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Saturday, December 10, 2022

Paranormal Cozy Mystery Author Daryl Wood Gerber: A Fairy Garden Mystery Series + giveaway

The Child Within, by Daryl Wood Gerber

Do you remember what was truly going on in your mind when you were growing up? Did you have an active fantasy life? I did. I was always making up stories and such. We had a short ledge in front of our fireplace, and I’d stage dances and plays for my parents. When we went on vacation to Lake Tahoe, to entertain myself, I would go to the weir of rocks jutting out into the lake and dance and sing and carry on long conversations with me, myself, and I. I didn’t care if it was in the middle of a rainstorm. I was out there creating and having a blast.

I remember my costume wardrobe was filled with items—some were purchased costumes but most were things like shirts, jackets, pajamas, and hats. My favorite pictures in our family albums (of myself, of course) are when I dressed up for Halloween. One year, I wore my “silky” pajamas to be a genie. I was very alluring. LOL

And I’m pretty sure, starting at the young age of three, I believed I could communicate with butterflies and dragonflies. I’ve always been fascinated by them.

So did I believe in fairies, too? Did I see one? Is that why, when I went to the Renaissance Fair and saw my first fairy garden, I simply HAD to make one? Is that why I felt a fairy-like presence in my yard the moment I started putting it together?

It was while making the garden that I came up with the idea for the Fairy Garden Mysteries. I wanted it to feature a woman who’d lost her ability to see fairies when she was young, but then, at the tender age of thirty, she spread her wings and opened her own business, and in the process, came to believe in fairies once more. I set to work immediately, writing an overview and chapters to submit to my agent. I remember him pooh-poohing the idea. It was too fantastical, he said. It wouldn’t sell.

Well, bah, humbug. Some people will never believe. But I did. I do. I love writing a magical series. Whenever I sit at my computer to create, I feel like a kid again. I hope that my gentle mysteries not only stir the little gray cells by giving the reader a chance to solve a whodunnit, but also encourage the reader to embrace the possibility that magical beings exist and are in this world to help.

What do you do to stir the child within yourself?

A Sprinkling of Murder (A Fairy Garden Mystery Book 1)
by Daryl Wood Gerber
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Featured on Buzzfeed Books!

Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into your life. But when uninvited trouble enters her shop, she’ll need more than a sprinkling of her imagination to solve a murder . . .

Since childhood, Courtney has loved fairies. After her mother died when Courtney was ten, she lost touch with that feeling of magic. A year ago, at age twenty-nine, she rediscovered it when she left her father's landscaping business to spread her wings and start a fairy garden business and teashop in beautiful Carmel, California. At Open Your Imagination, she teaches garden design and sells everything from fairy figurines to tinkling wind chimes. Now she's starting a book club tea.

But the light of the magical world she's created inside her shop is darkened one night when she discovers neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside her patio fountain. To make matters worse, the police suspect Courtney of the crime. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney will have to wing it. But she’s about to get a little help from an unexpected source . . .
Book Trailer:

“Do you see her? Is she down there?” I tried not to let my five-year-old customer hear the panic in my voice. Of course Fiona was down there. She wouldn’t have flown the coop. Okay, she was mad at me for telling her to make herself scarce, but honestly! “Look hard,” I said.

After a breathless moment, the curly-haired girl—Lauren—who was peering into a huge strawberry terra-cotta planter, popped upright, and spun in a circle. “Yes, I do, Miss Kelly. I see her.”

Once upon a time, when I was five, I’d danced among the flowers and twirled to my heart’s content, too.

“Call me Courtney,” I reminded her. Children who came into Open Your Imagination, my fairy garden and tea shop, didn’t have to be formal. The more familiar, the more fun. “And keep your voice soft. You don’t want to scare her.”

“Courtney,” she said. “I do see her. I really do.”

“What does she look like?”

“She’s . . . she’s . . .” Lauren wiggled nervously as if I’d really put her on the spot.

I’d felt the same when I saw my first fairy. A week after my mother planted a fanciful garden filled with yarrow, lilac, and a host of herbs to attract butterflies, I met her. I had been dressed in something similar to what I was wearing now, denim overalls, a lacy shirt, and a gardening apron. She had been as pretty as the sunrise.

Lauren waved her arms. “She’s green and silver and blue and . . . and . . .”

“Go on,” I encouraged. I hadn’t wanted to trust my eyes, either, but my mother had told me to believe. Meadows, rivers, and mountains, she said, were alive with spiritual beings who would give a helping hand to those who asked nicely. I stroked the silver locket that held my mother’s portrait. She’d given me the locket that Christmas. An image of a fairy was etched into the lid. The word Believe was engraved on the underside.

“Mommy,” Lauren called.

She and I were standing on the slate patio, a roofed outdoor garden space,. Her mother was sitting at one of the many wrought-iron tables. She smiled indulgently and whisked her hand, encouraging her daughter to speak. Muted sunlight filtered through the skylight in the pyramid-shaped roof. The ornate fountain carved with fairies and gnomes burbled in the background. A number of customers browsed fairy figurines on the verdigris bakers’ racks and spoke in hushed tones. A few others chatted about how pretty they thought the twinkling lights were that we’d woven through the vines and the potted ficus trees. A cluster of women was checking out the miniature Pink Splash hypoestes plants and golden Monterey cypress we had in stock.

“Tell me about her wings,” I prompted.

“They’re teensy,” Lauren chimed.

I noticed a lot of activity inside the main showroom, the French doors and beveled casement windows of the L-shaped space providing a full view from where we stood. One woman was scrawling her name on the sign-up sheet for the upcoming tea. We didn’t serve tea every day, only on Saturdays. So far, the response for this week’s tea had been tremendous because we’d decided to pair it with a book club event. We were going to discuss The Secret, Book and Scone Society. Scones and tea . . . a perfect fit.

“And her dress?” I asked.

Lauren twirled in place, her tresses fanning out. “It’s silver and looks like my ballet dress.” She grabbed the seams of her pink tutu.

“So her dress is lacy?” I asked.

Lauren bobbed her head. “And she has blue hair and sparkly silver shoes, and she glows.”

“That’s Fiona,” I said. Her hair was actually gossamer and caught the light, much like a prism or the lens of a camera. At certain angles, her hair could become a variety of other colors.

Lauren stopped moving and splayed her arms. “Why are her wings so small? She can’t fly with those.”

“She’s able to fly but not long distances. She has to earn three sets of adult wings first, in addition to her current pair.”

“How will she earn them?”

“By . . .” I tapped my chin. How could I explain it?

Fiona, for all intents and purposes, was a fairy-in-training. She should have been a full-fledged fairy by now, but imp that she was, she’d done one too many pranks in fairy school, so the queen fairy had booted her out and subjected her to probation, during which time Fiona had to get serious. By helping a human, she could earn her way back into the ranks.

“Courtney, yoo-hoo.” Lauren touched my arm. “How will she do it?”

“By doing good deeds,” I replied.

“Everyone should do good deeds,” Lauren said matter-of-factly.

“Yes, they should.” And not pranks like putting syrup in my tea as Fiona had done earlier. I’d warned her that the queen fairy would frown on her antics.

Months ago, when I’d pressed Fiona for details of her banishment, she had been vague. One major restriction was that she could not have fairy friends. Though more fairies existed in Carmel, she wasn’t to socialize with them. Yet.

“How did you meet her?” Lauren asked.

“She came to me the day after I opened this shop.”

“Like magic?”

“Yes, like magic.”

After Fiona had told me about her predicament, I’d asked her if the queen fairy was a horrible, wicked fairy, and she’d blushed. No, she’d said. The queen was the most wonderful fairy in the whole world. When I grilled her for more information—like were other fairies on probation?—Fiona had dodged the question and instead educated me about her kind. In addition to types of fairies, like air fairies and water fairies, there were four classes of fairies: intuitive, righteous, guardian, and nurturer. Fiona was a righteous fairy, which meant she needed to bring resolution to embattled souls. Of course, there were rules in the fairy world. A righteous fairy couldn’t intentionally put herself in harm’s way.

“Have you always seen fairies?” Lauren asked.

“No.”

At the tender age of ten, when my mother died, I had lost my ability to see them. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I rubbed the locket my mother had given me, I couldn’t see another. In the ensuing years, I grew serious. In high school, I studied hard to make my father proud. In college, I turned my attention to chemistry and earth sciences. After graduation, I joined my father’s thriving landscaping outfit in Carmel-by-the-Sea and dedicated myself to working the land: dig, plant, don’t have fun, repeat.

Until a year ago when Fiona appeared. At first I saw a sparkle and heard a tinkle and a ping. And then delightful laughter. She had flitted from behind a pot and introduced herself with a curtsy. When I found my wits, I asked why she would reveal herself to me. She explained that although the sorrow over the loss of my mother had squelched my ability as a girl to see fairies, it was my nose-to-the-grindstone attitude toward life that had continued to suppress me. When I made the decision at the ripe old age of twenty-nine to spread my wings and start a fairy garden business, voilĂ . My heart opened, and Fiona swooped in. She hoped she could save me so I could save her.


A Glimmer of a Clue (A Fairy Garden Mystery Book 2)
Book Trailer:

A Hint of Mischief (A Fairy Garden Mystery Book 3)
Book Trailer:

A Flicker of a Doubt (A Fairy Garden Mystery Book 4)
**Coming Soon on March 28, 2023 – PreOrder Now!**
Book Trailer:

About the Author

Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Fairy Garden Mysteries, Cookbook Nook Mysteries, and French Bistro Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she penned the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. In addition, Daryl writes the Aspen Adams Novels of Suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Daryl loves to cook, fairy garden, and read. She has a frisky Goldendoodle who keeps her in line. And she has been known to jump out of a perfectly good airplane and hitch-hike around Ireland alone. You can learn more on her website: https://darylwoodgerber.com

Giveaway
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A choice of one of my books + swag pack
-1 winner each!
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