Stories I’ve Saved
Veterans’ Voices and Home Front Memories
Will Rogers Medallion Book Winner
When millions of young Americans quietly returned to civilian life after pulling together to win World War II, they got on with their lives. Survivors of that era, all well into their 90s from Fayette County, Texas, finally revisit their experiences in Veterans’ Voices and Home Front Memories.
“… a thoughtful collection of true Texas heroes, but also a wealth of inspiration and a good reminder of the high cost of freedom.” – Lois W. Kolkhorst, Texas State Senator
“Reading “Veterans’ Voices,” which I unequivocally recommend to all, may not only enforce the respect and admiration we hold for all veterans and their families, but also may actually cause some critics to better understand the sacrifices made by others for us.” John D. Marburger, former lieutenant junior grade, U.S. Navy
“This book provides actual real-life descriptions of war experiences during WWII. It provides detailed experiences that can only be told by returning veterans. It provides excellent personal experiences that are part of USA history. This author has provided a significant contribution of living history of WWII serviceman for others to appreciate.” – Harvey Treybig
Same Moon, Same Stars
Same Moon, Same Stars is a love story and history lesson that takes readers on an unforgettable odyssey that begins with the carefree childhood of German-born Renate Macherauch Meiners. She came face-to-face with the horrors of World War II under Hitler, but a chance meeting with an American GI would change her life.
“The way Elaine handled Renate Meiners’ story is amazing. She distilled a lifetime of memories into a cohesive and moving account that I’ll always treasure. No matter how many stories she writes, Elaine never fails to make a personal connection with her subjects. She approaches each person’s experiences with empathy and respect.” – Elizabeth Rowden
Same Moon, Same Stars, a story about a German war bride’s trials and tribulations, the love that she found and the love that she lost, is skillfully told by Elaine Thomas, a creative storyteller, who relates the memories of Renate Macherauch Meiners, in a moving first-person narrative. Thomas takes the reader along on Renate’s remarkable journey through life that echoes with courage of conviction, strength of character, love of family and deep faith. The authenticity of this story makes it an important documentation of life as it actually was in the shadow of Nazi Germany, a tumultuous existence of fearfulness and deprivation.” – Carolyn Heinsohn
Saddles and Service
Winner of the Independent Publisher Association’s silver medal for best Western Canada regional non-fiction, Saddles and Service is the life story of Alberta’s Winston Churchill Parker. As a young cowboy, he drove cattle through the city streets to the Calgary Stampede. Shortly after a private audience with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II, he spent four years in a German prisoner of war camp. He survived and afterward devoted his life to ranching and building strong communities. At 100 years of age, he still plays bridge and views his world with wisdom, humor
“This is a captivating story, well worth the read.” – Hugh A. Dempsey, Editor of Alberta History and Chief Curator Emeritus of the Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta
“What a delightful book! I didn’t want it to end. Winston and his family are a wonderful example of how to sacrifice time and energy for the good of your friends and neighbors, community and country.” – Valerie Walker, Author, Calgary, Alberta
Promises to Keep
A beautifully illustrated history, Promises to Keep, traces the history of Cecilia Fendall, a first generation Canadian farm woman and pioneer in her own right. In the early years of the 20th century, her parents, British newlyweds Arthur and Emily Fendall, joined the great immigration tide that swept across Western Canada to communities such as Okotoks, Alberta. Cecilia’s father was a refined middle-aged gentleman and her mother a plucky servant girl. The story explores what drove immigrants to Western Canada and how the family fared in a very different world from the one they had left. Despite the hardships they endured, Cecilia and her parents never lost faith or hope, planting deep roots for their descendants.
“What a legacy Elaine Thomas has created in Promises to Keep. I absolutely love the detailed stories, the format with side panels of information and the great photos. The grades four and five students will definitely use this as a resource as they research how pioneers overcame obstacles and persevered to make new lives as Canadians.” – Loretta Stabler
“Elaine demonstrates intelligence, sound organizational skills, strong work ethic and dynamic writing skills in her storytelling. She has the talent to listen and pull all of the pieces together – the essence of storytelling – while maintaining high standards for quality and accuracy. Elaine tells each subject’s story concisely and beautifully with the individual’s voice coming through loud and clear. For Elaine, it is a labor of love.” – Elizabeth M. Ivers