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 her 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 served as an elected city councilmember and activist. Her first novel, The Foreigner's Confession, set in Cambodia, was released February, 2022. Her second novel, The Worth of a Ruby was released November, 2023. She currently lives in Snohomish Washington and is busy writing her third novel.

About The Worth of a Ruby

t's 1995, and Mallory Jones, a Seattle chef, embarks 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 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

“This engaging thriller will resonate with anyone interested in a fast-paced saga concerned with material as well as spiritual wealth.”

Booklife Reviews

The Worth of a Ruby

“Expertly weaved historical details lend believability, while the constant twists and turns keep readers on the edge of their seats. The raw and powerful depiction of characters' psyche adds profoundness to this captivating tale of deceit, redemption, self-validation, and introspection. Truly remarkable.”

The Prairies Book Review

The Worth of a Ruby

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 Annie Hawkins award-winning trilogy, Behind the Lens, Double Exposure, and The Rule of Thirds

The Foreigner's Confession

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

—Kirkus Reviews

The Foreigner's Confession

“In Badgley's well-researched, dual-timeline novel, the themes of loss and ghosts of the past intertwine in a story about the lingering aftermath of a repressive regime in Cambodia…”

Booklife Reviews

The Foreigner's Confession

“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
(The Foreigner's Confession)

Featured Audio & Video

The Worth of a Ruby Book Trailer

Culture Queen Podcast

How To Write a Book Podcast

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.