BEST HARDBOILED DETECTIVE WHO AIN’T A DETECTIVE (or Scott Jordan is the man)


Long ago and far away I was 14 or so and visiting my crazy aunt Bobby Joe (married to Bobby Ray) and digging through large brown paper sacks full of books bought at garage sales. I had to be mindful of the tiny black North Georgia scorpions who loved to nest up in those stacks of old wood pulp paper, little bastards hurt like hell and made you sick to your stomach for days if you let one get a hold of you.  But I was a book worm and here were hundreds of books for my taking.

I came across an old yellowish book from 1969 (originally published (1947) with a cover that had a man in trench coat and a gun in his belt looking down in dismay at a naked blond laying among some conveniently placed pillows. Well, that was enough for me. I took that home and read the hell out of it.

Now the tale inside did not quite live up to the lurid cover, yes there was an undraped blonde, but she quickly wound up dead as a canary in a coal mine. What I did find was a smartass lawyer acting as a detective in 1947 New York, getting shot at and dealing with thugs. My first hardboiled book. I loved it.

I carried that book for a long time. It was by Harold Q. Masur, himself a lawyer turned novelist. He is now one of my favorite hardboiled authors.

The story is pretty good. Case of mistaken identity results in a dead woman and our hero has to find out what’s going on. He’s stubborn and smartass in all the best ways. Like a less tough Mike Hammer who is a bit more book smart and a bit less grim.

It is still one of my favorite books ever. I’ve read it probably 2 dozen times.

Here is the cover I have.

Bury Me Deep, Bantam 1969

and here is the new, re-issued version you can get from Raven’s Head Press.

 

BURY ME DEEP COVER FLAT

GO BUY IT HERE

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GET GRAHAM YOST ON THE PHONE (or my review of RUMRUNNERS)


When Justified ended it left a hole in my world. I loved the Harlan County full of redneck outlaws and lawmen presented on there. Graham Yost, the showrunner, showed that he gets how to bring crime fiction to the small screen in a way that a lot of folks just don’t.

Well, I have discovered his next project.

RUMRUNNERS by Eric Beetner.

I’m an Eric Beetner fanboy and I have no problem admitting it. I love his writing and have yet to be disappointed in any of his work.  RUMRUNNERS is a great addition to his body of work.  This is a book about outlaw family doing outlaw things for family reasons. It’s got great characters and a plot as fast as a 1969 Roadrunner. It’s a crackerjack of a book.

It’s out through 280 Steps, a crime fiction publisher that’s burning up the roads with some great packaging on their books. Look at this cover.

cover - Rumrunners

And now read what some of the best crime writers are saying about it:

Smokey and the Bandit meets Justified and Fargo in this violent crime-family saga with a sense of humor.

“Buckle up…RUMRUNNERS is a fast and furious read.” -Samuel W. Gailey, author of Deep Winter Meet the McGraws.

They’re not criminals. They’re outlaws. They have made a living by driving anything and everything for the Stanleys, the criminal family who has been employing them for decades. It’s ended with Tucker. He’s gone straight, much to the disappointment of his father, Webb. When Webb vanishes after a job, and with him a truck load of drugs, the Stanleys want their drugs back or their money. With the help from his grandfather, Calvin-the original lead foot-Tucker is about to learn a whole lot about the family business in a crash course that might just get him killed.

“Rumrunners just never lets up. It’s a fuel-injected, mile-a-minute thrill ride. I had a blast.” -Grant Jerkins, author of A Very Simple Crime and Done In One

“Few contemporary writers do justice to the noir tradition the way Eric Beetner does. Others try to emulate and mimic; Beetner just takes the form and cuts his own jagged, raw and utterly readable path. RUMRUNNERS is the latest example of his great storytelling skills, and his uncompromising commitment to the dark, often violent truth at the center of the human heart.” -Gar Anthony Haywood, author of Assume Nothing, Cemetery Road and the Aaron Gunner series

“Beetner is an old school talent, a crime writer’s crime writer like Gil Brewer (although, in my humble opinion, he’s better than Brewer), who writes stuff that is fast and funny and dark all at once.” -Jake Hinkson, author of Hell On Church St. and The Big Ugly

 

And now go BUY IT RIGHT NOW

HERE WE GO, NEW SH!T (or getting off my a$$ and actually blogging)


I’ve been busy.

And I suck.

Between the two you have had no new content here.

Well, I aims to change that. I’m coming back. Mostly this is going to continue being my place to ramble but also my place to tell you about the books and comics I’m reading.

I read a LOT.

Mostly crime fic, horror, sci fi, and urban fantasy….but you never know what I’ll be delving into here. Could be erotica, could be poetry, could be literary. You just never know.

So I will be sharing all that goodness with y’all.

I MAKES BOOK COVERS (it’s true. I do.)


I do covers. If you want one hit me up. You get print layout and ebook cover.

james AT jamesrtuck DOT com

(replace AT with @ and DOT with . and close the gaps)

On my personal books I did the artwork and took the photos….for FLASHING STEEL FLASHING FIRE I used a stock image I bought……for INTO THE WEIRD the artwork came from Karl Comendador (find him HERE)

If you want to buy any of these click the pictures and you can buy them in ebook and print!

My stuff:

hired gun 5 x 8 jpeg internet special features FLATTENED internetviewable THAT WAY LIES MADNESS FULL COVER 5X8 INTERNET VERSIONand for other people:

 

FLASHING STEEL FLASHING FIRE PRINT COVER for posting on the internet JAMES PALMER  INTO THE WEIRD PRINT COVER FOR INTERNETZ

LAID OUT A NEW BOOK (not mine but something for a friend)


So in my copious amounts of spare time I sometimes do cover layouts for folks. Here is the cover I did for Mechanoid Press‘ BETRAYAL ON MONSTER EARTH.

Actually the cover artist did the front cover layout, I just did the back cover and spine.

BETRAYAL ON MONSTER EARTH PRINT COVER INTERNET SIZEDJPEG

 

You can buy it HERE

NOIR IN THE HEARTLAND (or how me and Springsteen and a bunch of crime-writing badasses are making a difference)


Pay attention to this one, it’s BIG.

I’m in a new anthology. I know, I know, I’m in a LOT of anthologies, but this one is a bit different. This one is a Crime Fiction anthology being put out by Gutter Books and Zelmer Pulp based on the songs of Bruce Springsteen. All the proceeds go to the Bob Woodruff Foundation which helps our veterans, cause dammit that’s what the Boss would want.

You may ask, WHY is this anthology different? Well, first of all it’s cool as hell, but secondly, it has some HUGE names in it. How huge? DENNIS LEHANE huge. HILARY DAVIDSON huge. Peter Farris, Chris F. Holm, Chuck Wendig, Les Edgerton, and Todd Robinson plus a shit-ton of other awesome authors huge.   Look at the cover:

 

Ain't it loverly?

Ain’t it loverly?

 

AND LOOK AT MY NAME RIGHT THERE ON THE COVER!

Cover credit. Hells yes.

And you all know my LOVE for crime fiction. I wrote about it HERE.

So what did I write about? My story is based off the song I’m On Fire. I’ve been listening to that damn song and been haunted by it for decades. It’s a spooky, creepy song full of human darkness. The second I was asked to be part of this by my good buddy Brian Panowich I knew I was writing that song. Got the official and wrote that beauty up in one sitting.

It’s dark. Real fucking dark.

It’s set in a place outside Culvert City, my crime fiction town, in a place called Butcher’s Holler and the time is somewhere around the 40’s.

Here’s what Joe Clifford, the editor, said after reading the piece.

Finally started editing the Springsteen antho. Just read your story “I’m on Fire.” Wow. I mean, just wow . . . 

. . . Got some Knockemstiff in there (which is my favorite short story collection), with just enough tongue-in-cheek nod to the Boss. Really, the perfect story for this collection. Well done, sir. Well fucking done.

I’ll take that. So keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of it going on sale and be ready to enjoy some awesome noir, inspired by an awesome singer, for an awesome cause.

And go LIKE the Facebook page for this anthology HERE

and here is a link to the video.

NEW DEACON CHALK BOOK! (or no clever title on this one, just getting the word out)


HARK! all Loyals and True Believers the wait is over!

Now you can have an ALL NEW DEACON BOOK! (sorta)

Please welcome to the family SPECIAL FEATURES: A Deacon Chalk Short Story Collection

Look at it! I MADE that shit. Took the photo, did the layout, that's all MINE!

Look at it! I MADE that shit. Took the photo, did the layout, that’s all MINE!

Okay, let me explain. I look at the three novellas and three novels in the Deacon Chalk series so far as the first season of a really kick ass urban fantasy television show. Like the most kick ass show that ever was.

THAT THING AT THE ZOO, BLOOD AND BULLETS, SPIDER’S LULLABY, BLOOD AND SILVER, CIRCUS OF BLOOD, and BLOOD AND MAGICK.  If you read straight through from the first you get one long story arc. This is the special features disc of that dvd set. (hence the clever title lol) Inside you will find short stories that happen around and between the published titles including DOLLY an all new, never before seen novelette that shows Deacon when he first started monster hunting. It’s Deacon: Year One.
You also get bonus material, character interviews, an essay, some special treats, a cut scene from BLOOD AND MAGICK, and a wrap up story set after BLOOD AND MAGICK that puts an elegant bow on the whole first season.

Damn right.

Some of this material has been published on the interwebs, but all of it has all been polished and a lot of it is new and all of it falls in a line. Plus it will look awesome on your book shelf.

More Deacon is coming. I promise. You will see some short stories, some novellas and a full novel soon because the second season is about to start and let me tell you something, I am upping the ante. You thought the series was wild before, well now it’s going completely off the rails!!!!!!!!!! THIS is the series with more balls than any other urban fantasy series out there and shit’s about to get buck.

But until that happens, buy this.

Here’s the BIG ASS BUY LINK FOR AMAZON which is where you can get it in print and kindle format.

Here is the BIG ASS BUY LINK FOR B&N where you can get it for your nook.

And while you are at it look over at my two other indie published titles:

THAT WAY LIES MADNESS

I drew the art for this as well as doing the layout!

I drew the art for this as well as doing the layout!

Lovecraftian horror at the edge of space! Scary sci fi with a terrific character.

THAT WAY LIES MADNESS AMAZON LINK

THAT WAY LIES MADNESS B&N LINK

and

HIRED GUN

I took the photo and did the layout for this!

I took the photo and did the layout for this!

My crime fiction short story collection. It’s gritty and dark and awesomely violent.

HIRED GUN AMAZON LINK

HIRED GUN B&N LINK

And thank you for all your loving support. It means the world to me and I love you very much.

THE MANY SHADES OF GORIAS LE GAUL (or a guest post by Steven l. Shrewsbury about some sword and sorcery goodness you need)


Alrighty kids, gather round for another guest blog by a good friend of mine (and fellow Outlaw) Steven Shrewsbury. Steven’s a helluva guy writing some terrific sword and sorcery today. One of his stories appears in THUNDER ON THE BATTLEFIELD : Sorcery which is volume 2 of the double anthology I did for Seventh Star Press. (Go buy it and Sword which is number one)

He has new work coming down the pike. The newest Gorias Le Gaul, which he is telling you about today and shortly a sword and sorcery retelling of the story of Goliath. Yes, THAT Goliath. I read it, it rocked, I wrote the introduction for it. So sit back and enjoy!

the cover!!!!

the cover!!!!

STEVEN SHREWSBURY:

My novella sized story collection BLOOD & STEEL: LEGENDS OF LA GAUL VOLUME I will be out really quick here. It features yarns about my character, Gorias La Gaul (central figure of the novels OVERKILL, THRALL and more to come) in various stages of his long life.

Some fantasy works are considered character driven fiction, rather than the epic world itself being the star of the novel. Don’t get me started that most ‘world building’ exercises in fantasy are just masturbatory sports in rearranging ancient Earth history and geography. Gorias La Gaul’s tales take place in a pre-flood world of mine that I prefer to think of as a time forgotten in our own history. While I’ve told much about the 700 year old flawed hero, who is equally as interested in woman as well as risky adventures, Gorias remains a mysterious character. In the tales of the new BLOOD & STEEL release, I’ve told selective things about him, events that may help his fans or a casual observer understand a bit more about him.

Do the stories paint a picture of why he loves women so much, loves to drink and is such a kick ass fighting man? Not entirely, but I’m not through with him yet.

The first tale, DAY OF INIQUITY tells of the rather violent circumstances of Gorias’ birth. We get to see his father in this story (as well as ASHES OF THE ALL FATHER and then, post mortem in INSURMOUNTABLE) and learn a bit about the tribal nature of how La Gaul was raised. The events in DAY are pretty horrific and the end of that one has a jaw dropper of a punch line, but, that’s how I roll at times. ASHES OF THE ALL FATHER shows us Gorias at 11 or so, and the way his tribe treated children and his own audacity with weapons at the climax, notably a stone member of a statue of Marduk.

The other stories tell of Gorias as an older man, one where he is drunken and heartbroken, somewhat out of character to his older self in OVERKILL and THRALL, Gorias indeed is haunted by a woman (aren’t most strong men?) and she is seen in the take WHORE OF JERICHO the Sorcery anthology currently out from Seventh Star.

Will it totally make the reader GET what makes Gorias tick? Perhaps a little, but I’m telling things as they present themselves to me. Gorias is in no way CONAN but as Howard said of his Cimmerian, the tales are coming to me out of sequence.

A reader will get to see his birth, how he coped with death and action, and even shouldered the sadness of loss of love, plus a duty to his dead father that is bizarre to modern eyes, yet, all to real in the realm of the past and for men of courage.

But why Gorias? Why an aging character, from a once raw beginning to a lordship and back to a mercenary sort of vagabond life? Why write of an enigmatic guy more comfy with whoring and whiskey than proper protocol (but he does remember the ropes)? Writing about someone with the moral character of Clark Kent must be a challenge. Gorias does have a certain code, maybe even great chivalry buried in his bearded face that’s probably more at home on DUCK DYNASTY that in a high bred fantasy realm.

I created him to be the vehicle for a fantasy setting where he wouldn’t be a barbarian warrior, nor a trained assassin, or any other real templates. The story is what works in these yarns and novels, but he is passing through them.

Fair warning: These tales aren’t for the squeamish nor the easily offended. They are rough, but move fast. They are grisly at times, yet will have one stopping to be revolted or laugh alternately. Gorias, while a flawed character with a capital F, well, ya won’t be able to help rooting for him. That is my hope.

How did I create Gorias? Well, that’s a topic for another blog.

BUY THE BOOK! CLICK HERE!

SHREWSBURY’S BLOG

HAPPY THOR’S DAY! (or it’s release day so getcher sword and sorcery hot off the digital presses!)


So I had this hankering about, ohhhhh, a year ago. I wanted a sword and sorcery anthology, done right by a press who would not only appreciate the genre but actively enjoy it, that I could submit a story to. I have this character Theok who is a Northland barbarian living and adventuring in a sword and sorcery version of the Old Testament. He is a follower of Yahweh translated through his upbringing as a barbarian so he views and serves Him as a warrior God. It’s like what the Bible would be like if written by Robert E. Howard.

Anyways, I have long liked the way Seventh Star Press runs their ship. They put out a top notch product, promote the hell out of it, and their authors are really happy. So I hit up Stephen Zimmer, the go to man for all things Seventh Star, and said to him “You should make a sword and sorcery anthology and let me put a story in it.”

Zimmer then comes back with “We’ll do it, but only if you edit it.”

Wait, what?

I’d never edited anything before. But you know me, unafraid of my own limitations, so I said yes.

Actually, I said Hell Yes.

So a few months of clearing stuff off my schedule and getting in stories (over 200) I narrowed it down to a slim, trim 22 stories of kick ass. With length of each story being a factor we split it into two anthologies and viola: THUNDER ON THE BATTLEFIELD Volume: SWORD and Volume: SORCERY were born.

Toss in two stories featuring Theok, a KICK ASS cover by Enggar, and a lot more work than I would have guessed and in a blink you have a release day!

Image

Today the digital versions of both anthologies hit the E-stands and the print will follow in 2 weeks.

Go buy some, only $3.99 each for 24 stories of ass kicking sword and sorcery!

Here are the links for both volumes:
Thunder on the Battlefield: Sword
Kindle version: http://www.amazon.com/Thunder-Battlefield-Sword-ebook/dp/B00EE0YL8Y

Nook version: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thunder-on-the-battlefield-james-r-tuck/1116359898?ean=2940148400639

Thunder on the Battlefield: Sorcery
Kindle version: http://www.amazon.com/Thunder-Battlefield-Sorcery-ebook/dp/B00EE15GY6

Nook verison: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/thunder-on-the-battlefield-james-r-tuck/1116359900?ean=2940148400660

 

VON TUCK IS THE MAN (or some pictures for your consumption)


So, with the royalty check one of the things I bought was a new camera. Here is what I have been doing with it 🙂

Needless to say, all pictures are mine. Copyright James R. Tuck. See that big name across them? That’s my photography handle. Respect it.

WM LIZ 7 WM CASH Adrienne 1 WM flashracktop WM HULAHOOP 2 wm shelby 3 WM SHELBY BACK