Excerpt · Giveaways · Promo

Templand and Permland by Jill Elaine Hughes w/excerpts & giveaway

Harlie here…I was a professional temp in my 20’s in Dallas, Texas.  I loved it.  I made great money and had many companies that requested me for long term assignments.  I honestly never looked for a perm job until the corporate office of JC Penney called.  I’ve always looked fondly on my temp experiences and learned an awful lot.  🙂
Amazon Buy Link

Templand Blurb:


The heroine, Melanie Evers, is a plucky young working-class
woman from Akron, Ohio struggling to support herself in Chicago in the
post-9-11 economy. TEMPLAND follows Melanie’s journey through the temporary
employment world from a college student on “just a summer job” to a
28-year-old woman with a lot of intelligence (and a heap of student loan debt
to match) through multiple layoffs and a series of ever-more-wacky temp
assignments, as she struggles not only to survive, but also to find romance and
always remain true to the honest, working-class values instilled in her by her
beloved grandfather.
In her long, solitary journey through Templand, Melanie encounters adventure
and romance on her search for that always-elusive Permanent Job—which she
finally gets, along with her man. TEMPLAND is a highly entertaining, wickedly
funny social satire, contemporary romance, and mystery novel all rolled into



Amazon Buy Link

Permland Blurb:



It’s the beginning of 2003, a few months after the end of TEMPLAND. Melanie
Evers is back as she struggles under the insane demands of her long-sought
Permanent Job.  Now a human resources
executive at Marquette Bank, what started out as a cushy well-paid job turns
into a nightmare when her company is bought out by a Dutch conglomerate.  Melanie gets sent on a new series of wacky
adventures as she tries to keep her head above water while her crazy new boss
Pietra controls her every move, the Iraq War begins, and her boyfriend Dave is
called up by the Army reserves to fight overseas. Is permanent employment
really all it’s cracked up to be?


            EXCERPT 2: (TEMPLAND)
            I was back at Marquette Bank at eight sharp the next morning.  Wanda from HR met me in the lobby.
            “Melanie!  So nice to have you in so bright and early this morning.  I wanted to make sure I met you and escorted you to your secure work area.”
Escorted me? Secure work area? She made it sound like we were in some Cold War-era naval base, and not the cubicle canyons of a big American bank.  I followed Wanda down a series of halls until we came to an obscure corner of the office that was still decorated in 70s-era purple and avocado.  Instead of a cubicle, there was a steel sheet-metal half wall, with an ancient fortress of a metal desk behind it. Three PCs, each with its own octopus of cords and cables, rested on the massive desk.
            “We originally thought we’d have you working at Leila’s old desk during the investigation, but upper management thought it would be too conspicuous,” Wanda explained.  “So you’ll be working back here for the time being.  I hope you don’t mind.  No one will bother you back here!”
            “I guess that’s good,” I said.
            “I wish I had this kind of privacy in my job,” Wanda said.  “But you know, being in HR is all about people, people, people!”
            “Uh huh.”
            “Well, your IT assistant. . . person should be here any minute.  I’ll just let you both work your magic!”  Wanda from HR toddled off.
            Although I’d gotten pretty good at navigating office software over the years, when it came to dealing with data cables and hard drives I was clueless.  I stared at the three imposing-looking PCs with all their wires gone askew and suddenly felt all my computer literacy escape from my brain through my left ear. One of them didn’t have a monitor—it was just an intimidating pile of CPU, cable, and appliances. This cyber-monolith scared me so much I couldn’t even remember how to flip an on/off switch.
            “Need some help?” said a vaguely familiar masculine voice over my shoulder.
            I turned around to greet a handsome, goateed guy of about 30.  Unlike the rest of the staff in the office who wore three-piece tailored suits and wingtips, he wore a wrinkled Nirvana-type flannel with the tail untucked, Old Navy khakis, and engineer boots.  He carried a bulky PC monitor on his hip.
            Where had I seen him before?
            “Melanie Evers?”
            “I have your temporary password.”  He smiled at me knowingly.  Where had I heard that before?
Holy shit!  Hoxwell IT Dave!
            “Yeah, when Wanda came by yesterday about this little top-secret job she told me your name. I thought it might be you.”
            “You’re in Chicago?”
            “Yeah, I moved here about two years ago when I got a job over at the Board of Trade. Akron’s a shithole.  I had to get out of there.”
            “I know. Chicago’s a shithole sometimes, too,” I said, twisting a lock of my hair.  How the hell was I going to do corporate espionage with a one-night-stand from college? A one-night-stand who was still very good looking and very, very likeable. Suddenly I understood how James Bond must feel when he has to shoot the bad Bond girl he screwed the night before for information.
            “Are you OK?” Hoxwell IT Dave asked. If he remembered our one hot night of dorm-room love eight years before, he didn’t make any indication.
            My mouth had gone cotton.  “Ummmm.  Ummmm, yes.  Fine.  Just kind of, um, thirsty.”
            “I put a stash of Diet Coke in the IT office fridge this morning if you want some.  If you drink Diet Coke this early, anyway.  Usually only us computer geeks do that.”
I began to cough, which just made my cottonmouth worse.  Diet Coke in the morning couldn’t be any worse for you than coffee, right?  “Sure,” I managed.
            Hoxwell IT Dave set the bulky monitor down on the metal desk fortress and disappeared down the hall.  My knees were tingling for some unknown reason.  Suddenly my shins feel asleep.  I fell backwards into a molded plastic chair just as Hoxwell IT Dave returned with several sweating cans of Diet Coke under each arm.
            “This should be enough to get us through the morning,” he said.  “I drink a lot of this crap.  I’ll probably get brain cancer before I’m 40 from all the Nutrasweet.”  He paused to look at me.         “You OK?  You look sort of. . . pale.”
            “Just tired, I guess.”
            “Have a Diet Coke.  It’ll get your blood buzzing in no time with all those goddamn chemicals.”
Hoxwell IT Dave was still as easygoing as I remembered.  “So what’s new, eh?”  He patted me on the shoulder just like he had the last time I saw him.
            “Well, I’m really poor.”
            “Yeah, poverty’s a bitch, huh?”

Permland Excerpt 1:
I am sitting in my downtown office chained to my computer at 3 am waiting for someone in Amsterdam to tell me whether or not an email memo I wrote about a new companywide HR benefits policy seventeen hours ago is “corporately sufficient” for companywide distribution.
“Corporately sufficient?”
What the hell does that even mean?
When I emailed this very question to Pietra Van der Veertz, (otherwise known as my Dutch Corporate Slave Master) she simply replied, “Dear Melanie—-Please be patient with us.  We are simply trying to insure that all Dutch/Marquette Bank & Trust corporate communications fit our proscribed, proactive, organizational-behavior corporate-branding paradigm.  Please DO NOT leave the office until you receive word from us, so that this message may be distributed globally at the earliest possible time.”
That was at 8 pm.  It’s now 3:04 am.  I’m still here, and there’s no “corporate-branding paradigm” in sight.  Wall, please let me introduce you to my head.
Pietra Van der Veertz has had me by the virtual balls ever since I started my permanent job here six months ago, just after AGN ANSI—that enormous Dutch financial conglomerate—bought out Marquette Bank, where until six months ago I was working the strangest temp assignment of my verylong temp-work career, that of corporate-espionage-murder-investigator-slash-typist.  (That may sound like a pretty weird job title for an office temp, but it was the most exciting work I ever did for fifteen bucks an hour and zero benefits.)
Strange or no, there were plenty of good things that came out of that temp assignment, among them this high-level, high-paying corporate management job. Because I suppose being chained me to my computer at 3 a.m. is still better than unemployment, even though going without sleep three nights in a row sucks major ass. I also landed my über-hot boyfriend David via that same temp job, and David doesn’t suck my ass, unless I specifically ask him to when we’re in bed together.
Don’t get me wrong—the pay and the perks I get with this job are definitely nice. If it weren’t for all the late nights, my extensive Ann Taylor wardrobe alone would be worth the aggravation. But after months of too many twenty-hour workdays, I’m beginning to get a little nostalgic for the good old days of temp work—eight-hour shifts, little to no personal responsibility, and abject poverty.  I might have been poor back then, but at least I could sleep.
It’s been especially bad for the past month, when AGN ANSI senior management decided to do a complete overhaul on Ducth/Marquette Bank & Trust’s “internal branding”.  (Which is just a fancy way of saying they’re replacing all the stationery.)  I’ve spent at least four nights a week past midnight in the office—plus weekends—waiting for meaningless corporate drivel that I’ve written to get official approval from someone in Amsterdam.
That someone is usually Pietra Van der Veertz, who, if my business trip to meet my new European bosses last October is any example, spends most of her company flex time smoking the latest hashish blends at the Rottweiler Coffeehouse in the Amsterdam red-light district (she calls it “essential corporate creativity extension”), and using her altered mental state as an excuse for taking seventeen hours to reply to my one-line email messages on her own top-of-the-line EuroBlackberry, which she carries everywhere and even is known to pound on tables and gesticulate with wildly in videoconference meetings—-but still refuses to actually use.
Of course, at Dutch/Marquette Bank & Trust (AGN ANSI’s American division), random drug testing is mandatory. So unlike Pietra, I can’t get away with being stoned on the job. All I can do is drink black coffee, tug at my hangnails, and wait.

Author Links


Enter to Win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

One thought on “Templand and Permland by Jill Elaine Hughes w/excerpts & giveaway

  1. Loved the excerpts – I temped for a while but can’t say it was very exciting or fun. And it’s kind of funny but I do work for a company that is Dutch owned….lol

So what do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.