Lover Behind Enemy Lines (Dreamcatchers #3) by Liv Olteano
M/M Adult Paranormal Romance
Release date: December 4 2018
Cover designer: Aaron Anderson
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Liv Olteano here today on tour for the latest story in her Dreamcatchers series, Lover Behind Enemy LInes. Welcome to our Author’s Chair!
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Liv Olteano
- If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?
My ideal scenario for writing (and reading too, come to think of it!) is this: I’m in a cabin somewhere in the mountains. Out my huge windows, I can see mountain peeks somewhere in the distance. I’m sitting in front of a fire place. The scent of burning wood mixes with the clean air, and the scents of wood from inside the cabin. The armchair I’m cuddled into is huge, and the fluffy blanket covering my feet makes me feel warm and strangely protected – like it’s a magic shield, keeping all evils of the world (like alarm clocks and cars honking – God, I have those!). The huge steaming mug of coffee resting beside my laptop is warming up my hand as I’m cupping it. My cats are lounging on the sofa, right beside my armchair. I set up some nice background music, close my eyes for a moment, and then when I open them up my fingers fly over the keyboard as I write with wild abandon. Sigh. Having that be a part of my regular day-to-day life – wouldn’t that be amazing? 🙂
- What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?
If I’m honest, one of the things I find most interesting in someone is intelligence expressed via humor. A good sense of humor and being funny (the snarky flavor, particularly) is the sport of a sharp mind, in my opinion. I do tend to make my characters funny, if not consistently throughout the story, then at least here and there. I can’t help it. I love someone who has a lot of knowledge that I don’t, so they always have things to tell me that I’ll be really curious about. But they need to be the humble sort of smart, not arrogant about it. I hate arrogance in people. Cocky can work here and there, if sprinkled with the right amount of self-deprecation.
I don’t really think about these things when I help a character climb out of my head, lol. But I suspect that my likes do seep into my creation, if not in every character, then in at least one of them in every story.
- Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?
As a reader, I love stories about characters that have plenty of faults. In fact, I love them to be unrepentant about those faults. And I don’t want the author to “fix” them, either, unless it’s really destructive…and not even then, most of the time.
I’m a firm believer in realistic fiction. I love realistic romance, with stories that don’t end in idealized endings and characters that more often than not make the wrong choices and end up hurting those they love. The grace of forgiveness comes when it’s very hard to achieve it, not when everything conspires to help you along.
True mates, together at last.
Claw—fearless leader of Seattle’s Team 32—has faced many dangers during more than a century and a half as a dreamcatcher. Yet nothing has ever scared him more than his obsession with Nathan Gallagher. Tormented by visions and dreams about the man ever since he first laid eyes on him, Claw now has to deal with living under the same roof with the object of his most ardent desires. And Nathan is so much more than a simple crush.
Brother of the caster who’s been plaguing Team 32’s area and less-than-willing houseguest of the team after a strange break-in attempt, Nathan may hold the key to finally apprehending his sister and putting a stop to the havoc she’s wreaking on Queen Anne…. Meanwhile, Nathan’s wreaking some havoc of his own on Claw’s heart.
“Nathan stirred on the bed, and as he opened his eyes, his eyelashes fluttered. They were blond and long, mostly visible through the shadows they cast on his cheekbones. His eyes were a very dark brown, though; as dark as night, full of doubt and mistrust, but also holding some tantalizing secret that refused to make itself known to me despite my attempts to uncover it. Nathan stirred my interest in so many ways that it was getting very scary very fast.
I sat on the chair next to the bed. “Hey. I thought I should bring you something to eat.”
“What the hell is wrong with you?” he asked and squinted.
“What do you mean?”
“I broke into your house, pitiful as it went. You were all pissed. Okay, I get the point: I won’t break into this house again.”
“Well, at least you learned that lesson.”
“I did, okay? I did. But why are you keeping me handcuffed to a bed now? Do you run some human trafficking ring?”
“Why did you break in?”
This was familiar ground. I’d asked that question a lot of times since he was here. He had yet to give me a believable answer.
As expected, he pouted and looked away. His gaze landed on the plate I’d brought. “Can you at least free one of my hands so I can eat like a normal person?”
I sighed and got the fork out of the nightstand drawer where I’d stashed it. “Because that went so well the last time.”
“You’re not feeding me again. I’m not your fucking pet.”
“Of course not. I wouldn’t handcuff a pet.”
“Screw you,” he muttered.
“I wouldn’t do that to a pet, either. And I’d advise against waking everyone up. They won’t like the fact that I’m feeding you the leftovers they were no doubt planning to devour later on. Now, are you hungry or not?”
His light cheeks colored a delicious rusty shade. “I’d rather you just killed me already than humiliate me like this.”
I sat back in the chair. “We don’t kill people, Nathan. Surely you know that.”
“No, I don’t know; in fact, I don’t know much of anything except that you have an obvious boner for handcuffs.”
I didn’t. I did have a boner for him, but I disliked seeing him cuffed to the bed. Unfortunately, it was how things had to be for the moment. And Nathan refused to help me help him out of the situation.
“Again with that?” I sighed heavily. “You broke into our house. You have to know who we are.”
“Well, I know next to nothing about you people.”
“You knew something before deciding on this house.”
“You only think that because you know who I am,” he hissed.
“And what a coincidence it was, then, that you—who knew nothing about us—broke into this home, where we—who know things about you—live. Call me crazy, but I think it just seems far-fetched.”
He looked away, and silence fell over us like a thick blanket. It was almost smothering for me. If he kept this up, Aashi would lose her patience and cast the forgetting spell on him. He’d lose track of ever seeing either of us. And I’d lose my chance to get through to him. If that happened, I felt sure that sooner or later I’d follow him. Why I was so sure, I couldn’t really understand. But it was an unshakable and terrifying truth. If he refused to see things our way, then that had to mean he was on his sister’s side and maybe even working for her. And if the side he’d choose was his sister’s, then I would follow in that direction too, sooner or later. If that meant I’d cross to his sister’s side, as detestable a thought as it was, then I would eventually do it. Being around Nathan was that much of a necessity already.
Decades of longing and regret were weighing down on me, and they would keep on doing so until I’d lose it. I knew for sure that this was my second and last chance at making things right between what I saw in Nathan’s eyes and my own heart. But he knew nothing about me. He remembered and felt nothing. This was part of my torment.
His eyes haunted my dreams and my waking hours since I’d first glanced into them, what felt like a lifetime ago, back in Denny Park. Drew and I had followed him due to one of Drew’s infamous though usually on-point gut feelings. It was how we’d identified the caster we were dealing with—obviously Nathan’s sister, considering how much they resembled each other.
I knew a lot about the man lying on a bed before me. He was Nathan Gallagher, son of an influential family of ley line witches that was part of the strongest coven of Seattle. Despite his pedigree, in witch circles he had a reputation for avoiding the practice of magic like the pest. He had a sister, Vivian Gallagher, who had been reported missing as a child. Our caster lady had to be precisely that sister. That was one more thing we needed him to tell us about, in fact. That and why he’d decided to break into our house.
I knew the story of Nathan Gallagher’s life as Taka could piece it together from his research. But when I looked into his eyes, it wasn’t Nathan Gallagher that stared back at me. His eyes, windows to his soul, told me he was someone else. When our gazes met, I wasn’t in the here and now anymore. I went back to the sound of water gurgling down rocks and wind whistling through trees; to the sound of laughter, to skinny-dipping in crystal clear waters while everything inside us seemed murky but exciting. When I looked into his eyes, I saw my sweet and so terrible first love, and felt the pang of more than a century-and-a-half-worth of longing.
“Look at me,” I said in as terse a tone as I could so I wouldn’t betray my emotions.
He turned his face back in my direction, though it took him a couple of seconds to find my gaze with his.
“Let me feed you. I assure you I see absolutely no humiliation in it.”
His gaze scanned my face. I wished he’d be reassured by the sincerity in my heart. It was a joy and privilege for me to feed him, in fact; it would never be a way to belittle him, regardless of circumstances. But I couldn’t tell him that. I knew he’d think I was crazy, and that I really couldn’t afford—even if the thought crossed my mind more often than not of late.
“Is this some elaborate scheme to gain my trust? Do you guys think the good cop/bad cop routine is going to get better results than just asking? Because it won’t.”
“You are not my enemy, Nathan.”
“Well, I’m your prisoner, so you are my enemy.”
“Fine, then. See me as an enemy, if you so desire. But please eat.”
He looked at the plate again, this time with a tint of suspicion. “Is it drugged?”
I used my fingers to grab some bits of cold turkey and carrot salad and stuffed them in my mouth. After swallowing, I wiped my hand on one of the napkins stashed under the plate. “Happy now?”
“Delirious.” He huffed and rolled his eyes. “Maybe you drugged just some bits, though.”
“Think of it this way: if the food is drugged, then you’ll be aware of less time spent here.”
“Encouraging thought,” he deadpanned. “And then you can cheerfully rape me, because I’m so out of it. Don’t think I don’t see how you look at me, buddy.”
I widened my eyes. “Rape you? Dear spirits and heavens, I would never.”
“I bet that’s what all rapists say.”
“And how could I prove to you that I wouldn’t do such a thing?”
“You could uncuff me,” he said, shrugging a little.
I smiled. “Nice try.”
“It was worth a shot. So you’re sure you don’t want to rape me?”
“Bummer,” he muttered. “Sex would have given me something nice to do to pass the time, at least. It wouldn’t be rape, though.” He waggled his eyebrows.
“So you actually enjoy handcuffs,” I concluded.
“Not necessarily. But I’d enjoy you.” He looked at the plate for a moment, then back at me. “That stuff smells torturously good.”
“Are you asking me to feed you, then?”
“Of course not. You keep me handcuffed to a bed and refuse to make the most of it, so I won’t humiliate myself by asking you to feed me next. But if you felt so inclined to get some of the food close enough to my mouth, it wouldn’t go to waste. That’s all I’m saying.”
So I did just that. He ate everything I’d brought up. When he was done, I wiped his mouth—to his mortification, if his expression was anything to go by. It wasn’t really necessary to wipe his mouth, I had to admit; that one I did purely to indulge myself. ”
Want to read more from Chapter 1? Check out the book on the Dreamspinner Press site (Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/lover-behind-enemy-lines-by-liv-olteano-9940-b ) and hit the Read an Excerpt button right beneath the cover xD
About Liv Olteano:
Liv Olteano is a voracious reader, music lover, and coffee addict extraordinaire. And occasional geek. Okay, more than occasional.
She believes stories are the best kind of magic there is. And life would be horrible without magic. Her hobbies include losing herself in the minds and souls of characters, giving up countless nights of sleep to get to know said characters, and trying to introduce them to the world. Sometimes they appreciate her efforts. The process would probably go quicker if they’d bring her a cup of coffee now and then when stopping by. Characters—what can you do, right?
Liv has a penchant for quirky stories and is a reverent lover of diversity. She can be found loitering around the Internet at odd hours and being generally awkward and goofy at all times.
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