Sunday, 28 August 2011

Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank and author Interview


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 neighbour 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.

My Opinion
I have just finished Twenty Eight and A Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank. This is not the usual kind of book I would pick up but when the book was offered to me to review there was something that intrigued me about the storyline mainly to do with our main character Rose who has visions which has always been of interest to me. The book gets off to a great start and a fast pace with the first line of the book “It all started when I saw myself dead” .I think this line is going to stick in my mind for a long time as I have never read any kind of book which starts in this way and it certainly had me gripped.

Our main character in this book is Rose who I took an instant like to. She seems quirky and innocent in her ways which I think is mainly due to the sheltered life she has lived. I loved the fact that I found her funny without her even trying which only made her character more likeable. There seemed to be so much in life she had missed out on which only left me rooting for her to tackle all the things she wants to do in life.

I also really enjoyed the character of the next door neighbour Joe. We know he is keeping secrets which only make his character more mysterious and intriguing. Even though I couldn’t work out if he was a good guy or a bad guy I still found his character so likeable. I enjoyed the relationship between the two characters.

The storyline to this book is so intense there is just something happening all the time which meant I couldn’t put it down as I needed to know what was going to happen next. What I enjoyed most about this book was the suspense factor. I kept chopping and changing my mind with what I thought was going to happen and all in all I was wrong! Just as I thought the story was starting to wrap up something else would happen so to say I was then on the edge of my seat is a slight understatement!

There is such a mix to this book so there is definitely something for everyone in this book. Action, romance, suspense and even a splash of humour. I truly think this book would make for a great film.
I would recommend this book and I will also be keeping my eyes open for more work by Denise Grover Swank

Denise has been kind enough to come over and have an interview with us too hope you all enjoy....!!

What gave you the inspiration for Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes?
I took my son to the DMV to get license plates for his new car and told him it would be awesome to have a character work at a DMV. He rolled his eyes and gave me his "mom's talking weird" again look. I knew I wanted the book to be lighter and more fun than the book I had just finished and somehow out of that Rose was born. I usually have to let a character roll around in my head for a bit to get to know them, but Rose was born fully developed a raring to go.

I came up with a blurb for the book three days later and wrote the first chapter the next day.

Are you planning on a sequel to Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes and if so can you tell us a little bit about your plans for it?
Yes! I have three semi-plotted books in the Rose Gardner Mystery series. Each book will have a mystery but will also focus on Rose's continued growth as she adjusts to her new life and deals with her long distance relationship with Joe. And Violet will be just as involved.

You are bringing up 5 of your beautiful children do you find it hard to find time to sit down and write?
Yes, but the key is headphones and a laptop. I'm working on this interview in a dance studio waiting room while my younger children hide behind benches. I've written at play rehearsals, doctor's offices, Starbucks, motel rooms, the front seat of cars. And countless other places. If I have free time, I pull out my laptop.
And I also write a lot at night. I say I never thought I'd have a night job, but the majority of my writing takes place between 9 p.m. and 2-3 a.m. It's a good thing I'm a night owl and I can live several nights in a row on 4-6 hours sleep.

You self published Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes, what advice would you give to anyone who is thinking of going down the self publish route?
First, make sure you've had writers thoroughly critique your work. I have three-four for each manuscript and then I have beta readers. They're looking for plot holes, inconsistencies, etc. THEN I have a professional copy editor read through it. You may only have one chance to make an impression on a reader. You want them to read your book and hopefully be looking for your other work.

What was the last book you read?
The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Beautiful book, full of fascinating characters. And the movie was well done, too.

If you were stuck on a desert Island what would be the 3 things you would have with you?
I'm hoping I don't have to chose between my kids. ;) I'm guessing no electricity since it's a deserted island. (Bye bye laptop and headphones!) I'm in big trouble because I'm an electronically dependent woman. I can't go more than a few days without writing so I would want the thickest notebook I could get my hands on and pen. (there's two) And I'd want a book, because I can't go long without reading either. Just don't make it War and Peace. Please. :)

Thankyou to Denise for taking the time to answer our questions and also Denise and Chick lit Plus for giving me the opportunity to read this thrilling book.

Grab yourself a copy over at Amazon  on the link below


  1. Great review Rea. Twenty-eight and a half wishes looks an intriguing and absorbing read! Loved the author interview too. It's on my wishlist now :) x

  2. I love the premise for this novel. I wouldn't mind picking it up to read.

  3. Great review! I feel the same way this normally would not be a book I would pick up (I'm not a fan of reading books about murder) but something about it does interest me. I've enjoyed many books where the main character knows he or she has a certain amount of time before they die and they make the most of the rest of their time on earth. It's on my goodreads list

  4. Thankyou for your comments I have enjoyed my first Chicklit Plus blog tour. This is well worth a read and can not wait to read the next book!!! Let us know what you all think if you pick up a copy xxx