Blue Christmas Part 16

Daniel sipped his, then carefully set his gla.s.s down on the coffee table.

My heart sank. "Not so hot, huh? I've got some champagne too, but maybe we'd better wait on that."

"Later," he said. "Now it's my turn." He scooted me over to one side and raised a hip to reach into his pocket.

He brought out a small black velvet box and held it out to me. "Sorry about the wrapping," he said. "I was going to wait until tomorrow. But you said I should save the wine for a special occasion. This is as special as it gets."

My hands were damp and shaky, and my fingers couldn't quite work the tiny silver clasp on the box.

"Here," he said impatiently. He took the box and flipped the top open.

A circlet of blue sapphires winked and sparkled in the reflected light of the Christmas tree, and in the center of the sapphires sat one perfect square-cut diamond.

"I know they're not your birthstones, but you love blue, and they're sapphires, and just a diamond didn't seem like enough-"

"Shut up," I said, kissing him quiet.

"Yes?" he asked, a little while later, taking the ring from the box and fitting it on my trembling left hand.

"Yes," I whispered. "Oh, h.e.l.l yes."

Foley Family Irish Corned Beef Dip.

The way you cla.s.s up a recipe calling for canned corned beef is to serve it in a hollowed-out bread round that you buy at the best bakery in your neighborhood-preferably the bread should be rye, pumpernickel, or sourdough.

2 loaves unsliced bread.

1 1/3 cups sour cream 1 1/2 cups Duke's mayonnaise 2 teaspoons dried minced onion 1 can corned beef.

1/2 teaspoon horseradish.

Combine all ingredients except the bread, mas.h.i.+ng with a fork to create even consistency. Spoon into a hollowed-out bread round. Serve with cut-up chunks of the second loaf of bread.

Red Roosters A Christmas-y c.o.c.ktail that will make your guests crow with delight. Just remember to make it the night before your party so that the juice mixture has time to freeze. And remind guests that this potable is mighty potent. Supposedly makes ten servings. As if!

1/4 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup water 1 cup frozen lemonade concentrate 1 cup frozen orange juice concentrate 2 cups cranberry juice 2 cups vodka 4 cups ginger ale.

Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add all juices and vodka and stir to blend. Freeze mixture in pitcher or freezer-safe container. One hour before serving time, add ginger ale to pitcher. As mixture thaws, break into slush with a long spoon.


First and foremost, thanks go to Carolyn Marino, my amazing editor at HarperCollins, for the idea to set a Christmas novella in Savannah, and to Stuart Krichevsky, the best agent in the world, who convinced me I actually could write a story in less than four hundred pages. Thanks and hugs also go to Polly Powers Stramm and Jacky Blatner Yglesias, for their unfailing help and friends.h.i.+p, and to food writer and cookbook author extraordinaire Martha Giddens Nesbit, for her encyclopedic knowledge of Savannah foodways-and the inspiration for our family's favorite crab cakes. Ed Herring at Seaboard Wine Warehouse in Raleigh helped with wine research, and Liz Demos, owner of my favorite antiques shop in Savannah, @Home Vintage General, showed me how Weezie's shop should be run. David K. Secrest helped with sports info, and friends like Virginia Reeve and Ron and Leuveda Garner gave me shelter on Tybee Island. And as always, thanks and love to my family, Hogans and Trochecks, and now Abels, whose love remains the best Christmas gift of all.

About the Author.

MARY KAY ANDREWS, a former journalist for the Atlanta Journal-Const.i.tution, is the New York Times bestselling author of Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues. She lives in Atlanta.

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