Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hand-knit Yumminess

For a knitter, nothing is more satisfying than seeing loved ones wearing the items you made for them. I'm a scattered knitter. Some years I don't do anything but the occasional scarf, other times I'll knit up a storm and try new yarns and more complex patterns.

This is my youngest grandchild, wearing a sweater I made for his older brother a few years ago, using self-striping yarn. It was fun! But not as much fun as getting this picture sent to me by his mom. Along with the sweater, he's wearing the hat I made him for Christmas. Hand-knit yumminess is so good for the soul!

Friday, January 27, 2012

"Getting in on the ground floor"

I have a sister who has done direct sales for most of her married life. She liked it because she could work from home while making friends and a little spending money. She tried various direct sales companies, always with some success but never found "the one" until about five years ago when a sales buddy told her about a new start-up called Scentsy.

My sister, who had recently left Pampered Chef, signed right up. With her sales experience and wide range of contacts, she quickly rose to the top of things and is now making more money than she ever dreamed possible.

This is called "getting in on the ground floor." It's also called "the early bird gets the worm," and it's these rare opportunities that people fantasize about. Although I'm not interested in direct sales or jealous of my sister's success in her chosen career path, I must admit that I'm jealous of those people who got right in on the ground floor of Kindle sales.

The Kindle store daily gets more crowded, making it difficult to have the same success those early birds had. Putting a title on sale now for .99 won't guarantee anything, because the market is glutted. But that used to be the best way to grab attention for your book. Then there's regular Amazon, where countless millions of print books are listed. You can sell a book a day and still find yourself stuck in the six digit ranking.

If you take a wander through, you'll see just a handful of authors and books. Choosing a book to buy will be like a pleasant, relaxed saunter through the village bookstore. And you might even run into someone you know *wink* on the Author Profile Pages and the Forum.

Celery Tree is like a brand new direct sales company for authors, only without the phone calls and setting up parties in peoples' homes (a reclusive writers worst nightmare of a job). It's online, where many of us are the most comfortable.

One writer wrote in her email, "I am thrilled by this 'co-op' idea! Farmers have been doing this for years, and it makes sense to finally have it in the writing arena."

So call us a direct sales company, a co-op for published authors, a start-up internet website, an online bookstore....or call us Celery Tree, because we are humble and easily overlooked like celery, but we will grow mighty like a tree.

Right now we're small but dedicated, unknown but determined; I do not expect we'll stay small for long. Not judging by the response from this blog tour. If I had any doubts before, your blog posts, comments and overall responses of the past three weeks have shown me otherwise. Clearly this is an idea whose time has come. Writers want a central location that's not only for networking and links but which also encourages and facilitates the buying of books

Leave the Jungle. Join our Village!

For more wrap up of the Big Blog Tour, see the Celery Tree blog.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seriously, you aren't sick of me yet?

Don't answer that! The next time I post this much will be in April, for the A to Z Challenge, which I am SO looking forward to! I'm one of the hosts again this year, which is way fun, because you get to meet lots of new people, and you get to unveil cool stuff, like what's happening on Monday, Jan. 30.

One of the reasons I love the A to Z Challenge is that it's just good ol' blogging, plain and simple. It's a celebration of blogging, and I adore blogging, and blogs and posting and commenting and following and pretty much everything about the whole blog culture. 

But first, we are wrapping up the Celery Tree Big Blog Tour today and tomorrow. So please follow me to the awesome and amazing Jessica Bell's blog, The Alliterative Allomorph!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Counting Down....Two

This has been an amazing ride, and I'm counting down, not because I'm excited for the end, but because it has been such a big event that is nearly over. (Kind of like the letters W X Y and Z are going to be in April!)

The activity on and about Celery Tree has been super helpful in getting the bugs out, and I appreciate everyone's patience. There were some issues with registration vs. joining, with ebook purchases, with automatic emails. Our team has been hard at work behind the scenes getting it all sorted, and things are now running smoothly and coming together in a fabulous way.

We might just be ready to take on the world. *grins*  But how pleasant to first introduce to my friends. Much less scary to get an email from a friend saying, "Hey, what about this?" So thank you for coming to my party!

Today Nicki Elson, the fabulous 80's girl, posts about Celery Tree. She has posted on the Forum and would love to get some discussion going there, so please stop by Nicki's blog, and then pop over to the Celery Tree Forum!

And gazillions of thanks and creamy cupcakes to all of you who have participated in any way in helping to make the Celery Tree big blog tour a success!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Counting Down...Three...

Have you checked out Celery Tree yet? Have you bought a book from an author on Celery Tree? It's so easy! You just click on the book you want, the site will ask you to register, the author gets a message that you have ordered and she (or her publisher or distributor) mails the book to you. And a few days later, you get a new book in your mail box!

That's shopping. Now if you are an author with a book to sell, you will want to join as an Author Member. Then you submit your book for approval (no biggie, about a 24- hour turnaround) and your book will be available for sale on!

Meanwhile, as you're pondering all that, click over to Following the Whispers, where Karen Walker will tell you a little more about the culture behind Celery Tree.

Monday, January 23, 2012

"Wow! This sounds like a great idea."

This week we wrap up the Celery Tree Big Blog Tour. Today, the tour heads to Ann Best's blog.

"My first memoir, In the Mirror, was published four days after my 71st birthday (May 2011). I'm a living testimony that it's never too late to publish a book."

Ann's book, In the Mirror: A Memoir of Shattered Secrets, has numerous rave reviews and is currently #8 in Memoir on the Kindle. That's out of 18,900 listings!

Ann and her debut memoir can also be found on Go here to view the book page. Go here to view Ann's author page.

A few of the great comments that have come through during the blog tour posts:

"Wow! This sounds like a great idea. I'll have to check it out." Connie Keller, author Screwing Up Time

"Don't I just love cozy little Davids with their slingshots aimed at Goliath!" Denise Covey 

"I am thrilled by this 'co-op' idea! Farmers have been doing this for years, and it makes sense to have it in the writing arena!" (future published author/Celery Tree member) 

"I cannot wait to have my book published so I can join Celery Tree. In the meantime, I think I will just order one of your books. Here I go..." (Donna O' Shaughnessy)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Thank you for stopping by, (but not that spammer)

Sometimes I worry that I promote too much on my blog.

There's the books, there's the new release blog tour, there's the novel I'm working on that will be another new release, there's Celery Tree. There's the five-day Kindle promotion of House of Diamonds (ends tonight at midnight, and here's the link because my bloggie friends who want a copy should get it while it's free).

Anyway, I just want to say thank you for visiting even when my blog's in the middle of another promotional thingy.

But Mr. Anonymous from Russia or Turkey or wherever that script is from, you can just take a hike. Thank you, Blogger, for keeping spam in the spam section where it belongs and off the public view.

Friday, January 20, 2012

We Need More Book Review Blogs

Mason Canyon is a book reviewer who blogs at Thoughts in Progress. She also likes to support authors through guest posts and interviews when they have a book coming out, and she is supportive of the small press as well. We need more blogger book reviewers like Mason. If I wasn't so caught up in everything I'm doing right now, I'd love to start a book review blog.

Today Mason's guest is Ann Carbine Best, author of In the Mirror: A Memoir of Shattered Secrets, which is currently in the top ten on Kindle's list of thousands and thousands of memoirs.

Ann's book is also available on, which does not have thousands and thousands of memoirs. We wish it did. If you have published a memoir, please join Celery Tree and submit it so Ann's book isn't so lonely.

But first, head over to Thoughts in Progress and say hi to Mason Canyon and Ann Best.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Mystery Writer Who Remains a Mystery

We resume the Celery Tree Big Blog Tour today by traveling to Clarissa Draper, the mystery writer who likes to keep people guessing. Have you ever noticed there's no profile photo of Clarissa? Or any biographical information included?

Who is the elusive Clarissa Draper? 

Is she Agatha Christie reincarnated? Is she JK Rowling in disguise?  Is she actually a man? We may never know but while we ponder these deep thoughts, let's pop over to her blog and see what she he she has to say about Celery Tree.

But first, I must thank everyone who downloaded House of Diamonds yesterday, and linked about the giveaway. It had well over 1000 downloads in the first 24 hours of its free status. The last I checked it was in the top 250 of free books on the Kindle. I'm interested to see what happens in the next four days with this promotion. Sales of Uncut Diamonds also increased, improving its ranking by quite a bit.

Once the promotion ends, I'll share what we learned from it. Now on to Clarissa's!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We Interrupt this Regularly Scheduled Program for a Special Announcement

My new release, House of Diamonds, is being offered free on the Kindle for a limited time only! Regularly priced at $3.99, it is currently FREE from today through Sunday.

"Gowen has an amazing talent for rich and meaningful prose. The moment you open the first page you are captivated by her writing style. Through her narrator she gets into a conversation with you and it feels as though her characters are letting you in on their deepest thoughts and feelings. I was so pleasantly surprised by how deeply I enjoyed this book, it was a real treasure." --Wendy G. Ewurum, Fabulosity Reads

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Writers Just Seem to Get It

The Celery Tree Big Blog Tour continues! I am so impressed by the guest posts as well as the many comments on the participating blogs (complete schedule here) that clearly show this is an idea whose time has come. Writers just seem to "get it." And despite a few temporary glitches in the registering/ joining process, these don't seem to be souring the experience for anyone.

Today we travel to Writer's Ally, blog of author SA Larsen,

"Published freelance & short story writer; author of young adult, middle grade, & picture books. Lover of all paranormal & the not-so-average teen/tween. Hair-raising mom to 4 humanoids, lover of dance, sports, jamming to rock music in the car, the rain, anything chocolate...and a romantic wink from my favorite werewolf. My friends call me Sheri. (I post M/T/F)"

Sheri's guest today is Nicki Elson. Nicki, author of Three Daves, is a Celery Tree member who has been incredibly supportive from the first time she heard of the idea, well before it became a real place. And she agreed to guest post twice on the Celery Tree Blog Tour!

Her post today features the Forums. Nicki has some great ideas on how to make the Celerytree Forum a real gathering place for us writers. So please pop over to Writer's Ally and share your own ideas on how to make the Forum fun and informative for all of us!

I've been closing my comments here to draw the attention to the hosting blogs and the guest bloggers. But it makes me feel too lonely and isolated, so I'm opening them back up :). Sorry, I just can't help myself.