As the video trailer for Love’s Trials suggests, the ‘Unite the Right’ protests in Charlottesville is an important part of Colin and Joshua’s unfolding story.
August 12, 2017 was a momentous day in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was the day that the ‘Unite the Right’ protestors marched their way into history. It was also a day that left most of American feeling disgusted, repulsed and angry.
But for the characters in ‘Love’s Trials’ the ‘Unite the Right’ protest was even more. They weren’t spectators as the terrible events of that day unfolded, they were participants. It was a moment in their lives when they were forced to face some of their most deeply felt enmities. Enmities rooted in racial memories too profound to ignore. It was a day when they feared for the safety of the ones they love most. And it was also a day of responsibility, duty, and trial.
Love’s Magic is set in Charlottesville. Much of the storyline revolves around the University of Virginia and the politics which are a fundamental part any organization that large and unwieldy. Love’s Trials features the same characters and when the ‘Unite the Right’ protests happened in Charlottesville it was simply impossible for me to ignore an occurrence that fundamentally important to our nation’s history. It had to be part of the storyline.
Colin, as a Sergeant with the University of Virginia campus police force, would be involved in this conflict from start to finish. Joshua, the Jewish man who loved him, would experience this incident on an intensely personal level, both because the involvement of the neo-Nazi’s awakens deeply felt historical and family memories and because the man he loves is involved in every aspect of this conflict which places him in constant danger.
Knowing Colin as well as I do, I knew that he would not only take great offense at hearing the anti-Semitic rhetoric the Nazi’s were spewing on that day, he would also be frothing at the mouth with anger. One of the things he loves most about Joshua is his Jewish heritage. He believes that the deep reservoir of inner strength which he has always loved and counted on within Joshua flows from that genetic, spiritual source. Hearing the Nazi’s hate-filled, anti-Semitic chants would have set his Irish heart on fire with rage.
At the same time, I knew Colin would have to stay in control of his emotions. Certainly, he would have longed to batter the Nazi protestors to a pulp. But it’s not Colin’s way to use physical force no matter how angry he might be. He is experienced enough at his job to know that such a reaction would solve nothing. Further, responding with undue force could easily have provoked a response from the supremacists in which innocent citizens could be hurt. He had to try to stay calm. He had to try to react in a professional manner. He didn’t always succeed.
In Love’s Trials you’ll hear Colin talk about that day. He’ll discuss what he saw and heard. He’ll discuss about how he responded. He’ll discuss how he felt. And he’ll discuss his thoughts on how well he feels the police force, whose job it is to protect Charlottesville citizens, responded on that dramatic day. He was in the thick of every event that took place in Charlottesville on August 12th, 2017, but those events were also very much out of his control. His point of view with regard to this emotionally charged day in his professional life is both personal and deeply felt. He would certainly never claim that they were unbiased. Colin is at heart a deeply honest man. And as such he would be the first to admit that no one who was present at the “Unite the Right” riots that day could have been less biased than he.
Joshua’s point of view regarding that terrible day was also deeply personal. As a Jewish man who lost many family members in the Holocaust, he possessed a unique perspective regarding the ‘Unite the Right’ march in Charlottesville. He was filled with disgust and anger that the neo-Nazis had been allowed to march in his city in the first place, and his first instinct was to join the counter protestors and face down the white-supremacists. At the same time, he knew that his presence at the event would make it impossible for Colin to concentrate on his job. Colin’s concern for Joshua’s safety would have been a distraction which could easily have gotten him seriously injured or even killed.
It was a dangerous situation for everyone involved and Joshua had to make a hard decision. Would he join the counter protestors? Or would he stay home in safety? His desire to be part of what happened that day was fueled by his genetic revulsion for anything connected with the Nazis. The grandfather who nearly raised him had been imprisoned in the camps. Both great grandparents had been Holocaust victims along with many, many other family members. And yet his presence at the event would have placed the man he loved in danger, and Colin made it clear he was vehemently opposed to Joshua being anywhere near the protests. Any decision Joshua made meant facing a trial that could possibly change their lives forever.
They both made decisions on that fateful day that altered their feelings about their relationship and about themselves. Colin had been a police officer for a decade but he had never before faced a situation where he was confronted with hatred and bigotry this vicious which also posed a very real threat to the one he loved. Joshua had never before faced a situation which forced him to appreciate and accept how deeply connected he was with his Jewish heritage.
In the end, they both made decisions that would affect they way the lived their lives from that point forward. I won’t share all the details either of that day or of what came after for Colin and Joshua. I don’t want to ‘spoil’ you for the dramatic events that take place in Love’s Trials. But I can say this: This incident doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what they’re forced to face in this book. But it does lay a foundation of love and faith in each other that they will certainly need in the days ahead. And it is a profound chapter in what I hope you’ll feel is a profound story.
Love’s Trials will be released on October 12th, 2018 on Amazon. It is available for pre-order now so run and grab your copy. Colin and Joshua face many trials in the course of this book, the ‘Unite the Right’ protest being only one. And when the trial is deadly enough, love can lose its way.
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