Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Interview: Author Amber Lin on "Selling Out" (Book 2, The Lost Girls Series)

Book Release Date: February 19, 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

"Selling Out" is book 2 in The Lost Girls series

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How are the sex scenes?

How are the story lines?
Dark, gritty, sad, and believable.

Would you read it again?
I already have.

Back of the Book

Shelly Laurent escapes her life as a high-class escort, but against her better judgment she takes the scared young Ella with her. In retaliation, her pimp and his dirty cops frame them both for murder. On the run, Shelly turns to the one man who could be her salvation: Detective Luke Cameron. She doesn't know if she can trust him or if he's just a mirage, but she needs his help to free them all.

With a heart forged in fire and irreverence born of necessity, Shelly fights Ella's demons--and faces her own. She throws light on the shadows of Chicago's underworld, challenging everything she knew and the man she's come to love. Together, a prostitute and a cop fight for truth stronger than secrets, hope deeper than deception, and a bond more enduring than betrayal.

Interview with 
Author Amber Lin

Hi Kristin! Thank you for having me on Ravishing Romances.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Amber Lin, author of Giving It Up, which RT Book Reviews gave 4.5 stars and called “at once, scary and sexy in all the best ways.” I’m here to share my new release, Selling Out, featuring a high class call girl and a by-the-book detective with the Chicago Police Department.

1. Shelly. Finally! Giving it Up received such great reviews were you ever worried Selling Out wouldn't live up to the hype?

Well, now I am.

LOL, kidding. But not really. I was awed by the reaction to Giving It Up. It touches on some controversial issues, but it was amazing how many people really appreciated or even related with Allie. If I recall correctly, when I first spoke with you before Giving It Up was release, I tried to talk you out of reading it. I did that more than once! I’m the anti-promo. But I’m so glad you did read it and gratified that you enjoyed it.

I definitely felt some anxiety before writing Shelly’s book, because I loved her character and wanted to do her justice. Maybe due to these nerves, I took a break to write a small town romance, which is coming out from Carina Press this fall. When I began writing Shelly’s book, her voice just flowed, so to speak. I enjoyed writing her parts in Giving It Up, and for Selling Out, the whole book was a pleasure to write.

I think writing is equal parts skill, perseverance, and magic. There’s something electrifying about channeling a whole different person, with their unique background, their skills, their personality, and even more so when it’s someone as dark and complex as Shelly.

2. So Shelly is (was) an escort and she's now a heroine. Why such a damaged character?

So my flippant answer to this question is: why not such a damaged character? Though it’s actually a serious answer, because that’s how this series was started… in fact, that’s why I started writing at all. Write the book you want to read is advice commonly given to writers, and that’s exactly what I did with Giving It Up and then Selling Out.

I’m a huge fan of the romance and erotica genres, but as a reader, I’ve gravitated towards darker books. It’s hard to explain why I like them so much. Sometimes I like to be moved by a book, really moved, to sadness. I like books that rip my heart out. But also, dark books can be the most hopeful. To think that such a damaged character, who’s been through so much, can reach an HEA is the ultimate optimism.

I know that not everyone wants the bitter with the sweet, but I’ve always been a dark chocolate kind of girl. For me, it’s achingly romantic to think of an escort like Shelly, who’s experienced the worst of what men can do, finding happiness and love ever after.

3. How far is the series going? Are there more books? And how is your historical romance coming along?!

The series is called The Lost Girls and there will be a third and final book. Although he’s not the Lost Girl in question, I’ve been calling it Philip’s book, because he’s a bit of show-stealer. As for the heroine, you’ll meet her in Selling Out. I’ve been working on a little something with Rose, Colin and Philip’s sister, but that will likely be a freebie or on my website or something.

As for my historical romance, unfortunately, it’s on hold. I wanted to focus on my contemporaries, because I do love writing them and the market is hot. I’m pretty new as an author so I want to establish myself before branching out. I’ve got a few open projects at the moment, the sequel to the small town romance, another cowboy short, and a new contemporary series that is… wait, that one’s still a secret. Oops J

Historicals will happen, though. They whisper to me in my sleep. Plus, my husband was teasing me with the idea of visiting Europe this year, so I’d get to see some sights first-hand. I’ve got a bookcase full of research books but it’s so abstract. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Thanks for having me, Kristin!

View the Trailer

Review in 
30 Seconds

I really enjoyed Selling Out. I had a harder time relating to Shelly than expected. But considering her tragic past and profession--you'll never hear me complain. Luke was a surprising character for me. His issues were unexpected and leveled the playing field. It wasn't necessary for the story, but it was necessary for Shelly. Luke's friends also gave great, light-hearted moments, along with Shelly's "sure, blame the hooker" jokes. 

This is the second book in Amber Lin's The Lost Girls series and it's possible the "shock" of a dark and gritty romance has worn off...leaving a realistic (yes, realistic), believable, tragic-turned-love story about people who live life wishing someone would just "look down."

I will read Amber Lin for eternity.

Review provided by: Kristin Anders

“Shh,” I murmured, stroking his back. 
“Shelly, goddammit.” 
But his protests fell away as I pressed my breasts to his arm and my tongue to his ear. His harsh inhalation sounded broken, shattered, or maybe that was me. 
I tasted salt and man, earth and spring. Slow licks alongside his lobe and upward, more suggestive than sensation, but for a man like this, anticipation would be everything. Or so I had imagined, all the times I had dreamed of it. 
A small sound escaped him, somewhere between a grunt and groan. I took it as encouragement and smoothed my hands along the hard planes of his shoulders, his chest. Not anywhere near the bulge in his jeans, because this wasn’t about pleasure—it was about wanting. 
Anything to get closer, I let my knees slide apart around his side, the faint heat of his body a shock to my core. His hands clenched and opened on his knees, and again, the muscles rippled beneath his darkly tanned skin. Was he restraining himself from touching me or pushing me off?
“Baby, no,” he groaned, letting his head fall back onto my shoulder. 
No, I would never deserve to have him as more than a sex partner. And he had never fucked me, though I knew he wanted to. Every time he saw me, his eyes would darken and my stomach would bottom out, but we’d never touch. But maybe for one brief inconvenient moment, while the door was open and the young woman beyond it needed help, we could pretend. Maybe it could be enough. 
I shut my eyes tightly and pressed a kiss to his temple. Pretend, just pretend. I would give him the sex he had craved, and in return, he’d give me memories. It would be a payment, just the same.
“You want this,” I whispered.
He shuddered in my arms; it was like hugging a wild animal, one who could just as easily maul me as cuddle.
“Can I touch you?” he whispered. “Please.”
It unraveled me, that plea. As if he understood that a little bit of my soul slipped away every time someone touched me. As if he would cherish the part I gave him.
I scrambled away from him as if burned, breathing hard. No. 
No one understood, which was exactly the way I liked it. I ran a shaking hand over my face to smooth away the panic.
Sure, he knew the score better than most people. He had worked the beat as a patrol cop and then as a detective. Life as a high-priced escort wasn’t glamorous; it was sweat and blood sprinkled with glitter. But he didn’t know the full extent, and I prayed he never would. Henri didn’t sell bodies; he gutted them.
I panted against the headboard, unable to walk away but unwilling to beg. Luke remained carved in stone where I’d left him sitting on the edge of the bed. The air pulsed with doubt and longing—with sex.
“I want it to be real between us.” He spoke low and hoarse.
A quiet sound escaped me. Every caress, every pinch. Every slur ever spoken. “It’s always real. That’s the problem, Luke. It’s always too damn real.”
He hung his head, and I thought for a moment I heard him say I know, but the moment slipped away, the sweet intimacy sailed away like clouds on the horizon—never really mine.

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  1. Thanks for hosting me, Kristin! So glad you liked Shelly's story :)

  2. Their chemistry sounds really intriguing!


  3. Oh Kristin and Amber!!! I have to read this!!! Fantastic excerpt! Can't wait to read it and review! MM xx

  4. Great interview. Thanks for sharing insights and I am delighted that Philip will get his story as well.

    elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

  5. I have really enjoyed reading your interview/review, and the excerpt!
    I am looking forward to reading this book!
    I am following you everywhere, as well, as this blog!
    Thank you for this contest!
    bluebirdsub24 at gmail dot com

  6. "I will read Amber Lin for eternity." That is MIGHTY high praise. WOW.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com


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