By Jeanine Englert
Last year at this time, I never could have imagined being here writing a blog for Soul Mate Publishing a mere week after publishing my debut novel with them. This is a joy I never expected, but one I am so happy to have. Last year at this time, I was consumed with worry, doubt, and fear.
I couldn’t sleep well and I was so on edge that I was never really “present” in the moment. I remember booking my airline tickets for my husband and I to go to Denver for the Romance Writers of America conference. I was a 2018 Golden Heart ® Finalist after entering the contest five years in a row, and I wanted to go. . .but as I clicked BUY for the tickets, I had a pit in my stomach.
My Dad was in hospice, as he had been since March 19th, two days before I got the call that I was a Golden Heart ® finalist. Did I go to the conference? Did I not go? What if he got worse, and I couldn’t get home in time? Would I ever forgive myself if he passed away and I wasn’t there? I knew my Dad wanted me to go, but I was afraid to.
The pit of fear I had in my stomach grew with each passing day leading up to the conference, and I wasn’t sure I would really go until the day of the flight arrived. And even while I was there at the conference, for the most part enjoying myself, that nagging worry was in the back of my mind following me around like a long lost shadow. But, if I hadn’t pushed through that fear and boarded that plane, I never would have had such an amazing experience, or met Char Chaffin, my SMP editor at the Golden Heart ® mixer, or been offered a book contract, which lead to the publication of my first book.
And now, a year later, I’m happy to say that my Dad beat the odds. After ten months in hospice, his cancer is in remission thanks to the combined miracle of prayer, medical care, and him taking his own risk by taking part in a phase one drug trial two years earlier. That drug saved his life and is now FDA approved.
In his own way, he took a risk and boarded his own plane when he received infusions week after week uncertain if the medication would help or not. And I boarded a plane, not knowing what unexpected joys it would also bring me. We both pushed through our own fears and were greeted with unexpected joys.
So if fear is holding you back, whether they are small or large fears, I challenge you to push through that fear. Everything you want may be waiting for you just on the other side of it.
Jeanine Englert is a Golden Heart ® Finalist and Daphne du Maurier Award winner in historical romantic suspense. After years of writing in secret, she joined Romance Writers of America and Georgia Romance Writers in 2013 and has been an active member ever since. She writes Scottish Highland historicals and historical romantic suspense novels.
When she isn’t wrangling with her characters on the page, she can be found trying to convince her husband to watch her latest Masterpiece or BBC show obsession. She loves to talk about books, writing, her beloved pups, and of course mysteries with other readers on Twitter @JeanineWrites, Facebook, or at her website www.jeaninewrites.com.
Her debut novel, Lovely Digits, released in June of 2019 by Soul Mate Publishing, is a Victorian romantic suspense that won the 2017 Daphne du Maurier Award and was named a 2018 Golden Heart ® Finalist for best unpublished romantic suspense.