GOOD TIMES AND GOOD PEEPS (or a Con Nooga 2012 wrap-up)

So last weekend was Con Nooga held in Chattanooga Tn at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. It’s a nice, quiet convention. It’s not nearly as crazy as Dragoncon, (Big shout out to Derek Tatum for letting me crash at his place while I was there.) but was a ton of fun.

Now I stayed mostly in the Literary track, hanging with my own kind. lol. I met some really great folks over the weekend. Now Iam going to miss some folks and I will catch them on a follow up post, but I have been sick for almost 4 days so you will just have to forgive me.

These are in no certain order.

Dan Jolley- Dan is a helluva guy. Friendly, easy to talk to, and he has written some of my favorite comic book titles. I LOVE the JSA and he has written them. Now he spends most of his time  writing a little known game called Prototype 2. (That was total sarcasm. This game is supposed to be AWESOME!) He has stuff to read, go check it out.


Sean Taylor- This guy read some snippets from his SHOW ME A HERO anthology and made me extremely jealous. It was really, really, good. Another really nice guy and he has a great blog you should check out daily. Go click on his website and you will find the link.


Stephen Zimmer- This man is a helluva professional. He has a ton of great looking books out and he really knows his stuff. Making books or making movies I suggest you go look at his stuff. Plus he is probably coming to a convention near you soon, he travels like a crazy person!


Andy Deane- Frontman for the band Bella Morte who I did not get to see perform in concert, but after listening to their stuff at home I wish I had. Andy was funny as hell, always bringing a laugh with him, even at 10AM.  He’s got flair, you gotta admit that and his books show the same. Buy a book, get a cd, wear the t-shirt and Andy will come to your house and make you coffee.


D. A. Adams- Alex was pretty soft-spoken but when he did pipe up it was always with some quality stuff. He does like to use the $15 dollar words. lol. He has a great series following the Brotherhood of the Dwarves. Highly recommended if you like dwarvish mayhem and hey, who doesn’t?


Venessa Giunta- No I did not misspell her name. This wonderful lady was so freaking helpful. She is a consummate professional and really knows her stuff. If you ever find yourself at a convention where she is teaching one of her classes then go take it. When she talks to you about your work, you should listen.  She makes with the words of the wisdom.


Kerlak Publishing- Wow, this publisher had a ton of folks representing at Con Nooga and all of them were wonderful. Their product looked super nice and they were on time with their professionalism. I highly recommend you check them out. If you are a reader, pick up a book. If you are a writer I can only imagine they would treat you well.


And there you go. I met many more awesome folks, including some wonderful fans. Next year the convention moves to a larger, more consolidated location so it should be even better!

DON’T DO THE CRIME IF YOU CAN’T DO THE TIME (writing crime fiction)

Most everybody knows I have two great loves in reading. I may dally around in other places, chatting up other genres, dabbling here and there with my reader eye wandering, but at the end of the day I come back to two kinds of books.

Urban Fantasy and Crime.

Now, my love for urban fantasy is well known. It’s open and unabashed. I write an urban fantasy series. (Deacon Chalk, badass Occult Bounty Hunter) I have plans to write him for 20 books or so and have a ton of story ideas just waiting to be written.

My next book, hopefully will be a crime book. I have one that is gestating, building into a nice little crime fetus.  So here are the things I have in my head:

A young man hits the road in his dead daddy’s sweet ’69 Chevelle. He is out to find himself. All he has is the car, his memories of his dad, a little money in his pocket from a recent score, and time on his hands.

A young girl on the run from a screw up of a dad and the mess he has put her in. All she has is a need to stay safe, a desire to try and get her daddy straightened out, and a duffel bag full of trouble.





They cross paths on a Long Hard Road Outta Town and wind up running for their lives from a cold-blooded sonnuva bitch named Dude Ray. He wants his stuff back and someone has to pay.

Sometimes it takes walking through the fire to find out who you really are.



It’s shaping up to be a fun little book. A chase novel that’s a bit of a cross between Justified and No Country For Old Men with a boss hotrod and more guns. Lots of small town, Southern wackiness. Plus there’s a lot of subtext with Cowboy’s search for manhood. My good friend Faith Hunter made an introduction to a very good agent who specializes in mysteries, so I am getting this project together for a proposal to him. Fingers crossed y’all.

Speaking of crime, how damn good is Justified? Seriously, if you are not watching this show then shame on you.

Start now. Go buy season 1 and 2 on dvd and get rolling.

I am burning through the 4th Reacher book by Lee Childs.

It is really good.

Tom Piccirilli has a new one coming out that looks awesome as always.

And I began Drama City by George Pelecanos, so far I am really enjoying it.

Plus there is a Marcus Sakey book on my shelf calling my name.

Until next time.

Stay gold Ponyboy. Stay gold.

blood and silver cover finished

SPIDERS, GUNS, AND FIRE OH, HELLS YES! (or new cover art reveal)

Loyals and True Believers,

Let me talk to you about covers. Now when an author gets signed and a book is going live it needs a cover. Cover art is very important. It is the first thing a reader sees and it is the thing, oftentimes, that determines whether someone even buys the book in the first place.  It should hook the reader, informing them about the nuances of the story inside. A picture is worth a thousand words? Hell, put that picture on a cover and it becomes worth 80,000 words.

An authors get no say in the cover at all.

Generally, the author will see the cover before you, but we don’t get to speak to it at all or to make any changes.  I got lucky. I was sent model pictures for Deacon to choose from and was allowed to give a description of what I might like for cover one. Then the absolutely kick ass Gene Mollica (click here to see his site!) went and crafted the awesome cover to BLOOD AND BULLETS. I was real happy.

Then came the cover for e-novella 1 THAT THING AT THE ZOO. This one was put together by Lou Malcangi and the art department at Kensington.  I REALLY like the cover tot he e-novella and think it is super stellar considering there is ZERO budget on e-novella covers.

It came time to do the cover for SPIDER’S LULLABY (e-novella 2 out July 2012) and Lou and the boys delivered again! Here is the cover in all it’s glory.

C’mon, admit it. You are a bit creeped out right now. lol.

This story follows Deacon, Tiff, and Charlotte in a battle to save something held precious by Charlotte from the hands of an ex-yakuza assassin with a demon on his back. Mayhem, gunplay, and Were-spiders!

So now fast forward. I was given the chance to pop over another cover description/idea sheet and became friends through social media with Gene himself. We chatted and he began work on the cover for BLOOD AND SILVER (book 2 out in August of 2012). A while later Gene dropped me a line and told me he had finished the cover and was really happy with it. I contacted John and he was going to send it over for me to see.

Then the mail came.

In it was a package of cover flats for book 2. The Missus opened it and called me. She described it and I got excited. Then I came home and saw it for myself.


I love this cover. I cannot stop staring at it. I mean damn, I love cover one, but this one really resonates with me.  So enough with the yapping, here it is:

See? It. Is. AWESOME!

And Gene said I could use it however I want to promo so you will be seeing wallpapers for your computer and other items. I’m going to hang it on my wall.


WRITER FUEL (or my illicit love of coffee)

Alright. I will come clean.

I love coffee.

Not all coffee. You have to come at me with some flavor besides beans in water. I want a dark roast, the blacker the better (didn’t Malcolm X say the same thing?). I also want you to flavor it. I don’t care too much how. Peppermint mocha hazelnut cinnamon fudge unicorn pecan leprechaun blood, whatever. The more candy it is the better.

I add a spoonful of sugar because it really does help the medicine go down.

Then I need some creamer. Real liquid creamer preferably. And just like my coffee, don’t come at me with plain old cream flavored creamer. What are you kidding me?  Hazelnut, mint, almond, whatever, but you can take your plain old half and half and shove it where the sun don’t shine man.

And do not get me started on the Salted Caramel Frappachino from Starbucks…..that is crack and I am addicted.  Seriously, I am joining SCFA (Salted Caramel Frappachino Anonymous in case you didn’t follow because you haven’t had YOUR coffee yet.)

And coffee gets the writing mojo working. I make coffee and then somehow the magic elixir turns into making words. I love making words. Making words is what makes unicorns mate thus making baby rainbows.

You want more rainbows don’t you?

I thought so. Now give me my coffee.

THE MODERN VAMPIRE’S GUIDE TO EATING WELL (or a guest blog from Matt R. Jones of The Hollywood Vampires fame)

Alrighty Loyals and True Believers, listen up!

Let me introduce you to one of my good friends Matt R. Jones. He writes the Hollywood Vampire series which is a fun-filled bunch of mayhem loaded with a wacky, dark humor. It’s vampire fun for the whole family kiddos! Seriously, you should zip over when this is done and read more of his stuff.

Here is his take on something a modern vamp can do to not only get by in the world, but actually come out ahead on the whole blood game. So take notes and check his WEBSITE for more!

So now Matt, Take it away!


Sex Offender Registries – A Vampire’s Best Friend!

Before we start discussing the where’s and how’s of getting a near-limitless supply of blood, I want to immediately get rid of a notion the media and popular vampire fiction has likely placed in your head.  Namely the one about how hard it is for a vampire to feed well.  Hogwash.

Getting blood is EASY.

Seriously.  There’s no real trick to it whatsoever, even for fledgling vampires.  It was more complicated in centuries past – and some older vampires cling to the more traditional methods and mindsets – but you’re a 21st century vampire.  You’ve got it made!

Now, let’s talk turkey.  Or blood, rather.

Most vampires I know prefer to feed from the schmucks of society – rapists, domestic abusers, child molesters – because not only do these people deserve to be exploited, but if they go missing or turn up hurt, nobody cares.


While typical vampire fiction wants you to believe that feeding on “innocent” blood – usually virgins – is a better experience, it really isn’t.  It’s a psychological fetish perpetuated by screwballs who get off on exploiting young girls, and I’d advise you against it.  Down that path lies ruin, misery, and villagers with pitchforks.

Blood is blood, and flavor variations come from personal habits and internal chemistry, NOT temperament.  In fact, some vampires I’ve spoken with have tried virgin blood and found it severely lacking in character, likely because said virgins have yet to go out and do anything interesting that might affect their blood chemistry.

“Gimme a cougar with a pint of Guinness in her and some seriously bad habits over Sweet Sally Purebread any day,” says Hank from Indiana.

So if you’re worried that feeding off of undesirables means you’re doomed to the vampire equivalent of TV dinners, cast your fears aside.  Amongst modern vampires, the common sentiment…

Smart vampires feed off society’s scum and live long, happy lives knowing they’re making their community a better place – pervert vampires chase after underage girls, upset the townspeople, and get burned alive in their houses.  Don’t be a pervert vampire.

So, where do you find the scum of society?  Why, the internet of course!

Today, I want to specifically talk to you about Sex Offender Registries – I can’t say enough good things about them.  These things are a godsend to newly-coined vampires everywhere, and I know some vampires who dine exclusively from these, to the point they’re able to stock up on blood for months in advance.

No fooling.  Sex offender registries rule.

What are they?

Simply put, there are a lot of sickos out there who prey on kids and teenagers, and society has deemed that once these jerks have been convicted, they have to register their whereabouts with local law enforcement and firmly stay “on the grid.”  Society doesn’t want sex offenders running around unaccounted for, and rightfully so.

The beauty of this system is that the locations of these sex offenders are made public knowledge, so everybody will know if a creep moves into their neighborhood.  This means the names, locations, and even the crimes of these sex offenders are kept in easy-to-use online registries, which are usually found with a simple Google search.  Most of the registries have pictures to make things even easier for you!

All you need to do is enter in “______ sex offender registry” into Google or other search engine, replacing the blank with your town or general area.  Take your pick, and start browsing.  Most registries will even provide you with a MAP showing exactly where your local perverts hang their hats… this is the vampire equivalent of taking candy from a baby.  A comatose baby.

Simply select one of these fine schmucks, go to their house, and take a pint or two.  Wash, rinse, repeat.

Speaking of which, there’s an aesthetic note about this process you should be aware of.  Namely, most sex offenders are quite ugly, and many of them are unwashed.  For your first feeding – where you’ll be establishing a powerful psychological advantage over them and letting them know that without a doubt you ARE a vampire – you’re going to have to drink straight “from the tap.”

So bring a washcloth and some anti-microbial soap.

Afterwards, bring a mug with you and make them drain their wrist into it for you – another effective psychological technique.  Of course, once you’ve established a working arrangement with a sex-offender, you’ll be able to force a positive influence on their hygiene, but even then…

Do you REALLY want to have regular intimate contact with some creep who diddles kids?

No sir.  Bring your mug.

Now, the thing with feeding from sex offenders is that – as a vampire – you hold a considerable amount of power over these jerks.  Sex offenders are the lowest rung on society’s ladder – they occupy a lower standing than even Nazis.  You don’t have to be very discreet with them… at all.

After all, if a guy convicted of diddling his eight-year-old cousin goes to the police and says he’s being menaced by a local vampire, what do you think is going to happen?  At best, he’ll get laughed at and sent on his way, at worst, Officer Friendly will take him out behind the dumpster and have an animated “discussion” with him.

This is why sex offender registries are such a boon to modern vampires!  Not only are you provided with a rich menu AND a map leading you straight to it, but you’ve got instant access to the most hated niche of society, who nobody’s going to bother defending.

There was one case in Pasadena, California where a vampire I’m friends with – Shelley, we’ll call her – had been feeding upon a former child-pornographer named Dale.  Dale got tired of Shelley coming by his house a couple of times a week, taking a pint, and making him pay a regular “convenience” fee of a hundred bucks.

So Dale went on the internet and found himself a vampire hunter.  When Shelley showed up the following Tuesday, the vampire hunter was there waiting for her.  Quick-thinking Shelley convinced the hunter to give her five minutes, and she proceeded to pull up Dale’s information on her cell phone.

After reading this, the vampire hunter beat the hell out of Dale, and told Shelley she got a free pass on this one.  Shelley fed heavily from Dale and took his TV as a “fine” for being an asshole.  The next time she showed up, she’d found Dale hung himself in the basement.  No great loss.

Long story short, even vampire hunters hate sex offenders more than they do vampires!  So on the chance one of your sex offenders finds somebody who DOES believe in vampires, you’re going to be viewed as the lesser of two evils.

It’s easy to establish a regular stable of sex offenders you can feed from a few times every week, and as previously mentioned, you don’t even have to be sneaky about it.

Most of the time, they’ll be so scared of you, they’ll fall into line.  Sex offenders are inherently weak, preying on those even weaker than themselves – as a vampire, you’re top of the food chain.  Present yourself as a strong, confident individual and you’ll be able to push around every sex offender you encounter.

This is excellent – fear of your wrath will ensure these creeps don’t step out of line and bother other kids.  Tell them you’re watching them at all times, and if they screw around, they’re dead meat.  If you’ve made friends with some local goths, have them swing by the creep’s house on random occasions, saying they’re there to “make sure he’s staying on the straight and narrow.”  Goths usually love scaring scumbags!

And if your sex offender DOES get out line or attempts to pull a fast one on you, you’re free to either report them to the police or kill them.  Trust me, when a child-molester turns up dead, nobody looks very deeply into it.

This is an ideal situation for new vampires still coming to terms with the morality of feeding on the blood of the living.  While you may understandably feel uncomfortable feeding on a librarian, cop, teacher, or somebody else who makes a positive contribution to your community – or just some regular schlub trying to make an honest living – you won’t feel such qualms about exploiting a diddler.

You’re terrorizing these cretins in a way the cops aren’t allowed to, you’re keeping them in line, you’re keeping kids safe, AND you’re getting a steady supply of blood.  Many vampires also extort money from sex offenders, and a vampire with a nice stable of sex offenders could be looking at an easy $1000 a week.

One word of advice, however.

If at all possible, spread out your sex offender stable in your local area.  Work on three or so in your hometown, grab another few in the next town over, and then some more in the town down the road. Plus, don’t let them know you’re preying on other sex offenders… ensure they feel isolated and vulnerable, as though you’re an instrument of retribution sent specifically to screw with THEM.

In fact, you may consider simply telling them you’re there to punish them for their deeds.  If they’re at all religious, grab a Bible and quote some appropriate verses to them… there’s plenty of stuff in the Bible about wrath, retribution, and getting your ass kicked by divine means.  A vampire quoting Bible verses at someone while throwing them around their living room scares the shit out of most people.

The idea behind spreading out your stable and nurturing feelings of isolation is simple.

If you’ve got a dozen or more sex offenders in your hometown, it may be VERY tempting to stay local and get all your blood in one place.  But since sex offenders can’t go to the cops, they MAY try to work together with other sex offenders in the same situation… work together towards taking you out.

It’s happened before when young vampires got cocky.  Sex offenders are weak, pathetic people, but if pushed hard enough, they also get desperate… and if they think there are others they can reach out to for help, they will.  While most of these uprisings are clumsy and taken care of without too much trouble, more than a few careless vampires have met their ends at the hands of vengeful diddlers.

At the very least, it sucks to be heading out for a quick pint or two, showing up at a diddler’s house, and having several wild-eyed sex offenders coming at you with crosses, wooden stakes, and anything stabby they can lay their hands on.  So be firm with these creeps AND pragmatic.

This also means you NEVER let them know where you live.  If they ask, don’t even answer – just slug them.  You’re the vampire, you’re in charge, and you don’t take guff off of anybody.  The same goes for your name – tell them to call you “master” or “mistress,” which will immediately establish a psychological advantage over them.  If somebody’s molested a kid, they don’t deserve decency from you.

Eventually we’ll discuss techniques where you lure troublemakers to your house, but save those for when you’re a little more advanced and assured in your skills.  All in due time!

If your stomach’s gurgling for blood right now, hop on to Google, start searching, and head out tonight in search of fresh, tasty, sex-offender blood.  Remember to take your washcloth and soap, your most firm and confident attitude, and possibly a few Bible verses.

Once you’ve got several diddlers in line, you’ll never go hungry again… and quite possibly may have all your financial concerns taken care of, as well.  Plus, you’ll be helping your community!

Being a 21st century vampire is simply fantastic, and I look forward to helping you find your footing in future installments!

SHAMBLING, SHUFFLING, AND MOANING THE BLUES (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Zed word)

Well kids, it’s that time of the year again. That’s right, it is creeping up on Halloween time. All Hallow’s Eve, Samhain, Dia De Los Muertos… whatever you are celebrating it is all about the dead. This year, round here it’s all about the undead.

Specifically, zombies.

Ah, zombies. Whether they shuffle, shamble, run, or crawl everybody loves zombies. There is a lot of zombie fever around the Casa De La Tuck lately too.

First of all, my twisted zombie love story called “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is now out in ONE BUCK ZOMBIES. You can buy it everywhere e-books are sold in whatever format you need and all for ONE BUCK! (that’s right folks, it’s not just a clever title.) Not only do you get my chunk of undead deliciousness (which I am extremely proud of BTW) you also get four more stories full of zombies.

And look at this gorgeous zombie cover.

Here is what the first review says about this:

-“One Buck Horror has done it again. Five squirmy, creative, scary, bloody horror tales, these featuring the monster du jour, zombies!  . . . particularly “He Stopped Loving Her Today”  . . . . certainly deliver enough chills and lip-chewing fear to make this collection more than worth the cost. ” –
MaryAnnReads (

Here are the links:

Amazon  and Barnes and Noble

Then, for my own personal enjoyment I am reading PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry.

Oh man this is a good book! And such a cool concept that I am still pissed that I didn’t come up with it first!  It’s like 24 mixed with zombies. It is truly off-the-chain.

And I just finished MONSTER HUNTER INTERNATIONAL by Larry Correia, which doesn’t have zombies in it, but it does have a ton of other undead and still kicks ass.

Plus I have been watching DEATH VALLEY on MTV. Listen, if you haven’t been tuning in then you are really missing out. This show is GOLD I am telling you. It’s COPS mixed with zombies, werewolves, and vampires. It’s also funny, just a dash of RENO 911 to break the monotony. It is truly an awesome show.

And on Sunday we have the return of one of the best zombie shows EVER MADE IN THE WORLD EVER! What else could I be talking about but THE WALKING DEAD on AMC. I mean really, the Tuck house is so freaking excited for Sunday night it is insane. Yes the show veered away from the comic book at the end, but I am fine with that because what they gave us was high quality.  And Me, The Missus, and The Son had the chance to see a WALKING DEAD panel at Dragoncon and it was one of the best panels. All the adults from the show ditched since it was first thing Monday morning, leaving all the kids from the show to handle the panel all by themselves. Let me tell you something, those kids rocked it. They were funny, charming, and highly entertaining.

AND to top it off Hornady, one of my favorite ammo companies has announced a new line of ammo ZOMBIEMAX! Check it out.


All this zombie fever has me in the mood to write some more zombie stuff. I now have 2 pages of notes on a new series about a Zombie Response Tactical Unit…so when I finish Book 3 of Deacon Chalk (titled BLOOD AND MAGICK) as well as the other two e-novellas in the series I just may be writing some brain splattering fun for you!


Wow, so many incredible authors have given me the honor of blurbing BLOOD AND BULLETS.  I am stunned. And absolutely thrilled. I thought I would share them, unedited, with you today.

(Blubs get edited down dramatically to the literary equivilant of a soundbite!)

“A dark, damaged, lonely man takes on the undead underworld and the monsters who live in it. Deacon Chalk kicks monster ass!” –
Faith Hunter -author of the Jane Yellowrock series and the Rogue Mage series

“BLOOD AND BULLETS certainly lives up to its name. Sort of a cross between Kill Bill and From Dusk Till Dawn, James R. Tuck’s debut novel delivers a fast-paced, action-filled story that kicks off his new series with a bang. Literally. This is not your daughter’s vampire book! There are no brooding, star-crossed lovers (sparkly or otherwise), no sexy vampires searching for their soul mates. Tuck gets back to basics in a world where monsters are evil and someone has to kill them. Enter the hero: a tattooed and tortured gun-slinging, vampire-slaying bad ass. If Dirty Harry and Anita Blake had a love child, he would be Deacon Chalk. I was hooked from the beginning to the end! Ladies, if Dark Urban Fantasy is not your cup of tea, then buy it for the man in your life. It’s an action movie in print and the guys will love it!”
Jenna Maclaine– Author of the Cin Craven series of books

“BLOOD AND BULLETS is bursting at the seams with picture-painting language and satisfying surprises. Deacon Chalk is so vividly drawn you can almost reach out and stroke his goatee. Rapid fire action never stops, and Deacon’s irresistible voice propels you along for the ride. When I finished this book I was out of breath!”
Annabel Joseph– Bestselling author of Club Mephisto and many other fine titles.

“Blood & Bullets is a straight-up meat ‘n potatoes testosterone ass-kicker that delivers you thrills, chills, and kills with a rock-steady hand, unblinking eye, and no mercy for the things that go bump in the night. If you’re hungry for supernatural adventure free of trembling romance or are SICK of sad vampires, mainline this book RIGHT NOW – Deacon Chalk is the Charles Bronson of urban fantasy, guaranteed 100% BS-free.
Relentless, vicious, and yet with a core of genuine humanity the monsters can’t touch – Deacon’s a man pushed to the edge by the forces of darkness, and instead of falling in, he’s chosen to PUSH BACK in spectacular fashion…
If you’ve got a vampire bothering your daughter, call in Mr. Chalk – within fifteen minutes, you’ll be sweeping the vampire out the door with a broom.”
Matt R. Jones– Author of the Hollywood Vampires series.

“Excellent book, fast pace, brutal, a roller coaster adrenaline ride and you don’t even have to get off the sofa to experience it.
Deacon Chalk is who the monsters are afraid of!”
Adrienne Wilder – Author of the City Of Dragons series and the Darwin’s Theory series

Go, click links, buy books.  I’ll be over here swooning. :)