Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Meet James Ray Tuck Jr...

Meet James Ray Tuck Jr. His debut novel Blood And Bullets, a dark urban fantasy, has just launched with a big bang. I was thrilled to discover that James, like myself, is not only a fiction writer, he's also tattoo artist. A rare combination it seems. He owns Family Tradtion Tattoos in Marietta, Georgia and does some pretty nice work. I hear he's also passionate about guns and Jesus.

Recently I hit James up for an interview and just as I thought, he's a real down to earth, cool guy, big teddy bear (but don't mess with him) type. It's my pleasure to bring you our Q & A ...

Your new book Blood and Bullets just came out this month. Great title by the way and the cover is killer. Can you tell us what it’s about?

BLOOD AND BULLETS is the first book in the Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter series. It's a DARK urban fantasy that follows the adventures of Deacon as he makes his way through the Deaconverse blasting holes in monsters.

Five years before the events in BLOOD AND BULLETS Deacon's family was horribly, ritualistically slaughtered by a monster. He decided to find this monster and kill him. In the process he rescued an Angel, yes an honest to God Angel of the Lord, who was held captive by the bad guys. They were abusing her over and over trying to create more Nephilim which are half human, half Angel monsters. Carrying on his mission he confronts the monster who killed his family. Being only human he gets killed. The Angel returned the rescue, ressurects him and makes him more than human. Just a little bit stronger, a little bit tougher, and a little bit faster with the new ability to sense all things supernatural. He then got his revenge.

Now he is a monster hunter. The most important thing to know about Deacon is that he only wants to go on and be with his family. However, he is also a devout Catholic and as such he cant take himself there. That's a mortal sin, do not pass GO do not collect $200. So he throws himself at monsters hoping and praying that one day he will find one monster enough to send him on his way.

He's a dark, fucked up character, which is how I imagine a real monster hunter would be. BLOOD AND BULLETS has him dealing with vampires, undead strippers, wannabe vampire slayers, Were-spiders, cursed immortals, and other such craziness. And the title isn't a lie. There is blood splashed on every page and more bullets flying than a John Woo flick!

(Did he just say undead strippers? I've got a story coming out in The Drunk On The Moon werewolf PI series with undead strippers. How cool is that?)

I like how you describe your writing style as “action horror”. In a world where everything has already been done and redone, you seem refreshingly unique. Is there any other authors/books out there that might compare to your style?

J.F. Lewis. He writes a wacked out, gonzo style of urban fantasy that goes pretty hand in hand with mine. Steve Niles writes the Cal Macdonald series and that's pretty similar. Also Simon R. Green's Nightside books are in a same vein. And the Sunglasses After Dark series by Nancy A. Collins. All of these I highly recommend!

Clearly your dual passions, like myself, are writing and tattooing. If you had a day free to do anything you wanted, are you more likely to spend your time writing or drawing?

Writing. I have put a life of drawing and over a decade and a half into tattooing. I do still love it, won't stop, but writing is so new and fresh it's taken top seat. Plus, I can write all day long, but because of my carpal tunnel I can only tattoo about 4 hours and draw about 2. More than that and I have to take a few days off.

What do you think of TV shows like “Ink Master” and “New York Ink”? Can you watch them without riddling the screen with bullet holes?

Ink Master isn't bad. There's some real talent there. Josh Woods is a great guy and a helluva tattooist. The hosts and judges are coming across as serious douches but the show is alright. I can live with it. NY Ink....I don't watch it. I will say that those "reality" tattoo shows have NOTHING to do with the reality of an actual tattoo shop.

Speaking of tattooing, the tattoo industry, as you know, has many phenomenal world renowned artists other than just the “celebrity” artists people see on TV. Who are some of the artists today whose work impresses you?

I have been a long time fan of Jime' Litwalk. Man I just love his stuff. I have for a decade now. I am huge fan of Derek Noble and also Shawn MacDonald. Both of those guys are just killing it with a nice new style that makes my jaw drop. Annie Frenzel usually makes my eyes cross with jealousy too.

I’m digging your black and grayscale portraits. What’s your favourite thing to tattoo?

Thanks a lot. I do like the high contrast black and grey celebrity portraits, but my favorite thing is a nice neo-traditional blended tattoo. Something with a new twist on an old favorite. Sailor Jerry on steroids. Give me a solid Coleman style traditional tattoo also and I am pretty happy to do it.

So if Jesus was a living breathing man today on this planet and he needed some guns, what would you recommend he carry?

Jesus wouldn't carry no guns. That's Peter's job. If you read the New Testament account of the Roman soldiers coming to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane his right hand man Pete pulled out a sword and WHACKED OFF ONE OF THEIR EARS! That's some gangster shit right there. lol. Pete would have carried a nice chrome Colt .45. Good, solid, reliable and it blows bigass holes in people.

What if he wanted a full sleeve, what would you suggest for Jesus?

Gotta go with some nice black and grey, probably single needle, but high contrast. Not a Tupac cross though. I don't think He would like that. lol.

What else have you got in the works with your writing?

Banging through Deacon book 3 (BLOOD AND MAGICK) and the 3rd e-novella. After that I am going to write a crime/chase novel that should be a real slice of southern-fried mayhem.

Anything else we should know about you James?

I will talk to you about books or writing anytime you want. Seriously, just hit me up in preson or online. Check to see where my social media is. I look like a thug, but I am kinda nice. Most of the time.

Check out Blood And Bullets on Amazon.

Stop by Chuck Wendig's place Terribleminds for an awesome interview where they talk about guns and writing and other interesting stuff.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Who Is Scarlet Rose?

According to her estranged, drug smuggling, addict of a daughter, Suzanne, who once lived on the streets, Scarlet Rose is "the Cruella De Vil of mothers.... a drunk and a tyrant" who destroyed the lives of her children.

Her other daughter Fiona, a pill popping, dope smoking reluctant stripper, thinks Scarlet Rose was "ill-equipped as a young woman to look after herself, let alone a house full of children." She was also,"nothing but a menace."

And what would her murdered ex-husband Charlie say about Scarlet Rose? Well, after she'd attacked a woman in a club, then went into early labour and had to be taken to the hospital, Charlie said, “You’re insane. You should be in a mental hospital, you goddamn crazy bitch!"

If you ask Scarlet Rose herself, who's real name is Sylvia, she'd say she was "the cream of the crop...the best dancer in the business, with countless admirers" And she'll be the first to tell you what a good mother she was to her four children, even though she can't tell you who the father of one of her boys is.

If you ask her son Matthew, a boy kidnapped at the age of four now returning at eighteen to claim his inheritance after the murder of his father, Scarlet Rose is, "The bridge between heaven and insanity."

Who is Scarlet Rose? Demon or Saint? Or both?

Ask Marlene Burnette, a lonely lesbian woman and she'll tell you Scarlet Rose is a beautiful, charismatic woman who makes her heart beat a little faster. She also believes Scarlet Rose is her destiny.

However, Clive Stevenson, the son of an axe killer, a man who's lost everything that mattered in his life, will tell you another story. A story about a woman who's carnage needs to be stopped.

If you really want to know the truth about who Scarlet Rose is, start with Scarlet Sins, free on Amazon for the next five days.

In the prequel to The Truth About Scarlet Rose, life for an unwed teenage mother in the 1960s can be a hard road. Sylvia knows all too well how limited her options are. At seventeen taking a job as a burlesque entertainer to support herself and her baby is her best hope. But choosing to marry an older man and have a family with a cheating, boozing, gambling husband who makes promises he can’t keep, becomes her downfall. And for a woman with limited choices, her decision to commit murder is not one she makes lightly, but carefully plans and executes in cold blood.

“The whole thing plays out like a gorgeous '50's-era melodrama. Lyrical and dark and devastating. I could see Powell and Pressburger directing the movie version.” – Heath Lowrance, author of The Bastard Hand.

Scarlet Sins free on Amazon for the next five days.

Next read The Truth About Scarlet Rose

Scarlet Rose, the once remarkably beautiful, queen of the burlesque scene in 1960s Toronto, has aged into a decrepit bitter alcoholic, living on welfare and her daughter’s handouts—a daughter she forced into the adult entertainment industry at the age of sixteen to support the family. Now in 1983, Scarlet’s wealthy ex-husband has been found tortured and murdered in a hotel room, and her twenty-two-year-old daughter Fiona, must help the police find the killer.

While Fiona navigates her way through the dark recesses of her family’s history, uncovering shocking secrets that threaten to destroy her, Scarlet Rose employs the skills she learns in Sun Tzu’s The Art Of War, fixating on making a new life for herself using other people’s money. But when she befriends a lonely American woman sitting on an inheritance, greed that knows no bounds, cold-blooded murder and identity theft, might just prove to be Scarlet’s undoing.

Praise for The Truth About Scarlet Rose:

“The Truth About Scarlet Rose begins with a scene full of menace and eroticism. It is a compulsively readable crime novel that packs a lot of punches. Julia Madeleine is an accomplished author who sketches characters deftly and then draws you into their inner lives. They are inner lives worth reading about. This is a novel that is full of suspense, that is about the loss of innocence and the cost of freedom. Julia Madeleine has written a great page turner, I highly recommend it.” - Richard Godwin, Author Of Apostle Rising.

"The Truth About Scarlet Rose is a gripping, atmospheric and powerful thriller with dark shades of noir and even traces of the Gothic." - Paul D Brazill- Guns Of Brixton, 13 Shots Of Noir, Drunk On The Moon, Brit Grit.

“When Madeleine tells you cops all have “those eyes,” you believe her. The stripper mama’s boa may be soft as a baby kitten, but the truth about Scarlet Rose will be told.” –Cindy Rosmus, editor Yellow Mama Magazine

"Sure “The Truth About Scarlet Rose” has drugs, strippers and violence but believe it or not, that’s not why I find myself waking up early to sneak in one more chapter before work. I do it to spend more time with it’s central character Fiona and her whack family. At its core is a wonderfully twisted dysfunctional as hell family drama, and one hell of a great read. This is my favorite kind of whodunnit, the kind where whydunnit is just as interesting." - Josh Stallings, author of Beautiful, Naked & Dead and Out There Bad

“Julia Madeleine’s ‘The Truth About Scarlet Rose’ is a humdinger of a story, a hugely intelligent crime thriller, and a subtly, smartly paced drama with sinister overtones. The prose is mesmerizingly fluid and coolly disarming, much like her protagonists, who saunter across the page knowingly and confidently as the plot gracefully unfolds, masterfully insinuating themselves into the readers’ consciousness.

Madeleine takes the familiar tropes of the crime genre and shakes them down, devilishly navigating us through a noir reality of irrepressible modernity, and staggering us with complex characterizations of people caught up in spider-web of intrigue and danger. But her writing, her plot, her people, are imbued with an undeniable empathy, and it’s this which is her most striking accomplishment as a crime novelist. Madeleine is a rising star in the crime firmament, and rightly so.” – Frank Duffy, author of Mountains of Smoke

So who is Scarlet Rose? You're about to find out, but only if you want to know the truth. Maybe it will set you free, maybe it won't but don't say I didn't warn you about her...

Scarlet Sins

The Truth About Scarlet Rose

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Tattoo And A Review, Featuring Pearce Hansen

Matt was at Malefic Tattoos recently to continue with his head tattoo. Want to know the book he read while getting tattooed? Why the phenomenal Pearce Hansen's Gun Sex. Now that's a title that will stop you in your tracks and make you say, "Whoa."

Matt says the first story, Girl Crazy, was his favourite. "It's pretty sexy. I actually think I might have to go see a priest on my way home."

Matt says that Pearce Hansen is a fantastic writer and the stories kept his eyes glued to the iPad.

"Have I used the term hard hitting before?" says, Matt. "Hard hitting and direct. Like a jackhammer to the yarbles."

If I personally had yarbles, I know I'd agree. Pearce is the kind of writer that has other writers saying, "I wish I had written that."

I've read both his novels, Street Raised and Stagger Bay. Both are brilliant with the kind of suspense that keeps you up reading long after you should have turned off the lights and gone to sleep.

And it's not only suspense that Pearce is skilled at creating, it's characters. The type of complex characters that convince you they're living breathing people. For me, as a reader, this is what I love the most; well developed characters that I can connect with.

My personal favourite in the Gun Sex collection is the story, Far, Far Away, about a boy's visits with his sadistic dentist and ultimately what he learns about the man's history. The atmospheric and heartbreaking The Storm Giants was another of my favourites.

Pearce also includes the first chapter of his novel Street Raised in this collection which is, quite simply put, a phenomenal book.

By the way there's a great review of Stagger Bay over at Spinetingler Magazine by the Nerd of Noir. Check that out it's pretty cool.

Matt's head tattoo is coming along well. There's a bit more work to do on it still before it's complete.

Matt will be back another day to talk more about books and get some ink. As long as Matt has skin, we'll never be done with him.

In the meantime, check out Pearce Hansen's Gun Sex. It's a mere 99 cents on Amazon.

Update: Gun Sex is free on Amazon for the next few days!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Tattoo And A Review, Featuring Keith Rawson

Teresa was back at Malefic Tattoos to have some more work done on her amazing Japanese sleeve by Fabien. Teresa enjoyed reading Keith Rawson's ebook short story collection, The Chaos We Know, by Snubnose Press.

Keith's collection is pretty sick, I have to say. Sick meaning good, like how bad means good, and cool means hot, err... yeah.

Teresa really liked it and says, "The stories are so raw and realistic."

One of Teresa's favourites was The Blood, The Shattered Glass and all the Rest (love that title), because she says she can relate. "It's about a cop trying to hold it together after seeing so much shit, and he has to go home to his family and pretend everything's normal."

Being a guard in a men's prison, I image Teresa certainly can relate to that story. By the way, if you ever meet Teresa on the inside, don't forget to say "yes ma'am" or she'll give you the beat down. Don't give her no sass, or she'll kick your ass.

I enjoyed that particular story as well. I also liked The Anniversary Weekend. It's about one seriously dysfunctional family, and the father's messed up idea of a punishment method for his wife and kids. Makes me feel a whole lot better about growing up in my family, like it was really not that bad after all, you know? Getting grounded or my allowance taken away wasn't so traumatic and didn't scar me for life. The story the book is named after, The Chaos We Know, is heartbreaking and one I seriously liked too.

Keith's writing is truly impressive. I love how dark and vicious these stories are, and how Keith pours such intensity into each one. They're tightly written, powerful stories, densely packed with a kind of beautiful brutality that careens across each page like Van Gogh with a straight razor.

Teresa also likes how Rawson doesn't "sugar coat" anything. "He calls it like it is," she says. "That's his strength as a writer."

During her three hour session, Teresa got the fanning filled in on the front and back of her shoulder. A lot more work to be done on this piece since it's full colour and that always takes way longer than just black and grey scale--so she'll be with us for quite some time. And hopefully reading more short stories of mayhem and noir that I like to think I may have Teresa hooked on.

Check out her review of The Lost Children: Charity Anthology.

Keith Rawson is a super cool guy. He writes for Spinetingler Magazine and Litreactor and has been an editor with Crimefactory Magazine.

He blogs over at Bloody Knuckles Callused Fingertips and sometimes he even updates it.

Be sure to get your copy of The Chaos We Know. It's killer. KILLERRRRR!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Due to the recent scandal with Trestle Press, I have withdrawn my titles from publication with them and severed ties.

The accusations of art thief for book covers is serious and when you see the evidence the rip-offs of intellectual property becomes obvious. The story is over at DiviantART

Ironically, today I got an amazing review of The Devil's Music over at The Ginger Nuts Of Horror.

Fortunately I designed the cover art for the Devil's Music myself using a stock image from Dreamstime for which I purchased the rights to. When it comes to book covers, being a visual artist myself, I'm a complete control freak and design all my own covers.

So as it stands this title is no longer available, but at some future date it will be published by me with a new kick ass book cover that I design and have the rights to use the image. Of course. Because it doesn't take a genius to know this shit.