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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

“There’s a murder in Dragon’s Bend”
Author Susan Slater
Book Beginnings/First Lines

image of a woman sat reading by an open window - caption reads 'will these first few lines capture our imagination' - used as the image for Book Beginnings / First Lines, posts

For all you ‘First Page Browsers’

Cover image of the bok 'Epiphany' by author Susan Slater




Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. There she went again, thinking in threes. Her mind was spinning, repeating itself – repeating the warnings. The internal voice was getting louder, first the words then a buzzing so loud that she heard nothing else but this threatening high-pitched hiss. She needed to give this up. Walk away. Now, before something terrible happened. She couldn’t be responsible … not even involved. But the money. She made more than she had ever thought possible. So, there was right and there was wrong. Which side did she want to be on? Which side should she be on?

Suddenly the driver hit the brakes, just a tap before accelerating again. Had there been something in the road. She couldn’t see; the night was almost pitch black. She looked down at the young girl sleeping beside her stretched out across the vintage limo’s wide back seat. She would need her rest for what lay before her.

It was wrong handing this child over to who knew what. But how could she say no? Would she still be his chosen one, his right hand, the one he depended on? He had reassured her. Said yes. She knew, of all the women he could have turned to, she had been singled out because she was bright, knew how to be discreet and she loved him unconditionally. No, she couldn’t leave him, nor could she betray him. He knew that. But hadn’t he offered to help? To free her, yet keep her close? Offer her a much coveted position among his disciples? She smiled, an office job maybe? Or would marriage be offered? She knew he loved her.

So you have taken a look, will you read the book?

Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Just to give you an extra helping hand, and a short refresher, here is the book’s premise …

EPIPHANY – (Dan Mahoney mysteries – book #4) – (The Premise)

Cover image of the bok 'Epiphany' by author Susan SlaterIt’s Christmas in St. Augustine, where Dan and Elaine Mahoney are taking an extended honeymoon. But not all is sunny in Florida when Dan’s company sends him to investigate the theft of 1.2 million dollars’ worth of religious relics from the famed Basilica. Immediately, he knows it won’t be easy to track down the missing items—far too many people had access to the safe where they were stored when not on display for the parishioners. And although the church and rectory were filled with people, when Dan questions them, it seems no one saw a thing.

Adding another wrinkle to their newlywed life is the fact that Dan’s mother has moved to a small town up the road. Dragon’s Bend is known for the fact that everyone who lives there is involved in the spiritual realm—from seers to gurus. Most are sincere practitioners in their beliefs, but some … not so much. Is Maggie Mahoney’s new job giving tarot readings at the Center for Spiritual Learning a legit way for her to help those who want to find deeper meaning in their lives? Or is she becoming caught up in something far darker?

A visit from Elaine’s son Jason brings the family together for a fun Mahoney Christmas, but not before there’s a murder in Dragon’s Bend. The clues finally come together and the scope of the crimes goes far beyond anything Dan could have imagined.

Image of author Susan Slater

Author Susan Slater

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You might also like to visit Gilion, over at ‘Rose City Reader‘, where you can share links to the book beginnings from her own reading schedule and that of many of our fellow bloggers. There are always plenty of new authors and titles to be discovered.

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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    • Hi Anne,

      I agree that these opening lines are intriguing and open up many possibilities, when you read in the premise, just how many strands there are to this story.

      Are they all eventually linked and if so, where does the sale of children fit into things? as it sounds as though this is not the first transaction this woman courier has delivered!

      Sinister indeed!

      Thanks for stopping by, Anne. I hope that you enjoyed the festive season and that 2020 is a year of excellent reading for you 🙂

  • I, too, have a lot of questions! The opening lines don’t seem to fit with the book’s blurb, so I’m curious about what’s going on.

    • Hi Kelly,

      Just about all of Susan’s readers comment on how action packed her stories are, so I am assuming that ‘Epiphany’ is no exception and that there are many strands to this story.

      Might it be that the Center for Spiritual Learning is not quite as legit or meaningful as it would have its followers believe and that they are involved either in child trafficking, or selling children privately for adoption? I’m sure that Dan won’t be too impressed with his mother getting involved in either scenario, no matter how unwittingly!

      As this was a review request direct from the author herself, I am assuming that ‘Epiphany’ works okay as a stand alone story and that there isn’t too much background baggage which I should really know about, which I know wouldn’t do for you 🙂 but I really don’t have time to play catch-up with the series, as I have too many other review commitments right now.

      I hope that you have some good books lined up for your 2020 reading 🙂

    • Hi Sammie,

      Thanks for stopping by, it is good to ‘meet’ you.

      Murder, yes! – But is the rest magic, or something much darker and more sinister?

      It sounds as though author, Susan Slater, does like to pack plenty of action into her stories, however as ‘Epiphany’ is the first book of hers I will have read, I am hoping that it is going to work okay as a stand alone!

      I appreciate your support and wish you a New Year full of great reads and exciting writing projects 🙂

    • Hi Naida,

      I’m not too sure just how seriously I can be expecting to take this storyline when I begin reading, hopefully later today.

      Having checked out the premises of the previous three books in the series, I am kinda assuming that there is an element of ‘tongue in cheek’ going on here, so I am hoping that the books work okay as stand alones and that there isn’t too much of a backstory which I really needed to know about!

      I have to admit that I will struggle to take tarot readings and any references to the spiritual realm too seriously, although those opening lines do definitely scream out about something much more troubling potentially happening around Dragon’s Bend!

      I’ll keep you posted with updates, but this one has the promise to be right up your street 🙂

Written by Yvonne