Author Archives: Pansy Petal

Meeting Serina Bown

A friend loaned me a couple of audio books recently and asked me to give them a listen. Since I have been finding great joy in listening to audio books while crafting these days, it was not a hardship for me. As these stories unwound for me, I became more and more excited. This was a fantastic author that was taking some touchy issues, introducing them in an entertaining way, and maybe educating us readers at the same time. Wonderful.

These books came to me at a time when I had resorted to my tried and true stories because it seemed everything currently coming to my attention just was not grabbing me. It was getting boring. The same ol’ same ol’. It was so refreshing to find something new.

When I was discussing reviews and where to post them with my friend, she asked if I posted reviews on my blog. Interesting question. The title of my blog is “Babbling Brook” and when I blog it is about whatever may be taking my fancy at the moment that I feel the need to share. So, yes. I have posted reviews, when I find a book or series that totally grabs me and I just want to shoot about them to the world. (Not that world reads my blog, but we are supposed to think big. Right?)

The audio books loaned to me fill that requirement. They grabbed me. They interested me. I feel the need to share this amazing author and her inspiring stories.

Here are the reviews I published on the two audio books I listened to this weekend.

Coming in from the cold - cover

Coming in From the Cold (Gravity 1) by Sarina Bowen                   4 stars

Narrated by Joe Arden and Maxine Mitchell                                   3 stars

This is a new to me author. The audio book was loaned to me by a friend although I found that the ebook has been languishing in my tbr pile for over a year. *sigh* Way past time to move it off that list. I must say, the author in now on my stalk er, follow list.

The story was awesome. I had a few misgivings in the beginning when everyone ended up in snowbanks, then in the back seat. “Another sex novel with no story.” Thankfully I was proved wrong. There was story. A good story even.

I found interesting characters with depth and dimension, not to mention real life problems. Problems that I could identify with. Bills. A broken relationship. Goals that look impossible to achieve. Illness that no one understands. It was all here. Oh yes! I forgot the chickens. Cannot forget them. This story was, after all, their fault. But, despite all of that, boy meets girl. They fall in love and end up with a satisfying “happy ever after.” The rollercoaster ride on the way to that “happy ever after” was enjoyable. Well worth the time.


Falling from the Sky - cover

Falling from the Sky (Gravity 2) by Sarina Bowen               5 stars

Narrated by Tanya Eby and Aiden Snow                              5 stars

I discovered audio books a few years ago when a friend loaned me some. Since then I have become a huge fan. I can do so much while listening to a book. The best of both worlds as far as I am concerned. There are some that are better than others. These two narrators made this story a total pleasure to listen to. Ladies, when Mr. Aiden started reading, *fanning self* well . . . I don’t remember what he read at first but it really didn’t matter. It was HOT! *sigh* Ms. Eby read well too. So, I highly recommend the audio format of this story.

As for the story, it was as fantastic. A bit of an unusual romance, but very satisfying. Romance in a wheelchair. A real-world problem. This author does an amazing job taking something with the potential of being a real downer and turning it into a fun and interesting romance novel.

She didn’t pull any punches either. We lived the depression with Hazardous. We were party to a couple of discussions on erectile dysfunction. We were introduced to a few issues wheelchair bound people must deal with daily.

Not to leave Callie, the heroine, out. Heartbreak and the insecurities that resulted from it. Worry about her job and how she is going to pay the HUGE student loans she has.

Real people with real problems that manage to meet, fall in love and find that elusive “happy-ever-after.” Ms. Bowen does an inspiring job.  An amazing story no matter what format you get it in.


So, if you find yourself with a few minutes and want a couple of good reads – or listens – I highly recommend that you find these books and give them a look. I need to get a hold of a copy of the next book –  Shooting for the Stars. I am happy to add Sarina Bowen to my list of authors I love. Thank you, Bronwyn, for introducing me!


Response to Rocks and Baby Steps Part Two

My previous post was all about rocks as per Caris’ question in her blog – In her blog, Caris also discussed baby steps. That is something I have been working on for some time now.

Part of my personality involves finishing a project once I start it, all at once. I am a champion marathoner. I don’t mean running. I mean anything, from start to finish. I decide to make a new wardrobe, I cut everything out at once. Often takes hours. Then I sit down and sew it all. More hours, maybe even days with breaks only to eat and/or sleep. A marathon of sewing. Time to clean the house, the whole thing gets done at the same time. And of course there is the Netflix marathon which feeds into my knitting/crochet marathons.

This isn’t all bad. Once I start something it usually get finished. However, I am getting older. The body just plain does not want to do what it has always done. I know if I were to go to a doctor he would probably want to start cutting and replacing parts. I am so not into all that. So something had to be modified.

I am learning all about “Baby Steps.” It is okay to cut only one pattern today, maybe even just part of it, come back tomorrow, sew half of it, and the rest the next day if needed. I do not have to push through until finished in one sitting.

It is okay to clean only one room per day. I don’t need to kill myself trying to clean seven rooms in one session. And even then, it is okay to dust, take a break, sweep/vacuum, take a break, mop if needed, take a break – you get the idea.

I really don’t need to watch the entire season on Netflix before bed. It will still be there tomorrow. And the project I am knitting/crocheting, my hands would benefit from a break. They may not cramp up so bad with more frequent breaks.

This is actually a rather difficult concept for me to implement. The body is helping because it complains terribly if I overdo these days. I have had to learn to accept that I don’t have to finish something right now. I can do a little bit and come back. It will get done and I will not overstress my body.

But the mind rebels. It wants the task finished. It’s the reprogramming of the mind that has been so hard. I think I am finally accepting it. It is not near as stressful as it used to be not to finish a task right now. That is saying a lot for me.

Learning this lesson has been pivotal in making my impending move the easiest one yet. (I know, I blogged about The Last Great Move a couple of years ago, but well, stuff happens and this is just a little move. Another blog maybe.) I didn’t have to pack an entire room all at once. I packed maybe one box per hour and took at least an hour break. I usually have maybe four to six boxes done in a day. Seems like it will take forever, but I am amazed that it is actually going quite well.

It helps that I have a very good friend who comes over every day and takes the packed boxes to the new place. Leaves me some place to continue stacking packed boxes. In less than a week I have the dining room done, most of the living room, (includes three bookcases of books) and some of my bedroom packed. The kitchen is the project for the next few days. Next week will be upstairs – the craft stash. Then I will be about ready for the furniture to go. Got several strong, young men lined up for that task.

It takes a bit more planning sometimes, but this baby steps thing isn’t too bad.

Now I will just have to remember that when I get all moved. All those boxes stacked hither and yon. I don’t like disorganization either. I will be in a rush to get things put away. I will just have to remind myself that I can survive for a bit with unpacked boxes and I do not have to unpack them all at once. It’s a good thing that I can unpack at my leisure. It is okay for me to take my time. It will get done.

I need to make that my mantra for a while. Baby steps. It will get done.

My Response to “Rocks and Baby Steps”

I learned something today. WordPress does not like, or will they print, a comment that is as long, or longer, that the actual post. *sigh*

A friend inspired me so much today with her blog and the daily question, see, that I got carried away with my comment. It wouldn’t print. *sadness* I ended up with a rather uninspired summery that really didn’t share what I had wanted to.

What to do? Wait a minute! I have my own blog. I can write what I wanted here! So, let’s see if I can remember what I wrote. The question was: “. . . please leave a comment about any past experiences you’ve had with rocks. Have you ever collected them? Did you enjoy skipping them along the surface of a lake? Admired how pretty they are in a stream? Marveled at what they look like polished? Sat on them? Fallen from big rocks? Anything about rocks! Share whatever comes to mind.” Here is my response.

Much like beaches (a discussion from last week,) rocks have popped up throughout my life.

My grandfather was a rock hound. He hunted rock all the time. He labeled them and displayed them in hand made cases. He also thought all of us grandchildren should be introduced to the joys of rock hunting. Me? I just enjoyed spending time with my grandfather outside. Who cares about rocks? But that trip to Lake Superior looking for agates . . . Amazing stones there.

Looking for agates

When I was a bit older, we moved to the upper peninsula of Michigan to a place called Granite Bluff, an unincorporated section near Iron Mountain. Mom and Dad bought a two acre former potato field and proceeded to start clearing it for building. After we lined the drain field for the septic system, there was still a rather large pile of rock left in our back yard. It was left there while the house went up and we moved in. You can imagine how excited we all were to so much as think about moving the huge (Yes, I think it grew.) pile of rocks now that we were settled. My mother solved the issue by filling the nooks and crannies with dirt and planting flowers. She ended up with a beautiful “rock garden.”

Do you know that potato fields also grow rocks? I earned “mad” money a couple years by “picking rock” so they could plant potatoes in the neighboring fields. Back breaking work. Didn’t like rocks too much during the time of my life.

Then there was the name sake for that area – Granite Bluff. It was across the road, kind of catty corner to our place. It was this gigantic rock about 50 – 100 feet high, maybe about 50 feet wide, and 200 – 400 feet long. (I am going by ancient memory here so forgive the imprecision of the dimensions.) It had a semi gentle slope up the front that I could climb easily. It was totally awesome! I would climb the thing and “sit on top of the world.” I called it my “thinking rock.” It is where I would go for whatever ailed a hormonal teenager. *coughcoughmothercough* I could see for miles. It was peaceful. Teenage me spent a lot of time sitting on top of that rock.

Later on in my life I met another rock hound. He polished his stones and made some jewelry. Fascinating process. He was also lucky enough to be able to go rock hunting around the world and find more interesting specimens. He had an amazing collection. He gifted me with some raw opal (my birth stone) from Australia. (Probably as close as I will ever get to Australia.) They are beautiful stones and look nothing like the finished opal in a ring I have. I still have them and have no intention of ever polishing them. I like them just the way they are.

Somewhere along the line, I also acquired some raw amber. Memory deserts me here. I just know I have a couple of pieces of raw amber in my jewelry box too. Totally unimpressive, but I find them fascinating.

I also have a small collection of stones I keep in a couple trinket boxes. They are kept for sentimental reasons. Like the pieces of “gold” (fool’s gold actually) that my youngest brother gave me from his gold panning days. The odd “pretty” that my kids gifted me while growing up. A couple of pieces I picked up that had been polished and formed into buttons that I found interesting. I have a piece of Amethyst geode sitting on my book shelf, Amethyst being my favorite gem.

These days I don’t do anything with rocks but look at them now and again. I have enjoyed this trip down memory lane though. I hope y’all enjoyed going with me.

Thank you Caris for the inspiration. By doing this here, you got even more detail and a picture.  Another time I will talk about those “baby steps.” I can do another old blog on that topic. *grin*


Reading others blogs and such, I learned that today is the first day of spring. Since I don’t pay much attention to the calendar these days, I was rather surprised. For one, seems we just had the first day of fall. What happened to winter?

Well yes, I knew it was winter too. We did have some of that fluffy white stuff put in an appearance. Not much, but some. Just last week in fact. The last of it disappeared just yesterday. And it got cold. Not as cold as I know it can here in the wonderful state of Michigan, but cold enough that I fretted about being able to pay my heating bill.

But Spring? Really? Already? Now that you mention it, I have spied some tulip leaves poking up out of the ground. I just thought that they were early and anxious to put in an appearance.

However, I just seen my first Robin of the season. Spring is here. Robins always indicate to me that spring is here. I thought I had heard one singing earlier in the day, but I wasn’t sure. Seeing that lovely red breasted bird, well now I know that yes, it was a Robin I heard singing. They aren’t really very melodic like some of the birds. They are more raucous.  But I find their call comforting. What can I say, I can be a bit weird.

Anyway, I have seen a Robin. Spring is officially here in spite of what the calendar might, or might not, say.

Another book review!

I know, a review! *gasp* But well, I loved this series and want to immortalize it!

Elite Elements: Seven-Novel Cohesive Military Boxed Set by Jennifer Kacey, Heather Long, Sabrina York, Anna Alexander, Rebecca Royce, Aranna DeWylde, Virginia Nelson

elite-elements-cover(Isn’t this a pretty cover?)

I have been looking forward to this book seems like forever. There is some unfinished business. It is finally here!

I have had the opportunity to read a couple of the stories in ARC form.

Cesium’s Capture by Sabrina York – I don’t know how she does it, but Sabrina York does any story well. This was no exception. Lovely characters, good action, wonderful ending. Good job!

Vibranium’s Truth by Anna Alexander – Also loved this one. A little on the darker side with the characters, but they were so made for each other. Not sure about the ending yet. I am hoping that thread will be tied up with the rest of the book.

Because, yes, these were more like teasers to read the entire boxed set! It is definitely “cohesive.” I think even more so than the first two sets. But that is what I have so admired about this series. So many authors writing one continuous saga. Well done ladies!

I need to go read the rest of this now that I see it in my reader. I will get back to you.

(A few days later . . .)

I have now read the ENTIRE book. I do recommend that you read it that way. As an entire book – from cover to cover. It is most definitely the most “cohesive” of the Elite Warrior series. The various characters from all of the books are in and out of each of the stories. These ladies did an amazing job of bringing us an amazing story.

Since the characters of all the books are here, and reference is made to previous events, you may want to read Elite Metal and Elite Ghosts too. You will miss so much if you don’t. This entire series was awesome! Thank you ladies for a wonderful experience. So . . . will there be more?



As I was reading Elite Elements, I was inspired to write the following which I chose not to include in my “official” review, but I will include here.

These warriors are the lost, the broken, the forgotten. They come from nowhere, have no one, have nothing. They have no life outside of the mission. They have lived this way for so long that they have no hope of anything else. They are what they are, have accepted their lot in life, and have no expectations of anything more. They are the mission.

These are the Elite Warriors. The Elite Elements group of warriors go beyond the Metal, beyond the Ghost. They have been the long game. They have been imbedded so deeply into the game they no longer know who they were. They are the mission.

Then there are the fallen angels that find them. They too are often lost, broken and forgotten. Often coming from nowhere, no one, and with nothing. They too have missions that leave them with little hope of life. They really don’t expect to live long, but before they go . . . They are the mission.

It almost breaks my heart to read these characters. Often presented in the darkest light, killers, arms dealers, flesh peddlers, the very dregs of society. They had a mission that needed completed. Get to Red Wolf and take him out.

Having them all find hope and life! What a beautiful way to get beyond the mission.


When I first reviewed Elite Metal I talked about The Avengers  because I had a sound track that played in my head – Holding Out for a Hero.  I have to tell you, it is still there. Even in their darkest moments, I found the Elite Warriors to be heroes. This book even had a “superman”. LOVE. IT.

So you valiant few who follow my meager blog, I so recommend that you read this entire series – in its entirety. It is AWESOME!

Do You Want Exclusive Free Reads?

Who loves Cowboys?

I think I have mentioned Sabrina York here before. She writes some amazing stories from Contemporary Romance to Highland Hotties. The ladies are always sassy, (read snarky) the guys are always HOT, and there is usually bacon involved somewhere.

This week there is a collection of “first in series” Cowboy stories coming out that includes Sabrina’s story, The Real McCoy. The Real McCoy also appeared in one of Delilah Devlin’s  Collections and as a stand alone story, so you may have already read it too.

However, there are seventeen other others with stories in the First Ride Cowboy Collection. Some I have read, more that I haven’t. There is even a story that is on my “need to read” list that I haven’t gotten to yet. So, this collection is definitely on my MUST BUY list. Why? Because of above mentioned ‘need to read’ for one. How about a ninety nine cent  ($0.99) price? Huge reason there. I mean really, 18 stories for a buck! That is a total steal even if I find only the one story that I haven’t read that I have wanted to. But I really believe I will like all the stories.

I mention Sabrina York specifically because for the past couple of weeks she has been showcasing a different author from this collection every day over on her blog. Check it out.  You will also find a contest there you may want to look at. Sabrina likes giving away tiaras all the time. We all need a tiara, don’t we? I know this princess does! (Tell her Pansy Petal sent you.)

This collection is put out by They look like an interesting new thing with possibilities if you care to give them a look.

You may want to check this out and look for this collection later in the week. I believe it will be worth the buck, but you decide.

For another chance to win a tiara, check out This will tell you all bout the HOT cowboys one will find on the Double S Ranch. (I call it the Stud Ranch.) There are some totally hot cowboys there. I especially liked Cowboy to Command. *sigh*


Question of the Day

Why does 65 degrees Fahrenheit feel so much colder in the winter than in the summer? I mean really? In summer 65 just means a light blanket on the bed. I am good and sleeping quite comfortably. But last night I was up scrounging another blanket to add to the two quilts I already had. I was freezing. Let’s not mention that instead of the nice sleeveless, shorty night gown of summer, I was wearing a sleeved, floor length gown, a fleece bath robe, socks and fingerless gloves. By the way, I was up getting the extra blanket after I had warmed the sheets with my blow dryer before crawling in. That worked for a bit, but I was soon unable to stay warm. Hence the extra blanket.


Granted it is like single digits outside and that fluffy white stuff is blowing around, but my furnace does work. To save money I do keep it set at the lower, recommended 68 degrees. However, I have noticed that when that white stuff is blowing around and the temp dips below freezing that my indoor temp hovers at the 65 degree range. That should still only require a sweater, right? One would think anyway. But no! Here I sit with my fingerless gloves, wrapped up like it is much colder – like in the forties maybe – while typing this.


So does anyone have an answer – other than it is cold outside – why 65 degrees feels arctic in winter but comfortable in summer? Inquiring minds want to know!

Hold on to your hats – another post!

I know! Two in one day! The sky is falling! Oh wait – is that snow? 😉

But another favorite author has a new book coming out. I am loving the fact that after thirteen books and a conclusion to the series, here comes a prequel! Too funny. But it sounds interesting so I am looking forward to reading it too.

And such a pretty cover:


Well mostly. But really! Who can resist a book about how the Hollows began? Not me. Coming soon to a book seller near you!



Sabrina York has a new book coming out!

I don’t do this very often – well okay – hardly ever. But things can change don’t ya know. Not saying that I will get in the habit or anything, but it may give me incentive to actually use this site more often than I do. Who knows, it may lead to something, or not. Time will tell.

I am a HUGE fan of Sabrina York. Have been following her since the first book. If one reads the acknowledgements and dedications on books, you may have seen my name there a time or more. I am hugely honored to be on her “list.” It only seems fitting that I attempt to do more in getting the word out about her books. What else does one do with a blog – especially if one is a huge reader and fan of authors?

Anyway, I am so excited that she has a book coming out with James Patterson! Huge! I mean, even if like me you haven’t read any of his books, we have all heard of him. And who would expect him to help promote romance authors? Totally exciting.  So, here is a plea form Sabrina to check out her site and this wonderful new book. Sounds like another winner to me! Not to mention, she likes to give away Tiaras and there is a contest on her page. Be sure and tell her Pansy Petal aka Becky Parsons sent you. Even if you don’t mention me, you really need to check it out.

Coming March 7th!
Only a Scot can steal her heart.
There’s nothing ladylike about Katherine Killin. She’s a spitfire who cannot be tamed. To rid himself of her, and to honor a truce set by the Duke of Glencoe, her father agrees to wed her to his clan’s mortal enemy, Ben Rannoch. But when Katherine meets the enticingly masculine Kurt Rannoch, brother of her betrothed, she suddenly craves domination.
BookShots Flames
Original romances presented by JAMES PATTERSON
Novels you can devour in a few hours Impossible to stop reading
Read an excerpt and enter Sabrina’s Tiara Giveaway here:

The official website of award winning romance writer, Sabrina York