Friday, May 4, 2012
Todays Guest Post by Karenna Colcroft
When you love someone, it can mean giving up something for that person. It can even mean giving up a chance for a relationship with them so they can be safe and happy.
In high school, I dated a guy who clearly had feelings for me. Strong feelings, which I definitely returned. We were very on-again, off-again, and the off times were always his choice. It wasn’t that he didn’t care about me. He cared so much that he wanted to protect me from anything potentially harmful, and that included himself. I was a virgin and afraid of physical contact; he’d been sexually active since elementary school. I didn’t smoke, drink, or anything else; he used pot and sometimes other drugs. He’d led a damaging life, and the last thing he wanted was to damage me. So he pushed me away despite his feelings. I didn’t understand until years afterward why he’d done it. We’re still friends, even though it’s been twenty-five years. That might not have happened if he hadn’t been adamant about giving up a relationship with me.
There’s a saying, “If you love someone, set them free; if they come back to you, they’re yours. If they don’t, they never were.” That doesn’t always hold true. With my friend, he loved me enough to not only set me free, but to make sure I stayed that way. At least free of the demons that filled his own life.
On the other hand, sometimes loving someone means being with them despite the risk. I knew what was going on in my friend’s life, but I wanted to be with him. I loved him, and he was good to me. I wasn’t assertive enough to tell him that his past—and present—didn’t matter to me, that I loved him regardless. I sometimes regret that.
In my new novel Lost Soul, motivational speaker Joel Turcotte has a secret. He’s a sorcerer, and his magic is fueled by pieces of human soul that he takes during sex. He isn’t the only “soul sorcerer,” as he calls himself and his kind, but he’s probably the most cautious. Ten years ago, Joel accidentally killed his lover by taking too much of the other man’s soul. Now Joel sticks to one-night stands, never sleeping with or taking soul slivers from the same human twice. When he meets Lanny Hollister, the attraction between them is immediate and terrifying. Joel can’t risk falling in love again, because he might harm another lover. He tries to fight his desire for Lanny and to push Lanny away. He’s willing to give up the first man he’s loved in a decade to keep the man safe.
And Lanny isn’t having it. Even after Joel explains the risk, Lanny still wants to pursue a relationship with the man. He believes Joel can refine his control of how much soul he takes, and maybe even control whether he takes any at all. He’s willing to take the risk so he can be with the man he loves.
Which of them wins? You’ll have to read the book to find out. Lost Soul releases today, May 4, from MLR Press, www.mlrpress.com.