Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Owls and Learning Greek by Amy M. Reade

Welcome to the Sunday Interview and the theme is The Ultimate Bucket List.

In this interview series I would love to know what your top TWO items are on your bucket list and if you have not written one yet, then perhaps it is time to get your thinking caps on.

Here is more about how you can participate:

Today my guest is author Amy M. Reade who shares the top two items on her ultimate bucket list. Both are well worth being at the top of the list and let’s hope by putting it ‘out there’ in this post it will happen.

I was so excited when I read about Sally’s idea to talk about bucket lists. I’ve been giving mine a lot of thought—in fact, I have a “Bucket List” Pinterest board with lots of photos of exotic places I’d love to visit.

But just this morning I read a blog post with a poem about owls, accompanied by some beautiful photos of these birds of prey. And I got thinking—that’s what I want to see. An owl.

And I want to see it in or near my own backyard. I don’t want to see one at a zoo or on television or on the internet or anywhere else but my own neighborhood. My neighborhood is quite wooded, so it shouldn’t be that hard. Right?

Have you ever read Owl Moon by Jane Yolen? It used to be one of my favorite books to read to my children, and they heard it so often I think it became a favorite of theirs, too. In the story a young girl and her father go owling and the takeaway for owl watchers is this—you can’t do much other than hope an owl will come.

Sally asked people to write what steps they could take to achieve their bucket list dreams and the truth is I don’t know what steps to take. Aside from sitting outside at night, perfectly still, and hoping with all my might, is there anything else I should be doing? Perhaps people can share their suggestions in the comments because this bucket list item is going to be something I need some help doing.

Hopefully Amy will be seeing owls flying through her back garden soon but in the meantime here are some facts on owls with some observations….

My second bucket list item that doesn’t appear on Pinterest is to learn to speak Greek.

Somehow I think this will be easier than spotting an owl, but don’t quote me on that. I’m fascinated by the Greek language because it evokes an ancient wisdom and a culture that have largely been lost to us in modern times. When I think of the amazing scientific discoveries and the mind-bending philosophy that came from the ancient Greeks, I find myself just itching to have a better understanding of the language. I took Latin in high school for four years and loved every minute of it. I loved being able to read centuries-old texts in their original language. And I can only imagine that learning Greek would be even better, and probably more challenging.

Before you say, “You know modern Greek is not the same as what the ancient Greeks spoke, right?,” rest assured that I do know that. But I also believe that learning to speak Greek will bring me just a little closer to having a better understanding of history, philosophy, and language in general.

So here’s my plan: the BBC has a page (archived) on its website devoted to teaching people very basic Greek. Since free is good, I’ve also found some apps and YouTube channels that introduce beginners to the Greek alphabet and conversational Greek phrases.

My desire is to be able to say more than just “Where is the cheese?” or “I’d like red wine” (though these two phrases should serve me very well for many of my needs), so once I’ve learned some of the basics I expect to have to shell out some money for better lessons with more in-depth content.

I should mention that I’ve never been to Greece and I’m not sure I’ll ever get there. This can be good and bad—good in the sense that a native speaker may never hear me and thus not be offended by my feeble attempts to converse, and bad in the sense that I may never be able to immerse myself in a culture that speaks Greek fluently (communities in the United States that hold Greek festivals may be the closest I come to that). But I do hope that one day I can confidently say “Opa!” and know what I’m talking about.

Good luck Amy with learning Greek and here is something to get you started.

My thanks to Amy for sharing her two top items on her bucket list and I am sure you join me in wishing her every success in achieving them.

About Amy. M. Reade

USA Today Bestselling author Amy M. Reade writes women’s contemporary and gothic fiction. Her books have been compared to authors such as Daphne du Maurier, Phyllis Whitney, and Victoria Holt. Amy’s standalone novels feature vivid descriptions of exotic and fascinating locations, such as the Thousand Islands region of New York State, Charleston, South Carolina, and the Big Island of Hawaii. Most recently, she has been working on The Malice series, set in the United Kingdom.

A former attorney, Amy found that writing was her true calling. She loves cooking, reading, and travel.

Books by Amy M. Reade

The most recent review for Amy’s latest release Highland Peril

The adventure in the Highlands starts with a prologue, which befits the historical element needed to tell this tale. Here the true story of the removal of the Honours of Scotland from Dunnottar Castle are told, albeit with a tasty twist that then spawns the rest of the book. While the prologue is quite factual and descriptive, the slow start proves effective when the story switches to a first person narrative set in modern times. The marked change in technique jolts the reader into the lives of Sylvie and Seamus, man and wife, and owners of a small Scottish gallery where they craft and sell Seamus’s paintings & Sylvie’s photographs – all inspired by the stunning landscapes surrounding Cauld Loch.

When a painting – that has been sitting quietly in Seamus’s gallery for many years – garners interest from two buyers, all sorts of questions arise. Why now? Why this painting? But it is only when the purchaser is later found dead following a car crash that all sorts of conspiracies come to the fore. The “accident” brings the police to their door and from hereon the Carmichaels’ lives are plunged into danger – both physical and marital. The author unites the two threads effortlessly, making the reader want to know a)who killed the buyer? b)where is the painting now? and c)will Sylvie & Seamus survive the ordeal – or rather, will their marriage?

Happily, the author immerses the reader fully into Scottish life, using British terms like ‘trousers’ and ‘mobile phones’ to keep the characters relevant and true. (Although I did spy a ‘sidewalk’ and the use of ‘bills’ as money too – but this says more about me being pernickety than anything else). The scenery is painted – pardon the pun – with great skill and diligence, worthy of any material the Scottish Tourist Board might issue. I challenge any reader to not be enchanted by the imagery and want to immediately book a trip themselves.

The story moves at a good pace, it will keep you turning the pages – or scrolling – and there are many twists and turns ahead. The questions are neatly resolved by the end, but you will undoubtedly feel the need to read more by this author. It is a rare talent to combine history and mystery with contemporary settings, characters and situations. I could see these characters in a soap opera, they have great appeal but are thoroughly down-to-earth and believable. I loved the historical flavour and felt it made for an addictive plot.

Another great story from Amy M. Reade and one I’d recommend to any mystery reader with a love for history and Scotland.

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And Amazon UK:

Read more reviews and follow Amy on Goodreads:

Connect with Amy via her website and social media links:

Amazon Author Page:

Thank you for dropping in today and if you would like to participate in this series then please contact me on for details.

47 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Owls and Learning Greek by Amy M. Reade

  1. Amy, seeing an owl is exciting; but seeing one up close and personal is breathtaking. I happened upon one when hiking and camping in the Sierra. I felt that someone was watching me, so I turned and searched with my flashlight. Suddenly, there it was… an owl high in a tree, staring at me. Its beauty took my breath away. Are owls indigenous to your area? I hope you do see one. And best of luck learning Greek. Opa! 💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Tina, I am jealous! We do have owls in our area, but unfortunately I like to be in bed early. 🙂 We have some woods right behind our back fence and across the road, so maybe staying out late one night (or, more likely, many more than one) is in my future. They’re such amazing, majestic creatures.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, Amy. Owl Moon has been a favorite book of mine, too. I’ve been reading it to my preschool class for decades. I took them owling in the woods behind our school. How cool is that to go to school in the DARK with your Mom and dad and go owling. We saw an owl. Fast forward fifteen years: the school is meeting with the town board to get a building permit to expand. One of the town board members said, “I know the area you’re speaking about. I was there, owling with Jennie’s class.” Fast forward twenty years: A child in that class told me she still had the owl she made in my class after we had gone owling. So, I understand completely that seeing an owl is on your bucket list. I suggest you research the owls in your area. Are the woods close to you a home for owls? If you’re hearing them and know they live there… then you know what to do, everything that happened in Jane Yolen’s book. On top of that, practice the owl calls like Pa did. And be patient, like Pa. My very best to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Owls..I have some beautiful ceramics of owls as alongside frogs they are one of my favourites..Frogs I have a plenty in my garden and a resident toad who I have to shoo out on occasions very gently…Owls I have only seen in captivity and like you would love to see one but I don’t think that will be here.I also think for me anyway spotting an owl at some point would be easier than learning Greek although I did learn Latin at school so good luck and I hope you achieve both your top 2 …A lovely post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Sunday Interview – The Ultimate Bucket List – Owls and Learning Greek by Amy M. Reade – The Militant Negro™

  5. I hope you do get to see an owl, Amy. Living on the west coast of BC we saw them all the time. I even took my grandson to an owl rescue centre and he got to hold one. Perhaps if you could locate a rescue centre you could see one up close. As for learning Greek, best of luck. I live in Spain and should be learning Spanish but it has been slow going. Your books sound amazing, especially Highland Peril. it is now on my TBR list.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My husband and I decided long ago that we each wanted to learn another language (not necessarily the same language) and I chose French because I have a slight knowledge of that. But I’ve decided that I would rather learn Greek at this point. I’ve looked into the Thomas Michel materials and I don’t think they’re available in the US, though I could get them shipped from the UK.

      As far as owls go, I did get to hold an owl at a rescue-themed party once (they also had a skunk which had lost its scent glands, a snake, and other animals that escape me right now). I was amazed at how light it was. I’d like to see one in “the wild,” so I guess that will mean staying out late and having a flashlight handy.

      Thanks for the kind words. If you read Highland Peril, I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Two great things to have on your bucket list, Amy. I am pleased you have anything. I keep wracking my brain when I read these posts but I am failing to come up with anything that is really important to me in this regard. We live right near a bird sanctuary so we do get owls in our garden from time to time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As I mentioned in the post, my bucket list consists mainly of visiting places, but after giving it a bit of thought and reading another blog, I realized there are other things I do want to do someday. I suppose the third item on my list would be to take a cooking class in southern France or Italy. There is an area well-known for bird watching quite near my house in Cape May County, New Jersey, but I haven’t been down there yet. You’ve given me a great idea–I think I’ll head down there some evening to see if there are any owls about. Thanks!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Dionne Warwick, Hurricanes and Archives. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  8. Such cool items! I have to say, that I have seen an owl, in person. In my friend’s tree. She was rather impressed, because she said that no one else, not even her husband or children, had seen the owl, and yet, there it was, just sitting there. Learning to speak Greek? My former Chiropractor was from Greece and while we did become friends, he never attempted to teach me his native language. Pity, it would have been fun. Wishing you all the best, Amy. May your dreams come true.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Nice to see Amy join in here. I gather she hasn’t returned home yet, since she’s been in my town, Toronto since Wednesday at a conference, and unfortunately, we had no time to connect. 😦
    I spent a few months in Greece when I was younger – yes, I wrote a bit about it in a few of my books. And the language is a learning curve, but I managed to pick up a few phrases to get by. Sadly, I don’t remember much now except Kalimera and Kalispera – (forgive spelling?) – Good morning and Good night, lol. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Sally, again, I’m sorry I wasn’t able to visit yesterday. We had no cellular service all day on our travels. Thanks so much for featuring my bucket list items on your blog–I’m delighted with the feedback and encouragement! Opa! XO


  11. Okay, so about the owls… I lived in two RV parks.. one in AZ and one here in TX. Both had Owl residents! Although I never saw them, they sang loudly in the early morning, just before daylight! So, if you must sit and wait, I would suggest early morning!

    Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time or desire to learn another language, I do love Greek food! 😀

    Enjoy your week ladies!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Greek food is probably the reason my subconscious prompted me to want to learn Greek. 🙂

      Good suggestion for the owls–maybe I should go out before the sun rises and listen. I’ve always thought I heard mourning doves, but maybe they’re owls!

      Have a great week yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love owls. Great video! I’ve seen owls as there was a man nearby who had a sanctuary and used to bring some of them to fairs, and also at a birds’ of prey show but never life. I study with Duolingo (also free), so it’s worth trying (I wouldn’t say I’ve learned a lot of German, but I keep going, although greek is quite different, but I like the letters). Good luck, Amy!


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