Lck Publishing recently came out with their first book: True Stories We Made Up, a collaboration by first time authors Michael Johnson, David Beebe II, and Chris Johnson.
I was thrilled when I heard this book was in the works. I've known the Johnson brothers for many years, and though our paths haven't crossed since high school in reality, we've been able to be reacquainted through the social media explosion in our thirties. Sure, I already knew Michael had a knack for writing and a talent for artwork, but what I didn't know pre-twitter was that Chris has a killer sense of humor. How else would he find his tweets being displayed across billboards in Oklahoma while simultaneously growing an epic beard? And by "killer" sense of humor I meant "lady-killer".
So, about the book. Each chapter is a short story written by one of the three authors and contains more than a little braggadocio as they recount the epic, mostly carefree days of grade school. That's right, grade school. Elementary education. As in, from toddlerhood through velcro shoes, then on to celebrating the freedom of napless days and summer vacations that weren't spent working or worrying. Or driving, for that matter.
Most people, including myself, don't usually think of the Glory Days of youth as being the preteen years. Most of my reminiscing is spent reliving the college years, to be honest. And yet, as I read the stories I found myself looking back into the coffers of those golden, innocent memories of childhood with a new appreciation. Maybe those were the glory days after all! When "complicated" was a spelling word to memorize before the test on Wednesday. When strategy meant figuring out how to trade your carton of milk for someone's maple bar without getting caught by the teacher. When everything was still possible. Even the Olympics.
Anyway, I found myself laughing often, particularly when reading "The Queen's English", "Two in the Bush", and "Blanket Monster". My husband wondered what was going on and I had to remind myself that sleeping children are the only children conducive to quiet mommy-time reading.
I cringed (and laughed) as I read "Mark of the Beast", but I have to appreciate the honest and straightforward way each author has incorporated the conservative Christian atmosphere of their childhood lives into these stories. They are humorous, without being crass. Honest without being apologetic, and heart warming without being sappy.
I am eagerly awaiting the announcement of a second installment in this series, and, of course, of seeing the horizons expand for these new authors in the years to come.
True Stories We Made Up is available for purchase here at Amazon in paperback - $14.99 (currently on sale for $11.45) or for Kindle for just $8.99.
To follow the authors on Twitter:
Michael Johnson: @TheMichaelDJ
Dave Beebe II: @TheDaveHimself
Chris Johnson: @TheChalls
Interested in winning your own copy?
Disclaimer: Once again, to be sure this is understood: Lck Publishing is in no way affiliated with this giveaway, nor are the authors of the book: Michael Johnson, Chris Johnson, or Dave Beebe II. I received this book as my own personal property and my opinions are entirely my own. I received no compensation for the review or for the second copy that I will give to one lucky reader. Thank You. All questions and concerned must be referred to me.
Also: One of those options for entries is for "liking" my own Riverains Photography facebook page! Why? Because it's my giveaway and I can. And us starving artists got to stick together, right guys? ;)