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Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Conversation With Author Anthony Littlefield

We all have a past, whether we are aware of it or not. Some make the decision not to pursue knowing about it, but others make it a goal or a pursuit to find out all that they can. Author Anthony Littlefield chose the latter. He chronicles his journey and those with him in the book BITTERSWEET JOURNEY. He talks with Cyrus Webb about the experience, the hard work that goes into marketing and promoting a book and his advice for aspiring writers.

Anthony, thanks for taking out the time to talk with us. Before we get into your book BITTERSWEET JOURNEY, why don't you tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Los Angeles, California in 1954. My father is from Columbus and my mother is from Jackson, MS. Unfortunately, my parents were divorced when I was five years old. After my parent's divorce, my younger brother Ron and I were sent to live with my father's mother, Juanita in Columbus. I attended Columbus public schools and attended classes at Franklin University. During my formative years I developed a passion for history, especially, black history here in America. I just completed my 37th year with my employer. Thankfully, with the publishing of Bittersweet Journey, I'm at the beginning of a second career.

If I had grown up with you, would your journey to being a published author be a surprised to me?
Yes, by that I mean I never really talked about becoming a writer or even thought that I had a talent for writing, especially since English was one of my more difficult subjects in school.

When did you know that you had a book that you felt like needed to be written?
When we first began our journey of discovery, my intention was to keep a small journal. But after our first initial visit to Black Mountain, it occurred to me that we had a fascinating story about our family and the incredibly beautiful land they called home. I think this was because we knew so little about our family that every discovery of relatives and the events surrounding their lives meant more and more to us.

Tony, your book BITTERSWEET JOURNEY is about your trek to find out more about your family, but it is about a journey to better know you as well. What was the most surprising element that came from the journey for you?
If I had to pick one thing it would be that I learned how much my family's past really has meant to me personally. Learning how some of them adapted to life after slavery and becoming prosperous and leaders of their communities despite incredible odds. That has sustained many times when I ran into 'brick walls' along the way, keeping me going when there were times when it became difficult or I wanted to quit. Whenever those situations arose, I thought of the obstacles my ancestors overcame. And my journey has given me an opportunity to see up close and personal how race relations still matter in how we sometimes see each other.

You really made it a family affair. Do you think it would have meant as much if you didn't have them with you along the way?
I can't even imagine traveling down this road alone. Having various family members with me along the way at different times has brought us closer together as a family with our experiences as we have struggles to put the pieces together of our history. The relationship that I have appreciated the most is my relationship with my father. I hope that readers see a lot of the story through his eyes based on his life's experiences as a black man in a world that has changed for the better over a period of time.

For individuals who believe the past should be left in the past, why would you tell them that maybe they should rethink that ideal?
I think it goes without saying that "to know where you are going you have to know you have been." So much of who and what we are today is a result of our shared past. I can understand why some do not want to remember the mistakes and hurt of the past. But I think we owe it to our ancestors to remember them for what they overcame to make life better for us today. I believe that we can draw strength from the triumphs of the past.

Putting on your marketing hat for a moment, Anthony, did it surprise you as to how much work it took to let others know about your book?
Not really. With thousand of books on the market at any given time, I knew getting my story out would be a monumental challenge-and it has been just that. Working with a small ad budget, and this being a first-time experience for me, identifying and reaching the audience I wish to has been difficult. Thankfully, with the explosion of the internet I have the ability to reach out to readers around the world.

You and I spoke recently, and you told me that some have wondered aloud who outside your family would be interested in your journey. Tell us about that conversation and what happened to you that let you know that others were benefiting.
Several months ago I had the good fortune of being contacted by family members in the South that I was unaware of, but they knew about my book. We began sharing information, and I was later told that another relative had recently published a 'picture book' about another branch of the family tree, with the intentions of distributing her book to family members only. Her reasoning for family only was that she felt that the general public would not be interested in reading or seeing our family history. I took the opposite approach because I knew that millions of people around the world are devoted to preserving cultural and family history. I think that nothing garners attention more than literature about country, home and family, and that is what Bittersweet Journey is about, country, home and family. Whenever I'm contacted by perfect strangers who are either intrigued by the subject matter, or have read the book and found my story a great read and inspirational, I'm simply thrilled.

Anthony, for those who might be aspiring writers out there, and are wanting to make 2010 the year they get something done, what advice would you give them?
My advice to potential writers is that every book begins with the first page. You haven't done anything until you actually write the first words. And when contemplating what to write about, keep in mind, does the story have a hook, and is it worth a book? Look for a writer's group in your city, sharing your thoughts with others pursuing the same goals as you is invaluable.

Thanks again for your time, Anthony. If our readers want to find out more information about you, where can they find you online?The pleasure has been mine. Readers can learn more about me at my website, www.anthonylittlefield.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins Uses Words To Bring Aide To Haiti

Everyone is looking for ways to aide those devastated by the earthquates in Haiti. For Bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins, he is using his gift with words to make a difference. Here is an announcement from his desk:

---------------From Jerry B. Jenkins-------------------------
I’m sure you feel as frustrated and helpless as I do over the catastrophe in Haiti.

We want to help in tangible ways and wonder how. As an author, I deal in books, and frankly, books are not what are needed there right now.

So, how can I turn books into an effort for that devastated country?

Here’s an idea:
I’m offering copies of my book, Writing for the Soul, with this guarantee:

Add one penny to the retail price of $24.99 to round it to an even $25. I’ll cover postage and handling out of $5 of that and promise to send the rest, all $20 of it, to one of two Haitian ministries I know and trust. And you can even choose which one.

Further, if it turns out that postage and handling is less than $5 per book, I’ll send the difference too. I will not take a penny from these sales.

I’ll put the details about the book and the two ministries below so you can read about them if you choose to.

Meanwhile, if this resonates with you, either send a check made out to Jerry Jenkins for $25 for each copy to P.O. Box 88288, Black Forest CO 80908, or call my assistant Debbie at (719) 495-5835 with your credit card information. Either by mail or phone, let us know which ministry you want your gift to go to.

Here are the choices:

1. Cross International partners with more than 30 ministries in Haiti, funding schools and clinics to the poorest of the poor. Eighteen schools with 258 teachers minister to 6,000 kids and ensure each gets a meal of beans and rice every day and every teacher receives a meager monthly check.

Many of their schools are in shambles. Many of the kids were living on the edge of a cliff, which crumbled in the earthquake. Cross International will get resources directly to those Haitians they have a relationship with, longtime trusted friends.

2—If you want to help orphans in Haiti, we will send your donation to Orphans First. It will go to two orphanages that Orphans First works with, including one that runs a feeding program.

Details about Writing for the Soul by Jerry B. Jenkins (Writer’s Digest Books):

This is a hardbound book full of writing tips and with lots of anecdotes about the famous people I have been privileged to work with…people like Hank Aaron, Walter Payton, Nolan Ryan, Meadowlark Lemon, Billy Graham, and more.

Whether or not you’re a writer, you probably know someone who would be interested in this title. And if you already have one, why not get one for your church?

Jenkins was chosen by Conversations Book Club as one of its Literary Legends 2009-2010. You can find out more information about him at www.JerryBJenkins.com.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

(Jan. 17-22, 2010) This week on Conversations LIVE! Radio

(January 17-22, 2010) Shadow Play Entertainment and Conversations LIVE! Radio is pleased to present one of the most powerful weeks of discussions it has held in the past six years. Hosted by Cyrus Webb, join us live at the times listed below by going to www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or listen live through the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2010 @ 7p.m. EST (6p.m. CST/4p.m. PT) --- Author Stef Williams talks to us about her new book JOY HAPPENED.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2010 @ 7:30p.m. EST (6:30p.m. CST/4:30p.m. PT) --- Author T. C. Alexander discusses her book CONSEQUENCES OF ADULTERY.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17, 2010 @ 7:45p.m. EST (6:45p.m. CST/4:45p.m. PT) --- Herschel Dixon brings us this week's "Herschel D's Weekly Sports Wrap-Up".

MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m.PT) --- Author Aisha Gant aka A. Life talks about the events that led to the writing of SECRET WOUNDS & HIDDEN PAIN.

MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Anthony Jerrod discusses the role that faith played in his life and the writing of CARNAL STRIVING SPIRITUAL.

MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2010 @ 8:30P.M. EST (7:30p.m. CST/5:30p.m. PT) --- Recording artist Duane Scott returns to the show to discuss what's next for him in the New Year.

MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2010 @ 8:45p.m. EST (7:45p.m. CST/5:45p.m. PT) --- Our resident chef Bruce Tretter brings us this week's "Quick and Easy Cooking Tips".

TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Earnest Wingo discusses the hot topic of abuse and his new book A SCENT OF JASMINE.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2010 @ 1:30p.m. EST (12:30p.m. CST/10:30a.m. PT) --- Authors Diana Welch and Liz Welch talk about the events in their lives that led to the writing of THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 19, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Shadow Play Entertianment, in connection with Hype Magazine, is pleased to present a special one-hour presentation on Conversations LIVE! Radio: "AMERICA UNDER OBAMA: One Year Later". Hosted by Cyrus Webb, the show will be a discussion of the election, agenda and progress of the country's 44th President. Joining Webb for the discussion will be Anzour Jallouqa (founder of Global Outreach and host of IGMG Radio), H. Michael Harvey (political commentator and author of Paper Puzzle), Sasha Abramsky (journalist and author of Inside Obama's Brain), Billy Hallowell (political commentator and host of RENEW TV), Matt Harrison (author of The American Evolution), Ricky Spann (author of Man-Up) and special comments from Norma Smith (publisher of Hope, Change and Obama).

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- H. Lewis Smith will talk about his feelings about the "N" word and the website www.burythatsucka.com.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author/Blogger Tracy Bell talks about her inspiration to write and what she hopes to bring to the world through our website in 2010.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 21, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Bernard Boulton talks about his new book DO YOU WANNA BE MADE WHOLE?

FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author/journalist Cesca Janece Waterfield talks about the path that led to the writing to BAR TAB.

Missed any of the live shows? Listen to the podcasts by going to www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Jan. 10-15, 2010: This Week On Conversations LIVE! Radio

>(Jan. 10-15, 2010) Over the next six days, Cyrus Webb and Conversations LIVE! Radio will introduce you to individuals who are making their mark in 2010. To listen to any of the shows live, visit www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or listen through the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 10, 2010 @ 7p.m. EST (6p.m. CST/4p.m. PT) -- Author David Goldberg tells us the inspiration of his book HOW TO DEAL WITH WHITE PEOPLE and the dialogue he hopes to begin with it.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 10, 2010 @ 7:30p.m. EST (6:30p.m. CST/4:30p.m. PT) --- Recording artist and author Jacki-O makes her first visit to Conversations to talk about her life, her music and the upcoming book RELENTLESS.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 10, 2010 @ 7:45p.m. EST (6:45p.m. CST/4:45p.m. PT) --- Herschel Dixon returns for "Herschel D's Weekly Sports Wrap-Up".

MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Steven Young talks about the events in his life that led to the writing of CHANGED DESTINY.

MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Icen talks to Conversations about EMPTY PLEASURES.

MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2010 @ 8:30p.m. EST (7:30p.m. CST/5:30p.m. PT) --- Recording artist Kut Supreme
returns to Conversations LIVE! to discuss his new album TRIAL AND ERROR.

MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2010 @ 8:45p.m. EST (7:45p.m. CST/5:45p.m. PT) --- Our resident chef Bruce Tretter is back for his weekly segment QUICK AND EASY COOKING.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Janice Longpre talks about the life use to live and the book A PLACE IN TIME.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Carrie J. Keaton talks her writing career and what's new for her in 2010.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author/Motivational Speaker Kimberly Yorio returns to Conversations to talk about what advice she is giving for the New Year.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Phil Simon talks about his new book WHY NEW SYSTEMS FAIL.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author/Motivational Speaker Tony Gaskins, Jr. talks about his success, the lessons he has learned from his experiences and what's next.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Jonathan Gaines talks about his new book NO REST FOR THE WEARY.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Rebecca Newberger Goldstein talks about her new book.

Missed the live shows? Hear the podcast by going to www.conversationsliveradio.com. Interested in being a guest or advertising with Conversations Book Club or Conversations LIVE! Radio? Contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

MY HEART HAS WINGS Chosen As Book Of The Year by Conversations Book Club

Shadow Play Entertainment is pleased to announce that "My Heart Has Wings" by author Kris King has been chosen as the Book of the Year for 2010.

"The choice of King's book as our feature during the New Year was based on its message of hope, triumph and forward-looking appeal," says Cyrus Webb,34, President of Conversations Book Club and the host of Conversations LIVE! Radio. "Having read the book twice myself, I am convinced that book lovers and anyone looking for encouragement and reassurance will benefit from it." Webb officially made the announcement of the pick during his live radio show Friday, January 1, 2010 while the author was on the program (see http://tobtr.com/s/824271).

"My Heart Has Wings" chronicles experiences of the author, and in 52 chapters, it allows the reader to take a walk through her life, learn from her challenges and accomplishments and even add their own reflections along the way. Kris King has been a repeat guest of Conversations LIVE! Radio and her book has been featured by the book club on several of its "Best of" lists.

Beginning Monday, January 4, 2010, listeners of Conversations LIVE! Radio's Monday 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) program will hear Webb read a chapter of "My Heart Has Wings" at 25 min. past the hour. Each chapter ends with reflection questions that he will also ask.

To find out more information about author Kris King, visit www.krisking.org. The book "My Heart Has Wings" has its own website, www.myhearthaswings.com.

To hear archived shows from Conversations LIVE! Radio or to find out who will be on the show next, visit www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jan. 3-8, 2010: This Week on Conversations LIVE! Radio

Over the past six years, Cyrus Webb and Conversations LIVE! Radio have been bringing the world some of the best in interviews, discussion of current events in the headlines and exciting guests. Now in its first full week of 2010, look for that trend to continue...

SUNDAY, JANUARY 3, 2010 @ 7p.m. EST (6p.m. CST/4p.m. PT) --- Join Author T. C. Alexander in her first primetime interview to discuss what led her to writing and her book CONSEQUENCES OF ADULTERY.

MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Christopher Valen talks about his beginnings as a writer and what to expect in the New Year.

MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- The Authors In Matrimony talk about writing as a husband and wife team and their debut novel THE UGLY TRUTH.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author and Literary Jill Vanderwood talks about what led her to write children's book, what she has been doing to promote reading and what is coming up next for her.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST.5p.m. PT) --- Author Dee Sanderson talks about relationships and her new book HOW TO MARRY A LOSER WITHOUT EVEN TRYING.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Ethan Austin, co-founder of GIVE FORWARD talks about the organization, the power of giving and how books tie into his resolutions for 2010.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Steve Hyppolite talks about his new book A WARRIOR'S PASSAGE and how he hopes it sparks dialogue about what it means to leave a legacy behind.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2010 @ 8:30p.m. EST (7:30p.m. CST/5:30p.m. PT) --- Author Ish Major, M. D. talks relationships and his new book LITTLE WHITE WHYS

THURSDAY, JANUARY 7, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Thought-provoking and sometimes controversial author Keifer Bonvillian talks about his investigative style and the new book The Broken Road.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Steve Young talks about his life as a writer and his plans for the New Year.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8, 2010 @ 2:30 p.m. EST (1:30p.m. CST/11:30a.m. PT) --- Robyn Okrant aka LO talks about her year long project to live the life outlined by the Queen of Talk and her book LIVING OPRAH.

Listen to any of the above interviews LIVE at their listed showtime by going to www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive. or by calling the studio to listen live at 1.347.426.3645. After the live shows, they are podcasted at www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

REVIEW: "The Happiness Factor" by Kirk Wilkinson

(Reviewed by Cyrus Webb for Conversations Book Club and Conversations Magazine)

With a New Year normally come new resolutions based on what we would like to see accomplished for ourselves and others in the future. Indeed, as we listen to the news and think about the trials that so many are experiencing it is enough to bring you down and make you feel as though all hope is lost. Not so. We have only to look at the examples of those who have weathered difficult times and succeeded to see that in many instances we are the ones really limiting ourselves.

Take for instance Kirk Wilkinson. He has spent almost half his life trying to assist others in realizing the potential that they possess. He has released a powerful book called “The Happiness Factor: How to be Happy No Matter What!” and through it he shared not only his practical advice for others but showed his credentials to do so. You see, Kirk is not just someone who is talking about a subject without having any real experience with it. He has personally had to use the information to get through his own low points.

Read the entire review by Cyrus Webb here: http://cawebbonline.blogspot.com/2010/01/review-happiness-factor-by-kirk.html