Hi, I'm Lyn Cote. I'm new to Avon and write for Avon's new inspirational line--Avon Inspire.

I'm the first blogger in the new "Inspired Mondays" series here on the Avon Romance Blog. So what have I got to say that's new?

Strong Women, Brave Stories

All romances depict the redeeming power of human love. Inspirational romances add the redeeming power of divine love. I interweave a spiritual journey for the hero and heroine into each story. Since spiritual matters are important in my life, these themes occur naturally in my stories.

My first Avon Inspire title, BLESSED ASSURANCE, on sale now, is a three-in-one omnibus edition of my first historical series which has been out of print for several years. I was so happy to have another chance to spruce up these award-winning stories in a whole new look. And I know how frustrating it can be for a reader to start a series and then have to wait months for the next book. With this edition, all three stories follow one after the other and the reader can have them all at once. No waiting!

As a writer, I like to push my characters to their limits so I chose three historical events for this purpose, The Great Chicago Fire 1871, The Great San Francisco Quake 1906 and the beginning of Prohibition in 1920 New Orleans.

"Strong Women, Brave Stories" puts in a nutshell what each of these stories offers. My heroines are always passionate participants in their times, the kind of women who have a clear vision of how they want the world to be and are willing to put themselves at the forefront of their crusade. Also my cast of characters is always multicultural because American history was not monochromatic and I always use historical research to give an authentic ring to my stories. I read a lot of journals and newspapers of the time and give the real history, one that might not have made it into textbooks.

In addition to the spiritual journeys in the hero and heroine's lives, inspirational romance is known for a lower sensuality. It's not that the physical attraction isn't portrayed; it's more subtle than other romances and there are no consummated love scenes on stage.

Here is an example of how I portray physical attraction in the third of the stories with my flapper, Meg Wagstaff, and the stuffy DA Gabe Sinclair who is prosecuting her childhood friend Del for the murder of his white boss at a Bourbon Street Club in 1920.

"Miss Wagstaff's black beaded evening dress with its elegant high neckline and long form-fitting sleeves flowed over her slender form to her ankles. When she turned, however, her backless evening gown was less than demure. All over the ballroom, heads turned to catch a glimpse of her elegant spine, then away. . . . For an instant, Gabe felt Meg's warm flesh under his own palm. The sensation jolted through him like fire. Immodest flapper. With the knightly courtesy he'd been raised to show a lady, Gabe danced the rest of the waltz with Dulcine. But his unruly eyes kept tracking the shocking brunette and the creamy skin down her slender spine."

Well, as you can guess, Meg is not a sweet little Sunday school teacher! If you haven't read an inspirational romance before, why not try BLESSED ASSURANCE? And let me invite you to visit my website.

And since it's the Monday we celebrate our veterans, please take a moment to remember or pray about our brave soldiers and veterans. My late father was a disabled WWII vet. He lost an arm in France in 1945. I know the cost of war. God bless our brave men and women in uniform!
Lyn Cote