Guest- Daryl Wood Gerber

Jessie: Enjoying the long lazy days of summer!

I am pleased as punch to welcome Daryl to the Wickeds blog today. We met for the first time several years ago at the Malice Domestic conference I attended as a new author. She was friendly and helpful and made me feel like a part of things and I appreciated it very much!

Welcome, Daryl!

5 Questions During this Unexpected Time

Talk about unexpected!!

Who knew the little things we would appreciate during the unexpected corona virus shutdown? Until now, if you were anything like me, you didn’t live life day to day. You lived it a week at a time or even months ahead. You planned around work or kids or family. You made reservations for meals out, for trips to see family, or for vacations. You went to the grocery store any old time you felt like it. You went to the movies or religious services without fear.

Now? Wow! What a difference. So tell me…

During this unexpected time, are you feeling gobsmacked, as my friend from England would say? I am. Even though I’m a writer and I spend a lot of time alone—A LOT—I didn’t realize how much interaction I had with other people. For example, like with my friends with whom I play bridge or golf. Or my pals whom I meet for a glass of wine. And my hairdresser!  I’ll let you in on a secret. I’ve been spending a lot of time with the characters in my books.  Luckily, I like most of them. Plus, they can be unpredictable and do the unexpected.

During this unexpected time, are you doing more baking or crafts? Are you making sourdough bread starter? I hear that’s the new trend. How about banana bread—which I think is getting a bad rap because I LOVE banana bread.  Are you getting into jigsaw puzzles? I am. Busy hands keep me from thinking too many sobering thoughts. 

During this unexpected time, are you reading more? I am. I’ve got one book on my kindle, a paper book to follow that, and an audio book for my walks with Sparky. Prior to this time, I was trying hard to find time to read. Writing all day made the idea of “reading” sound like a chore. But because of sheltering in place, I once again realize how much I love reading and need to read to fill my soul. So, I’ve carved out an hour after dinner each night to read. Loving it. 

During this unexpected time, are you making “plans”? They are off the table for me for now. I was going to do a mini bookstore tour for A SPRINKLING OF MURDER, but I’m not quite ready to get on a plane. I’ll go where I can drive, so if you’re in the neighborhood, come and shake my hand from six feet away. I’ll be the one in the mask.

During this unexpected time, have you found the bright side of things? Here’s one to take to the bank. We can still adapt. I thought I was too old to learn new things, but I’m not.  Also, I have realized the value of all our frontline workers who have helped our country get through this pandemic and will continue to help us. I say thank you a lot more than I used to. Thank you, thank you.

To conclude, we may not welcome the unexpected when it is truly not what we expected, but it is the challenge of facing the unexpected that makes us stronger and hopefully the best we can be. Wishing you all good reading. Good crafting. Loving relationships. Thank you all for just being you.

Readers, ave you found a bright side to things recently?



Fairy garden store owner Courtney Kelly believes in inviting magic into one’s 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 she 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 and trickling fountains. 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 a 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 new friend . . .

How can readers discover more about you and your work?









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Books a Million

Murder by the Books

Mysterious Galaxy :

Kensington   –


Agatha Award-winning author Daryl Wood Gerber writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries as well as the French Bistro Mysteries. She hopes her new series, the Fairy Garden Mysteries, will be a magical new entry in the cozy mystery genre. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries. Daryl also writes the Aspen Adams novels of suspense as well as stand-alone suspense. Daryl loves to cook, read, fairy garden . . . and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line. Check out her website for images of many of her fairy gardens.

29 Thoughts

  1. Hi, Daryl! (Waving from a safe distance)

    Congratulations on the new book and new series. It sounds great!

    Wow, you’ve nailed it. I’ve given up on plans for the rest of the year. I miss it. I liked having trips and events to look forward to.

    My bright side is baking bread (not sourdough, although I’m giving it serious thought) and working in my flower bed, which had fallen into a state of weed takeover in recent years. And YES, reading.

    I wonder if we’ll manage to hold onto these bright points once the world reopens and we go back to busily making plans.

    1. You know, Annette, I wonder the same thing. People have found time to find a passion. Will that continue or will we get into the hectic rat race? Which is better? Being hectic and not scared or scared and passionate? There must be a balance. Waves to you too.

  2. Welcome, Daryl! Congrats from me, too, on the new book and new series – and welcome to Kensington! I’ve been reading more, as well, and it’s such a treat.

  3. Congratulations on the new book and series Daryl!

    The only bright side of things for me during the last three months or so was thanks to being laid off for 10 weeks and getting a lot of money from unemployment I was able to catch up on all the bills. It’s not an exciting thing to be sure, but not having quite so many bills hanging over one’s head is always a good thing.

    Oh, and I suppose you can add in the fact that I had more time to read and review over that same time period was a good thing as well.

    1. Jay, it’s interesting that a lot of people have been able to catch up on exactly those things! There’s some comfort in that. Glad you’re finding time to read. It heartens the soul.

  4. I have actually been reading less, which is unfortunate because there are a lot of good books I want to get to. But I’m finding it hard to concentrate. Hopefully that will change. Congrats on the new book!

    1. Marla, I find reading at the same time every day helps me. I set a specific time, the hour after dinner, to read for an hour. It’s like dessert. See if you can find a specific time during the day for a half hour. Then build on that. Good luck.

  5. Welcome, Daryl!

    Yes, I have noticed positive changes since the lockdown began here in March. I live on a (normally) busy downtown street. But the lack of traffic means I can appreciate the quiet and hearing more clearly things like birds chirping in the morning.

    I am an eclectic cook and baker. And like others, I started to make my own sourdough bread with my homegrown sourdough starter. It has been fun but now that summer heat is here and my fave artisan bakeries are partially opening, I will curtail my home baking.

    And since Farmers Markets have been closed here until partially opening in late May, I doubled the size of my edible balcony garden. So I am enjoying the herbs, salad greens and microgreens, and hope that my container veggies will mature enough to eat.

    Sadly, the one noticeable thing is that my reading prowess has declined since the lockdown. Normally, I could read 3-4 books/week but I am averaging 5-8 books a month. This is partly due to being sick with COVID19 for 7 weeks but I am past that, unless I have some residual brain fog.

    I started reading an ARC of your book this weekend, and am enjoying it, Daryl. Fiona is a delightful impish fairy.

  6. Welcome, Daryl! (This is my third attempt to post this, so if there are duplicates that magically appear, apologies).

    Yes, I see positives from the lockdown. I live on a (normally) busy downtown street. But the lack of traffic means I can appreciate the quiet and enjoy the sounds of birds chirping in the morning hours.

    I am an eclectic cook and baker. Like others, I joined the sourdough baking craze with my own starter and enjoyed doing so but will slow down now with the summer heat and the partial reopening of my fave artisan bakeries.

    And since the city’s Farmers Markets remained closed until mid-May, I doubled the size of my edible balcony garden and am enjoying the salad greens, herbs now, with hopefully the veggies soon to follow.

    Sadly, my reading mojo has disappeared with the lockdown. Normally I read 3-4 books a week but am averaging 5-8 books/month. Partly this is due to being sick with COVID-19 for 7 weeks but I am past that, unless I still have some residual brain fog.

    On a more positive note, I started reading an ARC of your book, Daryl, and am enjoying it. Fiona is a delightful impish fairy and I love the Carmel setting.

    1. Grace, I had no idea you had COVID. Ugh. But I’m so glad you’re through it and seeing the bright side. Yay! Reading as many books as you do is a gift. Not many can concentrate like that. Hang tough.

      1. Thanks, Daryl. Yes, I probably got COVID-19 while in San Diego to attend LCC and enjoy an extended vacation. I tend to be an optimistic person so I am trying to see the positives about this whole situation.

  7. Plans? What are plans?

    Actually, I have one local event on my calendar for July 18. I haven’t heard whether it’s still on and I really wish I would.

    But except for ordering groceries online and a couple other things, life for me hasn’t changed. I still go to work every day. I work at home and since I’m in a “mission critical” division at my job, I’m still working. I have two books to write this year (just starting the second one now, I have to revise the first in July), I have to get my son ready to start college in the fall (whatever that will look like), I have to help my college-age daughter who is finding it tough to get a summer job.

    No rest for the wicked, eh?

    1. Wow, Liz, that’s a lot on your plate. My heart goes out to your kids. This is such an unusual time for them. Planning a future is simply daunting. But I hope they will find friends and loved ones that give them support and mental nourishment. Good luck with your books.

  8. Good morning Daryl! Congratulations on “A SPRINKLING OF MURDER”. Love your books and can’t wait for the opportunity to read this one.

    Yes, things are different, challenging and some times evening upsetting, but I think we all can benefit from being thankful and looking for the rainbow instead of the lightening bolt. I’ve become more appreciative of what my parents and grandparents went through during the depression and send up a prayer of thanks giving that we aren’t near as bad as that. I’ve said more than a few times thanks to my Mom who taught me the value of a well stocked pantry, which i figure was from an aftermath of the depression. While we might not have exactly what we would have wanted, we had enough to adjust and have good meals without feeling as if we were deprived. While we had habits and certain ways to do things or things to do, we have learned that being flexible and willing to adjust are great attributes to have. It’s a great teacher of appreciating the little things and the people that make our life not only easier but able to forward at all.

    Thankfully, we live at the outskirts of town in the Ozark Mountains on a small acreage which gives us not only space to wonder around without having to worry about distancing, but also gives us many daily critter visitors to keep us entertained with. We both love photograph, so now we spend a lot of time on the porch, with fans running and a cold drink close by watching those same critters and trying to capture their antics in a photograph. When I need an escape, I just pick up one of many books I’ve been planning to read where I can find adventure, mystery and old friends.

    This is the first year in several that we have been able to have a garden. Although much smaller than the ones we had before we downsized and moved here, it’s more than adequate for the two of us. It’s been fun to watch it grown and to see the smiles on hubby’s face because he loves nothing than getting his hands in the soil. We are anticipating our first tomatoes of which there are many while we have enjoyed many salads off the first crops of lettuce, onions and radishes.

    Sadly we had to cancel and bucket list trip that was planned well ahead of time and much anticipated, but on the bright side look at the money we saved and the special conversations and time spent one on one while sitting on that front porch. There have been many reasons to give thanks. We still have avoided this dreaded virus, our healthy although not as I would wish is holding on with no steps backward, and we have many wonderful friends that check on us. The only thing that infuriates me is those that can’t see the seriousness of the situation and disregard the wearing of mask using the “it’s my right” statement not considering that it’s not only themselves that they are endangering. So while I’m sending up prayers I will send one up for their ignorance and everyone’s protection.

    We are a great country and we will make it through this – together!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    1. Kay, sounds like you have made all the adjustments necessary to live a good and full life. I’m glad you have critters that visit you. Isn’t wildlife fun? I’m jealous of your tomatoes. Luckily, our local farmer does provide some delicious ones throughout the season at its outdoor market.

  9. It’s great to see you here! I love the cover and premise of this book. I’ve been reading a lot! It’s my escape. Thank heavens for books.

  10. I wish Open Your Imagination was close by. I’d be a regular. 🙂 I’ve really enjoyed being at home (I’m retired, but was out and about a lot before all of this). I miss my friends and restaurants, etc., but I’m thoroughly enjoying spending time on the sofa with a book and our cat, and not feeling guilty because I’m not “doing something”. My hubby and are are loving the time together. I’ve learned how to use Zoom and Venmo, so I’ve proven even old ladies can learn new stuff.

    I’m enjoying my yard, which I love to work in, and all the critters that inhabit it. And, of course, getting lost in reading.

    1. Getting lost in reading is so special, Ginny. Allowing the story to enfold you. There’s almost nothing better. Enjoy your time “doing nothing.” ~ Daryl

  11. I was reading more for a while, but now it’s settling down to pretty much normal for me. I’m working from home, but work is about to get super crazy. We’ll see how I survive (or don’t).

    I was supposed to be on vacation right now. So bummed that fell through.

    It’s hard to plan more than a day or two out, which is frustrating since I like to plan. Of course, work is a big part of that right now. I’m waiting to see how things shake out so I know what the rest of the year is going to look like for me.

    1. Mark, I hear you. I was suposed to take a vacation with the family to Tahoe but that’s going to fall through. I don’t feel comfortable being with family and not hugging them to pieces. And no conferences. And no in-store book signings. It’s a whole new “ab-normal” world. Hang tough!

  12. Because we had to take a trip to New Orleans – and have to take another one – to find our daughter an apartment and set her up there, and we can’t actually do anything besides order food to go when we’re there, I’ve been plowing through books I’ve loaded onto my Kindle over time – and I used one of your handy dandy swag handouts to keep track of them! Congratulations on the new series, Daryl! Can’t wait to read this.

    1. Ellen, that is a good swag handout, isn’t it? To keep the list of what you want to read? Good luck sitting up the daughter. What a big change. XO

  13. Congratulations on new series. I was really hoping to take some trips this year, but all of that is canceled. I am definitely reading more and watching more tv. I have cleaned out garage and closet and completed lots of deep cleaning since there is nothing else to do.

  14. Hi Daryl,
    Congratulations on A Sprinkling of Murder! I love the book cover! SO PRETTY!!!
    I have definitely done less going out and more reading .
    We have just started going to bookstores again. Which makes me happy. Lol!
    Have a great day!!!

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