Reading Getaway’s April Author Spotlight – James Lingard by E. M. Duesel

THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED a fact based historical novel Britain in the 1930s; a novel inspired by real events; eloping; WW2. Emily falls passionately in love with working class Walter, despite fierce opposition from her class conscious father. She sees marriage as a partnership of equals and resolves to elope to escape such a male dominated society. Emily’s actions will see her struggle to survive the subsequent devastation brought about by the war, as she and her four year old son are thrown into the midst of danger and death. The family experience rationing and the terror of bombing. Their air raid shelter is destroyed by a direct hit. When Walter volunteers for the army, Emily and her son are evacuated to a rat infested cottage in a farming community near Hebden Bridge. The war changes Walter into an efficient army officer who demands to be obeyed. Emily worries that she might have a rival for his affections. How can she restore their loving relationship?

James Lingard comes from the serious inner workings of deep cerebral thought. He grew up in Hebden Bridge/Keighley Yorkshire in England, and his most formative years were spent at Dulwich College, a boarding school. It should not surprise you to learn his factual nature led him to practice Insolvency and Banking Law where during the course of the interview, he perked up at the very notion of addressing the state of a business. Is the business salvageable and are the employees still working?

He began writing at twenty when he published his first magazine article. It was a thrill seeing his writing in print and from that point he developed a love for it. He spent a long legal career writing legal briefs and books, among which is Lingard’s Bank Security Documents (LexisNexis Butterworths). When he retired, he decided to try something a bit different. Novels were a challenge and his first didn’t fair well commercially, but it led him to write the book THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED which is 90% fact based.

James loves history from the 19th century, but most of all he loves retirement. THE GIRL WHO DISAPPEARED can be purchased on

If you are an author and would like an interview and perhaps an article published about your story on Reading Getaway, please contact E. M. Duesel at

Reading Getaway’s February Author Spotlight – Rick Reed by E. M. Duesel

In rural Indiana, the underground mines that once held coal and iron ore have become killing grounds. In two counties, five corpses have been discovered. Their deaths appear accidental, from drowning or suffocating in flooded and abandoned mines. But local authorities, including Chief Shaunda Lynch, have uncovered evidence suggesting they’ve all been murdered.
Assigned to the case as Federal Agents, Detectives Jack Murphy and Liddell Blanchard take charge of the investigation. Shaunda’s proven herself more than capable of policing her jurisdiction and resents the intrusion of male authority figures. As Jack digs deep into the case, he discovers the victims have checkered pasts. But no matter who believes the killings are justified, someone still has to pay for the crime . . .

Rick Reed has always been a reader, and loves Nelson DeMille, John Sanford, John Grisham and, of course, Stephen King. By this admission alone I detected a writer with an understanding of mystery and intrigue, but also an appreciation of detail and a sense of the importance to gauge a human emotional response from his readers. He says that he lets his characters write the story. Rick describes his approach, “If a scene makes me start to tear up, I know it will make my readers almost cry. If it makes me angry, I know it will convey the same.”

His writing career started out as an I wonder kind of journey. Still working as a policeman, he sat down and began to write a novel. There was no intention of getting it published; he just wanted to see if he could write one. By the end of three months he had written three hundred pages. In his estimation they were all bad, but he had tasted the thrill of writing and had completed his first book. This led to his very first published novel which he co-wrote with Steven Walker. Blood Trail is a true crime book about a serial killer that Rick had apprehended as a police officer. It was picked up and published by Kensington Books and they offered him a contract to continue to write true crimes. However, he had worked closely with not only the victims’ families, but the families of the suspects as well and did not want to drag up their personal pain in his novels. Kensington later signed him for his crime novels.

Although Rick has two master’s degrees, one in Public Administration and the other in Criminal Justice, his real policing background has given him experience which in turn shows through in his novels. Although his police career provides endless background, the most horrifying experience in his life has influenced the depth of his writing. In 2011, he was in an accident that left him with broken bones but also a concussion with a brain injury. In addition, the accident left him with a form of PTSD, where he relived the accident whenever he closed his eyes, or even if he witnessed someone falling or getting hurt. He feared his life as a mystery writer might be over.

Bike riding each morning to a coffee shop, he forced himself to type and to write. It was painful and tedious, but even though the writing didn’t meet his standards, he gradually returned to normal. The true turning point came when he wrote his brain injury into a character in a novel. This led to his third book. Nine years later he has completed nine fiction novels.

Writing comes from an author’s essence. It may seem to some that it is having a proper grasp of sentence structure and grammar, but it must come from the soul of life experience. Many have said that an artist must suffer before they can truly express something great. If this is so, Rick Reed is the example. He didn’t give up, and he continues to believe in his characters.

Rick offers the following words to those thinking about writing. “Just a word of advice to beginning and first-time authors. Write what you like. If you like it someone else will. Don’t worry about reviews. Readers can be wrong or just nasty. Don’t let anyone tell you how to write. You have to do this for yourself. Your style. Your words. Your voice.” He also went on to advise about spousal interference, but I will happily leave that in your capable hands.

If you are interested in all of Rick Reed’s books, you may visit his website at

Happy reading everyone, and thanks for joining us at Reading Getaway.

Reading Getaway’s First Podcast!

Hello Everyone! I’m gathering information to discuss on my first Reading Getaway Podcast! I hope to answer questions about my books, discuss Independent authorship, or even your favorite book or author. As we become more proficient we hope to have authors available for you to talk to. You can give your input in the comment section of this website or you may email me at I would love your input ASAP!

Reading Getaway’s Author Spotlight for January – D. J Swykert’s The Poolboy’s Beatitude, by E. M. Duesel

Jack Joseph understands physics. He understands the nature of quarks, leptons, dark matter and the desire to find the God particle. What Jack doesn’t understand is Jack. He has a Masters degree in particle physics, an ex-wife, a sugar mama into spanking, a passion for cooking and chronic dependencies he needs to feed. He cleans pools to maintain this chaotic lifestyle. Spinning about in a Large Hadron Collider of his own making, facing a jail term, the particle known as Jack is about to collide with a particle known as Sarah.

The Pool Boy’s Beatitude convincingly portrays a life of romance, addiction and entropy filled with drink, drugs and sex, broken with the miseries of ruined relationships and balanced on a needle of false hope. Somehow through it all the story is hopeful, positive, humorous and oddly enticing. The question is not so much will Jack survive as how will he survive, because surely, behind all this science, there has to be a truth worth living for. A thinking reader’s romance novel, the Pool Boy’s Beatitude creates a character you long to hate and makes you love him.

In preparation for a spotlight, I start by asking an author to tell me something about themselves and how they drifted into writing. D. J. Swykert, from the very first contact, was upbeat and fun and I had a sense that his novels would follow suit. But even more enjoyable was learning about his path to becoming a published novelist. He started as a young man working in law enforcement as a 911 operator. He seemed to have no trouble using those oh so necessary powers of observation and found it easy to fit into an author’s lifestyle. By that I mean that he has allowed himself the room to explore life with all its trappings and foibles and uses those experiences to mold his stories and characters.

D. J. began with writing poetry to impress a young woman. This in itself reveals a delicious romantic side and a whimsey for life that most people covet. His observations have produced both adventure and mystery novels which is no surprise for a person who raised two wolf cubs while living on the Keweenaw Peninsula and now resides with a feral cat named Mister. He believes in directness in his writing, a trait he adapted from his favorite author, Ernest Hemingway, but because of his demeanor I note a detour towards pure joy and surrender to life’s most ironic intervals.

Although his prior work leaned towards adventure and mystery, The Pool Boy’s Beatitude appears to be a deep examination of life, addiction, and a general introspection of how mere existence can become so very complicated.

D. J. Swykert’s novels include Children of the Enemy, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, Alpha Wolves, For the Love of Wolves, Sweat Street, The Death of Anyone, Three-fingered Jack Davis and The Pool Boy’s Beatitude.  For more information on where to purchase his novels visit his website:

Reading Getaway’s December Author Spotlight – Victor Swatsek by E. M. Duesel

Victor Swatsek immigrated to the United States from Australia when he was seven years old. As a child he was attracted to mechanical drafting which morphed into a love for technical illustration. Just as Victor’s career was taking off, it was interrupted to perform his duty as a soldier in the United States Army. As most authors draw from their life experiences, Victor retained unique information from his experiences in the service and has incorporated them into stories for his books.

After the army, he went back to work as a technical illustrator and then a consultant for different aerospace companies. During his time as a technical illustrator he picked up a knack for writing. When he left his career of thirty-three years, he decided to use his gift of imagination and try his hand at writing action thrillers. Every author has a book they used as a chew toy, and Victor says that he wasn’t happy with his first two novels and chose to rewrite them. Writing is all about practice as well as reading authors who inspire you. His favorite authors are John McDonald, John Grissom, and Robert Ludlum.

Victor is a prolific writer and plans to write twenty-five books in his series. The result is a string of sixteen books, with the sixteenth book, The Paris Vendetta, coming out in early 2020. They all contain specific characters that reappear depending upon the story line. He uses the skills learned as an illustrator to map out an organizational chart to track the ages and businesses of each one. As an author his strength lies with his ability to organize his plots. If you are interested in a single, Victor does have one novel that has no ties to the series entitled The Last Crusader. You can find all of Victor Swatsek’s books on and you may visit his site at

Until next time, happy reading and Happy Holidays from Reading Getaway.