Welcome to Reading Getaway

Hello, and thank you for visiting Reading Getaway.  The purpose of this site and the accompanying books is to take you away from all of the noises in your head and saturate your brain with illuminating stories of people, places, and situations beyond your normal environment.  Readers are thrown into adventures where they experience falling in love, true and loyal friendships, and exhausting and many times life threatening circumstances.  The characters are molded from real people met through the author’s own professional experiences.  They are specifically tailored to excite you as well as fill your heart with compassion and understanding.

Currently, Reading Getaway helps you to discover where you can purchase books by E. M. Duesel.  It also will delight you with a few short stories written just for fun.  In the future, you can look forward to short videos of interviews with readers, but also other authors.

The first three chapters of the revised edition of the book, Deathlinks can be found in the archives on this website.  You can purchase Deathlinks as a paperback for $16.95 or as an ebook for $2.99 on KDP Amazon.com.

“Riveting! This book has a unique perspective on life and death and our responsibility to the creator. The characters, both alive and deceased, work together to come to a perfect end. A must read. I cannot wait for her next book!”   ~ Amazon 5 Star Review

“I have always enjoyed a good EOTW thriller, one wrought with real-life apocalyptic horrors that can actually happen, to anyone at any time, and Duesel has conjured up a true winner. She has a realistic narrative voice that is powerful and gentle at the same time, and I enjoyed her writing style.”  ~ Manuscript Analyst, Outskirts Press

Deathlinks cover

Her life is not hers, and her gift is from God, but Emily Walker wields the ability to see into the otherworld as a weapon against evil.  The End Times are coming and it is a race to the finish line, with Lucifer as her iniquitous foe.  Souls are at stake, and lives that had lived through many lifetimes together, are now gathered for the Apocalypse.  The battles grow fierce and the conflicts are bloody, but the earth’s deathlinks, warriors, and mediums are up to the challenge to save the world from total damnation.  Their mantra in salvation resounds loud and strong – purity is power.

ILLEGAL Book Cover

As with Deathlinks, the first three chapters of Illegal have also been posted to readinggetaway.com.  Enjoy the thrill! Illegal can be purchased from Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and from the Savant Book Store. Illegal is now available as an eBook!  Check out the following link: https://www.prlog.org/12750347-aignos-publishing-announces-the-release-of-duesels-novel-illegal-in-ebook-format.html

“What an awesome eye-opening fictional story based on facts!! The writing engaged my compassion and intelligence such that I learned so much about the plight of Mexican-American legal and illegal immigrants and their descendants and how vast hate-groups infiltrate all levels of American society. I have been working with many amongst these vulnerable groups yet still learned much. I cannot wait to read further works by E. M. Duesel.”  ~ Amazon.com 5 Star Review

“Such an interesting read! This book keeps you turning pages through a thrilling and suspenseful adventure. Duesel is truly a great storyteller: with descriptive and honest writing, she’s able to create an incredibly engaging and informative narrative through diverse and well developed characters (the clever protagonist Rush was likable from the start). While encapsulating these characters, Duesel provides a better understanding of the cultural hatred and negative social conditions of Latino-Americans and Latino immigrants.  Illegal is filled with unexpected turns, making you eager to find out what happens next. This powerful exploration results in a captivating book that encourages progressive discussion. Thoroughly recommended!” ~ Google Books 5 Star Review

Kidnapped by a hate group called The Alliance, 12 year old Rush Pena witnesses the murder of three other immigrant child victims before escaping with his life.  His testimony brings the murderers to justice through the courts, but not without making Rush and his family the focus and eventual target of every hate group in America for the next six years.

When the killings hit home, the whole Pena family and some exceptionally skilled friends are dragged into stopping the cartels and hate groups before more lives are destroyed.  During the investigation they discover that the Alliance and a black hate group are working together to kidnap girls and sell them to the Mexican cartels.  Kidnapping, murder and rescues abound and as Rush must leave for his freshman year at Harvard, he discovers that hatred is not just limited to the Border States. 


As of August 2nd, 2018, E. M. Duesel’s newest novel Homeless becomes available for purchase on Amazon.com, and Amazon purchase sites all over the world. Just like her other books, the first three chapters of Homeless can be found on Reading Getaway.  Fasten your seat belts for another exciting adventure.

“Duesel has created a new genre with her books. Homeless describes the plight of people victimized for no other reason than a quirk of fate. The book is strong, without being preachy. It’s an engaging and thoughtful work. I highly recommend this book, and I can’t wait for the next.” ~ Amazon.com 5 Star Review

He has lost everything. Life’s turbulent path had already taken Jeff Townsend’s wife by cancer, but now the company he worked for was filing bankruptcy and closing its doors. Jeff’s wife’s medical bills depleted him financially and losing his job left him homeless. As a last resort, he moves to Michigan to live with his brother. As he settles in, he is driven to understand this deplorable social condition and becomes friends with a band of homeless people, a passionate priest and beautiful rabbi. Together they tackle the problems, but personally rub up against its dangerous sting. Jeff is propelled into an adventure of precarious existence led by life’s brutal interruptions. What he realizes is that homelessness is more than a battle for survival. It is a fight to maintain dignity in a world where hope is sometimes tied to money and influence, and people who judge rather than understand.

Please feel free to read all of the chapters, posts, and short stories at your leisure.  The author loves to write for people who love to read.  Enjoy!

For media inquiries, please contact:

Margaret Bakle

Media Coordinator


Introduction to Wildflowers by E. M. Duesel

The Center for Disease Control has cited mental health issues in the United States as its greatest health problem. It creates costs greater than cancer and heart disease. Yet, as a society we still bury it, we are still ashamed of it and we still hold back from exposing the root of some of the problem. What is worse is the cause and effect of most mental health issues is known but remains unaddressed.

       Society must laud these valiant souls, wildflowers if you will, who struggle to make a life for themselves in a world that can’t comprehend what they feel, see, or hear, especially when off their meds. They are pegged the bad kids in school, the odd people at work or in social situations. Their behaviors reflect what is going on inside and this internal confusion can be a daily occurrence. Their emotions are murky, and they drown in their agony to love another, to live with others, to express their always above average intelligence with the world – in short, to be.

          Those who have been diagnosed with one of many Social Behavioral Disorders struggle to focus on everyday realities. Even though the origins of these mental disorders cannot be traced in all people, most victims have been deeply traumatized from physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse, and their brains have been transformed by that experience. While not all psychologists agree, there are research scientists who have labeled this as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) which develops due to exposure at an early age to trauma from violence or family dysfunction. Depending upon the severity of the trauma, they acquire varying degrees of social behavioral disorders such as, borderline personality disorder, bi-polar disorder, clinical depression, and schizophrenia (Van Der Kolk, 2015). Anyone who has been exposed to someone who has experienced childhood molestation, rape, physical abuse, and neglect may have witnessed the lack of reason displayed when that person is challenged or misperceives an injustice aimed at them. Literal screams swell from their souls masked by their inability to relay their pain. They are the shrieks from past abuse; from the lack of compassion they experienced while growing up and the latent cries of their shattered souls. The pain that they have suffered, has been stuffed down deep inside as though they are the ones to blame for their abuse, and they are ashamed of it. Because of this, they constantly struggle to see the world as a “normal” and it will forever elude them. The fight continues daily.

       According to Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D. (2015), people who are traumatized become hypervigilant and numb, and therefore have a hard time enjoying simple life experiences. They keep themselves safe by living superficial lives and conducting superficial relationships and invent their own realities. In some, they cannot express deep emotion, but rather create a scenario in their minds that they can accept. These stories to others seem like lies or the acting out of a movie script in real life (Personal Communications/Observations, 2017). Reasons why they lie could be attributed to delusions, memory lapses, manic symptoms like grandiosity, and impulsiveness. For those with bi-polar disorder it could be due to bipolar/creativity connection, and then the lies might be attributed to a clash of racing thoughts and pressured speech. Their lies are based on their impulsivity, shame, and intense emotions (Salters-Pedneault, K., 2019). In time, the “lies” affect their credibility and destroy relationships and real opportunities.

       Adverse Childhood Experiences. Vincent Felitti, in 1985, started a longitudinal study lasting 25 years of people who experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). He discovered that one out of ten people are sworn at, insulted, and put down by someone in their household. More than a quarter have been pushed slapped and were often hit so hard they were injured. Twenty-eight percent of women and sixteen percent of men have been sexually molested or raped, and one in eight people have witnessed their mothers being physically hurt by their partner.

       With the information learned from his research, Felitti developed a scoring system called the ACE score. It ranges from zero to ten. By using this system, he was able to see a direct link between trauma and related social behavioral disorders. What he concluded is that incidents of abuse are directly correlated to psychological damage that manifests into behaviors which first surface in school. Society looks at them as behavioral problems because the victims don’t comply with educational social norms. In other words, they can’t respond to a regulated educational model.

       As the amount of personal suffering increases, according to the ACE score, the psychological outcomes are more severe. Children who were first diagnosed with ADD or ADHD at the onset of school, can be later diagnosed with clinical depression, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, reactive attachment disorder, bi-polar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and schizophrenia which result in alcoholism, drug abuse and suicide. Children who experienced sexual abuse and severe mental, emotional, and physical abuse can suffer from a variety of these disorders at the same time.

       The most common remedy has been to prescribe drugs and therapy. Studies suggest that people who are clinically depressed due to a lack of natural serotonin, do well with these drugs. However, those who have developed behavioral disorders due to trauma, especially anxiety and depression, have a positive reaction to the drug therapy for only a short time, and need increases in the dosage over their lifetimes (Van Der Kolk, 2015).

       As per Robert Anda, a researcher for the CDC, the total costs of child abuse in the United States exceed those of cancer and heart disease. Ending child abuse in America would cut the rate of depression in half, alcoholism by two-thirds, and suicide, IV drug use, and domestic violence by three-fourths. While some in the psychiatric field disagree with this conclusion, there are others who believe that “… early maltreatment has enduring negative effects on brain development. Our brains are sculpted by our early experiences. Maltreatment is a chisel that shapes a brain to contend with strife, but at the cost of deep, enduring wounds. Childhood abuse isn’t something you ‘get over.’ It is an evil that we must acknowledge and confront if we aim to do anything about the unchecked cycle of violence in this country.” – Martin Teicher, MD, PhD, Scientific American.

       Domestic violence in American culture has always been looked upon as a “private matter.” A shady secret which could ruin the lives of the abuser, victims prefer not to destroy the abuser’s reputation as well as make their family, especially the children, a spectacle for public attention and ridicule. It often is hidden for financial reasons. The abuser could easily lose his/her source of income, which would put the family at risk. For these reasons, domestic violence as the root cause of most Social Behavior Disorders, goes unchecked.

       Education. As stated by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the numbers of children with behavioral disorders in grades K-12 is increasing. Contending with disruptions in class and the inability to keep children affected by behavioral problems focused affects the outcomes of all the children in the classroom. Perhaps the dilemma is in the way that behavioral disorders have been approached in the past. “We’re losing a lot of kids and a lot of teachers because we still view challenging kids the wrong way and handle them in ways that don’t address their true difficulties” (Greene, R. W., Ph.D., 2014)

       When I was an afterschool program coordinator, I had the opportunity to observe and interact with six individual children who had been marked as “challenging” or “difficult.” They all found ways to interrupt other kids when they were studying or reading. It wasn’t that these children were of below average intelligence. On the contrary, they were all brilliant in one or more areas of study. So, my interns and work study people came up with certain learning tables. The most effective was what was called “the Math Circle.” The work study intern, who was studying to be an engineer, put difficult algebraic equations on a white board. All six of these children took part in the game of figuring out the answer. It was the most absorbed anyone had ever seen them. They stayed occupied for the entire two and a half hours.

       Other tables introduced were storytelling tables, writing tables and art tables. Some of these had already been part of the afterschool program, but we challenged them playfully. For example, we had a live Trivial Pursuit game, where the kids had to get a ball into the basket of the category they wanted to answer. It required movement and they loved it.

       In the scheme of education, play and calm acceptance instead of strict discipline by way of yelling or demands in a vocal exchange, works better for children with ACE to become receptive to further learning experiences. After interviews with young adults from eighteen to twenty-seven, who were trying to live with their behavioral disorders, I discovered that they preferred learning environments that allowed freedom to wander. It’s important to note that 90 percent of them had experienced physical, mental, and emotional abuse by a parent. All of them wished that they had experienced open learning environments when they were younger. They enjoyed and benefited from less structure and more independent study. Their behavior would have been better, because the demands of learning would have been left up to them. It was a way to learn more about their individual abilities. Each participant expressed the notion that he/she needed individual time to sort the learning challenge out on their own. People not only distracted them but annoyed them. It seemed that if they had to work with others, they preferred small groups with a maximum of four people. One of them referenced Delight Learning which is a program developed in China where students study English at their own pace (Personal Communications, 2018).

       The basis for my upcoming book, Wildflowers, is a “what if” scenario. Taking into consideration the vast numbers of students struggling to learn despite their overwhelming mental challenges, my goal is to take a new approach to learning. It will explore the effects of abuse on children and how, as teenagers, they cope with it. Of course, the characters are as daring, and fun filled as always. But the story peeks into the lives of kids who are simmering with unseen restrained despair, the likes of which we can only imagine. If you want more information, you will just have to wait until August 2019. Ta-ta, and thanks for reading.   E. M. Duesel