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

Denise Grover Swank
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,375 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The first book of the New York Times and 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.

Books In This Series (6 Books)
Complete Series

  • 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:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    196 of 199 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.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    130 of 133 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.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    98 of 101 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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    93 of 107 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.
    Read more ›
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    51 of 57 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars very enjoyable April 5, 2012
    By FJ BANK
    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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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars This book is an easy read, funny and productive
    BEWARE! For the next week or so, you will not get any cleaning in your house done. Just saying. It starts with this book.......then on from there... you're DONE! Read more
    Published 1 hour ago by Erin Drossman
    4.0 out of 5 stars Twenty-eight and a half wishes
    Great read! Kept me reading. Can't wait to see what's next. Rose is such a great character. What will happen now
    Published 2 hours ago by Pamela
    3.0 out of 5 stars Silly plot; but well written.
    Writing was good, but the book seriously needs editing. Needlessly lengthy, it dragged on for no reasons. Read more
    Published 4 hours ago by Harshavardhan
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fun & Entertaining
    Very entertaining! Catches you in the beginning and holds your interest throughout. A fun book to read on a snowy weekend.
    Published 8 hours ago by S. Kimble
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
    Several twists and turns as well as some laugh out loud moments. Good read.
    Published 9 hours ago by nbi
    5.0 out of 5 stars A fun edge-of-your-seat story
    I have always wanted to read one of Denise Swank' s books and I am so happy that I got the opportunity. Read more
    Published 23 hours ago by Patricia
    5.0 out of 5 stars good reading
    keeps you wanting to know what is going to happen next
    Published 1 day ago by Kelly E
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Very good read if you want something light. Poor girl seemed to have everything go wrong.
    Published 1 day ago by Kindle Customer
    1.0 out of 5 stars Cute dog at least
    Yea...This book isn't for me. Based on the reviews I'm in the minority but hey, to each their own. Main character was unbelievable, actions were erratic and choices she made didn't... Read more
    Published 1 day ago by Kindle Customer
    4.0 out of 5 stars Fun story with an engaging heroine
    I really enjoyed this story and didn't want to leave Rose and Joe at the end. I'm glad there is a sequel. Read more
    Published 1 day ago by Liz C
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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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