Nell Iris' Christmas

Advent calendar: bonus


I know I said yesterday was going to be the last day of the advent calendar, but then I read another book that I just had to squeeze in, so…SURPRISE! Bonus day in the advent calendar!

Because on a whim I bought Talk Turkey by Bru Baker when Dreamspinner Press had a 40% sale on their holiday books and I freaking loved it. It was hilarious, and I’m not talking a chuckle or a giggle here. I’m talking laugh-out-loud-clenching-my-stomach-funny. Laugh-so-hard-I’m-crying-funny. But what made it so special was that between those humorous moments were heart-wrenching moments. First I cried because I laughed, and on the next page I cried because my heart ached for poor lonely Carson who calls a turkey hotline because he doesn’t have anyone else to talk to. I loved this book!

And you have to tell me something: is there really such a thing as turkey hotlines? (I’m Swedish, remember? We don’t eat turkey for Christmas or celebrate Thanksgiving, so I don’t know about these things.)



Carson is a California transplant settling into life in the Windy City. On his first Christmas away from home, he assures his worried family he’ll be having a real Christmas dinner.

Recent culinary school graduate Tom Stockton earns some extra money giving out cooking advice at the Talk Turkey hotline. Tom’s honeyed voice and sharp sense of humor are attractive to the lonely Carson, and Carson finds reasons to call the hotline again and again. But on Christmas Eve, Carson’s call is less playful and more panicked with the big meal looming. Carson is just looking for advice, but Tom has a surprise in store that might lead to much more.

Buy link: Amazon | Dreamspinner Press

Today’s quote from the book:

Is two quotes because they sort of go together…

It said a lot about Carson’s current state of mind that he’d named the turkey currently taking up a good three-quarters of the real estate in his refrigerator. Sure, he’d be eating it. But that didn’t mean he shouldn’t name it. Especially since it was doing such a great service for him, being his sole companion for Christmas dinner. At the rate it was defrosting—which was interminably slowly—it would be coming as a guest and not the meal, which was all the more reason to name it.


“I can’t believe I’m indulging this, but…why Terry?”
“Because I don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl. Terry’s a unisex name.”
“Well, that makes perfect sense, then. God forbid you misgender the turkey you’re going to eat in three days,” Tom said wryly.

Today’s song to go with the story

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole, because Carson is desperately trying to make the holiday season bright by cooking a turkey even though he can’t cook, but in the end it’s not the turkey but Tom who manages to cure Carson’s loneliness.

6 thoughts on “Advent calendar: bonus”

  1. Did anyone answer about the turkey hotline? Yes, and I have used it! I had complete directions from my mother for the first turkey I cooked alone. And I panicked and was too embarrassed to call her so I called the turkey hotline. They are sponsored by Butterball – the big seller of frozen turkeys. I was VERY grateful to talk to them. And I still remember 40 years later that what I did wrong was have the turkey upside down. I flipped it and then could use my mother’s instructions. The next best turkey story is where Julia Child cooked a turkey on her live cooking show – no film back then – dropped it and picked it up and carried on. That always made me feel better. My daughter does the turkey now so I don’t have to worry about what side goes up or down and where to tuck the wings or tie the legs or how to pull out all the yucky stuff inside the different pockets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, no one answered, so thank you so much. I had no idea there was such a thing! And thank you for telling me your story! It sort of reminded me a little about Talk Turkey, except Carson didn’t turn his bird upside down, he stuck his hand in the wrong body cavity 🙂 ❤️❤️


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