Conversations Magazine ~ All About BOOKS

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Paulette Harper: Using Her God-Given Gifts to Help Others Answer the Call


by Cyrus Webb

For years bestselling author Paulette Harper has been able to use her God-given abilities to inspire and empower individuals around the world. I've had the opportunity to interview her several times on our various platforms, and each time she shows not just appreciation for her gifts but the joy she feels in being able to help others.

With several projects going on in 2022---including her own podcast---Paulette shows the importance of rising up and answering the call each and every day.

 Paulette, when did you know that part of your mission was to inspire others?

My mission to inspire others came years before I started writing books. My first mandate is to preach, so sharing an impactful message has been in me. Writing to inspire others is something God has equipped me with because of the things I have experienced in life. Those experiences have shaped, developed, and caused me to use my gifts beyond the four walls of the church. 

 Books are just one way you have reached your audience. Did you always know that being an author was something you were meant to do?

 No. I didn’t get the nudge to write my first book until I was going through one of the worse times in my life — a divorce. I had no idea that writing books would be the vehicle God would use to redirect my life, expand my reach, and allow me to make a greater impact on those I’m assigned to.

Along your journey you have produced collaborative projects with other authors. Where did that desire come from to help share the stories of others?

After I published a few solo projects, I got the idea to ask other writers to join me as in co-authoring my first book collaboration. I knew there were other aspiring authors, who for whatever reason, were sitting on the sidelines wanting to write, but needed the push. It started with seven women who had powerful stories to share and voices that needed to be unmuted. Over the years, I’ve published five best selling anthologies creating 80 best-selling authors.

 That's amazing! Your newest project that you’re gathering stories for is I SURVIVED THE STORM (Turning Adversities Into Triumph). Tell us about it?

 These are raw, authentic, and candid stories from men and women who were stretched, pressed, and crushed but realized they had to options: death or survival. They chose surviving. This sure to be bestselling masterpiece will be released in July 2022.

  How has the accomplishment of being a bestselling author and helping others accomplish that achievement impacted you?

Becoming a bestseller multiple times has been very rewarding. Along with the implied impact to readers, it also indicates that readers know the stories I publish are empowering, life-changing and worth their time to read. I believe in offering others the opportunity to experience the transformation of becoming a best-selling author. I take pride in wanting those who partner with me to have an amazing experience of knowing what it really means to become an author, and how to live in that moment when their dreams become reality.

 For those looking to be a part of future projects what should they do?

    Those looking for more information on my next book collaborations can sign up on my waitlist 

https://pauletteharper.ck.page/5b63b72620

What is your advice for aspiring authors and writers?

                I’ll give three pieces of advice for aspiring authors.

                1. I would highly recommend to those who are aspiring to become authors to be patient    with the process of becoming well known. Connecting with your audience and  branding yourself will take time. Especially for new writers the market is flooded with books for readers to choose from so by keeping this in mind you must be able to patiently   wait your time to shine.

                 2. Promote, promote, promote. I would suggest they start early. Start creating the buzz     about   your book months in advance. Look on the internet for ways to reach your readers, having a web site designed, flyers and if one can afford it, hire someone as a     publicist.

                 3. And promote some more.  I can’t stress that enough. Your book/books will stay alive if you keep them in front of your audience. No one is best suited than you to promote and market your products. If writing is your passion, you will continue promoting and marketing your books even when it appears like no one is buying.

  Great advice indeed. Tell us, Paulette, what’s next for you?

                I’ll be launching One Story University. One Story University is an online school that provides nonfiction aspiring authors with a step-by-step process on how to write    and publish their self- help, how to, and personal story books in 90 days.

 How can we keep connected with you online?

 Website: https://pauletteharper.com

 Business website: Write Now Virtual Book Tours www.wnlbooktours.com

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100010047302425

 Clubhouse: https://www.joinclubhouse.com/@pauletteharper

 IG: https://www.instagram.com/pauletteharper1/

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/pauletteharper

Monday, February 14, 2022

[REVIEW] Want to really make the difference in your community? Akbar Cook shows how to FOCUS ON THE LOVE

 

In the world we live in it is easy to have a title. We hear about people in leadership positions all the time, but are they really leaders Do they really have what it takes to motivate, inspire and push others to be their best selves? That is what Akbar Cook talks about in his book FOCUS ON THE LOVE.

Giving real examples, including that of his own, he shows us what it takes to TRULY be a leader, not in word but in deed. We have to understand the needs of those we work with and do our part to encourage them to see their own worth and value. Cook has been able to do this in the kids and community activities he has been a part of, but it has been reinforced by the words and deeds of others, too.

This book is great for those who are either already taking the lead in some form or want to see what it takes to be effective. The big takeaway for me is that love has to be the force behind all that we do. That will keep us focused and determined to not just win for ourselves but enjoy the satisfaction of raising up other winners and leaders.

Get your copy of FOCUS ON THE LOVE on Amazon

Friday, February 4, 2022

[BOOKS WE LOVE] Conversations' Top 100 Books of 2021

 


During 2021 there were hundreds of books that Conversations Media Group founder Cyrus Webb was able to read and enjoy throughout the year, but this list represents the books he couldn't get enough of that he wanted to share with the world. 

Introducing Conversations' Top 100 Books of 2021!


Top Non-Fiction Books of 2021 (Listed in no particular order) 

  1. Just As I Am by Cicely Tyson  (Harper Collins)
  2. These Walls Between Us by Wendy Sanford (She Writes Press)
  3. Into the Deep by Robert D. Ballard (National Geographic) 
  4. Will by Will Smith with Mark Manson (Penguin Press)
  5. Leonard, Marianne, and ME by Judy Scott (Backbeat Books)
  6. Influence and Impact by Bill Berman and George Bradt (Wiley)
  7. Resilient Heart by Ruby C. Wight (Best Seller Publishing)
  8. Stronger by Cindy McCain (Crown Forum)
  9. Pops by Craig Melvin (William Morrow)
  10. What Happened to You? by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey (Flatiron Books)
  11. Finding Forward by Jeffrey Morse (Brown Books)
  12. The Water Defenders by Robin Broad and John Cavanagh (Beacon Press)
  13. Transformation by Dr. Teresa A. Smith (DQ Consulting, LLC)
  14. Standing Upright in an Upside Down World by Dennis J.Perkins (Xulon Press)
  15. Uncle John's Hindsight Is 20/20 (Portable Press)
  16. Extraordinary Awakenings by Steve Taylor (New World Library)
  17. Identity Shift by Anthony Trucks (Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press)
  18. A Necessary Explosion by Dan Burns (Chicago Arts Press)
  19. The Burning Light of Two Stars by Laura Davis (Girl Friday Books)
  20. Big Brain, Little Brain by Kevin Thomas McCarney (O'Connell House) 
  21. The Marathon Don't Stop by Rob Kenner (Atria Books) 
  22. Checking In by Michelle Williams (Thomas Nelson)
  23. Feeding the Soul by Tabitha Brown (William Morrow)
  24. Permission Granted by Regina Louise (New World Library)
  25. The Joy of Being Selfish by Michelle Elman (Welbeck Publishing)
  26. The Demon In Disguise by Ashley Elliott (Koehler Books)
  27. Every Day Is a Field Trip by Jay Hummer (Sparkling Day Press)
  28. Committed by Paolina Milana (She Writes Press)
  29. No Spring Chicken by Francine Falk-Allen (She Writes Press)
  30. Unstoppable by Joshua M. Greene (Insight Editions)
  31. Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised by Carmelo Anthony with D.Watkins (Gallery Books)
  32. Blind Pony with Samantha Hart (Wild Bill Publications)
  33. The Division of Light and Power by Dennis J. Kucinich (Finney Avenue Books)
  34. Dance Your Dance by Laurieann Gibson (Thomas Nelson)
  35. My West Side Story by George Chakiris (Lyons Press)
  36. The Beauty of Living Twice by Sharon Stone (Alfred A. Knopf)
  37. The Redemption of Bobby Love by Bobby an Cheryl Love (Mariner Books)
  38. The Everyday Leader by Hema Crockett and Michael Crockett (Morgan James Publishing)
  39. Hadassah by Hadassah Lieberman (Brandeis University Press)
  40. You Will Never Be Normal by Catherine Klatzker (Stillhouse Press)
  41. Life Free by DeVon Franklin (William Morrow)
  42. Sinatra and Me by Tony Oppedisano (Scribner)
  43. Content, Inc. by Joe Pulizzi (McGraw Hill)
  44. Involuntary Exit by Robin Merle (She Writes Press)
  45. Red Cape Rescue by Darcy Eikenberg (Page Two


Top Fiction Books of 2021 (Listed in no particular order)

  1. Sissie Klein Is Completely Normal by Kris Clink (Spark Press)
  2. Under Color of Law by Aaron Philip Clark (Thomas and Mercer/ Amazon Publishing)
  3. As the Wicked Watch by Tamron Hall (William Morrow/Harper Collins)
  4. In  All Good Faith by Liza Nash Taylor (Blackstone Publishing)
  5. The Seer by Eva Shaw (Torchflame Books)
  6. Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell (Berkley/Penguin Random House)
  7. The Society of Intellectual Beings by Iris Bolling (Siri Austin Entertainment)
  8. If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (Hyperion Avenue)
  9. The Shadow Box by Luanne Rice (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  10. The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray (Berkley/Penguin Random House)
  11. Chess Not Checkers by Tony Lindsay (Golden Butterfly Publishing)
  12. Don't Make Me Turn This Life Around by Camille Pagan (Lake Union)
  13. Hello, Rest of My Life by Rick Lenz (Chromodroid Press)
  14. See Jane Snap by Bethany Crandell (Montlake/ Amazon Publishing)
  15. Infinite Stars: Chronicles, Book Two by Joe Pranaitis (Joe Pranaitis)
  16. The Receptionist by Kate Myles (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  17. Upstate Hustle by Tasha Goins (Tasha Goins Publications)
  18. A Gambling Man by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing) 
  19. Island Queen by Vanessa Riley (William Morrow/Harper Collins)
  20. A Final Call by Eliot Parker (Publisher Page/Headline Books)
  21. The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi (Mira Books)
  22. The Reluctant King by K'Wan (Akashic Books)
  23. False Witness by Karin Slaughter (William Morrow/Harper Collins) 
  24. A House Full of Windsor by Kristin Contino (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing)
  25. The Dead Husband by Carter Wilson (Poisoned Pen Press)
  26. Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa  Unger (Park Row Books)
  27. Wolf Point by Ian K.Smith (Thomas and Mercer/ Amazon Publishing)
  28. Choose Me by Tess Gerritsen and Gary Braver (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  29. One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite (Ink Yard Press)
  30. Lies We Bury by Elle Marr (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  31. Love for Beginners by Jill Shalvis (William Morrow/Harper Collins)
  32. Her Name Is Knight by Yasmin Angoe (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  33. Until We Are Lost by Leslie Archer (Lake Union)
  34. Truth Is In the House by Michael J. Coffino (Koehler Books)
  35. The Umbrella Lady by V. C. Andrews (Gallery Books)
  36. Catch Us When We Fall by Juliette Fay (William Morrow/Harper Collins)
  37. A Past that Breathes by Noel A. Obiora (Rare Bird Books)
  38. The Social Graces by Renee Rosen (Berkley)
  39. The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams ( Berkley)
  40. The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms (Lake Union)
  41. The Love Con by Seressia Glass (Berkley)
  42. The Good Lie by A. R. Torre (Thomas and Mercer/Amazon Publishing)
  43. Little Pieces of Me by Alison Hammer (William Morrow/Harper Collins)
  44. Lie, Lie Again by Stacy Wise (Lake Union)
  45. Love Scenes by Bridget Morrissey (Berkley)

Top Books for Young Readers (Listed in no particular order)

  1. Our Table by Peter H. Reynolds (Orchard Books)
  2. Shady Baby by Gabrielle Union-Wade and Dwyane Wade, Jr. (Harper Collins Children)
  3. What the Road Said by Cleo Wade (Feiwel and Friends)
  4. Hello, Cruel Heart by Maureen Johnson (DisneyPress)
  5. Marcus Makes A Movie by Kevin Hart (Crown Books for Young Readers)
  6. Being Clem by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Holiday House)
  7. Simon B. Rhymin' by Dwayne Reed (Little, Brown)
  8. Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia (Disney Hyperion)
  9. Forgiveness: The Story of Eva Kor, Survivor of the Auschwitz Twin Experiments by Joe Lee (Red Lightning Books)
  10. Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon (Peachtree Publishing)


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

[MUSIC REVIEW] Canaan Cox delivers another unforgettable song with AS YOU LEAVE


 It's been amazing to watch Canaan Cox's star continue to rise. He's such a talented artist, and it's not just about releasing music. He makes every single an experience.

When he started teasing AS YOU LEAVE on social media his excitement for the song was contagious, so as soon as it was released I had to get it. The message is so good for the times we are living in, especially for those guys who are looking for the words to say to that special lady.

Cox sings about the feeling you get when you are not with that person, and how it seems as though things just stop. For some of us we know that's not an exaggeration. We just don't always talk about it. That is what sets him apart. He's not afraid of letting his girl know how he feels, how she makes him feel and what being with them does to him.

AS YOU LEAVE can be seen as a love letter or sorts but also a realization that you've found something real. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

[MUSIC REVIEW] To the one we can't stop thinking about, THINKING OF YOU 24/7 is dedicated to them

 


Nathaniel Kimble and Omar Cunningham come together to create a song that the ladies will love. 

THINKING OF YOU 24/7 is all about letting that special someone know how much they mean to you. As guys we are not known for expressing ourselves well, but this song is one we can put on and let it speak for us. In spite of all that is going on in the world we know we wouldn't be who we are without that love.

For the ladies who wonder if their man cares or appreciates them, this song answers the questions with an affirmative. 

[MUSIC REVIEW] IF IT ALL FALLS DOWN asks the questions we want answered when it comes to relationships


Sometimes things can seem too good to be true. With IF IT ALL FALLS DOWN by Karim and Claire Donzelli we are able to see how so many relationships start out, with everything going right. The question is there, however, will it always be that way? 

With a driving beat and the lyrical gift that is Claire on top of it we get the message loud and clear. When love is like a palace and seems magical, will it last? If it all falls down will you be there? When grey skies appear will you stay or leave?

A song that appreciates what is while realizing what might be, IF IT ALL FALLS DOWN asks the questions we want answered when it comes to relationships. 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

One-On-One with Actress/Content Creator Nadege August


by Cyrus Webb

Nadege, people have gotten to know you most recently because of the Tyler Perry hit show RUTHLESS, but you've been able to do some great work even before this. What has it been like for you, especially over the past five years to be able to reflect on your work and how you got to where you are today?

I must say it's a little surreal. You get into this work because it's something that you love. You must've heard people say quite often when you're starting out, if there's something else you can do, please go do that instead. It is a very, very challenging life. But when you are driven and you know your why, and you stick to it, the work speaks for itself. 

I've done everything from stage work, and I still do that, television series where I've been a guest quite often, pilots that didn't get picked up... And now seeing this, where it came from of all places, it's just amazing. I'm still a little bit shocked. You mentioned the show RUTHLESS, that's where I'm seeing a response that's outrageous.

I love the fact that you have not been afraid to trust your own voice. When did you realize that you had something that you wanted to share?

I think I got a few glimpses of it when I was 14 and realized this is something I wanted to do. I just didn't have a name for it. Just seeing the impact your performance has on an audience. Their reaction is usually genuine, because people are pretty honest in their nonverbal cues. I also have a podcast . That is where I started to realize that I do have opinions, what I say matters, and I have a responsibility. It's a part of my plan to use my platform that I'm gifted with and to have it be impactful in a way that is about compassion and empathy. 

I'm curious, Nadege, what was that like for you to not only be able to find some fulfillment for yourself, but to find that other people were also enjoying what you were doing?

You know what's funny for me is that you never quite know when you're in the work, After you do the work and you see the feedback, the results, the stranger who takes the time to either leave a review or find your email and send you an email. It takes my breath away. 

Sometimes I pause and I go wow. Those small gestures somehow keeps you going. I'm not going to lie. I don't wake up every day gung-ho and ready to take on the world. I have my highs and my lows, and there are times where I've thought of giving up. During those times I kid you not, I get a whisper from an angel in the form of a human who says something that is so encouraging and completely genuine that gives me this perk that I need to keep going. And it also is a cautionary tale as to when you think to say something nice to someone, you have to say it. It's always so easy for us to criticize and to point out what doesn't work, when in fact, when something does work, take the time and let someone know. You never know what that might mean to them.


Stay connected with Nadege on Instagram at www.instagram.com/bougiedilemma and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nadegeaugust