Book Jacket

 

rank 888
word count 53591
date submitted 01.03.2009
date updated 06.03.2009
genres: Fiction, Comedy, Crime, Other
classification: adult
complete

TOURISTS

Steve Wheeler

When the CIA wants to build a secret air strip in bear country near Ottawa, clandestine meetings, unwanted publicity and a diamond heist complicate matters.

 

When the CIA wants to build a secret air strip in bear country north of Ottawa, the deal is arranged in a van on the the Rideau Canal during Winterlude, Ottawa’s famous winter festival..
George Gilroy, a successful lobbyist, has won the job of negotiating the deal. George has a family in Ottawa and another on a farm outside the city.
The land the CIA has chosen is in the middle of The Wilds, a thousand acres of bush owned by the Taylor brothers, outfitters and hunters. They have travelled to Ottawa to protest the banning of the Spring bear hunt and visit some strip joints.
Part of the CIA plan is an elaborate ruse to be used in case the deal falls through. It involves the hiring of thieves and a driver for a diamond heist at the conclusion of Winterlude.
Henny, an excon, ex private eye, is hired as the driver. He drives a van all night on the frozen Rideau Canal and unwittingly, as he tries for enough weeks to qualify for unemployment benefits, is caught up in this maelstrom of intrigue.

 
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tags

bear hunt, bigamy, chateau laurier, cia, clandestine, escort services, government, lobbyists, ottawa river, politicians, procurement, rideau canal, sa...

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116 comments

 

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Heidi Whatcott wrote 131 days ago

You have a unique style, but it delivers. In keeping the dialogue to a minimum, you have been able to add in an incredible amount of detail into each of the first three chapters. Each of your MCs had a distinctive voice, and we immediately get a good overview of not only their present circumstances but also their past, as well as their life's philosophy. I love how Henny figured out how to simplify a morally complicated world--His employer was the good guy. The guy who paid him was right. Your character's small observations are very well done. I like when Henny is feeling very satisfied on his way home from his night shift knowing that he will soon be lounging in his apartment in his long underwear while everyone else is scurrying to their offices to begin their day.

Your knowledge of the subject comes through, and you're setting up a lot of threads to pull together later, which suggests a well developed, complex plot line. I'm giving you high stars and keeping it watchlisted to come back and read some more. An impressive first novel.

I hope this sells well,
Thanks, Heidi

PMBMelbourne wrote 167 days ago

Drawn by the genre mix I was not disappointed. Time constraints have restricted this read to the first few chapters, but I shall be back. Good wishes

Sheena Macleod wrote 269 days ago

Tourists by Steve Wheeler.
I saw that this book is already on smashwords and have, therefore, given comments on my reactions as a reader.

I was intrigued to see the genre categories as fiction, crime and comedy - an interesting mix.

There was a light hearted, almost tongue in cheek element to chapter one. Henry's past time in prison, looking for an easy ride. Mr Singh = all very interesting

Chapter two, we meet the George and his two distinct families. This was my preferred chapter. I liked the description and the characterisation here was particularly strong.

Chapter three, and I think this is the final group in the triangle. The Taylor clan, protesters,

The connecting of all these elements will be interesting, and I can start to see how they will come together,

The strength for me Is your characterisation, this is very good. Although I disliked Henry and was outraged at George's duplicity in leading a double life. This is all good, because it raised emotions in me.

The plot seems well thought out and you seem to know where you are going with this,
There are a few typos. nothing major- such as TV.
The description and sense of locality is also very clear.

The main negative would be the lack of dialogue, but strangely I started to settle with this. I sensed that the first three chapters were backdrop - character and scene setting for the main event.
In the long pitch, should this be ex con ??

I love crime writing as a genre, and found this slightly different from the normal formula.

Sheena
The Popish Plot
Sheena

Seringapatam wrote 462 days ago

Kmac has said it below and I agree. You are really good with your characters to the point of you are making them do the work of drawing your reader deep into the book. I think the idea of the story is cool and suits your style of writing so much. You have it all going here. Well told and flows magnificently with good descriptions that I could sit and read all day. Well done. Big score.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R).....Please consider me for a read or Watch List wont you? Happy New year. Sean

KMac23 wrote 463 days ago

I think you really retain an element of mystery in your story. You have some characters you've made very lifelike by your descriptions. I think Henny was definitely a very interesting character, ultimately a 'good guy', but falling into traps trying to make something of himself along the way. I like the smooth, easy style to your writing. You are one of the few writers I see with minimal dialogue, which actually works well in this type of a story. I like the spy aspect of the story. I think you led into Henny getting involved in the CIA very well and established a very believable character in him with his background. The story itself feels very much like something that could actually happen. I'm rating you highly with this, as it was a very enjoyable read for me. Best wishes,

Kara
A Gate Called Beautiful

Cherry G. wrote 535 days ago

Chapters 1, 2 and 3.

You've got some very interesting characters here. I like the way you describe the changeover from town George to country Charlie and Mr Singh felt threatening and mysterious. The Taylor brothers were suitably obnoxious. The only half- decent one was Henny and by the end of chapter 1, I was feeling sorry for him.
You describe the locations well too and I could really picture the places (even though I've never been anywhere near them!)I liked the snowy winter scenes.
You've also got an effective tone to your voice and it suits the type of story you are telling. I've a feeling things could get very complicated soon.

Suggestions: Maybe you could have more dialogue in Chapter 1 and perhaps show Henny in prison or in some other bad situation, instead of so much reporting of his past life?

I am star rating you and when I have a space on my shelf, I will back Tourists. Good luck with this.
Cherry
The Girl from Ithaca

Jane Mauret wrote 540 days ago

Hello, Steve
A most unusual initial set-up which I like very much; we get to know Henny and his world very quickly and succinctly.

We suddenly hear about Carol – then the story goes back to Henny. I wanted to know a bit more about her at that first mention – had they just met, eg?

Watch out for words that need compounding, eg:
Long term = long-term (otherwise it sounds like the term is long, like a school term).
Mid forties = mid-forties.
Old fashioned = old-fashioned.
Part time = part-time

Watch out for need for semicolons or conjunctions, eg,:
“… lockers at high school, close calls they’d had …”= “… lockers at high school; close calls… OR “at high school and close calls…” (if those 2 things go together).
tv = TV or better, television
I only mention these things because I see you have published this on Smashwords (?). It is really important to get an expert in English to search out these errors as it detracts from the quality of your writing - certainly if it came to an editor or publisher's desk = they would notice these things from the off (if they are any good).

I thought your writing had a lovely ‘voice’ to it. This is something as unique to you as your actual speaking voice. I was really swept along by your narrative style. You made the characters and locations come alive with just enough words, leaving the reader to fill in gaps – which is what a good writer does. Too often here we find every move a character makes is written down for us! (“he stood up, he turned around, he opened his mouth,…” = honestly, I have seen this type of writing more than once!).

I think you are a natural story-teller which is a great gift.

My only other critique would be that we did not get any dialogue until near the end of Chapter 1 – before that, it was all ‘telling’. We could do with hearing Henny and his cronies, or family, talking as that would be just that more entertaining.

I believe you have a strong storyline here, Steve, and am sure you will do very well with this.
Best wishes.
Jane Mauret
Male and Me

Dianna Lanser wrote 541 days ago

Hi Steve,

You’ve got an unassuming approach to your writing that mirrors the personal character of your main players. They all have a little something up their sleeves, well all except for poor Henny, or at least he seems innocent enough. But time will tell…

I really enjoyed what I read, and you have done well to create a lot of intrigue in the three chapters I read. You are a very gifted writer and I sensed that this story is going to have a lot of twists and turns in it. I’m sorry I don’t have any constructive criticism to give you. This book seemed as professional as anything I’ve picked off the shelf at the library. It has characters that aren’t what they seem… great descriptions that made me see and feel the surroundings and mood, and of course, there is a great sense of mystery entwined through out. Six Stars!

Dianna Lanser
Nothing But The Blood

R. Dango wrote 564 days ago

Each chapter comes with such interesting characters with different life styles to go with that they can almost stand as short stories. I've just read six chapters and now wondering how the lives of these characters (who are alive in my head now) are going to get tangled.
The narrative of the first chapter is a good example of "Telling, not showing" can actually work. I thought at first that this was a kind of a rebellious approach to the recent trend, but I've realized that it was actually "showing" the unstable and somewhat gambling life style of Henny quite efficiently. The only thing it bothered me here was when Carol suddenly appeared because I had an impression that nobody was waiting for him when he came out of prison.
Out of all the characters, Blinky is my favorite. I have a feeling that he is not meant to play any major role here but if he did, it would be a great twist.
This book looks like a well structured story with a thrilling plot. I will continue to read.

Andrew Esposito wrote 585 days ago

Tourists has a good mix of charatcers that draws the reader in. I found Henny intriguing and especially liked the quirkiness of George (and The Weasels) and the bigamist, Charlie (a character obviously destined for trouble!). The writing style is simple and enjoyable. I also liked the descriptive phrases such as 'big teddy bear' (good instant visual for characterisation) and smelling like 'fresh horse.'

Steve, I found that when the dialogue kicked in during Chapter 2 that the reading experience lifted. I think it might be beneficial to convert some of the narrative in Chapter 1 to dialogue if possible, so there is more sense of action. The dialogue can incorporate some of he back-story - however it will read as more immediate.

A few areas that you might want to tinker with;

try and omit 'They' at the start of sentences as it is passive (name the nouns/Proper nouns if possible).
break-up the sentence "The Judge have..." into at least two sentences (if not three).
'scene' might be a better word choice than 'picture'.

Steve, I enjoyed reviewing Tourists and I think you have an engaging plot. I've rated Tourists with high stars. Best regards, Andrew Esposito / Killing Paradise

Nepalwriter wrote 626 days ago

I agree with other comments that the beginning chapters don't provide a strong enough hook. You write very well. I found very little I would change except for where you used three different simiiies in one sentence. "Slug like, slothful, slow, his eyelids fluttering like moths." I'd just like to see the action begin sooner. Back story can be woven into the plot a little at a time. Doing so keeps a reader interested.

Terry Murphy wrote 626 days ago

Hi Steve,

I really like the title of this and the pitch works well for this genre.

I enjoyed reading, although as a storytelling style it is quite a throwback. Once I adjusted to the style I found it fast moving and easy to read. There's a nice hook at the end of ch1 but the story arc only really starts at that point. Everything up until then is back-story - it's interesting in itself and as I already mentioned it moves quickly.

The story proper gets going in ch2 and it starts to pull the reader in.

I know it is not the be-all and end-all, but to make this more commercial [because there is a great story unfolding] I think it needs either a prologue or to begin at ch2 and feed-in the back-story from ch1 as flash backs or whatever.

Overall, a top story and I like the storytelling voice/style.

Best,

Terry

silvachilla wrote 635 days ago

Hi Steve

Sorry it’s taken so long to return the read! Also, I should disclaim all of this by saying that I probably have no idea what I’m talking about and so therefore please feel free to ignore any of this!

Your pitch confused me. Probably because I don’t really read books like this, and it seems like this is going to be full of twists and turns. I didn’t quite understand how all the elements (the diamond heist) intertwined with the building of the air strip but it could be just me being slow! Hopefully things will become clear as I read on...

The intro about Henny felt a little rushed for me. It almost feels like reading a report saying Henny did this, that and the other. I think a little more description would have reeled me into this a bit more as it felt like it was really being skimmed over as opposed to going into any kind of depth. The proposal for example was devoid of any emotion – was this on purpose? The ‘romance’ – a roach burned out in the ashtray? Lol, not my idea of romance anyway. But ‘Henny popped the question, just like in the movies. Carol said yes with a kiss.’ – for me this felt flat. I want to know what he thought, what she thought, some kind of emotion.

In contrast, chapter 2 read much better. There was more detail, and it felt like you were trying much harder with George than with Henny. That said, I’d still like to see more dialogue – though maybe this genre is more narrative heavy than dialogue. And it was the same in chapter 3 in terms of it feeling more invested in, although the pace still felt lightening quick whereas I wanted it to slow down a little.

It may just be that it’s not my preferred genre, but I found it difficult to engage in all 3 characters in your first 3 chapters. George was definitely the one I had more interest in, but my overriding feeling is that I really wanted to say ‘stop, take a breath and explain XYZ to me.’ Perhaps I’m just too slow for this but in any case, I wish you luck with it.

Silva
x

Toboggan wrote 636 days ago

Steve,

Good writing - but I agree with many of the others - a killer opening chapter and then start with chapter four would have grabbed my attention better. I will keep reading. Good stars.

Toboggan.

RMAWriteNow wrote 658 days ago

Hi Steve; I read your first four chapters here. There was something about your writing that reminded me a lot of some of the crime films that Michael Caine did in the seventies. Shady characters combined with a hero who's just doing a job, made for a good read. I liked Mister Singh best he had the ominous aura about him. I also liked your 'tombstones in those eyes' quote. I see your book has been here a long time and is still high up the chart which says it all really. Well written and all around good job.
RMA
The Snow Lily

Lara wrote 668 days ago

This novel has a very promising pitch, although you could rewrite the longer one to add to the hook in the shorter.

I felt the book didn't really start as a novel until 3 and I would recommend starting here, then feeding in the necessary background through dialogue.

The plot and settings are strong so make the most of these. I should put a key dilemma in the opening few paragraps perhaps as a prologue. I have backed this book.
Lara
A RELATIVE LOSS

wheelerson wrote 739 days ago

Hi Jane, thanks for your comments. When I get around to rewriting Tourists, I'll use them. Good luck with your writing.
Regards,
Steve[

QUOTE] Tourists. You waste valuable words by repeating them in your pitches! The short one should lure the reader in with a taste of what's to come. Your long pitch seems to be a resume of your story - it should also try to entice the reader, with hints of character traits, emotions, suspense, etc. Pitches are the worst things to write, I think - yet they are so important.

I take notes as I read, but dont pretend to be an expert.

Ch.1. You open with a matter-0f-fact account of Henny's past. I wonder if it would grab the reader better, were you to start with some action, seen through Henny's eyes? Maybe an episode in prison which convinces him never to rip off the rich again, or an accident which shows him the foolishness of posing as a skate patroller?
You can feed in hispast through his own reflections, thus helping your reader to identify with Henny.

I'd like to know something about Carol when you first mention her. You could perhaps bring their history out in conversation, perhaps, which moves the story along. You might make a big scene of the proposal, and th emotions he goes through, instead of just saying it was romantic?

That scene with Mr. Singh flows much better for the reader. Maybe you should think of opening the chapter with it?

You have a good style of writing, and I can easily picture the scenes you describe. I didnt notice any nits - and I'm a notorious nit-picker!

You just need to work at developing a good plot - your chapters should have a mini-beginning, middle and end, with a hook to lead the reader on. You've done the hook well here, but you need to identify a problem or goal of sorts from the outset, have Henry solve it in a fashion, but be presented with another problem... for each chapter.

Techniques such as dialogue and action need to be interspersed with blocks of mere narrative. Events seen through the eyes of the character rather than remotely from an authorial viewpoint, always flow better for the reader.

I hope these comments have helped in some way. I hope you wont see them as too negative, for you know how to write, and I wish you well.

Jane (Breath of Africa).

wheelerson wrote 739 days ago

Hi Jane, thanks for your comments. When I get around to rewriting Tourists, I'll use them. Good luck with your writing.
Regards,
Steve[

QUOTE] Tourists. You waste valuable words by repeating them in your pitches! The short one should lure the reader in with a taste of what's to come. Your long pitch seems to be a resume of your story - it should also try to entice the reader, with hints of character traits, emotions, suspense, etc. Pitches are the worst things to write, I think - yet they are so important.

I take notes as I read, but dont pretend to be an expert.

Ch.1. You open with a matter-0f-fact account of Henny's past. I wonder if it would grab the reader better, were you to start with some action, seen through Henny's eyes? Maybe an episode in prison which convinces him never to rip off the rich again, or an accident which shows him the foolishness of posing as a skate patroller?
You can feed in hispast through his own reflections, thus helping your reader to identify with Henny.

I'd like to know something about Carol when you first mention her. You could perhaps bring their history out in conversation, perhaps, which moves the story along. You might make a big scene of the proposal, and th emotions he goes through, instead of just saying it was romantic?

That scene with Mr. Singh flows much better for the reader. Maybe you should think of opening the chapter with it?

You have a good style of writing, and I can easily picture the scenes you describe. I didnt notice any nits - and I'm a notorious nit-picker!

You just need to work at developing a good plot - your chapters should have a mini-beginning, middle and end, with a hook to lead the reader on. You've done the hook well here, but you need to identify a problem or goal of sorts from the outset, have Henry solve it in a fashion, but be presented with another problem... for each chapter.

Techniques such as dialogue and action need to be interspersed with blocks of mere narrative. Events seen through the eyes of the character rather than remotely from an authorial viewpoint, always flow better for the reader.

I hope these comments have helped in some way. I hope you wont see them as too negative, for you know how to write, and I wish you well.

Jane (Breath of Africa).

jlbwye wrote 742 days ago

Tourists. You waste valuable words by repeating them in your pitches! The short one should lure the reader in with a taste of what's to come. Your long pitch seems to be a resume of your story - it should also try to entice the reader, with hints of character traits, emotions, suspense, etc. Pitches are the worst things to write, I think - yet they are so important.

I take notes as I read, but dont pretend to be an expert.

Ch.1. You open with a matter-0f-fact account of Henny's past. I wonder if it would grab the reader better, were you to start with some action, seen through Henny's eyes? Maybe an episode in prison which convinces him never to rip off the rich again, or an accident which shows him the foolishness of posing as a skate patroller?
You can feed in hispast through his own reflections, thus helping your reader to identify with Henny.

I'd like to know something about Carol when you first mention her. You could perhaps bring their history out in conversation, perhaps, which moves the story along. You might make a big scene of the proposal, and th emotions he goes through, instead of just saying it was romantic?

That scene with Mr. Singh flows much better for the reader. Maybe you should think of opening the chapter with it?

You have a good style of writing, and I can easily picture the scenes you describe. I didnt notice any nits - and I'm a notorious nit-picker!

You just need to work at developing a good plot - your chapters should have a mini-beginning, middle and end, with a hook to lead the reader on. You've done the hook well here, but you need to identify a problem or goal of sorts from the outset, have Henry solve it in a fashion, but be presented with another problem... for each chapter.

Techniques such as dialogue and action need to be interspersed with blocks of mere narrative. Events seen through the eyes of the character rather than remotely from an authorial viewpoint, always flow better for the reader.

I hope these comments have helped in some way. I hope you wont see them as too negative, for you know how to write, and I wish you well.

Jane (Breath of Africa).

Laura_D_Purcell wrote 746 days ago

This seems like a good story with a lot of depth. The pitch got me interested but I felt perhaps it was a little wordy, maybe it could be made a bit more punchy? Best of luck.

Wanttobeawriter wrote 755 days ago

TOURISTS
This is a good story. You have an equally good character in Henny. He’s likable from the start and becomes sympathetic when he talks about jail and how, because of that, his future job opportunities are limited. I think your writing style is just right for this; you give a lot of personal information about Henny which lets a reader get to know him well; yet not so much it bogs down your story. Highly starred and added to my shelf. Wanttobeawriter.

wheelerson wrote 757 days ago

Hi Paul, thanks for taking the time. I'm involved in formatting to publish more novels on smashwords so I'm not really reading authonomy etc regularly but I go the same places every day on the internet to take a break from formatting and editing. Good luck with yours, I hope you're rewarded for your hard work.
Steve

Steve
Took a quick look at Tourists. Nice punchy style and interesting observations. You might want to bring the dialogue further up in Chapter 1. Enjoyed the Ottawa Winter background.
Good luck with it
Paul
Dead Moon Rising

Davidmauriceware wrote 778 days ago

Excellent ! in all aspects.I absolutely enjoyed reading this book and I more than likely will finish what you have posted.Henny is a down to earth character that I can relate to and I was hooked from the very beggining. 6 stars and I will support this.

turnerpage wrote 834 days ago

Tourists is an accomplished work and is very well-written. I read up until the end of Chapter 3. I stopped, not because I didn't want to read on but for time constraints.

The characterisations are very convincing. Henny, in particular is intriguing, inhabiting that twilight world of the night shift worker. I love the fact that he's sort of an anti-hero - an ex-cop who has fallen from grace.

The world of the story is compelling and your depiction of Ottawa in winter, with its lights with different kinds of halos drew this reader in. In my very limited experience of the extreme cold, I could really picture the warm breath of those skaters as they glided across a frozen Ottawa canal.

It will be intriguing to see how you pull together the threads here and how the characters lives entwine as I look forward to reading on. Well done. Highly starred.

Lambert Nagle - Revolution Earth

Stark Silvercoin wrote 848 days ago

Tourists is a very smooth read. I didn’t think I could get pulled into a story with an intro chapter that is mostly just background, but it’s very well written and I found Henny’s back story to be really compelling. His experiences are certainly unique, yet he has an everyman quality that will endear readers to him with “what would I do in the same situation” type of thoughts.

Author Steve Wheeler spins a very believable spy tale that probably mimics a lot of the shady things that really go on behind closed doors. It’s not a James Bond situation, but more day to day spy groundwork performed by the middle managers of the spycraft trade that we find out about here.

I don’t really have any nit-picks. I did notice that there was not a lot of dialog. Wheeler does dialog quite well, which is why I suppose I wanted to see more of it in the narrative. It would also make Tourists more “showing” instead of “telling.”

There are sufficient details to pull us down into the icy weather of the Ottawa Winterlude festival, and it’s great to see how Henny is setup to begin working with the CIA and their Canadian equivalents. Tourists is kind of a thinking-man’s spy thriller. I would totally believe it if I was told this was a documentary. That may mean it’s not summer blockbuster material, but is an enjoyable read nonetheless that I think would strike a cord with fans once published.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

ccb1 wrote 857 days ago

Backed Tourists. Great job with the back story in chapter 1. It was a fast read and interesting, but we suggest you to condense it. Only found one mistake in first paragraph. We think the comma should go inside the quotations marks-“Henry,” you had “Henry”,
Good luck on Authonomy. Hope you will take a look at our book, Dark Side.
CC Brown

A G Chaudhuri wrote 869 days ago


Dear Steve,
You write extremely well. In spite of the conspicuous lack of dialogue, I found myself reading the first two chapters without pause. You have a way with words, that’s for sure. ‘Tourists’ promises to be a very interesting story, the typical light read that one would like to relish over a mug of steaming hot chocolate, snuggled under the blanket on an idle winter evening; 6-starred with pleasure.
Best regards,
AGC
PS – It’s a completed MS and seems to be already online, but just a small suggestion here. The opening will be better received by the average reader (and agents too) if you show us some more action and space out Henny’s back story over the next few chapters.

Wussyboy wrote 891 days ago

Not my usual kind of read, Steve, but you certainly can write and there's hardly a typo in sight, which is always a good sign. Yes, you could profitably start chap 1 with the first exchange of dialogue ("So, hallo Mr Henderson, how are you tonight?' purred Mr Singh), drip-feeding all the Henny back-story into later scenes - and yes, you could certainly benefit from some tension/action to hook the reader at the start, but I found myself reading well into chapter three without a break, so you're doing something right!

High-starring you, mate, and will read on as time allows.

Joe Kovacs
Rupee Millionaires

One tiny suggest: Your short pitch mirrors the first part of your long pitch? How about a shorter, snappier short pitch like: "The CIA wants to build a secret air-strip in Canada bear country. What could possibly go wrong?"

RonParker wrote 893 days ago

Hi Steve,

I like the premise of this story but I'm afraid I've only had time to read the first chapter.

Whilst this is well written. In fact, I found no writing errors at all, it needs beefing up a bit. You need more action at the begining to keep the reader wanting wanting more. The character development and history of Henny is interesting, but it needs to come later in the story or, at least, be interspersed with more action scenes.

Ron

wheelerson wrote 895 days ago

One of my favorite first chapters on here. Fast paced and the length is perfect. Just enough to keep me wanting to read on. You are really good with imagery and characterization. Remember to play to that as you continue on. I skimmed over your bio, but is this a finished MS? I'm giving you six stars for the crisp, efficient use of language. Good luck with this!

Best,

Hi Ashley, thanks for the encouragement. It is a finished ms so far. Good luck with yours.
Steve
Ashley

a.morrison712 wrote 896 days ago

One of my favorite first chapters on here. Fast paced and the length is perfect. Just enough to keep me wanting to read on. You are really good with imagery and characterization. Remember to play to that as you continue on. I skimmed over your bio, but is this a finished MS? I'm giving you six stars for the crisp, efficient use of language. Good luck with this!

Best,

Ashley

~Evangeline~ wrote 943 days ago

Steve

As promised, a return read. I read the first four chapter and I see TOURISTS as absolutely Hiassen or Leonard moved to the north, consistently well-written and easy to read . I would suggest though that you trim your opening chapter a little. Why? Because for me, this book really started motoring when George turned into Charlie. Perhaps you could move some of the Henny background stuff back deeper into the story? Or perhaps I'm on drugs?

Cheers

Evie

wheelerson wrote 955 days ago

Started reading this morning and i'm hooked. You have a great style and ability to express the world through the eyes of your characters. There's a little bit too much telling in places for my overall liking but it fits with your style, so hey if it works right ??

Overall its a very good enjoyable read.


Hi, thanks for taking the time.
Best of luck.
Regards.
Steve

I love dodgems wrote 956 days ago

Started reading this morning and i'm hooked. You have a great style and ability to express the world through the eyes of your characters. There's a little bit too much telling in places for my overall liking but it fits with your style, so hey if it works right ??

Overall its a very good enjoyable read.

PCreturned wrote 1055 days ago

Hi again,

I finally got here to have a read of your book. Sorry it took me ages, but things got v busy around here for me lately. :(

There's a great voice to this. Relaxed and conversational. I think it really drew me into your story. I sympathised with Henny right from the start. He seemed like a hard-done-by character who was just trying to get by. :(

The scene with Mr Singh was ominous. I think it was clever the way you evoked so much tension with what went unsaid. I knew at that moment things could end up going v badly wring for Henny.

In the 2nd chapter, I blinked when George became Charlie. I really didn't expect that lol. And the 2nd family came as a bolt out of the blue. By the end of the chapter, conflict's clearly looming. I dread to think what will happen when/if the 2 wives ever meet. ;)

OK I liked your writing style a lot. I think you might get hammered on here for telling as opposed to showing, but it works. The technique makes your writing accessible and clear. And you have a knack for creating interesting characters. I can see people wanting to know what will happen and reading on far too late into the night to find out. :)

Good stuff. I’m happy to give you 6 stars right now. I really hope you manage to get this published. :)

Best of luck,

Pete

Pat Black wrote 1056 days ago

I liked Henny a whole lot; there was the notion of one of Hiaasen's heroes, a big guy caught up in a conspiracy. He felt like real flesh and blood to me, and I giggled at the idea of his dirty weekend and water bed. There was a strong voice, even though it's in the third person, and an excellent tone. You break the old "show not tell" rule with great style.

stephen racket wrote 1066 days ago

I read the first couple of chapters and thought this was really good. Complex stuff, Henny and George Gilroy are interesting characters, but The Weasels are great! On my WL and will read on.

barrefly wrote 1142 days ago

Mr. Wheeler, I've decided to take off my bookshelf a writer that first gave me a taste of your style (and gift) of writing for your book. I promised her I would never take her off, but if she questions me, I will refer her to your book, and I'm sure she will understand.

I will be reading all that you offer us. By the way, how much are you allowing us, 50, 75, 90 percent. 18 long chapters, I'm guessing 75 percent.

Charlie

skaterwriter wrote 1146 days ago

There is so much here and it just pulls the reader right it and along at a perfect clip. Im backing this for the unique theme and talenting writing.

Skater

Frank James wrote 1146 days ago

Hi Steve,
Unfortunately various other items invaded my setaside space to read your book and two others. I was only able to find time for three or four chapters each, but hopefully this weekend will provide more time. To cut a long story short I like your book and as far as I'm concerned I am BACKING it and I'm wishing you all the best of luck for your future in writing.

Frank James (The Contractor)

Ivan Amberlake wrote 1152 days ago

Steve,

I love the way you introduce Henny to the reader. The way you attach the nickname to the MC at the beginning of the opening chapter makes him more appealing and realistic to me.

With a little more dialogue in the first chapter “Tourists” will turn into an even more appealing read than it is now.

The pitch is catching and therefore compelling me to go on with your book.
No misprints spotted, the language is flawless. Way to go, Steve!

Stars strewn in abundance to get your captivating book higher in rank.

Ivan
The Beholder

M. A. McRae. wrote 1156 days ago

You write well. I read three chapters, and noted not a single error of spelling or grammar, and that is unusual. You have a good story, and the characters are well fleshed out.
For my preference (just a preference) I would have preferred that you stick more to one character. I had noted MC Henny in Chapter 1, then MC George who later became Charlie, and then in Chapter 3, yet another 'MC,' Wilbur. I think it makes for a smoother ride if there is a single MC. Showing other POVs adds to the story, but I still like a single character I can follow from the start.
Well done and to be backed. Marj.

Susanna.K.James wrote 1211 days ago

Chapter two is a much more enjoyable read - the bigamy really took me by surprise. There is also a wonderful sense of satire in the opening paragraphs of this chapter. (I wonder if you should start your novel with this Chapter?) On top of this the description was brilliant: 'The Ottawa river was a freezing expanse of white some where out there in the darkness;' 'headlights approached in a steady stream on the other side.' I also loved the very individual characteristics of the people you have created, Blinky for example.
Overall, I am very impressed, however, I am a bit concerned that you have spent two chapters establishing a variety of character and that the exciting plot you mentioned in the pitch, has not yet begun. I am not an expert on the thriller genre but I suspect that ardent fans of the genre may be feeling a bit frustrated at this point.
Anyway, I hope that these comments are helpful - and not too harsh. I wish you all the best with it.
Highly starred
Susanna
'Catching the Eagle.'

Susanna.K.James wrote 1211 days ago

Chapter One & your pitch.

Absolutely loved your pitch - I found it really intriguing. Well done.
Chapter one establishes Henny's character, his relationship and his past. I thoroughly enjoyed the first 6 paragraphs, where you established Henny's back story but then found some of the next few chapters a bit repetitive. I don't think that you need to go on about the lessons he has learnt in jail (your reader has got the picture by now) and how many times he has driven up and down the canal. I think some heavy duty editing is called for here - or alternatively dump paragraphs 7, 9, 11 & 13 - and see how the pace of the story picks up.
Susanna
'Catching the Eagle'

Kaimaparamban wrote 1216 days ago

Hi Steve, This is good thriller as well as a fascinating story. When CIA, one of the lethal spy movement in the world, becomes key player in this novel. It’s attraction will naturally become increased. You are a writer who can keep reader on the tip of nail of anxiety until the climax.

Joy J. Kaimaparamban
The Wildfire

wheelerson wrote 1233 days ago

Hi Becky, thanks. You and Orlando have given me encouragement far beyond what you can imagine.
I was going to back your book but it isn't there yet.
Steve

wheelerson wrote 1233 days ago

Hi Becky, thanks. You and Orlando have given me encouragement far beyond what you can imagine.
I was going to back your book but it isn't there yet.
Steve

Beccy Blount wrote 1233 days ago

Orlando F. suggested I have a read. Something tells me it wld not be a good thing to be either a bear or a woman in the neighbourbood of Wilbur or esp Manson. W and M are not exactly metrosexual men into personal skin regimes. While this is not exactly my normal reading fare, Manson esp is finely drawn and ruggedly commical, though clearly we will not be saying that to his face. I've read Orlando's earlier reviews and see that you have served up yet more live characters. Your characterisations put me in mind of Hogarth's sketches of 18th c London faces. I am also minded of Annie Proulx's (sp?) short stories with the focus on the gritty individuality spawned in rugged places. Manson's weekends in Toronto wld not be for the faint hearted I imagine. But then M's attitude is perhaps not so bad as that of Charlie-George-Charlie of the previous chapter or the non-performing cove in the first chapter. And I have to confess, that luxurious beard and the thought of a man who wld not be at a loss when confronted by a bear has a certain appeal over more limp-wristed types from those cancer-like cities. Perhaps I will talk a couple of my girlfriends into considering a little bear hunting next spring. I shall be googling soonest. Meanwhile, I am backing you story because its wry humour is comfortable in its own hairy skin.
Beccsy

Orlando Furioso wrote 1234 days ago

Ch 2
Your character sketching was in evidence here also. I esp liked Blinky and this dab '...his eyelids fluttering like moths...' and his tactic of snaring signatures. I chuckled at '...Suzie, smelling like fresh horses...' The two wives was engaging. The structure of your story feels good and I esp like the characters and now want to know more about Henny's little trips. I will read more and give you some shelving time anon.
Ron

Orlando Furioso wrote 1234 days ago

Sorry to take so long.
Ch1
I was taken with the notion of the Skate Patrol and the idea of the population taking to the ice, gliding past sculptures to the strains of soothing music. The halo dab was delightful. A typical wld be tourist reaction, I confess. But it was intersting to this insular Brit.
But the best part for me was the way you drew Henny's character, with a languid sureness. The guy had been through the mill but has survived and has a survivor's patience and cunning. I esp like the way he is functioning counter to everyone else. I also like the notion of him chilling with his joint and little Led before Bed.
I feel as if I know him from these two dabs: "He was travelling in the opposite direction ... There wasn't much long term thinking involved for henny." And I cld see him there at his kitchen table enjoying his morning beer, puzzled by the new ways of the world, but not worrying one jot about it his priority being just to get paid. I thought Mr.Singh was a nice tease at the end to hold your readers eye, threatening, as he does, to disturb Henny's karma. I wld definitely read on ... and did.

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