My pal Lyn Cote has a new book out–and I’m really intrigued by the “department store” concept that provides the basis of the books. If I had a genuine department store in my area, I probably wouldn’t get any work done!

• Publisher: Avon Inspire $9.95
• ISBN-10: 0061349941
• ISBN-13: 978-0061349942
• Link to purchase

Review By Harriet Klausner –

“Whispers of Love”. Several years have past since the Civil War made
Jessie Wagstaff a single mother. She runs a Chicago boarding house as
she raises her young son Linc. A new guest Lee Smith makes her feel
uneasy as he seems too interested in her late husband’s family and
besides she feels attracted to him. However, when the Great Chicago
Fire of 1871 threatens mother and daughter, Lee risks his life to
keep them safe.

“Lost in His Love”. In 1906 San Francisco social activist Linc
Wagstaff demands the city outlaw child labor. To make his case
stronger he investigates the Dickensian exploitation. During his
inquiries he meets heiress Cecilia Jackson. As they fall in love, he
holds her accountable for practices her trustees are doing to
increase her wealth. Before they can confront one another, an
earthquake devastates the city leaving everyone struggling to

“Echoes of Mercy”. Meg Wagstaff has returned to the States after
spending time as a volunteer in France during the war. Her parents,
Linc and Cecilia are elated she came back safe, but Meg learns her
childhood friend Delman Dubois has been accused of murdering Mitch
Kennedy by the New Orleans police. Meg refuses to believe Del would
kill anyone so she travels to the city to prove her Negro friend is
innocent. As Del faces racism that will gladly lynch him, Meg feels
like a traitor as she is attracted to her opponent New Orleans Parish
Attorney Gabriel St. Clair.

The omnibus collection of the three superb Wagstaff BLESSED ASSURANCE
inspirational historical tales will elate fans of the genre as each
era comes alive due to the strong lead couple and a deep support
cast. “

Also drop by and read Lyn’s blog about
Chicago 1871. The latest Blog discusses a Chicago institution, the
Marshall Field’s Department Store, which after over a century of
doing business in Chicago was bought out by Macy’s in the past few
• Chicago Blog #10

• “Give the Lady What She Wants”– Marshall Field
• If you grew up near Chicago as I did, the name of the famous
Chicago Department Store, “Marshall Field’s,” possessed an allure of
fine shopping, elegance and class. But I never realized until I was
doing my research for BLESSED ASSURANCE that the department store
concept was a 19th century social movement. No! I’m not kidding! In
the emerging more urban culture, men had saloons to gather in daily
but what social institution did “the ladies” have to go to?
• Well, Marshall Field decided it should be his store! And he
designed a place where every woman—by just walking through the door—
became a “lady.” With a tea room to meet her friends for lunch or
just a cup of tea and conversation. A place where a liveried boy
opened the door for her and a store which boasted marble floors and
Greek columns and sparkling display counters.
• Needless to say, Marshall Field’s was a success. His guiding
principles were: “best quality, attractively presented, customers
received with courteous and considerate treatment. Nothing petty or
• Next Tuesday, drop by for more about what the department
store experience was like for the lady of 1871.
• Link to purchase



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