Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Get Down Off the Soapbox, Please

   Many years ago, my family talked about how frustrating it was that, in entertainment, Christians preached a message while others made good entertainment, and, as a consequence, sin was completely taking over the culture. I've even written posts about how Christians should focus on making good art instead of preaching a message through their art. 
   Nowadays, things are a little different. Complaints are frequently heard about ABC's shows turning preachy, the most recent one being The Good Doctor. Rick Riordan's readership has dropped tremendously as many fans (me included) are turned off by his preachiness. And Disney movie after Disney movie seems like just an exposition for liberal agendas (Star Wars: The Last Jedi being one of the most recent). In some ways, it is a relief that lies aren't slipping into people's heads without them noticing. But in a way, it's really annoying. Our last source for good entertainment is now gone.
 

Could everybody please stop preaching when they're supposed to be telling stories?


   I mean, seriously. All I want is to spend a couple hours having a good time. I don't want to be hammered over the head that the world is ending and [insert name here] is the Antichrist or that everyone needs to stop throwing their water bottles in the trash. I don't want to spend the entire movie wondering how the directors thought a theological seminary would make a great movie or why almost every single man in the entire Resistance disappeared between movies. I go to church to hear preaching. I watch movies and TV shows and read books to be entertained.
  So please, authors, screenwriters, movie directors, etc., get down off the soapbox, go home, and find a church you can preach in. When you're ready to actually sit down and tell me a story, you'll find me over here waiting.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Naturally...

   When I was little, I learned in history about World War I. All about how the Germans had tried to take over the world and England, France, and the US banded together to help stop them. I was ashamed it had taken the US until 1917 to get into the war. And naturally I was on the Allies' side. Naturally...
   Then one day I decided to do a little more research. I was older. Much older. And through my research I learned a much different story...
   A story of a new, uncertain little country, just making its way into a world hundreds of years old, with centuries of history to back it up. A world of excessive imperialism and militarization, where everyone was splitting up the second-biggest continent on the planet to add to their domains, and a world where newly-formed Germany found itself completely surrounded by several massive military powers: England, France, Russia, and Austria-Hungary. A scared little country who scrambled to make alliances, and who accidentally festered a life-long hatred in a neighboring country when doing the only thing they knew how to do, which was make war. A proud little country, that managed to worm its way into Africa and make the world respect her, despite her lack of solid history, her backwardness, and her military obsession. An inept little country, who bungled her way through alliances, accidentally alienating their one old friend of England and raising tensions with their old enemy France. A nervous little country, who, when France and Russia made an alliance, made frantic plans of how to war against them both without being caught between two strokes of a hammer and destroyed, plans that required bypassing the massively strong forts on the German-French border to destroy France before Russia could make it to Germany. An unfortunate little country, who just meant to back an old friend, Austria-Hungary, in a clear affront, and didn't expect or want a world-wide war. And an excited little country, full of proud young men ready to answer the call of the country they so desperately loved, going off to do what they'd trained for all their lives, expecting to be home within the month, because surely Britain wouldn't get involved in other people's wars when they never had before, and surely the military might of Germany could destroy the mustering army of France before France and Russia destroyed them, surely...
   In my research, I relearned a lesson I've been taught so many times and so few people understand...that there are two sides to every story. There's two sides in every conflict, and so often in a fight, we can't arbitrarily choose a side and declare them to be good and righteous in their cause. So often, there are good men on each side, and bad men too. Very seldom can we see all sides. So very little do we ever understand. We always make the other sides out to be these horrible monsters who are out to destroy our homes, when really, many of them are fighting for the same reasons we are. We cannot ignore all the bad things our "side" does in war. We cannot ignore all the good things the other "side" does. We cannot pretend to be righteous when we are not. We cannot pretend our enemies are the devil when they are not. Maybe we should simply try to be honest, not propagandize and make the enemy out to be monsters, but simply show them for what they are and us for what we are. Maybe if we were honest about war, soldiers would not come home as often shell-shocked, suddenly aware that they were killing not mindless monsters, but ordinary men. Maybe if we admitted that we don't do everything right, that we may not be fighting the other side because they are evil, but simply to protect our families and our homes, there would be less hate in the world. We might believe countries when they say they thought they were blowing up a troop ship and not a passenger ship and blame the right party when our people die after being warned not to enter war-torn and blockaded waters. We might be able to move on past war and rebuild our lives and our friendships when we stop fighting and not leave the war-torn region a powder keg ready at any moment to blow. We might stay out of wars we have no business fighting, and we might resist the impulse to utterly punish the losing side as if all the death and destruction and misery was all their fault, when it never is, and cause pain and devastation and open up doors for a starving, angry people to accept the leadership of a madman and become a terror to the world.
   Maybe, next time you read about a war, instead of being filled with passion and pride for your "side" and anger for the side you feel was in the wrong, you should stop and try to see it from their side. Read their stories, told not by their enemies, but by themselves. And try to understand that, in a war, we are only fighting people that might have been ourselves, in another time, another place. That war is never truly good, no matter what side you're on. And that all sides, the Germans, the Confederates, the Saxons, the Druids, the Trojans...
   Everyone needs their story told.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Cover Reveal Time!!!

Dagger's Sleep Cover Reveal






   One of my most favorite authors is releasing a book soon, and IT'S SO EXCITING!!! Seriously, I can't wait for this book to come out. I just know it's going to be amazing. How do I know? Well, the cover just proves it. It's amazing too! When this book comes out, you're going to want to buy it.

   And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...no, I'm not going to be mean this time...Here is the cover!!!

Dagger's Sleep Cover - Updated 031118


  About the book: 
A prince cursed to sleep.

 A princess destined to wake him.

 A kingdom determined to stop them.

 High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.

 A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?

 One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest king himself, their quests will demand greater sacrifice than either of them could imagine.

Release Date: May 28, 2018
  DSC09450-2
About the author: Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country. You can connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter, Instagram, and her blog. To make things even more exciting, Tricia Mingerink is going to be co-hosting a blog tour from May 22 to 28 with Sarah Addison-Fox to celebrate the release of both of their latest books. Her next book Dissociate releases May 22. More details about blog tour will be coming in April.