Bellanok is Available in Paperback!


I’m so excited to announce that Bellanok is officially available in physical book form. Yes! One for your bookshelf! One for your local library! One for your fellow fantasy lovers for Christmas!

This has been a long-time coming. And I am ever so thankful for all the love and support from family, friends, and fans. But most of all for God giving me this gift, this passion. This is truly a dream come true!

Before you hop over and purchase several copies for you and everyone you know, check out this fun book trailer from Amaeris Designs Productions.

Need an escape this weekend? Ready for a fantasy adventure? You can see a full description of Bellanok, as well as blog tour information, in My Books. But you know you just want to hop over and buy now! (Available for Kindle AND in paperback.)





If you’d like to follow along as I work on releasing another 3 books (also fantasy) through Elk Lake Publishing over the next couple of years, be sure to sign up for my newsletter!

And if you want to join in launch time fun and get to know a few other ladies of spec, as well as other spec readers, check out the Ladies of Spec Readers Group!

BIG News + a Party!

Friday was a good day. Now, Fridays is general are typically good days. End of the work week for most. Pay day for some. And, hey, you hear Friday and you can’t help but smile. It’s like saying BACON or COFFEE!

But why was Friday good for me?

Well . . .

I got a brand new sweatshirt that I absolutely love!


And it arrived 30 minutes before this happened . . .


That’s right. I signed a 3-book contract with Elk Lake Publishing. I pitched to Deb Haggerty at the Realm Makers conference this summer, sent her Aletheia in August, and now here we are! She’s taking on the whole Aletheia trilogy. Yay!

On top of that, I found a new social media client and a potential editing client.

People, God is GOOD. All the time.

He SEES our needs, and He PROVIDES. Maybe not in our timing or in the way we had thought He would, but He is still provides.

I’ve been on cloud 9 ever since signing the contract. And completely terrified. Just so you know.


What did I do after signing and posting on social media?

I sat at my computer, listening to YouTube videos with my gal pal, J.L. Mbewe, trading videos and jokes. We were jamming while I celebrated with a little bit of mint chip ice cream (coconut milk). Meanwhile, doing some Realm Makers planning, some surprise planning, and then rockin’ this blog post. Right now, Mandisa is beltin’ it out in Toby Mac’s “Lose My Soul.”

But I kicked it off with my title video of the year.



Now for a PARTY!


Awhile back, my friends (Amy, Desiree, and Jennette)and I started a little group we called “Ladies of Spec,” to share our publishing journeys together. And now we’re celebrating 2 of our favorite things: FALL and BOOKS!

Join us next Thursday at 8:30 EST for a couple of hours of fun, conversation, and prizes!

Ladies of Spec Fall into a Speculative Adventure Facebook Party


So, what are YOU up to this weekend?

A Day in the Life . . .

a-day-in-the-lifeI often have people ask me how I fit everything into my schedule. I homeschool, write, work, volunteer, and try to have some sort of life outside my home. One word describes my life: busy. Sometimes even overwhelming. But I love it and wouldn’t change a thing.


The basic truth is that no day during the week is quite like the other. With all of our activities, appointments, and obligations, it’s hard to set any kind of actual daily schedule. But I do follow some general guidelines.

6:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.  Morning Routines

We all have different wake up times, but everyone is supposed to be up by 7. From there, everyone has an hour to really wake up and eat breakfast. The last hour is a combo of getting ready for the day and morning chores. I try not to schedule anything other than the occasional doc appt. before 9:00 as we all have our own speeds in the morning.

For me, I get up at 6:00 and have quiet time/Bible study. Somewhere around 6:40, I’ll start breakfast if I’m making something like scrambled eggs, otherwise breakfast waits til about 7:00. The next two hours, I try to work on my own projects (novels, blogs, etc.) and jumpstart the social media fun.

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. The CORE of the Day

This is the general time set aside for homeschool, cleaning, and other activities. Homeschool on a good day takes about 5 hours (for me, less for the kids). Wednesdays, my oldest has 3 hours of therapy, so we do homeschool on the go for the other 2. Thursdays is homeschool co-op. The girls also have gymnastics (Monday) and choir (Wednesdays) that fall into this time block. No TV/games are allowed during this time unless it’s for school or special reason.

I try to limit my online time during this block. My computer is off limits except for about 30 minutes during lunch. I might quick check social media on my phone between subjects or cleaning. If I could wean myself off completely during this time, I might even get more done.

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  Evening Fun

Depending on the time of year, there are various things that can go on in the evenings: Bible study, American Heritage Girls, church, martial arts . . . Dinnertime and evening routine are determined by those projects. Ideally, we eat between 5:30 and 6:00.

If we’re in an off-season or a day where we have nothing in the evening. The kids are usually welcome to some TV or games after dinner cleanup. After dinner, I will hide away in my office to work (usually until about 10:00). Before 8:00, I’ll work on various jobs like marketing for Realm Makers, volunteer stuff for ACFW, etc. Depending on what time I get those done depends on what time I get to editing for clients.

8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.  Work, Read, Sleep

The kids start to settle down around 8:00. All are required to start getting ready for bed around 8:15 and in bed by 8:30 when we’re doing school. The older 2 can sometimes stay up and read for a bit, if they’re quiet.

I’m still plugging away at work until 10:00. My goal is to give myself an hour to unwind before I need to go to sleep, and, ideally, at least 30 minutes to read while cuddled in my bed. At 10:00, I generally talk with my husband for awhile, then migrate upstairs to read. Lights out is supposed to be at 11:00, but sometimes I need just one more chapter . . .


Block scheduling is a new concept for me in my daily life. Okay, not new, renewed? I’ve just started applying it in general over the summer. But the summer was so crazy that it wasn’t exactly effective. However, since we are now back to normal, I can see how well it is working for me.

Block scheduling like this allows us to be as flexible as our lives may require. Knowing that “this” part of the day is to be reserved for “these activities,” my Type-A side is able to relax when things don’t go exactly as the schedule says they should.

As you can see, I also work block scheduling in to my work. This way I am always making time for my projects, my jobs, and my editing. Nothing ever gets completely dropped. Now, that’s not to say if I’m under deadline, editing won’t take over for a few days. Or writing. These are just guidelines.

So, that’s a peek at a day in my life. No 2 days are alike, and life keeps us busy. But amid the chaos, there is some organization, and right now it works for us.

What about you? Do you have a schedule that you adhere to? Do you “block out” your day?


Happy Birthday to ME, Presents for YOU!

Yes, it’s true. I’m another year older, another year wiser, and another year more beautiful. Well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.

I love birthdays, and I love presents. So, I have some presents for you!

Releases October 16

That’s right. All. 3. Free.

So, if you’ve been meaning to check out Bellanok, but haven’t had the time or the money, now’s your chance to catch up before the 4th and final part comes out.

Ralene Bellnock 1 The Reluctant Savior



Bellanok: The Reluctant Savior

Bellanok: An Urgent Quest

Bellanok: The Dragon’s Oath



To celebrate my birthday, my family and I are headed out to IHOP this morning (my fave place to eat) and then we’ll have lasagna for dinner (my fave food). I doubt I’ll be doing much in between as I’m still recovering from being sick this last week (a bad sinus infection as it turns out).

Highlights from my last year:

RMRoomOver the summer in 2015, I attended KY Christian Writers, Realm Makers, and American Christian Fiction Writers conferences. Some of the best times were had, especially at Realm Makers.

0701150714aIn July, we went to my parents’ house for vacation and a family reunion. Good food, great company.

We embarked on our fourth year of homeschooling in August. I so love that we have this opportunity! I think I learn as much as my 3 kids do.

I published my first novella on Amazon in October. Biggest thrill and most terrifying experience ever.

My mom, my sister, and her family came out for Christmas–one of the best ones in my life.

0413161519My girls had their first slumber party for their birthdays. Much fun was had. (They’re getting too big!)
And finally in April, we all headed to Disney World! I don’t think I’ve ever seen such expressions from my kids as they experienced so many wonderful things, like meeting Elsa and Mickey, riding rides (we’ve not really done much of that), and seeing the fireworks shows.

*happy sigh*

So, I’m off to celebrate!

What are some of your favorite birthday traditions?

Life and Updates

file0001024202589Happy Monday, everyone!

I know it’s been awhile since y’all have heard from me. Life has been, well, crazy around here the last few months. So much that I can’t even get into right now. So, I thought I’d catch you up on some stuff . . .

  1. Yes, Bellanok 3 is coming out soon. Look for more information at the end of the week. I’m going to have y’all help me with something! I’ll just say for now that Bellanok 3 will be out in March and part 4 will be out in April.
  2. I am (finally) open for editing again. If you’re looking for an editor (or getting close to being ready), check out my editing services page and shoot me an e-mail! (E-mail is basically my name at gmail.)
  3. Two of my friends are celebrating some pretty amazing stuff this month.
    1. J.L. Mbewe is celebrating her birthday hobbit style–a birthday bash on her blog with fun prizes!
    2. Zachary Totah is celebrating his one-year blogaversary with some reflection and, of course, some prizes. One of which is ebook copies of both of Bellanok novellas so far.
  4. In April, I’ll be participating in a couple of Facebook parties with other speculative fiction authors. Stay tuned for more information to come! If you haven’t signed up for my blog/newsletter, do so now so you don’t miss out on all the fun.

In other areas, my daughters both have birthdays in March. We’re throwing a joint part–a slumber party. What am I getting myself into? I just can’t believe my oldest will be turning 10! TEN!

Homeschooling is as much a joy as ever–even if we are a little behind. The kids are all loving the books we are reading this year with our Sonlight curriculum. We’re studying the first half of American history and have read books like The Sign of the Beaver, and we’re just finishing up The Witch of Blackbird Pond (one of my fave books in elementary books).

In 6 weeks, we’ll be taking the family (along with my husband’s side of the family) to Disney World! We’re very excited about it–and so are the kids.

So, that’s a little update on me. What about you guys? What’s new with you? What can we celebrate?

Happy & Healthy: Preparing for the Holidays

2015If you’ve been following me on Facebook and such, you know that I haven’t been keeping up with Happy & Healthy this year. I know, I know–shame on me. However, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take the opportunity RIGHT NOW to start anew, to make better choices, and to share the ups and downs with all of you.

Of course, I would choose the months with the craziest food holidays to jump back in. Let’s just say, my biggest goal is not to GAIN any weight this holiday season. Losing weight would just be icing on the cake–I mean, gravy on the potatoes–wait, no, dressing on the salad?

Going into this time of year, there’s a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Halloween candy should be banned after Nov. 1. Get rid of it. Pawn it off on the neighbor kids or do some cool science experiments with it for your own kids. There’s no reason to be plumping ourselves up before we even get to the big event.
  2. Find ways to get/stay active, even as the weather turns cooler. If you don’t like the outdoors, find some workout videos or visit a gym. My church will let people come walk around the track over our gym on certain days! Yard work might be killer, but it also burns calories!
  3. Say this with me: “It is okay to indulge a little during the big meals, but do NOT overdo it!” C’mon, now, the holidays are important. Families comes together over this deliciously prepared food–and lots of it. While you may normally avoid the starchy mashed potatoes to “trim the waist,” there is no reason you can’t have a small helping on Thanksgiving Day. Now, if that helping takes up half the plate, or if that “small helping” happens 10 times over 2 days–that’s not good. A small dessert plate with a couple favorite desserts is NOT going to completely throw your diet into a tailspin.
  4. In fact, some experts say that denying some indulgence completely can actually cause more issues, including totally giving up, overindulgence when stressed/guilty, depression, etc.
  5. After the big meal, though, show some restraint. Combine leftovers with healthy options, eat smaller portions, etc.
  6. When you do eat a little more, just be sure to find ways to keep your metabolism high: a family football game after dinner, a quiet walk with a close family member, serving in a soup kitchen for a few hours . . .

I think I’m about ready for the holidays. Right now, I’m more worried about NaNoWriMo, and how my body is going to survive that! My priority in November is to make sure I am consistent in taking my medications, that I find ways to move around while I’m being productive in my more sedative jobs (writing, editing, homeschooling), and that I keep portion sizes in mind while I eat.

How do you combat overindulgence during the holiday season?