Publishing News

  • Five-Part Science Fiction Saga “Darkleich” Being Published July 19

    Bryan Barton

    “Darkleich” chronicles mission to prevent interstellar conflict and maintain galactic peace

    ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, June 22, 2022 / -- Bryan Barton’s riveting, five-part science fiction saga, “Darkleich,” which chronicles the eponymous soldier and investigator mission to prevent interstellar conflict and maintain galactic peace, is being published July 19.

    The series is comprised of “Darkleich: Man of War,” “Darkleich: Elegant Violence,” “Darkleich: Beyond the Storm,” “Darkleich: Blood of Earth” and “Darkleich: Cry of Fury.”

    The “Darkleich” series goes beyond Earth’s boundaries and takes readers into the boundless adventures of the bold Criminal Retrieval Unit, as they race to investigate, chase and bring back to justice wanted interplanetary criminals from the 15 planets that are part of the United Alliance of Interplanetary Worlds.

    Explaining his inspiration for the series, Barton said, “I started writing my book in 2006 while working in Iraq, where I had to deal with all the daily chaos, mortars hitting the camp and constant gunfire. So, writing this book was a much-needed distraction and developing the full sequel concept that will follow this first part has been a lengthy and deeply personal project that helped me to deal with a lot of issues.”

    In the series’ first book, “Darkleich: Man of War,” a cloaked vessel attacks a coalition of planets, which prompts the panicked leaders to appoint Darkleich to get to the bottom of the attacks. The mystery vessel is possibly connected to the species known as the Kadarian and the entire galaxy is in danger. The truth is buried in the annals of galactic history and Darkleich must find the reason behind the attacks, as well as the true perpetrators despite the immense dangers arrayed before him.

    “Darkleich: Elegant Violence” begins when the powerful Chancellor Junar survives an assassination attempt and seeks vengeance. Darkleich is once more tasked to find the parties responsible, and now he leads the Criminal Retrieval Unit of the interplanetary coalition, which has grown into the United Alliance for Interplanetary Worlds. Darkleich goes on the pursuit of Zigart, a notorious interstellar criminal, but unexpected twists and betrayals await him.

    “Darkleich: Beyond the Storm” continues where the previous installment left off, with Darkleich in pursuit of a formidable crime lord commanding a vast network of henchmen. There is danger at every turn, as Darkleich and his companions must contend with current threats and revisit their harrowing histories as they race against time to stop the crime lord’s plans for mass destruction.

    “Darkleich: Blood of Earth” follows the titular hero on a mission to Earth, now a lifeless husk due to an asteroid impact in the year 2165. They are there to retrieve a destructive device, but upon their arrival they make a shocking discovery: namely that the world is not as uninhabited as they thought. They encounter underground civilizations and formidable foes and race against time to complete their mission – the recovery of a planet-killing weapon that cannot fall into the wrong hands.

    The final book, “Darkleich: Cry of Fury,” has the tireless soldier and hero confront two of his most dangerous adversaries yet, an ally and friend who now stands apart from Darkleich and a megalomaniac who aims to dominate the galaxy and has sworn to kill Darkleich. The galaxy’s savior must weather attacks from all sides to save interstellar civilization one more time.

    “This is not just another fantasy novel. I wanted to develop a story that people could really relate to aside from the fiction element to it,” Barton said. “I have used a wealth of personal experiences and things that I have witnessed to create a story that is really worth reading. Plus, more than aspiring to offer just a piece of entertainment literature, these books send out a powerful message: it doesn’t matter where you come from in life; as long as you’re committed to go where you want to go, nobody and nothing can ever hold you back.”

    For more information about the “Darkleich” series, visit To pre-order the books, visit Amazon.


    Bryan Barton
    PR Services

  • Acclaimed Children's Author & Illustrator Ashley Belote's New Book LISTEN UP, LOUELLA, To Be Released June 21st

    Listen Up, Louella

    Author/Illustrator Ashley Belote

    RESTON, VA, USA, June 13, 2022 / -- Known for her vibrant illustrations and engaging wordplay, acclaimed children's writer and artist Ashley Belote's delightful new book LISTEN UP, LOUELLA will be released at major retailers and via Amazon on June 21st by publisher Feiwel & Friends.

    Engaging and lesson filled, this colorfully drawn tale follows the adorable elephant, Louella, on her adventures at Roar Scout Camp. Louella learns valuable lessons about listening and being a good friend.

    A student of the legendary animator Don Bluth, Ms. Belote's books and art have been critically lauded and continue to garner new fans of all ages, so LISTEN UP, LOUELLA is a welcome addition to her children's literary canon.


    Louella is VERY excited to be at Roar Scout Camp. There's so many fun things for her to do! But Louella is so busy having fun that she doesn't stop to listen to anyone else... Or to realize that maybe her new friends aren't having quite as much fun as she is.

    When Louella misses an important invitation, it's up to Tarantula and the rest of their friends to help Louella learn to listen and play together.

    Ryan Levey/Shaili Priya
    Allen Media Strategies
    +1 703-589-8960
    email us here
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  • Mom’s Choice Awards® Names Best Products & Services of May 2022

    Mom's Choice Awards logo

    Summary: Mom’s Choice Awards® is pleased to announce the latest products and services to earn our distinction.

    CHESAPEAKE, VA, UNITED STATES, June 3, 2022 / -- Mom’s Choice Awards® Names Best Products & Services of May 2022

    Summary: Mom’s Choice Awards® is pleased to announce the latest products and services to earn our distinction. The products and services you see here have been rigorously evaluated by consumers and experts around the world and are held to the highest standards of excellence.

    Full Release:

    Mom’s Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for children, families, and educators. The program is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. The evaluation process uses a proprietary methodology in which entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost.

    “Our aim is to introduce families and educators to best-in-class products and services,” explains Dawn Matheson, Executive Director of the Mom’s Choice Awards®. “We are passionate about helping families grow emotionally, physically and spiritually. Parents and educators know that products and services bearing our seal of approval are high-quality, great value purchases. The MCA evaluation program is designed to incorporate the expertise of scientists, physicians and other specialists; but we also engage parents, children, educators, and caregivers because they are experts in knowing what is best for their families.”

    This month, Mom’s Choice Awards® has selected winners in the following categories:
    • Gear, Accessories & Personal Use
    • Food & Supplements
    • Educational Products & Electronic Learning
    • Apps and Software
    • Children’s Picture Books
    • Toys, Games & Puzzles
    • Juvenile Level 1 (Ages 5 to 8)
    • Juvenile Level 2 (Ages 9 to 12)
    • Miscellaneous
    • Young Contributors

    Gear, Accessories & Personal Use
    - Baby Swaddle Blanket
    - Waterproof Baby Bib
    - Babyletto Toco Swivel Glider and Ottoman in Eco-Performance Fabric
    - Cubtale
    - TotCraft Bed Safety Rail for Toddlers
    - TotCraft Baby Carrier
    - BabyDink
    - Oilogic Slumber & Sleep 2-in-1 Essential Oil Vapor Bath & Shampoo
    - Oilogic Stuffy Nose & Cough Essential Oil Vapor Bath
    - Children's USDA Organic Dragon Fruit Toothpaste
    - Children's USDA Organic Coconut Banana Toothpaste
    - Boiess Clean, Natural Mom & Me Eau de Cologne
    - Ilado Mother-Baby Bonding Box

    Food & Supplements
    - Kids Good Stuff

    Educational Products & Electronic Learning
    - The Preschool Box
    - BYJU’S Magic Workbooks featuring Disney Premium Kits
    - Miko 3

    Apps and Software
    - Zebrainy - ABC Kids Games
    - BYJU’S Learning App featuring Disney
    - Luca & Friends

    Children’s Picture Books
    - French Nursery Rhymes
    - Spanish Nursery Rhymes - Las Ruedas del Autobús
    - Spanish Nursery Rhymes - La Vaca Lola
    - Spanish Nursery RhymesSpanish Nursery Rhymes
    - Chinese Nursery Rhymes
    - Night Market
    - Best Friends Forever: A Puppy's Tale
    - The Strongest Thing
    - Bakaasur - The Ice Cream (Maker) Monster
    - Squire With Fire - Disappearance of Luka
    - Amy and the Tortoise - How Animals Saved the Planet
    - Brady and the Backyard Monster
    - The Friendly Bookshelf
    - Happenstance Farms Catch That Pony
    - Alycat and the Cattywampus Wednesday
    - The girl who wanted to be an Astronaut
    - The Nutcracker Tchaikovsky
    - Jingle Bells Nursery Rhymes
    - Octavia Can Do It!
    - Yes, I See You

    Toys, Games & Puzzles
    - Animal Rhymes Music Book™
    - Kick & Score Playgym™
    - eco ebba – Luvsters
    - eco ebba – Plush
    - eco ebba - Rattle Plush
    - Turn & Learn Ferris Wheel™
    - 3-in-1 Starry Skies Sheep Soother™
    - LeapFrog 100 Things That Go™
    - LeapFrog Ironing Time Learning Set™
    - OuiSi Nature: Games of Visual Connection
    - The Moodies
    - Rift Ball Dual Net Paddle Game

    Juvenile Level 1 (Ages 5 to 8)
    - Zoey Wonders Why: What am I? Who am I?
    - Farting Baba and GrandkidsFarting Baba and Grandkids

    Juvenile Level 2 (Ages 9 to 12)
    - Drawing 100 Fun and Easy Trees

    - Aquapaw Orignal Pet Bathing Tool

    Young Contributors
    - KidQuest

    To see the full list of May 2022 award-winning products, please view the full media release


    Mom's Choice Awards

    Renee Fackler
    Mom’s Choice Awards® Names Best Products & Services
    email us here
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  • ‘The Morning Jam’ Welcomes ‘Orange Socks’ Author Jim Lamb to Its Anniversary Show on Dec. 7

    Official Morning JAM logo

    Janet Rose and Mark Lamb host "The Morning JAM" Mondays through Fridays, from 6 a.m.-9 a.m.

    Jim Lamb, author of “Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales,” will be among the guests Dec. 7 as “The Morning Jam” celebrates its first anniversary.

    We live in a world where people feel so divided. Mark and I try to offer encouragement, hope and empowerment.”
    — Janet Rose
    LYNCHBURG, VA, USA, December 3, 2021 / -- As a journalist, Jim Lamb interviewed candidate Jimmy Carter in a grocery store parking lot, went scuba-diving with the Weeki Wachee Mermaids, and worked out with a high school football team, passing out as a photographer fired off shots—but being a guest on his brother’s radio show is at the top of his bucket list.

    Lamb can check that item off his list Tuesday, Dec. 7.

    “I’m as giddy as a kid who just won on Jeopardy,” says the 74-year-old writer who had for years encouraged his younger brother Mark to pursue a full-time career in broadcasting—a dream that became reality just a year ago.

    “We’re just two construction workers who followed their passion—one to be a writer; the other, a broadcaster.”

    Lamb became a full-time journalist at age 30 in 1977 when he went to work as a reporter for The Tampa Tribune; Mark became a full-time broadcaster at age 62 in 2020 when he joined veteran radio personality Janet Rose on a brand new morning show called “The Morning JAM” on the Virginia Talk Radio Network. (J stands for Janet; M stands for Mark.)

    The Morning JAM, which launched Dec. 7 last year, airs Mondays through Fridays, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and can be heard online at

    Janet describes the popular morning show as a radio family.

    “I have laughed and cried with these listeners,” she said. “We live in a world where people feel so divided. Mark and I try to offer encouragement, hope and empowerment. … One thing we try to encourage is community engagement.”

    Lamb says he’s a big fan of Janet and Mark, setting his alarm early enough to perk a cup of coffee and tune in to the show.

    “Listening to Mark on the radio reminds me of the many times (way back when) he used to be-bop around town as a teenager, talking on the CB, and squawking his handle ‘Kawasaki Kid,’ pretending he was drivin’ an 18-wheeler.”

    While Mark had dreams of a broadcasting career, Jim dreamed of becoming a writer—but he figured he’d need a degree, so he attended the University of South Florida. As a Vietnam Veteran, he was able to afford college thanks to the G.I. Bill. His military service also provided the fodder for a book: “Orange Socks & Other Colorful Tales,” a collection of sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, short stories about how he survived Vietnam and kept his sense of humor.

    “It’s not a bang-bang-shoot-’em-up,” the retired journalist said. “My job description in the Navy was Aviation Electronics Technician, so it was kinda like workin’ in a Radio Shack at the edge of a war zone.”

    Even though he’s retired, Lamb still writes. Recently he was tapped by a nationally syndicated radio show called “Joy on Paper” to contribute little “Literary Gems” for listeners who want to become writers. Topics have included: Alliteration, Metaphors, Hyperbole, Onomatopoeia, Inciting Incidents, Opening Lines, and Foreshadowing. Each segment lasts two-to-three minutes.

    “All of his gems are cute and interesting and memorable,” said the show’s host Patzi Gil. “That’s what people who are just starting off writing need.”

    Lamb’s writing tips can be heard at He also can be heard during The Morning JAM anniversary show on Tuesday, Dec. 7, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., on the Virginia Talk Radio Network, which includes the communities of Roanoke, Lynchburg, Bedford, Danville, and Smith Mountain Lake.

    ABOUT: Jim Lamb is the author of “Orange Socks” as well as a contributor to the nationally syndicated radio show “Joy on Paper.” For more about Lamb and his writing, visit

    Jim Lamb
    JSL Stories
    +1 727-505-8720
    email us here

  • New Podcast - Trauma and Schools: A District Leaders Roundtable

    Image of Trauma and Schools Podcast: A District Leaders Roundtable

    Trauma and Schools: A District Leaders Roundtable

    Trauma and Schools: A District Leaders Roundtable

    The coronavirus did not create the need for trauma-informed healing and resilience focused practices. But it certainly exacerbated the need to address the amount of stress and adversity experienced.”
    — Jesse Kohler, Exec. Dir., Campaign for Trauma Informed Policy and Practices
    VIENNA, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, November 20, 2021 / -- For two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought fear, uncertainty, and chaos into our lives. Children and educators alike returned to school this fall, though it was certainly not the return to normal they had imagined. Students are struggling as they juggle an unprecedented scenario: a global health crisis, overwhelmed and under-resourced educators, and high expectations for their academic success. Mental health and well-being must be a priority as we struggle to recover from our individual and collective trauma, grief, and loss.

    How are schools addressing our ‘new normal’? What support is being offered to heal and develop resilience? How is your district spending its ESSER or other stimulus funds that have been established to improve the safety and well-being of students and staff in schools?

    The latest episode from the Cultivating Resilience Podcast: A Whole Community Approach for Alleviating Trauma in Schools features a roundtable with educators and district leaders who share their wisdom on mental health and well-being during and after the pandemic. Learn how they are allocating resources to strengthen the resilience of students and further individual and collective self-care in schools.

    Speakers from the United States and Canada include: Donna Manuelito, Dr. Rachel Santa, Dr. Joseph Ricca, Kahlil Kuykendall, Dr. Chante Garrett, Hannah Beach, Tamara Strijack, Thomas Longridge, Richard Mathews, David McFall, Eva de Gosztonyi, Dr. Melissa Hughes, and students Katie Anderson and Andrea De Bartolo.

    Listen to the roundtable discussion.

    This podcast episode is hosted by members of the Collaborative to Alleviate Childhood Trauma (CACT), a collaborative dedicated to ensuring that educators are prepared to address the trauma that the youth experience. The collaborative is led by Dr. Christine Mason, Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Educational Improvement, Jesse Kohler, Executive Director of the Campaign for Trauma Informed Policy and Practice, and Jeff Ikler, co-host of the podcast, “Getting Unstuck: Educators Leading Change.”

    Collaborative to Alleviate Childhood Trauma (CACT):
    Christine Mason, PhD

    Jesse Kohler Website:

    Jeff Ikler Website:

    Here are some of the highlights from the roundtable discussion:

    “The coronavirus did not create the need for trauma-informed healing and resilience focused practices. But it certainly exacerbated the need to address the amount of stress and adversity that has been experienced."

    Dysregulated adults cannot help regulate dysregulated children... We can move toward a systems-based approach and a systems level approach to creating safe environments for everybody in the school environment.” -Jesse Kohler, Executive Director of the Campaign for Trauma Informed Policy and Practices

    “We’ve seen...a very much increased incidence of highly reactive events that happen in schools...We are talking about children who are in that alarm state and that have very strong fight or flight responses … The model we are following is a nonviolent crisis intervention model. Comfort versus control; it's a very important conceptual change.” -Richard Matthews, School Counselor in Canada

    “Many of our students are coming into our classrooms without that place of emotional is through experiences, expression through free play, through nature … that our children can digest their world, they can process their world...It is through relationships, it is through people.”
    -Tamara Strijack, thought leader in Canada

    Christine Mason
    Center for Educational Improvement
    +1 800-994-6441
    Visit us on social media:

  • S-CCATE: An Online Tool for Planning to Alleviate Trauma

    The 5 Transformational Factors S-CCATE Measures

    S-CCATE Measures 5 Transformational Factors

    Center for Educational Improvement Logo

    Center for Educational Improvement Logo

    S-CCATE Logo

    S-CCATE Logo

    S-CCATE (School Compassionate Culture Analytical Tool for Educators)—cutting-edge assessment tool used to measure social emotional learning and school culture

    S-CCATE helped our administrators identify our strengths and also where we needed to focus to improve our school culture. It is an empowering tool.”
    — Joan Cavallo, Principal, Maple Run Unified Schools (Vermont)
    VIENNA, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, November 19, 2021 / -- The rise in mental health issues and feelings of loneliness and isolation for children has left educators and administrators feeling overwhelmed. Students’ mental health, academic performance, and overall well-being have been impacted during this pandemic. This is why school-based compassionate and trauma-informed practices are more important than ever.

    S-CCATE was developed by the Center for Educational Improvement in partnership with local school leaders. It is based on the Heart Centered Learning framework (HCL), which is CEI’s signature approach to social emotional learning and mindfulness. S-CCATE helps educators to vision and plan, as well as monitor their progress towards the implementation of compassionate, trauma- informed practices. It is designed to help educators and school communities address trauma, alleviate stress, and uplift students and staff.

    The assessment is completed by teachers and school personnel, who answer questions about themselves, their students, and their school leadership. Schools are then provided with a report containing their schools’ results and customized recommendations designed to improve well-being for students, teachers, and the wider school community.

    “S-CCATE helped our administrators identify our strengths and also where we needed to focus to improve our school culture. It is an empowering tool—it provided a way for staff to make decisions about their professional development,” shares Joan Cavallo, principal of Maple Run Unified Schools in Vermont.
    S-CCATE can be taken three times a year, allowing schools to track their progress in becoming a trauma-informed school and their improvements in school culture and social emotional learning. S-CCATE also complements many other SEL frameworks. It provides an easy-to-use, efficient, evidence-based solution to help school communities build resiliency and address trauma, with recommendations to support both students and staff.

    “S-CCATE gave us a way to measure areas of need. We focused on making sure that teachers and other staff understood more about the neurobiology of trauma and about mindfulness and ways to consciously connect with one’s emotions and better understand self and others. We found it helpful and plan to continue using it to measure progress,” said Dr. Rachel Santa, Director of Special Services for the Cumberland School District in Rhode Island.

    S-CCATE is available for the 2021/2022 school year at a discounted rate. You can register for a demo of S-CCATE and explore further information and tutorials.

    Christine Mason
    Center for Educational Improvement
    +1 800-994-6441