Category Archives: The Kitchen Sink

Time for Christmas Shopping? New Meet and Greet Dates are here for Arkansas Readers

    It’s time to complete your Christmas list …

with a book or two!

Choose a book for the grandkids

one for a friend, one for a family member, and one for yourself.

All on Amazon. You’ll get them in time for Christmas.

OR see me at one of my scheduled December signings:

Wishing Spring Gallery, Bella Vista, Saturday, December 9, 12-4

Mockingbird Coffee, Jane, MO, by Community Bank,

December 15, 12:30 pm -2:30 pm

The Spirit Tree Deceptions: A Quay Thompson and Butterfly Silverfeather Novel is here!

At Last It’s Here! I’m excited to introduce you to Butterfly Silverfeather. She’s an amazing woman with an interesting past.

Get your copy at

The Spirit Tree  Deceptions will be available on Kindle eBook 11/20/23
The Spirit Tree  Deceptions paperback will be available beginning on 11/21/23
The Spirit Tree Deceptions hard back will be available beginning on 11/23/23

I will be setting up a book talk and signing schedule soon and will post it here and on  my Facebook and Instagram pages.

Gail Lee Cowdin continues her popular detective crime novels with the fourth novel in the Deception series with a riveting coming-of-age story. The Spirit Tree Deceptions: A Quay Thompson and Butterfly Silverfeather Novel journey begins with the Spirit Tree, an ancient cedar tree, on the shores of the great Gitch-Gumi and one young Anishinabee woman who realizes she is capable of making a transformative impact on the world she knows. When twelve-year-old Grace Memengwaa Byrd is introduced to the five-hundred-year-old The Spirit Tree, she is overpowered by cries, pleas, and unfamiliar voices calling out to her from the tree. It is her awakening.The story of her new life as Butterfly Silverfeather begins in northern Minnesota and continues to Northwest Arkansas. It is a tale filled with trauma, beauty, suspense, and a look into the beautiful culture and resilience of the Indigenous people.  Butterfly Silverfeather’s story is an exciting, action-filled, powerful journey spanning twenty years. This is a tale of kidnapping, greed, murder, power-plays, and numerous deceptions that propel one woman forward with her strong beliefs and perseverance toward a surprising, gratifying conclusion.

By the way, in addition to the story I’ve written, you will be purchasing a piece of art. The cover for The Spirit Tree Deceptions  is the work of artist Rosie Floyd who did the painting and  her husband Dave Floyd who “tweaked it” to make the picture represent my plot by matching the tree to the photographs of the Spirit Tree and adding the ribbon skirt on the young girl. I’m thrilled to collaborate with them and share their art and  with my written work.Gail

The Butterfly

Busy writing on this rainy day. Found this gem recently. It perfectly describes my lead character in the next book. She is Grace Memengwaa Weber. Memengwaa is the Ojibwe word for butterfly. Grace goes through a metamorphosis to find her freedom. She also hears many wishes…

An American Indian Legend

If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first
capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.
As a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly cannot reveal 
the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all.
In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly freedom, 
the Great Spirit will always grant the wish.
So, according to legend, by making a wish and giving the
butterfly its freedom,
the wish will be taken to the heavens to be granted.


Just Plotting….

There are perks to being a writer—perks other than the ones some people might expect, those probably being immense wealth and recognition, neither of which I ever would consider as a true perk. I experienced my kind of perk this week when I received a phone call from one of my readers. He formerly lived in Bella Vista and we attended the same church at that time. That’s how I got to know Sheldon and his wife Nina. They always asked about my interests, and even attended my book signings.
Sheldon enjoys my stories (I’m truly honored and even somewhat amazed!). He shares his comments and responses to my work with me fairly frequently, and most especially when each new title comes out. After they moved to another state to be closer to family, and wintered in Arizona, he would find articles about writers and writing and send them to me. I appreciated those articles and notes. Sadly, Sheldon’s wife passed last year. He still makes it a point to keep in touch. This week, I was surprised to answer the phone to hear Sheldon’s voice. After the initial “How are you?” and “What have you been doing?” pleasantries, he asked, “So, are you working on a new book?”
“Why, yes I am. I’m a little more than half way through this new one,” I said.
Sheldon asked more questions about the plot, and then he explained that he had shared my books—all three of them—with a friend who also reads detective crime mysteries. And she enjoyed them as much as he did, he said. And now, they were both waiting for the newest story. And my heart swells! Music to a writer’s ears!

I’m not sure readers truly understand what a response to their writing means. When I published my first novel, I didn’t think much about who would read it beyond family and a few close friends. I didn’t expect to really have much of an audience, or that anyone would even pay attention. I’m just a friend, relative, with a hobby. After all, I’m just doing what I enjoy … just being me! I was wrong! (and my husband knows I don’t say that often enough) <insert grin>

The initial response to my first book was unexpected praise, (which I assumed was just because they were being nice) followed by, “What happens next? Are you doing another?”
Sometimes the query, “Are you writing?” is all it takes to keep me going.

Someone wants to know. Someone is interested in the fictional characters that are part of my life. And believe me when I say they are part of my life! They linger in the back of my brain for months before I begin to tell the story they want me to share. I research, listen to podcasts, and then I’m ready. When I’m in the thick of writing the novel, I find I can’t sleep. I wake in the night, needing to write down something about a recent event in the story. I rise in the morning and head to my computer, iPad, notes, or whatever is at hand (sometimes it’s even the back of a receipt) to get down a description or words of a character before I forget. We can be headed down the highway, listening to the radio, and something is triggered. I must get that down. Where’s a post-it?
And so, Sheldon, my friend, I truly enjoyed hearing from you in person this last week! Thanks, always, for your encouragement and support. Now, I’ll get back to that story and let you know when it’s ready! —Gail


It’s NaNoWriMo Month.

It’s NaNoWriMo for writers. It’s all about the challenge for writers to write 50,000 words during the month of November. I’m working on it. Sometimes it’s a struggle. The question in the back of my mind is often, ‘Is this any good?’
Sometimes, the best advice comes from other well-known, experienced writers who help and encourage other writers to keep on keeping on.
Check out the link from Diana Gabaldon below. Her blog provided me with much needed encouragement. (scroll to the top of the page when you get to the blog.)
In the meantime, I’m moving along at a turtle’s pace. Up to about 28,612 words—and I’ve been working on it since October! That’s 100 pages and 9 chapters. And, I’m not even half way through telling the story of young Grace Memengwhaa Weber, an Ojibwa Native American.

First Lines…

First lines are always important in writing a novel. This one is no different. I hope I got it right…at least no one’s died…yet.
The fireworks had been a dud. Thick fog had moved in and hung low, drifting across the Lake Superior shoreline, muffling sounds, and allowing only brief glimpses of a smeared blur of reds, yellows, and blues. Fireworks in Grand Marais were supposed to have been part of her birthday celebration. A Fourth of July birthday meant you got to see fireworks. Grace gave up waiting for the fog to lift, and wandered away from her family and headed toward the shore to look for agates. She was wearing her birthday gifts, new jeans, a soft blue denim shirt, and a pair of moccasins that she’d eyed at the local trading store in Grand Marais. Her parents must have heard her tell her sister Lexie how much she wished she had a pair of moccasins just like these soft, leather ones with the colorful beads woven over the tops. She loved her gifts! It wouldn’t be long and she’d be able to drive, too. Being fourteen was going to be great!
She had just reached the shoreline when she heard the change in the tone of the men talking with her father. Their voices rose and echoed through the fog with increased anger and what sounded like accusations. She suddenly realized her father had been right. Those men must have followed them. They were in danger. She was in danger!