Family Business Historical Fiction

Kobo Emerging Writer Prize Short-list

front cover

I’m absolutely thrilled to share with you the exciting news that my book has been short-listed for the new Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Here is an excerpt from the Kobo Press Release:

Kobo Emerging Writer Prize Shortlist Announced

The 15 best new Canadian books have been selected from three categories: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction (Mystery), and Non-Fiction

May 20, 2015

Toronto, ONMay 20, 2015 – Kobo, a Rakuten company and leading innovator in the digital reading space, today announced the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize shortlist. The annual award, designed to kick-start the careers of debut authors, will award a $10,000 CAD cash prize to a book in each of three categories: Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction (beginning with Mystery this year), and Non-Fiction. In addition, each winning author will receive promotional, marketing, and communications support for their written works through 2015.”

The release goes on to say: “The shortlist, selected by Kobo’s team of booksellers and taking into consideration book completion rates, customer ratings and reviews, comprises five books in each genre. The shortlist will now move on to the final selection process, led by top Canadian authors: Charlotte Gray for Non-Fiction, Miriam Toews for Literary Fiction, and Ian Hamilton for Genre Fiction (Mystery), with winners announced on July 7.”

Here are the contenders in my category:

Literary Fiction

  • Based on a True Story by Elizabeth Renzetti – House of Anansi Press
  • Family Business by Renny deGroot – Self-Published
  • For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu – HarperCollins Canada
  • Fire In The Unnameable Country by Ghalib Islam – Penguin Canada
  • Circus by Claire Battershill  – McClelland & Stewart

More information can be found on the Kobo website:


Family Business Historical Fiction

Never Give Up

Cutting Wood

This week we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands. It’s a double celebration for me as a first generation Dutch-Canadian. First of all I celebrate my roots which has given me the tenacious and determined attitude which exemplify the Dutch people. I celebrate, what some people may call stubbornness, because I know that with a ‘never give up’ attitude, I will achieve my dreams. Secondly I celebrate the Canadian generousness of spirit. Remembering the courageous men and women who left their homes to liberate the Netherlands makes me stand a little taller; makes me choke with emotion; makes me glad to know that my parents were inspired to come and make Canada their new home. Yes. I celebrate.

If a photo ever described that Dutch situation and attitude from 70 years ago, it is this one of my mother taken in April 1945. Where this big chunk of wood came from is a mystery, but cutting it down to size would mean the difference between cooking or not so Mom was determined to ‘never give up.’

In my book Family Business, the Meyer family go through some of these challenges. If you haven’t read the book yet, it is available for purchase through ( )

If you have read it, I’d appreciate your support with a review. I’ve submitted the book for the Kobo Emerging Writer Award and part of the judging criteria is ‘reader engagement’. You’ll need to sign up for a kobo account (no cost – just take a second to create a username and password). Here’s the link:

Thank you!