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When Libby's popularity soars after being on television, Sabrina decides to use her magical powers to prevent her rival from taking over planning for the Harvest Moon dance
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Mel Odom often wishes he had witch powers. They would make traffic jams easier to take (simply fly over them or zap home). They would make vacations easier (simply zap everybody -- there, then zap back for the things you forgot the first time!). And they would probably make getting chores done around the household easier to accomplish. (Haven't cleaned your room? Well, let's see how you like being a toad for the. evening! Too busy primping to do your laundry? How, would you like a really bad hair day?)
But he is grateful for the small magics that make life really good, friendships, dreams, and the fact that everybody in the family loves baby Chandler. He firmly believes the strongest magic in all the world is a baby's smile, which can melt the hardest of hearts and open doors everywhere.
He lives in Moore, Oklahoma, with his wife and five children, and leaves his Friday nights open to watch Sabrina with the family. He's written dozens of novels, including one in The Secret World of Alex Mack series called In Hot Pursuit! If you'd like to drop an e-mail to say hi, you can reach Mel at firstname.lastname@example.org.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
"Sabrina Spellman, what do you think you're doing?"
Aunt Zelda's reproach, delivered with the max in authority, let Sabrina know she was in mondo trouble.
"It's not what you think," Sabrina said weakly. Then she remembered how much she hated starting out any kind of defense with those words.
Zelda Spellman stood in the doorway leading out to the living room. Her short blond hair framed her face and lay precisely in place. She stared at her niece over her reading glasses, the forefinger of one hand stuck into a fat copy of Tuttleby's Crescent Wrench for Quantum Mechanics Everywhere. "There is no reason for scrying on someone." She walked into the room and looked at the contents of the bowl on the kitchen counter. She waved an arm.
Obediently the water rose from the bowl in a column spread out as big as a basketball. The increase in size and viewing area made Sabrina feel even more guilty for scrying, spying on someone by casting a spell across the surface of a body of water. In this case, Salem's water bowl.
"Actually," Aunt Hilda said as she entered the room behind Zelda, "there was a reason for scrying at one time." Blond as her sister, the resemblance almost stopped there. Hilda was a free spirit, and it showed in the unruly curls and mischievous, dimpled smile she habitually wore. "Before telecommunications and cellular phones, scrying was actually quite helpful."
Zelda cut her sister off immediately. "I'd hate to have to be the one to explain to her father how she came to be fined by the Witches' Council for invasion of privacy. She hasn't even received her witch's license yet."
A troubled expression took some of the zing out of Hilda's dimpled smile. "I'm afraid that's true, sweetheart. Whatever possessed you to scry on anyone? And who is it?"
"Hilda!" Zelda remonstrated.
"Well," Hilda retorted with a brief flush of embarrassment, pulling away from the water, "it does make you kind of curious, doesn't it?"
Sabrina wanted to scream. "I wasn't scrying on anyone," she stated again, and this time she found she was trying to convince herself as well. "I was just making sure everything is going okay at the carnival. There are so many things we need to get done in the next two days."
Hilda peered more closely at the twisting water. "This does look like the school gym."
Zelda looked as well, then shook her head. "That's beside the point," she announced as she waved her hand. The swirling water in the bowl leaped into the sink and gurgled down the drain. "Did you know the risks you were taking?. There are several reasons why scrying isn't allowed."
Sabrina knew that. Since her sixteenth birthday, when her father had taken her to live with his sisters, she'd started learning the rules concerning witches and the things they could do with their magic. That was the day she'd learned she was a witch herself, gifted with amazing powers. Hilda and Zelda counseled her on her newly discovered abilities as well as the responsibilities they expected her to learn to assume. Especially the responsibility part.
"I know why it isn't allowed." Sabrina sighed, feeling lower than low. "It's not polite." She crossed to the kitchen table and sat, ready to listen to the coming lecture.
"As well as demeaning and potentially harmful," Zelda pointed out. "Even to a good relationship."
"I wasn't scrying on Harvey," Sabrina explained, knowing her aunt had gotten the wrong impression. Harvey Kinkle was her semiofficial boyfriend, and she'd already learned the wisdom of leaving their relationship in the hands of true love.
"Scrying wasn't so bad before colonial America," Hilda put in, peering briefly into the refrigerator, then emerging with a frown. "Why, back in the Middle Ages, the occasional glimpse of a loved one or an enemy in a bowl of frankincense or wine helped a witch achieve a certain social standing."
"Not to mention a position of financial gain," Salem observed. He rubbed his paws together at a fond memory. "I can remember how appreciative the De Medicis were."
"But scrying is now against the Witches' Code of Ethics," Zelda said, "so I'd like an explanation."
"It's the carnival," Sabrina answered, feeling the pressure and frustration settle heavily on her. "If it doesn't earn the money we need for the Harvest Moon Dance, there won't be a Harvest Moon Dance." She hated putting the possibility into words. It felt like such a jinx.
Since she'd found out she was a witch, some of the things she'd considered part of normal everyday life seemed to be just out of reach. Like holidays. Her parents' divorce had changed her home life in that regard as well.
That was why the Harvest Dance at Westbridge High School was tremendously important to her, and why she'd volunteered for the job of overseeing the carnival to fund the dance.
"I just wanted to make sure everything was going okay at the gym," Sabrina went on. "So I peeked."
"You could have been there instead of here," Zelda said. "You could zap back and forth. Of course, you'd want to be careful about that, too."
"I was there instead of here," Sabrina replied, indicating the old jeans and chambray work shirt she had on. She didn't really have any old clothes, thanks to her powers, so she'd had to point herself up some. "I zapped myself home for only an instant. Just long enough to try to get a little quiet time to myself and grab a snack."
"Oh, Sabrina," Hilda said, patting her niece on the hand. "We've seen how you've been worrying yourself these last few days, but we can help if you let us."
"You've been quite adamant about doing this by yourself," Zelda agreed.
"The Harvest Moon Dance is for the student body, and they should be the ones helping put the carnival together."
"But they aren't," Salem said. "Ingrates. We should give them a piece of --"
Zelda froze the cat into silence with a glare.
"Or not," Salem said.
"I guess I'm not the inspirational leader I thought I could be," Sabrina said. "If Libby Chessler had managed the carnival, more people would have gotten involved."
Libby Chessler was one of Sabrina's least favorite people at the high school. As head cheerleader for Westbridge, Libby garnered plenty of attention. She also wore the latest expensive fashions, bragged about the social connections her family had, and absolutely controlled who made the Who's Who list of popularity at school.
"You don't know that," Zelda said.
"Yes, I do," Sabrina said. "You wouldn't believe how many people have asked me over the last two weeks why Libby isn't running things."
"How are things going with the carnival?" Zelda asked.
"We're behind," Sabrina admitted. "Getting everything set up is more of a problem. The lumber we needed to make the booths only arrived this afternoon. Today is Thursday, and tomorrow night is the last night before the carnival. The way I'd planned it, we'd have everything done by tonight."
"Won't anyone help out tomorrow?"
"A few of the kids," Sabrina said. "But it's Friday night and they have dates. I have a date. With Harvey. I don't want to miss that."
"The dance is a date as well, isn't it?" Zelda asked.
Sabrina experienced a sinking feeling. "This is going to be one of those Life's Lessons Lectures, isn't it? About commitment and the big picture?"
"Afraid so," Zelda said. "If the dance doesn't come off, what are you going to tell all the people who've donated prizes to the carnival? What are you going to tell the people who've already bought tickets to the carnival?"
"I know," Sabrina said. "When no one offered to get the carnival organized, I couldn't believe it. I mean, coming right before Thanksgiving and Christmas as it is, the dance gives everybody one last chance for a party before things get really hectic for the holidays."
"Then I'd say it's up
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Book Description Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 1998. Mass Market Paperback. Condition: New. New paperback with photo cover & glossy foil lettering. #15 in series. Seller Inventory # mon0000022404
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