Welcome to erotic author Amber Lin! CONTEST!

Welcome back to the amazing Amber Lin! I loved her debut, GIVING IT UP, last year, and SELLING OUT's at the top of my TBR. Read on to find out how music inspired this book and also how you can win a gorgeous necklace related to the series!

Hi, Cari, thank you for having me on your blog!
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.
Let’s talk about music.

 I don’t seek songs to match a book, but they have a way of finding me. When I’m writing a book, or even thinking of writing that book, it’s on my mind constantly. To the annoyance of my family members, even when we’re in the car, listening to the radio, anything at all. While I’m musing, a particular song will reach out and grab me, already perfectly in tune with my thoughts. Then I do collect them, picking them like wildflowers along the path until I’m done writing.

Here are a few that I listened to while writing Selling Out, with the title, artist, a quite note about why I liked it and an excerpt from the lyrics.

I Feel Everything by Idina Menzel

When you're furious
When you start to freeze
When you can't be touched
I feel everything

This is such a dark and intense song, but that works so well for Shelly’s book. She is this way, a naturally sensitive and empathetic person, but she works as a call girl, where she’s exposed to the worst side of men.

Someone Like You by Linda Eder

I wander lost in yesterday.
Wanting to fly
but scared to try.
A gorgeous, heartfelt song about the uplifting effect love can have on a person. And coincidentally, the character who sings it in the musical Jekyll and Hyde the musical is a prostitute as well. Of course, that story didn’t end so well. Selling Out is definitely a romance, with an HEA J

Where I Stood by Missy Higgins

I don't know what I've done
Or if I like what I've begun
But something told me to run
And honey you know me it's all or none

I really just love this song. The gorgeous melody and quiet desperation. If I wield those aspects and spatter them like ink onto the page, then it would be Selling Out.

Wanted by Rachel Diggs

And your expectations

Are killing you slow

You're getting what you wanted

But pain is all you know

What I really love about this song is how soft and sad it is… but ultimately hopeful. A strange and lovely dichotomy.

Underneath Your Clothes by Shakira

Because of you
I forgot the smart ways to lie
Because of you
I'm running out of reasons to cry

Okay, this one might be cheating a little because I have loved this since forever. I just love Shakira, and this one is my absolute favorite. But I really think it applies to Shelly. Love and lust are forever connected, but someone who has worked as a prostitute… they are hopelessly entangled. His body is who he is, and he’s hers.

Skyfall by Adele

Skyfall is where we start
A thousand miles and poles apart
Where worlds collide and days are dark

Though this song wasn’t actually out while I was writing Selling Out, it is crazy applicable. I think Adele songs could apply to so many romantic books… at least, my books. But a call girl and a detective on the police force are really on opposite sides of the world, even when they stand in the same room. I think the above excerpt from the lyrics is both poignant and so applicable to the destruction they face together.

Ordinary World by Katharine McPhee

Close your eyes and feel me hold you
Can you lead me through this ordinary world

God, I love this one. In fact, if you look up just one of these songs, let it be this one. It’s heartrending and wonderful. Plus, this is exactly the dilemma Shelly faces. She lives in the most mundane, the very lowest common denominator of people as a prostitute. But she also doesn’t know what it feels like to be normal—to be ordinary.

And that’s it! Okay, I’m lying. There are just so many amazing songs, but I had to cut myself off here. Brevity: I have done it J

I hope you enjoyed pondering a soundtrack for Selling Out! If you do check out Shelly’s story, I’d love to hear what you think via my website or twitter.


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.

“Amber Lin drew me in with Giving It Up and became an auto-buy author with Selling Out. There is a uniqueness to her writing and her characters that will always make her stand out for me.”
—Swept Away by Romance

“This story is emotional, dark, erotic, suspenseful, traumatic and raw. It will have your heart hurting yet you will laugh plenty too. I can highly recommend this series.”

“Emotional, angsty, and just enough suspense to keep you hooked to the very end.”


“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.

Buy Links


This series is called The Lost Girls because each one of the heroines has pain in her past that keeps her from finding happiness. She’s adrift until the hero comes along… Now you can win this exclusive Lost Girls necklace by leaving a comment below.
What do you like about dark and edgy romances? Do you have a favorite one?


Kaylyn D. said...

I love dark and edgy romances. One of my favorites is Beyond Shame. I really enjoyed Giving it Up!

nightowl03148808 said...

They keep me on the edge of my seat. I feel like I'm a part of the story.

bmack31919 at yahoo dot com

Natasha said...

I love reading dark and edgy romances!
Thanks for the chance to win!
natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

LM said...

I've been so waiting for this book! Loved the first one!

June M. said...

I do love dark, edgy romances from time to time. I have read quite a few, including the first o this series, but I don't really have a favorite.
manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

bn100 said...

I like that the HEA is more satisfying. Don't have a fav.


Shannon Bereza said...

I like everything about dark and edgy romances. There is always that little bit of taboo that seems forbidden but draws you in even more. Its kind of like when someone tells you not to look, of course you have to look. Sometimes I think the edgier the better because it makes for reading that is unexpected and you don't necessarily know where the story is going to go because the characters don't always follow what you would expect them to do. This is a new author to me, but I'm definitely going to check out her books. Thanks for the post and the introduction. I love finding new authors to add to my list. sbereza22(at)gmail(dot)com

Shannon Bereza said...

I forgot to say: Skyfall is by far one of my favorite songs by Adele.

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laurie said...

i adore dark and edgy gives me a fun break from real life

Kristin Anders said...

I'm so behind on blog posts, but have to comment on this one. Amber Lin on Cari Quinn's blog? I can hardly contain myself.

Much love to both of you.


Amber Lin said...

@Kaylyn Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed Giving It Up. I've heard fantastic things about Beyond Shame and I have it on my Kindle. Looking forward to it!

@nightowl So true! :)

@Natashaa Awesome, thanks for stopping by!

@LM Oh, thank you so much!

@June M Thanks, doll! Much appreciated.

@bn100 Yes, I think you're right! And I asked a hard question too. I can never think of them at the time.

@Shannon So right! I know, she's got such fantastic style and the song is so atmospheric.

@laurie Yes! I must admit, my life is much more mundane than my books... and I'd like to keep it that way :D

@Kristen Hehe, thank you! Back atcha!