Monday, May 7, 2018

Say It with Flowers by Jean C. Gordon

Does your area have an annual event to celebrate Mother's Day? Here it's the Albany Tulip Festival, which takes place in Washington Park near the state capitol on Mother's Day weekend. This year it features 150 different kinds of tulips.

According to the Albany Institute of History and Art, the city of Albany started the festival to celebrate its Dutch heritage. In 1940, Mayor John Boyd Thacher II proclaimed the week of May 18 to 26 “Albany Tulip Week,” with festivities centered around the tulips planted in Washington Park. World War II interrupted celebrations. After the war, Albany adopted the Dutch city of Nijmegen as a sister city and sent supplies to help the residents rebuild their war-ravaged city. In return, they sent Albany thousands of tulip bulbs. Mayor Erastus Corning, who took a leave of absence from his mayoral position to serve in the armed forces during the war, proclaimed the tulip Albany’s official flower in 1948. He sent a request to Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands to name a variety of the flower as Albany’s tulip. The Queen selected Orange Wonder, a bronze-orange and shaded-scarlet variety. The first official Tulip Festival took place May 14 to 22, 1949.

Today's three-day event still begins with the traditional scrubbing of State Street by young women wearing costumes inspired by traditional

Dutch dress. The tradition of cleaning the street is based on the perception associated with the cleanliness of Dutch housewives. The rest of the festivities and the crowning of the Tulip Queen take place in Washington Park where more than 100,000 tulips radiate a rainbow of color.

As a personal aside, for many years, my daughter's mother-in-law was the Albany city gardener in charge of designing and supervising the planting of all the city park tulips. She traveled to the Netherlands several times to buy bulbs for the yearly planting.

But the Tulip Festival isn't the only thing going on here this week. I also have a new sweet romance out for pre-order practically everywhere. Both the ebook and the print book will release June 11.

Is three the charm?

Lauren Cooper is on her way to her life’s dream. She’s financed and finished college and law school all on her own. And she’s up for partner at the largest law firm in Indigo Bay. There’s nothing to stop her from concentrating everything on achieving that goal. Until Jesse Brewster, the man who broke her heart twice, shows up sleeping off the night before on the beach, and she’s called in to serve as his public defender.

Looking to make a new start after the racing accident that ended his lucrative motocross career and sent him spiraling into darkness, the former champion had envisioned an entirely different scenario if he ever saw Lauren again. That vision was more along the lines of the successful businessman he’d be once he rehabbed the seaside mansion he’s inherited from his uncle and sold it to open a custom bike shop.

Sparks fly between them, and Jesse vows to fan those sparks once he’s got the project successfully underway. But someone starts sabotaging it, putting Jesse behind on the deadline he has to meet to get the property off the Indigo Bay Planning Board’s condemned property list. And Lauren has a sick suspicion that her bosses are somehow involved.

Jesse and Lauren had once promised they’d wait for each other while they pursued their career dreams. Despite that broken promise, neither can deny the love that’s still between them. But now that they are on the cusp of reaching those dreams, are they willing to risk everything to renew that love?

Team Macachek: Fall in love with the strong women and fearless men of the motocross circuit.

This is the 12th novel in the Indigo Bay Sweet Romance Series, but all books can be read as standalones.

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  1. Jean,
    I lived in upstate NY for many years and never knew about the Albany Tulip Festival. Fun event! And best wishes on your newest release!

  2. Sounds like a great festival. The tulips are beautiful. Congrats on the new release.

  3. The history of the tulip event is so fascinating. My mom had Dutch friends that said the streets in the Netherlands were spotless. It was like a tradition to keep them that way.

  4. Thanks for sharing about this fun event.