Thursday 4 October 2018

#GuestPost: Finding Ways to #SHINEBeyond by Ralene Burke

People often ask me why I chose the tagline #SHINEBeyond. What does it mean? Where did it come from? How does it relate to what you do? These are all great questions, and I love discussing the answers because that IS exactly why I chose this tagline (which also happens to be a hashtag).

My life did not start out easy. I was born with a tumor in my neck. Even with surgery, the doctors only gave me a 50% chance of living, and, if I did live, I would most likely be so physically/mentally handicapped, I would need care for the rest of my life. Here I am, so many years later, and aside from a few minor physical disabilities, you wouldn’t even know how close to death I had come.

Growing up, I was different. I couldn’t do some of the sports and gym activities the other kids could do. I spoke softly, and kids mistook that for weakness and tried to take advantage of it. Yet, I never let them change me, never let them get so far into my head that I lost track of what was important.

I grew up, got married, had kids…and I live a fairly normal life. Except I’m not normal. I am uniquely called to a unique purpose. One that only I can fulfill. (And it’s not just me. Everyone is called to a unique purpose.) There are plenty of things in my life that try to hold me back from that purpose: my health, naysayers, my own doubt, money, fear…the list goes on. But I persevere because it is what I was called to do.

I am a wife to a disabled veteran.

I am a homeschool mom to our 3 kids.

I am a fantasy author with stories to tell.

And I choose to #SHINEBeyond my circumstances, my past, my disabilities, and whatever else stands in the way of my purpose in order to be the light I have been called to be.

In Armor of Aletheia, that’s exactly what Karina, the main character, faces as well. She’s had a tough past: daughter of a traitor, orphaned twice, and now she’s being charged with murder. (What? Well, you’ll have to read the book.) Still, she’s been chosen for a sacred task. She has to decide whether or not she can #SHINEBeyond HER circumstances, HER past, and everything else that stands in her way in order to accomplish the mission before her. If she can’t, her world will be doomed.

Any life has its share of storms, some more than others, but they all have them. It’s how we weather those storms, and what we do with the outcome of those storms, that really says who we are. Choose to #SHINEBeyond. Choose to be a light.

A world in danger. A queen betrayed. A bounty hunter bent on revenge. You can find out more about my newest release, Armor of Aletheia, on Amazon!

About the Author:
Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen, a social media wand, or a freelance editor’s sword, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to help everyone SHINE BEYOND their circumstances! Her novels, Bellanok and Armor of Aletheia are available on Amazon.

When her head’s not in the publishing world, she is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .

You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or at her website.

Bonus! Anna's review Of Armor of Aletheia

Armor of AletheiaArmor of Aletheia by Ralene Burke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a classic coming-of-age style fantasy, Karina inherits the throne at the same time as a mysterious angelic-like being sends her on a quest to retrieve the "Armor of the Creator. Six sacred relics divided among the three kingdoms." Dogged by death and murder, Karina is thrust on the quest--where she's kidnapped by a bleeding heart mercenary, meets an evil warlock, and discovers a hidden gift.

Filled with lupens, elves, dragons, goblins, and other exotic creatures, Armor of Alethia is packed with action and magic. That comes with a downside too--the novel felt a little too dense at points. Where a few devastating setbacks often move a story forward and keep you tense, AoA reached a point where I started to get numb from all the setbacks and twists Karina faced in her bid to retrieve the armour.

At its core, AoA is a battle of good vs evil with a very Christian viewpoint, where redemption is offered to each and every participant. Karina and Tristan must learn not to trust themselves, but listen instead for the Creator's voice. Exploring the theme of the armour of God in Ephesians 6, Burke covers Faith and Truth in this one, leaving Righteousness, Peace, Salvation and the Word/Spirit. I'm intrigued to know how she'll deal with those in the next two books!

Note: I received a digital copy of this book from the author as part of a blog tour. I was given the book with no expectation of a positive review and the review is my own.

View all my reviews


  1. Thanks for hosting me today, Anna! I really enjoyed writing this post.

  2. I always wondered about that hashtag. Wow, what a poignant backstory! Thanks so much for encouraging all of us to be a light. :)