Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Tour for Giving It Up by Amber Lin (Guest Post & GIVEAWAY)

Readers wanting a sexy read full of raw emotion will get just that when reading Giving It Up by Amber Lin.  Both of the main characters have been through a lot in life and are only able to start healing through the power of love that's the start of a rocky road for them both.  Amber's joining us today to talk about erotica in romance and her latest release, as well as giving away some great goodies.  So let's learn more about Giving It Up......

What Makes Erotica Romantic?

Erotica means very different things to different people. Historically, it has meant something meant to arouse. Stroke fiction, because readers get off or “stroke” while reading it. It means porn, with precious little plot or character development.

Increasingly, the published erotica contains a sexual journey. Arousal is fun, but it’s a side effect of the character’s growth. But the really great part is, the depth makes it sexier. The polished writing makes it hotter.

This isn’t an either-or where readers have to choose between smoking hot sex or introspective literature. We can have both.

And really, isn’t that what sex is about? The purely physical is fine and fun, but real sex is most meaningful when there’s an emotional connection too. So it makes sense that fiction works the same way.

Which brings us to romance. Is erotica inherently romantic? No.

Good erotica does invoke emotions. It’s passionate and moving. Great erotica inspires and makes you think. But it doesn’t have to be romantic, and even throwing in a single-partner situation with a neat and tidy happily-ever-after isn’t necessarily romantic. The reader has to believe.

What about love?

That’s the straightforward answer. Romance requires love. Except it’s such a nebulous concept. Fifteen year olds fall in love every day, and yet in most cases, it doesn’t last. Hell, forty year olds fall in love every day, and in half the cases, it doesn’t last either. Love on its own is no guarantee.

So what is required?

The characters have to be compatible. People aren’t neatly formed shapes with smooth edges. We’re all jagged and confused. So it’s really almost magical when we meet that other person, the one who fills in our empty spaces. The one who’s filled up by us. Like jigsaw puzzle pieces, clicking into place.

One of the great things about BDSM is how neatly and explicitly the characters fit together. A Dom pairs with a sub. A sadist finds a masochist. But of course, erotica is still a story and stories are about conflict.

What happens when a woman wants it rough, but her partner doesn’t want to give it to her? What happens when she wants pain, but he’s not a sadist?

That’s the case for the heroine in my book, Giving It Up. Allie goes to the club looking for dirty, rough sex. She thinks Colin can give it to her. After all, he looks like a tough guy. Instead he treats her gently, gives her pleasure.

Something’s gotta give… because if they aren’t compatible sexually then their romantic relationship isn’t going to work. Even if they’re willing to compromise at first, there’s always going to be doubts about whether it can last. The goal of a romance isn’t to change, but to become who you are.

The other thing the characters need to do is fight to be together.

Luckily for these two, Allie’s desire for rough sex is rooted in fear. She was hurt years ago, and she doesn’t know how to trust anymore. She gets the men to hurt her, and it confirms all her dark thoughts, except Colin won’t play along. He can’t fix it for her. Only she can heal, find herself, but he can stand by her while she does.

At the end of a romance, we’ll be given an HEA. It’s a guarantee in the genre. A formula. But if we haven’t seen them struggle, seen them scratch and claw to stay together, then we can’t believe in it. We have to believe that when bad things happen in the future, as surely they will, that they will turn toward each other, not away.

There are more colorful ways to say things like compatibility and desire. The perfect match for Allie is Colin; he gives (and withholds) in exactly the way that she needs. Colin wants Allie with every breath he takes, that he would do anything to keep her. And yes, they are in love. It’s romantic.

But also, Giving it Up is erotica in every sense of the word. It’s a sexual journey of healing and emotional growth.

Last but not least, it’s hot. Dirty, raunchy, loving, sensual smexing. If you want to read it be moved, to think about these issues, that’s fine. But if you want to read it one handed, well, I certainly won’t complain.

Giving It Up by Amber Lin

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.


When we exited the club, I couldn’t help sucking in several deep breaths. Even the faint smell of street sewage was refreshing, washing the stench of smoke, alcohol, and countless perfumes from my lungs. I never liked the crowds. The press of bodies, the mingling smell of sweat, the small bumps from all around. Tiny violations that were somehow okay since everyone did it.

As my heart rate settled, he inspected me as if he could read me. He couldn’t. “What’s your name?” I asked to distract him.

“Colin. Yours?”


“Nice to meet you, Allie. Your place or mine?”

I was comfortable again. I knew this play: horny girl who can’t wait to get naked.

“We don’t need to go anywhere. Let’s get started right here.” I let a soft moan escape me and clasped myself to the brick wall named Colin. Never mind that I was dry as a bone. He wouldn’t notice. They never did.

He raised his eyebrows. “In the parking lot?”

“Or in my car. Whatever. I just want you to do me.”

“I’m not fucking you in a car. It’s forty degrees out.”

I was hardly in this for comfort. I’d done it in colder weather just this past winter. “I don’t mind.”

“Well, I do.”

“Fine.” I was willing to give him so much. Why couldn’t he take it the way I wanted? “Then we can go to the motel over there. You’re paying.”

He didn’t look happy. I wasn’t either, but I couldn’t budge on this. Going to an apartment might be the norm for hookups, but my hookups weren’t normal.

Going to their houses where they might do God knows what was out of the question. And I wasn’t about to bring one of these guys near Bailey.

“Not there,” he said. “I’ll pick the place.”

I followed his truck in my car to a motel about ten minutes away. When I pulled in, he waved me to a parking spot next to his truck and went into the office.

The place wasn’t fancy, but the manicured shrubbery and freshly painted building proclaimed this was an entirely different kind of establishment than the dump by the club. No renting rooms by the hour here.

The sign out front advertised $119.99 a night. A typical price for Chicago, but I sweated the cost. The extravagance of my six-dollar drink from earlier paled in comparison.

What if it was too much money? I might not be worth it.

I kept watch on the frosted office door like he might disappear. Eight minutes later, he came out. My stomach clenched. He flashed a key and nodded toward the back before getting into his truck. I followed him in my car and pulled up beside him again.

It was dark back here. Deserted. The only light came from flickering, yellow lamps dimmed by tiny hordes of bugs. Scattered buildings slumbered around us like a nest of dragons, their snore the low drone from the appliances. It wasn’t exactly safe. Technically that was what I wanted, but the allure of danger only worked up to a point.


Amber Lin loves to read angsty romance with plenty of sex, so it was no surprise that her debut book turned out to be erotic romance set against a dark urban landscape. She writes with one rule in mind: it has to get worse before it can get better. She lives with her husband, son and passel of puppy dogs in the great state of Texas.



2 Prizes are being given away....Prize #1: One randomly drawn winner from each blog will receive a Giving It Up Swag Pack, which includes romance trading cards, a signed cover flat, a signature soap bar for showers together handcrafted by AnaBanana Creations and a $10 Amazon gift card.

Prize #2:  One randomly drawn commenter on the tour will win an erotic romance prize pack, including paperback copies of Bared to You by Sylvia Day, Simply Carnal by Kate Pearce, Lessons in Letting Go by Cara McKenna (print combo of Willing Victim and Curio), Comfort Object by Annabel Joseph, a collection of signed Giving It Up swag AND a $50 Amazon Gift Card

-Giveaway is OPEN TO US/CAN!
-To be entered, MUST leave a comment, ALONG WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDY.
-One commenter will be chosen at 11:59 PM on 7/17 to win Prize #1.
-One commenter will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour to win Prize #2, so the more tour stops you make a comment on the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway for Prize #2 ends at 11:59 PM CST on 7/20.


  1. Great guest post! I so agree that with an erotic romance I have to see the emotional journey to love or it's just plain erotica (which doesn't do that much for me When an author can get all three elements together in a good combination(heat, emotions and love)- it really makes for a great book. Thanks for the excerpt from Giving it Up. I can't wait to read this book and find out about Allie and Colin's journey

    Thanks for the great giveaway too!

    junegirl63 at gmail dot com

  2. Congrats on the new release. Great cover and excerpt. This book sounds fantastic.It's great that Colin, though damaged himself, tries to take care of Allie. Can't wait to read it to see more of Colin and Allie.


  3. @Maria I'm with you! I need an emotional journey AND a happy ending.

    @Joanne Thanks!

  4. I've never thought of that, of BDSM being a medium to give each partner exactly what he or she needs. It makes a lot of sense. Looking forward to the book!


  5. Very, very great post! And that last line of your post had me cracking up ;-)


  6. I have to have the romance with my stories, whether erotica or mainstream. I read for enjoyment and want the HEA or HFN ending that romance books give.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  7. Hi Amber...I read your post with interest. I generally do not look for LOVE in my erotica. Great lust is generally enough. Sometimes love and an HEA ending can get in the way of good erotica!
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  8. Very interesting and informative post.


  9. Sounds really good! Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  10. Thanks for your great post. Your book sounds awesome, can't wait to read it!!


  11. What a fabulous post. I like how you explained everything.


  12. I love seeing a new author everywhere. Getting such great exposure. Congratulations.
    lisakhutson (at) [dot} {net]

  13. Fantastic post! The harder they struggle makes the ending that much sweeter! Plus all the hotness, oh yeah!

  14. I love the way you describe Erotic Romance! I agree that everyone is jagged and like analogy of a jigsaw puzzle. I usually tell people, that everyone is crazy (has baggage/issues), but you have to fin the person who can handle yours and make sure you can handle theirs.
    Same concept. ;)
    I love erotica, but the whole HEA thing is the perfect end in my opinion.
    trb0917 at

  15. I liketo have a story or journey with my erotic. Yes, the sex is nice, but without substance, what is the purpsoe? Not to mention, I am a girl who loves HEA. I like knowing that the characters will find their HEA with that person who can handle what they have to offer.
    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

  16. Hello Amber

    Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to spend with Jody's Blog Fans & posting such a Great Guest Interview, "What Makes Erotica Romantic?"

    I really liked your Blurb & Excerpt for "Giving it Up", it definately sounds Very Erotic...even your HAWT Video Trailor & your Sexilicious Cover Art grabs a Reader in wanting to know more!

    I'm all for ..."hot. Dirty, raunchy, loving, sensual smexing" WoooHooo as you decribed "Giving it Up", ;)

    I would very much appreciate the opportunity to be considered in your very generous giveaway. Thank You.

    Take Care & Stay Naughty,
    PaParanormalFan (Renee’ S.)
    paranormalromancefan at yahoo dot com