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Author: Denise Grover Swank
THIRTY AND A HALF EXCUSES Synopsis:
Life in Henryetta, Arkansas is turned upside down with the arrival of a televangelist, but it’s the death of a little old lady on Rose’s street that catches her attention. The Henryetta police deem her death natural causes, but Rose suspects foul play and so does an unlikely supporter–-the president of the Busy Body Club, her eighty-two year old neighbor Mildred.
But Rose is in the middle of opening her nursery with her sister Violet, who’s separated from her husband Mike, as well as stalling her boyfriend Joe’s family, rich socialites who are determined to meet her. Along with her multiple encounters with Fenton County’s new assistant DA, Mason Deveraux III, it’s just another day in the life of Rose Gardner–-chaos.
About Denise Grover Swank:
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 and her other books at: www.denisegroverswank.com.
Thirty and a Half Excuses is an intriguing story surrounded by mystery and colorful characters that lure your attention into a quaint town setting. The main character Rose feels like her life has turned a corner. She’s knee-deep operating a new business with her sister, Violet and in love with a state police officer, Joe. Everything seems to being going well until the new church Reverend hires her nursery to do some landscaping. There is just one tiny issue she separates her from rest of those in this peculiar cast of characters. Rose has visions of events that haven’t happened yet. She can’t always control them but they always have a way of getting her into trouble.
The author cleverly pulls dear Rose through a mud-pit of events that make her stronger, assertive and persistent. The reader can’t help but be intrigued by Rose’s strive to do the right thing. She constantly gets tangled into a murder or two by visions she can’t ignore. Soon, your turning the pages desperate to piece together the clues right along with Rose. Rose’s story is not the only plot device that kept me anxious to get to the end. I could not wait to see how Violet’s secret would come to play into the story or if the town would ever give Bruce Wayne a second chance.
Cast of Characters:
Rose– is main character, story is written in her point of view, has visions, her mother was recently murdered, and operates a nursery with her sister, Violet.
Violet– Rose’s sister, separated from her husband, dating the town Mayor, and has two children.
Joe– is a state police officer, has been dating Rose for a few months, and is on an undercover assignment.
Mason Deveraux– is the assistant district attorney.
The amazing ambiguity written into each character as the story unfolds is brilliant and addicting. Every piece of character interaction flawlessly adds to the next arc in the story and cascades to the pinnacle ending. Rose seems to have an excuses that always land her in tight spots and leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the reader to follow. It was a fun read and I couldn’t wait to see where they would lead next. I’d recommend Thirty and a Half Excuses on a quiet Sunday with a citrus-y Chardonnay.
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