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.

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. :)


Okay Loyals and True Believers this year’s Dragoncon is the first official author appearance by yours truly. I have a busy weekend ahead and I AM GOING TO HAVE A BLAST!

Here is where I will be and I would LOVE for you to come to one of these panels if you are at Dragoncon too!

Friday, September 2 · 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Guesting on DARKSIDE DETECTIVES Panel Cairo/Hyatt
Speakers: Larry Correia, Carole Nelson Douglas, Laura Anne Gilman, Rob Thurman, James R. Tuck
Moderator: Carol Malcolm
Join this kick ass panel of authors as we discuss Occult Detective fiction for a new millennium.
We will be covering all the greats and our own! This will be your first chance to see me talk about the upcoming book BLOOD AND BULLETS and the main character Deacon Chalk!
This is a great group of authors and you should definitely make it to see us all.
Saturday, September 3  1:00pm-2:00pm
Moderating the VAMPIRE DIARIES panel featuring Sara Canning  Montreal/Vancouver
Ask all your questions about The Vampire Diaries to a star of the show!
I love the Vampire Diaries so this should be a blast!
Saturday, September 3 7:00pm-8:00pm
Moderating the STATE OF FEAR panel Cairo/Hyatt
Speakers: Elizabeth Donald, Nancy L. Holder, Jonathan Maberry, Anya Martin, Philip Nutman
Moderator: James Ray Tuck
The current state of horror fiction and speculation as to what will be next.
This is another spectacular group of authors. Come hear what they have to say about the trends of HORROR!
Saturday, September 3 8:30-9:30
Guesting on the THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES panel Cairo/Hyatt
Speakers: David B. Coe, Faith Hunter, Stacia Kane, J F Lewis, Jeanne C. Stein, James Ray Tuck
Moderator: Carol Malcolm
Creating and sustaining dark and urban fantasy series.
Wow, the level of these writers stuns me. I am anticipating this panel to rock your face off. If you are a reader or a writer of a series, come to this one!
Sunday September4 7:00pm-8:00pm
Guesting on the SHADOWED STREETS panel Monteal/Vancouver Hyatt
Speakers: Carole Nelson Douglas, Stacia Kane, J F Lewis,
Jeanne C. Stein, James R. Tuck,
Moderator: Carol Malcolm
Grit and grime in urban fantasy fiction.
Another star-packed panel. Wow, these folks are awesome and I am honored to be in their company. Come see me for the last shebang of the con for me!
Come out. Say hello. Get free bookmarks! Meet and greet some awesome authors and have a thoroughly good time!
And if you see me just walking around the con please say hello! I would love to see you if I know you and I would love to meet you if I don’t!

New Evil Dead 2 Figure Details and Pictures | Daily Dead

New Evil Dead 2 Figure Details and Pictures | Daily Dead.

This is a link to the new Evil Dead 2 figures… They look amazing.  I don’t know when they come out, but I am sure it’ in the article.

WRITING WEDNESDAY (Revising is writing)

So I am knee-deep in revising the first draft of book two. It’s going well. I am about 1/3 of the way in and restructuring sentences so they are active and not passive, making dialog more realistic and believable, and fleshing out scenes by adding to them or dropping back story in entertaining anecdotes given by Deacon Chalk, the MC and narrator.

So I hit a part where I have to write a completely new chapter to insert. I had this scene as a sum up at the beginning of the next chapter and, at the suggestion of one of the members of my writing group, I am pulling it and making it a full scene all on its own.

I think I started it too early. I have them walking down a corridor to a car, when I need to cut back to them being at the car.

And this is where revising gets brutal. I LIKE what I wrote for this chapter. It’s good stuff. I am describing characters injuries and giving insights to them and it is cool.

But it is not the right place to start this chapter and therein lies the rub.

So now I get to yank it and rewrite it.  But you have to be willing to do this very thing. It makes your story stronger. You have to teeter on the edge of loving your words and being willing to bash them to pieces with a sledgehammer.  When you revise you should be cutting words and sentences and even whole chapters/characters/subplots. You should also be adding, but cutting should happen over and over again. Without mercy.

I know when I am not in the headspace for revision because I read my first draft and don’t change anything for a whole paragraph.  I know myself and while I write a pretty decent first draft, if I go to revise and I am not changing at least one out of every four sentences then I am not in the right headspace.   It’s not because I wrote that brilliantly the first time. Nope. Hell, there are some passages I write that in revision EVERY sentence gets reworded or cut completely.  It has to be done.

Why? BECAUSE EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING MUST PAY FOR ITS TIME ON THE PAGE. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph, every chapter, every character, every plot, every everything. If it does not further the plot or develop the character then it has to be cut. If you do not cut it you are leaving word cancer that will metastasis and kill your manuscript.

Be brutal and revise like you mean it.