Camino Winds (Camino Island, #2) by John Grisham Read Online (FREE)
The weary forecasters said farewell as he limped into the Atlantic. Their models ran him out to sea where he would do little more than frighten some cargo ships.
However, Leo had other plans. Two hundred miles due east of St. Augustine, he turned north and picked up steam as his center spun together tightly for the third time. The models were reshuffled and new warnings were issued. For forty-eight hours he moved steadily along, gaining strength as he eyed the coast as if selecting his next target.
At Bay Books in the town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island, the chatter among the clerks and customers was of nothing but the storm. Indeed, across the island, as well as from Jacksonville to the south and Savannah to the north, everyone was watching Leo and talking about him nonstop. By now most folks were well informed and could say with authority that no Florida beach north of Daytona had taken a direct hit in decades. There had been plenty of glancing blows as the hurricanes hurried north toward the Carolinas. One theory was that the Gulf Stream sixty miles out acted as a barrier to protect the Florida beaches and it would do so again with pesky Leo. Another theory was that the luck had run out and it was time for the Big One. The models were a hot topic. The hurricane center in Miami was now plotting a trajectory that sent Leo farther out to sea without landfall. But the Europeans had him coming ashore south of Savannah as a Category 4, with massive flooding in the low country. If Leo had proved anything, though, it was that he cared nothing for the models.
Bruce Cable, the owner of Bay Books, kept one eye on the Weather Channel while he hustled customers and chided his staff to get about their business. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and Bruce bought into the legend that Camino Island was immune to dangerous hurricanes. He’d been there for twenty-four years and had not seen a destructive storm. His store hosted at least four readings a week, and a major appearance was on for tomorrow night. Surely Leo would not disrupt the pleasant homecoming Bruce had planned for one of his favorite authors.
Mercer Mann was ending a two-month summer tour that had been wildly successful. Her second novel, Tessa, was the talk of the trade and currently in the top ten on all the bestseller lists. Its reviews were glowing and it was selling faster than anyone had expected. Labeled literary fiction, as opposed to one of the more popular genres, it had seemed destined for the lower rungs of the lists, if it made it at all. Its publisher, along with its author, had dreamed of selling thirty thousand in hardcover and e-book combined, but the novel was already beyond that.
Mercer had deep roots on the island, having summered there as a girl with her grandmother, Tessa, the inspiration for the novel. Three years earlier she had spent a month on the beach in the family cottage and managed to entangle herself in some local mischief. She had also had a quick fling with Bruce, just another in his long line of trysts.