Today, we’re welcoming fellow Astraea Press author, Cherie Waggie and her book Lucifer House.
After the death of her father, magazine editor, Olivia Gray has to get away for the holidays. The isolated coastal town or Pirates’ Point, Maine seems to be the perfect place. She meets Chris Wu, a former international pop star who had disappeared from the public view eight years earlier after a tragic car accident. Chris lives in Lucifer House, an ancient rock house overlooking the sea and believed to be haunted by the 10 year old ghost, Charity Lucifer. After an accident temporarily cripples Chris, Olivia offers her help and is soon convinced Charity’s ghost is real and that the little girl is trying to get a message to Chris concerning the car accident and that someone in Pirates’ Point wants Chris dead.
She found a bookstore, Dusty Jackets, which looked as if it had been in existence as long as Pirates’ Point, tucked away in a side alley. A string of tiny Christmas lights accentuated the one multi–paned window cloudy with age but clean enough to see the volumes of used books displayed on a bed of white cotton. The old green door creaked as she opened it, and a small brass bell tinkled.
The shop was small, smelled of dust, time, a faint hint of pine, and filled with shelves of used books. In the dim light, Olivia could see a long wooden counter on which sat an ancient brass cash register. Behind the counter an open door led to another room. At the sound of the bell, the largest, fluffiest, fattest black cat she’d ever seen ran from the back of the shop to greet her.
A gravelly male voice with a heavy Maine accent called fromthe other room. “Lucifer, don’t annoy the cust’mers.” The owner of the voice, a thin man with thick, snow–white
hair and alert blue eyes, appeared. He wore a patched dark green cardigan over a red plaid wool shirt, threadbare khaki slacks, and he peered at her over wire–rimmed half glasses perched on the end of his long nose.
“Don’t get many vis’tors this time o’ year. Lucifer, he likes people, not like his namesake.”
The cat jumped onto the counter and butted his head against Olivia’s arm. She scratched his furry head. “No, I expect not.”
“Don’t mean the one in the Bible. Though I ‘spect the same ‘bout him. I’m talkin’ ‘bout old Cap’n Lucifer.”
Olivia’s hand stopped moving, and Lucifer flopped onto his side, his sea green eyes staring at her as he thumped his tail on the counter.
“E’yeah. Pirate. Most notorious one from the Point. Now, young lady, what can I help you with?”
“Oh, I was just looking.” She hesitated. “I’m visiting and was out—” Her curiosity got the better of her. “Who was Captain Lucifer?”
He eyed her sideways as he turned to retrieve a large volume from the shelf on the wall behind the counter. He handed the book to her. “Like I said, pirate.” He poked the book, Pirates of Pirates’ Point. You like sea lore?”
She opened the worn gold gilt cover of the book. The velum pages crackled as she carefully turned them. The publishing date read 1872. “I love to read just about anything.”
“There’s all kinds here. Feel free to look around. If you’re int’rested in the Cap’n, you’ll find a good many books along the shelves over by the window ‘bout the sea folk, ships, and early hist’ry of Pirates’ Point.”
“Thank you. I would be interested.” Olivia made her way through the maze of bookshelves to the area he indicated. Lucifer accompanied her, walking deftly along the top of the books on the highest shelves and showering her with fine dust swept off by his tail.
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