It is my privilege to welcome guest bloggers Cleo Lampos and Gail Kittleson for my February Blog. These ladies and I share a passion for WWII and the greatest generation. I was excited to purchase both of the books they feature, and I was not disappointed!
For a chance to win a give-away of BOTH books, simply leave a comment by opening this post in your browser and scrolling down below for my website or go to my author FB page: https://www.facebook.com/authorbeckyvanvleet
Learning About the Greatest Generation, by Cleo Lampos
Retirement delivered many opportunities for speaking to senior groups and at extension classes of local colleges. Several historic fiction books hit the market, and life sailed along with my husband and cat in a Chicago suburb. Then, in November, 2019, I read Jennie Allen’s book, Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul.
I prayed that God would do anything in my life that would draw me closer to Him.
Gail Kittleson e-mailed me two days later.
An author of WWII historic fiction, Gail asked if I would want to co-write a book about the food that people ate during the war. After praying about this, I decided to jump full into the project. Research is one of my library skills honed over the years.
The range of material was vast. Trips to the library yielded books on WWII to read. The internet produced articles, memoirs, and PHD. Dissertations on the topics of military chocolate bars, ration kits, sugarless baking, foxhole foraging, the Victory Gardens, the Land Girls, Donut Dollies, and how the Dutch ate tulips. The women of North Platte, Nebraska, who served food to over 6 million GI’s in four years astounded me. Recipes and photos for all for all these topics bubbled from friends cleaning out their attics, historical archives, and government sources. A coffee table album on the topic complete with quotes, articles, photos and recipes resulted.
Then Gail and I decided to bring the sacrifices and ingenuity of celebrating Christmas during the war to the album format. Again, conversations with elderly friends, relatives, and reading memoirs gleaned so many insights. Reading books like Soldiers of a Different Cloth brought the stories of chaplains at Christmas to light. Compilations of accounts of POWs and GIs in the field at the season of Christ’s birth allowed the emotions of the time to come into our writing. Photos from private parties made their way to this book.
So much happened to me emotionally as these projects were researched. My uncles enlisted during the war, but spoke little about their experiences. Uncle Melvin took us to the cemetery in Des Moines, Iowa, every time we visited him so we would remember the Sullivan Brothers and see all the white crosses. Now, I read the accounts of the sailors and soldiers in foxholes and on ships in hostile countries sharing their fears and hopes.
My appreciation for the Greatest Generation increased as I read the letters of mothers and wives who put up a brave front even as they scrounged every day to make ends meet. The words of President Roosevelt, the volunteering of Eleanor Roosevelt, and the inspiring quotes of Eisenhower, Nimitz and McArthur stirred a piece inside of me that had long lay dormant. The folks who lived through WWII represented the best of our nation. They are in a class by themselves.
It is with humility and pride that Gail Kittleson and I present the companion books that give the present generation a glimpse into the valor and courage of our parents and grandparents. The Greatest Generation.
The Food That Held the World Together is a researched book that answers the question of what the troops and the homeland ate in a time of wartime rationing.
World War II Christmas Scrapbook is a researched book that delves into the coping skills of a nation during the holidays when war separates families and resources are few.
These companion books are WWII nonfiction.
Because of wartime rationing, WWII folks faced fresh challenges to feed their families and supply sustenance to the troops. The thought of running out of food or not being able to make ends meet reminded the population of the hunger of the Great Depression. Both books tell the stories of how citizens banded together to make sure the troops received all that they required, and that the home front needs were met with new innovations in the food industry. Inspiring narratives.
Publisher: Wordcrafts Press
Bio: Gail Kittleson creates women’s historical fiction from her northern Iowa home where she lives with her husband, a retired Army chaplain. She is a frequent speaker and workshop presenter at libraries and other venues.
Bio: Cleo Lampos is a retired school teacher who speaks to adult extension classes at local colleges, writes fiction, enjoys quilting, and helps her urban gardener husband on their Chicago suburban plot.
A give-away of one set of books will be offered via a drawing. Please go to my FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorbeckyvanvleet or add your comment below by opening up in your browser and scrolling down.
FB: Author Cleo Lampos
Purchase at amazon.com or Ingram.
The books sound so interesting! WWII is one of my favorite time periods in history. My father fought in Italy. He was a waist gunner on a B-17 until an injury to one of his eyelids grounded him. Then he spent the rest of the war as a B-17 mechanic. I heard some awesome stories.
I BET you did, Kassy! It’s wonderful that your father told them, as so many many wouldn’t speak of their experiences.
Becky Van Vleet
Hi Kassy–thank you for stopping by. Both my father and father-in-law fought in WWII and I’ve heard so many of their stories, too. I treasure those stories today as a part of my heritage and family history. I’ll enter your name in the drawing and will notify everyone who made comments who the winner of these great books is on Sunday.
My father also was in WWII–a supply truck driver in the army. For reading, my favorite historical time period for novels is WWII. And these two books look like great resources for adding details into my WWII stories. Thank you for sharing about these books here!
Becky Van Vleet
Thank you, Barbara, for stopping by to support these two fine authors. These two books really provide many details about holidays and food items during WWII that I have not found anywhere else.
Pat Jeanne Davis
I can only imaging all the dedication that Cleo and Gail poured into this project. Thank you both for your labor of love. I’m especially intrigued by the WWII period. Members of my family and my husband’s served their respective countries during that war. Would love to have a copy of these companion books that reveal what conditions were like and what the troops and folks at home ate during rationing. We do indeed owe much to this greatest generation.
Becky Van Vleet
I think their books are so unique with the information they write about. I don’t believe I’ve read any WWII books about the holidays and food during the war, and I’ve read a lot of WWII books!
So glad that you are remembering your father and his contribution as part of the Greatest Generation. We need to remember these men and women and their lives.
Thank you, Cleo and Gail, for researching and writing these books. They sound so interesting! My dad was on a destroyer in the Pacific during WWII. He wanted to enlist right out of high school, at 17, so he had to get his parents’ written permission. His battle group was present at many of the big battles of the Pacific. His ship endured kamikazi attacks and went through the cobra typhoon, which came close to destroying the fleet. H was truly part of the Greatest Generation, and I’m really proud of him and my Mom who while still in high school, helped hold down the homefront!
Becky Van Vleet
Thank you for stopping by, Kathy. It sounds like our fathers had a lot in common during the war. My dad was on the USS Denver, a light cruiser, in the Pacific Theatre. He dropped out of high school at age 17 as well, also needing parental signatures. I’m writing a YA book about his experiences and adventures aboard the Denver, including the kamikazi attacks and the typhoons. This truly was the Greatest Generation. So many sacrifices.
Becky Van Vleet
The winner of the two WWII books by Cleo Lampos and Gail Kittleson is: Debbie Scales! Thank you to everyone who responded–I appreciate your support!