Rachel Rittenhouse

Christian fiction for ladies young and old

Changing Traditions – Sneak Peek!

November 25th, 2015

It is hard to believe that the holiday season is already upon us! Thanksgiving is tomorrow and Christmas right around the corner!

To celebrate the Christmas season, I just published my first Christmas novella, Changing Traditions. And yes, this is a continuation of my Woodsmall Sisters series!

“We traveled with the Woodsmall Sisters as they each come to age. Now for the first time, they are brought together in a heart-warming Christmas novella. Will changing traditions bring more grief then joy this Christmas season? Or will the Woodsmall sisters be able to embrace compromise?”

Changing Traditions is available on Amazon Kindle for only $0.99! Get your copy to read this Christmas season. 

Want a sneak peek? Read the prologue below to see what happens to Carolyn, Bethany, Laura, and the rest of the Woodsmall family at the end of the Civil War.


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Prologue – April 16, 1865

Dear Diary,

It should have been a day of rejoicing and I guess in a sense, it was. The war between the states is finally over. Poppa is home, and what a relief to see him safe.

My sister is reunited with her husband. Carolyn and Scott were married only a week before Scott left for the war. Watching them together brings tears to my eyes knowing how much my sister missed him.

But this is where it stings. Albert didn’t come home to me.

When he broke off our courtship before he left, I assumed that as soon as the war ended he would be back. I never quit writing to him. In fact that was what kept me going most days. Albert said he didn’t want to die and hold me back.

What stings is that he didn’t die. Nettie would have told me if that were true. Perhaps he realized that he only had a childhood fascination with me. Maybe I am just not important to him.

Or maybe I should keep writing him and wait for him to come to me.


Poppa’s voice broke through Bethany’s writing. “Now, where’s my Bethy?”

Pushing the mournful thoughts from her mind, Bethany hurried down from the loft, determined to put on a cheerful front. “Oh Poppa, I’m so glad you’re home.” In an instant, she was pulled in a hug that threatened to cut of all air flow. Not that she cared. Breathing in his woody smell, Bethany was sure she would be happy to stay right in his arms.

When her older brother Jesse came home early from the war with his leg amputated, Bethany began to imagine all sorts of things that might have happened to Poppa and Albert. It was bad enough to hear when Henry was killed.

As the rest of the family went inside, Bethany sat out on the porch step to wonder and think by herself. She wasn’t left out there long before Jesse was by her side.

“Penny for your thoughts, sister, though I can already guess they are miles away.”

How was it possible to have a brother who knew you so well? “I am so happy that Poppa and Scott have come home safe, truly I am, Jesse. But I am concerned for Albert. If it is true that the war ended, why hasn’t he come to see me?”

“I’m afraid I have no answer for you, Bethy. You could always go into town and see if he went to see his family first. That is always a strong possibility.”

“I can’t leave Poppa when he’s just returned.”

“Then why are you out here?”

Bethany thought about what Jesse said and then she stood. “How right you are, Jesse. Here I am, worrying for nothing, when I should be inside with Poppa. Albert will come and see me soon enough, of that I am sure.”

Jesse’s face relaxed some, but Bethany doubted the words that she uttered. Would Albert really come? If he didn’t come right away, did he not care for her after being away almost two years?

Into the evening, Bethany continued to look out the window, but still no sign of Albert. Would he ever come?

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Rachel Rittenhouse

Christian fiction for ladies young and old