Debra Cowan: WHIRLWIND SECRETS

D.CowanThanks to Pam Crooks and the ladies of Petticoats & Pistols for the invitation to blog about my February release from Harlequin Historical, WHIRLWIND SECRETS.  I really enjoy this site.  The posts are so entertaining and it’s a goldmine of information.  🙂

WHIRLWIND SECRETS is the fifth book in my Whirlwind, Texas series.  Russ Baldwin, the hero of SECRETS, and his brother have been part of the series from the beginning.  The Baldwin brothers initially began in my mind only as ladies’ men, but as I wrote book after book in this small Texas town, these two cowboys began to take on depth.  They had stories to be told as well and Russ’s story is summed up in the title. 

More often than not, the titles I give my books don’t stick, but for this book, no title other than WHIRLWIND SECRETS would really work.  Not only because Russ was previously engaged to a woman who used him to hide a secret affair with another man, but also because Lydia Kent, the heroine, is brim full of ‘em.

Because of Russ’s experience, he looks twice at people.  With him, what you see is what you get and he won’t be conned again.  But nothing about Lydia is so straightforward. 

I knew she had sued her former fiancé for breach of contract when she found out he was engaged to three other women … while engaged to her!  (My research showed that lawsuits like this were more common than I ever imagined.)

She used the settlement money to buy part ownership of a new hotel in Whirlwind, Texas, but there was still so much about her I didn’t know. 

Frequently, I’m asked where I get ideas for my books and half of the time, I can’t tell you, but it’s different for WHIRLWIND SECRETS.  One evening, I saw a docudrama about a secret network for abused women.  A week later, I saw the premise on a CBS drama and I realized the idea had been percolating in the back of my mind during that week.  That was when I knew Lydia’s buying part ownership of The Fontaine wasn’t only a business decision. 

The hotel is a fresh start for Lydia and more.  It’s a way station on an undergroundCvr-WSecrets network that helps abused women escape their situation.  This clandestine endeavor is about more than Lydia’s desire to help; it’s personal.  Her sister died as a result of a beating by her abusive husband.

Lydia has no problem lying to protect the operation and the women fleeing abusive situations, but she never intends to put Russ in the middle of a fight that isn’t his.  

Which is exactly what happens when he begins to suspect that his curvy, sweet-talkin’ partner is doing something with their place other than renting rooms.  She’s caught up in something more tangled than bad barbed wire and Russ intends to find out what.  When he does, he learns that the only thing more dangerous than Lydia’s lies is the truth. 

To read an excerpt, please visit my website.  If you pick up a copy of WHIRLWIND SECRETS, I hope you enjoy Russ and Lydia’s story.  For a chance to win a copy of WHIRLWIND SECRETS, leave a comment.

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44 thoughts on “Debra Cowan: WHIRLWIND SECRETS”

  1. I’m intrigued too ! I’ve read historical romances for years but “discovered” those Harlequin Historical” ones only recently (I know, what a shame…). Anyway, I’m still at the stage where you keep discovering new authors everyday and it’s great.
    Congrats on your release !

  2. Welcome to Wildflower Junction, Debra. It’s so good to have you here. Everything about Whirlwind Secrets is divine…the premise, the cover, the title! That the hotel is a waystation for abused women is terrific. Congrats and best wishes! 🙂

  3. Welcome Debra,that sounds like such a great book,what a great subject matter,again welcome an thanks for such a great post!

  4. Hi, Debra! I went to your website, and I read the excerpt from “Whirlwind Secrets”. Wow! Great characters, sparks and an intriguing back story. Love that lavender dress on the cover!

    I commend you for writing about the subject of abuse in a historical romance work. You will make us all more aware of the ugliness of abuse and its consequences. Someone reading your book may recognize abuse in a friend or family member. Most importantly, someone experiencing abuse may decide to seek help for themselves.

    gcwhiskas at aol dot com

  5. Debra,

    Your book was just put on my must read list
    It sounds so wonderful

    To write on the subject of abuse is something I must commend you for. It will let people know and maybe they would seek help before it is to late

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

  6. I agree, Debra. Great premise. And I like the little tidbit about the suing for breach of contract. I’d love to learn more about that, too. That gives the start of the story a truly unique spin.

    The lavender dress is lovely, but I want to know who did her hair! That’s a great up do. Gorgeous! It’s nice to see the hair up on a historic heroine–more fitting for the times than the flowing tresses that are often there.

  7. Hi, everyone! Thanks so much for the warm reception and your enthusiastic response to the premise of WHIRLWIND SECRETS. The idea just wouldn’t leave me alone. 🙂 Virginia and Melinda, if even one person in an abusive situation is helped by my book, I will be thrilled. And humbled.

    I appreciate all of the comments about my cover, too. When I saw it the first time, I was pretty excited. 🙂

  8. Hi Deb, What a terrific premise for a story! Lydia sounds like my kind of heroine–dedicated, smart and courageous. Very nice cover, too! Thanks for visiting Wildflower Junction!

  9. Debra welcome the book sounds really good can’t wait to read it, I have always wanted to help abused women or children. I came from a house with abuse not from mother but step father and always wanted to be able to help someone. I didn’t think I would be able to make enough money to strive by doing it, I think it was a terrible mistake I think it was my calling. I think you book will help some out there and that will be very nice. Can’t wait to read it..

  10. This book has just been added to my TBR list which
    will soon be reaching the skies! This is a subject which needs to be brought to everyone’s attention. We keep hearing about abuse victims who are staying with their abusers. They need to be reminded that they have options! Thanks for taking on this problem!!

    Pat Cochran

  11. Like the others said, you have me intrigued… I really want to know what happens with your characters… going to check your website next… thanks for sharing today! 😀

  12. Who knew you could sue for that lol. What a fascinating idea that talks about a much needed topic but puts it in what seems to be a wonderful story.

  13. Hi Debra,

    A big welcome to P&P! It’s such a treat to have you come blog with us. Hope you enjoy it so much that you’ll want to come back.

    Love the title and the cover of your new book. I can’t remember ever reading a story where an underground railroad for abused women was used. That alone has piqued my interest. I was quick to add it to my “buy” list for the next time I drive into town. I presume it’s already out? I’d hate to have to wait for it. Sounds like the story oozes with conflict. Just my type of book. 🙂

  14. Hi Debra!

    Welcome to P&P. Love this story, Debra. And what a beautiful cover. Love the idea of the underground railroad — it must have been a fun and exciting book to write.

    Thanks for the lovely post.

  15. Y’all are leaving such great comments. Thanks!

    Brenda, hooray for your tender heart. 🙂 You may not have helped abuse victims as a paid advocate, but I imagine you have helped people along the way though you may not even know it. 🙂

    Pat, I appreciate your kudos. Maybe the book *will* show someone that there’s a way out. 🙂

    Waving “hi” to Vicki Bylin & Linda Broday!

  16. Colleen, thanks for checking out my website. 🙂

    Thanks for the welcome, Linda. 🙂 Yes, the book is out now. 🙂

    Jeanne & Karen Kay, I appreciate your comments. When I first proposed the book, I was afraid the higher-ups would consider the premise too dark. I’m so glad they didn’t. 🙂

  17. Hello Debra and welcome to the Junction! I’m intrigued by the underground network for abused women. There’s so much of history I don’t know–but I’m doing my best to find out.

    Whirlwind Secrets sounds wonderful and just went on my tbr list.

  18. That is fascinating where you got your ideas, sometimes, they do just pop in your head, other times, something like a documentary really gets the plots cooking! I love the cover, Great appropriate era hair do on the female, and boy Do I love the hands on that cowboy model!
    All the best for your release!

  19. Just wanted to say I love your Whirlwind books!! They are some of my favorites on my keeper shelf and imagine my surprise to see another release in the series–hooray!!

  20. Hi, Tracy. I’m always fascinated when I run across something in history that I had no clue about. Sometimes it’s hard for me to stop researching! I think most historical writers are that way. 🙂

    Abi and Estella, I hope you enjoy the book. 🙂

  21. Karyn G, I looooooove your comment about the cowboy model’s hands. I guess I’m a man-hand gal because I noticed them right away and I loved them, too. They look like a real man’s hands, not a “pretty boy”. LOL.

  22. I would love to read your book. I really enjoy stories about families and I know I would enjoy these books. I will have to look them up.

  23. This book sounds fasinating. I shall go imediately to read the excurpt and will definately be adding this to my TBR pile.

  24. It is hard enough today for spouses to get out of abusive relationships, over 100 years ago it was almost impossible. It is an important topic to bring to everyone’s attention. If the book helps one person get the courage to leave, it is will be wonderful.
    Good luck with the release. I look forward to reading it.

  25. Oh what a pity I arrived late.
    Debra congratulations for this new book. I just started reading the first novel in the series Whirlwind and I love him already:).
    I’m beginning to think I should come and live to America! At least I be able to reading the western series from beginning to end!
    Alternatively I could learn English so they can read the books here, in my house.
    Frankly I prefer the prime idea:))))!

  26. Hi, Veronica! I’m glad you’re liking the first Whirlwind book so far. 🙂

    I’m crossing my fingers that this newest Whirlwind book will be translated into Italian. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it!

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