Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Release: Aqua Follies!

Aqua Follies releases today, and I couldn't be happier. This has been a labor of love, and I'm so excited to get it into the hands of readers!

To celebrate, I thought I'd make a post that focuses on the real Aqua Follies, a variety show on water that was part of Seattle's Seafair celebration from 1950 until about 1962. The Aqua Follies had water ballet and dancers, a live band, clowns, divers, and guest performers who regularly sold out the 5000+ seats of the Green Lake aqua theater. 

From the 1962 Seattle Times

Seafair lasts a couple of weeks, from late July into early August, and culminates with hydroplane races out on Lake Washington. Over the years Seattle residents have done just about everything to celebrate. Recently I was nosing around Amazon and found a Seafair Cook Book put together by the women of St Andrews on the Lake Episcopal Church in 1951. According to my friend, historian Paula Becker (who pointed me at the Aqua Follies in the first place), the original St Andrews was sacrificed to the construction of Interstate 5, but the congregation lives on in a new church about 10 blocks north of the original.

Notice they've got Mount Rainier on the cover and not the Space Needle -
because the Space Needle wasn't built till 1962.
The recipes are pretty amazing. Many require the use of gelatin, and more than a few call for a handful of this or a little of that. Scanning the index, I saw a section of "cocktail" recipes and got all excited (because '50s + cocktails!), but they turned out to need shrimp and avocado, not bourbon. Oh well. There's a separate chapter for recipes contributed by men, one for holiday recipes, one for historic, and one for foreign recipes. Fun stuff!

You could bring Seafair Cream Puffs to your next party!

Or maybe you'd prefer Raisin Delight or Mystery Pudding? 

So next time you're planning a trip to Seattle, make it during Seafair. There's the hydros and the Blue Angels, a Milk Carton Derby and pirates. PIRATES! It's a lot of fun, and the weather almost always cooperates. And if you don't have time for an actual vacation, check out Aqua Follies. You can have a vacation-by-kindle! (Make sure you get to the end of this post to enter the giveaway Irene Preston and I are running to celebrate Aqua Follies' release!)

The 1950s. Postwar exuberance. Conformity. Rock and roll.

Russell tells himself he’ll marry Susie because it’s the right thing to do. His summer job coaching her water ballet team will give him plenty of opportunity to give her a ring. But on the team’s trip to the annual Aqua Follies, the joyful glide of a trumpet player’s solo hits Russell like a torpedo, blowing apart his carefully constructed plans.

From the orchestra pit, Skip watches Poseidon’s younger brother stalk along the pool deck. It never hurts to smile at a man, because sometimes good things can come of it. Once the last note has been played, Skip gives it a shot.

The tenuous connection forged by a simple smile leads to events that dismantle both their lives. Has the damage been done, or can they pick up the pieces together?

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  1. Congratulations, Liv!! Can't wait to read it. Love the historical connection, one of my favorite things when reading a good story!! Best of luck <3

  2. Wish they still had the Aqua Follies. Sigh. Oh well. We can relive them through your book! Looking forward to reading it.

    1. Wouldn't it be fun? We missed out. Hope you enjoy the vicarious experience, Tessa. :)

  3. It's nice to get the background, although the Aqua Follies seem such a strange concept these days! Good luck with the book.