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Swimming the Echo by Brian L. Tucker

Swimming the Echo

by Brian L. Tucker

Giveaway ends September 20, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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19th of September

Chattanooga Book Signing, Thursday!


Book Signing with Brian L. Tucker

Star Line Books loves to have local writers in the shop, and Brian Tucker is no exception. A great friend of Star Line, Brian will be joining us in the shop for a reading and signing of his most recent novel, Swimming the Echo.  Born in Monticello, KY, Brian is an immense talent, who has lived in the foothills of the Appalachians, Houston, and eastern North Carolina. His fiction has appeared in more than twenty publications. He is an alumnus of the Eastern Kentucky University Bluegrass Writers Studio and was a finalist for the Linda Bruckheimer Series in Kentucky Literature Award for his collection, Baptisms & Dogs. He currently lives in Chattanooga, TN with his wife, LeahSWIMMING THE ECHO, was released May 30th by eLectio Publishing.

 

About the Book:

It’s an adventure of a lifetime. When a summer job to explore Mammoth Cave lands in Cade Rainy’s lap, he doesn’t think twice. The teen from Southern Kentucky makes a break for it. But when he finds his dad is connected to a man working at Mammoth, Cade discovers there’s more to this trip than meets the eye. AND THE CAVE IS JUST THE START. Cade sets out to map the real route of twisted lies through fissures and stalactites, battling claustrophobia and bats.

EXPLORE. ADVENTURE. DON’T DIE.

 

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17th of January

4 years 273 days at Sea.


4 years. 273 days. That’s the length of time one couple has sailed across various oceans of the world with Princess Cruise(s).

I only know this, because of a bulletin that recognized them as distinguished on a recent trip.

I couldn’t process that milestone. 1,733 days at sea. 1,733 vacation days. 1,733 days passed willy-nilly with endless watermelon and copious entertainment. How?

I haven’t had anything last that long in my life, have you?

I mean, apart from marriage, education, and well, breathing. [I’ve been alive that long but not much else.]

The couple’s picture was prominently displayed on the cruise line’s bulletin and I wondered what brought them out on the waters so much. Why would they keep sailing? And how the heck did they pay for it?

Has anything ever drawn your attention for so long? Any passion? Any hobby?

I can safely say I lose interest in things longer than a Netflix season.

This couple obviously found something in those 4 (almost 5) years at sea. But what? Did they secretly know where sunken treasure was and didn’t want to tell anyone else? Their secret resting miles below the ocean’s surface.

Maybe love was prodding them out to nature as they aged. It seems they could almost name a ship after you, if you cruised for 5 years with the same company.

Obviously Princess Cruises thought them significant enough to print their picture. But what was their story? What prodded them to embark for an eternity? Was it a Melvillian fixation with marine life?

Remember that song from the 90s by the band Fastball called “The Way”? It was about an elderly couple (Lela & Raymond Howard) who wandered from home one day and tragically drove over a cliff. Authorities indicated that they left their belongings behind and suffered from forgetfulness in their final hours.

I sometimes wonder what grabs our interests and keeps us enthralled. Imagine that something lasting for 5 years.

What do you care enough about to pursue for 1,733 days?

 

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17th of June

It’s Friday! Let’s read Wendell Berry!


The Sycamore

In the place that is my own place, whose earth

I am shaped in and must bear, there is an old tree growing,

a great sycamore that is a wondrous healer of itself.

oldsycamoretree

Fences have been tied to it, nails driven into it,

Hacks and whittles cut in it, the lightning has burned it.

There is no year it has flourished in

that has not harmed it. There is a hollow in it

that is its death, though its living brims whitely

at the lip of the darkness and flows outward.

Over all its scars has come the seamless white

of the bark. It bears the gnarls of its history

healed over. It has risen to a strange perfection

in the warp and bending of its long growth.

It has gathered all accidents into its purpose.

It has become the intention and radiance of its dark fate.

It is a fact, sublime, mystical and unassailable.

In all the country there is no other like it.

I recognize in it a principle, an indwelling

the same as itself, and greater, that I would be ruled by.

I see that it stands in its place, and feeds upon it,

and is fed upon, and is native, and maker.

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14th of December

“WHEELMAN” Cover Revealed


From Vox Dei Publishing, Coming February 2 …

wheelman-195x300

Back cover description:

“Teen Cy Vance wants to do one thing: D-R-I-V-E. Except he has nowhere to go and no way to get there. But when he’s given a note at church, he discovers his dad–one of the FBI’s Most Wanted–is alive and well in Mexico…and he wants Cy to meet him ASAP!

With the help of a best friend, Cy escapes Child Protective Services and flees to Mexico. What he doesn’t know is that his father is going to ask even more of him when they meet.

How far will Cy go to help his family, and will it cost him his life?

RUNNING AWAY IS ESCAPE. STAYING PUT IS UNTHINKABLE. THE ROAD AHEAD IS ANYTHING BUT STRAIGHT…”

VoxDeiMemberBadge

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4th of December

The New Book Title Is…


CWQ1J40ZKB

As I alluded to yesterday, there is a N-E-W title for my debut novel.

It has undergone some serious revisions and with great change comes great…well, you get the drift.

The novel title is no longer “The Silence of Sacrifice,”

but

will now be titled (drumroll, please) …

 

WHEELMAN*

 

*More exciting updates to follow.

 

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21st of September

Hope is More than Wishy-Washy


118H

Hope can be built on a lot of things, and we can have hope in a LOT of things. Hope in the car to get us home. Hope in the Wildcats to not lose another football game. Hope in a bridge we cross everyday to not collapse. Hope in this month’s income to satisfy our bills. Hope in a family, friend, or neighbor to not give up on us in our darkest moment.

Hope is built on what you believe to be true.

===============

As a result, belief is an integral part of our day-to-day lives. It’s the WHAT. Faith in the car, the Wildcats, the microwave, this month’s income, and those closest to you.

What you believe matters.

===============
What you believe will directly shape your life (and ultimately your future):

  • your claims
  • how you treat others
  • how you respond to various life circumstances

**(Please remember I’m placing myself in these statements as well.)

===============

It’s up to you to inform your beliefs.

Demosthenes once said, “Nothing is easier than self-deceit, for what each man wishes that he also believes to be true.”

===============
And it goes without saying, but I’ll write it anyway that you cannot inform your beliefs without taking time to study.

Opening a book, reading a favorite novel, studying the Bible, analyzing Proverbs, or, all of the above. These can be tactics to help solidify those beliefs. (You know what you know, because you know. You know?)

===============

When you don’t inform your beliefs, you become stuck.

Have you felt this? It’s that almost tangible feeling like there’s a lid on the box of your life. You not only wonder where your place is in the world-at-large, but also wrestle with the question of who you are as a person.

  1. you miss the promotion at work
  2. the truck stops working
  3. your favorite pet dies
  4. God doesn’t seem to be answering a specific prayer of yours

===============

The Bible says to rejoice even in the difficulties.

I know this might not be the answer you’re looking for, but it’s meant to signify the larger scope from day-to-day meanderings. Our instinctual hope, if fixed on an eternal God, will be to rejoice as a result of the overflow of our hearts. I know this might not be where you are today, and admittedly I’m not there 24/7 either, but, it’s something to strive for.

Bottom Line.
===============

Set your beliefs on solid truths that will have eternal rewards.

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17th of September

Editing: The Faces of Revision.


If writing a book makes one look like this:

IMG_04801(Fig. 1)

 

Then, editing a book can best be summed up as:

IMG_04821(Fig. 2)

Editing: Is the Worst.

It takes the frustration and painstaking lifeblood of a first draft, bundles it tightly into a little ball, and hurls it at hoop…in the Atlantic Ocean, miles from shore, miles from a life preserver. Side note: Paper isn’t waterproof.

Ok, I’m over-exaggerating…but just slightly.

 

I appreciate your prayers this week, and next, and the next.

No one should have to wear a face like this–for long anyways.

 

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9th of September

Phobias – The Space They Take.


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There are hundreds thousands of phobias out there.

Thousands more with actual names attached to them.

It’s a reflection of the fears that ensnare us (are around us each and every day).

Here’s a list from a site that’s been compiling them since the 1980s.

There’s even a fear of numbers called Arithmophobia.

Ahh! Watch out! Numbers!!

I looked through the list and tried to assess how many I had. It was more than 2. And, I’ll leave it at that.

Fun to see these represented under the letter ‘B’:

B-

  1. Bacillophobia- Fear of microbes.
  2. Bacteriophobia- Fear of bacteria.
  3. Ballistophobia- Fear of missiles or bullets.
  4. Bolshephobia- Fear of Bolsheviks.
  5. Barophobia- Fear of gravity.
  6. Basophobia or Basiphobia- Inability to stand. Fear of walking or falling.
  7. Bathmophobia- Fear of stairs or steep slopes.
  8. Bathophobia- Fear of depth.
  9. Batophobia- Fear of heights or being close to high buildings.
  10. Batrachophobia- Fear of amphibians, such as frogs, newts, salamanders, etc.
  11. Belonephobia- Fear of pins and needles. (Aichmophobia)
  12. Bibliophobia- Fear of books.
  13. Blennophobia- Fear of slime.
  14. Bogyphobia- Fear of bogeys or the bogeyman.
  15. Botanophobia- Fear of plants.
  16. Bromidrosiphobia or Bromidrophobia- Fear of body smells.
  17. Brontophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning.
  18. Bufonophobia- Fear of toads.

 

But, why are we afraid of so many things (many that can’t even hurt us)?

In a great article recently, Relevant Magazine writer, Adam Jeske, dissected Nomophobia – the fear of being disconnected.

Great topic for our social media world!

I admit I’m guilty of that one as well.

  • Honest question: How long can I go without my cellular?
  • Honest answer: It buzzed a minute ago, and I’m tempted to stop typing this blog to respond to an email.
  • Point within all of this and biblical assertion – serving God and $ is referenced specifically in Scripture, but Jeske writes, couldn’t we just as easily ask, “if we can serve both God and Facebook.” He goes on to offer 5 solutions for that specific fear, in his post.

 

So, no matter the phobia, the fear – we can’t let it freeze us. We can’t let it control our lives. No matter the device. Regardless of its powers. It cannot be our strength. No cell phone deserves that worship. No fear either.

#eyesup

 

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4th of September

Buffets are Bad for Your Health


162

Or, Chest Pains Part II – the Return

I forgot to include a vital story within the heart surgery – to – diabetes transition of 2005.

It goes something like this:

Before working at Bellarmine University with an all-too-new diabetic condition in the summer of that year, my brother and cousin and I decided to embark on the open road. Our destination: Ocoee, TN – for some white water rapids (Home of the 1996 Olympics terrain).

Terrible idea.

Did I mention how bad I was feeling in the last post? I included the record quantities of Easy Mac and Snicker’s Protein Bars I’d consumed that semester, didn’t I? No. Well, they were there, just like the DiGiorno’s pizza and the passing out in the bathroom floor episode.

But, we embarked into the great Wilderness. We arrived at Ocoee, and somehow (with God’s strength and my ignorance) I survived Class 4 rapids and didn’t go overboard, into the currents, once.

Then, we decided to stop at none other than the place where dreams go to die –

Golden Corral.

The fish tastes like steak and the steak like dessert. And how does this happen we all ask? The oil. It’s all cooked in the same oil. Everything becomes a taste of something else. But, then there’s the amount of food, too. It’s a buffet. (My favorite pre-Type 1 diabetic word.) I could flat put it away. And that day, after the rapids, and the sun, and the fatigue, I did.

Jacob claims I ate an entire blueberry pie myself. And Jared remembers 7 large glasses of sweet tea going down my gullet. But, I recall all of those rolls…butter and rolls. Then, they practically excavated us out of there.

And we were on the road again. I was delirious. (Friends let this be a lesson on gluttony for all of us – it never pays back good dividends. Ever.) I requested we stop so I could go to the bathroom for the umpteenth time. While at a Citgo, I purchased a 32 oz. PowerAde. Go figure!

And as I fell into sugar-induced oblivion in the backseat of Jared’s Camry, I actually asked him if he wanted me to take over the driving.

They knew something was up, or, maybe they just didn’t like what they were seeing, because they sensibly said, “No. You just rest.”

And I fell into a stupor which landed me the diagnosis that next week. It was surreal and it was abrupt, but I’m thankful it was both things.

I don’t remember the exact blood sugar number, when they drew blood, but I remember the sound of the doctor’s exhaled breath through his teeth. And more importantly, I remember that “cross-eyed, always having to go to the bathroom, disoriented feeling” – a sensation almost otherworldly. Not a good memory.

In summary: Golden Corral is a place I still avoid. The distinctionless tastes just aren’t worth the pain, my friends. Don’t let the inviting words “All-you-can-eat” fool you, because buffets are always bad for us.

Even the salad bars.

There I said it.

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26th of August

Wednesday Update: Forthcoming from 4ink7 Journal


Keep-Calm-Its-Already-Wednesday

It’s Wednesday!

The turn. The hump. The glimpse of dawn inside each work week.

I wanted to share that 4ink7 Journal has been kind enough to select a story of mine, Climbing Above Ground, for its print (and ebook) release this Fall.

logo

I’ll try to keep you posted on a definite release date. As of right now, it looks to be moving through the final editing stage. More information to come. As always, “Thank you” for reading these crazy thoughts. Enjoy your Wednesday.

May the light shine brightly ahead for you. 

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