Rachel Rittenhouse

Christian fiction for ladies young and old

Summertime To-Do List

June 16th, 2016

Summertime To-Do List!Summer is one of my favorite times of year! I love being able to enjoy the sun, spend time with family and friends, and have a break from school! Though I’m intending to work a lot this summer, it is always a good idea to plan out some fun activities to squeeze in before it is suddenly the start-up of another school year.



Here are some things on my “summertime to-do”:

  • Day at the Beach ~ or multiple days! Can a person ever really spend too much time at the beach??


  • Fireworks ~ Summer isn’t complete without watching a firework show or two!


  • Bonfire and S’Mores ~ games, firepit, and s’mores are a must in my book. There is nothing like sitting around a bonfire with your friends!


  • Shadow boxes  ~ And since summer can’t be all outside, one must spend some time doing arts-n-crafts! I’ve always wanted to make a shadow box for each of my books, and with 5 already published, I’ve better get on it!


  • Write a book! ~ Because who else wouldn’t want to write a book one summer? 🙂 I already started tackling my newest one, so with my accountability out there now, *fingers crossed* the first draft (however messy) will be done before September!!


So what’s on YOUR summertime to-do list? Share below in the comments!!

Summer Reading List

May 19th, 2016

Summer Reading List (1)

With school pretty much behind us (at least for college students like me!), it is time to gear up for summer! Summer equals reading — at the beach, at the park, or pretty much anywhere in the sun!

Here are some of the books, both fiction and nonfiction, that are on my reading list this summer:



  1. Dawn at Emberwilde  by Sarah Ladd
  2. No Other Will Do by Karen Witemeyer
  3. From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden
  4. Forever Safe  by Jody Hedlund
  5. A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar


  1. How To Make A Living With Your Writing by Joanna Penn
  2. Proofreading Secrets for Bestselling Authors by Kathy Ide
  3. Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn
  4. Exalting Jesus In Ephesians by Tony Merida and David Platt
  5. Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World by Kristen Lamb

How about you? What books will you be reading this summer? Share in the comments!

You can see what books I end up reading this summer on my book review site, Rachel’s Back Talk. Maybe you’ll find some books there that you want to read too!


Happy Reading!

10 Easy Steps to Writing & Publishing — Now Available!!

April 23rd, 2016

cover reveal (1)


For those of you who have been waiting — A Student’s Guide: 10 Easy Steps to Writing and Publishing is now available on Amazon!!

For those who have always wanted to write, and even those who never thought they would like it, this student guide will be the encouragement you need to realize your dream of becoming a published author too!


Purchase on Amazon for $9.99 —

 10 Easy Steps for Writing & Publishing: A Student’s Guide


nf meme 1

If you want to pursue writing, one of the very first things that you can start by doing RIGHT NOW is to write down any story ideas you have no matter how small. 

My favorite “story-thinking” time is usually when I’m in bed, writing a paper for school, or in the car. In these situations, I may not have time to get to my computer. Instead, I use my phone (either Evernote or OneNote) to type down any ideas that I may have. You can also use a scrap piece of paper or notebook to keep track of these ideas. Trust me, when the time comes when you are ready to start another book, you will be glad for these story ideas!

Read Before You Write

February 18th, 2016

read before you writeYou know the saying “look before you leap”? Or how about “think before you speak”?

Well the same can be said about writing — Read before you write!!

In my upcoming book, “10 Easy Steps to Writing and Publishing,” the first step in the writing process is reading!

If you want to be a writer, you need to be perceptive to the world around you. Start by reading everything and anything. Broaden your horizon by reading fiction, non-fiction, and craft. Reading opens many avenues by allowing you to learn from other writers and get a sense of style and word choice.



Fiction is wonderful. Personally, I am a big fan of reading and I am not ashamed of telling that to anyone.

According to the Miriam-Webster Dictionary, fiction is written stories about people and events that are not real; literature that tells stories which are imagined by the writer. When we read fiction, we are allowed a glimpse into the author’s imagination. We can get a sense of their emotions, feelings, and thoughts.

When reading fiction, it also allows YOUR mind to work. An author uses words and it is their job to portray a picture of their character’s life as well as they can. The reader is then going to use the description described by the author to paint of picture of the characters and the story in their head. Whether or not that picture is in accord with the author is dependent upon how descriptive the author was.

As you read books, you can then get an idea on how to capture your reader. Pay attention to:

  • Words that capture your attention
  • Phrases that stand out
  • Plots that keep your attention
  • Characters that resonate (or repel if the “bad guy”)

Find your favorite author and see if you can “mimic” something that they did. You will in time need to find your own style of writing, but as I mentioned before, writing takes practice. The only way you will develop your own style is if you practice.



As one might guess, non-fiction is the opposite of fiction. Non-fiction encompasses books that are about true events and real people. Reading non-fiction books allows you to gather another sense of writing. These authors have to accurately portray a character that was once (or still is) a living human being. They must carefully craft their characters in a way that the reader comes away with a sense of learning about the real person and what kind of life they must have lived through.



You can learn a lot from reading fiction books and learning from authors. BUT there is something about reading craft books that help you learn about writing too.

Craft books can refer to a topic that you are studying. In this instance, I am referring to craft books as anything pertaining to writing. This can be on the topic of writing, editing, marketing, or publishing.

As you read through craft books, take careful notes. You are reading these to learn more about writing. You are not just trying to “check it off your list.” Sometimes it is helpful to hone in on one particular topic instead of reading the entire book in one sitting.

Here are some tips to getting the most out of this:

  • Write a list on what you want to learn
  • Look through the table of contents to see what pertains to you
  • Read through the chapter
  • Go back through and write down what stuck out to you
  • Continue forever

Wait…forever? Yes. As author Jerry B. Jenkins once told me, you are never done learning. As an author, you will find something new that you never knew.

You can always get better at grammar and spelling.

You can always improve on plot intensity and character development.

And why wouldn’t you? Don’t you want to improve with each book that you write? Of course! Reading craft books is one way that you can really hone in on that technique.


Promise yourself right now that you will always read and learn.

Now, pick a book in each section that you are going to read and share in the comments!

Books ~ A Gateway to Learning

September 3rd, 2015

A.A. MilneI love books. Books allow me to get away school work and escape into another world. You can consider what happened in the time of Victorian England or perhaps experience the thrill of what the meaning of freedom meant to the Americans after the Revolutionary War.

Books allow you to expand your imagination – expand your horizons. You can go anywhere and be anything you want to be when you read!

That’s why even in the midst of being a full-time college student, I am taking time to read and grow my mind. Reading is too valuable to be let go of.


Want to see a list of books I’m planning on reading this fall? Maybe you’ll get some ideas to add to your own reading list?


 The Lost Heiress by Roseanna White ~ Sweeping Romance and Mystery in the Edwardian Era


A Noble Masquerade by Kristi Ann Hunter ~ Sparkling Regency Romance from a Captivating New Voice


Chivalrous  by Dina Sleiman ~ With Her Future In Jeopardy, This Unforgettable Heroine Won’t Go Down Without a Fight!


Luther & Katharina  by Jody Hedlund ~ She was a nun of noble birth. He, a heretic, a reformer…an outlaw of the Holy Roman Empire.


What books are on your reading list this fall? I’d LOVE to know! 

Just W.R.I.T.E!

July 17th, 2014

These past few weeks, I have been taking a course called Tribe Writers created by Jeff Goins. And while trying to balance that on top of editing my next book, work, and college, it has been going quite well! I have been learning so much and have been working towards finding my voice and tribe.


In the acronym I have listed below, I will be sharing 5 tips that I have learned that have greatly been affecting my writing life:


W-ork = Writing takes a lot of work and dedication. Most people can’t just sit down and write the next bestselling novel in one hour. At least, most can’t! You have to spend time, honing and crafting your talent.


R-eading = When you want to write, one of the top things you can do is read. Reading expands your mind and helps you grow. It teaches you about your craft or maybe it gives insight to a certain genre you are writing.


I-ntuition = Let your writing come from inside you. Don’t try to force yourself what to write, because that will result in a forced voice. Instead, allow what you already to shape and form your writing.


T-ime = Time often seems to slip away, especially if you are busy with this, that, and the other! But to make sure you have time with writing, you need to make it your priority. Make a schedule and stick to it. Don’t let yourself go to bed without everything on your list to be crossed off. Overtime, this will help you in making sure your continue writing even if you have “writer’s block.” It will soon become a habit.


E-ncouragement = Lastly, you need encouragement. What writer could possibly even think of succeeding without the encouragement of friends, family, or fans? Encouragement helps spur you on, even when you don’t know what to write.


How about you? What have you been learning in your writing life that would be helpful to others? 

Looking Out My Window

August 1st, 2013

This is one of the poems that I wrote while at Messiah writing camp. The homework assignment was to write a short story or a poem. I was planning on writing a short story and was going to start with “She is a wildflower.” But as you can tell, I wrote a poem instead. I hope you enjoy reading it! 




Looking Out My Window

She is a wildflower. This girl

I observe from the window.

She is vibrant—but dainty. Her hair

Is auburn and the sun turns it into

Fire. Her skin is like a creamy peach

With freckles sprinkled sporadically.


She always wears long skirts;

Her shirts comes up high.

Her modest ways are catching—

I might give it a try.


But I fear there is a secret—

A secret no one knows.

Something she is hiding

Behind her rainbow clothes.

Her eyes are always clouded

Like a thunderstorm at noon.


What’s her secret? I don’t know

I have yet to discover what she holds.

Could it be she’s all alone:

Orphaned and frightened?

Perhaps she has been beaten

By one who wasn’t true.

Or perhaps her heart has been broken

Shattered in two.


In her hand there is a pad;

A type of legal pad. Her hand

Is always rapidly writing

Any thought that crosses her mind.

Perhaps she has been writing

What she keeps welled up inside.


Maybe, I should venture down.

Could it be, she needs a friend?

Someone there, to hold her hand

While tears trail down her face.


Perhaps, she is searching

For the One who holds her heart.

Maybe, I should go and tell her

He isn’t that far.


I look down and see her

Her eyes searching mine.

The cloudiness has vanished

And a smile, lights her eyes.


She extends her hand

Up to me; and shows me

What it is she hides.

Writing and Thinking

June 11th, 2013

My new favorite place to write and think! 🙂 My sister and I just recently switched beds so that now I sleep on the top bunk. I think I like writing up there more than sleeping, if you can tell from all my papers I have up there.

“We who live in quiet places have the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves, to think our own thoughts.” Laura Ingalls Wilder



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Using Your Imagination

May 23rd, 2013

When my sister and I were younger, we used to love to play dollhouse. In fact, it was our favorite pastime and we would play with American girls, mini dolls, and Barbies. I think that by playing, it developed my love for writing stories. As I played, I often had a story-line reeling through my head and would tell my sister what this character was supposed to say here or there and what their responses were to what my character just said.

As I got older, I thought that I was “too old” to play, but I started to miss it too. In my pre-teen years, I began calling our play “using our imagination” and it provided me a way to use my imagination without really thinking I was playing. 🙂

Now I enjoy playing dress-up and dolls with my younger cousins. Never think you are too old to play. Your imagination is a wonderful tool that God has given you to use, not hide away.

Rachel Rittenhouse

Christian fiction for ladies young and old