Book Jacket

 

rank 182
word count 56718
date submitted 18.09.2011
date updated 16.04.2013
genres: Fiction, Romance, Comedy, Crime
classification: universal
incomplete

Eggs-Cell Files

Warrick Mayes

Scott, an accountant, encounters mystery, romance and adventure when confronted by a chicken working in his new office.

 

Scott Holland is an accountant starting a new job in a new location.

His suspicions are aroused when he is asked to look at the work of a colleague, an unusual colleague, a chicken! Are his suspicions due to the fact that he got off to a poor start with this colleague or do they have solid foundations? After initially upsetting some of the other employees, he attracts the attention of Debbie, an HR administrator, who starts to show a keen interest in him.

Scott's investigations lead to strange and disturbing events, including an attack on his long-term girlfriend and his life is turned upside down. Amongst all this, he starts to return Debbie's affections despite being unsure if he can trust her. He also has to examine his own prejudices towards the chicken and towards people from different class backgrounds, and give everyone a chance to prove themselves.

In an attempt to uncover the truth, he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. Can he find the people behind the attack on his girlfriend, and figure out who he can trust?

 
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tags

crime, humour, mystery, prejudice, romance, science

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Chapters

15

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Chapter Fifteen

Back in a Cell.

 

They found themselves at the police station, exhausted, separated and imprisoned.  The police had not believed their story since the contents of their bags had been pretty damning.

The police had been alerted by the alarm at the laboratory, but as Dave had planned, they had been busy elsewhere.  Too late to make any arrests at the laboratory, they had been annoyed by the attitude of the guards, who had claimed it was a false alarm, but the gap in the fence contradicted this story too.  A brief search of the immediate vicinity had produced nothing, so they extended their search to the surrounding roads.  The trio of Dave, Debbie and Scott were unlucky enough to be seen as they entered the field.

Unaware that the laboratory were denying the break-in, but hoping so, they maintained their innocence. Scott wanted to tell them about the people being kept in the cage, but this would have confirmed their guilt, so instead he asked them to contact Inspector Hargreaves.

The night passed with no news of Hargreaves, no release and no contact between the three held in custody.

Scott was not unduly worried about his own situation.  He had been through so much in the last few days that he was starting to take such hardships in his stride, but he was concerned for Debbie.  She was already in pain, and if the police put too much pressure on her, she might decide to confess.

The morning brought a fresh round of questioning, with nobody budging an inch.  Scott asked after Debbie but they would not tell him how she was, or allow any contact between them.  He was returned to his cell and started another long wait.

It was near mid-day when they pulled him out of his cell again, taken to the room where he had been questioned twice already, but this time Hargreaves was there too.  The out-of-town copper was accompanied by one of the local inspectors, a D.I. Brown.  Scott sat down and waited.

The local officer started by asking the same questions over again.

“Where we you last night?”

“I’ve already told you, we were out walking when..”

“What were you doing at the laboratory?”

“What laboratory?”

“Why were you carrying dark clothes, stockings, masks?”

“We were going to surprise our friends, who...”

“With pepper spray?”

“We found that by the side of the road.”

“So, where were you headed?

“We left the car back in this village, and got lost, so we were looking for somewhere...”

“And where are your friends?”

“Probably back at the car.”

“Perhaps you can tell Detective Hargreaves why he’s here.”

“I can’t say.”

Eventually he sat back, shrugged and looked at Hargreaves, who took over the questioning.

“OK, if you have nothing to say, why have you dragged me down here?”

“Can we speak alone?”

“Tell me why you’re here.  We know that Blue Farm Research is connected to Gladwell Health and that you work for Gladwell.  There’s a break-in at the laboratory, you’re caught nearby with incriminating evidence, with another Gladwell employee, and in the company of a very dubious character.”  He paused as he gathered his thoughts.  “So, what’s so special that these guys can’t deal with it?”

Scott was about to leap to Dave’s defence.  He had taken him to be something of a yob, but his leadership and support over the last 24 hours had been impressive.  He might come over as a bit of a thug, but if his skills could be channelled in the right direction he could go a long way.  Scott could even say he was starting to like him.  However, it was not the right time to be disagreeing with the one man who could help him get released.

“If you give me a few minutes, I’ll explain, but I need to speak to you alone.”

D.I. Brown waved a hand, and stood up, opened the door, and waited as Jones came in.  He then went out closing the door as he left.

Scott realised that they were probably being watched.  There was no mirror on the wall concealing a window, so he assumed that there must be cameras.  Jones sat down next to Hargreaves, and they both turned to him, expectantly.

He started by summarising what the police already knew..

“There have been some very strange things happening since I started work at Gladwell Health. We know that the real Francoise never arrived at the Gladwell offices, and that some chicken was pretending to be her, but we don’t know why.  Someone, and I believe it was probably a gang of chickens, attacked my girlfriend in order to scare me off.  We also suspect that the chickens are being helped by one or more people.”

“So you broke into Blue Farm to try and find out what’s going on.”  Jones interjected.

Scott resisted the temptation to be drawn on that subject.

“I have been suspicious of Blue Farm since I started investigating the financial records relating to the intercompany transactions with that subsidiary.  When the owner of the van outside Francoise’s flat was traced to this area my suspicions were reinforced.”

“So, what did you find?”  Hargreaves was assuming Scott’s guilt, but he avoided falling into that trap.

“Supposing, that someone had broken into Blue Farm, and found that Francoise and some of the staff, were being kept prisoner.  If that person couldn’t admit to being there, would the police be able to act?  Could you go in there and rescue them?  Hypothetically speaking!

“Kidnapping?  False imprisonment?  I’m sure we could find a reason to pay them a visit.  It’s not our jurisdiction, so we’d have to talk to the local boys.  However, I do know they were very disappointed at not being able to prosecute anyone over a previous break-in.  They would still like to get you chaps for this one though.”

“Which one?”  Scott asked cheekily.  “I thought that they were denying the break-in?”

“Blue Farm has denied that a break-in took place, but they reckon they can make a lesser charge stick.  You were caught loitering and were equipped with all the right gear.  I know it’s a minor offence, but these boys would rather have you for that, than let you get off with nothing.  They had a busy night last night, and suspect that you guys are behind it all.”

Scott went quiet, things were looking bad, regardless of whether Blue Farm pressed charges.

“The locals believed that Blue Farm have something to hide, and would love an excuse to go in there mob-handed.  They could probably get someone in there over a technicality, but it would be difficult to go in with force, unless you were prepared to come clean and face prosecution.  A sworn statement from you would probably get us in there with a search warrant.”

“Can I talk to the others?”

Hargreaves was becoming more helpful and understanding.  “I’ll see what I can do.”

He and Jones got up and left the room.  Scott paced the room for what seemed like ages, before one of the local officers returned.  He held the door. Scott walked over believing that he was being taken back to the cells.  Just at that moment, another officer led Debbie into the room, turned and left.  They closed the door, so Debbie and he were alone. The space between them vanished as they both embraced each-other.  He picked her up and she grabbed him and held him with all her strength.  Scott responded by squeezing her as hard as he dared.  They fused together, so pleased to see each-other, not wanting to let go.  Eventually their grip relaxed and they looked into each-others’ eyes.  He saw no pain, no fear, just happiness.  The concern left him and he smiled broadly.

Then they were kissing.  It was full-on and exciting, both of them hungry for each other.  They temporarily forgot their surroundings, desperately making up for the hours they had been apart.  They were focused entirely on each-other, trying to please while also seeking pleasure.  Their hands moved down each-others’ bodies as they oneness became a cauldron of desire.

 Scott suddenly remembered they were still being watched, and had to bring the moment to an end.

Woa!”  He said “We’re on camera you know.”  She tensed and started to look round the room.  He released her and looked her up and down, once more enjoying her form with his eyes.

She was favouring her weak leg, but it had become an unconscious move.  “How is your leg?”

“It doesn’t look very pretty.  I’ve got some nasty bruises, but I don’t think there’s anything broken.”

“Have you seen a doctor?”

“No, but I’ll get it looked at as soon as we get out of here.”

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.”

Good news?”

He explained that he had seen Hargreaves, and told her that it would probably take a signed confession for the police to be able to enter the Blue Farm laboratory.  For the first time since they had been reunited, her shoulders slumped and she looked drained.  He explained his hypothetical discussion with Hargreaves, being careful not to say anything incriminating.  At the same time he put his finger over Debbie’s lips to indicate that she should not say anything either.

Finally he told her his plan.

“If one of us had been involved in the break-in, without the knowledge of the others, and was otherwise of good reputation etc, then if that person were to admit to it, and sign a confession, the police would be able to get the warrant they need.  If the local police were to prosecute, then that person being of good character might not even get a prison sentence.”

She was frowning.  “THAT person...that person, meaning YOU I guess, can get stuffed.  If there were three PERSONS that broke in together, they all knew the risks, and they should all face up to this together.”

“You’re not listening.”

“And neither are you.”  They sat and stared at each-other for a while.  Her indignation was being seduced by his pleading expression.

“I missed you.”  He confessed, as much to himself as to Debbie.  “I’m not just doing this for you, or Dave, but for everyone, including me.  I want this to be over.

“Me too, but we’re in this together, all the way, remember?”

“No.  I know that’s what I said, but I want you to do this for me.  You’ve still got all your life ahead of you, and I’ve had most of mine.”

“That’s stupid, you’re not that old.  If you start talking like that, there’s not much of a future for us, so let’s just get on with it eh?”

“Look, my life’s been turned upside down, I’m not sure if I’m coming or going, but I know I’d like there to be an ‘us.  I owe you and Dave a great deal, especially you, and this is a perfect opportunity for me to repay you both.”

“Are you always this stubborn?”

“No, but on this occasion, I want you to understand.  Please?”

“If you get put away, I might not be able to wait.”

He wanted a witty come-back, but realised he was finally winning the argument.  “Thank you.”  Seemed the most appropriate response, and he hugged her again.  “Tell Dave ‘thanks’ too.”

She put her hands round his neck and kissed him again.

The door opened, and Hargreaves came in with one of the locals.  Debbie was taken away, and Scott sat down.  Hargreaves was not looking as happy as Scott hoped.  He sat down opposite Scott, and a few seconds later Jones came in too, sat down next to Hargreaves, took out his notebook, and waited.

“What’s going on?”  Their mood told him something was wrong.

“The local boys aren’t happy, and if they’re not happy, then I’m not happy.  They don’t think that the local judge will grant a warrant based on your evidence.”

“How come?  Can’t you convince them?”

“It’s not that easy.  You see, you broke into the laboratory, with the intention of releasing lab animals and causing damage, something that is taken very seriously.  So, it’s obvious that you don’t have good intentions towards the laboratory.  And, one way to cause them even more trouble would be to get the police to break in on your behalf.”

“They are understandably suspicious.”  Added Jones.

“They need something more, more than just your word

“A few scratches from some rather vicious chickens.  I’m afraid that’s it.”

Hargreaves and Jones got up together.  It looked like the discussion was coming to an end.  Jones opened the door, but Hargreaves hung back and leaned close to Scott and spoke in a very low voice.

“As soon as you get out, call me.”


 

 

Chapters

15

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Shiloh Yazdani wrote 92 days ago

This was so funny. It seems not many have taken the idea of making a chicken the main part of a story about humans. It was written well and enjoyable. It doesn't make sense and that's the funny thing about it!
Shiloh
"Courage Through Faith"

Elizabeth Kathleen wrote 93 days ago

How funny! A book with a chicken as the member of an office work staff is truly something I never would've thought of and neither would many others, but I think that's why it's so funny! What I've read is truly enjoyable and I give you a sky of stars!
God bless!!!
Elizabeth Kathleen
"If Children are Cheaper by the Dozen, Can I Get a Discount on Six?"
"The Sticks and Stones"

UPerkins wrote 351 days ago

Interesting story. I wondered how I would like the chicken thing but it seems to work for this story. I am only about half way through but look forward to completing whats here. While the story is intriguing, there are areas regarding accounting and said details that I had to force myself to read... but that is just me. Not my cup of tea.

YvonneMarjot wrote 362 days ago

After four chapters I don't have a clue what's going on. This is a good thing, by the way! I love Francois - I don't understand why your main character is so down on her. He is clearly low in the pecking order. In chapter 3 I nearly lost the will to live when you started going on about bought and nominal ledgers, but fortunately I held myself together long enough to get to chapter 4. I'll be back for more - just as soon as I've fortified myself.

Yvonne.

Matthew Hole wrote 374 days ago

I have read two chapters so far, and the verdict is: excellent. Written in a very sprightly style, with no waste of words. Dialogue is made to work hard to convey character and plot. I appreciate the lack of "he/she said".
The premise is (or at least seems, so far. I'm not sure what the author has up his sleeve - and that's a compliment) simple. It is not over-worked but is paced very well. I am wondering myself, like Scott, what the heck is going on. I like the fact that Francoise's lack of words still leaves us in the dark.
The only things I'm less enamoured with are the endings of each chapter. Chapter 1's ending seemed a bit limp as I read it. Could he not trip over the chicken, or something equally dramatic? The last sentence of Chapter 2 is too much of a forced cliff hanger for my tastes. It seems like it's just been plonked in. Can't think of an alternative off the top of my head, but it needs something more humorous, or just to stop at "One more lie wouldn't hurt". I am intending to read more and am of a mind to back it.
Hope that's a help.
Matthew

Angelika Rust wrote 378 days ago

Hilarious. I've so far read the first four chapters and will be back for more. This has very much of a Tom Holt book, but less forced, less intentional. It reads like a true story. Admit it, Warrick, you really did work next to a chicken for some time, didn't you?
Maybe some people will find it a bit too technical, though. I don't, but I used to work in HR with close ties to the finance department myself. Others with less office background might get deterred.
In chapter 4 I stumbled upon a few things:
after cornering Geoff: "Nice try!" He said. "Keep digging!" - You might consider replacing He with Geoff.
where you describe the scruffy man in the bar: I think you mean his shirt, not his short
where Scott says goodbye to Debbie in the car: it should be compliment, not complement
"He didn't want Toni to be worried, and as long he as could control the situation,..." - there's a word order problem here
That's all from me. Love it and will back it. High stars.
cheers
Angelika
Ratpaths

Software wrote 380 days ago

This is the second book I have read by Warrick Mayes. Eggs-Cell Files certainly continues along the path of excellence that I found in Sleeping With God. In particular, I liked the way humour has been mixed into the crime-romance foundation. Arguably, that's very much like real life in that most situations contains a mix of the amusing as well as the serious. Highly starred and WL'ed. Bookshelf contender when complete.

Clive Radford
Doghouse Blues

Michelle Richardson wrote 389 days ago

Hi Warrick, this book sounds hilarious, and I immediately warmed to Scott. The arrival at his new job was superbly done, with the introduction of his interesting co-worker! Great pacing, great writing and I will return to read some more. Popped on my WL for a later read and high stars from me.

Michelle- 43 Primrose Avenue

Rundy Purdy wrote 392 days ago

Warrick,

I read the first chapter of this story. You have very nice pacing and control of the story. Excellent job eliciting reader curiosity at Scott's new work environment (where not all is as it seems). I especially enjoyed the sudden chicken introduction.

My2Cents wrote 394 days ago

Very clever and well written; I enjoyed this very much. Francoise is such a good character. Well done!
Ken Spears

April Delphinium wrote 403 days ago

This is really funny, and makes me want to keep reading. Great work! I like it that you get right into the plot and don't waste the reader's time with too much up-front back story. The British speak is a bit unusual for me (you would want to edit for an American audience), but I think it will really do well.

LCF Quartet wrote 424 days ago

Hi Warrick,
Only after having read four chapters, I can easily say that your book possesses all the essential elements required for a good read. Everything worked for me. Great characterization, believable dialogue and unpretentious style. What more could I ask for?
Loved it. 6 stars and in my WL for further feedback as I read on,
Best wishes,
Lucette-Ten Deep Footprints

bruce k riley wrote 445 days ago

hi, finished up to chap 7, nice easy read, story pulls you in and it flows, would like to read more just to find out if toni's ok!

Seringapatam wrote 447 days ago

Wow, where did this come from. A great tale and so well told. Loved the characters (all of them) and liked the concept of this book. Funny story that flows well a good use of the characters when you need them to raise the game. A cracking pace that suits the book and an overall good read. I like this.
Regards, Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you? Sean

Annemarie Johnson wrote 449 days ago

A great read, very funny and an interesting concept. I like the idea of Scott, as an ordinary everyman who is our eyes and ears introducing us to the mad world where a chicken accountant is perfectly normal. I also love the humour - I enjoyed the apology to Scott that Francoise's english was not natural of course - not because she's a chicken but because she's French!
The only suggestion I would make is there are times when we are given a long description of Scott's thought processes and this could be livened up by dialogue. One obvious example springs to mind after Toni's death when Scott thinks through his to-do list and ruminates on them. Its very long and difficult to keep the momentum. I was just thinking that perhaps something could be done to break this up when Debbie rings and after some pleasantries you say that he tells her the to-do list. Might it not have worked well for Debbie to ring at the start of the chapter and the long rumination be dealt with as dialogue so it becomes snappier and punchier? Just my own thoughts
Good luck with both books anyway - I wanted to repay the favour of your comments on The Angels Guide but I have to admit the subject of this one appealed to me far more than the other.
Annemarie

puddleduck1 wrote 485 days ago

All i can say about this is brilliant. I hadn't expected it to go the way it did but what an ending. I think Scott could have had a bit more feeling for Toni while the investigation was going on as he seemed to take to debbie far too soon and that was a bit disappointing considering they hadn't even buried her yet. I found the plot was
Spent the whole morning at work reading and finally finished.
wonderfully developed, always keeping the reader wanting more, wanting to know what was going on with Fracoise. Who would have guessed the story was going to take this course which really was suoerbly done. I suppose i should have guessed but i allowed your story to drive me rather than trying to solve the puzzle myself. It was a pity Toni had to die to protect the chickens secret but was glad Francoise and some of the hens survived the ugly end to carry on their cause. I reckon you could make another book to follow up on this one. Perhaps a world where the chickens finally get the recognition they deserve. Let me know if you ever publish this as i would love to buy it.

puddleduck1 wrote 486 days ago

I have just finished chapter five and am intrigued to know what is going on. The chicken (Francoise) seems to be doing something underhanded but as yet, I have no idea what - if she is at all. I find the stpory sp far highly amusing and intriguing at the same time and want to know what is going on here. I have already taken a liking to Francoise although I don't know what she is up to. Brilliant writing that keeps your readers hooked. I get a bit lost here and there with all the accountant talk but it all adds to the story and keeps it flowing. Hope Debbie isn't out to complicate Scotts relationship with Toni as that would be a bummer, but we shall see. At this point, it is hard to see who is doing what to whom and who isn't paying. Will review again in another few chapters.

puddleduck1 wrote 490 days ago

This story has started out very busy and I like that. Constantly moving and keeping me wanting more all the time. I have only read the first two chapters so far but I love the idea of the chicken already and am eager to find out just what is going on here. Great interaction between the characters and imagery is wonderful. i will continue to read and let you know after a few more chapter how i see things but so far, this is great!

AlexandraMahanaim wrote 507 days ago

A lot going on in your story: friends of Debbie that try to overthrow the government, chicken that was definitely developed to think on the human level and the whole chicken reaction that went on in the office.
I also like your idea of getting the exaggerated idea of racial and gender acceptance that has to happen in the office. I myself kind of agree that office needs to be as smooth in accepting all since I was president's favorite in one places of work and was constantly subject of conversation by people who were jealous. It hurts.

I hope you could take a look at one of my books and thank you so much for sharing your story,
Alexandra Mahanaim
Return to Eternity; Shoshanna, The Battle: Encountering Supernatural and Captivity

patio wrote 509 days ago

I read chapter one and two thus far. I like it. Lustful Scott is in lustful love with Francoise aka the chicken. One thing amazed me is the emphasis on the toilet. People don`t normal speak about the toilet. But it is painted as a palace so there`s no stinky bits

I must read on to see how things develop but high stars thus far

patio wrote 509 days ago

I read chapter one and two thus far. I like it. Lustful Scott is in lustful love with Francoise aka the chicken. One thing amazed me is the emphasis on the toilet. People don`t normal speak about the toilet. But it is painted as a palace so there`s no stinky bits

I must read on to see how things develop but high stars thus far

Peter B wrote 522 days ago

A hundred and one things you can do with a creative mind...102 if you use a chicken! Light hearted and border line zany, your obvious sense of humor and imagination shine through. And I like happy endings too. Nice job, Peter B. "The Bible I Thought I Knew"

Bea Sinclair wrote 527 days ago

Original, clever, funny and nicely written. We are introduced to Scott and embroiled into his adventure by the end of chapter one. I have awarded high stars and placed "Egg-Cell files" on my watch list.
Yours Bea

Ellen Michelle wrote 724 days ago

Nice book, Well written, Nice pitch.
Would defo recommend to a friend.
Rated 4 stars.
EllenMichelle :)
'A Model's Summer'

Grace_Gallagher wrote 724 days ago

Nicely bonkers and funny, with enough intrigue to make me want to read more. I agree with Georgia that maybe the lead up to introducing the chicken is a bit over-played (mentioned several times before it happened). I also think that the opening chapter could be tightened up to be a bit snappier. The second sentence is a little clunky. I think this sort of humour would come over better with tighter narrative.

I hope this helps. It's an interesting idea and worth reading.


cheers

GG x

Lacydeane wrote 726 days ago

First of all your pitch is perfectly written. It was an informative lead-in. This work is very well written and extremely entertaining. Very creative and easy to read. You have a very unique voice--great word choice and sentence structure. I am impressed. I Love your imagination and sense of humor. Great job and highest stars. Lacy

ELAdams wrote 730 days ago

Wow, I like this- it's certainly an interesting idea, and it works! I like the humour and the bizarreness of the situation Scott finds himself in. I think it would be better if you didn't mention the chicken beforehand, though, as it would be funnier if the reader thought everything was normal up until the point when Scott nearly falls over the chicken! But of course, this is just one opinion.

Thank you for your comments on 'The Puppet Spell', and good luck with this- it's certainly original!
Emma

patio wrote 730 days ago

Your pitch got me reading. still reading but great story thus far

georgia_summers wrote 740 days ago

Hi!

First off, I was really intrigued by your pitch. I mean, how /does/ that happen? But in saying that, I also felt that you were trying too hard with a lot of your jokes and as a result they fell flat. You also alluded to them before they happened, which then meant that the reader was expecting them. I know writing a first chapter is difficult, but I feel that you need to come up with a better hook, or else you'll lose readers who didn't see the funny side of it.

Hope this helps!
Georgia

Annette Russell wrote 742 days ago

Hi Warrick,
I've broken off in mid-read half way through Chapter 4. I thought I'd best write down some comments before I forget what I was going to say.
I'm really enjoying your book and very much share in Scott's amazement and discomfort at the situation he finds himself in. You include some very good details of the accounting world, especially in Chapter 3 (details such as, "He then dumped the sales ledger and bought ledger transactions . . .") which makes Scott's world seem very real to me, and his situation, therefore, all the more bizarre. I thought you handled the conversation between Debbie and Scott in Chapter 3 particularly well, and like the way Scott puts Francoise on the spot, trying to get her to say something. I also like the way your last sentence of each chapter (so far, at least) is a bit of a cliff-hanger into the next chapter. It really prompts me to read on. You've also paced the introduction of mystery and (possible?) romance very well.
Two things to look out for when you edit your story: the opening chapters are always the hardest to write, as you try to introduce the reader to the world of your novel, and you've tended to over-explain things a bit in the first two chapters. For example, I so share Scott's surprise at seeing a chicken in the building, that there is no need to explain that the chicken is out of place here (beginning of chapter 2). Also, there are occasional slips in punctuation during direct speech (for example, in Chapter 4, you write: "No." He confessed.) I noticed a few slips prior to that, but as I'm just reading chapter 4, this one springs immediately to mind.
And now I'll shut up and continue reading. I really am curious to see what will happen next . . .
Best wishes,
Annette

jenniferkillby wrote 744 days ago

Hello

Interesting story. The subtle jokes were interesting and the chapters kept me going. I don't know if you were trying to make the reader aware of how clean and nice the offices were for a reason, but I would go back and see how it can be more potent with less words. Other than that, I enjoyed the read.

Thanks for sharing
Jennifer Killby - The Legend of the Travelers: Willow's Journey

Edward B Davies wrote 749 days ago

Hi Warrick Your imagination is bizarre enough to even suit me. I particularly like the way in which you finish your Chapters with a teaser to lead the reader into the next Chapter and I like the half-hidden joke with no explanation 'I like it all ways'. And putting in bits of French without heavy handed explanations works for me. Edward.

Juno 66 wrote 750 days ago

Hey Warrick, just had a read of the first few chapters. A really interesting premise and you wear it well, as they say. I agree with some other comments that you could probably go through with a fine tooth comb and weed out anything extraneous or repetitive. For example, you maybe don't need quite so much about how fine the office building is. Otherwise - great stuff and I will be interested to watch your progress! Juno

Kate LaRue wrote 754 days ago

Warrick, I read the first two chapters of this book. The chicken is very funny, I enjoyed Scott's attempt to apologize and his musings as to how a conversation between he and the chicken would go. This isn't really my type of read, but it was entertaining. I think you could do with going through and cutting out any extraneous details that aren't significant to the plot, i.e. that Scott had met the one woman at an interview, etc. Also some of the descriptions of Scott's coworkers could be shortened, maybe focus on one or two features that can define that character so that the flow of the story doesn't get bogged down with character descriptions that the reader will probably forget and that aren't significant to the story. I remember one description of the office building in chapter one that was a little repetitive, about how the exterior of the building masked the normalcy inside or something to that effect, and then you used a similar analogy in the very next paragraph. So, just keep an eye out for that kind of thing. Like I said, a very entertaining read.

Eden Ashley wrote 756 days ago

I've never laughed so hard reading a book on this site. And within in the first two chapters! Your comedic setup and timing is great. The way Scott reacts to everything is perfectly realistic. I really liked this--your writing your approach. Jokes aside, you've found a unique and entertaining way to tackle some heavy social issues.

Eden
The Siren's Heart

Eden Ashley wrote 756 days ago

I've never laughed so hard reading a book on this site. And within in the first two chapters! Your comedic setup and timing is great. The way Scott reacts to everything is perfectly realistic. I really liked this--your writing your approach. Jokes aside, you've found a unique and entertaining way to tackle some heavy social issues.

Eden
The Siren's Heart

Maisie burrell wrote 758 days ago

Hi Warrick,

I'm returning your read from some time ago.

Pitch is interesting, I like the idea.

I read C1 and C2. I think you are over-explaining things as it reads at the moment. Some examples of this:
- The first two paragraphs of C1 - do we need this info now or is it something we can learn as we get to know Scott?
- Is it relevant that he had met Donna previously at an interview?
- The opening para of C2 - I don't think it is necessary to explain this to the reader.

I found the physical descriptions of everyone we meet was rather distracting, and I felt too many characters were introduced in the first couple of chapters - by the time Grace reappeared I had forgotten who she was.

I think you have a great idea and the potential to make this a humorous and thought-provoking read, but at the moment it doesn't grab me.

Just my opinion. I hope it is helpful but if it isn't then just ignore it.

Best Wishes,
Maisie


PolythenePram wrote 758 days ago

HI Warrick,
This is so different! But in a good way - working in HR myself, I could relate to so many of the conversations taking place! I love the madness, the absurd, the quirkness of it. The writing is very fluid too and very easy to read, which is great for a novel like this. Will certainly be reading more.
Eve

Cara Gold wrote 759 days ago

Warrick,
This is an absolute delight to read! Not just funny, but hilarious!
Your work is polished and I was caught from the moment I began. Admittedly, this is not the typical thing I would pick up off the shelf, but it has worked for me so far nonetheless :)
A few stylistic things I’d recommend; in the line ‘Everyone seemed perfectly pleasant…’ I’d put another comma after ‘is’ to put added emphasis on ‘except the chicken’.
Actually that’s about it for the moment, I got a bit lost in your story, it is so light-hearted and easy to read that I find myself forgetting about everything else in my desire to see how things will unfold…
Let me know if you want some more detailed nitty gritty feedback on any chapters. As for tonight, I’m going to relax and enjoy this smartly crafted piece :)
All the best
Cara

Cara Gold wrote 759 days ago

Warrick,
This is an absolute delight to read! Not just funny, but hilarious!
Your work is polished and I was caught from the moment I began. Admittedly, this is not the typical thing I would pick up off the shelf, but it has worked for me so far nonetheless :)
A few stylistic things I’d recommend; in the line ‘Everyone seemed perfectly pleasant…’ I’d put another comma after ‘is’ to put added emphasis on ‘except the chicken’.
Actually that’s about it for the moment, I got a bit lost in your story, it is so light-hearted and easy to read that I find myself forgetting about everything else in my desire to see how things will unfold…
Let me know if you want some more detailed nitty gritty feedback on any chapters. As for tonight, I’m going to relax and enjoy this smartly crafted piece :)
All the best
Cara

Gail Pallotta wrote 759 days ago

I've read the first two chapters. This is hilarious. You've done a great job writing a humorous spoof. I'm giving it a high ranking and putting it on my watch list. I hope you'll read a bit more of Stopped Cold when you get a chance.

Gail Pallotta wrote 759 days ago

I've read the first two chapters. This is hilarious. You've done a great job writing a humorous spoof. I'm giving it a high ranking and putting it on my watch list. I hope you'll read a bit more of Stopped Cold when you get a chance.

Gail Pallotta wrote 759 days ago

I've read the first two chapters. This is hilarious. You've done a great job writing a humorous spoof. I'm giving it a high ranking and putting it on my watch list. I hope you'll read a bit more of Stopped Cold when you get a chance.

Meryl wrote 759 days ago

Warrick,
I gotta tell you, first I was mystified by the whole scenario, then amused. I didn't think I was going to like it, but as I read further into it, I was drawn in. It really isn't my type of book, but it's well done. You've clearly put a lot of thought into it. You probably have a clever sense of humor, and I bet your daughter loves the story.
Good work and keep it up. I'll definitely read more.
Meryl

Anna Salole wrote 762 days ago

Educated poultry... could only come from France hahaha and oh boy are we arrogant too! Had I been Scott, I would have put Françoise on a plate at chapter 2. I have only read to chapter 4, and would like to read further before I put your book on my shelf... but what I can say so far is: this is WEIRD!!!! In a darn good way :-D Made me laugh out loud. Love it!

satrap wrote 763 days ago

Dear Warrick,
I get to the point by saying I simply like the way you write.

Shahryar Cohanzad

HGridley wrote 764 days ago

This is a hoot! How did you come up with a guy having to work with a chicken???? I'll certainly be coming back for more...
As you can see, I've finally gotten over to do my promised read, and have really enjoyed it. You're off to a great start, and just need a bit of polishing. Today I've read chapters one and two. The first chapter didn't need much improvement, but there were a lot of grammatical problems in the second. I've marked them below, and in some instances mentioned what might be implied by certain sentences... :) If it's overwhelming to you, please tell me, and I'll just do general comments on the next chapter.
You described the women well, but the poor guys are faceless names, without even a job description. Tell us more here!
I know I'll be thinking about that funny chicken all evening...

Chapter One:
“he thought it best to show willing”: “show himself willing” is more clear
“It’s a lovely outlook”: end with comma, not period. “he said” must be in the same sentence with at least part of what was said.
“really honks”: add missing period.
“Donna, came to greet him”: instead of putting a dash here, I’d simply start a new sentence.
“showed him to his desk”: put a comma after “desk”.
“checked his tie in the mirror…”: this sentence becomes unwieldy. Either reword it completely or chop it into two: “He checked his tie and ran a hand through his tousled mousey hair. His blue-grey eyes…”
Chapter Two:
“small chicken going into the ladies toilet”: add apostrophe: “ladies’ toilet”.
“picked on Jill”: In America, “picked on” is equal to “annoyed”. Omit the “on”.
“there was no attempt to deny that she was nearing sixty”: You have a run-on sentence here; a period after sixty will fix it.
“Jill did not answer…”: another awkward sentence. Try saying, “Jill, taken aback, did not answer immediately; her hand went to her mouth.” You don’t have to say twice that someone else answered.
“accountants who work here, you obviously…”: run-on. Again, change out the comma with a period.
“looked quizzically at Jill, who’s..”: It should be “whose”
“question this last comment…”: “his” instead of “this”
“she isn’t a person she’s a chicken…”: run-on again. Period after person.
“Hi, I’m Debbie.”: End with a comma, lowercase S. This should be just one sentence.
“The occasional p.a.”: Abbreviations generally are put in uppercase: P.A.
“When he was offered this job he..”: was needs a past tense after he. Say either “he had” or “he’d”.
“sales guy left the Kitchen”: kitchen should be lowercase.
“No, I’m fine thanks”: Add comma after “fine”
“happy about things”: put the comma inside the quotes.
“I’ll be OK”: Add comma after OK
“Certain members of the staff”: put comma inside quotes
“policy here at Gladwell”: Add period after Gladwell to define her words from his thoughts.
“she relaxed slightly”: Replace the comma after “slightly” with a semicolon.
“break the ice”: Period inside quotes
“beginning to dawn on him”: another run-on. You can fix this one by replacing the comma with the word “that” after “him”.
“have no problem with it,”: again, a run-on. Use a semicolon instead of comma after “it”.
“he looked at her screen, there”: more run-on: you could put a semicolon here, but I think a period would be best.
“’No thanks’ He”: Careful here—to say no thanks without a comma in between is to be ungrateful! Add commas after no and thanks, and make “he” lowercase: “No, thanks,” he replied.
“strong and dark”: add comma after “dark”
“enjoy your fruit tea”: add comma after “tea”
Who is Geoff? Introduce him!
“carry on tomorrow”: Punctuation inside quotes!
“checked his watch”: I’m sure the watch is not itself four-thirty, but the time is… period after watch!
Who is Brian? Why is he the one to give permission to go?
“FT”: The first time you use initials, you should spell them out.

Yes, I know that's a lot! Even so, it's a great story. :)
~Hannah

rikasworld wrote 766 days ago

I really liked this. I can certainly see the Pratchett Gaimon influence. I've added it to my watchlist to read more as I found it really easy to read and engaging. Can't think of any criticisms. Too true you don't want to be seen going into the ladies'[ toilet during your probationary period and never use the ch word.

EFLanders wrote 767 days ago

I've enjoyed reading this, interesting, humorous & also thought provoking. In terms of typos I spotted a 'does' instead of 'do', but was too engrossed in the story & now I can't find it. It's in the first or second chapter. Sorry! It just goes to show what a good read it is!

Di Alcantara wrote 768 days ago

Hi Warrick,

First, thank you for your helpful comments on The Beautiful Stalker.

I thought this book was fun and engaging. I only planned on reading the first two chapters, but ended up reading two more. I liked the idea of the chicken. I thought it was hilarious many times. It's easy to follow, great descriptions throughout, natural dialogue.

Scott is charming. He will surely appeal to many female readers like myself.

There are a few missing punctuations, like in chap 2 "Francoise"
Other than that, I found no errors. I enjoyed this so much and I will definitely come back for more. Especially when i want to laugh. Brilliant writing. Five stars from me.

All the best,
Di