Cover image for Temporary insanity
Temporary insanity
Carroll, Leslie, 1959-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
322 pages ; 21 cm
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FICTION Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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A touching and hopeful look at the underworld of the office temp from hilarious author Leslie Carroll.

Meet Alice Finnegan: 30-something, single, and stuck in a cycle of horrific secretarial temp jobs. She's trying to fulfil her childhood ambitions of on-stage stardom while sharing an apartment with her 90-something grandmother, a feisty, funny, former Ziegfeld showgirl.

Along the rocky road to independence Alice encounters a colourful cast of oddballs, nuts, and control freaks (including members of her immediate family). And just to keep life interesting, she succumbs to the pitfalls of office romances and the perils of nasty bosses as she endeavours to keep her sanity intact and make that big break into the spotlights.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

A string of rotten office jobs, unsympathetic superiors and leering co-workers drives unemployed actor Alice Finnegan wild in Temporary Insanity, a romance by Leslie Carroll, herself a temp worker and thespian. Alice-a single 30-something who lives with her retired showgirl grandmother-finally gets her big break when she auditions for a part in a play eerily reminiscent of her Irish immigrant family's own travails. Carroll's dramatic flair and peppy, earnest account of all-too-real office scenarios distinguish this spirited chick-lit offering. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Temporary Insanity Chapter One When he took me in his arms, almost literally sweeping me off my feet, I could smell the Bay Rum on his cheeks. It was a scent that took me back a few years ... back to the days when we were in college together and the sweetly pungent fragrance would be connected forever in my mind with no other man but him, although it never went any further at the time than a sophomore's secret crush on a senior. I used to get a giddy rush of anticipation and undergo a flurry of hormonal overactivity when the aroma of Jon's aftershave would float through the corridors, announcing his imminent presence, invading my nostrils with pure, unadulterated lust. These days we were no longer students, but pros at this kind of thing. Torn between exploring the look in his deep brown eyes (to see if he was as into this as I was), and succumbing to total fantasy, I chose to close my eyes and inhale the Bay Rum. I was immediately transported to a sundrenched beach on Jon's native Caribbean island, where breezes wafted through coconut palms and an afternoon's biggest decision was whether to order a planter's punch or a mai tai. In all the time I'd known him, and certainly on every occasion when our paths had crossed since graduation, including the star-studded funeral of Nick Katzanides, the guiding light of our alma mater's theater department, I'd wondered what it would be like to kiss Jon; how it would feel to dance a salsa with our tongues; his strong, permanently tanned arms enfolding my body, holding me until I could feel our hearts bongo to the same rhythmic beat. The reality was even more glorious than I had imagined. And believe it or not, it was all in a day's "work." Show business is an iffy career path at best, but boy-oh-boy, there are days like today that make all the years of struggle and tenacity worthwhile -- when that trajectory can rocket you all the way to heaven. "Okay, you two, you can stop now." The director's voice, evincing a slight impatience, intruded on my idyll. Jon and I broke our embrace. I gazed up at him. Already wearing three-inch stilettos, I'd been standing on my tiptoes to get the full benefit of kissing this six-foot-four demigod. "Jesus, that was amazing," I murmured to him, deliciously dazed. The kiss was the kind that could make a normally sane woman lose her mind. "Just trying to help you get the part, Alice," Jon murmured in my ear. He gave it an improvisational nibble and I nearly melted onto the floor of the rehearsal studio. "It's the least I can do for an old C.U. classmate." "An old C.U. classmate who doesn't have an agent," I whispered. "I only got this audition because I wrote a note to the casting director telling him we were old pals." Jon had come a long way since our days as theater students together. While I was one of thousands of young actresses with talent and training trying to make it in New York, competing for only a handful of roles compared to the number of parts written for men, Jon was blessed with being tall, dark, hunky, and gifted. He had also developed a reputation for being a genuinely nice guy in a cutthroat business. His star ascended quickly when, just a few years out of college, he was plucked from relative obscurity by a megawatt movie star producing her first film. She took one look at Jon's screen test and essentially told the casting director to wash him, strip him, and bring him to her tent. From then to now, he'd become a household name in Hollywood and was making a rare return to the New York stage. I was among the dozens of women called in to audition for the supporting role of his wacky girlfriend. And it was true that the only reason I got a special appointment and the opportunity to read with the star himself was because we were old buds. Part of Jon's charm was that he didn't forget where he came from or whom he'd encountered or worked with along the way, even if their careers weren't at the same level as his. "Good reading, Alice," the director said. He and the casting director had barricaded themselves behind a long folding table littered with stacks of actors' photos and résumés, donut crumbs, crumpled napkins, paper coffee cups, and a large bottle of Tums. "Strong work on the scene, and ... obviously you two have some chemistry going there." I felt the heat spreading into my hairline. "Well, we've known each other since ..." I realized I didn't want to give away my age. "It's easy to work with Alice," Jon said graciously, preserving what was left of my professional dignity. The director nodded noncommittally. "We'll just take the script from you -- " Oh, right, there's a script. This is real life, not my bluest dreams. I retrieved the loose pages from the floor, where I had let them slip from my hand during the make-out session with Jon. " -- and we'll be in touch," the director continued. "If you don't hear from us by the end of the week, it means we decided to go another way with the role." He wasn't making any effort to move, so I approached the folding table and shook his hand. Jon came over and gave me a soft peck on the cheek. "Great to run into you again, Alice," he said, affectionately placing his warm hand on the small of my back. "If I don't see you, good luck with your career." "I really appreciate what you did for me this afternoon. It was very sweet." I was trying to express my enormous gratitude with grace; that is, without bursting into tears or jumping Jon's bones (again) for joy ... Temporary Insanity . Copyright © by Leslie Carroll. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Temporary Insanity by Leslie Carroll All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.