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The Halloween Camping Spell (EBOOK)

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Ebook. Book 18 in the bestselling The Kitchen Witch series of fun cozy mysteries with magical elements.

It's that time of the year again! Marina is back in town to demand her annual Halloween spell.
This Halloween the dashing Alder has developed a cunning plan to avoid her. But when he whisks Amelia and the baby away on a camping trip, they stumble upon another mystery. It all becomes too in-tents, and their plans go up in smoke.
Amelia might be trying to laugh s'more, worry less, but it's hard to be a happy camper with a killer on the loose.
All's fire in love and camping, but this isn't love. It's murder.  

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I never was one for sleeping on the hard ground, being swarmed by mosquitoes and eaten alive by the cold. But this year, my husband had absolutely insisted we go camping for Halloween. We would have a wonderful time carving pumpkins and building a campfire which would burn bright and hot with flames that were almost blue.
So this Halloween I had bundled up and trudged through the woods to a clearing Alder had reserved months ahead of time. He had made sure every detail was covered, from the tent to the air mattress to our hiking boots, which were neatly tucked inside a waterproof backpack displaying two sets of initials in golden letters: mine and his.
Obviously, we had brought along Arabella. She was a newborn, after all. Unfortunately, I had also brought Baby, thanks to the curse. If Alder and I did not take care of that hideous, taxidermied cat, then a generational curse would befall our family. I tramped through the bushland to our campsite, which had already been set up by my attentive husband.
"Should we have some hot chocolate?" I said.
"Why don't we try a pumpkin spice latte?” Alder replied. "After all, the Wearing family are locals, and their pumpkin spice latte brand, Trick Or Treat Yourself, is now the most famous pumpkin spice latte brand in the whole of Australia.”
"I never cared much for pumpkin spice lattes," I admitted.
Alder's mouth dropped open. "But how? How could you not adore the delicious taste of pumpkin and cinnamon, mixed with steaming hot coffee?"
I shrugged. "It's overrated. I much prefer my regular coffee any day."
Alder rolled his eyes but continued to try to convince me that pumpkin spice lattes were the best. This surprised me. After all, he knew that I was just as stubborn as he was. But at least we had each other and the whole bushland full of pumpkins to explore. And really, what more could you ask for on Halloween?
"But I like regular coffee," I insisted for the millionth time. “Coffee is good because it is coffee. It doesn’t need all these fancy spices to make it delicious.”
Alder laughed and shook his head. "You'll see, pumpkin spice lattes are the best."
With that, he grabbed a thermos from our backpack and mixed up some steaming hot pumpkin spice latte for us both to enjoy. The sweet aroma filled the air, making me feel warm and happy despite the cool breeze that whipped through our campsite.
I sipped my pumpkin spice latte. My tastebuds tingled with delight as the creamy richness slid down my throat. It was unlike anything I had ever tasted before, richer and more satisfying than any regular coffee could ever hope to be.
"This is much nicer than I remember,” I admitted.
"It's a Trick Or Treat Yourself pumpkin spice latte,” Alder said. “That brand has gained fame quickly. And who would have thought something famous would come out of Bayberry Creek?”
I simply grunted. I didn’t like camping. I didn’t like being away from the comfort of my house. Why hadn’t Alder booked us into a nice hotel? Still, I realized I was enjoying myself. The air filled with the fragrance of the eucalyptus trees was invigorating; the golden flames of our campfire were warm and inviting, and Alder was the best company I could ever ask for on a night just before Halloween.
As I sat on my unstable camping chair and sipped my pumpkin spice latte, I gazed out at the bushland. It was spring here in Australia, although here in the mountains the nights were chilly. The glow of the sunset coated the trees in orange and yellow. The whole world seemed to be celebrating Halloween, and I couldn't help but smile and breathe in the rich, earthy air.
All day I had tried to avoid asking my husband why he had decided to take us camping. Already I knew the answer, but it didn’t seem right to avoid discussing the true reason we were currently camping in the bushland.
At last, as the fire crackled and burned low, I turned to my husband and asked him gently, “Why are we camping? I’ll miss the annual Halloween Fair.”
Alder shrugged. “Camino and Thyme will run the stall.” He paused for a moment. "We've had so many wonderful memories together over the years. You’ve always been there for me when I needed you most, and I will always be grateful for that. I just wish that I could protect you."
“Protect me?”
“From Marina Mercer!" he said softly. “Surely you know that’s why I wanted to go camping this Halloween?"
“I know," I replied. "I just didn't know whether you wanted to talk about it.”
"I never want to talk about her," he spat. "But I always want to talk about you, my dear Amelia. But it seems that on Halloween I can’t talk about one without talking about the other. Every year, you do a Halloween spell for Marina Mercer, and every year that Halloween spell goes completely wrong."
"Not on purpose," I said defensively.
"No, I mean it nearly gets you killed.”
I sighed. “But I can't just stop doing the yearly spell. My grandmother made that pact with Marina’s grandmother, Nama. I’m duty bound to perform the spell.”
Alder nodded slowly. “Yes, you are. That’s if Marina finds you. Which she won’t, not out here.” Alder smiled before continuing. “There isn't going to be a Halloween spell this year. We're hiding from Marina. I don't want anything bad to happen to you, Amelia. I couldn't bear it if something happened to you because of that dreadful woman.”
Alder froze. His jaw fell open.
Slowly, I turned to see what had caused him such fright.
A thin and wiry woman with long, dark hair and piercing eyes stood, glaring at us, at the edge of the bushland.

Series Order

1) Miss Spelled
2) Dizzy Spells
3) Sit for a Spell
4) Spelling Mistake
5) ExSpelled
6) The Halloween Spell
7) Spellcheck
8) The Halloween Love Spell
9) Spell It Out
10) Wedding Spells
11) The Halloween Pumpkin Spell
12) Sweet Spell of Success
13) The Halloween Onesie Spell
14) Christmas Spells
15) The Halloween Truth Spell
16) The Halloween Time Spell
17) Baby Spells Trouble
18) The Halloween Camping Spell
19) Spell of Silence
20) The Halloween Cat Spell
21) The Halloween Mystery Spell