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The Halloween Love Spell (EBOOK)

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Ebook. Book 8 in the bestselling The Kitchen Witch series of fun cozy mysteries with magical elements.

When Marina Mercer comes to claim her yearly spell, Amelia’s protests fall on deaf years. The last Halloween love spell nearly got Amelia killed; the house is distracted, and Amelia accidentally cooks up the spirit of Alder’s not-so-dearly-departed grandmother. 

Is the spirit responsible for the murder of Amelia’s obnoxious bank loan manager? As there are so many variables, the police lose interest and are keen to withdraw from the case. And will Amelia’s investigations be of no account, or will they be given credit?

One thing is for certain: mayhem and burned cupcakes will ensue, as Amelia and foxy Private Detective Alder Vervain try to cast out the spirit while finding time for romance.

You can bank on that!

 

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CHAPTER 1

It was an otherwise pleasant evening. I was sitting next to Alder on my sofa, and my best friends were there. Ruprecht was quoting Socrates; Mint was rolling her eyes at him, and Thyme was texting Dawson. Their relationship had escalated, and it seemed they could scarcely bear to be apart. The only blight on the pleasant evening was Camino. She was wearing her usual Halloween attire, an all-black onesie emblazoned on which was a glow-in-the-dark skeleton. Camino had recently updated the onesie with batteries, giving her the option to switch it on, thus making the already glowing skeleton light up in a hideous luminescent green.
We were planning our Beltane celebration for Halloween. Of course, our sisters and brothers in the northern hemisphere celebrated Samhain, but we were the opposite Down Under. While they were celebrating the time that the veil was the thinnest between the living and the dead, we were celebrating spring and fertility.
“I don’t like it!” Alder said so vehemently that my two cats, Willow and Hawthorn, ran out of the room.
Ruprecht stopped quoting Socrates and looked at Alder with a start. “You don’t like what? The music? You don’t like that song?” The house was watching The Voice Australia, and had become obsessed with one of the judges, Boy George, and had been playing Karma Chameleon over and over again.
Alder grimaced. “I did the first five thousand times I heard it. No, I don’t like the fact that Marina Mercer is going to turn up here any day and ask Amelia to do a spell for her.”
I had already been over this with Alder, but there was just no convincing him. I didn’t like it either, but I felt duty-bound to fulfil my responsibilities. I hoped Ruprecht would be able to sway him. Ruprecht tapped his chin. “I’m afraid it’s an obligation, Alder. It’s a contract, if you will. Amelia has no option but to do the spell, if Marina requests it.”
“But the last Halloween spell nearly got Amelia killed,” Alder protested.
Ruprecht shrugged one shoulder. “I’m sure Amelia was safe.” Alder made to protest again, but Ruprecht held up one finger. “The contract was made between Amelia’s grandmother, Thelma, and Marina’s grandmother, Nama, who did a spell to enable Thelma and her husband, Wolff, to be together in the afterlife.”
I averted my eyes from the onesie skeleton that was now flashing a ghastly shade of green, and added, “A witch by the name of Jasmine Walters paid a powerful sorcerer to cast a spell so that Thelma’s spirit would be stuck in this house, and her husband’s spirit would be stuck in the garden forever. She wanted to keep them apart for eternity.”
Camino turned off her onesie batteries and leant forward. “That’s right. Nama fixed it so that Thelma could go into the garden to be with her husband whenever she wanted. In return, Thelma promised to do a spell every Halloween for any of Nama’s descendants who would ask for it. Now that Amelia’s Aunt Angelica has passed on, that duty is now left to Amelia.”
Alder scowled. If he had been standing and wearing a cape, I’m sure he would have tossed the cape behind him. Instead, he folded his arms over his chest and shot Ruprecht a dark look. “I don’t have a good feeling about this.”
Ruprecht looked entirely unconcerned. “This has been going on for decades, and apart from the little mishap last year, everything has progressed smoothly. And don’t forget, last year it was Marina’s former employer, Selena Simpson, who caused all the trouble.”
Thyme stopped texting and looked up. “Yes, Selena knew that Marina wasn’t coming that year, so she pretended to be her sister. Don’t worry, Alder, I’m sure this spell will go smoothly.”
The house shuddered.