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As with any dream come true, the weeks leading up to a book release are exciting, thrilling, exhausting. For Bethia, aka Beth Stewart, heroine of Sharon Clare‘s debut novel, Love of Her Lives, another dream holds the sweet promise of coming true.

The ageless love Bethia shares with Calum will undergo a test. Will that love transcend the Upper Worlds to be victorious in the earthly realm? Or will their eternal bond be shattered?

Amidst the flurry of edits and trailers, book cover art and book launch planning, risk-taker Beth–yes, readers, she is a true rebel-rousing Wildflower if ever there was one–took some time away from her true love to talk to me about past lives, and past loves.

~*~

Hello, Beth… Betha… Bethi… Ah! Tell me, by what name shall I call you, here in good old 2012? Beth, Bethany, Bethia? How about Gertrude?

Very good question, Sherry. Before I met Calum, I was plain ol’ Beth, named after my grandmother Elizabeth. Little did I know, I had a soul name. When Calum first showed up at my door, pretending to be a professor, the goofball, I thought he had the wrong woman when he called me Bethia. I had no idea who he was, and if I’d known what was coming next, I’d have shut that door so fast . . . I think.

Everyone in this life calls me Beth, so Beth it is, for now, thank you.

All right, Beth. That was some argument you had with Colm the night your earthly life as Bethany came to an end, a storm as ugly as the weather outside your cabin. So, I have to ask, would it have really been so bad, climbing into the tub with Colm, instead of toppling off Argyl Mountain?

Well, one can always look back and see how perhaps one could have made better decisions. I’ll admit, that evening wasn’t my finest. I was incensed. What Colm did made me furious. I know, ultimately, he had my safety in mind, and the irony in that isn’t lost on me, but he really could be such an overbearing brute.

I should point out though, it’s incredible what that man can do in the bath, even in the days before bubbles.    

Hm, yes. I rather got that impression. If the level of skill he demonstrated in the cabin had diminished from 100 years of misuse, I don’t think you’d have survived the candle lit scrub when the two of you were just a wee bit off Earth!

I’d better ask the next question before we break the thermostat. Who do you think will learn more from your life on earth on your own? You, or Calum?

Calum would say I had to learn to stop risking my neck to help others in need, but I didn’t know I was risking my life at the time. Sometimes he forgets the only reason he had insight into the disaster coming my way was because he used magic to scry the future.

And who is he to talk? He risked his soul to rescue me, not to mention the bargain he made with that wicked elf, Finn. But honestly, Sherry, I learned the greatest lesson. I learned that no man in any life will ever love me like Calum does.

A love like that is a powerful and potent elixir, Beth. I think deep down, we all want to be he center of another’s universe, to be loved completely and without fail, but in reality, I can see it might be a little suffocating.

Exactly, Sherry, it sounds like you’ve had a similar experience with your own hero. 

What is it like, good and bad, to be loved so fiercely?

When Calum first arrived back in my life, I was hell bent on resisting him. The man’s passion hovers around the 1,000 watt intensity level, and you have no idea how quickly he threw my life into a tailspin. We were on the run, and I had no idea who he was, yet he thought he could both seduce and rule. 

I didn’t think so at the time, but it was sweet really, the way he persisted. There are no dull moments being the centre of Calum’s universe, but then there’s no place else I’d rather be.

What perspective, if that’s the right word, did you hope Calum would gain by your separation? And what perspective did you hope to gain for yourself?

At times, Calum behaves like a controlling buffoon, and while there’s always been passion enough to fuel a small country between us, I was beginning to feel stifled by his need to protect his woman. 

I wanted him to learn to trust me to survive a life without him. Of course he couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I not only had a zealous warrior back in my life, I had a trouble-making elf as well. 

 When I made the decision to live a life without him, I did so to learn if Calum really was my eternal mate, or if perhaps there was a more agreeable man I could love just as passionately.

Would you say the experiment was a success? Or would you rather have readers discover the answer to this very eternal question on their own?

Eternal is the key word there, Sherry. Calum told me the story of our very first life together, nearly two thousand years ago, the first drop in our eternal well. We had a tumultuous beginning, an omen perhaps of what was to come. I’d love to share that story. You can find it as a Love of Her Lives deleted scene on Sharon Clare’s website. Are our eternal bonds secure? Not in any way I ever could have imagined, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Ah. A book with special features. Love it.

Calum is driven by his fear of the risks you take, though he certainly takes some dangerous risks to save you. Knowing a little of your past lives as I do, I can’t say that I blame him. I have to ask, why do you skydive, Beth? Is it an opportunity to outsmart the gravity that took your earlier life?

That’s rather poignant, Sherry. Since I didn’t know I’d lived past live before I met Calum, I didn’t make that connection. I’ve learned anything is possible. I skydive because I like a thrill. I don’t feel as though I’m risking my life any more so than driving on the highway. When I found buried treasure in my back yard, I made a decision to deal with it in an non-conventional way, but I didn’t see it as risky. I realized soon after, I’d taken a terrible risk, one that put a woman in jeopardy and had me running as a fugitive. Calum would not like to hear me say I’d do it all again to help someone in need, but I know I would. 

~*~

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