With credentials as a Nationally Certified Counselor and personal experience with mental health care, novelist and columnist Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC uses writing to increase understanding of and compassion for people living with mental illness. Her last book, My Life in a Nutshell: A Novel (Inkwater Press, 2014) was awarded a Kirkus Star, an honor given by Kirkus Reviews “to books of remarkable merit”, as well as being named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014, and received a coveted “recommended” rating from The US Review of Books. Peterson’s sophomore novel, Losing Elizabeth, was the recipient of Storytellers Campfire’s top honor, The Marble Book Award, for “being a book which has made a significant difference in the world”. Her third novel, Leave of Absence (Inkwater Press, 2013) was named as a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards. Peterson, a public speaker on mental health topics, also currently writes for HealthyPlace.com, America’s Mental Health Channel, and their accompanying blog, Anxiety-Schmanxiety, which was dubbed one of the “Top 10 Blogs of 2014”. Twenty-Four Shadows (Apprentice House), Peterson’s newest novel, available in May, 2016, has already earned the coveted “recommended” rating from the US Review of Books and a Kirkus Review Star.