Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wild Card Weekend - The Best Christmas Present Ever!

Please welcome brand spankin' new, debut Harlequin American Author CC Coburn to the Pink Heart Society!

This week my debut novel, “Colorado Christmas” goes on sale in North America, making this a very special Christmas for me!

It’s been quite a year (and a bit) since I got The Call in person at the RWA conference in San Francisco.

Although I was overjoyed that a twenty year undertaking had finally been realized, in some ways it didn’t feel quite “real”.

It started to get real around the time, “Colorado Christmas” was listed on Amazon. Up until then, I couldn’t help thinking it could all fall in a heap. Not that I didn’t have confidence in Harlequin or my wonderful editor, Paula Eykelhof, or even the belief in the evidence of my advance check – it was just that somehow, until that concrete proof that my book was actually in production and people could order it—it was still all a little surreal. Like I might wake up and find it was all a dream.

It’s been an interesting journey since the 2006 Romance Writers of Australia conference where I met Paula Eykelhof and pitched what was then called, “Judge Becky and the Scoundrel” to her (very badly I might add, since I forgot the rest of the story after the elevator pitch!)

Fortunately, Paula’s 25 years in the business helped her see through my tangled tongue to the essence of a story that showed potential for the Harlequin American Romance line. She patiently worked with me on the ms and several revisions for two years and then at the RWA San Francisco conference, Paula and American Romance editor, Kathleen Scheibling, gave me The Call in person. Believe me, after 20 years, I thought that day would never come and it took a moment for the info to sink into my brain!

After getting the longed-for Call, I thought that I was nearing the end of the journey to publication. Little did I realize how much more is involved in bringing a manuscript to publication standard. I’m still not sure of the difference between line edits and copy edits, am still finding my stories are riddled with head-hopping and clichés, and a hundred other writing no no’s, but with Paula’s guidance, I’m getting there.

There’s also the difference in language between English Australian and English USA and I don’t mean just the spelling. Paula often queries me on things like – “rugged up” (meaning dressed warmly) “wrapped the baby in a rug” (no, I didn’t mean a floor rug, I meant a blanket!) She was particularly alarmed that in book #2 the hero is nursing a baby. Hey! What’s wrong with that? Australian men nurse babies all the time! (nurse, means hold, in OzSpeak).

I eagerly awaited my author copies, but in the meantime, A Top Pick review from Romantic Times had my head swollen bigger than a watermelon and I received some lovely fan letters from readers on Harlequin’s direct marketing list – but still not sign of my author copies!

But they eventually arrived and were duly sent off to friends and relatives who’d supported my career over so many years. I read my very own copy and was surprised how much I enjoyed it.

Even my husband liked it: “Apart from spoiling it with all that mushy stuff”. Any wonder I write romance? (grin)

Still, he did love Louella (the very naughty pig) and asked if she’d be returning in any other stories. Well… no… she wasn’t but then I ran it by my editor and she thought Louella deserved an encore performance. So Louella is back in book #2 of The O’Malley Men series, “The Sheriff and the Baby” (the one with the “nursing” hero (wink!).

It’s interesting hearing from readers what they liked about the book, each one so far has remarked on something different which surprised me. Some enjoyed the light-hearted moments, others the romance, or the quirky characters and yet others remarked on impact of the… well, I can’t tell you about that because it would be giving away the ending! So you’re just going to have to read the book and tell me your favorite part of “Colorado Christmas”.

I hope readers will enjoy Colorado Christmas and want to read more of the O’Malley Men series and subsequent books of mine. I love writing for Harlequin American Romance and I love my fellow authors!

Write and tell me what would be the best thing you could imagine getting for Christmas and I’ll choose a winner to receive an autographed copy of “Colorado Christmas”.

Till next time - happy reading everyone!

CC’s debut novel, COLORADO CHRISTMAS is on sale now in North America. You can check out a review or order it through Amazon or eHarlequin via her webpage


  1. Congratulations, it must be a wonderful time for you! Can't wait to read it!

    I recieved my best Christmas present already, last year on Christmas Eve my daughter was born (blessedly fast too). She's brought only joy to our lives - she's the easiest, happiest baby. We were able to take her home at one am Christmas morning and had her under the tree when her big brother and sister woke up.


  2. Hi CC (can we call you that?) Great blog and so inspiring - 20 years in the waiting. Oh my - but the reward must be so worth it!

    If I could have a Christmas prezzie then it would have to be "the call" - I honestly can't think of anything more that I would want! Take care. Caroline x

  3. Congrats, CC! My bundle of joy (that is, your book) arrived in the mail this week. Looking forward to reading it.

    I'm hoping for a book deal this Chrissy. Wouldn't that be nice? I don't know how Santa's gonng pull that one off.

  4. Hi CC, it's so interesting to read about your journey to publication.
    Don't put me in the draw for a copy of COLORADO CHRISTMAS. I have already read your delightful, heartwarming book and would love someone else to get a chance to read it.
    All I want for Christmas is to celebrate with my husband, daughter, family, friends and animals.

  5. Becca, what a fabulous Xmas surprise (and gift) you gave to your little girl's siblings - too cute to put her under the tree!
    Caroline, of course you can call me CC! :-)Keep believing in yourself and I'm sure you'll get The Call soon.
    You too Vanessa! I'm sure The Call is just around the corner for you given all the interest in YA atm.
    Kandy, I agree that being able to celebrate with those closest to you is indeed a blessing. Give all those animals of yours a big kiss from me!
    ps I'm having a giggle over the password I'm having to duplicate. Anyone a fan of Little Brittain? "Bitti mummy, bitti!"

  6. What a fabulous story - I live in hope of the call one day.
    Yes, that would be a fabulous christmas present but this Christmas I'm going to wish for family harmony - I'm sure you all know what I mean! With children, other half, sisters, in-laws, aunties and cousins all to keep happy on Christmas day it is exhausting, just hoping for peace perfect peace (that and a good book!)

  7. I'm going to be completely selfish here. For Christmas I would like to have lost more weight. I've lost 17 pounds in almost 3 months, so perhaps 25 pounds as of Christmas would be a nice goal! It's a drop in the bucket, but it beats gaining weight!

  8. Congrats on the release of your book.

    If I could have anything for Christmas, it would be for the bills to be paid for 6 months. Then, I could buy all the books I'm dying to read. Have a great day.

  9. My best Christmas gift would be a publishing contract from Brenda at HQ Blaze.

    Have a wonderful day blogging, Catherine!


  10. Love your delicious book cover - and the story of your perseverance - what an inspiration!
    The best thing I could imagine getting for Christmas? Maybe (to echo John Lennon) - it would be the news that war is over....

  11. I'm one of the privileged ones! I loved your book, CC! The characters are unforgettable and you mixed deep emotion with humour beautifully. LOL on the US vs Aussie language problem. They don't know what a sook is either!
    Congrats again!
    Robbie x

  12. Hi Susan, I hope my perseverence will help inspire you to hang in there for The Call too. I love the saying - Quitters never win and winners never quit. So don't go quitting on your dreams, okay? :-)
    Laney my love, 17 pounds is awesome and 17 more pounds than I've managed to lose! Good luck with it and hang in there.
    Housemouse, why aim low? Wish for 12 months of bills to be paid - wouldn't that be a wonderful weight off your shoulders? Oh, the things I could do if that happened!
    Hi Cher, I look forward to holding my very own copy of a Cher Gorman Blaze in my hands one day soon. :-)
    Sahron, I agree! I was only thinking that yesterday that it's all gone on too long. For the families of servicepersons to be reunited for Christmas would be truly wonderful. And thank you for saying my perseverence was inspiring - that's a feel-good comment. :-) I'll call it perseverence, but it was more doggone stubborness I think!Robbie, thanks for dropping by and for your lovely words. I must call my american friends a bunch of sooks and see how they react. :-)

  13. Hey CC - can't wait to read Colorado Christmas (another CC). Off to order it right now. I so remember the wierd realisation that actual readers had read my book before I'd even had the chance to hold it in my hot little hands. And the staring at my name on Amazon. Go you.

  14. Hi CC,

    Congratulations on your debut! Lovely to have you here.


  15. I was lucky enough to read the early chapters of this book a long time ago and as I said to CC - had I been in the doctors waiting room I would have,ahem, slipped it into my handbag. I've now read it all and it is justwonderful!
    Carol Marinelli cx

  16. Hi Sandra,
    Yes it is a weird feeling getting emails from people saying they love your book when you haven't even got your author copies yet isn't it? :-)
    We both got The Call around the same time didn't we?
    Thanks Annie and it's great to be able to be here.
    Hi Carol! Hey that great judge feedback you gave me really made my day, I thought I at least owed you a copy since I didn't want you arrested for stealing books fromt he doctor's surgery! :-)
    So glad you enjoyed reading all of it at long last.

  17. CC - what a fabulous saying - I love it! It is now printed out and taped to the top of my computer, thank you

  18. That's great to hear, Susan!
    I only heard the quote recently and thought it was appropriate to my life as an aspiring writer. It came true.

  19. Hi CC,
    Thanks for sharing your road to getting pubbed story. Gives hope to us out there who are terrified of pitching!

    I loved Colorado Christmas. The setting was just lovely. I could taste the snow. I just loved the characters including the animals who all had personalities of their own.
    Can't wait for the next O'Malley story.


  20. I'd love my brother back from New Zealand for Christmas, but fares are far too expensive then. Congratulations on your first book!

  21. Hi C.C.,
    Congrats on your debut release. I just hope that the whole family can manage to all get together for either Thanksgving or Christmas. Our work schedules vary, so some might not be able to visit during the holidays.

  22. I love Christmas stories and this seems to promise a great read; congrats on your making it this far.

    I think the best gift I could receive is if I was told that my cancer won't return ever and in no other place in my body.

  23. Hi Mum,
    I would have to say the best Christmas present is having the best Mum and Dad in the world!!! You guys are amazing!!!
    P.s A shopping voucher would also be nice (wink, wink ;))
    Love u lots,

  24. Hey C.C. you are pure inspiration! I'm a lucky girl because my copy of your wonderful books aarived last week from the Book Depository! It is in my TBR pile and I know I will LOVE it! I adore Christmas stories. But I have friends who would love their own copy...

    What would I love for Christmas? Health, wealth and happiness? Hmmm. I'd love to be able to stretch 24 hour days into about 30 hours so I could fit in all the wodnerful things I want to do each day (including read more books!!)


  25. The best present for me would be having all 4 of my children home for Christmas!!

    I'd also like someone to do all the shopping and to come up with inexpensive but thoughtful gifts for everyone! I hate shopping!!

  26. Hi Sandii, and thank you so much for your kind words about Colorado Christmas. I'm heading to CO in the morning and looking forward not so much to 'tasting" the snow, but enjoying the cold after our 100degree stinker of a day here in Australia today! ugh!
    Thank you Alison, and I hope your brother can manage to get back to see you sometime soon!
    Jane I hope your family can mostly manage to get together, too.
    Oh, Robyn, that's quite a wish for Xmas but I hope it comes true for many, mnay Christmases to come!
    Oh Laurie, I hate shopping too! I hope you get to have all your children home for the holidays.
    Merry Christmas everyone!
    Hi Holly, thanks for dropping by (and the dropping the hint!)
    Serena, I hop CC lives up to your expectations, but you're such a positive person, I'm sure you'll find something good in it! :-)