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Monday, January 24, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: "Come Sunday Morning" by Terry E. Hill


by Cyrus Webb for Conversations Book Club/ www.conversationsmag.com

After an almost eight year hiatus, author Terry E. Hill returns to the literary scene with what is a complete literary treat: Come Sunday Morning. While his first novel (Inside The Fall) took us into the complicated and sometimes corrupted world of politics, Hill's sophomore offering leads us right into the church and the double life of celebrated Pastor Hezekiah T. Cleaveland. He seems to have it all: a massive and adoring congregation as well as a equally compelling wife and beautiful daughter, but as in so many cases in life, nothing is ever as it appears to be.

Though the back cover explains a great deal of what the book is about, Hill once again gives us a backstory and character development that makes him such a gifted storyteller. You see, not only is Pastor Cleaveland being unfaithful to the vows he made to his wife and the church, he is being just as unfaithful to himself. In his quest to have everything that he wants, he loses himself and becomes a mirror that reflects the hopes and aspirations of others.

Ironically,though, it is during his unfaithfulness that the Pastor is able to finally admit the truth. "I've never loved anyone, or even myself, as much as I love you," he says to his lover. "No one has ever forced me to look beyond myself and my own needs or my own ego...You've made me realize I've never really cared for anyone and didn't think I had the capacity to. My world has always been about me, and what I desired more than life itself. I wanted power and all that came with it---fame, wealth, and respect. Well, I've done it. I have it all, and when I got it, I began to hate myself more than I had ever hated my worst enemy. All I could see staring back at me in the mirror was a hollow, lonely man who had traded his soul just to be recognized when he walked down the street..."

What a remarkable confession, and it is one that no matter what your profession many can relate to. How many of us have given up what we really want just to go after what we feel like will make us look the best to the world. Pastor Cleaveland showcases that not only do we have the potential to destroy ourselves but those that we have involved in our facade of a life---sometimes with irreversible consequences. It is also important to realize that with much of life, what's done in the dark will ultimately come to the light.

Come Sunday Morning is just the kind of book we needed to start off the year, not just because it is an entertaining read, but as any literary work worth its salt, it sparks a much-needed discussion. Kudos to Terry E. Hill for once again showcasing that some things get better with age. This is a book that will be talked about for some time to come.

To find out more about the author, visit www.terryehill.com.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

(Jan. 23-31, 2011) Coming Up on Conversations LIVE


Coming Up On Conversations LIVE Radio


(Sunday, January 23, 2011) With a new year and a desire to spark real discussions in 2011, Shadow Play Entertainment has adopted the theme "A Year Of New Beginnings". As Conversations LIVE prepares to celebrate its eighth year on the radio and online, this means that host Cyrus Webb is committed to sharing stories that highlight a renewed sense of self as well as inspiration for people of all ages.

Below are the upcoming highlights of January 2011 for Conversations LIVE. To listen to the shows live, simply visit
www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or listen via the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645. Guests of the show are encouraged to call into the switchboard a few min. early and press "1" to alert the show that you are ready for your segment.

*     Sunday, January 23, 2011 @ 7p.m. est (6p.m. cst/4p.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour host Cyrus Webb talks with chef Bruce Tretter, host of "Quick and Easy Cooking" on Conversations LIVE, about his love of food and his desire to make the kitchen a more comfortable place for everyone. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with mother Ziva Lev about her son Nathan's battle with cancer, and how he is using his creativity to help out with his own expenses.
 
*     Monday, January 24, 2011 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb welcomes Terri Clay to Conversations LIVE to share how she is using her life to inspire others. Next, Webb shares his exclusive interview with Carlotta Walls LaNier of the Little Rock Nine about her touching autobiography A MIGHTY LONG WAY.At the end of the hour, resident chef Bruce Tretter shares this week's Quick and Easy Cooking tip with listeners.
 
*     Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10p.m.pt) --- At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb welcomes actor/activist Michael Cory Davis to Conversations LIVE to talk about his life in the entertainment business and how he is using his celebrity to bring attention to worthy causes. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb welcomes back bestselling author Stephen Jay Schwartz to talk about his journey as an author and the success of his new book BEAT.

* Tuesday, January 25, 2011 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- At the top of the hour, host Cyrus Webb welcomes back author Rod Harvey to discuss his battle with drugs and how his road to redemption led him to write the book CRACK, LOVE AND PAIN. Then in a Conversations exclusive, Webb talks with author Terry E. Hill about what moves him as a writer and his brand new book COME SUNDAY MORNING.
 
*     Wednesday, January 26, 2011 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) ---At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb welcomes author T. Nicole to talk about her debut novel. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with recording artist Lil' Chuckee of Young Money/Cash Money about his career, what it's like to live his dreams and teaming up with Shadow Play Entertainment's Hip Hop and Books project to promote reading.
 
*     Thursday, January 27, 2011 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- Cyrus Webb welcomes community activist and radio show host Pamela Muldoon back to Conversations LIVE to talk about her plans for 2011.
 
*     Sunday, January 30, 2011 @ 10:30a.m. est (9:30a.m. cst/7:30a.m. pt) --- Hosts Mary E. Gilder and Cyrus Webb welcome you to Inspirational Conversations to share a positive message headed into your new week.
 
*     Sunday, January 30, 2011 @ 7p.m. est (6p.m. cst/4p.m. pt) --- Host Cyrus Webb welcomes author Laushaun Robinson to Conversations LIVE to discuss his journey in life, fighting his personal demons and his book BROKEN SILENCE OF THE ELITE.
 
*     Monday, January 31, 2011 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- Host Cyrus Webb ends the month of January with author Meg Collins on Conversations LIVE. The two discuss what led her to writing and how she is using social networking sites to not only promote herself but share valuable information.

Missed the live shows? Listen to the podcast recordings for FREE by going to
www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive. Additional information can be found about guests and the shows at www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Interested in being a guest, advertising on our website or on the radio program?  Contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616 with Conversations LIVE Radio in the subject line. CONVERSATIONS: Feeding your love of life.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Author Alean McIntyre Adams: Traveling Through Pisgah and Beyond

by Cyrus Webb for Conversations Book Club/Conversations Magazine

At the age of 75, Mississippi author Alean McIntyre Adams has seen more than her fair share of change in Mississippi and around the world. In her new book WAY BEYOND PISGAH, she takes readers into the journey that has been her life and allows us to see how the events she has lived through have shaped the woman she has become.

While talking with Adams, it is impossible to deny her excitement for life. She explained to me that she was always a person who questioned things instead of just accepting whatever she was told. "I knew there had to be a better way of life," she says. "God wouldn't want it to be that way."


"That way" growing up was in a segregated world in Mississippi. She saw alot of prejudice, but thanks to strong people like her mother around her, the young girl knew that better days were possible. "My mother told me that we could do anything," she reflects, and that was something that she never forget.

Throughout her childhood and into her adulthood, Alean Adams fought against the challenges she was faced with and realized what was possible with hard work and dedication. To her, though, she was just doing what she knew was right. "I was doing what I did for my family and to make the world a better place," she told me. She hopes her book will allow younger generations to see that progress that has been made, what it took to bring about change and realize their role in keeping it going.

An important chapter in Adams' life was her work in the Civil Rights movement. The reader gets a chance to see why some felt the need to speak up and out about the injustice they saw, and the results of such action. You are also able to see how fear of the unknown kept others from moving forward. In the end, though, it is a culmination of all of the events of her life that makes Alean who she is.

And the meaning of the book title? In the book the author tells of an experience when she was visiting a doctor and he commented on her use of correct English. In the exchange with her he made the statement that she probably hadn't been away from Pisgah. Today the author has been far from Pisgah, traveling around the world, and that is what is possible for others to attain as well.

Adams doesn't allow others to dictate the course of her life. She realizes that she has the power to bring about the life she wants. What better message than that to share with others!

For more information about Alean McIntyre Adams and her book, contact her at 601.829.2702.

In Mississippi the book can be found at Milestone Christian Bookstore in Pearl, MS and available to everyone by mail order.

Monday, January 17, 2011

S.C. Author Teaches Lessons Of Race,Individuality In New Children's Bo ok

 

For author M. Beatryce Shaw, "Mr. Browne and the Rose Show" is not just another children's book. It is an important message about acceptance and embracing individuality.

Dealing with issues of race is something that is not new to the Ohio native. When she was a little girl she saw firsthand how some treated those who were seen as different because of how they looked.

Determined to use her experience in a positive way, Shaw began writing about it. "Mr. Browne and the Rose Show" is the second book in a series and centers around Mr. Browne's roses that are participating in the town's rose show. Their unique shades of brown make them perfect for the competition, but not everyone is excited about roses that are different.

The book is a powerful story of overcoming prejudice and the  prevailing influence and innocence of children. Readers of all ages will see that Mr. Browne's roses have what it take to win regardless of their color.

To find out more about M. Beatryce Shaw, visit www.schoonerpublications.com. To contact her about visiting your school or upcoming event, email her at schnr@bellsouth.net or call her at 843.665.1347.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Author Jackie Carpenter's Visit To MS: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED


(Saturday, January 8, 2011) Day two with author Jackie Carpenter completed what was an amazing visit of inspiration, hope and the assurance of the light at the end of the tunnel of whatever we are going through.

NOTE: If you missed the report from Day 1 of Jackie's visit to Mississippi, read it here: http://conversationsbookclub.blogspot.com/2011/01/frijan-7-2011-cbc-report-author-jackie.html

Cyrus Webb of Conversations Book Club began the day at the Crossgates area Subway Restaurant discussing the message of Carpenter's book THE BRIDGE and the importance of faith when it comes to challenges in life.

Joining the conversation was long-time friend of the book club Jennifer Vess.

From there it was on the Pearl Public Library where for two straight hours, Jackie was able to meet patrons and library employees, sharing her book and what she hopes they take away from it.




OVER 30 COPIES of THE BRIDGE made its way into the hands of individuals who seemed excited to not only meet the author but take home something that could help them as they deal with their own problems in life.

Conversations Book Club wishes to personally thank Ramesh Gajjar and the staff at Subway Crossgates in Brandon, the staff of the Pearl Public Library, book club supporter Annette Brown and all those who made day two of this literary event a success.

To find out more about Jackie and her book, visit www.bridgetoamiracle.com. To stay abreast of other events hosted by Conversations Book Club, visit www.thebestbookclub.info.

Friday, January 7, 2011

(Fri.Jan. 7, 2011) CBC Report: Author Jackie Carpenter's Visit To Mississippi, Day One

(Friday, January 7, 2011) Shadow Play Entertainment and Conversations Book Club welcomed Jackie Carpenter, author of THE BRIDGE, to Mississippi on Friday, January 7, 2011 to begin her two day promotion of the book and how her faith helped guide her through a dark chapter of her life.

Hosted by Conversations' President Cyrus Webb and co-sponsored by Stanley Clark of For The People Productions, the day began at Medgar Evers Library in South Jackson. There Carpenter shared snippets of her life story and how the inspiration for the book came about.


Those in attendance listened intently as she explained that it was never her intention to become an author, but God had other plans.
Before leaving the library, she also donated a copy of her book to them so it can be shared with the patrons.

While in Jackson, Webb and Carpenter stopped by Clear Channel's radio offices to drop off a copy of the book for Nikki Dulaney of Hallelujah 95.5 FM for consideration for her book club selections.


From there, the group was on its way to Pearl, MS where Webb introduced Carpenter to some of the staff at the Pearl Public Library, and she donated copies of her book THE BRIDGE to them for use by their patrons.


As it would be, Conversations Book Club supporter and evangelist Diane Johnston was also present at the library, and was able to get a copy of Carpenter's book as well!

Next stop was Milestone Christian Bookstore where Carpenter was able to talk with management about her book and even laid the groundwork for a future signing at the stop when she returns to Mississippi!


The final stop of the day was at DSI, the renal center where Webb's grandmother is on dialysis. Several nurses from the Mississippi State Hospital had expressed interest to Webb about their love of books, and he was able to introduce them to the visiting author, share her book and the message she hopes they get from it.


The overall message that Jackie Carpenter shared was this: "I had to go through the test in order to have a testimony, and I had to endure the mess so I could have a message." What an incredible way to look at tests and trials that we all go through!

Find out more about Jackie Carpenter and her inspiring book at www.bridgetoamiracle.com. Shadow Play Entertainment and For The People Productions thanks the author, her family and everyone who shared the day with them. Day Two will include events in Brandon and Pearl, Mississippi. Details can be found at www.thebestbookclub.info.

Monday, January 3, 2011

(January 7-8,2011) Mississippi Welcomes Author Jackie Carpenter

Conversations Book Club welcomes Jackie Carpenter, author of THE BRIDGE, to Mississippi in events scheduled for January 7th and 8th.


FRIDAY, JANUARY 7, 2011
* 9:30-10:30a.m., "Breakfast with Books" @ Medgar Evers Library * Jackson, MS
* 1-3p.m., Meet & Greet @ Margaret Walker Alexander Library * 2525 Robinson Rd * Jackson, MS
* 6-7p.m., Meet & Greet/Signing @ Appetizers Restaurant * 3000 Hwy 80E * Pearl, MS

SATURDAY, JANUARY 8, 2011
* 9:30-11a.m., "Breakfast with Books" @ Subway Crossgates * Service Drive * Brandon, MS
* 1-3p.m., Booksigning @ Pearl Public Library * 2416 Old Brandon Rd * Pearl, MS
* 6-7:30p.m., Meet & Greet/Signing @ Appetizers Restaurant * 3000 Hwy 80 E* Pearl,MS

All events are free and open to the public and are part of Conversations' year-long mission of encouraging reading during 2011.

Additional information about the book and the author can be found at www.bridgetoamiracle.com. For more information contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616. Additional information can also be found at www.thebestbookclub.info.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A NEW BEGINNING: Conversations' Book Of The Year, 2011


(Sat., January 1, 2011) Shadow Play Entertainment and its subsidiaries are pleased to announce their choice for Book of the Year for 2011 is A NEW BEGINNING by Alfred Langer.

"It was an obvious choice for us this year," says Cyrus Webb, President of Shadow Play Entertainment and Conversations Book Club. "Our theme for 2011 was "A Year Of New Beginnings". We want people to look at themselves, evaluate their circumstances and look at their past as a catalyst to do more in the future. Today is a new day, and everyday we are alive is a chance for a new beginning. With that in mind, Langer's book chronicles just that message and should give all of us hope for the future."

The readers of A New Beginning will experience a remarkable journey. Through the heart, mind and eyes of a young Alfred Langer they will have a new comprehension and understanding of the horrors of war, sense the tragedy of homelessness, and appreciate the reality of losing everything they own. But through the massive heartbreak and callous misfortune they will also be exposed to and learn unforgettable lessons of family values and uncompromising faith.

As reader Katy Chilcoat, in Columbus, Ohio recently observed, “A New Beginning is a powerful example of survival and overcoming rejection and seemingly insurmountable odds in order to achieve the American dream. Mr. Langer’s persistence and determination are not only extremely inspirational, but a study in personal responsibility. This is an important book, laced with stirring and touching motivation, which should be read by everyone.”


(Webb seen here with Conversations' Book of the Year, A New Beginning) Alfred told Shadow Play Entertainment that he was extremely pleased and enormously honored to have A New Beginning chosen as the Book of the Year. Many of his readers have expressed their thanks for his literary efforts and indicated that this is a book, which will touch your heart and stay in your mind long after reading the final chapter.

To celebrate the choice, Langer's book will be featured on all of Shadow Play Entertainment's main webpages. To find out more about Langer and the book, visit www.langersnewbeginning.com.

Listen to the author's interview with Cyrus Webb on Conversations LIVE Radio here.