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:

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