Tagarchief: fiction

The Hidden Village

The_hidden_village_imogen_matthews_amsterdampublishersThe Hidden Village, historical fiction set in WW2, by Imogen Matthews

Deep in the dense woods of the Dutch Veluwe lies a monument in memory of six Jews who were shot by the Nazis in October 1944. Every year on Commemoration day, inhabitants of Vierhouten and neighbouring Nunspeet gather to put flowers on the memorial stone.

What’s the story behind this monument, hidden deep in the woods near Vierhouten?

During the Second World War all Jews faced deportation to concentration and death camps by the Nazis. Since chances of discovery were less likely in the Dutch countryside, some were desperate to get shelter outside of the big cities. Around Vierhouten in the province of Gelderland many were looking for a hiding place. Due to the large numbers of refugees, the villagers could no longer shelter them in their own homes. The villagers of Vierhouten, led by the lawyer Von Baumhauer and the Bakkers, decided to go deep into the woods to build wooden huts that housed as many as 100 people.

Reconstruction of one of the huts of the hidden village

Unfortunate discovery of the Hidden Village

From February 1943 until October 1944 the refugees lived in these huts many below ground. Their very survival depended on the goodwill and courage of the villagers. With Germans roaming about the place it was very hard to bring food and supplies to the people in the hidden village. Unfortunately the huts were discovered and eight Jews in total were shot. The other 78 luckily managed to escape. Apart from Jewish families, the hidden village was also occupied by young Dutch men trying to avoid Arbeitseinsatz (enforced labour in Germany), refugees from nearby camp Amersfoort and stranded pilots from the Allied forces.

When Imogen Matthews, an Oxford author, came upon the memorial during one of her cycling holidays in Holland, she was intrigued. She discovered the three huts that were rebuilt in 1970 and 1995. Being of Dutch descent herself, she was able to read Het Verscholen Dorp, Verzet en Onderduikers op de Veluwe by A. Visser. The remarkable story of the Jews in hiding sparked off her imagination.

The result is The Hidden Village, a fast-paced work of historical fiction. The book does not claim to be historically accurate. The author used the subject of people hiding in the woods from the Germans as the starting point for this fascinating piece of fiction. Recommended reading for all of those interested in WW2 novels, and, especially, those set in wartime Holland.

The Hidden Village by Imogen Matthews is available now from Amazon (Kindle ebook), and later also as paperback and on bol.com

About the author

Imogen Matthews lives in Oxford, England and is the author of two romantic fiction e-novels. The Hidden Village is her first foray into historical fiction. Born in Rijswijk, Holland, to a Dutch mother and English father, the family moved to England when Imogen was very young. She has always enjoyed holidays in Holland and since 1990, has gone regularly with her husband and two children to Nunspeet on the edge of the Veluwe woods. It was here that she discovered the story of the hidden village, and, together with her mother’s vivid stories of life in WW2 Holland, she was inspired to write her next novel…

Author of The Hidden Village Imogen MatthewsImogen Matthews, author of The Hidden Village:

“I remember the first time I came across the village hidden deep in the Veluwe woods in Holland. We were on one of our favourite cycle routes bowling along paths framed by tall beech trees when I spotted a memorial stone I hadn’t noticed before. Chillingly it told how a number of Jews had been shot dead by the Germans not long before the end of the war. They’d managed to stay hidden in a village of purpose-built huts for nearly 2 years.
What struck me about this episode frozen in time was how courageous & resilient these people were. So too were the many who were prepared to shelter these refugees by putting their own lives at risk. I didn’t want to write a historical account of these events as I already had ideas for a fictional story and my characters were taking shape in my mind.”

Bewaren

Advocate of the truth

amsterdampublishers_advocate_of_the_truth_adriaan_bos_coverAdvocate of the truth by Adriaan Bos

When Thomas, a former partner of a prestigious law firm, promises his best friend Sam to keep his groundbreaking Spider technology away from mankind, he has no clue what awaits him.

A chilling scenario unfolds when Thomas is plunged into a web of greed, corporate espionage, organized crime and murder. As he finds signs pointing to a high-level conspiracy, a mysterious and deadly virus originating in Europe sweeps across the earth. Frightened politicians take advantage of the panic, with populism hitting fear buttons worldwide. A pandemic is looming, and so is anarchy.

Suddenly Sam’s Spider technology has life-saving potential, raising profound ethical questions:

  • Do we allow fear, greed and status to overrule the natural bonds between people?
  • Should the privacy of individuals be sacrificed to the illusion of safety?
  • How do we prevent technology from casting a dark shadow over the future?
  • And ultimately: is mankind nearing its expiration date?

His tense search for the truth leads Thomas to the medieval Italian city Assisi, oppressive boardrooms, back alleys, dimly-lit churches and a former monastery overlooking the Mediterranean. Meanwhile, he has two women vying for his heart: Sophia, a sensitive violinist who cared for his father in the final days of life, and Juliëtte, an alluring and intriguing Parisian he meets by chance in Tuscany.

Advocate of the truth is a thriller about the digital dragon that feeds on our privacy and the serious implications of nanochips registering and managing human behavior. On a more personal level, it is a deeply moving novel about friendship, love and the compassion Francis of Assisi stands for. This fast-paced literary thriller prompts you to reflect on wisdom from the past and ethics for the future. It is an intense struggle between good and evil that hits home in today’s society.

This gripping technothriller paints a grim picture of what the future may have in store for us. In this day and age when populism is rampant and people see technology merely as a convenience rather than giving it a second thought, Advocate of the truth is particularly relevant.

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Bookpresentation of Advocate of the Truth at the European Parliament in Brussels

On 12 January 2017 Author Adriaan Bos presented Advocate of the Truth to Sophie in ’t Veld at the Europarliament in Brussels. Sophie in ’t Veld, senior Member of the European Parliament, is well known for her unwithering dedication to protect the privacy of the individual and of human rights in general. They discussed .. yes, you guessed it: privacy risks in today’s society dominated by technology. See press release.

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Advocate of the truth is available on Amazon as paperback and Kindle ebook.

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Should you be interested in receiving a PDF for review purposes please get in touch with info[at]amsterdampublishers[dot]com.

The Dutch edition Advocaat van de waarheid was received very well by the Dutch press and reviewers alike. Since all reviews are in Dutch we have translated one to give you an impression:

With ‘Advocate of the truth’ Adriaan Bos shows that he masters the art of writing and that he has the potential to be successful in the world of suspenseful novels. We compare his debut with the works of Michael Crichton, Joel C. Rosenberg en Joseph Finder, each leading writers in their thriller segments.  Crime Zone

If I had to choose one word to sum up my experience of reading this book, I’d choose the word: “thrilling”. There is no better way to put it, I simply loved this book. There is a twist lurking behind every corner and at no point in the novel could I catch my breath. I have to admit it is quite a long book, but the engaging story line makes it seem like a breeze. There were times I could barely put it down (I finished it in 3 sittings). When it comes to its language it is very well written. The author uses profound language that is pleasant to read, yet fairly easy to understand. Furthermore, the author presents an array of intertextual references that make the story even more believable, even more real. Overall, this book (to me) is the kind of book that is best read with a cup of tea, curled up in a cosy chair. A perfect (Christmas) present. Johanna Kaszti – review on Goodreads 1 December 2016.

The Dutch professor B. Feringa won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 for his work with molecular machines. Advocate of the truth explains in a beautiful way the negative side effects of nanotechnology, shows what short time political decisions will and can do to mankind.
The story is really very interesting and keeps me thinking about the future of my children. In what kind of controlled world they have to live, without any privacy. Everything in life becomes digital, and look what is happening on Twitter or WhatsApp chats without any form of companionship or passion for leadership. We as adults have to think about these things. Which path do we pave for our children? I really recommend everybody to read this novel. Amazon Customer 5 December 2016

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About Adriaan Bos

Adriaan Bos was a partner at a big law firm and served on various boards. Nowadays he combines his work as corporate mediator with his passion for writing. The author lives in the Netherlands.

In Advocate of the truth, Adriaan Bos, whose choice to trade in his legal briefs for extended stays in monasteries and nature, has added a semi-autobiographical element to the protagonist. He has crafted a suspenseful story that addresses universal values and philosophical issues.

His personal commitment to defending the privacy of the individual and to stimulating compassionate social leadership, shines through in his novel. Fans of corporate, technological and spiritual thrillers will not want to miss what this author has to contribute in this impressive debut. See for more information: www.advocateofthetruth.com

Adriaan Bos received a grant from Privacy First for the translation of the book.

Flight of the Seagull

Flight_of_the_seagull_greet_beukenkamp_amsterdam_publishersThe Flight of the Seagull by Greet Beukenkamp

The Flight of the Seagull by Dutch children’s and YA book author Greet Beukenkamp is a story that cuts to the core of the high school experience.

Grade 9 is going on a schooltrip to Terschelling, one of the Dutch islands. The teenagers are excited, board the ferry and the mood on the way to the camp site is elated. Everyone would consider them a well-behaved class, but the reality is completely different. Throughout the school year, a group of boys has been ruining the atmosphere in the classroom with their antisocial behavior. They mainly pick on Ivan. At school the situation is more or less under control, but away from the watchful eyes of their teachers, the situation soon escalates. The bullies are making Ivan’s life hell, and what happens next will forever change the lives of everyone involved.

Each chapter moves the story forward from the point of view of a different student. Despite the serious subject, the book is written with a lot of warmth and humor. Looking through their eyes, you get to know the students one by one.

The Flight of the Seagull is the English version of Al het water van de zee, one of the best-known Dutch books about bullying. Universally popular with Teens and Young Adults, it is widely used by teachers to discuss issues relating to bullying and being bullied in the classroom. Above all, it is a fascinating read providing an insight into high school dynamics through a wealth of young minds.

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Praise for The Flight of the Seagull

“This book was powerful, insightful and well written. The author shows us bullying from the perspective of the people involved. Not just the bullied but the bullies and those who simply stand bye and let it happen. Many books with this subject come off as preachy and have cardboard cutouts for characters but this book is different. The story drips with authenticity. When I was in the 8th grade my school sponsored a week long camping trip and while reading this I was transported back to a time when bullying was a everyday part of life. This book is a must read for parent and teachers.”

  • “Powerful, insightful and well written”
  • “A real page-turner!”
  • “Wonderful, emotive book”
  • “An emotional journey!”

More by Greet Beukenkamp? Please view her Amazon author page.

Mendel

Mendel _anita_lavi_amsterdam_publishersMendel: a Holocaust Story for Children by Anita Lavi

Mendel is a children’s book that gently introduces the subject of the Holocaust to children.

In Mendel, a father tells his two children the story of a Jewish boy who lived in Poland during the second world war. Each night after he tucks his children in, Father sits on the edge of the bed and begins his story about Papa, Mama and their three boys. It is, as you may have guessed, his own story.

The book is based on the life story of the author’s father, Manny Steinberg. Together with his father and brother, Manny Steinberg managed to survive four Nazi camps.

Mendel by Anita Lavi takes you from a quiet, loving and warm family home, to being put into trucks, and living in camps. Being reunited after the war, the family ultimately emigrates to the US, arriving to be greeted by Lady Liberty in New York harbor.

The tone of the book is simple, but poignant and gentle which makes it suitable for children aged circa 8 to 11. Mendel is written to teach without frightening. The emphasis is  very much on strength of family.

The author stresses the importance of family, hope and love. The book has been illustrated with pencil drawings by Caroline Juler that beautifully depict the mood and era of the story.

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Anita Lavi on writing Mendel: a Holocaust story for Children

“A few years ago, I helped my dad re-write his book Outcry – Holocaust Memoirs.  The collaboration not only brought us closer in understanding one another, but helped me realize that I had a passion for writing.  In April, 2015 I traveled with my father (Manny Steinberg) to Germany for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Vaihingen Concentration Camp. The small city invited survivors and their families to their quaint town to celebrate life and pay tribute to the people who once suffered at the hands of their countrymen and forefathers.  It was an emotional trip to say the least, but my dad endured it at 90 years of age.

One of the events that we attended, was at a local high school where students asked questions of the survivors.  I thought to myself, there in a room filled with 15 – 17 year old kids asking so many questions; how do we as parents and grandparents explain the holocaust to younger children?  I thought about it for several days and when I sat down to write, the words came flooding to me. I remembered when I was a little girl, my dad telling me bedtime stories and all about the young boy and his family who once lived in Radom, Poland.”

Praise for Mendel

“Passing along family history and the simple lessons of life to our children is maybe the most important responsibility parents have. Perhaps the most challenging lessons are those that deal with reality and the fact that bad things happen and children need to know this without scaring them.

If your family is Jewish, this a great book to start to teach the kids in a gentle way some of the more difficult parts of history. It is an excellent tool to generate healthy questions and discussions.”

The drawings are great punctuations in the story and themselves a great way to engage children and let them talk about what they see. Read this book to your children and then have a chat about Mendel and his family and then talk about your family.”

Mendel is available in English (eBook and Print-on-Demand paperback), and in French.

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Safari to Hell

safari_to_hell_nemon-amsterdam-publishersIn December 2014 Amsterdam Publishers released Safari to Hell by Nemon, nom de plume of the renowned Dutch lawyer Bob van der Goen. The book is available as eBook and paperback on Amazon.

The thriller reached the status of #1 bestseller in the category Psychological Thriller on Amazon on 25 January 2015, one month after publication, and received more than twenty positive reviews.

Safari to Hell is a blood-curdling literary thriller of a different Africa than the one we know, a place where you only come out as a billionaire or a body.

A young, inexperienced Dutch lawyer applies for a job at a renowned law firm. With his poor credentials chances are slim he will ever get the job. Much to his surprise, he is hired at a generous salary. The law firm immediately whisks him off to deepest, darkest Africa, on an important assignment, with next to no instructions. What begins as a promising business trip, appears to be his one-way ticket to hell.

Caught up in a true horror story, the young lawyer is powerless to escape the nightmare. This safari to hell lands him in the middle of illegal transactions and money laundering by corrupt politicians. He even gets lured into the bed of the wife of the most ruthless politician of the country..

With innocent people dying under suspicious circumstances all around him, his life is always hanging by a very thin thread, as he learns when he is invited to sign his own death certificate. He has no way out of the country, and when he rings his firm no one seems to know him.

The author, a leading international lawyer himself, has wonderfully crafted the character of the young lawyer with a great eye for detail and the workings of the human mind.

If you love a fast-paced literary thriller with a plot that keeps you guessing, this book is definitely for you. The action and psychological terror will keep you turning pages until the end.

Literary thriller about the power of evil set against the background of a terrifying reality

Praise for Safari to Hell

Bone-chilling. Everyone needs to read this” – Prof. Dr. Bob Smalhout

“Exciting build-up from exposition to shocking conclusion”. Truly a literary thriller – Jacques van Ek

“I’ve read ten thousand books, and this is one of the most fascinating. Literary masterpiece of the highest order” – Martin Ros, publisher

Wow, what an amazing ride! Full of fast paced suspense, political escapades and shear fear, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat.” – Amazon reviewer Nicole – December 2014

Truly a great read for those that enjoy international intrigue. From the prologue to the end I found myself constantly trying to second guess the ending. I never saw it coming! We get wrapped up in the life (and terror) of the life of a first timer to Africa> As I read the well developed characters’ stories it was almost as if I were there. I found myself wanting to take notes at points because it very much seemed as if this came from a real life experience. If you like the international suspense genre, you will love this one! Well done!” – Amazon reviewer Dr Mark Smith January 2015

About the author

Nemon is the nom de plume of Bob van der Goen (Amsterdam 1940), a former attorney, now author living in Amsterdam. As a practicing attorney he and his firm handled many cases that made international headlines.

For a complimentary press copy of the eBook or foreign rights please ask info@amsterdampublishers.com

Want to preview the book? Click on the image below.

 

DCI Jac of Amsterdam

DCI_jac_of_amsterdam_poisonous cityA Poisonous City – DCI Jac of Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s most famous Police commissioner, who was head of the Drug & Murder Brigade, is found poisoned at the age of 81. Why not let nature take its course?

The investigation is handed to Jac Roggeveen and her squad in Amsterdam. Jac is DNR’s youngest DCI, outspoken, rather Dutch in many ways.

As Jac and her squad begin to probe the former Commissioner’s life, they uncover a trail of drugs, murders and corruption that leads from Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District to The Hague, Belgium and Spain.

The criminal underbelly of Amsterdam is brought vividly to life by an author who worked in the legal profession in The Netherlands for many years and who has been involved in some of the country’s major cases of the last twenty years. Many of the characters are based on real people and real events. The book is the first of a trilogy DCI Jac of Amsterdam.

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Part 2 in this series DCI Jac of Amsterdam will be A Deadly Spiral

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A murderous spiral of killings break out in Amsterdam. DCI Jac’s squad are ordered to take charge of the investigation when the most horrific quadruple murders ever to take place in The Netherlands threatens to engulf the city in a deluge of blood. A power struggle for control of the lucrative drugs market is taking place. Can Jac & her squad stop the killings before more dead bodies are discovered? Over it all the shadow of Katja looms over the city.

>>> Available as paperback and ebook from Amazon.

Richard Revisited

Richard Revisited, a novel - by Els LaunspachIn 2014 Amsterdam Publishers did the bookpromotion for Richard Revisited by Els Launspach.

King Richard III, whose remains have been discovered under a garage park in Leicester in 2012, is traditionally seen as a tyrant, a child murderer and a usurper of the English throne. How  much of this reputation was born of the facts, and how much of political urgence? How much of it is propaganda inspired by the first Tudor king, which was perpetuated by Shakespeare down through the centuries?

Opening with the spectacular findings in 2013, the Dutch well-known author and theatre critic Els Launspach portrays the intense dilemma’s in Richard Revisited faced by three writers on ‘history’: the statesman Thomas More, the seventeenth-century Master of the Revels George Buc and Jennifer Simpson, a witness in the Trial of Richard III broadcast by London Weekend Television in 1983. What truth should they serve: The immediate pressures of political expediency and public opinion, or a truth they personally pursue? In their efforts to be true to themselves, each risks either humiliation or loss of integrity.

Within the frame of the discovery of King Richard III’s remains, Richard Revisited offers a poignant image of three inquisitive minds caught up in an age-old struggle.

***** Download your copy of Richard Revisited here *****

Launspach shows convincingly that History does not exist, only a certain balance of interests. The author’s game with fact and fiction is clever and exciting. – Het Nederlands Dagblad

History and literature are brilliantly entangled. – Trouw

The totally unexpected becomes the hook in this brilliant character-driven novel. But don’t think for a minute that no action occurs. We all know that they have found Richard III’s remains, in the most unlikely venue. Here we see the now, the then, and history blends itself accurately with the present. If you like quality action, historical and character-driven novels based on new findings. This is the book to read. Els Lauspach has done an excellent job. The pace is fast. A novel written in the present tense, to the point that the past, Thomas Moores’ past, comes alive. It’s a definite must-read for those who like this fascinating genre. Alana Richmond

About the Author

Els Launspach (MA 1981) is a novelist and essayist. She worked for various theatre groups in the Netherlands, among them the Mickery Theatre of Ritsaert ten Cate. She has published widely on theatre, art, mimetic theory and screenwriting. Launspach is regarded as a specialist in Greek tragedy and Shakespeare, lecturing all over the country and teaching at the Amsterdam Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. During the years she wrote seven novels for young people and three for adults. She lives in Haarlem. See also: www.elslaunspach.nl

 

Geverfde Deur

De_geverfde_deur_nemonDe Geverfde Deur is een bundel korte verhalen geschreven door Nemon, uitgegeven door Amsterdam Publishers in 2015.

De lezer valt van de ene verbazing in de andere bij het lezen van deze meesterlijke verhalen. Nemon bewijst dat hij als geen ander het vermogen bezit de lezer te raken. Verhalen die je bijblijven en je toch telkens zal willen herlezen.

Nemon, alias van Bob van der Goen. In Amsterdam geboren als zoon van een bekende joodse standwerker, na advocatenloopbaan schrijver, van wiens vorige roman Maarten ’t Hart vond: “meeslepend en adembenemend. Ik kon er niet van afblijven.”

De Geverfde Deur bevat de volgende verhalen:

De man in de lift, De stilte, Child Design inc., De pianostemmer, Een bord soep, De geverfde deur, 339, Het leugentje, De spookrijder, Een partij schaak met dominee, De laatste voetbalhater, Het feest, En wie zag ik daar aan mijn sterfbed? Die nacht dat het licht uitviel, Reis nooit over Fiumate, en Kamer 19.

Verkrijgbaar via Amsterdam Publishers in paperback met ISBN  978-90-821031-6-8, en NUR 303