A priceless Burmese ruby leads Mallory Jones on a journey from the remote mountains of Burma to the swelter of Bangkok in search of redemption.

Photo credit: 2021 Carlos Cruz

About Lya

Lya Badgley writes suspenseful international fiction featuring characters overcoming life-changing odds. She draws deeply from personal experience living in Europe and Southeast Asia. Her life is worthy of a movie - dabbling in the music industry, opening a restaurant in Myanmar, interviewing insurgents for Human Rights Watch, and microfilming documents for the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide in Cambodia.  A dedicated environmentalist, she has served as an elected city councilmember and activist. Her first novel, The Foreigner's Confession, set in Cambodia, was released in February of 2022. Her second novel, The Worth of a Ruby will be released in October of 2023.  She currently lives in Snohomish Washington and is busy writing her third novel.

About The Worth of a Ruby

In 1995, Mallory Jones, a Seattle chef, embarked on an adventurous trip to Rangoon, Burma, in pursuit of a dream project. Immersed in a foreign world of beauty, stifling heat, and political turmoil, Mallory's life takes an unexpected turn when she befriends a British diplomat and a charismatic French gem dealer, unwittingly becoming entangled in a treacherous plot to steal a priceless Burmese ruby. Haunted by her traumatic past, Mallory must confront her own capacity for violence and deceit, all while clinging to the elusive hope of a new beginning.

Praise for Lya’s Work

The Worth of a Ruby is a powerful, mesmerizing story of three broken and desperate expats who wash up in Rangoon, Burma in 1995... A breathtaking read!”

—Jeannée Sacken, author of the award-winning Behind the Lens and Double Exposure

“… a hauntingly beautiful and suspense-filled story… This dramatic psychological thriller is both a page-turner and a joy to read―every page of it!”

—Jennifer Haupt, bestselling author of In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills

“A cleverly constructed novel that intertwines multiple characters and timelines to create a compelling and unsettling portrait of Cambodia and the risks people take to rebuild their lives after tragedy.”

—Mark Haskell Smith, author of Blown

“The sights, sounds, and scents of Cambodia are brought vividly to life in a novel that moves between decades, confronting readers with complexities of a country torn by genocide...”

—Gina Wilkinson, author of international bestseller When the Apricots Bloom

“…a brilliant, multi-layered novel… I love how the author's love for this country and its people shine through the pages.”

—Amazon Review

“A gripping tale about Cambodia that offers impeccable research and a strong sense of place.”

—Kirkus Reviews

Featured Audio & Video

An unexpected, mysterious discovery in Cambodia leads Emily Mclean on a journey through the country's painful history and toward personal redemption.

Train by Lya Badgley

Musings on Travel

My hero, Anthoney Bourdain, famously said: “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”

I invite you on a journey, through pictures and stories. Let us be changed together.