The Triumphs and Travails of Talisman Turner
A Contemporary Romantic Comedy
For Women Who Need a Chuckle
After a Long Day of Work–or Shopping!
Talisman Turner has just been dumped. It’s not her. It’s not the guy. It’s the Red Sox.
Tali’s ex-boyfriend believes that sacrificing their relationship will reverse the curse plaguing his beloved baseball team. Tali’s determined to reverse a curse too–the one haunting her sorry love life. And she’s betting on the psychological theories she studied in college to do it.
Like the MHC theory of attraction which links sexual chemistry to immune-response-coding genes and a person’s unique scent…as well as the facial feedback hypothesis which states that smiling in the mirror should make people feel happier because it increases the flow of air-cooled blood to the brain.
The facial feedback hypothesis doesn’t work any magic–but a new job and a new romantic prospect do. Graham Salisbury, a British restaurant owner, seems to be Tali’s perfect counterpart–immunologically and in all other ways.
But falling in love is not a science…and Tali’s path to relationship bliss is anything but smooth…
If you can’t wait for Sophie Kinsella’s next release, you’ll definitely enjoy Cinda Fernando’s romantic comedy with a pop psychology twist!
Still undecided? Read the excerpt which follows this list of fun extras:
Talisman Turner Extras
- Discussion Guide
- The Tarot of Sex and the City
- Lyris Turner’s Healthy & Hearty Salad Recipe
- Romance Cures for Your Feng Shui Baguwa
- a Talisman Turner Pinterest board
- “Did You Spot a Typo?” Contest Winners Announced!
Excerpt – How Talisman Turner was dumped for the Red Sox…
Doug fumbled with his keys. The Red Sox key tag, a memento from the first game he went to with his father, was no longer red, but a dirty brown.
“Tali, I think,” he paused, the keys jangled, “I think it’s time we ended our relationship.”
I stared at the weeping willows across from us. Yellow blossoms trailed in bright paths from the topmost branches down to the ones that disappeared into the water. I couldn’t say I was surprised. Hurt, yes, but surprised, no. Even on our first date, I was waiting for the other stiletto to drop.
Simply put: Doug is as gorgeous as the surgeons on TV dramas. Blond hair, green eyes, and six feet three inches of toned and tanned muscle. Instead of dating someone like me, I thought he’d go for a girl who could actually pose beside him.
These girls might have light brown hair with golden highlights like me, standard issue brown eyes, and decent cheekbones, but then the resemblance would end. They’d be taller than my five feet seven inches, their torsos would be longer, their fingernails more round, their hair more glossy, their eyelashes thicker. They’d always have perfect French manicures and wear tiny, pointed heels (except to the gym).
“You’ve never been this silent.” He swallowed. “I want you to know it’s not you.” As I waited for Doug to tell me it was really him, I counted the number of fuzzy ducklings swimming behind their mother in the pond’s green water. One, two, three—
“It’s the Sox.”
I swiveled to look at him. “What?”
“I’ve been reading an article about miracles and sacrifices, so…I’m giving up monogamy and sex.”
“You’re what?” I asked as a skateboarder in a red cap and jean shorts crashed into a nearby garbage can.
“I’m giving up going all the way so that my team will go all the way,” he said with the pride of a bargain hunter who has found an original 2/55 quilted Chanel handbag with a metallic strap made in 1955, at a price so low, it’s clear the second-hand store didn’t realize the bag’s value.
I poked Doug in the chest. “You can’t do that.” I poked him again. “That’s not going to work, it’s magical thinking.”
“I’m not trying to be the next Houdini.”
“I’m not talking about magic tricks, but magical thinking. It’s a phenomenon where people think they can affect grand changes in the world through their thoughts or actions, and I—”
“Don’t use your psychobabble on me.”
“It’s not psychobabble.”
“Tal. You basically told me that sexual chemistry is simply a matter of BO.”
I buttoned up my cargo-style jacket which protected me from the late spring breeze but not from the chill slowly enveloping my heart. “No, not body odor, but the MHC theory.”
“Don’t try to convince me again that you’re attracted to me because of my armpits.”
Doug’s dismissive attitude stung, but I should’ve expected it. He never appreciated the theory of attraction centered around MHC—Major Histocompatibility Complex—genes, one of my favorite theories I had learned about when studying psychology.
It’s an evolutionary sign of kismet, an evolutionary seal of approval—one I preferred to a mother-in-law’s. Not that I’d have to worry about impressing Doug’s mother ever again.
The space around my heart tightened, as if it had been stuffed into a pair of stonewashed bootcut jeans, too beautiful to resist, and two sizes too small. I didn’t feel like describing again the details my college freshman psychology professor had drilled into our heads, since it was her special area of research: everyone has a unique set of MHC genes on their sixth chromosome which expresses itself through a person’s scent, also unique.
Women are strongly and instantly attracted to certain men based on their smell because the scent of the males indicates the men have MHC genes which differ significantly from the women.
Since the genes code for immune responses, if the MHC-united couple had children, their kids would possess a range of immune system responses to toxins and pathogens, boosting their Darwinian survival of the fittest factor. In a nutshell, evolution created the world’s best matchmaker inside your nose.
“But what about the time you said I smelled like exploding stars?” I clutched Doug’s wrist. “I thought you were a believer!”
“I had drunk two bottles of Dom Perignon, and…” he stopped himself. Two men in charcoal gray suits strummed acoustic guitars on the bench across from us.
“What?” I asked.
He shifted in his seat. “Nothing.”
“It was the week after you gave me the black eye,” I said, trying to remember the details of that night.
“I didn’t give you—”
“I spent twenty minutes on the T trying to convince a lady with blue-white hair and QVC jewelry that I didn’t need to call a domestic abuse hotline. You elbowed me here.” I pressed my finger underneath my left eye. “At the game. Trying to catch a fly ball. The Sox were playing some team from California.”
His face lit up like Fenway Park at night. “The Padres.”
“The Padres. Right.” I stared at Doug, finally understanding why he had uncharacteristically embraced the MHC theory that night. “And after another win, the Sox were four games ahead of the Yankees.”
He sighed. A Canadian goose waddled over and pecked at his feet.
“If you found somebody else, just tell me,” I said.
“That’s it. I swear. On the Sox. I really believe that this will be the year, if—”
“If you dump me.”
“The season’s just beginning, and—”
“You want to trade me for twelve—”
“—nine on the field, but twenty-three on the active roster—”
“—nine or twenty-three…basically a truck load of sweaty, chubby men?” He turned away from me and looked at a picnicking couple nestled in the grass.
“For now, you should just forget about me, Tal.”
“In this city?”
I only had to scan the area around us for four seconds before I spotted twin ten year old boys sporting Red Sox caps with identical glaring Bs. Every day I’d find at least twenty-one reminders that I once had a boyfriend who dumped me for the team.
He took my hands into his. They were dry and warm. “It’s not personal. We can still be friends, right?”
I was tempted to say yes, because maybe if we continued to be friends, he’d change his mind, realize that even frumpy dumpy me with pudge, a bad hair day, and no make-up, was better than his precious gang of sweaty, tobacco-chewing men…but that was also magical thinking too, wasn’t it?
Read the first three chapters or…
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