Sunday, July 1, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: GIVING IT UP by Amber Lin

Where Is The Line Between Kinky Sex And Vanilla?

When I first wrote Giving It Up, I shipped it off to my writing buddies and critique groups. The general consensus was that the sex was emotional and hot. That suited me just fine. 

Then one day, a published author who I didn’t know very well at the time, sent me a note: “great Dom”.  Um, what? At first I wondered if she’d mixed up which story she was giving feedback for. 

I mean, I know what’s up in the genre of BDSM romance. I read plenty of it. I even write it. In fact, one of the supporting characters is a sadist, and I hope to write his story one day. 

However, I never intended for Giving It Up to be BDSM. Not really. Allie and Colin have sex, and lots of it. Hot sex. But it’s… mostly missionary. Even when they switch things up, a different position, some fun oral – that’s still standard vanilla sex fare, right?

The truth is, she was right. Colin, the hero of Giving It Up, is a Dom. He would never call himself that. He would never be caught dead in leather pants. He wants a good fucking, not a lot of pomp and circumstance. 

So what makes him a Dom?
  1. When Allie approaches him, she knows what she wants. She wants it rough, dirty and hella anonymous. Colin considers this, considers her, and sees beneath the bravado. Instead of pain and humiliation, he insists on a gentle touch, a mindblowing orgasm and an offer of friendship. Instead of giving her what she wants, he gives her what she needs. That’s true dominance. 
  2. Allie’s a bit skittish after this. I mean, mindblowing orgasms are all well and good, but a guy who looks tough but acts gentle? A man who knows her better than she does herself? Terrifying. Unacceptable. Thankfully, Colin’s also patient, sometime which I consider a huge selling point in a Dom. 
  3. But Allie has bigger things to worry about. She’s in trouble. In danger. But thankfully, Colin is looking out for her. Even when she doesn’t know it, he’s taking care of her. Because whether a Dom spanks you or makes you come, or tells you what to do or goes along with you, the most important thing a Dom should do is protect his girl. And he’s going to keep her.
    Kinky sex isn’t a position. It’s not a coy, “yes, Master” offered as a tease. And it’s sure as hell not fluffy handcuffs—no. BDSM is about the mindset. How that’s accomplished is going to vary a lot, and that’s okay.

    What makes Colin and Allie’s sex kinky is his inescapable dominance and care paired with her inherent submissiveness. No matter the setting or position or props, the power exchange is genuine and all-encompassing. 

    They don’t need to use the formal terminology—it would be superfluous for them, because they live it. Colin knows she’s submissive because she obeys him, she pleases him. Allie knows he’s dominant because he controls her, he cares for her. 

    So when it came time to slap a label on Giving It Up, Loose Id termed it “BDSM suspense”. Well, that suits me just fine.

    Giving It Up
    by Amber Lin
    Publisher: Loose ID
    Release Date: June 18, 2012

    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.

    "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


    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.

    AUTHOR Bio and Links:

    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.

    Book Video link:


    Amber Lin will be awarding the following prizes during her blog tour:

    ·         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. 

    ·         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 ( or All Romance may be substituted)

    To Enter:
    Leave a comment or question for Amber and include your email address.

    Be sure to visit the other blogs on this tour. Click on the tour button below for a list of participating blogs. Good luck and thanks for stopping by.


    1. The BDSM label is tricky. Some expect the handcuffs, collars & "Yes, Sirs" when they see it. Personally, I think it covers a wide range of dominance and submission, including what Colin and Allie share. Interesting post!

      Diana @ The Forbidden Bookshelf

    2. I am very eager to read this story. It sounds like a great, emotional, suspenseful story. Allie & Colin sound like great characters and I am very interested in learning more about them. Great post, love how someone else picked up on the BDSM aspect and how Colin is a Dom, but not like the typically written one.
      manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

    3. BDSM, imo, covers a HUGE range. The excerpt def falls in the lighter end of it but it is there none the less ;)

    4. @Diana Thanks :) You know, I'm not going to lie, I kind of expect that stuff too, just because that's what I usually find. But then it doesn't make sense to NOT label Giving It Up that just because it doesn't have that stuff? For me it's a good label because her masochism/submissiveness is so important to the plot. If it wasn't, then maybe we could have left it out and just called Colin a regular old vanilla alpha hero :)

      @June M Thanks hon! Oh, it's definitely nice when people see what you're trying to do. That's probably why she's still my writing buddy :)

      @Kassandra So true. I also think that someone can be really into the psychology of it without the accessories, and then someone can use all that stuff and not really capture the essence, ya know?

    5. Sounds like a great story wit some suspense. I agree that Colin sounds like a Dom, just not how we typically here about them. I want to find out more about Colin and Allie.


    6. I think a lot of people ignore the subtleties in stories like this. There's a wide range in BDSM (and, for that matter, vanilla). Great post!


    7. The way Colin got Allie to leave her job & move in with him reminded me of Jeremy & Nell from Annabel Joseph's Comfort Object. Colin definitely had Dom like qualities. Giving It Up was a great read. Thanks for stopping by today, Amber.

    8. I think no matter what the genre, this story sounds really interesting and actually fun.

    9. I'm looking forward to reading this.Thanks for sharing the excerpt

    10. @Joanne Thanks, sweetie!

      @vitajex Thank you!

      @AsianCocoa Ooh, good point. And weirdly... that didn't even occur to me when I was reading Comfort Object... I think I was too wrapped up in the story and too close to my own. I ADORED CO, though, and I'll take any comparison to Annabel Joseph I can get :D

      @MomJane Thank you!

      @elaing Thanks!

    11. Looking forward to reading this...!


    12. Thanks for sharing more about the characters.


    13. A lot of very good points made about BDSM. I must admit I came in with my own thoughts. They have been expanded.


    14. I'm not scared off by the BDSM label because there is such a huge variety. I mostly look at the category of a book after I've read an excerpt. In that way, I'm not prejudiced about the genre of it and have read and enjoyed books I probably wouldn't have if I would have known the genre first.

      claudigc at msn dot com

    15. @mmalavec Thank you!

      @bn100 Thanks :)

      @marybelle Awesome ;-)

      @ClaudiaGC Oh, good point. Personally I think the excerpt is the best seller of the book, both because you can tell genre/tone, like you said, but also because voice is such a big factor in reading enjoyment for me.

    16. What inspires you to be a writer? What other genres do you write? I would love to read your books. They sound very good. Please enter me in contest.

    17. Love the title and cover! I'm definitely going to check this book out! Do you have a set writing schedule? Will you be writing on more books along this theme?

    18. Loved this book, I encourage anyone who is remotely interested in this excerpt to read it! It really is fabulous!


    Thank you for stopping by my blog! I appreciate all of your comments.

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