"Read My Lips" is the new initiative began in November 2006 to encourage reading and writing among those both young and old. We want to help feed a passion for the written and spoken word to help individuals continue to mold the future. Want to know how you can be featured? Contact us at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Conversations Most Fascinating Author of 2008: Corey "C-Murder" Miller

In 2007 Conversations recognized New York Times Bestselling author Carl Weber as its "Most Fascinating Author of The Year". Now on the eve of 2009, we are pleased to recognized this year's Honoree...
His name has sparked not only controversy but discussion like few have seen in the literary community. With his first book, DEATH AROUND THE CORNER, being released by Kesington Publishing to rave reviews, it became clear that he was more than just a Platinum-selling recording artist. He was staking his claim to a piece of the literary pie.
Conversations Founder Cyrus A. Webb first was introduced to him in January 2007, and since that time the two have made literary history time and again. Their partnership has been praised everywhere from hiphop websites, Get The Daily News, MTV and even the Chicago Tribune! See links below:

Chicago Tribune

Pro-Hiphop/ MTV News

Get The Daily News
Webb also coordinated the author's first book tour (see detailed report of the historic tour that was covered by dozens of Media outlets including Fox News and The Associated Press here: http://conversationsbookclub.blogspot.com/2007/10/mississippi-should-be-honored-c-murder.html)
as well as that for his author (Jacki-o) once her book was released in 2008.
Webb and this year's honoree also began "The TRU Conversations Hour", connecting music and book lovers worldwide through a weekly talk show.

After helping launch the New Orleans branch of Conversations Book Club in January 2008, the most powerful project the two have been a part of is the HIPHOP AND BOOKS literacy campaign which encourages recording artists to aide in promoting reading abmong their fans. (See http://www.hiphopandbooks.com and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYz8ydE0r_o&feature=channel_page )
Truly this man is more than meets the eye: a respected recording artist, bestselling author and publisher. He has brought another audience to books, and the world is better off because of it. There is no wonder that Corey "C-Murder" Miller is Conversations' "Most Fascinating Author of 2008"!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Author Joseph Henderson featured by Sipphop.com

Author Joseph Henderson is being featured by Sipphop.com. Writing under his penname Jeremias Turner, Conversations Book Club President Cyrus A. Webb contributed to the article. See this link or the entire story below: http://www.sipphop.com/main.html?src=%2Findex2.html#3,0

Mississippi author helps us see why we don't want to live or die all alone. By Jeremias Turner

It's hard to tell someone who has lived through things you really can't imagine how they should react to them or how they should be able to rise above them. Now, I'm not saying that you have to experience everything out there in order to understand the consequences, but, for some, it helps to have someone they can relate to. When I first met Joseph Henderson, he seemed like a regular individual, the kind of man you would meet anywhere. Then, I read his memoir, I Don't Want to Die All Alone, and realized that his life and what he has gone through is anything but ordinary. He walks us through the not-so-rosy side of his experiences, like seeing his mother beaten by men who said they loved her, his own physical torment and even suicide attempts.  No wonder he found it hard to trust, let alone get close enough, to love someone. "The more changes that came for the better, the more alone my life became," he writes. "The ones that were supposedly to remain loyal are gone. That's OK, I came into this world alone and, more than likely, I'll leave it alone." (p.252) Since it is the story of the life he lived, Henderson tells us about the misfortune that some of his own choices brought him as well. Yes, he admits that some of what he experienced was directly attributed to decisions he had made. Such was the case when he was shot. In reflecting back, he said this: "When a bullet grazed my head and missed, the first time getting shot at, there were thoughts that nothing could happen to me.

That moment after (actually) getting shot, my whole life was flashed before me hitting the ground. ... You don't think about kids, family or anything. You don't even care about waking up another day. You live the day like you're going to die that night." He even lost his brother during an act of senseless violence. All of this helped him to take stock of his life and begin to see the need for change. He had to learn how to value his own life before he could learn to value that of someone else. He had to learn to love himself before he could love anyone else. Henderson wanted more for himself. "The whole point is, kids don't give up on a future. ... I had always believed in God, but never thought there was a reason to serve him. I'm more ready now than ever if something bad happens to me. I am not the same person as yesterday, and tomorrow it will be different. I'm constantly looking for ways to enhance my life." When Sipphop hosted its first meeting at Koinonia Coffee in November 2008, Joseph was one of the first ones there. His commitment to a better life extends outself himself to those he meets. He sees the good taht Sipphop is doing already for the state, and he wants to be a part of the history being made. And that enhancement is the Henderson that I know today - a man who has learned that with hard work, nothing is impossible, and no one has to live (let alone die) in this world alone. Order your copy of "I Don't Want To Die All Alone" by visiting http://www.joseph-henderson.com

Friday, December 19, 2008

Literary Professionals in Massachusetts Add Support to Reality Show's Search For the Next Best-selling Author

Literary Professionals in Massachusetts Add Support to Reality Show's Search For the Next Best-selling Author

Contact: James Magee, Communications Director
Shadow Play Entertainment/ "The Write Stuff"
601.937.3245 http://www.thewritestufftv.com

Donna Erickson, Founder
A Flair For Writing/Senior Editor for AG Press
781.857.2396 http://www.aflairforwriting.com / http://www.agpress.8m.net

In a matter of weeks, an exciting chain reaction will take place in the literary community that will give hope to those who aspire to not only see their names in print but also be a success in the industry. The catalyst for this hope is an exciting, new reality show called, "The Write Stuff,” and beginning in January 2009, the auditions will begin--to see who believes they have what it takes, in order to make it as an author.

Created by Cyrus A. Webb of Shadow Play Entertainment and Zane Bell of Innovations Inc., the show will begin to air in select markets, during the summer of 2009, to almost 4 million households. Auditions will take place in San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Jackson and Metairie, as well as online. However, individuals outside of those areas are taking notice of the project and its mission. One such individual is Donna Erickson, founder of A Flair For Writing in Abington, MA and Senior Editor for AG Press, Townsend, MA. She, along with Cheryl Pillsbury, Owner of AG Press, has become a supporter of "The Write Stuff.”

"I was motivated to get involved in this project because I am at a place in life where I want to give something back," says Erickson (seen above). She has been a professional writer for over 20 years. Her writing experience includes newspaper and magazine articles, resumes, college application assistance, direct mail, press releases, editing manuscripts for publication, brochures, website content, and advertising copy. Recently, Donna has expanded her services worldwide and has serviced clients outside of the United States. Donna spent 10 years as a feature writer and has been published in Mariner Publications, South Shore News and the South Shore Baby Journal. Although she now focuses on publishing on the web, her freelance work has appeared in local, national, and international publications.

She continues with this: "After 23 years in the business, I hope to encourage new writers to pursue their dreams of getting published. As Senior Editor at AG Press, I have found it rewarding to coach and assist other editors. As a member of the Board of Directors for the South Shore Ad Club, I have created the Writers Guidelines and help oversee all creative materials. Both of these positions have enabled me to work with new writers, and I have enjoyed those opportunities. I want to take part in sponsoring “The Write Stuff,” so an aspiring writer can ultimately succeed."

Cheryl also wanted to use AG Press to do something to benefit the project. The winner of "The Write Stuff" will be getting a one-book deal with Hollygrove Publishing; however, AG Press will also provide him/her with virtual copies of his/her book on CD, as well. Designed for travelers and those who find themselves living on their computers, she believes these will be ideal for those who want to read on the go. (Other prizes for the winner will include a personally-designed marketing plan by New York Times best-selling author, J. L. King; two years of representation by Shadow Play Entertainment Publicity Dept.; a brand new Dell laptop; features in print and online publications; and the recognition of having "The Write Stuff.”)

For more information about Donna Erickson, A Flair For Writing, or AG Press, call 781.857.2396 or visit http://www.aflairforwriting.com or http://www.agpress.8m.net. To find out more about "The Write Stuff" reality show, contact James Magee at 601.937.3245 or visit http://www.thewritestufftv.com.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bestselling author Lesley Hazleton talks to Conversations LIVE!

Did you miss Conversations LIVE! Radio's exclusive inteview with bestselling author Lesley Hazleton? Listen to the podcast here:

In her first visit to Conversations, the author talked about how it feels to "live" with the people who are the subject of her books, why history intrigues her and what is coming up for her in the New Year. For more information about Hazleton, visit http://www.jezebelbook.com.

Conversations Author of the Year 2008-09: John Saul

Shadow Play Entertainment, Conversations Book Club and their literary partners are pleased to announce that International Bestselling author John Saul has been chosen as its Author of the Year 2008-09.
He has been satisfying avid readers for over 30 years with dozens of books which have all become bestsellers. Conversations' President Cyrus A. Webb first read Saul some 20 years ago and has been a fan ever since. "It takes a masterful storyteller to be able to remain relevant after all these years," says Webb,33. "Few authors will have readers scurry to the bookstores or to their computers when their latest book is released, however, John Saul is one of those authors.

Webb reached out to this year's honoree in 2007 and was surprised to hear back from him almost immediately. Saul agreed to an interview with Conversations Book Club during a live discussion at Waldenbooks Metrocenter in Jackson, MS via conference call. In 2008 he agreed to a second interview, this time on Conversations LIVE! Radio, and was heard live discussing his beginnings and his new book FACES OF FEAR. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive/2008/08/18/Conversations-LIVE-with-C-A-Webb-Guest-Bestselling-author-John-Saul

"It was a dream come true for me," recounts Webb. "My profession allows me to talk with those who have literally helped shape pop culture and have reached milestones that few will achieve. Saul's commitment to his fans and to the craft is not lost among those who read him."

The author had this to say about the recognition by Conversations: "What a wonderful surprise to hear I've been selected as your Author of the
Year for 2008-09. I feel very honored to have been chosen and express my appreciation for the recognition.

"As I'm sure you know, writers tend to be a group of people who have become inured to the process of delayed gratification (when there's gratification at all!) so it is particularly gratifying when someone as passionate about books as you and your Book Club give us your recognition. As I'm sure you know, I haven't been the recipient of all that many awards, so when one does come my way, it means that much more to me.

"Again, thank you so much, and I look forward to joining you and your club for another conversation in the not-too-far-distant future."

To find out more about John Saul, visit http://www.johnsaul.com.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Author Leslie T. Chang talks to Conversations LIVE! Radio

Did you miss Bestselling author Leslie T. Chang's interview with Conversations LIVE! Radio? If so, listen to the podcast here:

Chang talked about her own background and how he learned about herself during the research of FACTORY GIRLS. She also told listeners how the book came about, what those she interviewed had to say about the lives they were living and what others can learn about the journey of many women in China. For more information, visit http://www.leslietchang.com.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Authors Respond to Conversations "Best of 2008" Recognition

The response was almost immediate to Conversations Book Club's "Best of 2008" listing. Dozen of emails came in from both the authors who were being recognized for their thought-provoking work and readers who were excited to see either their favorite authors make the list or learn about new authors.

Here are just a few of the kind words spoken thus far:

"I would like to thank Conversations for selecting 'My Secrets Your Lies' as one of the TOP 100 picks for 2008. It's an honor to achieve such recognition. Thanks to the entire Conversations family for your strong support, dedication, and leadership in the literary community. You are appreciated." --- N'Tyse, author of MY SECRETS YOUR LIES

"I would like to Thank Mr. Webb and Conversations Book Club for there recognition of "Gettin' Caught Up Wit' Nina." I appreciate your group picking my book for the "Top 20 Summer Reads of 2008" and now bestowing me with the recognition of one of your 'Top 100 of 2008.'
"Reading is very important regardless of the topic. There is a story for everyone, young and old. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing spreading the "word about reading and Hip Hop." Thank you again for all your support." --- P. Elaine Archie, author of GETTIN' CAUGHT UP WIT' NINA

"To Mr. Cyrus Webb, Conversations Book Club, and all that participated in bringing the book 'I Don't Want to Die All Alone' into spotlight. Words are not adequate enough to extend my debt of gratitude that you have shown me, my family, and supporters. Your hard work, and tireless efforts have subsequently exposed the book to a broader range of readers. All authors that have come your way can acquiesce that the help received have motivated us to a higher level. Thank you so much and continue to inspire all authors and readers." ---Joseph F Henderson III, author of I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE

"You can imagine I'm pleased to be in your Top 100! I'd like to express my admiration for your interview skills, Cyrus. Your questions and comments showed a real appreciation for the issues I wanted to explore in Always and Forever and in Forever My Love, novels about the relationships between slaves and slaveowners, culture and conscience. You had clearly read the books with appreciation and understanding of the basic premises, and that led to a much deeper interview than I have had in the past. Thanks to you and your audiences, Cyrus." ---Gretchen Craig, author of ALWAYS AND FOREVER

"It has been such a pleasure working with Conversations Book Club over the past year. The blog talk radio interview with Cyrus was one of the BEST interviews I've ever done. Definitely looking forward to continuing to build this relationship and thanks so much for your support.
God Bless!" --- Sherri Lewis, Essence Bestselling Author of My Soul Cries Out, Dance Into Destiny, and The List

"I am pleased to have my book selected by the Conversations Book Club as one of the top 25 non-fiction books for 2008. Thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed on Conversations Live, and, for this extraordinary honor." ---Kenneth F. Worth, author of HARD TIMES AND GREAT BLESSINGS

" Congrats on so much good work! The Conversations brand is multi-layered. Thanks for including Zoom Power in your Top 25. I really appreciate your support." --- Monica Carter Tagore, author of SACRIFICE THE ONE and ZOOM POWER

"Conversations, thank you for supporting my book, The Enemy Between My Legs. I appreciate you! It is truly an honor to be recognized by such a great book club!" --- Stephanie L. Jones, author of The Enemy Between My Legs

"I have just listened to our interview several times now, and have also shared it with some family and friends. And each time I hear it, I marvel at your mastery of interviewing technique. It is certainly something that is a talent, because I’ve seen many veterans of broadcasting not able to accomplish what you do so naturally and easily. Part of the success you have comes from your gentlemanly behavior that puts interviewees at ease. So thanks again for your kind treatment. I wish you all the best in whatever you do in your career, be it hosting of a book club, interviewing on national TV, writing books yourself, or some dream you hold in your secret heart. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and all those you care about."--- Donald Greco, author of ABRAMO'S GIFT (Chosen as one of Conversations Best Kept Literary Secrets, 2008)

Missed any of Conversations' list? See the links below:

Conversations' Top 25 Non-Fiction Titles of 2008
Conversations' Top 25 Musical Performers of 2008
Conversations' Top 50 Fiction Titles of 2008
Conversations Best Kept Literary Secrets of 2008

Enjoy our selections, and remember to share them with your family and friends. This is one addiction that is worth passing around.

Cyrus A. Webb, President
Conversations Book Club

http://www.thebestbookclub.info http://www.hiphopandbooks.com http://www.ballinwithbooks.com

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sun. Dexc. 14, 2008: OndreaNicole on today's Conversations LIVE! Radio

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2008--- 6p.m. CST (7p.m. EST/4p.m. PT)
Make plans to listen to our Sunday edition of Conversations LIVE! Radio today as we are joined by singer/songwriter/poet OndreaNicole!

A longtime friend of Conversations, OndreaNicole will talk about her love for everything artistic, how she uses personal experiences to educate as well as entertain and give details about her upcoming event in Mississippi called "A Night of Music & Style" on Thursday, December 18, 2008. (Click on the flyer above)

Haven't heard of OndreaNicole before? She will share a piece of her soul through poetry as well as introduce her two songs "Rock My Body" and "Life What You See".

To listen to the interview live, simply visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or listen over the studio line at 1.347.426.3645.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

THIS WEEK'S REVIEW: "Nina's Got A Secret" by Brian W. Smith

Conversations Book Club President Cyrus A. Webb is pleased to announce that this week's featured book review is of Bestselling author Brian W. Smith's NINA'S GOT A SECRET. It is found in today's (Saturday, December 13, 2008) Clarion Ledger Newspaper (Rankin Ledger insert).

To read the review, click this link: http://www.rankinledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081213/LIFE/812130303/1003
NINA'S GOT A SECRET was chosen by Conversations Book Club as one of their "Best Kept Literary Secrets" of 2008. To see a full listing, visit http://www.thebestbookclub.info and look under the WHAT'S NEW section.

Smith is also awarding the grand prize for 2009's newest reality show THE WRITE STUFF: a one-book deal with his company HOLLYGROVE PUBLISHING. (For details, visit http://www.hollygrovepublishing.com)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Author Donald Greco talks to Conversations LIVE! Radio

Did you miss author Donald Greco's interview with Conversations LIVE! Radio? If so, listen to the podcast here:

In what he called his 'best interview yet', author Donald Greco talked about how after writing for over 30 years he decided to publish ABRAMO'S GIFT. He also discusses how those around him found out about his love of writing, what he hopes others get from the lessons in the book and how others can find their own "gift" during this holiday season. "Abramo's Gift" was chosen as one of Conversations' "Best Kept Literary Secrets of 2008".

To find out more about Conversations' "Best of 2008" list, visit http://www.thebestbookclub.info. Additional information about guests on Conversations LIVE! Radio can be found at http://www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

WED. DEC. 10, 2008: Today's guests on Conversations LIVE! Radio

Conversations LIVE! Radio
is pleased to announce today's special guests who will be on the program.
12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m.PT) ---- Actress Kaira Akita (known for her roles in Tyler Perry's THE FAMILY THAT PREYS and the BET Sitcom Somebodies) will stop by to talk about her upcoming charity event A CLOTHES ENCOUNTER to take place this Saturday in Atlanta, GA.

7P.M. CST (8P.M.EST/5P.M. PT)--- Author Michele Sudler will make her first appearance on the show to talk about her writing career, the book THREE DOORS DOWN and how she feels about the literary history she is a part of.

To listen to the shows above, tune in live at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or call the studio line to listen over the telephone at 1.347.426.3645. To find out more about Conversations LIVE! Radio, visit http://www.conversationsliveradio.com.

JUST IN: McKinney Courier Gazette in Texas reports on "The Write Stuff"

JUST IN: Shadow Play Entertainment has learned that The McKinney Courier-Gazette in Texas is reporting on the historic reality show coming to select cities on the CW network in 2009.

Click this link to read the article:

This is the first newspaper to report on "The Write Stuff" reality show that will give aspiring authors the opportunity to compete for a book deal from Hollygrove Publishing as well as other prizes.
Below are other articles that have appeared online about the upcoming show:




TUES. DEC. 9, 2008: Author Bernice Layton talks to Conversations LIVE!

Conversations LIVE! Radio is pleased to announce that author Bernice Layton will be the guest on our evening program at 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) to discuss her career and the book PROMISES MADE.

To listen to the interview live, simply visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or call the switchboard to listen over the phone at 1.347.426.3645.

For more information about Conversations LIVE! Radio, visit http://www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Friday, December 05, 2008

CBC Report: Our Books2Mention Magazine Features for Dec. 2008

Conversations Book Club (http://www.thebestbookclub.info) and Books2Mention Magazine (http://www.books2mention.com) are pleased to reveal our features for December 2008. (Click on the picture to enlarge)Congratulations to authors Joseph Henderson, Sylvia Dickey Smith, Terry Alford, Kimberly Cheryl and Kia Stokes for their success in 2008. To see their features on Books2Mention's website directly, click on this link: http://books2mention.com/conversations___b2m4

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