Camino Winds (Camino Island, #2) by John Grisham Read Online (FREE)
“You’ll have a huge crowd tomorrow, Mercer,” Amy said. “A lot of the locals remember your grandmother and they’re very proud of you.”
“I knew Tessa,” Bruce said. “But, as I look around the table, I believe that no one here was living on the island when she died. What was it, Mercer, twelve years ago?”
Myra said, “We moved here thirteen years ago to get away from a bunch of writers. Look what’s happened. Everyone followed us here.”
Bob said, “And I believe I was next, about ten years ago, right after I got paroled.”
“Please, Bob,” Myra snapped. “No more prison stories. After your last book I felt like I’d been gang-raped.”
“So you liked it?” Bob asked.
“Anyway,” Bruce said loudly. “I’d like to propose a toast to, first of all, Mr. Leo. May he remain at sea and just go away. And, more importantly, to our dear friend Mercer and her wonderful new book, number five on the big list and rising. Cheers!”
They clinked glasses and took a drink.
“I have a question, Mercer,” Leigh said. “Did your grandmother, the real Tessa, really have a steamy romance with a younger man, here on the island?”
“That was the best part,” Myra interjected quickly. “That first seduction scene made my teeth sweat. Really well done, girl.”
“Thanks, Myra,” Mercer said. “Coming from you, that’s quite a compliment.”
“Don’t mention it. Of course I would’ve gone way overboard.”
“But yes, once I was old enough to realize what was going on, I suspected Tessa spent a lot of time with the younger man when I wasn’t around.”
“And that was Porter, in real life?” Leigh asked.
“Yes. Porter lived here for many years. Fourteen years ago they died together in a storm.”
“I remember Porter, and the storm,” Bruce said. “It was one of the worst we’ve seen on the island, short of a hurricane.”
“Who’s talking about hurricanes?” Amy asked.
“Sorry. We’ve had our share of glancing blows but nothing terrible. The storm that got Tessa and Porter was an old-fashioned summer heat cell that came from the north with no warning.”
“And where was Tessa?” Amy asked. “I’m sorry, Mercer, if you don’t want to talk about this.”
“No, it’s fine. Tessa and Porter were not far out, just a lazy summer’s day in his sailboat. Porter and the boat were never seen again. Tessa was found in the surf near the North Pier two days later.”
Myra said, “Well, thank God you didn’t kill her off in your novel. I certainly would have.”
“You killed everyone, Myra,” Leigh said. “After you ran them through the sex grinder.”
“Murder sells, Leigh, almost as much as sex. Remember that when those royalty checks arrive.”
“So what’s next, Mercer?” Bob Cobb asked.
She smiled at Thomas and said, “Rest for a couple of weeks, though I’m already being hounded by Thomas and Bruce to start another novel.”
“I need something to sell,” Bruce said.