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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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28th of September

Event Pictures from Star Line Books – Swimming the Echo


Many thanks for the attendance at last week’s Q&A, Reading, & Signing at Star Line Books in downtown Chattanooga! It was a great return to that wonderful independent bookstore. Sharing Swimming the Echo and its construction with everyone was a fantastic time. The questions were thoughtful and welcomed! Hope to see you at the next event soon.

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7th of April

NEW: WHEELMAN Book Signing.


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I’ll be signing copies of WHEELMAN on Saturday, 4/9 from 2-4pm at McKay’s Books  of Chattanooga (off I-75).

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Be sure to stop by!

Brian

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19th of January

8 Things about WHEELMAN


(Interviewed on Twitter by Kandi J. Wyatt, author of The One Who Sees Me)  01.18.2016 –

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Question 1: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How did you find @voxdeipub

Brian: Sure. I grew up in so. KY and met my wife in college. I wrote in graduate school and found @voxdeipub while scouring the web. 🙂

Kandi: What did you write about in graduate school?

Brian: I created a short story collection titled “Baptisms & Dogs” set in the fictional town of Seton, KY. It helped me start (writing).

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Kandi: It sounds interesting.

Martin Jones: Hey Brian, your friendly editor here – just popping in!

Question 2: What is your book about?

Brian: #Wheelman is about a teen seeking his father. He goes on a journey in search of hard answers.

Kandi: So is it a YA or middle grade book?

Heather Huffman: Hey everyone!

Kandi: Welcome! Glad to have you.

Brian: Young Adult

Heather Huffman: I’d say young YA.

Kandi: Awesome!

Martin Jones: Definitely YA, some serious themes tackled here!

Question 3: What led you to write Wheelman?

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Brian: A trip with friends to Mexico in 2011 prompted the book #wheelman. It was a great experience albeit dangerous.

Kandi: Can you share what themes besides #humantrafficking Wheelman tackles?

Martin Jones: I think the impact of a broken home and sin is prominent, together with a fair amount of violence!

Kandi: How was it dangerous?

Brian: Drug cartels and beheadings were reported at that time. It was a tough time to travel near Mexico City.

Kandi: That does make for some interesting travel.

Martin Jones: Another question (for Brian) – are any of the characters based on yourself or people you have met?

Brian: That’s a tough one, Martin… I’d say Teddy resembles my dad just slightly. But most were abstract creations.

Question 4: So you’ve done some traveling. Can you tell us about that?

Brian: I love the open road. It’s what generates new memories. Central Mexico is so beautiful. It needs to be written about!

Kandi: Guanajuato is my favorite place. Although I had fun in San Miguel de Allende

Brian: God’s country, right? So pristine and beautiful! I LOVE San Miguel.

Kandi: Right. I love the colors of the houses.

Brian: And the doors. I’ve never seen so many different types of doors.

Kandi: You’re right. The doors in central Mexico are amazing.

Adam Hopper: How did growing up in a small town like Monticello, Kentucky impact the locations in the book?

Brian: #Wheelman tackles travel to and from some unique places. My hometown molded me into what I am today. I love Ky!

Brian: Hi! @pastortabitha Thanks, Tabitha!

Martin Jones: Do you think #Wheelman has any kind of take-away message for the reader?

Brian: Great Q. #Wheelman does. The importance of valuing family is central! Today, tomorrow, everyday. While we can!

Question 5: Do you have any #travel safety tips for us?

Brian: I knew that one was coming! 🙂 Be cautious. I had great taxis in Mexico (and fun). But there’re always risks

Kandi: That there are. Your book gives you a platform to discuss #HumanTraffickingAwareness.

Brian: Yes. It plays a role in the family reunion elements of #wheelman and it was a difficult subject to study.

Kandi: I bet it was. I know I had difficulty sleeping just after writing a blog about trafficking

Question 6: How did you become aware of human trafficking?

Brian: Drug/human trafficking are prevalent not only in other parts of the world but US- all 50 states #IJM helped me for #Wheelman. It messes with us, as it should. Knowing the world has such intense events happening daily – wakes us up!

Kandi: It makes us realize there is more to life than our happy little corner.

Martin Jones: Without revealing spoilers – we might differ slightly on this but would you say the book has a happy ending?

Brian: You all brought the real Qs. 🙂 Haha. I would say quasi-happy. It depends on the reader’s idea of win vs. lose though.

Kandi: I think that is key to any ending of a book.

Martin Jones: Gotta say I love the title #Wheelman – says so much about the book in a word – both sides of the story #goodevil

Brian: Amen! #Wheelman is to the point. Our team really made it happen.

Martin Jones: Yeah, I wish I could take credit for the title #lol

Brian: You CAN!

Question 7: What kinds of testing of faith have you experienced either while writing or that prompted you to write?

Brian: Learning about trafficking and realizing that all sins are equal … caused me to write more definitely. Scars are lasting.

Kandi: Scars are lasting! Oof. That they are. We can end #humantrafficking

Question 8: If people want to help end #humantrafficking what do you suggest they do?

Brian: Playing an active role in their daily lives, online and in person. We have an opportunity to @endtraffick ing

Kandi: Where can we find you online?

Brian: Online- http://brianltucker.com, Instagram: bltuck2, amazon at: http://amazon.com/author/tuckerb, and even on Goodreads at: Brian L. Tucker

#Wheelman releases Feb 2 on #groundhogday and my father’s birthday! It’ll be on @amazon and other major websites

Kandi: Can’t wait for it. Thanks so much everyone for joining, and congratulations, @thebriantucker

Brian: Thanks again, Kandi J Wyatt! I appreciate your time. Have a great night!

Kandi: Thanks again for the time. I’m off to eat dinner with the family.

 

-End of Interview-

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1st of October

Sing, Write, Whatever You Do In Life. Offer Your Best.


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Had the good fortune of seeing John Mark McMillan play in Chattanooga last night at The Camp House. If you haven’t caught him on his Tongues of Fire tour, I highly recommend it.

I’ve heard this music scene described as a hipster, Jesus convention, but hey, Jesus loves hipsters, too. Right? And we ARE capable of looking away from the skinny jeans, if we try hard enough. (I think I’m just jealous I can’t fit into skinny jeans.)

Anyways…

I couldn’t help but marvel at a performer so on fire for eternal truths, genuine conversation with his audience.

It was great to see a “younger” audience (I’m dating myself, I know) tied into the deeper topics as well. One song which especially stood out to me, and I hadn’t heard before was titled: Future / Past, and the lyrics are below:

“Future / Past” by John Mark McMillan ::

You hold the reins on the sun and the moon
Like horses driven by kings
You cover the mountains, the valleys below
With the breadth of your mighty wings

All treasures of wisdom and things to be known
Are hidden inside your hand
And in this fortunate turn of events
You ask me to be your friend
You ask me to be your friend

And you,
You are my first
You are my last
You are my future and my past

The constellations are swimming inside
The breadth of your desire
Where could I run, where could I hide
from your heart’s jealous fire

All treasures of wisdom and things to be known
Are hidden inside your hand
And in this fortunate turn of events
You ask me to be your friend
You ask me to be your friend

And you,
You are my first
You are my last
You are my future and my past

You are the beginning and the end”

 

If this were a Sunday school lesson, I’d say ‘Amen,’ and we’d all head home. But, I wanted to bring up the relevance of JMM’s ability to connect with his audience AND deliver a message. The 2 go hand-in-hand. And…he did this in a way I hadn’t seen in a loooong time.

It was refreshing.

He said about halfway through his set that he didn’t know what he’d done before he was writing songs, but he felt like he’d wasted it.

To him, any time prior to songwriting and singing had been squandered.

And, I’m starting to see the need in my own life (writing as an example), to live on purpose. To care for those around me.

I pray the same is happening in your life. Whether it’s singing, songwriting, or whatever gift you have: use it.

It was refreshing to see someone similar in age having such an impact on the world around him. I wanted to post a video of the live environment I was trying to describe above. Hope it works for you:

 

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26th of August

Proud of Chattanooga


Evening shot of the Walnut Street Bridge & Southern Bell River Boat on the Tennessee River in downtown Chattanooga.

Just weeks after Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez opened fire on a recruiting center–and then, a U.S. Navy Reserve center–in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the town rallied around those families hurting in the aftermath.

On Saturday, August 15th, over 150 Departments of the Navy, plus Chattanooga city officials (& members) came together to host an event for thousands inside UTC’s McKenzie Arena.

Vice President Joe Biden, in attendance, said, “The day will come when this memory brings a smile to your lips, before it brings a tear to your eye,” to families of the fallen.

Lieutenant Commander Timothy White, who witnessed the tragic shootings, added, “They were warriors. They would want us to do our duty with more tenacity and undaunted courage.”

And, U.S. Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus encouraged, “Ordinary people, facing extraordinary circumstances. An ordinary Thursday became a day of extraordinary horror, but also extraordinary heroism.”

Chattanooga rallied. The prayers were heard, and hearts were uplifted. The tragedy still looms, as I see the memorial items along Amnicola Highway driving to work each day. But, the reminder of unity is here as well.

Even in tragedy, God moves.

Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez opened fire at a Naval reserve station in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Thursday, July 16, killing 4 Marines and one sailor, injuring two others.

Chattanooga, often proclaimed as the center of the “Bible belt,” has reacted properly–with love rather than hate. Sure, it alarmed many that Muhammad would resort to violence, because they only saw the good in him previously, as a Chattanoogan.

And the forgiveness is refreshing, because often our first reaction is to crucify.

Others I’ve met (outside of Chattanooga) have reacted as well to this city’s response. One gentleman asked me, “How’s Chattanooga doing since the shooting? I’ve been watching the news, and it seems like such a strong town. My prayers are with you.”

He saw the efforts of city officials and pastors on the news. The town didn’t riot. It regrouped. Prayed for its fallen. Even for the family of the shooter.

The five people who lost their lives on July 16, 2015 have left a model to follow for sure.

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Just like James 2:20 cautions, their lives embodied the importance of faith with deeds.

Living it 24/7 ( and not fearing the unknown) is so so powerful a message.

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24th of July

The Summer Cold


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For 2 weeks, I’ve been in a fistfight with – the Summer Cold.

 

Related to the Common Cold of Winter months (somehow). The Summer Cold has power and it wields it mightily. For weeks. Precious Summer weeks.

I can attest to its power.

 

Two Saturdays ago, I blamed it on pollen. HAHA

Chattanooga, TN has the highest pollen index (yes, that’s a real thing) in the nation. And, I’m from southern Kentucky where pollen begats more pollen and the bees even pray for release. But, I blamed pollen. Then, I blamed Chattanooga. Said, “Aw, it’ll go away when it rains.”

Pshaw. It didn’t go away. And, I spent the better part of last Saturday, trying to walk.

My highlight (or lowlight) was a BP gas station.

I had a DVD in my possession and it was due back at a Redbox ASAP. So, I saw the red, metal tube in my periphery, and decided to pull over for gas and return the disc.

I stepped out of the vehicle and a nearby temperature gauge read 96 or something. The sweat beaded on my forehead. My nostrils were red from paper towels, friction. I managed to lift the gas lever, swipe the card, push Unleaded 87. Then, when the tank clicked full, I felt my sore nose again, and my head – close to spontaneous combustion.

I looked longingly towards the Redbox–a distance of only 100 feet–and said to myself, Feet, you can do this, and I sneezed. I stopped dead in my tracks. It’s one of the few times I considered succumbing to an ailment and I’ve had a few (heart surgery, diabetes). But, the feet kept moving somehow. The will to live.

I pushed ‘Return Movie’ and let the machine do its retrieval. For a second, I hallucinated that it struggled in the 100-degree blazes to take the movie from my clammy hands. It chug-chug-chugged but eventually clasped the disc and safely tucked it away, inside its metal heart.

I turned and realized I’d forgotten my shades at home, my vampire moment was coming to fruition. A sunburn could happen in a matter of seconds. But, I found my car’s door. I slid into the seat and clung to its fabric as it did mine. I pulled onto the highway without looking either direction and struggled to locate a Kleenex, somewhere anywhere.

To my surprise (and thanks to God), the vehicle found its way home. I was a happy returnee. Saturday bled into Sunday and now, the next Friday. I believe, with my whole heart, Summer Colds are genuine clingers.

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8th of June

FUN things to do on your anniversary!


 

Here are ‘7 Things’ I thank God my wife and I were able to do last weekend for our 7-year anniversary:

 

1.) Ride a Segway like a boss in Franklin, TN. (As opposed to riding a segway like this.)

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2.) See Leah sit in the biggest chair East of the Mississippi

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3.) Go to a concert featuring bands neither of us had ever heard of (really)…

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4.) Find a Wingstop in a random shopping center in Nashville TN.

o(W-I-N-G-S-T-O-P is the best!!)

 

5.) Work out TOGETHER after 1.5 days of non-stop travel.

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6.) Celebrate with dinner together in Chattanooga!

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7.) Take a walk after dinner (and ask a stranger to snap your picture). Yes. A picture together. Imagine that. A brief reprieve from the never-ending single person poses that we do as couples. 🙂 The gentleman who snapped ours was kind enough to ask “Portrait or landscape?”

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7 FUN things to-do on your anniversary! (Franklin -> Nashville -> Chattanooga)

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