Sunday, August 26, 2012

Giving It Up by Amber Lin




Writing Tortured Heroes… and Tortured Heroines

Do you love reading about a tortured hero? I sure do, but when I wrote Giving It Up I discovered that not only my heroes were tortured.  For me that was simply a natural part of character development.

Every single one of my characters had some painful event or secret in their past that shaped who they are today. I think that makes for more compelling reading AND is more realistic. We, all of us, have something we hide from the world, something we’re ashamed or scared of. It’s part of being human, and it makes the characters of Giving It Up both 3-dimensional and relatable.

First there’s Colin, our hero. His parents were abusive, but it was his older siblings that bore most of the physical effects. Though he understood, in a child's way, that something was wrong, he was too young to help them. His guilt became more acute when he was taken in by family—an aunt who rejected his brother and sister and forced them into foster homes. As a result, he has a white knight complex, but he also struggles to form emotional connects to people due to his gruff exterior.

On the other side, there’s Allie, our heroine. She was raised by her father, who was caring but often absent due to his job as a long-distance truck driver. She had a couple of close friends in high school, Shelly and Jacob. Jacob was somewhat in love with her, but she didn’t return the feelings. One night, he raped her. As a result of that encounter, Allie got pregnant with her daughter, Bailey, who she has raised on her own ever since.

The other characters have their own troubles that stem from the primary conflicts of the hero and heroine. For example, Philip is Colin’s brother, so he was one of the children was abused. He also eventually got their sister to safety, but as a result he is quite ruthless in his shady business dealings, because he feels it’s the only way to keep his family safe.

Shelly is Allie’s best friend. She had a crush on Jacob, but he was only interested in their mutual friend Allie. So when Jacob raped Allie, Shelly did side with Allie and has helped her all this time, but she struggled to reconcile her feelings for someone who could so something so vile.

 What all of this boils down to is backstory. I’m sure you can see all the potential for conflict when these parties get together!  Of course, you’ll have to read Giving It Up to see how it really went down. I promise, it’s explosive 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.

“Giving It Up is original, affecting, emotionally draining, but well worth reading if you are brave enough to go along for the ride.”
Annabel Joseph, author of Comfort Object

“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

EXCERPT

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.

BUY LINKS

AUTHOR LINKS

GIVEAWAY

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.


2 comments:

  1. A million times over - read this book. The heroine grows into a courageous young lady and earns her happy ending.

    And, can't wait for book two. Team Shelly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such an excellent book Ms. Lin!

    ReplyDelete