Time for a Giveaway!

With only a month until the release of Bellanok as a full book, available for both Kindle and paperback, it’s time for a giveaway!


One lucky winner will win a copy of Heir of Hope by my sister-at-heart, my critique partner, and all around snazzy fantasy author, Morgan Busse. (Don’t you just love the cover?)



Another luck winner will receive 9 Strategies to Build and Grow Your Author Platform by Shelley Hitz! (Great place to start if you’re trying to grow your platform.)



A final winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card. (Yes, I’m feeling generous–it’s the fall air.) This winner will be based solely on social media sharing.



  1. Sign up for my newsletter. If you’ve already signed up, no worries, you have an automatic entry!
  2. Comment below, letting me know you are signed up for the newsletter. AND let me know which book you would prefer.
  3. While you don’t get extra points for sharing on Facebook and Twitter and anywhere else you feel like, you DO get entered into the sweepstakes for the $20 Amazon gift card! Winner for this will be chosen by the most creative/fun post. Be sure to tag me so that I’ll see it!


This contest will run until Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. I will announce the winner in another special Monday post.

Tea with Me: Of Bellanok’s Origins and Characters from OUAT

It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged regularly. I’m excited that one of my goals is to get back into it as I so enjoy sharing with you all. So, I’m glad you’ve taken time from your busy schedule to join me for another spot of tea.

There are several questions that I get asked over and over again. So, I thought, in addition to the ones I specifically get asked on my Facebook page, I’ll try to answer at least one of those on my “Tea with Me” posts.

Where did you get the idea for Bellanok?

Like most writers, a lot of my story ideas are inspired by things I see, hear, read, etc. In fact, we writers sometimes have the oddest of muses. (You can read about some of mine on a post I did for AC Williams’ blog.)

Bellanok, though, came out of no where. I don’t remember doing anything particular at that moment, besides praying. The title came to me first. And the more I let it roll over my tongue, the more this picture came into my mind. A beautiful island with all the legends and myths began to take shape.

When I started writing the story, I knew little about it except that a demon found a way onto the island and started changing the creatures that lived there. So, of course, the ultimate goal would have to be for someone to defeat said demon. But who? How?

Well, I won’t go into too much detail–you’ll just have to read the book! Yes, I know, not fair.

Adrienne: Who is your favorite character from Once Upon a Time?

Oh, that’s easy: Snow White. Or Emma. Or Henry. Or Hook. Arg–maybe not so easy.

OnceUponATime+PeoplesChoiceAwards+snow-white-425x239Seriously, Snow White is my favorite. I love her inner strength and willingness to fight for love and for her family, and the way she believes in the best of people. I relate to her the most because so much of the advice she gets from family and friends–and even those who are neither, like the Evil Queen–is stuff that I have heard much of my life as well.

Thanks, Adrienne. And thank you all for joining me today! I hope you learned a little something about me and I’ll see you around here again. (Sign up for my newsletter!) And, hey, if you have a question you’d like me to answer, leave it in the comments below or e-mail it to me through the contact form in the tabs above.

Who is YOUR favorite character from Once Upon a Time?

Bellanok is Finally Here!

Ralene Bellnock 1 The Reluctant SaviorToday is the day, my friends!

The day all my dreams (since I was a little girl) come true. There is a book out there with MY name on it. Bellanok: The Reluctant Savior is on Amazon!

Thank You

And there are some many people out there to thank. First, and most important, praise be to the my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, without whom none of this would even be possible.

Next to my family who has always been so supportive. I can’t count the number of times my husband herded the kids so I could squeeze in some writing time. Or the number of times my mom had to listen to me whine/cry/complain over the phone. No matter what, though, they never let me think I couldn’t do it.

God has blessed me with the most amazing community of writer friends. I’ve had some encouraging and discerning critique partners over the years. Most recently, I’ve had 3 women who have gone above and beyond for me and with me, and they deserve some recognition. Please give your virtual applause to Morgan L. Busse (my current critique partner), J.L. Mbewe (cover designer for Bellanok), and Rebecca P. Minor (Director for Realm Makers and a great friend). Thank you, ladies, for all you have done.

More on Bellanok: The Reluctant Savior

A friend of mine asked me to describe my book in one sentence, using the hashtag #ReadThisBookBecause, and here was my response:

#ReadThisBookBecause it’s not everyday a unicorn becomes a nightmare.

That’s just a teeny insight into the world of Bellanok. If that’s not enough to convince you to read it, visit the Amazon page to find out more! I also made a home for the book on my website.

Look for Part 2, Bellanok: The Quest for the Sword, coming around Thanksgiving.

Facebook Party

Don’t forget! If you’d like to learn more about me or Bellanok, I’ll be a special guest at J.L. Mbewe’s Facebook party TOMORROW NIGHT! There’s going to be all kinds of prizes, discussions, and other fun stuff.


More Books!

After you purchase my book (you know you want to!), don’t forget to check out these two books, also out today:

A Time to Speak by Nadine Brandes


Embers by Ronie Kendig

Happy reading this weekend!

Tea with Me: ToDoIst and Inspiration

file9951347375728It’s a bright and sunny day here with a tad too much humidity for my liking. Heat indexes over 100 are no fun! So let’s move on to something more fun while I drink some lovely iced tea.


Teddi: What’s a  tool/software/strategy that you found useful in the past week?

Me: Well, Teddi, I’m glad you asked. I found a new to-do list app/program! ToDoIst is flexible to-do list program that can be as easy or as complex as you need it to be. It has a free membership and a paid membership ($29/yr). While I probably could have “made do” with the free option, I sprung for the paid version. Now I have all sorts of options to divide up my various to-do lists (personal, writing, editing, social media, Realm Makers, KCWC, ACFW . . .). I’ve only been using it for a few days, but it’s been fantastic! I love that it integrates into all my computers/phones AND into my G-mail and Chrome. Yay!


Cindy: Best cure for insomnia?

Me: A sledgehammer.

Or, I’ve heard that having a bedtime routine and tranquil surroundings help to trigger your brain that it is “sleep” time. Develop a routine that starts 30 mins. to an hour before bedtime and get into the habit. It may take a few days or a couple of weeks, but your body should come into routine. Also, no caffeine after noon–but that would never work for me! I’d be asleep by 4.


Cindy: If you’ve tried everything the experts said to do and ROI was abysmal, whaddya do next? 

Me: I’m going to assume you’re talking social media/marketing and answer from that perspective.

The first thing I would do with a client is to go back and reevaluate who their target audience is, what their greatest need is (in relation to the service the client is offering), and what the client is doing to meet that need. 90% of issues lie in that alone. OK, I made up the percentage, but it is one of the most common mistakes.

Time is also a factor. If you try something for a week and then evaluate ROI, it’s not likely going to look like it’s working. Success in social media (and often in marketing) does not happen overnight. I would ensure the client had been trying what the experts recommend–consistently–for at least a month . . . longer if they were starting from nothing.

Personality also has an impact. Social media and marketing require a bit of “go out there and get it.” You don’t have to be a bubbly extrovert, but you do have to show passion and knowledge in your field. If you’re a writer, that means being excited about books/reading/etc. in your genre (and in general). It means being knowledgeable about topics and having a passion for themes addressed in your books. If you don’t have passion, readers/followers won’t care.

If, after the evaluation, I determine the client really was doing everything right for a good amount of time, then it’s a new ballgame! Time to the think outside of the box. It becomes a total “individual” brainstorming session that doesn’t have a list of steps yet–a lot of trial and error until we find what works!


Thanks for hanging out with me today. I’m about to go snuggle with some kiddos before I dive into my critique partners latest novel–a steampunk! Bring on the day!

Do you have any questions for me? They can be about anything–doesn’t even have to be writing or marketing related (as you can tell from Cindy’s question). These are just supposed to be fun, quirky, sometimes helpful/informative posts! Ask away!

What are your plans for the weekend? 

Tea with Me: BIG News, Priorities, and a Leap Second

file0002117963911Happy Friday, friends! As you sit there, reading this post, I’m busy visiting with family and friends at my parent’s house in VA. I only get out here about once a year, so it’s always so fun to catch up with everyone. Plus, we’re celebrating 2 very special birthdays–including my son’s June birthday. Love family fun!

But, that’s not why you came to visit, right? There’s questions that need to be answered. For instance, Cindy submitted 2 very interesting questions this week.

Cindy: What did you do with your leap second?

Me: Well, since the leap second was the last second in June, which means it came right before midnight, I was in bed, trying to sleep. Of course, sleep wouldn’t come because my mind was a whirl of excitement for the vacation to begin the next morning!

Cindy: I suddenly have free time! How do YOU establish your priorities to settle YOUR free time?

Me: That’s a loaded question! Priorities are so important when it comes to planning how we should spend our time. Without them, our temptation to say yes (or perhaps no) will overcome us and lead us to waste time on things we have no business doing or to over-commit ourselves.

My first response, though, was “what free time?” Ha! I really don’t seem to have much, but I can procrastinate with the best.

While choosing priorities is a whole blog post itself, I will say that to choose my priorities, I followed these steps:

1. Pray! Any decisions effecting our lives as a whole should not be made without prayer. How are we to know God’s path and plan for our lives if we don’t ask . . . and then listen?

2. Look to the Bible for answers or examples. The New Testament actually lays out a pretty good outline for priorities.

3. Establish priorities and then make sure activities fall in line. Once I established my priorities, I laid out all the activities I have throughout the week. If they didn’t line up with the priorities, I got rid of them!

4. Be sure to work in “me” time. It’s OK to have time to do things you enjoy, but they shouldn’t take up hours a day several days a week. Instead, work in a half an hour a day or an afternoon a week. It’s nice to get a break and relax!

For a look at my priorities (and what I use to inspire others), take a look at my article, Are Those YOUR Priorities or God’s?, on Managing Your Blessings.

a magenta coloured sparkling love heart valentine theme image on a black background

And finally . . .

My big news.


I’m going to officially be a published NOVELIST sometime in August!


My agent and I met this weekend to hash out details and decided to serialize my stand-alone novel, Bellanock. I’ll be self-publishing the story as a series of longer short stories, basically. If all goes well, I’ll be releasing the first one in August (we’re shooting for the first Tuesday!).

Eeeeee! I know, I’m so excited. And terrified.

So, what’s Bellanock about? I’m glad you asked!

Thousands of years ago, humans were expelled from Eden. God placed 2 angels and a spinning sword at the entrance to keep them out. But, as humans spread across the planet, some creatures of old became endangered, and God hid them–and Eden–on a small island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle, Bellanock.

Now, though, a demon has found its way inside. It’s spreading its evil and changing the innocent creatures of folklore into monsters. It is up to Fauna, the fairy queen, to journey into the real world and find the savior she’s been dreaming about since she was a child.

In Chicago, Brian, a down-on-his-luck pastor on the verge of giving up, is shocked when a crazy blonde tries to convince him that creatures like dragons, unicorns, and fairies really do exist–and he needs to save them. Even if he did believe her, what could he do? He knows demons exist, but how does one fight against them?

Brian and Fauna must return to Bellanock and defeat the demon before all that is pure is wiped from the realms of the universe.

What do you think?