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Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (Rose Gardner Mystery Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Denise Grover Swank
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,831 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The first book of the USA Today Bestselling series!

"Though much of the book is light-hearted and occasionally outright hilarious, the author sneaks in a few home truths along the way that will hit you where it counts, like how even someone’s best intentions can box you in." --Everybody Needs a Little Romance

"This was one of those books that I kept telling myself one more page, then I need to put it down. Instead I found myself tearing through the book instead, needing to know the outcome." --Just Jump Book Reviews

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She’s had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone’s toilet’s overflowed, but she’s never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn't enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Rose realizes she’s wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She’s well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won’t help with number fifteen-- do more with a man. Joe’s new to town, but it doesn’t take a vision for Rose to realize he’s got plenty secrets of his own.

Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they’ll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn’t her biggest worry after all.

Winner of The Beacon – 2010 Unpublished Division, Mainstream Category

Editorial Reviews


WINNER of the 2012 Write Touch Readers' Award for Mainstream with Romantic Elements

"Though much of the book is light-hearted and occasionally outright hilarious, the author sneaks in a few home truths along the way that will hit you where it counts, like how even someone's best intentions can box you in." --Everybody Needs a Little Romance

"This was one of those books that I kept telling myself one more page, then I need to put it down. Instead I found myself tearing through the book instead, needing to know the outcome." --Just Jump Book Reviews

About the Author

Denise lives in Lee's Summit, Missouri. She has six children, two dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning.
She's a full time author. Two of her previous manuscripts won the Fantasy/Futuristic/Paranormal category and the Mainstream category in The Beacon 2010 Unpublished writing contest sponsored by First Coast Romance Writers.

Product Details

  • File Size: 672 KB
  • Print Length: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Bramagioia Enterprises (December 19, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0058UXHHK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
182 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great, entertaining, read! July 23, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was a great read and once you get started, it really is hard to put down. Even with a toddler in the house I somehow managed to read it in about two days.

I was attracted to the book by the blurb, it seemed quirky enough that I would like, and I saw there was an overbearing mother in the picture. Having one myself I was interested. I have to say that the character of 'Momma' and the affect she has on her children seems very authentic. I could understand why Rose, the daughter that stayed behind to care for the cruel mother, was the way she was, and why her sister 'the one who got away' was the way she was too. I liked how the dynamic plays out later in the book between the sisters and found them particularly engaging.

The characters are very real. None of them 100% perfect all of the time. Sometimes they infuriate you or make you slap her head, while in the next scene make you giddy, or a little teary.

The book is often witty and Rose's take on situations are sometimes laugh out loud funny. There are some twists and many secrets revealed throughout the book. Some more unexpected than others, but once revealed, you definitely feel an 'ah-ha' moment. The scenes are described beautifully, never with more description than needed, which is just what I like. I've been known to only glaze over overly descriptive passages in most of the books I read, so this was a definite plus for me.

I'd recommend the book to anyone who likes a coming of age story, murder mystery, or a romance. Rose a great heroine who is stronger than she thinks right from the beginning. It'll be interesting to see with her new found confidence where the next book in the series will take her.
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116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
By Basil
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this mystery. Serious stuff happened in a light hearted way. Others told what this novel is about, so I won't repeat, but I'll try to convince you to buy this book. I know I am reading a good story when I can't wait to get back to it, over and over, reading much to long into the night.

For those of you who wonder, there are no sex scenes. There was a hint, but the reader is left outside the closed door, as we should be. There are plenty other books out there if that is your preference.

There are a couple of visions, but this isn't a "paranormal" story. The author writes in such a way that the whole story is very believable; so much so that I forgot there was an author. It seemed more like watching a movie.

I liked everything about this novel, and I give it my highest 5 star review.
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95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Addictive July 15, 2011
I downloaded Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes and planned to save it for my upcoming beach trip. As I do all books I buy, I took a peek at the first few pages to get an idea of the style of writing. Just one day later I had finished it, unable to put it aside because Rose had my attention--I was rooting for her to transform herself from a victim to a heroine. At least, I hoped she would and I was determined to see it through. I won't be a spoiler, I'll just tell you that the story flows well and will not leave you bored. Buy it now! This debut author has a promising future ahead of her, and I hope she cranks out a few more books very soon!
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49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable April 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The characters (especially the main) are will developed and I felt myself instantly rooting for and identifying with her (even though I'm a guy :-) I was somewhat disappointed by the mystery part, of which the built up to its conclusion suggested a much more interesting and reasonable solution. I don't want to give away anything, but one of my earlier guesses for a possible solution seemed more compelling and satisfying than what the actual solution ended up to be. Swank's psychological writing is more interesting and rewarding to me than her mystery writing, and that is why I enjoyed this book.
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66 of 76 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Crappy doodles March 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While I realize the definition of FICTION, is a "made up" story, this is totally implausible in ridiculous ways. Don't worry, I'm not a 'spoiler' and won't give away the ending, trust me, the book itself is the true spoiler.

The main character, Rose, has a job at the DMV. While supporting her mother, an entire house, and everyday expenses, she still manages to have money to burn on silly things in order to accomplish her wishes. She inherits a ridiculous sum of money that only gets mentioned twice, and ultimately doesn't flow at all or make sense in the story line. (She's not spending inheritance money, but rather her own from a job that couldn't be possibly be enough to cover the expenses of her whims).

Her response to anything that goes wrong is "crappy doodles" and I thought if I read those two words one more time, I was going to scream!

The other character, Joe, is another wonderment in stupidity. His real life career is obvious from the get go. There is NO real 'difficult to solve mystery', just a stream of stupid happenings that in real life would be totally scary and leave the person living them saying much more about it than "crappy doodles". The only other thing you could call a 'real mystery' would be WHY her mother is murdered in the very beginning and how it ties into the rest of the story. That is NEVER all.

Ultimately, I found this book to be exasperatingly dumb, and by seeing this book getting an overall rating of nearly 5 stars makes me wonder if we all read the same book or if the copy I read was edited, shortened and left out ANY good parts.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great mystery!
Very good mystery. Lots of twists to keep you reading. Good quick read, easy to get into. Highly recommend this book.
Published 1 hour ago by CMK
5.0 out of 5 stars great read!!!
Loved it and could not put it down! A must buy for anybody who loves mystery, action and love all wrapped into one book.
Published 1 hour ago by Julie Frazier
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining.
This murder mystery had me chuckling out loud as I read. It also had twists that kept you guessing. I would be interested in reading more from this author.
Published 9 hours ago by Karen Blaskowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book!
Published 13 hours ago by Chloe
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book
I really enjoyed this book, I'm not into Mystery books but this was just enough and had romance in it as well. I would buy the next book, really kept my interest
Published 13 hours ago by Rose Wyskiel
5.0 out of 5 stars PAGE TURNER!
Let's put it this way. I started this book as a before bed read. It kept me up till I finished it at 2am. This book is written very nicely and the story line is great
Published 14 hours ago by B00k <3er
5.0 out of 5 stars Up all nite
Love, torture, and crime. Who could ask for more. Some of the story one can figure but the romance side and family keeps the reader going.
Published 17 hours ago by Connie Negandhi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read, good series.
Published 1 day ago by Teddi Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Loving this book so far!
How much fun is this? I will definitely purchase the rest of this series. Careful if you happen to get the notification from Amazon about the release date for Thirty-Two, because... Read more
Published 1 day ago by MS
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
This book is so amazing I couldn't put it down I needed to finish it I loved it so much
Published 1 day ago by Liliana Matthews
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More About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn't lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe.

You can find out more about Denise at or email her at

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