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Monday 20 June 2016

☀ Leaving Shangrila - Isabelle Gecils

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Leaving Shangrila, a Memoir by (, Morgan James Publishing, 330 pages).

Don't miss our interview with author Isabelle Gecils.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below.  Read the first four chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

Author Isabelle Gecils will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.  

Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), and guest blog posts (✉).

Synopsis | Teaser | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


Leaving Shangrila: The True Story of A Girl, Her Transformation and Her Eventual Escape by Isabelle Gecils, is the captivating memoir of a charmingly complex heroine.

Isabelle paints a colorful world as she tells the tale of how she forged her own path in the midst of turmoil. The story, set in Brazil where she grew up, is populated with fascinating characters, both good and bad. From a narcissistic mother to her perpetually flawed lovers to three resilient sisters, Leaving Shangrila’s motley crew make for an endlessly intriguing storyline.

Leaving Shangrila begins with young Isabelle, trapped in a hellish world. Surrounded by lies, manipulation, and abuse, Isabelle is desperate to escape the adversity of this place. Filled with tremendous strength and an unyielding drive to survive, she begins her journey toward freedom and self-realization. Through the trials and obstacles along the way, Isabelle goes back and forth to balance who she is with what she must do to survive.

With themes of perseverance, self-reliance, and the resilience of the human spirit, Leaving Shangrila: The True Story Of A Girl, Her Transformation and Her Eventual Escape highlights the important character traits one discovers on the path to finding their self. Truly empowering and inspirational, readers everywhere will relate to this coming of age story.

Teaser: Excerpt

Chapter 1

      My parents learned of our sex upon our birth. When Nathalie, my older sister, was born, she had the same translucent, green eyes that belonged to my mother.
      “Is it a boy?” was my mother’s first question upon the birth of her child.
      “She is a beautiful girl!” Grandmother Mathilda said.
      “She has eyes just as yours!” Grandfather Isidore exclaimed.
      “Oh,” my mother sighed, feeling disappointed.
      My mother had originally planned to raise her child on her own, without help. Yet, she soon hired a nanny to look after my sister and a maid to care for the house. She also called upon my grandparents for help, spending most of her days at their apartment in Rio de Janeiro and staying there whenever my father was traveling the world for his work.
      Within the same year, my mother got pregnant again.
      At the time of my birth, my mother posed the same question to her parents as they swiped the sweaty hair off her forehead and the doctor sutured her stomach from the C-section.
      “Is it a boy?” she asked, wanting to know my sex.
      “No, she is a girl,” my grandmother said cautiously. “She is beautiful and healthy!”
      “Another girl?” my mother asked, not hiding the disappointment that I was not a boy. As my mother later told me, she looked at me and commented, “At least she has green eyes,” as if the color of my eyes were compensation for the disappointment of my sex.
      “When you were born, Isa,” my mother said as she told me this story, “I asked my parents before I even saw you whether you were a boy. By the time your sister Catherine arrived, I did not even have to ask! Your Grandmother Mathilda knew better than to allow me to feel disappointed again, so she preempted my question by telling me Catherine was a girl. She even chose your baby sister’s name!”
      “Congratulations. Catherine is beautiful, and she has green eyes!” my grandmother said before my mother could ask about the sex of her third child or comment on the color of her eyes.

Leaving Shangrila
Available NOW!

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About the Author

Isabelle Gecils grew up in Shangrila, a remote farm in a lush jungle in Brazil. But who really knows where she hails from? Her immediate family hailed from 6 different countries: France (dad), Egypt (mom and grandma), Turkey (grandpa), Lithuania (grandpa) and Poland (grandma). There is a freedom in belonging nowhere and everywhere at the same time.

Leaving Shangrila is the story of Isabelle’s journey from a life others choose for her to one she created for herself. To support the writing of this memoir, Isabelle completed the Stanford Creative Nonfiction Writing certificate program.

She currently lives in Saratoga, California, with her husband, four sons and two territorial cats.

Follow Isabelle Gecils:

Visit the author's blog Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on LinkedIn Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads Visit the author on Instagram Visit the author on YouTube

Giveaway and Tour Stops

Enter to win a $30 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway
Remember to comment to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting

James Robert said...

Happy Monday! Weekend sure went by quick. Thank you for the giveaway

Victoria Alexander said...

Great teaser, thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Would love to read your book.

Isabelle Gecils said...

Hello James. Happy Monday to you also! Weekend flew by, especially because I was out of town and time flies even more during travels. You are welcome.

Isabelle Gecils said...

Thank you Victoria. I am glad that you think so. There is an art to master on how much of a book to talk about. It's been fun and a humbling journey to learn about all of that.

Isabelle Gecils said...

Thank you Becky. If you do read it, I hope you will love it. It is a story of personal transformation and triumph over adversity.

Sherry said...

Sounds like a very good book. Do you get a say in your covers?

Isabelle Gecils said...

Thank you Sherry. Yes, I shared with my publisher the concept of the cover design, which was based on a picture I took on my sons walking purposeful on a mountain ridge. I wanted a girl walking with a purpose on a mountain. The first version of the cover was exactly that. While it was beautiful, I could not relate to the girl at all. She was too hip, too cool, too sophisticated, and I was none of that when growing up. So I asked for a different girl. Instead of finding me a new girl, they sent me a link to thousands of photos so that I could look through. That is when I stumbled into the girl that now graces the cover of Leaving Shangrila. I knew in an instant that it was the right cover. Ai girl, walking with a purpose, messy hair, barefoot, wearing a dress and walking on a dirt path. Just perfect, really.

Isabelle Gecils said...

Thank you so much to Books Chatter for hosting me!