Posted in Writing

Talking Turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas

Cover of The Owl and the Turkey
Now available in a tiny single story paperback as well as an ebook single

As today is Thanksgiving in the USA (Canada’s is the second Monday in October), I thought it could be a good time to let you know about a new mini paperback I’ve just published about a turkey.

An owl and a turkey, to be precise. (Always one for an obvious title, me.)

Different Turkey Traditions

While turkey is the classic Thanksgiving dish in North America, here in the UK where I live, it’s inextricably linked with Christmas dinner. Most British households will tuck into a turkey on Christmas Day – though not ours, because my husband and daughter are vegetarian. Much as I like turkey, I certainly couldn’t eat a whole one.

So my story has a British take on the old bird’s destiny. It’s told in the style of a traditional folk tale, in which a new young queen, bored of wild boar, despatches the royal huntsmen on Christmas Eve to find a new dish for Christmas dinner, with entertaining results.

The Story Behind the Story

The story behind the story is much more modern. It was sparked by my mishearing a news report on the radio one winter’s morning, which included the line “The trouble with turkey is that it doesn’t have its own missile defence system.”

Did I say turkey? Of course, the newsreader was actually talking about Turkey the country. But by the time I realised my mistake, my overactive imagination was already running away to invent an entirely different kind of tale.

Now in Paperback and Ebook

This story was originally published as a stand-alone single short story ebook. It was also selected to appear behind the door of an online advent calendar at the parenting website Mumsnet a couple of years ago, which really tickled me.  One day I hope to write a whole advent calendar of stories myself. Maybe next year…

In the meantime, I’ve turned this story into a tiny slim paperback the size of a postcard and not that much thicker! It could be the perfect stocking filler for foodie friends or anyone who likes a humorous story, or you could even slip it inside a Christmas card.

The paperback is priced $3.99 / £2.75 and the ebook 99c / 99p.

You’ll find it easily on whichever Amazon website serves where you live – just plug my name and the book title into the search box, and up it’ll pop. You can also click the “look inside” link there to read the foreword and first couple of paragraphs to get the, er, flavour of my turkey tale before you buy.

Suitable for vegetarians: I can assure you no birds were harmed in the writing of this book!

Some 5* Reviews for The Owl and the Turkey on Amazon (from both sides of the Atlantic)

“Crisp, clever, fast-paced- this short story receives my highest recommendation” – Ginger Dawn Harman on

“A neat short which made me smile (and I’m a vegetarian!) all about how the poor old turkey became the victim of choice at Christmas. Carefully crafted and entertaining, it draws you into the tale much as you were drawn as a child. You know it cannot be true, but can’t help but enjoy the storytelling. Lovely.” – Leekmuncher on

“I think the reason I loved this story was because it had the feel of a French folk tale of yore. The court, the outrageous demands, the competitive quest, the castle and forest, all set the imagination off in romantic direction… This story could be read to children before or after the Christmas feast of today. Parallels could be usefully drawn with current food whims and demands!” – Rosalind Minett on

cover of the paperback opened outWhichever side of the Atlantic you’re on – or whether you live far away from it – I wish you a happy Thanksgiving, whether or not it’s an official day for counting your blessings where you live.




Author of warm, witty and gently funny fiction and non-fiction, including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, beginning with "Best Murder in Show", inspired by her life in an English Cotswold community, short stories and essays about country life. As Commissioning Editor for the Alliance of Independent Authors' Advice Centre, she writes guidebooks authors. She speaks at many literature festivals and writing events, and is part of BBC Radio Gloucestershire's monthly Book Club broadcast. She is founder and director of the free Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which takes place in April, a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and an ambassador for children's reading charity Read for Good and the Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.

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