Saturday, March 28, 2009

Book and Author News - March 28, 2009


Get the popcorn ready. Lifetime Movies – Midnight Bayou, the second Lifetime movie from the Nora Roberts collection will premier tonight, Saturday April 28th at 9:00 EST. There will be encore presentations during the week. Northern Lights, the first in the set, was a big hit last week. Read more about the movies.

Cookbook author Nancy Baggett’s new book Kneadlessly Simple was featured on NPR. Nancy tells us how to make delicious bread with a new yeast that requires no kneading. If you want Nancy's improved and simplified version of the now famous peasant-style pot bread (first published in the New York Times in 2008), go to www.npr.org and search on "Baggett bread" after the show has aired. The archive will include the recipe and photos showing how the bread is made. Order a copy of Kneadless Simple from Amazon.com

Loretta Chase’s Mr. Impossible is going into a second printing.

The paperback edition of Lady MacBeth by Susan Fraser King will be in bookstores on April 7th.

This week, author Alison Buckholtz has stopped by Book and Author news for a short interview about her new book, Standing By, The Making of an American Military Family in a Time of War, which will be in bookstores, April 2.

B&ANEWS: Alison, tell us about the book Standing By--why you decided to write it and what you hope to accomplish.

Alison:
I grew up in a non-military family. I really had no concept of what the military was like, or of military family life. It was like a new culture with its own lingo, traditions, and accepted social mores. I felt like an outsider. But year by year, as I became more assimilated into this new world, I found that my civilian friends started asking me what it was like. Over and over again, they said “How do you do it?” I knew they were also asking “Why do you do it,” because the sacrifices that military families make can seem incomprehensible to others.

I came to understand that somewhere along the way, I had become an insider. So I wrote STANDING BY, which is about the challenges and rewards of life as a military family, to introduce this world to others. I see my role as a translator between two Americas.

We’re not unique among military families. Countless other parents and kids have experienced the same stress of separation after 9/11. Since then, especially among Army, Marine and National Guard families, deployment requirements increased significantly when compared to historical norms of the past few decades. So we know we are not the only ones to question the effect of this lifestyle on family relationships. I certainly know that I am not the only wife who mourns her husband's long absences. I hope that military wives reading this account of our experience feel a little less alone.

Even more than that, though, I hope that this book can help bridge a gap in understanding between civilians and military personnel in America. Since the abolition of the draft in the U.S., in 1973, the gulf between two groups – civilians and military – has deepened dramatically. It’s hard for one side to reach out to the other. I'm now an insider, and it made me want to speak directly to all of those people who don't know anyone in the military. I used to be one of those people, so I understand some faulty assumptions that are often made.

B&ANEWS: What can everyday people do to help military families and show their support?

Alison: If people are interested in volunteering, there are so many worthy organizations that help servicemembers and their families. One of my favorites is Cards for Heroes (http://www.cardsforheroes.org/). Its volunteers create blank greeting cards and ship them to servicemembers overseas so that deployed military members can write to their families and friends back home. Of course, organizations like Fisher House (http://www.fisherhouse.org/), which provides lodging to servicemembers’ families so that they can be close to their injured loved one, is always in need of support.

However, any heartfelt offer to help the spouse of a deployed servicemember is valuable, because the stresses of being a stay-at-home parent during deployment are sometimes difficult to manage.

B&ANEWS: First Lady Michelle Obama is also focusing on military families. What three areas would you recommend that she work on first?

Alison: I’m thrilled that Mrs. Obama is focusing on military families. There are so many areas in need of attention, but to me among the most important is the health and well-being of children of deployed servicemembers. Data show that the satisfaction of the military spouse is a primary reason for a servicemember either staying in or leaving the military. If it’s true that a mother is only as happy as her least happy child, then the health and well-being of the military child is more important than anyone has yet acknowledged. Academic studies, such as the peer-reviewed research published late last year in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, conclude that children aged 5 years and younger who experience the deployment of a parent exhibit significantly increased aggression and anxiety compared to children without a deployed parent. These results are a call to action. Military bases need professionals who are trained to address children’s psychological needs. In our case – and ours is far from unique -- there is no child psychiatrist or medically-trained mental health specialist for children on base or in the town the base is located in, even though our insurance covers the referral.

Read more about supporting military families and Alison's new book at www.standingbybook.com

Order a copy of Standing By from Amazon.com

23 comments:

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