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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Authors Take Center Stage as "Best of Mississippi" 2008 Honorees

Shadow Play Entertainment, Conversations Book Club and their literary partners are pleased to recognize the "Best of Mississippi" Class of 2008. (Click photo below to enlarge)

On Monday, December 29, 2008 Mississippians gathered to pay tribute to their own at the Pearl Public Library in Pearl, Mississippi. Authors Kia Stokes, Joseph Henderson, Jerome Gentry and Dudley Sykes were all recognized for their contributions to the state as well as the world through words. Hosted by Conversations Book Club President Cyrus A. Webb, the event also featured musical selections from 2007 Best of Mississippi Honoree Diane Johnston. (See below)
To find out more about the work of Best of Mississippi, visit http://www.best-of-ms.org.

BREAKING: Conversations Announces Its Most Fascinating Author of 2008

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. Listen to an exclusive interview with the author here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive/2008/12/31/Conversations-Announces-Its-Most-Fascinating-Author-of-2008


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
http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2008/jan/06/entertainment/chi-abc-murder6_pjan06

Pro-Hiphop/ MTV News
http://www.prohiphop.com/2008/01/conversations-b.html

http://showhype.com/article/c_murder_teams_with_book_club_plus_r_e_m_south_by/
Get The Daily News
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9T-OjI0l9T8&feature=channel_page

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"!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Listen to Converations LIVE! Radio's December "Business of Books" here!

Did you miss Conversations LIVE! Radio's last "Business of Books" segment of 2008? If so, listen to the podcast here:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive/2008/12/31/decembers-business-of-books-on-conversations-live-radio
After making history by having over 160 guests on its program since June 2008, Conversations LIVE! Radio ends a successful year with a historic all-star panel of authors who talk about their personal journey in the literary world.Hosted by Cyrus A. Webb (above), authors Bonnie Kaye (The Gay Husband Checklist), Bernice Layton (Promises Made), Ken Tucker (Are You Fascinated?), Lady K (Sex Ispires My Best Poetry) and Taylor Ross (A Faded Lilly) talk about their beginnings in the literay world, what challenges they have faced and advice for those entering the business.  Though this was Conversations' last show of 2008, keep updated on other activities by Converations by visiting the book club link at http://www.thebestbookclub.info and the radio show link at http://www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Author Pardis Mahdavi talks to Conversations LIVE! Radio

Did you miss author Pardis Mahdavi's interview with Conversations LIVE! Radio? If so, listen to the podcast here:
 
She talked about the inspiration behind gathering the information for her book PASSIONATE UPRISINGS: Iran's Sexual Revolution, the similarities she found between the Iranian and American culture and what she hopes readers get from the thought-provoking experiences she recorded over seven years.
 
To find out more about the author, visit http://www.pardismahdavi.com. Missed previous conversations on our show? Visit http://www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

CBC Report: Conversations' Founder Reviews "Abramo's Gift" by Donald Greco

Conversations Book Club Founder Cyrus A. Webb is pleased to announce that this week's review that appears in the Clarion Ledger (Rankin Ledger insert) is of author Donald Greco's "Abramo's Gift"! (See below)
This is Webb's 35th and last review for the paper in 2008. Read the article by visiting this link: http://www.rankinledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081227/LIFE/812270306/1003
 
Greco's novel was chosen as one of Conversations' "Best Kept Literary Secrets of 2008 (See complete list here :http://conversationsbookclub.blogspot.com/2008/12/revealed-conversations-best-kept.html ).
In what the author called his 'best interview yet', Greco also appeared as a guest on Conversations LIVE! Radio during December 2008 where he 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. Listen to the interview by clicking on this link:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive/va/2008/12/11/author-donald-greco-talks-to-conversations-live
 
JOIN THE ADDICTION: Get hooked on books! http://www.thebestbookclub.info

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Conversations LIVE! Presents "The Business of Books": Tues. Dec. 30, 2008!

After making history by having over 160 guests on its program since June 2008, Conversations LIVE! Radio ends a successful year with its most popular monthly segment: The Business of Books!Join the program on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) when host Cyrus A. Webb will talk with bestselling authors Bonnie Kaye (The Gay Husband Checklist), Bernice Layton (Promises Made), Ken Tucker (Are You Fascinated?) and Taylor Ross (A Faded Lilly) about their beginnings in the literay world, what challenges they have faced and advice for those entering the business. Webb will also share a special announcement with the listeners about the future of Conversations LIVE! Radio, Conversations Book Club and other components of the Conversations Band. MARK YOUR CALENDARS! This is definitely one show you don't want to miss.
 
Listen to the show LIVE by visiting http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or by calling the studio line to listen over the phone at 1.347.426.3645.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This week's review: "The Marquise Hill Story" by author Sherry Hill

Conversations Book Club's President Cyrus A. Webb is pleased to announce that this week's book review that appears in today's Clarion Ledger (Rankin Ledger insert) is of author Sherry Hill's THE MARQUISE HILL STORY: From The Cradle To The Bowl".

To read the article click this link:
http://www.rankinledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081220/LIFE/812200302/1003

Hill will be signing copies of her book at the Borders Book & Music (3131 Veterans Memorial Blvd.) in Metairie on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 from 5-7p.m.
For more information about the book visit http://www.fromthecradletothebowl.com.
 
JOIN THE ADDICTION: Get hooked on books! http://www.thebestbookclub.info.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Conversations Book Club's Author of The Year 2008-09: John Saul

Conversations Book Club and its 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. "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 Kirk Wilkinson talks with Conversations LIVE! Radio

Did you miss Conversations LIVE! Radio's interview with author Kirk Wilkinson? Listen to the podcast here:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive/2008/12/18/author-kirk-wilkinson-talks-to-conversations-live-radio
Wilkinson talked about how his own life-changing experiences has helped him be in a position to help and encourage others. When discussing the role of faith, he reveals how he is able to talk with others who might not believe as he does and what message he shares with them. How can you have happiness in your life now? Listen to this interview and find out! For more details, visit http://www.thehappinessfactor.com.

Wed. Dec. 17, 2008: Today's Guests on Conversations LIVE! Radio

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2008
Join us today on Conversations LIVE! Radio as we talk to individuals who are using their way with words to inspire, educate and inform.

Wed. Dec. 17, 2008---12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m. PT)
Author Leslie Chang discusses her book Factory Girls and the research that led to this powerful non-fiction account.

Wed. Dec. 17, 2008---7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT)
Author Kirk Wilkinson discusses his book The Happiness Factor, and why we have to fight account despair everyday.


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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Author R. H. Martin talks to Conversations LIVE!

Did you miss Conversations LIVE! Radio's interview with author R. H. Martin? If so, listen to the podcast here:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive/2008/12/16/author-r-h-martin-talks-to-conversations-live-radio

Martin talked about how the encouragement of a third grade teacher encouraged his love affair with words, how he was able to develop his ideals of faith and why he believes the messages of his novel CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM will encourage self-evaluation of individuals from all backgrounds. To find out more about the book and the author, visit http://www.rhmartin.net.

JOIN THE ADDICTION: Get hooked on books! http://www.thebestbookclub.info.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Author Howard Layton talks to Conversations LIVE! Radio

Did you miss author Howard Layton's exclusive interview with Conversations LIVE! Radio? If so, listen to the podacast here:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive/2008/12/15/Author-Howard-M-Layton.
Layton,90, talked about why he decided to write about his life experiences now, about the "Three Wars" that he was involved in, one of which was World War II and why history has an important role in all of our lives. He also tells listeners what he hopes they learn about themselves and their lives when they read his latest book LOVE AND SAND. More details about the author and his books can be found at http://www.howardlayton.com.
To see who else is talking to Conversations LIVE! Radio, visit http://www.conversationsliveradio.com .

Saturday, December 13, 2008

THIS WEEK'S REVIEW: NINA'S GOT A SECRET by author 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)

Monday, December 8, 2008

MON. DEC. 8TH: Today on Conversations LIVE! Radio

Monday, December 8, 2008
After interviewing over 150 guests live since June 2008, Conversations LIVE! Radio continues its history-making discussions today with two fascinating individuals!

At 12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/ 10a.m. PT) Fashion designer Terri Stevens from the hit reality show PROJECT RUNWAY SEASON 5 will make her first appearance on the show to talk about her career, how the show has changed her life and what is next for her in 2009.

At 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT) author Crystal Hubbard will talk about her writing career, the social issues she discusses as well as what she hopes to provide for her fans in the New Year.

To listen to the interviews live, simply visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or listen via the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

SUN. DEC. 7TH: Author Michele Cameron talks to Conversations LIVE!

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2008
Author Michele Cameron makes her first appearance on Conversations LIVE! Radio at 7p.m. CST (8p.m. EST/5p.m. PT).

She will talk about her growth as an author, her new book MOMENTS OF CLARITY as well as what she has in store for her fans in 2009! New things are also going on with Conversations so stay tuned for some important announcements as well.

Listen to the interview live by visiting http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or by calling the studio switchboard at 1.347.426.3645.

Friday, December 5, 2008

CBC Report: Author Joseph F. Henderson featured by www.joeypinkney.com

Conversations Book Club and Shadow Play Entertainment is pleased to announce that author Joseph Henderson (I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE) was recently interviewed by our literary partner Joey Pinkney at http://www.joeypinkney.com. (see below)
joseph henderson headshot i dont want to die alone book cover

Here is an excerpt:

"Joseph, the sixth child of nine children, describes a sad but shockingly true story of growing up on the streets at a young age. After a life filled with crime, drugs, money, cars, and women, Joe realizes that life and time is catching up to him. He shares with the readers his days of living in below zero temperatures in Michigan with no heat; nightly pit stops through ice and snow to raid the supermarket garbage dumpsters. He talk of feasting on goldfish, turtles, and mallard ducks from the neighborhood park pond.

"Journey with Joe as he tells an all out, no holds barred tale of physical, mental, and sexual abuse. He tells of living in a household where discipline consisted of holding encyclopedias in each hand while balancing on one foot and whippings with electrical cords, brooms, two-by-fours, and garden hoses. After being shot on a street corner, later escaping a drive by shooting, then the subsequent brutal murder of his sixteen year old brother, feel the passion with Joe, as he explains several suicide attempts his family never knew about.

"Feeling he would 'die all alone,' Joe makes a desperate and emotional attempt to apologize and ask forgiveness from family, friends, and foes that suffered during his reign of torment." To read the full interview, visit this link:

http://joeypinkney.com/criticism/5-minutes-5-questions-with-joseph-henderson-author-of-i-dont-want-to-die-alone.php

Joseph Henderson's memoir I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE was also chosen as one of Conversations' "Top 100 of 2008" and he is a member of The Best of Mississippi Class of 2008 for his literary contribution. In 2009 he will be a guest judge and make history as being part of the literary reality show "The Write Stuff" (http://www.thewritestufftv.com) . To find out more about the author, visit http://www.joseph-henderson.com.

JOIN THE ADDICTION: Get hooked on Books! http://www.thebestbookclub.info

CBC: Our Books2Mention 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

JOIN THE ADDICTION: Get hooked on books! http://www.thebestbookclubinfo

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Minister of Music Chandra Wise talks to Conversations LIVE!

Did you miss Conversations LIVE! Radio's interview with Chandra Wise, the Minister of Music at New Jerusalem Church in Jackson, MS? If so, listen to the podcast here!
She talks about her work at the church, the production they are presenting called THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD and what she hopes those who watch will get from it. For more information, see the poster above. Details can be found at http://www.njc-ms.org.

Interested in being a guest on Conversations LIVE! Radio? Contact Cyrus A. Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616. http://www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tues. Dec. 2, 2008: Conversations Presents "Faith and Literature"

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2008
Shadow Play Entertainment is pleased to announce that today two historic discussions will take place on Conversations LIVE! Radio, both discussing Faith and Literature.


12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m.PT)
Bestselling author Lesley Hazleton will talk about her love of history, her book JEZEBEL and the role she feels as though women have played in faith, religion and politics over the years. Want to know what she has planned for her readers in 2009? She will reveal that and more!

6p.m. CST (7p.m. EST/4p.m. PT)
Conversations LIVE!
will host its first "Faith and Literature" online panel discussing the author's personal beliefs and how it affects what they write and how they see the world. Bestselling authors Jerry B. Jenkins, L. A. Banks, Jewell Parker Rhodes and Evie Rhodes will join the show for the hour to talk about their careers and give insight as to how they manuever throughout fact and fiction in their professional and personal lives.

To listen to the discussions above live, simply visit http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive at the designated times. Not near a computer? Listen to the discussions over the phone by calling the studio number at 1.347.426.3645.

Monday, December 1, 2008

REVEALED: Conversations' Best Kept Literary Secrets of 2008!

THIS IS IT: Conversations Book Club is pleased to release its final listing for great reads in 2008! These are books that have become favorites of ours but may not have been on the radar when our other lists were compiled. They are what we call "Best Kept Literary Secrets" of the year. Now that they are known to you, feel free to pass them on to others. (Arranged in no particular order)

1. "Every Day Life" by M. G. Hardie
2. "It's Morning" by Elaine Flowers
3. "Hard Times and Great Blessings" by Ken Worth
4. "The Galloping Ghost" by Gary Andrew Poole
5. "My Organic Soul" by Jacqueline Rhinehart
6. "Forever My Lady" by Jeff Rivera
7. "Afterlife Crisis" by Steve Mayfield
8. "Nina's Got A Secret" by Brian W. Smith
9. "Fresh Frozen" by Darden North, MD
10. "This Life Isn't Perfect Holla" by Sandra Foy
11. "The Journey" by H. G. Adler
12. "Factory Girls" by Leslie Chang
13. "Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes," Daniel Everett
14. "Fashion Inside Out," Daniel Vosovic
15. "Smart Cookies' Guide to Making More Dough" by Smart Cookies
16. "Mr. Fix-It" by Crystal Hubbard
17. "Abramo's Gift" by Donald Greco
18. "More Drama In The Church" by Dynah Zale
19. "The Office Girls" by Sylvester Stephens
20. "Jealousy" by Marsha D. Jenkins-Sanders
21. "Giants Among Men" by Jack Cavanaugh
22. "Meat Market" by Bruce Feldman
23. "Watching Baseball Smarter" by Zack Hample
24. "Are You Fascinated?" by Ken Tucker
25. "Ready To Male" by Lamar Ariel

Missed Conversations' "Top 100 of 2008"? Visit them below:
http://readingmylips.blogspot.com/2008/10/just-in-conversations-reveals-its-top.html

COMING MONDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2008: Conversations' Author of the Year 2009!

Join the addiction: Get hooked on books!
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