I’m so thrilled to welcome historical romance author and sweet friend, Patti Stockdale, to Romancing History today. Although Patti and I met through an on-line group for first-timers attending the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference in May 2016, we discovered that we once lived less than a block apart from each other in a small Virginia town but had never met. How crazy is that?
Patti’s debut novel, Three Little Things, released February 4th and folks, it’s fabulous. Click here to read my five-star review. Patti has graciously offered a signed copy of Three Little Things to one Romancing History Guest. You can enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post.
Before we chat with Patti, here’s a little bit about her and her new book.
Patti Stockdale loves hope, history, and a good happily ever after. She can’t remember numbers, so she married a statistician. Thanks to him, she’s lived all sorts of places and worked all sorts of jobs. While employed by an NFL team, she once answered the phone by the wrong team name. She doesn’t work there anymore. For 11 years, she directed the programming at a nonprofit senior center and hosted an annual talent show, rocking a Dolly Parton wig, Annie Oakley boots, and a sweet—although snug—Batman costume. She no longer works there either. These days, Patti writes books and occasionally educational assessments and magazine articles.
You can connect with Patti on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, GoodReads, & BookBub
About the Book
One forbidden love. Two broken hearts. Three little things.
Hattie Waltz should forget the troubled neighbor leaving for boot camp in 1917. He forgot about her ages ago. It had always been the Waltzs verses the Kregers, his family pitted against hers. When she hands him a farewell gift, a chemistry lesson unfolds. The good kind.
Arno Kreger can’t leave Iowa or his old man fast enough. He’s eager to prove his worth on the battlefield and stop blaming himself for his brother’s death. Before entering the train, he bumps into Hattie. He’s loved her forever, always from the sidelines, because nobody crosses Hattie’s pa.
One innocent letter soon morphs into many. Arno and Hattie share three little secrets in each letter and grow closer together. But he’s on his way to war across the ocean, and she’s still in her father’s house. Their newfound love will need to survive dangers on both fronts.
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Interview with Patti
Coffee or Tea? Tea. Growing up, we visited my grandparents every afternoon at three o’clock for tea time.
Mexican or Chinese? Mexican. I always order the same thing – cheese enchiladas and rice.
Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal Raisin? Chocolate Chip Cookies. Crispy, please.
Jeans & Ankle Boots or Pajamas & Slippers? Pajamas & Slippers. My go-to fashion is comfortable and casual.
Pride & Prejudice or Jane Eyre? Pride & Prejudice ranks as my all-time favorite book.
About You & Your Writing
RH: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
PS: I returned to college over twenty years ago to study creative writing. That’s when I researched and wrote the first draft of Little Then, I packed it in a box and accepted a job at a busy nonprofit senior center. A few years ago, I dusted off the manuscript, researched for months, and rewrote the book two or three times. I also freelance, writing reading assessments for an educational publisher. Three Little Things, a historical romance, is my first book. Nine days out of ten, you’ll find me writing and editing in my little office with my back to the window. I’m easily distracted!
RH: Hahaha! I can relate to being easily distracted. I recently switched my office to the back of the house where I can no longer see the goings on in the neighborhood. Which 5 words describe you, the woman, apart from being an author?
PS: Five words that describe me include friendly, curious, hard-working, fun-loving, and a Christian.
RH: I would agree whole-heartedly with each of those descriptors and add a great sense of humor. I wish we had known each other when you lived in my neighborhood all those years ago. What or who is your favorite historical romance novel and/or author? Why?
PS: Deeanne Gist is one of my favorite authors because I can’t stop smiling when I read her books. She charms me from beginning to end.
RH: She is one of my favorite authors as well! Another thing we have in common. Fans of romantic fiction love a cute meet. How did you and your significant other meet?
PS: I’ve known my husband forever. He grew up two blocks from my house and delivered our newspaper. In ninth grade, he asked me to dance. I told him I need to talk to my friend first because she’d had a crush on him. Thankfully, she gave me a thumbs up. The rest is history.
RH: That is just the sweetest thing. I bet you’re glad your friend wasn’t too interested. When did you know you wanted to write?
PS: In high school, my English teacher assigned short stories. I stopped myself around the thirty-page mark. My classmates turned in five or six pages. Still, it took me another twenty years to figure out my career goal.
RH: That’s funny! I’m so glad you’ve found you’re calling! What has God taught you along your writing journey?
PS: God has taught me to stop manipulating my writing career and to trust him.
About Your Recent Release
RH: That is an ongoing lesson that most believers struggle with. I know I do. What was the inspiration behind your recent novel?
PS: Love letters my maternal grandparents exchanged during WW I served as inspiration for my novel.
RH: When I heard the novel was based on your grandparents letters, you’d already hooked me. What a neat way to not only get to know your grandparents in a way most grandchildren never do, but its a pretty neat way to remember them by for your whole family. Do you have a favorite quote from your recent release you’d like to share?
PS: The first two sentences of Three Little Things are probably my favorite, not that it goes downhill from there! “Not once in eighteen years had Hattie Waltz considered praying for a plague. But if a swarm of locusts intervened, she’d not complain.”
RH: Those are some pretty great lines. I was all in as soon as I read them. If you were to pick a particular Scripture verse as the theme of your novel, what would it be?
PS: Deuteronomy 31:6 best fits my story. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
RH: I love that verse and having read the story, I’d agree that they fit your story well. When and where is your story set?
PS: Three Little Things, set from 1917-1918, takes place on the Iowa homefront, three boot camps, and in France.
RH: You must have really had your hands full learning about all those different settings you portrayed in your novel. Who would you cast as the hero and heroine for your story?
PS: If I made movies, I’d cast the hero and heroine from The Notebook (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) to star in Three Little Things. They slightly resemble my grandparents who inspired the story.
RH: Excellent choices! Fans of historical fiction & romance love the details that your research provides. Was there anything particularly interesting that you learned while researching your book that you were able to use in your story that you’d like to share?
PS: Much of my research centered on German-American families during the war and how they suffered discrimination based on their ancestry. I inserted that factual detail into the story.
RH: That is very true. Many German-Americans changed the spelling of their names to demonstrate their loyalty to their new country. One town near me changed its name from Berlin to Lovettsville during that time period. What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
PS: After reading Three Little Things, I hope people fall in love with Arno and Hattie, learn something new about the WW I era, and discover how faith and trust cemented the story.
RH: Well, I certainly did and was rooting for Arno from the beginning. Anything else you’d like us to know about you or your book?
PS: My favorite part of the book is the letters Arno and Hattie exchange, especially the three little things they share with each other.
RH: The Three Little Things that Arno and Hattie share in their letters are so endearing and really make your novel unique. What are you working on now?
PS: I’m polishing my next manuscript set in 1919. Because It’s True showcases a woman who learns she’s adopted and a soldier who learns his sweetheart married his twin. On a road trip to find two siblings for her and a fresh start for him, they discover there’s no place like home.
RH: Oh, that sounds wonderful! I can hardly wait to read it! I had so much fun chatting with you, Patti. Thanks for visiting with my readers.
PS: Thanks so much for this sweet opportunity.
This giveaway has ended.
Congratulations to Deena Adams, the winner of the signed copy of Three Little Things.
Patti has graciously offered a signed copy of Three Little Things to one Romancing History guest. To be entered to win, please tell us “three little things” about yourself in the comments below!
*Giveaway closes midnight, February 19th, 2020.
I have always lived in Missouri, have five grandchildren and love ice cream!
Hi Joan, I’m with you about ice cream. Only a few flavors I don’t like — coffee would be one of them. Good Luck in the drawing.
Hi Joan, I’m lactose intolerant and dream about eating ice cream!
Three Little Things:
1. I’m a big Alabama Crimson Tide football fan. My parents met they’re in college, both of their families are from Alabama for several generations back, and I was just born into it.
2. In May, I’ll celebrate my 2nd wedding anniversary. I’m 34 now and I spent many years as a single woman. I met my husband at church and still sometimes can’t believe that I’m married. And he never used to like football and he has become an Alabama fan through marriage 🙂
3. I collect old issues of Ideals Magazine. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a still published magazine that has mostly poetry with a Christian basis. I get do excited to find old issues at antique stores (it’s been published since the 40s).
Hi Brittany, Congrats on your upcoming anniversary! Marriage is a blessing! I’ve never heart of Ideals magazine. Sounds interesting. I’ll have to look for it. Good luck in the drawing!
Hi Brittany, I love college sports too! But I’m a Hawkeye. I’d forgotten about the Ideal magazine. It’s nice to know it’s still around!
I love to read historical fiction.
I’m a pretty good cook.
Hi Janis, Welcome to Romancing History! I love to read historical fiction and romance as well. I know you’d love Three Little Things as much as I did. Good luck in the drawing!
You and I are exactly the same, except I’m not a great cook.
1. We pastored a church in our younger years
2. I love to read more than anything!
3. Finding new-to-me authors is so fun to me. It’s like unwrapping a gift!
Hi Jeannie, Welcome to Romancing History! I agree about finding a new author to love! I never thought of quite like “unwrapping a gift,” but that is exactly what it is. Good Luck in the drawing!
Hi Jeannie, I’m so glad you like discovering new authors. Reading is my favorite hobby too!
Great interview! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of this debut novel.
1. My husband and I are middle and high school sweethearts.
2. We raised three children while he served twenty years in the Navy.
3. We planted a church twenty years ago, two years before his Navy retirement, and still meet in a middle school.
I love that you and your husband were high school sweethearts. That’s so sweet.
This novel sounds wonderful!! Thanks for introducing us to Patti. I love that y’all lived in the same neighborhood but connected years later. Isn’t God good like that?
Three little things, huh? I can do that in one sentence. 🙂 I grew up in a military family and now live close to an air base and love seeing the planes flyover daily.
Hi Anne, yes it really was fun discovering that we had been neighbors and didn’t know it. I can see her house from my bedroom window! Just crazy! I wish I could give you bonus points for listing your “3 little things” in one sentence! Good Luck in the drawing!
God is great like that. I love your one-sentence three little things!
Hi Patti, good for you. I love anything related to World War I, which set the tone for most of the 20th century. It was pivotal for our country and the world in so many ways…technology, race relations, women’s issues, and of course setting the stage for World War II. I can relate to people and towns changing their German names. In New Hampshire we have a town up north, spelled “Berlin,” but we put the accent on the “Ber” rather than the “Lin.”
Hi Kathy, thanks for stopping by! I hope you get a chance to read Three Little Things. Good luck in the drawing!
Hi Kathy! It’s nice to meet someone else who loves the WW I era. Thanks for the interesting tidbit about Berlin!
1. I’ve lived in Iowa all my life. The best memories I have are growing up in the same town as my Grandparents. My Gramma would always be cleaning the floors and Grandpa would lay down newspapers to walk on after she cleaned the floor. They wrapped all their garbage in tight little bundles using the left over newspapers and placed them in the garbage can. Grandpa Organic Gardened way before it was popular. Nothing got thrown away that could go in the compost pile. He taught me well and I love gardening to this day. 2. I met Patti 6 years ago. She’s my neighbor. I didn’t know when I met her she is an author. She has this sweet smile and a gentle way about her and I’m not surprised she has written such a beautiful story. 3. I have been married to the same man for 49 years, have 3 daughters, 2 Son-in-laws, 4 beautiful Grandchildren who all very fortunately live in Iowa. We are blessed with many what I call “God Winks”
Hi Janene, Welcome to Romancing History. I’ve never had much success at gardening but I do share fond memories of my grandparents as well. They were very loving people who always made you feel special. They didn’t have much, but they shared all they had. One of Grandma’s favorite sayings was, “there’s always room for one more.” Good luck in the drawing!
I loved learning more about you in this post, Janene. What vivid memories of your grandparents. I’m happy to hear you’ve been married 49 beautiful years.
1. I’m a blogger too! I blog about Christian fiction.
2. I lead the singing at our little Kentucky church.
3. I fell in love with my actual best friend when I realized if I married another man he wouldn’t let me talk to Brandon every day like I was used to. Brandon was my best friend, he is now my husband of 18 1/2 years. He’s still my best friend. 😉
Hi Mandy, #3 is the best! I’m married to my best friend, too, for nearly 30 years! Just keeps getting better and better! Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for sharing your sweet three little things. I’m glad you married your best friend!
Leigh Ann Wahl
I am the aunt of Author, Meghan Weyerbacher. I live in a small town called Santa Claus. IN. I enjoy running and volunteering at my church and in our community!
Hi Leigh Ann, Welcome to Romancing History! A town named Santa Claus…now that’s fun! I bet your town makes a big deal out of celebrating Christmas! Good luck in the drawing!
Hi Leigh Ann, I know Meghan! She’s a wonderful lady and writer!
Three Little Things:
1. I’ve moved around 30 times since I’ve been married (36 years)! Several moves were in one zip code over 18 years, but there’s been 8 moves to different states within the past 10 years (6 of them were job transfers for my husband’s career).
2. I have 3 grown kids and 10 grandkids, 7 in one family that lives in Central America right now.
3. Although I’ve always been a writer, my first book wasn’t published until last fall. Morning Meditations at Marina’s Kitchen Table is a 30-day devotional memoir to encourage going deeper with God, and can be used alone or with a group. I share from the things God has taught me and love the saying, “learn from my mistakes, they won’t cost you a thing”.
Hi Marina, Welcome to Romancing History! Wow, 30 moves in 36 years! I’ve lived in the same house for 20 years with no plans to move until my hubby retires in another 6 or 7! Congrats on the new book! Good luck in the drawing!
I live in Madison, Alabama, with my daughter and family.
I’m a Senior Citizen.
I’m a retired hairdresser!
Looking forward to see who wins!!!
Hi Vicki, Welcome to Romancing History! Its great to meet you! Good luck in the drawing!
Hi Vickie! I worked in a senior center for 11 years and love that population. Thanks for responding with three little things!
Hi Marina, you and I have a lot in common. Thanks for sharing what you learned from writing your first book. It’s a beautiful lesson!
Hi Marina! That’s a lot of moves. I’ve relocated several times, too, due to my husband’s job. Thanks for your interest in the book!
Love this Patti!!! This is so exciting. I have a few friends who especially would love this book.
Three things about me…
1) I am 4’11….shorter than most kids/teens…okay everyone who’s not a toddler.
2) I sing almost all the time (when not writing).
3) I prefer a snowy mountain and lake over the beach (don’t through tomatoes!)
Random, but there you go, haha! Have a great week!!!!!!!!!!
Hi Meghan, Welcome to Romancing History!You made me chuckle with your comment about being shorter than everyone except toddlers! And no tomatoes here. I’d rather be in the mountains over the beach any time of year! Good luck in the drawing!
Hi Meghan! It’s fun to find you here. I didn’t know you were that short. We need to stick together. I’d never throw tomatoes at you!!
Hi Meghan! It’s fun to find you here. I think short girls need to stick together! I hope you’re having a great week too!
I am very short, I met my hubby on a blind date, I hate short hair. I love that the book is based on her grandparents letters!
Hi Perianne! Thanks for commenting. I loved that fact, too. The book is very endearing! Good luck in the drawing!
I love Christian books especially historical romance. I’m a preacher’s wife. Been married almost 42 years. Trust God in ours, our family’s, and friends lives. He can do more than we ever could.
Hi Aletha, Welcome to Romancing History! I rarely read anything but Christian fiction anymore. Well, other than the Bible. Congrats on 42 years of marriage. That’s wonderful! Good luck in the drawing!
Hi Althea! It’s nice to meet another Christian-fiction lover. Thanks for telling us three little things.
Hi Althea. Thank you for liking that the book is based on my grandparents’ letters. It’s so special to me.
Hi Perrianne! What a beautiful name. I’ve never heard it before. Thank you for loving the inspiration for Three Little Things. That means so much to me!