The New Book "Little Twig of Thorns" is a Beautifully Illustrated Tale of Dark Secrets and Family Dynamics, Meant for Parents and Children Alike Written by Gary Fritzen and C'Lesa Kay



Published by Fulton Books, Gary Fritzen and C’Lesa Kay’s book is the story of a family of “twigs” with a dark past. When little Twiggy ventures outside the protection of their shed, she discovers a bright, magical world outside and neither she, nor her family, will ever be the same again.

​What teenagers tell teachers but don’t tell their parents.

In the study High Hopes But Even Higher Expectations: The Retreat From Marriage Among Low-Income Couples created by Princeton University, Duke University and University of Pennsylvania shows that 36.2% of women and 42.6% of men have developed fears of marriage due to relationship experiences they had with their parents growing up.

As a public school teacher, Gary Fritzen saw this pattern among many of his students and decided to do something to help families by creating a story that parents and their children could relate to and from which they could learn. He sought the help of creative writer, and one of his former students, C’Lesa Kay, to bring his idea to reality. Together they have written “Little Twig of Thorns” with a ballet version of the story to premier this summer in Long Beach, California.

This powerful story explores the issues of unhealthy family dynamics and the fears that children often develop and carry with them throughout their lives. The main character, Twiggy, is raised by fearful parents who have sheltered her from the outside world. Intending to protect her from suffering, they don’t realize the deep pain and loneliness they are causing their child.

Eventually Twiggy discovers that they have kept a big secret from her and the results are devastating. After much drama and hurt, an unexpected resolution is found and the reader sees that broken homes can be mended, and even amid dysfunction, there is a great element of heroism involved in being a parent. Written for pre-teens, young adults, and parents, this story presents many important issues to ponder. Julie Sneeden’s illustrations give life to the characters, and the uplifting ending leaves the reader with hope.

Readers who wish to experience this touching work can purchase ”Little Twig of Thorns” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play or Barnes and Noble.

Please direct all media inquiries to Gregory Reeves via email at Gregory@fultonbooks.com or via telephone at 877-210-0816.

Source: Fulton Books







P. A. Johnson's New Book "The Story of a Dog Named Horse" is a Delightful and Fantastic Adventure for Children to Journey Into the Unknown With a Marvelous New Friend.


Kingdom Games Releases World's First Action-RPG Video Game Available for OSVR HDK 2 VR Headset



​Kingdom Games, a leading Austin-based game developer, in cooperation with Razer, announced today the successful launch of their title FIVE: Champions of Canaan featuring universally accessible virtual reality (VR) game play using Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR).

As the next chapter in the FIVE Saga, FIVE: Champions of Canaan is the first Action-RPG game available with VR support of the OSVR Hacker Development Kit (HDK2), one of the best virtual reality headsets available. “I’m pleased to be partnering with Razer,” says James Parkman, Studio Head at Kingdom Games. “Given the high-level of excellence displayed over the years with their PC peripherals, we are happy to partner with Razer on their OSVR initiative and hopefully many others in the future.”

Development for virtual reality (VR) support on FIVE: Champions of Canaan using Razer’s open platform with the HDK2 headset has been a very smooth and enjoyable experience. Razer’s efforts to bring accessible VR experiences to the masses via the OSVR project benefits both consumers and developers alike.

Aaron Standridge,
Kingdom Games Director of Technology

“It is incredibly exciting to be working with Kingdom Games to bring the first arena based action-RPG FIVE: Champions of Canaan to the OSVR ecosystem,” says Christopher Mitchell, Business Lead, OSVR. “RPGs that offer depth in character leveling and customization are rare in VR today and it is great this is now accessible to all the headsets supported by OSVR including the HDK 2.”

Bringing VR experiences to a PC game title in just a couple of months is a major achievement, and Razer’s hardware expertise and open source approach were invaluable throughout the process.  “Development for virtual reality (VR) support on FIVE: Champions of Canaan using Razer’s open platform with the HDK2 headset has been a very smooth and enjoyable experience,” says Aaron Standridge, Kingdom Games Director of Technology.  “Razer’s efforts to bring accessible VR experiences to the masses via the OSVR project benefits both consumers and developers alike.”

About FIVE: Champions of Canaan

Initially released on Steam in September 2016 for Windows-based PCs, FIVE: Champions of Canaan (www.FIVEChampionsofCanaan.com), features a gladiatorial style game mechanic, and stands as the next chapter in the FIVE Saga, which includes the 11-Act epic, FIVE: Guardians of David (www.FIVEGuardiansofDavid.com). Earning a Teen rating from the Entertainment Software Review Board (ESRB), FIVE: Champions of Canaan is tailor-made for Action-RPG fans of almost any age.  Set in a region on the brink of endless war, players are invited to honor their father’s legacy and become a true Champion of Canaan.

About OSVR

OSVR™ is the world’s largest open source VR software platform designed to set an open standard for virtual reality input devices, games and output to enable the development of a cohesive VR ecosystem which provides enhanced compatibility and hardware choices to anyone looking to enjoy VR.  Supported by industry leaders, the OSVR framework unites developers and gamers alike under a single platform. Plug in. Play Everything.

For the full list of OSVR supporters go to www.osvr.org.  Like OSVR on FB: https://www.facebook.com/OpenSourceVR and follow OSVR on Twitter https://twitter.com/OpenSource_VR.

About Kingdom Games

Kingdom Games is a leader in the development and production of entertainment software that not only challenges game playing prowess, but opens up new worlds to explore spiritual, historical and artistic value.  At Kingdom Games we invite players to find true heroism through service, honor, and strength of spirit.  With every game, we strive to provide exhilarating and great entertainment that embodies true to life principles while being relatable to every generation of gamer. In 2014, Kingdom Games acquired 4Soils.  This acquisition expanded the Kingdom Games portfolio to include mobile-based social games. To learn more about Kingdom Games, please visit: www.KingdomGames.com, follow us on Twitter @KingdomGamesATX and ‘Like’ us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KingdomGamesATX.

®Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

# # #

Press Contact, Kingdom Games
Eric Daniels
EDaniels@KingdomGames.com

Source: Kingdom Games







Former Cocaine Addict Calls His First Marijuana Joint "The Biggest Mistake of My Life"



Jesse, a Foundation for a Drug-Free World drug prevention specialist from Texas, is passionate about keeping kids from falling into the trap that ruined his life.

​​​​​​It wasn’t just Jesse—it was his whole family, both sides. Alcohol, meth, marijuana and cocaine darkened his childhood. And it became his fate.

“My story is not a pretty one,” says Jesse. “I did drugs, I sold drugs. Everybody was doing it. I thought I was cool. I was wrong. Biggest mistake of my life was picking up that first marijuana joint.”

“I want to help prevent teenagers from trying drugs. We’ve got to start with this young generation and get them back on track.”

Former addict turned drug prevention specialist

He picked up that joint when he was 15, and he didn’t stop smoking and selling for six years.

“I influenced others to do the drug. I would say ‘it’s okay, it’s not going to mess you up.’ But marijuana is a gateway drug.”

Once people start using marijuana, they begin looking into other drugs, he says, anything to get high.  For Jesse, that other drug was cocaine. And it was a dead-end existence.

Then two years ago, Child Protective Services (CPS) threatened to take away his girlfriend’s daughter if he didn’t stop using.

He quit and he has never looked back.

To close out his CPS case this month, Jesse was directed to complete all 19 lessons of the Truth About Drugs program of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

One of the world’s largest nongovernmental drug education programs, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World empowers youth and adults with the straight facts so they can make informed decisions to live drug-free. The Church of Scientology makes all elements of the program available free of charge to educators, law enforcement and volunteers.

Although Jesse began it reluctantly and only because it was mandatory, it quickly became a game-changer for him.

“This program will blow your mind,” he says. “It’s filled with knowledge and truth. It changed my life, and now I get to tell people about it. I want to help prevent teenagers from trying drugs. We’ve got to start with this young generation and get them back on track.”

The Truth About Drugs materials include booklets on every drug of choice containing drug street names, short and long-term effects and quotes from former users; Public Service Announcements for each drug; and the award-winning Truth About Drugs: Real People, Real Stories documentary in which former addicts share their devastating personal accounts of life on everything from marijuana to methamphetamine. Every feature of the program is online at drugfreeworld.org.

 “When I first saw the Truth About Drugs program I thought it was just like all the others,” says Jesse, “but I was wrong.” He speaks from experience when he says “this program actually teaches you what the drugs will do to you and how addicting they can be and how they can lead to many other drugs.”

The full curriculum walks the individual through a lesson on each drug. They can also be used in a group setting, which is exactly what Jesse plans to do.    

“I’ll help anybody I can whenever I can and I see that this is the best way that I can help everybody, because there’s a lot of alcohol, drugs and lies out there,” he says. “I want to present this program in schools, to all students, and if I get one student out of 300, I will succeed, because if I can get to one of them I know I can get to the rest of them eventually, and we can make this a drug-free world.”

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World Truth About Drugs program is in use by teachers, law enforcement, and volunteers across Texas. Through a network of volunteers and partnerships, the Foundation has distributed 8 million copies of The Truth About Drugs booklets over the past year—more than 80 million copies since the booklets were first published in 2006.

Source: ScientologyNews.org







Supporting Effective Drug Education and Prevention Initiatives



Seattle’s Drug-Free World Volunteers dedicate an entire month to reaching youth and educators with factual information about the effects of drugs

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, the Seattle chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World kicked off a month-long series of drug-education events at the annual conference of the Washington Traffic Safety Education Association (WTSEA) in Wenatchee, Washington. 

WTSEA Coordinating Secretary Gerald Apple thanked the Foundation for a Drug-Free World for their sponsorship of the conference and for providing nearly 5,500 copies of Truth About Drugs materials to educators attending the program.

In partnership with the Church of Scientology in Seattle which supports their activities, the Foundation held an open house and forum featuring Terrie Johnston, Crime Prevention Coordinator with the Seattle Police Department as the keynote speaker. Ms. Johnston spoke about the spike in heroin use in the greater Seattle area. She spoke of her decades-long partnership with the Church on crime prevention activities and the value of the Foundation’s drug prevention work in the community.

Drug-Free World volunteers capped their month-long drug education drive with Red Ribbon Week activities. Red Ribbon Week commemorates the life and courage of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena who was brutally murdered while on assignment investigating Mexican drug cartels. The volunteers fanned out across downtown Seattle, handing out hundreds of red ribbons and copies of The Truth About Drugs booklets that present the unvarnished truth about the most commonly abused drugs in a youth-friendly format. 

The Church of Scientology and Scientologists support the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. They are dedicated to eradicating drug abuse through education. Author, humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard stated “Research has demonstrated that the single most destructive element present in our current culture is drugs.”

Source: Seattle Chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World







Benton Pet Photographer & Groomer Team Up for Holiday Photos With a Cause



Pawsonality Pet Photography by Abby Malone teams up with Simply Dogs Salon in Bryant, AR

Pawsonality Pet Photography and Simply Dogs are teaming up to offer Holiday Pet Portraits in part to benefit Bryant Animal Control.  The event will take place on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at Simply Dogs Grooming in Bryant, AR.  Pet owners are invited to bring their pets between the hours of  1 to 5 p.m. for a Holiday-themed pet portrait, featuring a beautifully classic holiday setup.

The sitting fee for a pet portrait is waived in lieu of each person bringing a bag of food as a donation, which will be given to the Bryant Animal Control. Portrait print packages will be available, starting at $25 as well as holiday card options, ornaments and more.

Pawsonality Pet Photography and Simply Dogs team up to offer Holiday Pet Portraits in part to benefit Bryant Animal Control.

Abby Malone,
Owner, Pawsonality Pet Photography

About Simply Dogs Salon

Simply Dogs Salon and Spa is a relaxed groom shop with a combined 18 years experience. Their goal is to spoil your pup(s) in a calm, secure environment.  Operated by Nicole Culp and Ginger Peterson, Simply Dogs Salon and Spa is located at  102 N. E. 2nd St in Bryant, AR.

About Pawsonality Pet Photography by Abby Malone

Abby Malone, owner of Pawsonality Pet Photography, is an internationally award-winning pet photographer, known for her ability to capture the personality of each animal in her artwork.  Abby was honored by the Professional Photographers of America in 2015 as a Grand Imaging Award Winner for her distinctive pet work, as well as a member of Team USA on the highly prestigious photographic world cup. Abby has been recognized in a number of state and district competitions for her print excellence and enjoys serving private and commercial clients in Central Arkansas and beyond. 

For more information on the event, contact Abby Malone at 501-749-3814 or visit her website www.Pawsonality.Photography

Source: Pawonality Pet Photography







How to Survive the 2016 Election if Your Candidate Loses



Elements Massage offers 10 ways to manage your stress now that the election is over.

“You win some, you lose some.” It’s an old adage that warns against taking defeat to heart, but this year’s presidential election seems to defy that logic. Most people agree this may be the most passionately divided electorate in memory.

The majority of Americans are waking up today feeling like “they’ve won,” while others are rising with the knowledge, “they’ve lost” and can’t fathom the possibility of failure for their chosen candidate. So, how does one cope if the election didn’t go their way?

The role of President is important, but thanks to the U.S. Constitution, the concept of “checks and balances” spreads power over three branches of government. Elections may seem like life or death to us, but the reality is the U.S. government is built with layers of accountability.

Jennifer Skinner,
Licensed professional counselor, Kettle Morraine Counseling, West Bend, WI

Jennifer Skinner, a licensed professional counselor with Kettle Morraine Counseling in West Bend, Wis., has some ideas. Here are her suggestions for surviving the election and beyond:

1) “Keep everything in perspective.” The role of President is important, but thanks to the U.S. Constitution, the concept of “checks and balances” spreads power over three branches of government. Elections may seem like life or death to us, but the reality is the U.S. government is built with layers of accountability.

2) “Learn basic relaxation techniques, like deep, methodical breathing, to keep yourself in control.” It may sound simple, but the act of taking deep breaths has a positive physiological effect. The human body cannot co-exist in both the sympathetic state, “fight or flight,” and the parasympathetic state, “non-threatened, and relaxed.” Learning this technique can keep your parasympathetic system active, and not anxiety-ridden or panicked.

3) “Don’t wallow.” Go ahead, and feel disappointed if things didn’t work out the way you wanted, but then get on with your life. The sooner you return to taking part in activities you enjoy, the better.

4) “Take action. Advocate.” Nothing will bring you out of the doldrums faster than working for the causes that are important to you. Volunteer to make a difference in the areas that attracted you to your candidate, and work towards the change you want to see.

5) “Kick your endorphins into gear!” Take care of yourself. Go for a massage. Take a yoga class. Try out a float tank. At a minimum, go for a walk to help you feel better. Exercise can help turn your mood around quickly.

6) “Look for the humor.” Laughing 10 minutes a day has benefits that can last all day. Find things that amuse you and surround yourself with them.

7) “Don’t drown your sorrows.” You probably know alcohol is a depressant, but that doesn’t stop people from drinking to feel better. Watch your alcohol intake always, but particularly when you’re feeling most vulnerable.

8) “Be curious.” Listen to the people who took the other side of issues. Is there something to learn from them? What was their perspective and what led them to their decision?

9) “Take politics off the holiday dinner table.” If you truly feel like your family cannot safely discuss politics, then it’s best to agree ahead of time that this is not a welcomed topic of conversation during this holiday season.

10) “If you really can’t let it go, seek professional help.” There are times in life when talking to someone about your feelings is the healthiest course of action. Don’t be afraid to open up. It can really help.

Skinner says feeling passionately about elections is normal, but we also need to focus on our well being and the health of our relationships with the people we work with, live with, and interact with every day.

Source: Elements Massage







GolfTEC Set for Accelerated Domestic Openings of Stand-Alone Improvement Centers



Dedicated Plan Ensures Seamless Transition for Students, Coaches Impacted by Golfsmith International Acquisition by DICK’S Sporting Goods

​​​​​​GolfTEC – the world leader in golf lessons and largest employer of PGA Professionals – is moving forward with opening multiple stand-alone improvement centers before the end of 2016, along with more than 20 new openings in major markets throughout the first half of 2017.

In response to DICK’S Sporting Goods’ recent acquisition of Golfsmith International and subsequent closure of multiple stores housing GolfTEC centers, the company has implemented a dedicated plan to ensure a seamless transition for students and coaches. In markets impacted, GolfTEC will either open a new stand-alone location (along with temporary options so as to not disrupt service) and/or transition students and coaches to a nearby, existing GolfTEC location. There are only a few locations where neither of the above options are available.

“GolfTEC is coming off our most successful fiscal year in our 21-year history,” says Joe Assell, Co-Founder and CEO of GolfTEC. “The Golfsmith/DICK’s Sporting Goods opportunity isn’t slowing our growth as we are in a great financial position with the mobility and capital to deploy more stand-alone locations which continues to be our primary goal.”

Joe Assell,
Co-Founder and CEO of GolfTEC

“GolfTEC is coming off our most successful fiscal year in our 21-year history,” says Joe Assell, Co-Founder and CEO of GolfTEC. “The Golfsmith/DICK’s Sporting Goods opportunity isn’t slowing our growth as we are in a great financial position with the mobility and capital to deploy more stand-alone locations which continues to be our primary goal.”

New improvement centers in Baltimore, Grand Rapids, Mission Viejo, Tucson, Dallas, Hartford and Birmingham are scheduled to open before year-end and will feature new elements including:

·         Totally revamped and modern interior design creating a dynamic and holistic atmosphere tailored to total golf immersion.

·         Enhanced TECfit club-fitting program that scientifically blends different swing characteristics and ball flight data to identify the proper equipment – including diverse club head and shaft combinations – for each unique student. This includes a more significant presence and overall space for club-fitting.

·         Additional enhancements will include state-of-the-art camera and lighting upgrades to provide enhanced high-resolution video for both in-bay playback during lessons and online viewing post-session.

As an example, the company opened its Hong Kong improvement center in early October and it is already breaking all-time monthly sales records. It is the first GolfTEC location to showcase the new, vibrant design scheme that includes an extensive digital experience, comfortable furniture in common areas and expanded putting/chipping areas. The next to open with this new GolfTEC design is in Ellicott City, MD (near Baltimore) in mid-November.

GolfTEC’s unrivaled category growth in recent years includes a 98% increase in revenue since 2010. The largest driver of new business comes from referrals by current lesson takers who boast a 96 percent success rate and drop an average of seven strokes from their scorecard.

The GolfTEC coaching team is mainly comprised of PGA professionals who have conducted thousands of lessons. Each is certified after multi-week training at GolfTEC University where comprehensive analysis of golfers’ swing mechanics cornerstones progressive teaching methodology. To learn more about GolfTEC, please visit www.golftec.com or call 877-446-5383.

 About GolfTEC

The world leader in golf lessons and top employer of PGA Professionals has a 96 percent success rate among its students. Since 1995, GolfTEC Certified Personal Coaches, the vast majority of which are PGA Professionals, have given more than 6 million lessons. The company operates 200 centers worldwide and has a presence in almost all major U.S. cities, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea. All lessons are based on the company’s “Five Factors:” Fact-Based Diagnosis, Sequential Lessons, Video-Based Practice, Advanced Retention Tools, and TECfit® club fitting. To date, more than 600 GolfTEC Coaches work across a global network of Improvement Centers, consisting of both Corporate-owned and Franchise-owned locations and employees.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Bill Feidler
Buffalo.Agency
703.615.4034
bfeidler@buffalo.agency​

Source: GolfTEC







Jodi Hicks's New Book "Love Can Finish First" is a Personal and Impressive Story That Declares the Absolute Power of Love and Determination When Facing Adversity.



Newest publication “Love Can Finish First” from Fulton Books, Jodi Hicks is the author of a moving true story of how she fought and survived the most devastating challenges of her life by using love as her defense.

Jodi Hicks has completed her most recent book “Love Can Finish First”: a moving and inspirational story and memoir that validates the power of love and the strength found in its presence.

She was a personal trainer to golf professionals of the “Tournament Of Players Championship” in Sawgrass Florida, a group instructor, fitness professional to many nationwide and a Golf Channel contributor. She was a competitive runner and athlete, had competed and won trophies in fitness competitions and had a passionate twenty-year career helping to inspire others through health and fitness. But, it was all taken away when she was presented with the greatest battle of all, the one for her life.

Jodi thought she had it all until she was struck unaware with several devastating and life-threatening challenges all at once. This powerful true story proves that a relentless will to live, the devoted love of a man she just met and the love she has for him, can win the battle even if all else is lost.

She then and to this day lives by the mantra, “You either do or you don’t do, there is no trying!”

Published by Fulton Books, Jodi Hicks’s book is a powerful and heart wrenching must read memoir.

Readers who wish to experience this inspired and true work can purchase “Love Can Finish First” at bookstores everywhere, or online at the Apple iTunes store, Amazon, Google Play or Barnes and Noble.

Please direct all media inquiries to Gregory Reeves via email at gregory@fultonbooks.com or via telephone at 877-210-0816.

Source: Fulton Books







Brides and Grooms: Bringing Couples Everything They Need for the Perfect Wedding



Bridesandgroomsonline.com is a website that offers not only the perfect wedding but is a platform that makes it possible for parents, grandparents and friends to give gifts.

Allen Ames has built a stunning garden for outside weddings that is available April – October and is busy every weekend.  Hundreds for couples have been married there for the past 16 years and are impressed by the beautiful landscaping. We create great memories that they can treasure for the rest of their lives.

Couples usually plan for a honeymoon and other needs for after the wedding. We offer a place where they can find products that they might need for birthdays, and other presents.

The product page will be updated regularly with sales where couples and families can shop for household products.  We are the only venue that is so all-encompassing.

For more information, visit: www.bridesandgroomsonline.com.

Source: Brides and Grooms Online