Monday, February 17, 2014

Topic Tuesday - Differences in Locale

This week’s Topic Tuesday is about experiencing the differences in localities that have been visited. The questions are, have you ever traveled somewhere and been struck by the differences between there and where you live or lived? What were they? Good? Bad? Why did they leave an impression on you?
This is an interesting topic, more so because of comments from both my son, and my sister.
We grew up in a small town in Mid-Missouri. Columbia is dubbed “College Town USA” because of the number of colleges located there. There are 21 colleges near or in Columbia, including the University of Missouri.
So, based on that, you would think that Columbia is full of college aged individuals, distracted with parties and their academics, and not particularly friendly, right? Wrong.
At a young age, my sister and I moved out of Missouri, first to Colorado for a short time, then to Arizona, and my sister moved on to California. We learned to be independent. We grew up. We experienced a culture that was vastly different, both in the general temperament and the way human beings treated each other.
People, as a mass, are not friendly in Arizona or California. They are rushed, rude and disagreeable. I would have chalked this up to me living in the Phoenix area, therefore a very large city versus a small town, but my sister experienced much the same in the smaller city she lived in north of Los Angeles.
Over time, we got used to the way people were and acclimated to the lack of basic politeness and compassion. It became the norm. I raised my son in an atmosphere of worry over gangs, drugs and disrespect. Not a good place to raise children.
Then—we moved back to our home town.
We were nearly in culture shock at the difference. People here are friendly, accommodating and kind. They offer help and greetings without thought of anything in return. They are happier, and more relaxed here.
My sister called once to tell me of a cashier at a store where she and her husband were gathering the tools and materials to strip their wall-paper from the walls of their house. The cashier gave them tips without being asked. My sister joked about having the woman come over and help. Much to my sister’s surprise, the woman was amiable, told them to call her anytime with any questions and was more than willing to come by their house and help, without any thought of compensation. My sister’s comment? “This would never happen in Arizona or California!”
I cannot count the number of times my son has commented on how “nice people are in Missouri.” He’s used to the big city. To course and impolite. To abrasive and unconcerned. For people to be nice, to have compassion and to care is something very new to him, and something I had forgotten from my past.
I am glad I moved back—came home. I much prefer my son here, in an atmosphere of humanity where he can learn that it’s right to be kind and considerate and to care about your fellow human being. And I can rest assured that my son will learn this valuable lesson where he would not have in the Southwest.

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

All about Names

Hi everyone, thanks for letting me take over this blog today to talk about my new book.

Now, I suspect your first thought when seeing the title of this blog post is that I’m talking about the title of my book or one of the main characters.  Well, you would be wrong.  In fact I’m talking about the name of a little creature I included in my story during one of the rounds of edits and rather late in the day.

As always when I’m editing a story I like to take on board the advice of my editors and work with them as best I can.  During the editing process for My Boyfriend’s an Alien my editor, the lovely Sue, suggested that more description of Zak’s home world might be a good idea.  I decided to run with her suggestion and added in extra details as she suggested.

Whilst adding to the story I decided to include a new type of animal that is native to the alien planet.  I wanted it to be a bit of cuteness and naturally the creature needed a name.  In my infinite wisdom – she says sarcastically – I named this animal a snuppet.  What was I thinking?  Word, the ever unhelpful program that it is decided I was misspelling snippet and each time I typed the name of the animal it ‘corrected’ it for me. 

I won’t tell you all how long it took me to notice it was doing this, but let’s just say I didn’t notice until after the whole section had been put into the story and therefore had to go and alter them all over again.

So, my writing tip for the day is to make sure you don’t do what I do and pull a random made up word out of nowhere without considering how Word will react to your typing it.

My Boyfriend’s an Alien by L.M. Brown


Zak, an alien from the planet Trimmeron, is a member of a race of beings who transform into other species during their years of puberty. It’s customary for the youngsters to be fostered to the worlds native to their new forms, to study and learn about the races who will play an important part in their lives.

When Zak turns into a human, it comes as a surprise to everyone, for only one other before him has ever done so. Nevertheless he is sent to Earth, a world he views as primitive and barbaric. He arrives with a chip on his shoulder and attitude to spare. He does not believe that anyone on Earth could have anything to teach him.

When Zak meets college student Sam he soon discovers he has a lot to learn, not only about humans, but also about himself.

Trapped on an unfamiliar world and in a strange body that seems to have a mind of its own, Zak has no idea what is happening to himonly that Sam seems to be the key to the strange afflictions he is suffering from. 

But can an alien find love with a human being?


The gardens were well tended and even the flowers were in orderly lines. Insects more than twice as large as those on Earth hovered over the plants. Other animals looked at them curiously as they approached. One rather friendly creature bounded up to Sam’s mother on six legs and ran around her at a speed to rival a spaceship.
“Is it friendly?” Mrs Palmer asked as she hesitated to pet it.
Zak looked back over his shoulder. “Sure, he’s just looking to see if you have any treats. They’re kind of like our version of dogs.” He reached into one of the gardens and broke something off of one of the plants.
“Isn’t that stealing?” Sam asked.
“No, the crops in the front gardens are for anyone to help themselves. The ones in the back are for the residents alone.”
“That’s very generous.”
“It’s easy to be so when we have more than enough for everyone.” He crouched down and held out the yellow berries to the animal. Sensing the food, the animal came to him immediately and slowed down enough for Sam and his mother to see it properly. With long fur all over its body, it bore more resemblance to a mop than a dog. Sitting on its back two legs, it used the front two to take the berries from Zak and the middle two to beg for more.
Sam picked a couple of berries for himself and his mother to feed to the animal, but before they could give them to it, a second one arrived to beg too.
“That’s the only problem with snuppets,” Zak said. “They’re greedy as hell and can sense a soft touch a mile away.”
“They’re so cute. Where are their owners?”
“They don’t have them. They hate being indoors so generally run wild. We’d better give them the berries and get moving or we’ll end up here all day.”
Sam passed a couple of berries to his mother and they fed and petted the snuppets. The animals followed after them for several minutes, clearly hoping for more treats, until they realised there was nothing else on offer and scurried off to beg from the next passer-by.

Available from Totally Bound


L.M. Brown lives in England, in a quaint little village that time doesn't seem to have touched. No, wait a minute—that's the retirement biography. Right now she is in England in a medium sized town that no one has ever heard of, so she won't bore you with the details. Keeping her company are numerous sexy men. She just wishes that they weren't all inside her head.

L.M. Brown loves hearing from readers so don't be shy.


Where to find L.M. Brown
Twitter - @LMBrownAuthor

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Constructive vs. Nonconstructive Reviews

There has always been the debate whether to look at reviews or not to. I’ve had my share of depression over book reviews, and have been delighted as well. It’s very much a rollercoaster of emotions. Unfortunately, most of the reviews on my books are on Goodreads, not the best place to have them.

However, I found a perfect example of a constructive negative review versus a just plain mean review. It makes me question if the latter was even based on actually reading the manuscript.

Here is what I consider a constructive review and am indebted to the person who wrote this because it gave me some very informative insights to my writing, and even though snarky, it had humor.

“God, if I never hear of another character "let out the breath he didn’t know he was holding" it will be too soon.

It appears in almost every book that I read these days, twice in this one, and it NEVER fails to make me roll my eyes so hard it borders on ridiculous. It's like reading an Anne Rice book and having a mental count going on the word "preternatural". Enough, give it a rest already.

It. Has. Been. Done. (to freaking death, so find another trendy phrase to 'dead horse' already)

Sorry, consider my 'pet peeve' nerve officially struck.

Anyway, this book really left me with a lot of questions:

Who? -- Who in their right mind would date, much less agree to a full-on commitment ceremony with someone who told them right up front that "if the love of my life ever shows back up again, you're out on your ass, sorry." ??? Jonathan blew me away with that one.

What? -- What was up with the whole hip injury / intense pain deal with Thad. "We need more character detail, let's add that." Didn't add anything to the book and they never explained exactly how getting stabbed 14 times would mess up your hip of all things that badly. It was weird.

When? -- When were either Shea and Clarissa going to bitch slap their dumbass brothers? I kept waiting (hoping, actually) for it, but it never came. *Sigh*.

Where? -- Where is at least ONE story about one thing, no matter how small that made Thad fall in love with Haydin? It's more like "you're hot, I'm hot, let's be hot together." Reasons, people. Reasons. It makes a story line so much more complete. We got none of that here.

Why? -- If Haydin was so in love with Thad, even 13 years after Thad's departure, could the CEO of a company not be smart or curioius enough to at least GOOGLE "Thad Carmichael"? Zero sense on that one.

I really wanted to like Thad and Haydin more than I ended up actually doing, but with just a bit of tweaking it could have definitely rated higher.

I really loved the Shea and Clarissa characters and would almost have rather been reading their story instead.”

Nothing this reviewer said made me feel as if I needed to defend myself, or made me feel degraded or worthless as a writer. It was precise and to the point and made me “think”, which I feel is what constructive criticism and negative reviews are all about. Much better than the following.

“This story was is singular in it's ridiculousness.
There are sooo many things that are just silly. Silly, the word doesn't even encompass the sheer WTF this story is...
I kept reading and I don't know why! I think I wanted to see if the WTFness would just 'keep on, keeping on.'
And it did!!!
Beyond the silliness/ridiculous was the 'telling' of what had been said or what was done or what happened. Paragraphs of telling and telling and full conversations back and force sentences of telling. No actual dialogue, just paragraphs of 'here's what happened'.
Consider the 'telling' a new pet peeve.”

The differences are so blatantly obvious! There are no examples, just a bunch of words strung together that mean nothing. The intent, in my opinion, is to degrade the story, and therefore the author. There is nothing constructive about this review. The only part I understand (and I’m not sure it actually relates to my story) is the pet peeve at the end. Even I will agree that if a story is full of nothing by “telling” versus “showing”, it can be annoying. But that was all I got out of it.

Most authors would be ecstatic to receive nothing but great reviews, but honestly, how can you grow as a writer with only kudos under your belt? No one author is perfect (even large mainstream authors make mistakes), so I will keep the first reviewers “questions” in mind as I write and hope that his comments help make me a better author.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Do we talk? Or do we paint a picture?

So—this week's assignment: Do you prefer writing description or dialogue? What do you have the most difficulty with? Why do you suppose that is? What do you do to strengthen it or do you avoid it at all costs? Well, for me, that is an easy first question to answer—description. The rest are not so plain…
Let me explain, I am the quintessential shy, introverted writer. *whispers* My sister says so. Ahem…anyway, barring being an author, I’m a quiet person in my real life and never have much to say. The husband always complained. “What’s wrong?” Nothing. “How come you’re so quiet?” No reason. “Are you mad?” NO! Just because I wasn’t being the chatterbox that he was and filling in all the quiet space, didn’t mean I wasn’t happy just sitting there watching life. (Possibly my shy exterior and quiet demeanor came from a grandmother that always demanded that children be seen and not heard) 

So, when I work on manuscripts, I tend to put a lot of description in them. What my characters are feeling, saying, doing—how they are reacting and the consequences of those reactions. I add the environment around them, the emotions of those with whom they are interacting with. I do have dialogue, after all, a book would be pretty boring if it were nothing BUT descriptions. However, my dialogue is straight and to the point, and I only have it rambling if it, in fact, fits the character. “Chatty Kathy…er Chatty Chad?” or, you get the picture. 

Of course, without dialogue, you can’t get as big a picture of what the character is all about, their quirks, personality, insecurities, etc. So, though I will admit that dialogue is extremely important in any story, I do struggle with it. I am not a witty person, have never been able to keep up with the witticism of others. Can’t participate in fast banter. I was never good at that. Again, I’m a quiet person, and possibly, my characters reflect that. Does that hurt my manuscripts? Possibly. However, I do work at keeping a natural and complimentary balance between dialogue and description, and hope that it shows in my stories and that people enjoy the telling of them. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fairly new release!!

Kanson Durby thought Ty Hoffman was perfect…in every way except one. In the beginning, he thought Ty was straight, but finds out later that he is not. But Ty is not comfortable or willing to come out of the closet.
They go from friends to lovers, but things are strained as they work their way through the hardships and grief that come and go. But, finally, Kanson can no longer live in the closet with Ty, unwilling to hide anymore.
Kanson is devastated, but he tries to move on. But can he, knowing that Ty loves him so much…just not enough.

Monday, June 17, 2013


My very first interview as an author! Marketing for Romance Writers was kind enough to invite me on their BlogTalk Radio spot and I enjoyed chatting with Wt Prater and Amanda Stone. Among the topics were where I get my inspirations, what I think of female M/M writers, if I think a formal education is needed to be a successful author and much more....

Friday, November 16, 2012

My new release!!

Too much alcohol results in a pregnancy between Skylar and her gay best friend, Jonah. But Jonah's passions belong to another man, and Skylar flees with her secret. Tensions rise as the relationships grow more complicated and hearts intertwine.

To Skylar, Jonah's the most perfect man in the world--sexy, sweet, and funny. But there's one problem--he's gay. After too much alcohol is consumed one night, her dreams come true, and she finds herself in his arms.
The closer Jonah gets to Triston, the more he believes this is the man of his dreams. However, Triston holds some resentment against Jonah's best friend, which Jonah believes led to Skylar's sudden and inexplicable disappearance. Burying the ache he feels at her loss, Jonah plunges headfirst into his relationship and gives his heart to Triston.
Aaron finally locates his estranged cousin, Jonah, and briefly meeting the shattered Skylar has turned Aaron upside down. Her disappearance is flaying Aaron as well as Jonah, but a chance meeting draws the threads of all three men's lives back to one point--Skylar.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This title includes both MM and MF sexual situations.

"Jonah? Where are you going?" Jonah’s best friend, Sky, asked as he rushed past her to the door. He glanced at her, banged his shin against the coffee table, and then hopped the rest of the way to their front door even as another knock came.

"Triston and I are headed out to Polly's," Jonah Winters yelled back to his roommate as he swung the door open. He felt a grin spread across his face as he looked at the luscious man standing there.

Triston Gallant. Six feet of slim, hard-muscled perfection. Dark brown hair the same shade as Jonah's, minus the blond streaks and waves that were in his own hair. The bluest eyes Jonah had ever seen and a body that was a walking wet dream.

Jonah's heart pounded at the sight of him. Especially when Triston turned those gorgeous blue eyes on him. The hunger there took Jonah's breath away.

He looked back briefly at Sky. She was sick, but he'd made her as comfortable as possible. A wastebasket near her. Crackers and warm 7 Up on the coffee table along with some ibuprofen, a blanket wrapped around her, the TV remote by her hand. She'd be okay. She just had a touch of the flu, and nothing would stop Jonah from going on his date with Triston.

"Come on Jonah, we're going to be late." Triston, somewhat annoyed, reached with determination for Jonah's hand.

* * * *

Jonah was always fawning over Sky. She was a woman, which gave Triston an involuntary shudder. How Jonah managed to be such close friends with a girl, Triston couldn't understand. Women were what Triston called the four Cs. They were confusing, clingy, conniving, and cruel, and had the wrong equipment to interest Triston anyway. He had a few female acquaintances, sure, but he wasn't best friends with them. His best friend had been Carl Sand and that was back in high school. Now, he planned on making Jonah Winters his best friend... and lover.

Jonah was everything Triston had ever wanted in a man. Bright, generous, stunningly gorgeous, sweet, a wicked sense of humor. Triston didn't think the man could be any more perfect. Triston was surprised at himself though. He usually went for older men. Jonah was twenty-four, three years younger than Triston himself and nearly fifteen years younger than Triston's last boyfriend. But with the way Jonah was looking up at him, it just didn't seem to matter that he was younger nor that he had a girl for a best friend.

Triston wound his arm around Jonah's slim waist as they made their way to his car to go to Polly's. He couldn’t help feeling smug that he’d diverted Jonah’s attention from his clingy best friend. He knew he should feel ashamed at such selfishness, but their relationship was new and Triston wanted to see where it could go. He was so tired of being lonely, and Jonah fit so well with him, that he didn’t want to share him with Skylar. Not now anyway.

* * * *

Sky opened her mouth to say something else, when the door to their apartment slammed shut, and Jonah was gone. Skylar sighed. She should have known Jonah's attention would wander away from her eventually, but it still surprised her. And it hurt.

She'd never seen Jonah so enthralled with a guy before. Skylar should really be happy for him. Triston now had Jonah's undivided attention. And she was happy Triston kept Jonah occupied.

It had taken her some effort to convince Jonah she probably just had the flu. He'd wanted her to go to the doctor. Sky knew what was wrong and didn't need a doctor to tell her. The little test showing the tiny blue plus sign buried in her bathroom wastebasket had said it all. As she nibbled on a cracker, her mind slipped back two months, to the night of her twenty-third birthday.

The night that had put her in the position she found herself in now.

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