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Saturday, 4 January 2014

HUG A BOOK with Tanya J Peterson




Hug A Book is sponsored by





It’s HUG A BOOK and this weekend it’s with Tanya J Peterson

And

You could win a Kindle copy of
Leave of Absence





Meet Tanya



I am passionate about issues that involve mental illness and mental health/wellness for all people, so I write novels with themes involving the human experience of mental illness. I have a mental health blog (www.tanyajpeterson.com/blog), and I participate in events both off- and online to increase awareness and understanding and to end stigma.  I’m active in my local NAMI chapter, and I give presentations and speak at conferences.  I’m passionate about mental health because I have a unique combination of experiences that have put me on both sides of the proverbial couch.  I have a Master of Science degree in counseling and am a nationally certified counselor.  I've volunteered my services in schools and communities (I've also been a high school teacher) in order to help people help themselves.  And I've been the recipient of help as a patient.  After sustaining a traumatic brain injury after a car accident (and a couple other concussions in the months/years following that accident due to acts of stupidity and clumsiness), I was on an intense roller coaster ride that had me in and out of a behavioral health hospital.  It was during this time that I was officially diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder.  I've been there -- on both sides, helper and helpee.  So armed with a desire to help people, to teach about the realities of mental health, and a love of writing, I've set out to combine these things.  My most recent novel, Leave of Absence, became available in April, 2013.  A new one, also dealing with mental illness, is already in the works.
I'm married and have two children, a daughter in high school and a son who's almost done with elementary school.  We live in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.  I love the outdoors -- hiking, biking, tent camping, kayaking, and show shoeing.  I often drag my family along on these adventures, but sometimes I enjoy quiet solitude.  I also like attending symphony performances.  Especially, though, I like quiet evenings at home with my family.



Details of Leave of Absence



In this insightful and evocative novel, Tanya J. Peterson delves deeply into the world of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and schizophrenia.

When Oliver Graham’s suicide attempt fails, he is admitted to Airhaven Behavioral Health Center.  Unable to cope with the traumatic loss of his beloved wife and son, he finds a single thread of attachment to life in Penelope, a fellow patient wrestling with schizophrenia and its devastating impact on her once happy and successful life. They both struggle to discover a reason to live while Penelope’s fiancé William strives to convince her that she is worth loving. As Oliver and Penelope try to achieve emotional stability, face others who have been part of their lives, and function in the "real world," they discover that human connection may be reason enough to go on.

Written with extraordinary perception into the thought processes of those grappling with mental illness, Leave of Absence is perfect for readers seeking an empathic depiction of grief, loss, and schizophrenia, as well as anyone who has ever experienced human suffering and healing.


Available for Kindle & paperback




 Excerpt

“Now go make each hour of today bearable.  I will see you tomorrow.”  Unceremoniously, Dr. Willis left his room without giving him a chance to protest.
“How am I supposed to do that?”  Oliver asked the empty room.  He pulled his picture of Maggie and Henry out of the pocket of his robe.  “My doctor just told me to do something to make each hour bearable,” he said to the smiling faces.  “But without you here, nothing is bearable.”  He tipped over sideways onto his pillow and curled up.  He ignored the voice calling though the day area to signal the upcoming music group.  He remained motionless until he heard a soft knock on his open door. 
“Are you going to come with me to the music group?  It’s starting in a few minutes,” Penelope asked in an exaggerated stage whisper.  “I’m talking like this so I don’t startle you.  You haven’t moved, so I guess it’s working.  Are you awake?”
He rolled onto his back.  “Yeah, I’m awake.  And thanks for not startling me.”  He swung his legs over the side of his bed and sat up.
She looked at his hands.  “You have their picture.  Can I see it again?”  She looked to her left and to her right and behind her, and then she closed her eyes.  “Is it okay to go in?”
Oliver didn’t answer because he had a feeling that she wasn’t asking him. 
“Okay, I’ll count with you.  One, two three, go!”  She tiptoed quickly into his room and plopped down beside him on the bed.  She offered no explanation for the conversation but instead looked intently at the picture.  Both of Oliver’s hands grasped the bottom corners of the photo.  Penelope slid her hand into one of his without causing him to let go.  She leaned against his shoulder and said simply, “I’m sorry, Oliver.”
“Thank you.”  They sat quietly together, her hand snaked through his, taking in the image.  Guilt pricked him.  It pierced the hand that Penelope held and the arm where she leaned her head and traveled through his skin, into his bloodstream, and straight to his core.  He shouldn’t be accepting this comfort.  But after months of stark comfortlessness, this just felt good.  He wanted to pull away, but he didn’t.  It was nice in a way, too, to let someone see the beauty of his family.  Was this part of doing something to make the moment bearable?  It felt good, and because of that it felt lousy.  God, he hated himself. 
“Last call for music group!  Five minutes to Fra-ank!” This time the tech calling was Matt.  Oliver looked out the door, and seconds after the call, Matt walked past his room.  A second after that, he walked backward to return to Oliver’s doorway.  “Is there a reason rules are being broken in here?”  Matt’s tone was light and held no anger or reprimand.
Penelope stayed exactly in the same position.  “Oliver seemed down, Matt.  When he sat up, I saw that he had his picture and I wanted to see it again, and I wanted him to know that I care.”



Tanya’s Links

http://www.tanyajpeterson.com (my website and blog)
http://www.facebook.com/TanyaJPeterson (my facebook Page; my personal profile is Tanya Joy Peterson, and this link should take you directly there: https://www.facebook.com/tanya.j.peterson.9?ref=tn_tnmn )




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