Friday, May 11, 2012

Double Feature with James R Tuck : Meet Deacon Chalk, Monster Slayer

Shredding monsters is his stock and trade. He sniffs them out, tracks them down, and corners them. End of story. But when the tables are turned, expect the unexpected. . .
Knowing his enemy is a rule Deacon Chalk swears by. But he's never seen anything like whatever is leaving the Atlanta Zoo's most dangerous predators bloodless, skinned, and hanging high in treetops. And he’s only got till sunrise to keep it from turning the entire city into a slaughterhouse. Now Deacon is in zoo lockdown with a handful of staffers to save. His zookeeper backup has more guts than monster-hunting experience. And the only chance Deacon has to run this thing to unholy ground is to risk unleashing his darkest, most uncontrollable instincts...

Kindle  |  Nook

Excerpt from
a Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter E-novella
I moved away from the wall. My legs made long strides across the grass, the smell of piss fading as I walked. Jimmy the zookeeper hustled to catch up with me. He was breathing hard by the time he did, doing a jog-step to keep pace.
    “What the hell are you doin’ now?”
    “We need some bait. This thing likes to swoop down and grab its victim.”
    “But you had me lock up all the animals so they would be safe from it.”
    Listening to the night air, not looking at him, I drew out the Bowie knife. “I know.”
    “So what are you gonna use for bait?”
    “Us.” The silver edge gleamed in the full moonlight as I laid it against the skin of my forearm. I keep my knives sharp so there was only a thin flash of burn as I drew it across my arm. The tattooed skin parted, blood welling up behind the slice of the blade. I didn’t cut deep, but it bled freely, running red rivulets down my arm, filling my palm, and dripping off my fingers.
    A flick of my hand sent droplets of my blood arcing out onto the grass around us. I try to keep my blood. Too many things out there can use your blood to harm you, but once it hits the earth its magickal properties are grounded out unless it is being used in ritual. This wasn’t ritual; it was bait. Chum in the water so to speak. The cut stopped bleeding, so I wiped the blood off on my jeans.
    I turned to Jimmy the zookeeper. “Get ready. I don’t think it will be long.” No, not long at all. The hair on my arms was standing on end, static electricity crackling between each one like tiny Tesla coils. My ability to sense supernatural stuff was wide open and I could feel something coming closer. In my mind’s theater I felt leather and fur rub along the inside of my skin. A crunchy taste filled my mouth, sucking out all the moisture, like eating too much roasted coconut. Whatever we were after was headed our way.
    Something flashed into existence over the scent mark on the wall, moving so quick and silent it seemed to appear from thin air. It was black against the white-washed wall, hanging by a hooked claw. I heard it draw a long inhale through its lungs. It snorted and shook its head, not liking that its scent mark had been desecrated. One inhumanly quick pull swung it to the top of the wall where it squatted, a dark shape against the low moon.
    Its head swung slowly from the left to the right, mouth open, breathing in the night scent through glistening fangs. Large triangular ears ran from cheekbones to the top of its flattened skull. A low screech followed the turn of its head, like the rusty screen door on Hell. Its face came around to our direction, low cry vibrating my skin with sound waves. They passed over me as it continued to turn its head. Immediately that monstrous face snapped back towards us and snarled. Red eyes glowed with a satanic light, throwing ruby highlights across a flattened snout and curving wet teeth.
    The beast rose, standing on the wall. Clawed arms whipped over its head. The moonlight glowed through thin membrane wings that stretched from knotted hands to cadaverous waist, black veins traced through in relief. One wing was torn, a rip in its center that the moon shone through. It was covered in patches of greasy rat fur, glistening in the night. Where it had skin, it was bare and mottled gray. Anatomy showed it was female, breasts hanging pendulous in a mockery of womanhood. It once was human. It once was alive. Now it was neither. I knew exactly what we were up against.
    Pulling down on the slide, I checked the shotgun to make sure there was a shell in the chamber.
    Bring it on, bitch.

Since hunting down the monster who took the lives of his wife and children five years ago, occult bounty-hunter Deacon Chalk has lived by only one rule.

He does not work for the monsters. He kills them.

So why would a vampire try to hire him as protection against another monster hunter? After enforcing his only rule Deacon goes to meet the target, a vampire slayer named Nyteblade. Professional courtesy demands he tell this Nyteblade the vampires are hiring people to kill him. Deacon finds the vampire slayer waiting in an alley.

Waiting to stake him.

He discovers that Nyteblade is a bumbling, fumbling, wanna-be instead of a badass vampire hunter. Someone who needs saving from monsters instead of the other way around. This is proven when a horde of vampires descend and he has to escape while trying to keep Nyteblade alive.

Someone has set Deacon up. Someone wants him dead.

Someone should have sent more vampires.

Bound and determined, Deacon will find out who tried to kill him no matter how many bloodsuckers, were-spiders, cursed immortals, undead strippers, or insanely powerful hell-bitches he has to wade through.

It's going to be a long night.

Kindle  |  Nook

excerpt from
A Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter novel

The 600 year old vampire in front of me began sobbing. Great, heaving sobs that wracked his body and shook him in his chains. I had never seen something that could break a vampire of his age. He was broken though. Fear rolled off of him like a stench. I snapped my fingers in his face. “Gregorios. Tell me about Appollonia.”
    He drew in a deep, quivering breath and rolled his eyes up to look at me. They were back to being an almost black brown. The whites of them were crimson with burst blood vessels.
    "Don't you see?" His voice was strained and his eyes danced wildly in their sockets like two drunken sailors. "We cannot resist her, she takes over and consumes you. She has become to us what we are to you!" His voice got higher and higher as he strangled out the words. "I can't, I can't be consumed by her! It would be torment!" His voice cut off in a gurgle and Gregorios began sobbing again. It was pitiful. Fear of Appollonia and her power had broken him. That fear had destroyed the fragile balance that is a mind held by vampiric power far past when it should have died.
The barrel of the Desert Eagle made an impression on his forehead. His eyes crossed focusing on it, but they were glazed over and not seeing anything in this reality.

    "Don't worry, I will keep her from consuming you."

    He closed those fear fevered eyes. I took a centering breath. In through my nose, out through my mouth.

    I pulled the trigger.

Interview with Charlotte Vale

A surprise HEROINE from Blood and Bullets 

Q: Thank you for coming to answer our questions. We truly appreciate your time.

Charlotte Vale: It's no problem at all. I'm an open book.

Q: I understand you are settling into a new home here in Ga. How is that going?

CV: It's going well. I have a few room mates who also found themselves uprooted and left with nowhere to go after the Appollonia incident, but we have a nice house that we rent and it is becoming home.

Q: So, everyone wants to know, what is it like working with Deacon Chalk?

CV: Well, it's never dull I will tell you that! I love Deacon to pieces, but truthfully, I don't have any desire to be an occult bounty hunter like him. He can have that job. I will stick to being a school teacher so I can curl up at night with a good book and a cup of tea.

Q: What kind of books do you read?

CV: I like a nice book with a bit of humor. I just finished I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK by Nora Ephron. It was terrific. Those are the kinds of books I like. But I will get a little dark with Chuck Palahnuick every once in a while.

Q: So is your tea a special kind of tea? Something only a Were-spider would drink?

CV: Oh Lord no! I eat just what you would eat, no difference. I don't crave bugs or anything just because of my other form.

Q: That's good to know. Do you change at will or only when you are angry? Does the moon have anything to do with it?

CV: I can change at will. I also am lucky that my change isn't debilitating. I have friends that shapeshift and when they do it is a terrible experience. Mine is easy and natural, really no more painful than a few small cramps. And the moon has nothing to do with my change. Most other spiders I know are unaffected by the moon, that seems to be a warmblooded mammal characteristic of lycanthropy.

Q: Well that's good! It must make blending in to society easier. So let me get right to the gossip part of the interview, what's the story with Longinus?

CV: He's the immortal keeper of the Spear of Destiny.

Q: And?

CV: He's a very kind man, especially for one that is over two thousand years old and lives off blood.

Q: Is he a vampire?

CV: Not like you mean, no. He lives off blood because of his curse, but he's not a vampire. Him an vampires have a . . . complicated history.

Q: You were seen in his company before he left town, do I hear wedding bells?

CV; (Laughs) No, not at all. Longinus and I did become . . . close before he left, but I can't be tied down to one person.

Q: Interesting. If you can't be tied down to Longinus, then does this mean that you and Deacon. . .?

CV: Me and Deacon? No! I love the man to pieces after what he did for me, and we are becoming good friends, but together? No, it would never happen. Besides, I wouldn't want to have to go toe to toe with Tiff over that.

Q: They do seem to be getting close.

CV: That they do. We go out sometimes as friends and the looks that pass between them. . . it's enough to make your stomach flutter.

Q: Well, thank you so much for your time Charlotte. I look forward to seeing you again.

CV: Thank you for having me. It's been fun!

Want more Charlotte? Check out SPIDER'S LULLABY A Deacon Chalk E-novella on sale at all fine e-tailers in all formats on JUNE 26, 2012 and BLOOD AND SILVER the next full-length Deacon Chalk adventure out AUGUST 7, 2012 EVERYWHERE!

James R. Tuck writes dark and scary stories for adults. His Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter series has debuted to much praise from readers, reviewers, and other authors. Book one, BLOOD AND BULLETS will be available everywhere on February 7, 2012 and will be preceded by the e-novella THAT THING AT THE ZOO on January 27, 2012. His short, twisted, zombie love story "He Stopped Loving Her Today" is being considered for adaptation into film.
    James is a former bouncer and has been a professional tattoo artist for over 15 years. His tattoo work has been published in national tattoo magazines and he owns Family Tradition Tattoo in Marietta, Ga. He lives near there with a wonderful wife, three wonderful children, and six dogs of varying degrees of wonderfulness.

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