Tag Archives: Ann Swann

Review & Giveaway: Yeah, But I Didn’t by Ann Swann

YEAH, BUT I DIDN’T
by
ANN SWANN
Genre: Young Adult / Coming of Age / Bullying
Publisher: Wordcrafts Press
Publication Date: November 12, 2019
Number of Pages: 274 pages

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The first rung: the betrayal

The second rung: the assault

The third rung: the rumors

The fourth rung: the painting

The final rung: no other way out



Betrayed, bullied, and battered emotionally, physically, and spiritually, Benji’s life spirals out of control. She is certain there is nowhere to turn and nothing to live for. Yet in the midst of the darkness there appears a ray of hope in the Yeah, But I Didn’t therapy group.
 
 

Ann Swann delivers a harrowing emotional tale that offers messages of hope and renewal of spirit despite some of the darkest times that life can throw at us.  — 5 STARS, Readers’ Favorite

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One out of 2 marriages end in divorce. You probably already knew that statistic. Did you know that 1 out of every 3 girls is sexually abused in her life? One out of every 5 boys? If you don’t want to hear any more about this, then this book is not for you. Yeah, But I Didn’t by Ann Swann is a book that stares the ugliest side of growing up right in the face. If you were lucky enough to grow up without being bullied by your peers, physically abused by someone bigger or older than you, or had to deal with survivor’s guilt, then maybe you think the sequence of events in this story are farfetched or melodramatic. As someone who has had firsthand experience of more than half of it, I can tell you that you are wrong.

Once I got over the fact that Benji was a young girl and not a cute dog from the ‘80s, I was able to appreciate Swann’s ability to write from the perspective of a hurting and humiliated 14-year-old. Already feeling rejected by her father’s desertion years ago, you can really feel the pain of having to live in a household that is completely opposite of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Maybe that’s the reality of present times when you cast aside Pollyanna’s glasses. Single mothers often don’t have time to be there for their children. And children don’t know how to sort through their feelings because of lack of parental guidance and too much reliance on communicating through technology. I had a hard enough time alternating between defending myself from or ignoring rumors in high school. I can only imagine what it would have been like if social media existed at the time.

The draw and danger of social media is portrayed so well in this book. I could tell that Swann is very familiar with how young people use the various platforms and doesn’t just use the references as a means to validate this story as one for young adults. It’s hard to explain, but you can tell when a writer talks about a subject they know very little about.

The only part I found problematic was one of the therapy sessions. The therapist hugs Benji and says something like, “You poor thing. Thank God…” Hospital therapists normally do not hug their patients or mention anything religious. Normally, they would ask for permission to touch the patient. I would think that is particularly important when someone has suffered assault.

I thought that the chapter titles were an interesting choice and it all becomes clear when you reach the end. The allegory of the ladder can be interpreted in several different ways, both positive and negative. It can be used as a tool to get somewhere or to accomplish something good or necessary, or it can be the tool to one’s self-destruction. Ultimately, Benji’s climb up the ladder wasn’t so straightforward and I liked where Swann had her end up. Let’s just say that it takes real balance to accomplish that feat.

I received an advanced copy of this book, so I hope that the various typos were corrected before the final press. There was also an error about Benji being the first grandchild when her sister Janie is four years older than her. I really liked how the epilogue really buttoned things up and gives the reader closure. I would have liked to see resources listed at the end for teens who need someone to talk to, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. I think that this would be a great book to initiate difficult conversations with teens.

Ann has been a writer since junior high school, but to pay the bills she has waited tables, delivered newspapers, cleaned other people’s houses, taught school, and had a short stint as a secretary in a rock-n-roll radio station. She also worked as a 911 operator and a police dispatcher. 
 
Her fiction began to win awards during her college days. Since then she’s published quite a few short stories, novels, and novellas. But even if no one ever bought another book, Ann would not stop writing. She says it’s a necessity, like breathing. Most of the time, it even keeps her sane.


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February 4-13, 2020
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VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

2/4/20
Review
2/4/20
BONUS Post
2/5/20
Review
2/6/20
Promo Post
2/7/20
Review
2/8/20
Review
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Copper Lake by Ann Swann

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours
presents
 
COPPER LAKE

 

Book Three in the Stutter Creek Series 
 
by
Ann Swann

They call him the Killer Cartographer because he carves the map coordinates of each victim on the femur of the one before. Then he tattoos the information on his skin.  Can detective Kendra Dean bring him in or will she become his next tattoo?
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Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantom Pilot series, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She lives in Texas with her husband, Dude, one rescue dog, two rescue cats, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy. When she’s not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.
Books by Ann Swann
2011 Stevie-girl and The Phantom Pilot – Cool Well Press
2012 Stevie-girl and The Phantom Student – Cool Well Press
2013 Stevie-girl and the Phantom of Crybaby Bridge – Createspace
2012 All For Love – 5 Prince Publishing
2013 Stutter Creek (Book One) – 5 Prince Publishing
2015 Lilac Lane (Book Two) – 5 Prince Publishing
2016 Copper Lake (Book Three) – 5 Prince Publishing
2016 Takers: Apocalypse in Eden – coming soon
Short Fiction
“Bamboozled” Alfred Hitchcock Magazine
“Aftermath” Binnacle Magazine
“The Gap” and “In Search of Water” The Rusty Nail (previously published in The Sandstorm)
“Soul Gardener” Timeless: Cool Well Press, Anthology
“The Fee” A World of Terror: Grey Mouse Publishing, (formerly titled The Warning)
“SleepAway Pounds” Seasonal, Sweet, and Suspenseful, Anthology

“Chems” Createspace

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Review
I’ve been doing these tours for a few months now, and I’ve gotta say that they’re making me love suspense/mystery novels. Swann’s latest installment of the Stutter Creek series thrilled me in the way that The Lovely Bones did. If you read the blurb, you know that Ken is going to be the next victim, but the mind reels with how she will fall into his clutches.
Swann’s set up is pretty damn great too. You meet the killer in the first chapter and get a good picture of his twisted mind right away. But then she makes you wait for confirmation on who he is and a general idea of how he picks his victims. (You don’t meet too many male characters, and Swann doesn’t throw a bunch of false leads out there. So figuring out whodunnit was kind of easy.) The anticipation of waiting for our heroine to fall into the psycho’s clutches is probably comparable to his anticipation of getting found out. You know it’s going to happen and you’re excited/scared.
I like how Swann doesn’t let the romance between Ken and her partner muddle everything. There’s nothing I can’t stand more than delving into sex when the story is getting good. But there’s enough tension there to explain how they could possibly have a strong enough connection to achieve some incredible breakthroughs in this case. Intuition and mind reading (sorta) really win the day.
One nitpicky thing that got me: The killer’s wife never noticed his unusual scars (not to mention tattoos of coordinates…) between his legs. I’m not a Fifty Shades of Grey kind of girl, but you’re sex life is pretty vanilla if you don’t know nearly every inch of your lover. But that detail aside, I am crazy about this book and look forward to reading the other two I missed.
Check out all the great blog stops on the tour!

 

1/28       Books and BroomsticksAuthor Interview
1/29       bookishjessp — Promo
1/30       The Page Unbound — Promo
1/31       Missus GonzoReview
2/1         All for the Love of the WordAuthor Interview
2/2         My Book Fix Blog Review
2/3         Hall Ways — Promo
2/4         Because This is My Life Y’allReview
2/5         The Crazy BooksellersPromo
2/6         Texas Book-aholicReview
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