Small press dedicated to great writing






Nov 2016




 Love and Life through the Eyes of a Widowed Indian Woman Living as an Immigrant in America

Phoenix, November 1, 2016—Born and raised in India, Sudha Balagopal weaves her multicultural experiences into her debut novel, A New Dawn.  The story centers around Usha Param, a recently widowed, middle-aged, Indian immigrant who lived in Phoenix her entire married life.  “Usha typifies many Indian women, particularly those of her age group,” says Balagopal about her character.  “She is educated, loyal, capable, somewhat conservative yet adaptable.  Her family is her anchor.”  After Usha’s husband dies, leaving her alone, she bundles the pieces of her life and decides to remedy her aloneness.  At forty-eight, she dates for the very first time in her life.

“While Usha is Indian American with a specific cultural background, she is also every woman,” Balagopal says.  Her sense of isolation and her trials and tribulations navigating the world of dating are universal.  Balagopal explains that, “our world of increasing technology allows us to connect instantly and easily with one another.  Yet, conversely, people find themselves more alone than ever, unable to make real connections.  From that premise, a story grew—of hope and of relationships.”

Although A New Dawn is Balagopal’s first novel, she has always written.  Many of her short stories have appeared in literary journals in the US and elsewhere.  She also has two short story collections available.  “My first submission went out at age eleven.  I still remember a few lines of the simple poem I submitted.  However, I didn’t pursue creative writing after that tiny attempt.  I went on to use words in different ways.  They filled my life in other avatars for many years.  I entered the realm of creative writing much later in life, only to understand that I had so much to learn.  Still, something from within impelled me towards fiction; perhaps the time was right, or perhaps I was ready.”

About writing A New Dawn, Balagopal says, “Usha allowed me to explore her strengths through her uncertainties and her apprehensions.  She showed me how she evolved from a shy newly-wed to an able administrator.  More than that, she let me into her mind as she bungled through to discover and sort out what she really wanted from life and love.”

About Sudha Balagopal:

Sudha Balagopal’s fiction straddles continents, melding cultures and blending thoughts, representing ideas and desires from the east and the west.  Her work delves into the everyday lives of ordinary people to reveal larger, universal truths.  She is the author of two short story collections, There are Seven Notes and Missing and Other Stories.  When she’s not writing, Sudha teaches yoga.  Connect with Sudha at and on Facebook.

About Laurel Highlands Publishing:

Laurel Highlands Publishing is a Greater Pittsburgh based small press dedicated to great writing.  They publish novels and short story collections in a variety of genres worldwide.  Discover more at



July 2015


Local Author Tests Limits of Life, Love, and Lust in Debut Novel

ACME, Pa. – Set in the fictitious, Southwestern Pennsylvanian, small college town of Glenville, author Boris Black thrills in his debut novel, “The Book of Bill” (Laurel Highlands Publishing, $14.55). Bill Miller’s life, his very being, is tested in the battle for Bill’s and his family’s souls. An extra martial affair forces Bill to fight for whom he truly loves before a supernatural creature destroys the life he built. “The Book of Bill” shows how succumbing to weakness and temptation changes everything.

Black draws from his experience as a professor and uses local topography as a backdrop for his supernatural thriller. The idea for the book sprouted years ago. Although he writes for pleasure, he believes that his book suggests “the possibility of some ‘Divine Plan’ in what often seems like a very dark world.” J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, H.R. Haggard, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Joe R. Landsdale, and Stephen King have all influenced his writing. “Writing is hard work,” says Black, “but for me, it’s a labor of love.”

“The Book of Bill” by Boris Black releases in paperback and e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or from your favorite e-book retailer.




Dec 2014


Local Authors Sign New Releases at Book Fair

IRWIN, Pa. – Thomas Beck and IE Castellano, two of Laurel Highlands Publishing authors, are attending the Book Fair at the Norwin Public Library Saturday, Dec. 13 from noon to 3 p.m. They will be on hand to sign their respective newest releases, “The Tommy Two Shoes Mysteries: Entangled” and “Where Pirates Go to Die.” Approximately twenty authors will be showcasing their books, which range from memoirs to mystery to fantasy and science fiction to children’s and more. The great array of books available makes choosing a gift easy.

“The Tommy Two Shoes Mysteries: Entangled” is the second installment of Thomas Beck’s Tommy Two Shoes mystery series. Tommy Two Shoes steps into a tangled web of extortion and corruption. Set in Pittsburgh, Beck weaves a layered mystery that keeps the reader wondering what will happen next. “The character of Tommy reminds me of a William Bendix type of person, solid, hard-working, and Tommy is inscrutably honest with friends and during his career,” Beck said. “In this book, Tommy vows to find the men responsible for assaulting him, his friends, his family and the woman he loves.”

“Where Pirates Go to Die” is the latest adventure from IE Castellano. Although not her first foray into science fiction, she says that penning a space opera surprised her. “When I wrote the opening prison break scene, the story unfolded in ways I did not expect from the high-tech heist to the final battle,” said Castellano. Readers travel across the galaxy as the cat and mouse chase bounces to different planets and space stations. “I had a lot fun writing the aliens, the advanced technology and the space battles,” she said. “I am already planning the sequel.”

All ten of Laurel Highlands Publishing’s titles will be available at the Book Fair. Thomas Beck will sign his first book, “The Tommy Two Shoes Mysteries: From Mountains to More,” as well. IE Castellano will be signing her dystopian novel, “Tricentennial” and the first three books of her fantasy series, “The World In-between,” “Bow of the Moon” and “Secrets of the Sages.” Both authors will happily sign their stories in the anthology, “Moon Shadows.” “Haiku Pennsylvania Perspective” and “The Nooce and Other Fun Poetry” by Janice McLaughlin will round out Laurel Highlands Publishing’s table.

These books in both print and e-book are available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Their e-book counterparts can also be found on Apple iBooks, Kobo, Google Play and Readers can request the books from their local bookstores.

Laurel Highlands Publishing is a small press based in Mount Pleasant. Starting in January, they will be accepting submissions for their next anthology, “Across the Kármán Line.” For more information, visit




Laurel Highlands Publishing congratulates one of the authors in Moon Shadows, Timothy Bateson, on his successful book signing in Palmer, AK. Here’s to many more successes, Mr. Bateson!



Sept 2014


Moon Shadows Rises in Mount Pleasant

Local press showcases area authors at book launch signing

Mount Pleasant, PA September 22, 2014—Local authors will be signing copies of Moon Shadows for the October 1st worldwide release at the Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market in Mount Pleasant, Westmoreland County. The Halloween themed anthology comprises of seventeen authors’ short stories full of ghosts, monsters, and killers.

Moon Shadows is the first anthology for the Mount Pleasant based Laurel Highlands Publishing. The small press has released novels, short story and poetry collections to date. To celebrate the anthology’s release, they have organized a book signing with the help of Mount Pleasant BDA Outreach Coordinator, Therese Bell.

Four of the seventeen authors live locally and will be on hand to sign Moon Shadows. Renny Kalp, author of “The Lightkeepers,” owns Renny Kalp Beauty Salon in Mount Pleasant Township. Residing in Acme, Thomas Beck, who wrote “Afraid,” is a retired nurse and naval corpsman. The second book of his Tommy Two Shoes mystery series will be released later this year. Fred C. Adams, a retired English professor, wrote “Masks.” He is a regular musician at McCali Manor and Tavern on the Borough’s diamond and will be playing all October at Castle Blood in Monessen. Novelist, IE Castellano authored “the Hunt.” Her science fiction space adventure, Where Pirates Go to Die, is slated for a fall launch

Books will be signed from 1 pm to 6 pm. Laurel Highlands Publishing will be offering Moon Shadows for a special launch day price of $13.00. Other Laurel Highland Publishing books will be available for authors to sign. Books include: The Tommy Two Shoes Mysteries: From Mountains to More by Thomas Beck, the first three books of the World In-between epic fantasy series, The World In-between, Bow of the Moon, and Secrets of the Sages by IE Castellano, and the Nooce and Other Fun Poetry by Janice McLaughlin. Janice, poetess and photographer, will be signing her fun for all ages poetry book. She is also preparing for the upcoming fall release of Haiku Pennsylvania Perspective.

The Mount Pleasant Farmers’ Market is located in the Shop Demo Depot parking lot on Main Street (State Road 31).

Laurel Highlands Publishing is a Mount Pleasant based small press dedicated to great writing. In their first year of existence, they will have published nine books by three different authors and one multiple author anthology. They proudly use local Creative Specialist JosDCreations for all their book cover designs and Stukup Grafix for banners and fliers. With a full schedule for 2015, Laurel Highlands Publishing is ready for the future. Discover more at