Weezie Foley has high hopes for Christmas this year. She's working herself into a frenzy decorating her antique shop to win the Savannah historic district decorating contest; she's searching for the perfect present for her chef boyfriend, Daniel; she planning Christmas dinner for the first time for her and Daniel's families. Add a mysterious visitor to the shop and a missing Christmas tree pin and it's almost more than Weezie can handle. Andrews's delightful characters come to life thanks to Keating's reading, which offers just the right mixture of Southern twang and upbeat lilt. She nicely captures the humor that runs through the novel and the variety of characters that populate Weezie's life. The male voices tend to come across as hoarse instead of masculine, but this doesn't detract from the overall enjoyment of a delightful Christmas tale full of memorable characters. This audio is the perfect gift this holiday season. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins hardcover. (Nov.)Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Blue Christmasby Mary Kay Andrews
'Tis the week before Christmas, and antiques dealer Weezie Foley is in a frenzy to do up her shop right for the Savannah historical district decorating contest, which she fully intends to win. Her motif is Graceland Blue Christmas, with lots of tinsel, an aluminum tree, and enough tacky retro doodads to fill the Grand Ole Opry. But no sooner is she certain she's
'Tis the week before Christmas, and antiques dealer Weezie Foley is in a frenzy to do up her shop right for the Savannah historical district decorating contest, which she fully intends to win. Her motif is Graceland Blue Christmas, with lots of tinsel, an aluminum tree, and enough tacky retro doodads to fill the Grand Ole Opry. But no sooner is she certain she's one-upped the trendy shop around the corner when Weezie notices things going strangely missing from her display.
Despite the petty burglaries of her mysterious midnight visitor, Weezie still has high hopes for the holiday. Perhaps even an engagement ring is in the offing from her chef boyfriend, though Daniel, usually moody around the yuletide, seems even more distant than ever. Throw in some seasonal eccentricities from Weezie's decidedly odd family, a miraculous 1950s Christmas-tree pin, and a little help from the King (Elvis!) himself, and even Scrooge would have to agree there's real magic in the Savannah air this Christmas
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By Mary Kay Andrews
HarperCollinsCopyright © 2005 Mary Kay Andrews
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Chapter OneI was just hot-gluing the last popcorn-and-cranberry strand to the second of two five-foot-high topiary Christmas trees when my best friend came breezing into Maisie's Daisy.
BeBe Loudermilk stopped dead in her tracks and gazed around the first floor of my antiques shop, wrinkling her nose in distaste.
She gestured toward the half-empty crates of apples, oranges, and kumquats scattered around my worktable, at the halved pineapples and the pomegranates spilling out of grocery sacks, and at the freshly fallen drifts of popcorn littering the floor.
"What the hell?" she said dramatically. There are very few statements BeBe makes that are not laden with drama.
"Are you now turning to fruit vending as a sideline?" She shook her head sadly. "And I thought you were doing so well with the antiques."
"Christmas decorations," I said, pressing the popcorn strings onto the surface of the topiary tree, which I'd already covered with what seemed like a whole orchard full of tiny green crab apples and kumquats. "For the historic district decorating contest."
"Ohhh," she said, drawing it out.
With one tentative fingertip, she tapped the tree I'd completed, knocking off a kumquat, which rolled onto the floor, joining half a dozen other pieces of fallen fruit.
"Cute," she said dismissively.
"Cute? Is that all you can say? Cute? I've spent threewhole days with this project. I've blown a good three hundred dollars on fresh fruit and nuts and Styrofoam forms, and strung what feels like ten miles of popcorn and cranberries. And just look at my hands!"
I held them out for her to see. There were needle pricks on my fingertips, hot-glue burns on my palms, and multiple bandages from self-inflicted skewerings.
"Criminal," BeBe said. "But why?"
"Because," I said, "I am, by God, going to win the commercial division decorating contest this year, even if I have to cover the entire surface of this building with every piece of fresh fruit in Savannah."
"Again ... why would you bother? I mean, what's in it for you?"
"Pride," I said. "Last year I really thought I had it sewn up. Remember, I did that whole deal with the gilded palmetto fronds and magnolia leaf swags? And I had all the dried okra pods and pinecones? And I didn't even make honorable mention? They gave first place to that stupid boutique on Whitaker. Can you believe they won with those lame-o kudzu vines and hokey bird's nests and stuffed cardinals? I mean, stuffed birds! It was absolutely Hitchcockian!"
"A tragic oversight, I'm sure," BeBe said, looking around the shop. "Remind me again why it was so crucial that I come over here today?"
"You promised to watch the shop," I said. "There's an auction at Trader Bob's, over in Hardeeville, that starts at noon. This close to Christmas, I can't afford to close up while I go on a buying trip. I was also hoping you might help me put up all the decorations before I leave in an hour."
She sighed. "All right. What are we doing?"
I gestured toward the pair of topiary trees. "Help me drag these outside. They're going in those big cast-iron urns by the front doors. Then we've got to tack up the over-door plaque with the pineapples and lemons and limes, and swag the grapevines around the show windows. I've got two kinds of grapes-green and red, and we'll hot-glue those once the vines are in place. Then the only thing left is the window display. But I'll set that up once I get back from Hardeeville."
With a maximum amount of huffing and puffing, and some very un-Christmas-like swearing when BeBe broke an acrylic nail, we managed to get the decorations in place.
"There," I said, standing out on the sidewalk, gazing at our masterpiece. "Take that, Babalu!"
"Babalu them," I said, pointing across Troup Square.
"My nearest and queerest competition."
"That's not very nice," she said. "I thought you loved gay men."
"You don't know Manny and Cookie," I told her. Manny Alvarez and Cookie Parker had opened their shop on Harris Street the previous spring. Manny was a retired landscape designer from Delray Beach, Florida, and Cookie? Well, Cookie claimed he'd been a Broadway chorus boy in the road show of Les Misérables, but he was fifty if he was a day, going bald, and weighed close to three hundred pounds.
"I tried to be nice and welcoming. I took flowers over there on their opening day, invited them to dinner, but since the minute they opened, they've been trying to put me out of business," I told BeBe. "They've tried to snake some of my best pickers. They called up the city and complained about my customers parking in loading zones; they even went to the gift mart and came back with the exact same line of aromatherapy candles and bath salts I carry, and now they sell them for two bucks cheaper."
"The nerve!" BeBe said. She craned her neck to look across the square at their shop. "Looks like they're working on their Christmas decorations too. Must be half a dozen men swarming around over there. Wow, look. They've got like a phone company truck with one of those cherry-picker buckets hanging lights along the front of the building."
"I'm sure whatever they do will be gaudy as hell," I said, flouncing back into the shop with BeBe following close behind. "Remember what they did for Halloween? The whole façade of the building was a red devil, with the shop's windows lit up with yellow lights as the devil's eyes."
"Hmm," BeBe said noncommittally.
"They blinked off and on all night. I thought I was having a seizure the first time I looked over there and saw it. It damn near drove me nuts," I said. "And it was so over the top."
"Not Savannah at all," BeBe agreed. "But flashy. You gotta give 'em that."
Excerpted from Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews Copyright © 2005 by Mary Kay Andrews. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author
Mary Kay Andrews is the author of eleven bestselling novels and ten critically acclaimed mysteries. A former reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Date of Birth:
- July 27, 1954
- Place of Birth:
- Tampa, Florida
- B.A. in newspaper journalism, University of Georgia, 1976
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I thoroughly enjoyed Mary Kay Andrews writing style and her character Weezie. I could pick this book up at any time during my shopping and cooking and wrapping and enjoy every word! I eventually bought several copies for gift giving that Christmas.
Blue Christmas was an appropriate read for the time of year. I enjoyed the story - it was simple, heartwarming and a fun read. I would recommend this for people that want to 'escape' into their own little world for a while and enjoy a good book. I would recommend this story to almost everyone, age may be the only point to consider. Nicely done.
I bought the unabridged cd & loved Weezie & all the other characters. Being from the south myself & just returning from a trip to Savannah made the book that more enjoyable. In the 1980's I had an antique store & went to many auctions in search of antiques & collectibles. So I could relate to the descriptions of both the people who run the auction & people who attend them. Isabel Keating was a hoot to listen to. I don't know if she is from the south, but her accent was so good. I especially enjoyed her imitation of little Stormie. I think the narration by Ms. Keating added to the charm of the book. I enjoyed the book & wished the story would not have to end so quickly. I hope Ms. Andrews continues to write more of Weezie's adventures. I intend to purchase Savannah Blues & Savannah Breeze
I enjoy reading Mary Kay Andrew's laid back books about women in the South. I purchased this little novella the week after Christmas thinking in the back of my mind that it might just be a quick buck for the author, but I just had myself a great afternoon of reading. It's funny, descriptive, and a feel good read. I liked the book, and I think that you will too.
Written the way a seasonal short story should be, Blue Christmas is a happy little novella that made my holiday traveling a pleasure. This story has character. It includes mystery, friendship and romance, and a guaranteed chuckle in every chapter. It just makes you feel good about everything. Buy it, read it, share it!
I got this to read over Christmas and it was great entertainment. I was even inspired to buy myself a blue Christmas tree pin! Great characters and intriguing story as I have come to expect from Mary Kate Andrews!!
I was extrememly disappointed in this book. The book wasn't written much better than a primary book for elementary students. The pages were shortened as well as the content. I've been a big fan of this author but this book shows how monetary consideration has been put ahead of content. Thumbs down on this one !!
With Christmas just around the corner, antiques dealer Weezie Foley has decorated her store to look like an eighteenth century Yuletide gala in order for her to win the Savannah historical district contest. However, something odd occurs every night as someone seems to sneak into her emporium to steal an item of little value from her decorations. She has no idea who her midnight marauder is or why they purloin one article, but plans to find out whom he or she is.------------------- Meanwhile Weezie also wants to share a joyful holiday with her boyfriend chef Daniel Stipanek, but he seems more a bah humbug than joy to the world type as he rejects her efforts. Weezie turns to her pal BeBe Loudermilk, her dog Jericho, and her certifiable family to help her learn what bugs Daniel about Christmas. Soon her two mysteries intertwine as Weezie needs a miraculous gift from the Magi if she is going to convert her beloved from being a Scrooge clone.------------- The latest Weezie-BeBe thriller is a blithe holiday romp that will please fans of the two zany women (see SAVANNAH BREEZE and MISSY FIT). The story line is amusing as Weezie recruits her best friend and her family to help her with Daniel. The cast is delightful, but Weezie owns this cheerful (except for moody Daniel) Christmas caper.--------------- Harriet Klausner
My favorite Christmas book!