Thanks so much for having me on You Gotta Read! Let’s see, what did I want to be? A teacher, a doctor, a baker and a candle stick maker… there was a lot!JI’m not sure I’ve even decided what I want to be… or finished growing up. Thank goodness I’m now an author, so I can live anything I want, even if only vicariously through my characters.
- Tell us about your latest book.
Giving It Up is an contemporary erotic romance with suspense elements. It follows a woman’s journey through healing… and smoking hot sex J
Allie prowls the club for a man who will use her hard and then ditch her. Hey, it’s not rape if she wants it. Instead she finds Colin, who looks tough but treats her tenderly, despite her protests.
He tempts her, but kindness and a few mindblowing orgasms aren’t enough to put her back together again. Allie has no hope for a real relationship. Two years ago her best friend betrayed her in the worst possible way – she’d be stupid to trust a man again. Besides, she has her daughter to think of, the only good thing to have come from that dark night.
But when her rapist returns, threatening her sanity and custody of her daughter, Allie turns to Colin. Under his protection and patient touch, Allie begins to heal and learns to hope. Colin’s no saint, though, and his criminal past draws danger of its own. Allie must fight to protect her child and the man she loves, hoping her newfound power will be enough to save them all.
Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: dubious consent.
“Giving It Up is original, affecting, emotionally draining, but well worth reading if you are brave enough to go along for the ride.”
“A ballsy departure from romantic conventions.At once gritty and tender, stark and hopeful.”
—Cara McKenna, author of Willing Victim
“Giving It Up is an erotic, compelling story that takes us to the shadowy, lonely places but doesn’t leave us there. Amber Lin shows us that romance isn’t just for the rich and shiny. Love can find its way even into the dark corners of the most damaged hearts.”
—Tiffany Reisz, author of The Siren
“This is a book you MUST read if you like gritty, edgier romance that makes you think as well as turns you on.”
—Cari Quinn, USA Today Bestselling Author of No Dress Required
“Dark and edgy…but don’t be fooled. There’s a wonderful love story running through this book. Sharp, intense writing, sexy as hell, and such a cool idea!”
—Charlotte Stein, author of Sheltered
“Every page is chock full of sexy, angsty must-read-moreness.”
—Karla Doyle, author of Game Plan
“Giving It Up is a gritty, real romance that deals in an honest way with what happens to sexuality in the aftermath of rape…. Read it. You won’t be sorry.”
—Ruthie Knox, author of About Last Night
- Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
So the heroine of Giving It Up is Allie Winters, and her best friend is Shelly. Shelly also happens to be a high class escort, and right now I’m writing her story. We also get to see more of a few other characters who are in Giving It Up, like Philip, who is the hero of Giving It Up’s, Colin’s, brother.
- What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
I’m going to give some advice that every beginning writer has probably heard, but hear me out. My reasons are a little different.
Write what you love. Write the book you want to read.
The natural argument to this is: well, what if we do that and our book doesn’t sell!? That may happen. But if you don’t write a book you love, one that you are dying to read but doesn’t exist, then the odds of you selling it are even lower.
More importantly, you will have to live with this book for the next 6 months as you write it. Then another 2-4 months as you do revisions, rewrites, workshopping, critique partners, beta readers. Then more months as you query agents, and then land your agent, who may put you through more revisions. Then more waiting as your agent submits it to publishers, and you can be sure that your eventual editor is going to have major development edits. Then it moves onto line edits, copy edits, proofreading. And then when your book is finally out, you will be pulling out excerpts, talking it up for marketing purposes. You will read your book countless times before it’s all said and done, so you’d better freaking LOVE IT.
- Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Usually I get writer’s block when I’m a) working on a story that I don’t love but I think the market wants (see above), in which case the answer is to drop it and move on, or b) I’m writing the story I need to be writing, but I’ve written my character into a corner in terms of characterization. Basically, the character did something they really wouldn’t, so now the next steps are all messed up. The right thing to do, once I can identify the problem, is back up and rewrite.
- Who is your favorite author and why?
Laura Kinsale. I think I’m supposed to waver on that, because there are truly SO MANY amazing authors out there, but her books have a way of completely blowing me away. And the best thing is that the first read is always the blandest, I think because I struggle with even seeing all the layers. I enjoy the first read, but on the second, third, … trillionth read, I come to appreciate her brilliance all the more.
- What books have most influenced your life?
Let’s see, it was those series books like Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High that first drew me into reading. I’m sure I would have moved onto category romance if I had known it existed. But I didn’t! No one I knew read romance at all. So from there I jumped to the YA of the time, like Cynthia Hoyt, Ann Rinaldi.So on the one hand I was reading books that were “fun” and on the other, I was soaking up the required reading for school, like 1984, stuff like that. I think Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was the first book where those two sides came together for me, where I realized that a book could have a message as well as just be fun, exciting, and even a little bit sexy.
- How did you deal with rejection letters?
There are only two ways to deal with rejection letters: keep writing or stop. So far, I’m still writing.
- What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
I suppose I’m a bit of a minimalist. You need either Microsoft Word or whatever Mac equivalent will let you use them, simply because editors and critique partners use Track Changes and comments to communicate. I also use Scrivener, simply because when you’re dealing with 100,000 words, it becomes unwieldy in Word alone. But I don’t have a certain playlist or coffee shop or anything like that to write. I like things quiet and as… blank as I can make them, so that my imagination can most easily paint over it all.
- Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
See that teeny tiny spec in the distance? That’s my line. I will write most things if I feel they are right for the story, and I’ll write any story if it wants to be told. There were a few dicey scenes in Giving It Up, related to violent encounters of a sexual nature. I pulled back from the original writing for a few reasons; one was because I thought I could achieve a similar emotional effect and story arc with less violence, and therefore reach more readers. I am not personally a fan of gory, creepy-crawly things so I’m unlikely to write them. Then again, if it’s right for the story… no promises J
- Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.
We stripped at the same time, both eager. I wanted to see his body, to witness what he offered me, but it was dark in the room. Then he kissed me back onto the bed, and there was no more time to wonder. The cheap bedspread was rough and cool against my skin. His hands stroked over my breasts and then played gently with my nipples.
My body responded, turning liquid, but something was wrong.
I’d had this problem before. Not everyone wanted to play rough, but I was surprised that I’d misread him. His muscles were hard, the pads of his fingers were calloused. I didn’t know how he could touch me so softly. Everything about him screamed that he could hurt me, so why didn’t he?
I wanted him to have his nasty way with me, but every sweet caress destroyed the illusion. My fantasy was to let him do whatever he wanted with me, but not this.
“Harder,” I said. “I need it harder.”
Instead his hands gentled. The one that had been holding my breast traced the curve around and under.
I groaned in frustration. “What’s wrong?”
He reached down, still breathing heavily, and pressed a finger lightly to my cunt, then stroked upward through the moisture. I gasped, rocking my hips to follow his finger.
“You like this,” he said.
Yes, I liked it. I was undeniably aroused but too aware. I needed the emptiness of being taken. “I like it better rough.”
Colin frowned. My eyes widened at the ferocity of his expression.
In one smooth motion he flipped me onto my stomach. I lost my breath from the surprise and impact. His left hand slid under my body between my legs and cupped me. His right hand fisted in my hair, pulling my head back. His erection throbbed beside my ass in promise. I wanted to beg him to fuck me, but all I could do was gasp. He didn’t need to be told, though, and ground against me, using my hair as a handle.
That small pain on my scalp was perfection, sharp and sweet. Numbness spread through me, as did relief.
The pain dimmed. My arousal did too, but that was okay. I was only vaguely aware of him continuing to work my body from behind.
I went somewhere else in my mind. I’d stay that way all night.
At least that’s what usually happened.
Youtube Link: http://youtu.be/5NQ7NTuzFFI
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All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-givingitup-859531-147.html
Author Website: http://authoramberlin.com/
Amber Lin is giving away a Kindle Fire along with 10 erotic books, as well as either a custom erotic story or a 30-page critique of a romance manuscript. There are many ways to enter, for both those who have and haven’t yet read Giving It Up.