Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter Series #1)

( 41 )

Overview

He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities help him take out any kind of supernatural threat. But now an immortal evil has this bad-ass bounty hunter dead in its sights. . .

Ever since a monster murdered his family, Deacon Chalk hunts any creature that preys on the innocent. So when a pretty vampire girl "hires" him to eliminate a fellow slayer, Deacon goes to warn him—and barely escapes a vampire ambush. Now ...

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Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter Series #1)

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Overview

He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities help him take out any kind of supernatural threat. But now an immortal evil has this bad-ass bounty hunter dead in its sights. . .

Ever since a monster murdered his family, Deacon Chalk hunts any creature that preys on the innocent. So when a pretty vampire girl "hires" him to eliminate a fellow slayer, Deacon goes to warn him—and barely escapes a vampire ambush. Now he's got a way-inexperienced newbie hunter to protect and everything from bloodsuckers to cursed immortals on his trail. There's also a malevolent force controlling the living and the undead, hellbent on turning Deacon's greatest loss into the one weapon that could destroy him. . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Deacon Chalk is a monster-hunter with a dead family, a love for big guns and bigger cars, and ambiguous ethics despite his devotion to Catholicism. “Call me a caveman all you want,” he tells the reader, and indeed they might as he declares weaker women liabilities and boasts of owning a fortified supernatural strip club (called Polecats, natch) where women he’s “saved” work “out of gratitude.” Chalk is larger than life, complete with paranormal powers, body-spanning tattoos, and sex appeal that works even on his enemies, who are positively retro in their pure evilness. Male readers looking for escape into a world where life is hard but simple and heroes don’t need plans will find this perfect beach or airport reading, but the gender politics are unlikely to find favor with female readers. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758271471
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Series: Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 787,749
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Read an Excerpt

BLOOD AND BULLETS


By James R. Tuck

KENSINGTON BOOKS

Copyright © 2012 James R. Tuck
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-7147-1


Chapter One

Some nights are destined to go to hell. Not literally, at least not usually. From the start of them, you know they are going to turn on you like a rabid dog. I was having one of those nights.

Which is why I found myself with a semiautomatic pistol aimed at a vampire who wore my daughter's face. My eyes were fixed on the laser dot that screamed red against her forehead, but my mind was racing back through memories of my little girl. The pain was a surgical strike. It was inside before I could close my guard. So quick and clean that I didn't feel it until scalpel hit bone.

Memories of her, along with my wife and son, are acid-etched in my mind. It has been five years since they were killed, stolen from my life by a monster. Their deaths had started me on the road I am on now: hunting monsters for money until the day I run up on one that is nasty enough to take me out so I can go be with them. Their deaths burn in the wound where my heart once was—ugly, venomous, and cruel.

I keep all of that locked tight just so I can function and move through each day. Now this vampire girl looked like my daughter and all the pain was rushing back through my mind like a flood of boiling water.

Some small movement on her part clicked me back to the present. I studied her through narrow eyes. She had the same thick blond hair, although the vampire's hadn't seen the business end of a brush in a long time. The same wide, blue–gray eyes and dash of freckles scattered across her nose. Different lips, although this vampire's lips still looked made for laughing, not drinking blood.

She was similar to my daughter, but not the same. Cut from the same cloth, she would look like a part of the family. A niece, a cousin maybe, but she was not my daughter's twin. I blinked and stared to make sure. The resemblance had triggered those deep buried memories, but that was all it was. Fucking memories. The breath I had been holding pushed out of my lungs and I began willing my heart to slow its turbo-charged pounding. Sweat bathed my palm, making my skin oily and slick against the grip of my gun. I had no way to measure how long I had been lost in my own trauma. A moment. Maybe two.

It happens. I'll be fine for a while and then suddenly, from nowhere, a random thing will smash my world askew and I'll be back to the pain of losing them. I get a bit jumpy when that happens and do things like pull out my gun. Stepping back, I kept it pointed at the vampire. Her wide eyes were focused on the barrel.

They should have been, it's an impressive gun. Desert Eagle .357 Magnum. It has black finish and ten heavy-grain, silver-jacketed bullets, if you are willing to keep one in the chamber.

I always have one in the chamber.

Damn thing weighs almost five pounds fully loaded. However, it will put a softball-size hole in even the toughest vampire, or any other bogeyman I run into in my line of work. Vampires are monsters, even if their packaging looks like an innocent fifteen-year-old girl. You don't play games with them. You kill them or you leave them the hell alone. The red laser dot stayed on her forehead as I took another step back, increasing the distance between us. I was back on the job.

I had just come out of Polecats, the strip club I own and work from, to find this vampire leaning against my car. I don't like humans leaning on my car, but a vampire? Oh, hell no. She is a fully restored 1966 Mercury Comet and she deserves better than that. This vampire had called out my name.

Oh yeah, I'm Deacon Chalk, occult bounty hunter, sometimes vampire slayer.

This should be interesting.

"Stay right there and tell me what you want."

She did not move except to tilt her head sideways, regarding me like a snake does a wounded bird on the ground. "I want you to protect me from the Nyteblade." Thin arms held out the flat package in her hands. It was a manila envelope. "I have information here to help you find him." She looked earnestly at me in the sodium light. Small white teeth bit her bottom lip and she had the good grace to keep her fangs sheathed. The effect was scared little girl and it pulled at that non-logic place inside me again. "There is money in here. I know you get paid to protect people from monsters. I want to hire you."

What?

Wait.

The vampire wanted to hire me?

I have had vampires try to kill me, and I have had them run from me, but I have never, ever had one try to hire me. It went against my one and only rule.

"I don't work for monsters. I kill them."

That thick mess of hair hung low around her face in what looked like shame. Her voice was quiet. "You know I am a vampire? How?"

"It's my job to know." And that was true. Most normal people would think she was strange since she was barefoot and barearmed in a summer dress when it was deep Georgia fall. It wasn't cold enough to think too much about it, but it was a pretty cool night. Jacket weather. So her wearing just a sundress was weird, but not a reason to be alarmed.

I knew what she was because she was just off. Moving either just a bit too fast to be human or stopping a bit too still like only the undead can. The thing that unmistakably marked her as a vampire was the smell. Vampires smell like big snakes, all venom and shed skin. I don't know why, but they do. And a little like roasted almonds.

Heat began to build in the muscles of my neck and shoulders. Widening my stance, I shifted the angle I held the gun at. You can't hold any gun, much less mine, for very long in one position. You have to keep moving around or your muscles fatigue pretty quickly. The problem with moving around is it's not conducive to shooting your target. A target like the vampire standing in front of you.

"So, exactly what is a 'Nyteblade'?"

She swayed in the sullen, sodium lighting of the parking lot. Back and forth, back and forth, over and over, just slightly back and forth. The manila envelope slipped completely from thin fingers, spinning to fall at her bare feet. Narrow shoulders hunched, drawing her chin down to her chest like an owl, and she wrapped both slender arms around herself. A fine tremble raised tendons to stand in stark relief against her skin like steel cables.

This vampire chick was really freaking me out. I know vampires, and they don't act like this. They are usually either an oil-slick smooth, diabolical predator or a bloodthirsty, slaughterous, vicious predator. What they did not act like were scared, little-girl, meth addicts. My whistle made her skin jump. She didn't look at me, but it got her attention.

"Again, what is a Nyteblade?"

The voice that answered was a strangled whisper from inside the tangled veil of her hair. "He is a monster. A hunter of vampires." Her weak mewl faltered, the words coming in halts and stops. "He is an agent of destruction." Her body was now shaking so bad it caused her teeth to rattle. My grip was tight on the Desert Eagle. Whistling again, I tried to derail her breakdown. "Please help me," she squeezed out. "I have to convince you." Her hands wrung together, bones clickety-clacking against each other. Hair along my arms began to stand on end.

A tiny move of my finger pulled the Desert Eagle's trigger to the break; another twitch would plant a bullet in her skull.

Nappy blond hair whipped as her head turned in my direction again. It was a jerky, too-fast-to-be-human movement. Those big eyes of hers were glazed over, chin waggling as her mouth hung open. She looked like someone who was listening to music no one else could hear. I felt the air snap as her attention came back to me. It made the skin on the back of my scalp tighten. In a breath of a moment, I watched black pupils dilate to cover the entire iris. Blood pooled from the corners of her eyes, turning the whites crimson. Muscles in her cheeks and neck knotted, distending her jaw and making fangs slide out of her gums wetly. She was still like that for the length of a thought. Then she moved. With a flash of yellow dress and chalk-white limbs, she leaped in the air toward me.

My finger squeezed the trigger that last fraction of an inch and a silver bullet spat across her hip while she was in midair. Black gore burst out and hung in space for a moment before splattering like rain on the asphalt. The impact canted her sideways in mid-leap, so instead of hitting me with fangs and claws, she windmilled past, slamming into the pavement. Bones rattled against the asphalt with a staccato beat.

Tracking the laser to the center of her chest, I squeezed the trigger twice. The recoil jolted up my arm and her chest exploded, more gore blossoming in inky wet flowers. It took the fight right out of her.

First rule of killing vampires: Take the heart and take the head. If you do that, then they are dead. My bullets are modified silver hollowpoints, wax sealed with silver nitrate in the tips. Most things otherworldly have weakness to silver. They are manufactured by Orion Outfitters, a company that provides items specifically for what people like me do. Looking down, I could see inside the gaping hole in her chest. The edges running black as the silver poisoning took effect. Heart taken care of?

Check.

My left hand pulled the phone off of my belt and flipped it open. If she was a recently turned vampire, then she was someone's missing daughter and maybe on a child watch list. If not, then maybe she would be in the database of bloodsuckers and I could find information about her. Maybe even why she tried to hire me and then freaked out and attacked me. The phone was silent as it snapped a picture of her face. Gore from the chest wound covered her collarbones and throat like a turtleneck, but left her face clean, calm, and smooth. The trauma of the bullet wounds had put her in a near-catatonic state. If I left her and she could find cover from the sun in the morning, she would be able to heal even this much damage. Vampires are like that. Because they are dead, they are really, really hard to kill. It took almost no movement to bring the red dot to the bridge of her nose.

Those big blue–gray eyes fluttered closed one last time just before I pulled the trigger.

I stamped my boots to shake dust off them. That is one good thing about bloodsuckers, they don't leave much behind to clean up. This one was fairly young, so she crumbled into dust instead of exploding into dust, but she was still just a pile of dust and a thin yellow sundress full of holes. Even her blood and viscera turned to dust when she did. I still had a nag in my conscience because she was so young when she was turned. I knew she was a vampire. A monster. Hell, she had attacked me, but that non-logic place in me still twinged at killing a young girl. Scooping up the manila envelope and shaking it off, I opened the car door and got in the Comet.

Opening it, I found a file folder with what looked to be a series of hand-scrawled notes and grainy pictures. Approximately $20,000 in rubber-banded bundles of $100 bills fell out in my lap. I put the money in the glove compartment and tucked the folder into the seat beside me.

So she had actually been trying to hire me. Weird. Now I know about weird, but even for me this was a first. The engine of the Comet roared to life as I turned the key. In my world, nights that started strange usually crash-landed in the town of Fucked-Upville before they were said and done.

The stereo kicked in with the winsome sound of a dark guitar run. John Lee Hooker started singing about a long night full of danger. Dropping the Comet into Drive, chain-link steering wheel sliding coolly under my fingers, I moved out into the night to see if John Lee knew what the hell he was talking about.

Chapter Two

I hate stakeouts. Not stakeouts like vampire executions. Those suck too, but only because they're messy. I mean, seriously. During the day while they sleep, vampires turn into giant bags of blood. It turns into blood-a-palooza when you go to stake the undead sons of bitches. Seriously, I usually wear a raincoat.

No, I hate sitting on my ass waiting for the person I'm after to come out of where they are supposed to be. Some cheesy writer would call me a man of action and say that being idle went against my nature. Mom just said I had a short attention span. Either way, on a stakeout, you can't really read a book or knit or anything else because you have to keep watch. If you have a long wait, it leads to severe boredom. Besides, I don't get paid by the hour. The good thing about a stakeout is that you have plenty of time to think.

I was at the head of an industrial park that the folder said was a probable location for Nyteblade's base of operation. According to the sticky note inside the folder I had, Nyteblade would be in an alley between buildings D and E at 10 P.M. I had no idea who wrote the note or how they knew he would be there, but it was the only time written in the folder. So that was where I planned on meeting him. There were a few minutes to kill before I headed to the meeting place. That would still get me there early. I didn't want to be the last one to arrive. Sometimes that will get you killed. Looking around the industrial park, I was sure the alley would be just lovely.

This was not the best part of town. The buildings of the industrial park were old. Red brick faded to a drab pink by time. Bushes that were once features of the landscaping had been allowed to run their course and now stood sentinel with branches overgrown, gnarled, and tangled. Jutting out haphazardly into the parking lot, they waited to grab you if you walked too close. More lights were out than on around the buildings, barely breaking up deep shadows in the corners with their baleful, jaundiced glare. Litter danced with dry leaves in the night breeze.

I watched a plastic sack from a liquor store swirl around a dead light pole for a few minutes until it fell victim to the out-of-control bushes. Glenn Kaiser and Darrell Mansfield pulled voices together to sing Blind Willie Johnson's "Nobody's Fault But Mine" softly on the Comet's radio and I thought about vampire slayers.

There are a lot of people who find out vampires or monsters are real and decide to fight them. Once you discover that the monster in your closet can and will eat your face off, the normal person has one of three reactions.

One, you live the rest of your life in fear of the dark. You never go out at night, you are never alone, and you go to church much, much more than you ever did before. You may have survived your encounter, but you never truly live again.

Two, you embrace it. There are people who try to assimilate themselves with monsters. A lot of Goth clubs are gathering places for vampire lovers. The lycanthropes get their stalkers too; people who want to be furry or feathered or scaly once a month. This reaction usually happens with the monsters who are predatory but do have the ability to blend in with humans to hunt. Vampires, lycanthropes, Nephilim, and Fey—those are the ones with the biggest fan clubs. I mean, you never find a fan club for a Chimera or a troll. Trolls get no play at all.

And it gets more complicated. Lycanthropes are people most of the time, and like people, they are good and bad; but being a lycanthrope doesn't make you evil. Vampires are always evil. I have never met one that wasn't a monster. Nephilim can be good; you would think they would be since they are half Angel, half human. Typically though, they are the most evil bastards in the world, but they can be good if they choose to. Fey can even be good. In fact, most of the problem with the Fey is that they're mischievous and they do not think like humans. They are like aliens, and even though they have been fascinated with humans for centuries, they just do not comprehend how we work. They also suffer a lack of understanding about how fragile humans can be.

Which brings me to choice three. You decide that you are going to mount up and fight the good fight against evil. This was what I did. People find out monsters exist and then decide that they will become monster hunters. The problem that they soon discover is that a normal human is no match for a monster. Quickly, they get themselves killed in their pursuit.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from BLOOD AND BULLETS by James R. Tuck Copyright © 2012 by James R. Tuck. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

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(15)

4 Star

(13)

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(8)

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(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2012

    Bad

    Out of 14 reviews 7 are plot spoilers. Why do you plot spoiling posters feel the need to ruin a book for others? We do not care that you got the book for free. Stop revealing every detail and dissecting every plot point. We can read and would actually prefer to read a book for ourselves, not have you ppl ruin it for us. If you want to write dissertations and dissect every sentence, join a web site, start a blog, but please stop ruining books for the rest of us.

    15 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 30, 2012

    "Blood and Bullets" was an interesting alternative to

    "Blood and Bullets" was an interesting alternative to most urban fantasy I've read. It was full of action and testosterone, and light on characterization and plot. As a first novel, the writing and editing was a bit rough (the epub version I bought through B&N had a lot of problems), but the author shows a lot of potential. Over all, it was a fun, very quick read.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 28, 2012

    action packed excellence

    I would like to thank, as always, R2R and the author for giving me a copy to read for a review :)

    First I would like to say that if you like a great fantasy ride filled with action and fun weapons, this one is for you! Also, I have a thing for writing in the guys perspective. I love a strong female heroine but it's a rare treat when you hear from a dude :) now, on to the review...

    I liked this book, alot. First, you have a guy, who's big, bad, scary, kills things, but still has a conscience! Ohhh and he's got tattoos, lots of 'em!! That's hot! He is a bounty hunter to kill the things that go bump in the night, and he's good at what he does. And he's not a man-whore hahaha sorry, I should bleep that out :) his main hunt this time are vampires. And he has some awesome HUMAN backup :) I like this too. I also like that there are some non-human characters that are good at heart and he chooses to leave them be.

    The writing is done in a way that you can picture every shot, kick, punch, scream, smell. It flows very well, and it's like an action movie, you are excited and feel the tension. And I love the supporting characters that were created, they have as much of my heart as the main character does. And the bad guy(s), well you'll understand when you read :)

    The main character, Deacon, is strong both physically and mentally, but has his soft spots and I love this. He's willing to sacrifice his life to save others, and he is very adamant about that. He's also sometimes the typical man with protecting women, but he's cool about it :)

    I have only one negative thing, and it's not really negative, but sometimes it was a little long winded. I understand that some things need describing and if there isn't enough then it leaves the reader confused or lost or empty. However, it was just in a few cases and by the middle I was way too invested to care, and most of the details were already described. This did not have a negative effect on me wanting to continue reading.

    Overall, this is a really good book, especially if you are like me, with favoring fantasy, on the darker side, without much romantic activity :) its gets 4 PAWS from me :)

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    One of the best urban fantasy books I've read in a long time!

    Deacon Chalk is a monster hunter. Ever since vampires killed his family, he has made it his mission to kill all monsters that hunt on the innocents. He keeps his city safe and his hollow-point and back-from-the-dead abilities help him take out any kind of supernatural threat.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2012

    Fast and gritty! Deacon Chalk is a monster hunter. No, he doesn

    Fast and gritty!

    Deacon Chalk is a monster hunter. No, he doesn’t have a show on Animal Planet or Discovery Channel. He is an Occult Bounty Hunter and ever since a Nephilim killed his family, turning his life upside down, he’s been open for business. His first job was killing the Nephilim and for five years he’s been successful at his job. You can hire him to hunt down a monster and he’ll get the job done or die trying. And he’s not afraid to die because when he does he can be with his family again. The only thing is he’s kinda hard to kill. When he was hunting down the Nephilim he rescued an Angel and during that rescue he died only to have her save him with her essence. So…now he’s more than human, hard to kill and hates the monsters. Let the extermination begin.

    Fast-moving with a good plot and well-fleshed characters I very much enjoyed this first book in the Deacon Chalk series. The world building was smooth and the world is interesting. Very reminiscent of Anita Blake and I love that series. Yes, I still do even though it’s a very different series today than when it started. Anyway, it is like Anita Blake yet not. I liked this different angle of how the real world isn’t what we thought it was. There really are monsters and they don’t hang out under the bed. At least, none that I’ve noticed yet in the series. The monsters are out there mixing with the humans and almost all of them are up to no good.

    I can’t wait to read more of this series. I love fast-paced books that sweep me along with them and refuse to let me put them down.

    *The publisher provided a copy of this book to me for review. Please see disclaimer page on my blog.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2012

    Check it out!

    Loved it! I'm a Deacon Chalk fan!


    I liked the tough guy Deacon. He is strong, he has no soft edges because he's been hardened in the fire of tragedy. He is well armed, and he knows how to handle himself in danger. He's a likeable character because he is flawed and troubled which makes him more real and easy to relate to. I read to be involved in characters, so there has to be a character I can get involved with for the story to work for me. Deacon has a strong voice, which made it easy for me to get involved in his story.

    I adored the were-spiders. What a great new twist. Everything is about werewolves these days and it was refreshing to find a really unique, and creepy twist to an old idea! I personally hate spiders so I was determined to hate Charlotte (clever, having the spider named Charlotte leaves it open for many character jokes). She was appropriately creepy, scary and dangerous, but you end up liking her pluck anyway!

    Next, the action was awesome, and it kept coming! The monsters were monstrous, all vampires are evil, and we found out their origins! Nice twist to that by the way (trying to keep it spoiler free). Also, the villainess was truly evil while still being beautiful and sexy. I think that I love fantasy and sci-fi for that matter because they generally deal with the battle between good and evil. It's the oldest story, so I like it when the lines are clearly drawn. In this book, you definitely know who is the bad guy.

    Awesome story, quick read and fun!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2012

    I absolutely loved this book! I enjoyed every chapter of it and

    I absolutely loved this book! I enjoyed every chapter of it and have already preordered Blood and Silver and I also have That This at The Zoo. I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in Guns, Vampires, Hero's, and all that goes with it. One of the best books I have ever read. I canNOT wait for Blood and Silver in August!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2012

    Outstanding

    There are certain expectations when you pick up a book like this one, and James Tuck meets those in a wonderfully violent and truly appropriate manner. I am looking forward to reading many future adventures in the Deaconverse. Bring it Brotha.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Adrenaline rush!

    Just finished Blood and Bullets, the first book in the Deacon Chalk series by James R. Tuck. This was just a down right kickass fun book. Deacon is a tough, tatooed, gun totin, muscle car driving badass, that's actually a really good guy. He's a bounty hunter that goes after the monsters. He ends up going after a vampire so scary that other vampires are terrified of her, but then that's Deacons job. After vampires kill his family he figures he has nothing to lose so he's going to get his revenge. This is not a cute little vampire romance, so be warned, there are lots of blood, gore, really big guns, and things blowing up. If you like the movies Expendables or Crank, then you'll love this book. It's an action fueled adrenaline rush from beginning to end. I can't wait for the next one in the series, Blood and Silver, because Deacon Chalk is my new hero.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2012

    Deacon is the man!

    Fantastic read I loved every word of it. Father Mulcahy has to be the best priest ever he is so badass. The story was great loved the take on how the vampires came to be. Were-Gorillias and Were-Spiders very interesting take on lycanthropy and how it isn't just wolves but the entire animal kingdom. There was nothing I didn't like about this book and I think I just might read it again. I am really looking forward to the next lycanthrope heavy book; after reading the first chapter to the second book I have no doubt that it will be just as good if not better, keep them coming, James!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2012

    Lovedit

    Had a hard time gettimg started but once ot got rollimg i lved it and have already purchased the second in the series. I highly recomend this series. Funny gory and sweet and sad. Deacon is a man of his word and in his own way a man of god..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2012

    A straight forwarrd a urban Fantasy that had me wanting more...

    A straight forwarrd a urban Fantasy that had me wanting more... Our
    Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha, Michelle L. Olson: I am an
    Urban Fantasy lover. While I adore my Paranormal Romance and Eroticas,
    there is just something about a dark, gritty, Urban Fantasy series with
    a wicked arc, some snarky dialogue, and a bunch of kick a** characters
    that tweaks my inner Fangirl. With that said, when my blog partner
    found James R, Tuck, she immediately said "I really think you'll
    like this one, it sounds like it's right up your alley...". She was
    most definitely right! Blood and Bullets is actually the 2nd story of
    the Deacon Chalk, Occult Bounty Hunter series, with That Thing at the
    Zoo (a novella) being our introduction to the world. Deacon is an
    ex-tattoo artist who has lost his family to monsters and with it his
    will to live. Being a man of strong faith, however, he refuses to just
    lay down and die, and decides that the quickest way for him to be
    reunited with his loved ones is to throw himself into the fray with the
    monsters that ruined his life, and go out swingin', and the way he tells
    us his story is so 'real' and heartfelt, you get lost in the narrative
    immediately. A man who owns a strip club and has a deep seeded love for
    his weapons, music, and his car - yes, a real man's man - Deacon is a
    wonderful hero and you can't help but fall in love with him. He actually
    reminds me of my own tattoo artist, Uncle Johnny from A&E's Inked; a
    big ol' shaved headed teddy bear with a heart of gold and an iron will.
    :) Deacon's supporting cast is wonderful as well. He has an honest to
    goodness chain smoking, whiskey drinking priest, a petite little techno
    wiz chiquita who not only runs the strip club but organizes the hunts,
    and some 'others' who start out as allies, but end up as some great
    friends. In a battle to defeat a very old entity, Deacon and gang are
    thrown into one confrontation after another, and James takes the reader
    on an adrenaline fueled thrill ride full of danger, beautifully twisted
    and woven history, and oh yes... Plenty of blood and bullets. I was
    utterly engrossed in the story, and upon completion, couldn't wait to
    dig into Blood and Silver (the 2nd full length story of the series).
    LITERAL ADDICTION gives Blood and Bullets 4 Skulls and would recommend
    it to all book lovers who like their heroes 'balls to the wall', their
    fantasy dark, gritty, action packed, & thrilling, & their
    narrative sarcastic, acerbic and genuine.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Synopsis: He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And

    Synopsis:
    He lives to kill monsters. He keeps his city safe. And his silver hollow-points and back-from-the-dead abilities help him take out any kind of supernatural threat. But now an immortal evil has this bad-ass bounty hunter dead in its sights. . .
    Ever since a monster murdered his family, Deacon Chalk hunts any creature that preys on the innocent. So when a pretty vampire girl "hires" him to eliminate a fellow slayer, Deacon goes to warn him—and barely escapes a vampire ambush. Now he's got a way-inexperienced newbie hunter to protect and everything from bloodsuckers to cursed immortals on his trail. There's also a malevolent force controlling the living and the undead, hellbent on turning Deacon's greatest loss into the one weapon that could destroy him. . .


    I've recently seen this book being promoted and advertised on a few different book blog sites I frequented, and I was intrigued. And not just the cover, (Deacon is a beast) the synopsis got my interest as well.


    Deacon Chalk had a normal life 5 years ago, he was a successful tattoo artist with a family, it was more or less perfect. Until his wife and daughter were killed, after that Deacon left the tattoo life and turned monster hunter. Not too much detail is given in the first book about what happened exactly, and I'm hoping that in later books we will be told more about this.


    Deacon seem to come across as a total bad-ass and could care less about those around him, but he's just the opposite. As the owner of a strip club called Polecats, he is fiercely protective of the girls that work there, most of whom are girls that he saved from demons, were creatures or vampires. He cares for the girls like a father dotes on his daughter (not in a creepy over-sexed kind of way). He looks out for them and makes sure that they are protected to the point that each girl has her own gun and cross for protection in case the club is ever under attack. Not to mention the bartender, who happens to be a priest, ready to lay the righteous smack-down on any offenders.


    The book starts off with Deacon being confronted by a young female vampire that reminds him of his dead daughter. She comes to Deacon asking for help against another vampire hunter called "Nyteblade". Deacon gets the info about Nyteblade and chooses to check it out, only to find out it was a trap. Deacon's not too happy about this and questions Nyteblade to see what he knows about this. Unfortunately Nyteblade has no idea either and Deacon sets off to find out who is behind this and why they want him dead. There is a lot of action and gun fights from this point on in the book.


    I found a few flaws with this book, which I'm hoping will be fixed by the time the second book is out. There were a few parts that I found highly repetitive in the course of only a few chapters. I don't think there really needs to be a full replay of all the guns and the types of bullets that are used two chapters apart from each other. Also the description of how Deacon looks with all his tattoos is not something that needs to be re-described two chapters apart either, you just need to look at the cover to get a basic idea of how he looks.


    At the end of Blood And Bullets there is a 9 page sneak peek into the next book Blood And Silver, I chose not to read it just yet, seeing as how the second book will be here in August.

    If you don't mind reading an Urban Fantasy that is more focused on muscle and gun-fire over magic and spells I highly recommend checking this book out.

    I'm giving Blood And Bullets 3.5 stars, hoping there will be less repetitive info in the next book. ~DD~

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    3.5 Stars for this new action packed series! Monsters need not

    3.5 Stars for this new action packed series!

    Monsters need not apply! Deacon Chalk lost everything the night his entire family was killed by your kind. Now with nothing left to lose, he lives to hunt you. He is a bounty hunter with a little extra, and that little extra is going to take you down.

    Deacon is one big strong scary looking man. Humans and monsters alike fear him. He is a no nonsense man that protects the innocent. After losing his family, he changed completely. He closed his tattoo parlor and opened a strip club. It’s not your normal strip club either. All employees have been touched by the evil of monsters and now they are a family. Brought together by circumstances that was out of their control. Deacon may be the head of this ragtag group, but he works alone.

    Now there is a new force in town; one that even has the monsters looking over their shoulders. From the first strike to the last, Deacon will not stop until it has been destroyed. Even if it the last thing he ever does.

    This is urban fantasy that takes no prisoners. The monsters are evil and must be stopped, PERIOD, and Deacon is the perfect hero to do it. Blood and Bullets is a story told in Deacon’s point of view. He has a very strong personality and voice, but you can feel his pain and commitment coming through. This is a man with a mission and you best stay the heck out of his way. My favorite line in the book is; “And vampires never sparkle unless they just ate a stripper.” I literally cracked up. It was just perfect.

    I enjoyed reading about Deacon and his kick-butt crew. These characters live in an ugly world, but they have each other and will die to protect it. The action is intense and messy. I like to get down and dirty and Blood and Bullets is just the book to take me there.

    I liked the gritty and dark feeling to the story and the razor sharp edge. While Mr. Tuck was repetitive at times in regards to explanations of guns, cars and such; I still found the overall story well written and exciting. Now that the world building is done, he can blow us away with his dark take of the underworld.

    Blood and Bullets is a great start to a new series. I can see great potential in this series and I can’t wait for the next installment.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Truly Terrible

    The book has some interesting ideas. However, I wouldn't trust this author with a newspaper advertisement, much less a book. He deals in bad stereotypes and has a writing style best described as abominable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2014

    Awesome!

    This book has it all! Supes all around, kick-a** action and characters, suspense and awesome plot. One of the best things about it. . . No whiney, angsty romance to be seen! This is true Urban Fantasy! I love Deacon and his attitude! I have all the books of the series and hope there are many more to come. Thank you, Mr. Tuck, for feeding my addiction!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Good read

    This was a solid read. I liked the Deacon Chalk character and really liked the supporting cast. Fast read about 230 pages with shades of early Anita Blake. I am definately going to pick up book 2 to see where this series goes.

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  • Posted March 12, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    This would be such a superb movie! Can't go wrong with vampires,

    This would be such a superb movie! Can't go wrong with vampires, were-gorillas and were-spiders and a wicked ancient vampire in control and out for Deacon's blood.
    Excellent fight scenes abound through-out. Would love to meet Deacon and his team. James R Tuck describes each character well, not just dwelling on Deacon even as he is the main character.
    Deacon could come off as only a tortured soul bent on revenge on the deaths of his family by monsters. He's more than that, though the memories could be his undoing if he let it.
    I love his taste in music (hard drivin' blues) and his car, the Comet. Easy for me to get my crush on......
    Can't wait to read BLOOD AND SILVER, next in the series. Let me get my Deacon on....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    A mans book..

    For men by a man..

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