Blessed Assurance by Lyn Cote

Monday, September 24, 2007

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Avon Inspire (October 1, 2007)
by Lyn Cote

Lyn Cote’s journey to becoming a published author was a long one – she started her first book when her daughter was 13 months old and her first novel was published when her daughter was about to enter high school. But Lyn was writing for a market that hadn’t taken shape yet – the inspirational fiction market.
In 1996, Lyn Cote’s first inspirational historical manuscript was a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Contest. This became her first historical novel, Whispers Of Love, in her BLESSED ASSURANCE series.Most recently, Chloe, the first novel in Lyn’s “Women of Ivy Manor” historical series was a 2006 RWA Rita Award finalist for Best Inspirational, as well as a finalist for the Holt Medallion and the National Readers Choice Contest.
Lyn also writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She lives in the lovely northwoods of Wisconsin with her husband and three cats. Aside from writing, she also likes to knit, crochet, read, and do lunch with friends.
Now available for the first time in one edition
All three novels from Lyn Cote’s beloved Blessed Assurance series
In Whispers of Love, Civil War widow Jessie Wagstaff must fend for herself and her son. When a stranger, Lee Smith, befriends Jessie’s son, even though she recognizes nine-year-old Linc’s need for a father figure, she’s reluctant to let a new man into their life. When the Great Chicago Fire blazes, every heart is pushed to its limits.
In Lost In His Love, Jessie’s son Linc, a social activist and reporter, charms his way through the upper class of San Francisco to build much-needed support for his fight against child labor. His main target is Cecilia Jackson, a beautiful heiress who doesn’t recognize the crucial part she plays in this dangerous exploitation. As the secrets of her family’s dark past are exposed, Cecilia must revive her own wounded spirit and find the strength to lean on the never-failing love of Christ. But when the 1906 earthquake hits, everyone’s faith will be put to the test.
In Echoes of Mercy, Meg Wagstaff challenges the racial barriers of 1920s New Orleans in order to prove that her childhood friend did not commit murder. The stubborn lawyer prosecuting the case, Gabriel St. Clair, is an authentic Southern gentleman who makes the mistake of underestimating Meg, both her tenacity and her charm. Despite their many differences, sparks begin to fly. But when Meg discovers the truth, will Gabe be able to protect her from those who can’t afford to have justice prevail?
“A beautiful tale of love, forgiveness, and acceptance.”

This author is not afraid to tackle the tough issues. Blessed Assurance is not just a sweet historical; it weaves a thread of “how then shall we live” through a tapestry of beautiful settings and historical events.

In the first novella, when the death of Jessie Wagstaff’s husband-doctor during the Civil War leaves her and her son with just a roof over their heads, she turns it into a boarding house. She enlists the help of Susan, a freed slave, to help her run the business and split the profits. The two women form a friendship that crosses the color barrier – something that was unusual for that time. Somehow the women manage to keep the neighbors’ tongues from wagging too much; that is until a war veteran with a past shows up at their door.

“Lost in His Love” also shows how everything may not be as it seems. Cecilia Jackson does her best to please her aunt as she prepares to become the toast of the San Francisco season. However, a rakish reporter, Linc Wagstaff, sees right through her polished veneer and has the advantage of a strong Christian family – something that Cecilia has never had. As her veneer crumbles, he helps her to discover her future is not predestined by her family’s past.

“Echoes of Mercy” was my favorite of the three. Thoroughly modern Meg Wagstaff returns from war-torn France scarred inside and out after World War I making her strong in some areas and vulnerable in others. When her childhood friend, Susan’s grandson, is imprisoned in New Orleans for a murder he didn’t commit, she leaves her San Francisco mansion to help him. But even though it’s the twentieth century, some areas of the Deep South harbor deep-seated prejudice against those whose ancestors were slaves. Headstrong Meg is determined to find out the truth, but there are some dangerous criminals who are determined that she won’t.

Blessed Assurance’s three novellas show how maintaining propriety is not Christ-like if society’s idea of normal goes against what is Biblical. These sweet stories deal with issues such as race relations, prejudice on both sides of the color barrier, social injustice, alcoholism, and the effects of surviving the battlefield. Yet, it handles these hard topics in such as way as to challenge the reader’s beliefs without attacking them.


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