I am Twitchy

Here she is, Amelia, the heroine formerly (and forever) known as #Twitchy

Absolute Surrender - Cover

Happiness was always too much for Lady Amelia to hope for.

Now all she expects is to secure her future and marry Charles, Duke of Castleberry, as arranged. But Amelia has a dangerous secret that could not only destroy her in Charles’s eyes and the eyes of society, but could also very well condemn her to Bedlam.

Baron Endsleigh, Amelia’s oldest friend, has other ideas. Ender has loved Amelia all his life. He knows her secrets, and they don’t frighten him. He plans to come between Amelia and Charles in any way he can to prevent the marriage and finally claim Amelia for his own. Though her father forbade the match years ago, Ender is determined to have her as his wife and nothing can stop him. Not even a duke as powerful as Castleberry.

That duke has hated Baron Endsleigh and wanted Amelia for, what seems to him, forever. Charles will stop at nothing to make her his, and his alone, even if that means destroying the one thing he knows she loves most in this world—Endsleigh.

Will Amelia be able to choose when one man speaks to her head and the other her heart?

None of them will find happiness until they all three learn to embrace absolute surrender.

This book… I honestly can’t even put into words what this book means to me.

Amelia is special. She’s brilliant and beautiful, but beyond that—more than that—Amelia has what’s commonly known as a mental illness. Mental illness runs the gamut from minor and quite prevalent issues like mild depression, to more severe issues like schizophrenia. Many mental illnesses run their own gamut of severity, some mild enough that one can’t distinguish symptoms, to symptoms so severe they require intervention from physicians. The spectrum of mental illness is so broad, so colorful, I find it difficult to believe that there’s anyone in the world not touched by it in some way.

The fact is, it frustrates me that anything to do with the mind not considered ‘normal’ is instead considered an ILLNESS. A DISORDER. AN AFFLICTION. All very negative terms. The reality is, people with mental illnesses aren’t necessarily sick, they’re just different. The wiring and functionality isn’t the same.

Honestly though, with all the brains in the world, how could there ever be two brains alike? Our differences are what make us who we are. Some of us need help with our differences, because they may inhibit our ability to function in our daily lives. But that doesn’t make us less as people, that shouldn’t limit our rights as humans, and it shouldn’t mean that other people look on us through some other lens. Damaged. 

The fact is, mental illness carries this stigma that other illnesses do not, because there’s this strange thought that if you wanted to you could change your mind, literally. An amputee is an amputee, it’s obvious that nothing can be done for them other than to replace their missing limb and provide their health care so they can continue on at the best of their new ability. But when we’re talking about an issue in the brain, people seem much more perplexed, confused, disappointed even.

People with depression often hear things like: “It will all be okay!” or “You’ll get over it! Just keep your head up!” or even “Just snap out of it!” as though they’re merely sad. If you haven’t had depression, chances are these things all sound reasonable to you. They aren’t, in fact, reasonable at all. There’s this brilliant woman named Allie, she writes and illustrates a blog called Hyperbole and a Half. I mention her because she has depression, and she wrote an incredible blog that really explains how it feels. If you’re interested.

But I digress. Amelia doesn’t have depression, I only mention it because it’s so common, and we meet people all the time whether we know it or not, who suffer depression.

I won’t be sharing Amelia’s diagnosis, first because the novel is set in a time when her issue would, most likely, have been chalked up to a wandering uterus, hysteria or women’s issues (basically if a doctor couldn’t figure out what was wrong with a woman, that was her diagnosis)

The other reason I won’t be sharing Amelia’s diagnosis is that it isn’t important. It isn’t who she is. She’s different, she’s amazing, she’s brilliant, she’s wonderful, she’s compassionate, she’s smart, she’s full of hope and fear and love and joy and none of these things have anything to do with her mental illness.

I hope this book touches you.

I hope Amelia lends strength to you.

I hope her story changes peoples minds about the mentally different.

I hope her story speaks to your soul.

I would love to hear from you if it does. I would love to hear how you are different, how people have singled you out, and how you have survived.

Because I have, I absolutely have.

How my brain works is not who I am even though it’s part of what makes me who I am.

How my brain functions isn’t something that should be thought of as a disability, or a disorder or any one of those numerous negative connotations associated with mental illness.

I truly believe that if mental illness wasn’t seen as a disorder and treated in such a negative manner that more people would get the help they need.

Tell me how you see the world, tell me how your difference makes you special. Tweet or Facebook with the hashtag. I’ll be randomly giving away books and swag to all the Twitchy’s out there.

#IamTwitchy

#Twitchy

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