The Guns + Tacos series are novella length crime stories, 60 – 70 pages in length, published once a month. The series is edited by Michael Bracken and Trey R. Barker. It is published by Down & Out Books. All stories are set in the Chicago area. The commonality in all of them is Jesse’s Tacos, a food truck at which the special of the day includes a gun. Every story is different. You have pedal-to-the-metal adventure stories, gritty crime stories, dark and disturbing noir, comedic capers, twisted tales of justice. There is violence, sex, lust, betrayal, and romance.
The series is available from Amazon as individual ebooks for Kindle or direct from the publisher, Down & Out Books. If ordering direct from the publisher, you have your choice of paperback or ebook. A bonus story is included with your paperback or ebook subscription.
Tacos De Cazuela Con Smith & Wesson by Gary Phillips. Augustine “Gus” Blanchard is an E.R. doctor who needs a gun. Something strange is going on in the hospital and Gus is determined to get to the bottom of it. Gary Phillips writes non-stop action in a style that can best be called modern pulp. This story has venal doctors, mad scientists and a secret lab filled with relentless dangers for the plucky heroine. It will have you gasping for breath at the end.
Three Brisket Tacos And A Sig Sauer by Michael Bracken. Joey Garrett is released from prison and picked up by his Aunt Sylvia, who has been a guiding force in his life, instructing him in everything from shoplifting to sex, and now bank robbing. Sylvia has a plan to rob four banks in one day. For that, she needs Joey’s unswerving loyalty. Joey, however, meets a neighbor, Gloria Sanchez, who introduces him to a different world than that of his aunt. Gloria’s friendship causes him to question Sylvia’s loyalty to him, forcing him to decide between them and to reach for the gun in the bag of tacos. There is a sense of inevitability in this noir tale as we watch Joey choose the bad option over the good every time.
A Gyro And A Glock by Frank Zafiro. Tim is an average Joe who enjoys getting high with his friend Ernie. He has a decent job and an apartment, but livin’ the high life has it’s downside. He screws up at work a few times, misses too many days, and soon he’s out of a job and living in a rat hole with Ernie. To earn money for his highs, he mules for a drug dealer, which catches the attention of a brutal cop who pressures him into becoming an informant by making his life miserable. When Tim thinks he can’t go any lower, Ernie learns about a taco truck with a special that can solve their problems. Or can it? Have they spiraled so far down that nothing can save them?
Three Chalupas, Rice, Soda, and a Kimber .45 by Trey R. Barker. A Chicago sergeant, who goes after internet predators, is haunted by the memory of a victim from the past, whose voice stays in his head as he tries to take down a dangerous predator. He, answers personal ads, pretending to be a young girl to draw the predator out. His undercover activities put him at odds with his lieutenant, for whom he’s lost respect, and an attractive officer who wants him to put an end to the wallowing in filth that the investigation demands. The predator is smart and wily. The sergeant’s last resort is a taco truck special.
Some Churros And El Burro by William Dylan Powell. Tucker Mitchell is a child of privilege. A college student, head of his fraternity, majoring in finance but not attending classes which are only impediments to his dream of being master of the universe. He concocts high quality ecstasy, and, having a head for business, becomes a big player, along with his friends, in the party-drug market of Chicago. His success doesn’t escape the notice of a cartel in Sinaloa, who see their profits drop. They send some fixers to put Tucker out of business. The first visitor puts the muscle on Tucker, but, instead of quitting the business, Tucker goes to a taco truck he’s heard of, and buys the special. Tucker has two other problems, besides the muscle man. The first is Birgit Olson, a shy college student who nearly suffers date-rape at his hands. The second is Chispa Busch, another fixer sent by the cartel. Chispa would rather study electrical engineering than do gangster work. Birgit and Chispa are every bit a match for the master-of-the-universe-to-be.
A Beretta, Burritos, and Bears by James A. Hearn. The bears are the Chicago Bears, the Monsters of the Midway. Brian Piccolo has been a fan all his life. How could he not be with a name like that? Yes, he was named for Brian Piccolo, whose life story, Brian’s Song, makes strong men wear. Brian has a gorgeous wife, who is herself a Bear fan, and together they have a happy middle-class life. One day it all falls apart for Brian. He is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and urged to take a plea bargain by his attorney who lusts after his wife. When Brian gets out of prison, he learns that his wife has left him for the attorney. On the verge of suicide, he watches the Bears make an improbable comeback and decides revenge would be the better course. The special from Jesse’s Taco truck could be what he needs to accomplish it.