Roll up, roll up, because today I’m allowing the delectable Claire Gillian to take over my blog to help promote her recently released romantic mystery The P.U.R.E.
And if you haven’t yet heard of this debut author, here’s a little more about her awesome book.
Fresh out of college, Gayle’s career path should follow the yellow brick road straight to the top. Thanks to a menial errand gone wrong, a wayward tongue, and a randy supervisor who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, Gayle’s stuck in corporate hell.
Discovering a company secret only turns up the heat.
The one part of her life not going down in flames is her friendship with the gorgeous but intensely private, Jon Cripps. Jon would make the perfect consolation prize for Gayle’s pity party if dating a co-worker wasn’t career suicide. Then again, with all Gayle has been through, maybe falling in love is the lucky break she needs.
Hitting the cool sheets with Jon soothes her mind and body, but it also enrages whoever’s behind the smokescreen she’s uncovered at work. Someone is willing to kill to protect their secrets, and Gayle and Jon are the targets.
With both her heart and livelihood at stake, Gayle’s early career-limiting moves could turn into life-terminating ones.
I happened to be one of the lucky ones who nabbed an early ARC of this one. It’s a great, fun read with a HOT guy to boot. You can check out my review HERE! Or to add it to your Goodreads pile, simply click on the cover image. 🙂
And onward with the show. Ms Gillian, it’s over to you!
Confessions of a Near P.U.R.E.
When I started my career in public accounting, I had next to no idea what to expect. I strutted my 3.7 GPA and Phi Beta Kappa key, wooing four of the best public accounting firms into asking for my hand in employment—three in Atlanta and one in Dallas. Pampered and spoiled, of course I chose the biggest diamond—the one offering the largest salary. At the time, that was in Dallas, Texas, thanks to the oil and gas boom.
I signed and the wooing ended. The high mucky-muck partners no longer called to shoot the breeze and casually inquire if I’d made my employment decision yet.
So, I moved to Dallas, a virtually unknown city, all by myself, and joined the scores of other raw recruits. We eyed each other competitively. Who would weather the longest and seize the brass ring of a corner office and a partnership in the firm? Who would throw up their hands in the early stages? Who would be managed up or out? And along that line of thinking, who would be the PUREs—the previously undetected recruiting errors—that made us wonder, “Who hired that guy?”
Most new hires started in the summer, when business was slow and billable hours a coveted commodity. If you were unassigned to an audit, you were a gopher. You proofread, fetched lunches for partners and meetings, ran forgotten paper files out to job sites so the billable staff remained billable. You made copies and collated for the administrative assistants who were far busier than you. You waited, shifting from foot to foot, as a manager edited a time sensitive memo so you could then run three blocks in high heels, in the sweltering Dallas heat, with your suit jacket on, to deliver the document to the typing pool to tweak. When they finished, you ran the reverse route to deliver the next draft. Repeat as often as needed or until the last typist went home for the day.
Such was the pre-email and fax era, so someone had to do it. Why pay a courier when you had salaried labor sitting around idle? Management didn’t care if we got our suits and crisp white shirts and blouses dirty or shredded our pantyhose or snapped off the heels of our shoes. We were there to work and to look professional at all times—corporate arm candy. All those egos stoked to maximum blaze during the recruiting courtship were quickly doused into soggy, smoky memories.
But if you didn’t keep your ego in check, you could find yourself in PURE territory.
I remember dancing on the edge of PURE-dom when one audit had concluded but my assignment to its supervisor had not. My supervisor, running multiple jobs at once, decided he’d give me grunt work to do for his other job, since possession was nine-tenths of the law where inexperienced staff were concerned. I bristled at first, because a supervisor was only one or two notches above me on the hierarchy, but did as I was told.
The tasks kept coming, doled out one at a time, and at varying intervals. Once he asked me to fetch what I thought was a personal item from his car. As I took his keys, I said, “Shall I wash it for you too, boss, while I’s a-there?”
He said nothing, but fixed me with a cold stare before turning back to his work. I never worked on one of his jobs ever again. I didn’t work for anyone else for a while either. Uh-oh. I’d left an ember of pride still smoldering. Once I smothered it though, I did fine.
Here’s the irony and epiphany of those early work experiences. When I wrote The P.U.R.E., I gave the heroine, Gayle, many of the same feelings and experiences I’d had in my new hire days. I drew from what I knew. Those elements were indisputably authentic, and I was proud enough of my story to submit it to the Daphne du Maurier contest (romantic suspense).
While one judge gave me high marks (thank you!), one gave me much lower marks, commenting at how unrealistic the heroine’s work situation was. “Nobody sends a CPA out to pick up lunches!” she wrote (paraphrased).
Um, yeah they did and do, thus illustrating with a sting that truth sometimes really is stranger than fiction.
I am grateful for those humbling experiences, however. They taught me very early that you’re never too smart, too pretty, too athletic or too talented to be above paying your dues, whether it’s for your career in business, modeling, pro golf or in writing. Pride is all well and good, but it can be like a battering ram, whereas humility unlocks and props open the door. Truly the best piece of universal wisdom acquired from my PURE salad-days.
Claire Gillian is a number-crunching executive by profession, an after hours writer by passion, and a darkly romantic curmudgeon. Published in short stories and anthologies, The P.U.R.E marks Claire’s official, and debut, transition to the publication of her work in novel form.
While Claire’s writing spans all ages and subject matters, she’s happiest penning romance drenched in humor with a dash of intrigue and loads of spice.
Claire lives in the boggy Pacific NW with her husband and two teen-aged sons.
Huge thanks to Claire for a great post.
Now on to the
Claire is generously offering a muchero coolio prize package to one lucky commenter of a
The P.U.R.E. mug:
AND a couple of signed bookmarks (front and back images shown).
To be in with a chance of entering, simply leave a comment by midnight this Sunday (April 29nd 2012). And if you fancy keeping up with what Claire gets up to, she can be found at:
Are YOU looking forward to The P.U.R.E.?