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  • Tina Wheeler

They're Here!

If you’ve seen unboxing videos posted by Harlequin authors, you might understand my dream of opening that first shipment of books written by me. There was one huge problem; I needed to become a Harlequin author. No small feat. From what I hear, hundreds of people send in proposals every year. After two decades of writing, admittedly not fast or focused on the right genres, I signed with a great agent and obtained that coveted contract with Love Inspired Suspense.

After signing on the digital line, I began dreaming again of opening my very first box of books sent directly to me by Harlequin. I pictured the excitement on my face and the squeal in my voice. Silly me even bought a pair of pink slippers to wear. I thought it would be cute in the video.

Well, not much in this world turns out how you envisioned it. Last week, a small box arrived in the mail from Harlequin, and I thought they might have mistakenly sent me a second pair of lavender-colored souvenir socks. Not thinking, I opened the package and inside I found three large print copies of my first Love Inspired Suspense book, Ranch Under Fire. So much for making a video of me ripping open my first box of books.

Two large boxes arrived in the mail a few days later. I knew this was the shipment I had been waiting for. The only problem was I needed my husband to hold the phone to record me opening the box and he was headed to Tucson for the UofA football game. His college roommate was going with him, and I wanted to give him a book. He has always been supportive of my career. We decided to open the box when they returned. Later, I figured out that would be midnight. Who can sound joyous at midnight when it’s not New Year’s Eve? I gave up waiting and recorded me opening a box by myself. This was a silent video for my daughter who wanted to add music for an Instagram story. She didn’t think a recording of her mother screeching with delight would be cool.

But what was to become of my dream of a video showing my manicured fingers opening a box with me excitedly narrating the scene? I still have one box left to open. Okay, it won’t be the very first box, but it is still an opening of a shipment of my very first book with Harlequin. Dreams do come true, but sometimes the path is a winding, unexpected road.


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