklist)

    "Stone delights as both story teller and tour guide; the narratives are every bit as violent and sexy as the Norse myths or the tales of Scheherazade."  (Los Angeles Magazine)

    “Like Henry Miller and Lawrence Durrell, Stone acts as both an expert guide and an enchanting storyteller. A beautiful and beguiling book!”  (Jonathan Kirsch)

   “Through Stone's observant eyes and beautiful prose, we are a witness to the beauty of a land and of a people who aroused the gods. This is a journey no reader should miss.”  (Jean Sasson)

    “This beautiful walk through the archeology and evolution of Zeus really brings alive 'the Old   Thunderer,' along with the people who loved him through the ages."  (Charles Pellegrino)

Available as a book and e-book at:


The Summer of My Greek Taverna: A Memoir  (Simon & Schuster: Hard Cover, Soft Cover, & E-Book )

Critical Praise:

"...the summer's best travel writing... Tom Stone's The Summer of My Greek Taverna is concerned with pleasures of an earthier kind: food, drink, sun and sand.... like Kitchen Confidential with ouzo.”  (Time Magazine)

“...his infatuation with the place (whether ''fueled by an excess of retsina'' or not) is infectious.”  (N.Y. Times Book Review)

“ [a] sweetly lyrical evocation of...returning to Patmos, the glorious little island revered as the place where John the Evangelist is said to have experienced the visions set down in the Book of Revelation. The author.. is very good company indeed. The taverna may have cost him some cash and even more illusions, but the experience has yielded a colorful and richly observed memoir.” (Smithsonian Magazine)

“‘Greek Taverna' is tasty fare... a sumptuous getaway dashed with enough hardy reality to give the book body and staying power.”  (Associated Press)

“…throngs with authentic characters and... genuine insight. His take on the enigmatic Greek character is right-on.... rich with a candid and festive appreciation for a complex and unforgettable land.”  (Canadian Review of Books)

"…hilarious even as the heartbreaking deception at the heart of the story is revealed....  This great summer read....evokes all the things most lovable about Greece’s physical beauty and its past."  (Odyssey Magazine)\

Available at:


Greece: An Illustrated History  (Hippocrene Books)

From the Introduction:

            Greece is a country of improbable contrasts. In the north, bor­dering on the ever-simmering Balkans, it is wild, mountainous, forested and often savage, rife with game and dotted with heron-posted lakes and a plentiful network of rivers and streams. In the serene, sun-swept south, rock and marble predominate; bramble-covered hills are denuded of trees; the air is hot with the scent of oregano and thyme; and temples and churches blaze white against an azure sky.
      It is a country of devout Byzantine Orthodox Christian wor­shipers who are revered by others for their classical, pagan past; a cradle of democracy whose history is characterized more by tyrannies, autocracies, despotism, foreign occupations, and mili­tary juntas than by freedom; a people who live in constant dread of foreign intrigues against their country, and yet are famous for their hospitality to foreigners; the birthplace of some of the most astute businesspeople the world has ever seen, but whose national economy continually threatens to collapse into Third World chaos; and a community that prides itself on patriotism yet deeply distrusts their fellow countrymen.
      But, in spite of all of these contrasts, Greece maintains a unique identity - united by its songs, seas, dances, churches, heroes, and most of all, by its great leveling light — binding everything together into that one single substance that Greeks from Thales to Kazantzakis have so longed for and celebrated.

Available at:


The Essential Greek Handbook  (Hippocrene Books)

Preface to the Second Edition
        In the spring of 1976, when my wife and I were living and painting and writing in splendid isolation in a farming valley on the remote island of Patmos, we were astonished one warm March afternoon to see a tourist floating towards us on the road leading down to the beach from the village above.  She was dressed  in a blue-and-lavender sari which wafted behind her in the breeze, was deeply tanned, with a head of curly blond hair and a smile as bright as a Pepsodent advertisement.  Her name, we learned, was Bettina.  She was German, in her early forties, and spoke perfect English.  With her she was carrying two of the best phrasebooks then available, one German-Greek and the other English-Greek.  Well-prepared, she was there to rent an inexpensive house, preferably in our valley, and enjoy the island and its natives for the month that remained before Easter, Greek and Western, when the first of the season’s holiday hordes would descend upon us.
        She did find a house in the valley and we became good friends, but for the most part she left us considerately alone.  Eventually (and some might say “inevitably”) she began an affair with a handsome Greek fisherman, a lovely boy named Andonis, who was about half her age and spoke not a word of any foreign language.  For a while we saw even less of Bettina than before as she went out fishing with Andonis during the day and dancing with him at night.  But then one morning she came trekking across the half-mile of rock-strewn fields and low stone walls that separated our houses, apologized profusely for bothering us and then took out a notebook in which she had written a number of English phrases that she needed translated into Greek, phrases that were not even approximated or apparently considered important in either of the books she had brought with her.
        During the weeks that followed, as the love affair between her and Adonis waxed and waned, she came for more and more phrases, and by the time two of them parted just after Easter, she had quite a supply in her notebook.  As she was leaving, I asked her to photocopy these for me when she returned to Germany.  I promised her that one day I would use them as the basis for a phrasebook I would write for people like her who might come to Greece and, if they didn’t fall in love, at least want  to communicate something more than when they’d like their clothing dry cleaned. When Bettina sent me the photocopied pages and I spread them out before me in chronological order, they were almost a love story in themselves: “Isn’t the moon beautiful?” went one of the first phrases.  “Why are you late?” came another somewhere just past the middle. And, at the end: “I’m free, you’re free.”
        So this book is dedicated to Bettina and people like her.  To all of us, in fact.

Available at:


Greek Dictionary & Phrasebook  (Hippocrene Books)


        Dealing with the opening and closing hours of stores is perhaps the most frustrating experience you will encounter during your stay in Greece. The reason is rooted in the time-honored, virtually sacred Mediterranean tradition of the 3-4 hour afternoon siesta, which most Greeks ferociously cling to even in the face of a sagging economy and four horrible rush hours a day. Since Greece’s inclusion on the EC, legislation has attempted to create an straightforward 9-5 day, but only Athens has really made an effort to apply it. Thus, anywhere else in the country you will find an incredibly-complicated, staggered system of opening and closing hours.
     The only rule of thumb about shopping that can be applied with any certainty is that all stores are usually open in the mornings from about 8-to- I, Monday through Saturday. Figuring Out the evening hours is mind-boggling. Whether or not certain stores are open on a particular evening depends both upon the type of store and on the day of the week, It also depends on which city, town or village you are in, since opening and closing hours are regulated by local governments and traditions, not by any national or even regional scheme.
      If the shops are closed and you desperately need something, there is always a strong possibility you can find it at a kiosk (pehreeptero). These seem to have stuffed into them, in a space as confined as the first astronaut’s capsule, just about everything one could imagine -and then some: cigarettes, lighters, fluids, gases, flints, sweets, magazines, newspapers, books, shaving creams, brushes, razors and razor blade, combs, detergents, hand soaps, colognes, postage stamps, envelopes, writing paper, postcards, sun glasses, transistor radios, batteries, pens, pencils, incense, Kleenex, deodorants, suntan lotions, bobby pint, bottle openers, prophylactics, and God and its owner know what else.  They are open seven days a week throughout the morning, afternoon and evening. However, most (but not all) of them close around midnight, so be sure to stock up on cigarettes (or whatever else you may need for the wee hours) before then.

Shop, a                                                               ena magazee or ena katastima
I am going shopping.                                           Psoneezo.
the shopping                                                       ta psonia.
When are the shops open?                                  Poteh eenay ahneekta ta magaziah?
Where can I find a...?                                         Poo boroh na vroh...?
I'm just looking.                                                  Keetahzo mono.

Available at:


The Greek Food & Drink Book  (Lycabettus Press)


        Xenos is not only the Greek word for “stranger” or “foreigner” (as in, for instance, “xenophobia”), it also means, with equal emphasis, “guest” — and since a Greek considers all of Greece, its streets, plateias, seas, mountains, fields, beaches, cafés, tavernas, and sunshine to be an extension of his living room, you will find that you cannot travel in the country without sooner or later being virtually strong-armed by a Greek man or woman into sitting with them in this “home” of theirs and accepting some offer of hospitality: a bunch of grapes, a sprig of Basil, an ouzo, a flower, a candy bar for your children or, quite often, half the food off your Greek host’s plate because you are a “xenos,” a stranger and, therefore, a guest.
     The origin of this double meaning, so the sociolo­gists’ story goes, dates back to the beginnings of Christianity in Greece when the belief began to grow that any wandering stranger might be Christ Himself returned to earth and that to turn him away would bring disaster on the home. However, examples of Greek hospitality go as far back as Homer, written over 700 years before the advent of  Christianity.  In addition, Greeks are consumed by an insatiable curiosity about everything foreign and will go out of their way to snare any passing stranger who can be piled with questions. So you, like Odysseus at the court of Alcinous, will be expected to return their hospitality by entertaining them with stories and descriptions of your country or, if the language barrier is too great to be surmounted, by just sitting there being stared at as if you were someone in a foreign-made TV series.
     All of this — the hospitality and curiosity — can be quite unsettling, particularly for us foreigners who cannot accept anything freely given without feeling immediately compelled to “buy a round” ourselves, who have been raised with the belief that you don’t get something for nothing, and who came here prepared to ogle the Greeks, not vice versa. And then, too, there is always that old, cautionary phrase: “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.”
     Well, replying to the latter, I would say that in matters of business (and sex), yes, beware — but then this is true everywhere, not just Greece. As for the ogling, one must just try to grin and bear it. And grin and bear the hospitality, too, because it is not only impossible to reciprocate, it’s also very bad form even to try — as bad as if you were to come out and tell a Greek, “Well, I know why you’re giving me this — so I’ll give you something in return.” Or, worse, “Let me get the rest. You can’t afford it, you poor thing!”

Available at:


 Patmos: A History and Guide  (Lycabettus Press)

From the book:

   St. John was living in Ephesus when he either chose to retreat or was banished to Patmos in 95 A.D., the year of the Roman emperor Domitian’s great persecution of Christians throughout the empire. We have only three written accounts of John’s visit, one of which is his own all-too-brief mention at the beginning of the Book of Revelations that he was “in the isle that is called Patmos.” The other two, rich in detail, are apocryphal. Religious and folk tradition, however, have embraced these accounts with open arms....
   One easily can understand, however, why the texts have been so warmly accepted by Christian tradition. The tales they tell are delightful folk drama, featuring a titanic battle between the forces of good (John, naturally) and evil (Kynops, the resident magus of Patmos), and no visit to the island would be complete without some knowledge of the happenings re­counted. There are spots on Patmos still associated with both the magus and a man-eating monster John also vanquished. In addition, frescoes depicting the main parts of Prochorus’s tale are prominently displayed in the outer narthex of the main church of the Monastery of St. John.
   According to tradition, when the Patmians learned that John was planning to leave, they begged him first to write down for them his teachings about Christ. He and Prochorus went to a quiet spot on a hill outside the city where, after long fasting and prayer, he dictated to Prochorus The Gospel According to St. John.
   The Revelation of St. John the Divine, the Apocalypse, was written in the holy grotto (which some tradition also associates with the writing of the Fourth Gospel) in what is now the Monastery of the Apocalypse. Here, with Prochorus as scribe, John wrote,

      I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

At this point, according to tradition, the rock clove into three sections, impressively visible today in the roof of the grotto. John continues Saying,
      I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last:     


     What thou seest, write in a book....

Available at:


Armstrong: A Novel  (Warner Paperback Library - out of print)

From the jacket copy:

Armstrong was a good soldier, one of the few who’d managed to keep his ideals intact in the corruption of the Vietnam War.
Then the C.I.A. gave him a special job.  Armstrong had to murder a civilian spy—and the job snapped his mind.
Patriotism and idealism became the bizarre weapons of a bloody game of death, and Armstrong carried his bloody vendetta against anyone who guessed the fatal secret of his mission…

Out of Print.

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