Get your subscription to #ConversationsMag today!

Need help promoting? Contact us!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

POEM: "I Can't Be Stopped" by Cyrus Webb

I CAN'T BE STOPPED*
by Cyrus Webb
(Psalms 118:13,14,17)

The worst thing you can do is count me out.
If you think saying something about me is going to stop me, then you really don't know what I'm about...
and that means you'll underestimate me.

I can understand why you are afraid...and you should be.
Not because I am that powerful, but because of the power within me.

What separates you from me is the passion that drives each day of my life.
I don't focus on the negativity and the strife of the day.
I look for a way to make my next 24 hours better than the ones before it.

You might just want to get ahead, and that's okay---for you.
But to really be successful you have to think about the bigger picture.
Life is about the impact you have on those around you, and what you do to really make a difference.

It's not about how many people know your name
or living the celebrity life that bring you money and fame.
I'm more about another reward.

I want the peace of mind that one finds by using their skills for good...and I do.
If I am to excel and the talents I've been given propel me into the spotlight, then I want to make sure I'm using that opportunity well.

This is not about me.
It's about the endless possibilities that we all can achieve.

So when you think you're doing something to defame me, think again.
I'm no longer a person who needs your praise to get through my day or feel good about myself.
That's why you can't stop me.
Only I can stop me.
And stopping is something I have no intention of doing.
As long as there is breath in my body I will continue to be the best I can.
I can't be stopped.



* I CAN'T BE STOPPED is from Cyrus Webb's poetry chapbook MY VOICE: 1999-2009 and beyond

September 18, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

(Thurs. Sept. 30th) MS' Cyrus Webb Presents A Decade Of His Artistic V oice

Before he started a BOOK CLUB, he was on TV. Before he was on TV, he was on RADIO. Before he was on radio, he WROTE and DREW for others...But before he wrote and drew for others, he did it for HIMSELF...

On Thursday, September 30, 2010, Mississippi native Cyrus Webb (aka C. A. Webb) presents "MY VOICE: A Decade in the Arts, 1999-2009." This will take place at the Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road * Pearl, MS).

"I'm excited about this event," says Webb, 35. He feels as though many who may know him for just his work in promoting literacy or being on the radio will be able to see the full picture through this event. "This is my first art show and poetry reading in 4 years, and I'm excited to share with people what I have been doing over the past few years as well as over the past decade."

Since 1999 the Brandon, Mississippi resident has hosted events across the country, starting literacy campaigns that have rallied thousands around books and even blurbs half a dozen books along the way. His radio show averages over 100,000 listeners online each month, and his book club is the largest co-ed reading group in the country, being praised by national bestselling authors as well as leading publishing houses.

MY VOICE will begin with an art show at 4p.m. featuring some of Webb's work from 1999-2009. The public will be able to walk through his life and chronicle year by year what he had done, how his work has evolved and where he is headed in the new decade. At 6p.m., Webb will host a poetry reading featuring his most popular work from the past decade, as well as new work that has never been heard before. The crowning achievement for Webb during the evening will be the release of his new poetry chapbook MY VOICE: The Compilation.

Admission to the entire day's events is free, and the public is encourage to come out and celebrate one of Mississippi's native sons.

For more information, contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com, 601.896.5616 or visit
www.cyruswebb.com.

Monday, September 27, 2010

COMMENTARY: "The Devil Is Sitting On Ready" by Harold Michael Harvey

The Devil Is Sitting On Ready

 

By:  Harold Michael Harvey, Contributing Writer

 

 

           
Let me hasten to say, I am a homo sapiens male engaged in a 29 year heterosexual marriage with a homo sapiens female.  We were married in a church ceremony conducted by a male pastor from the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and a female pastor from the Unity Church.  I'm not certain the ceremony was necessary as each of us had married the other in our heart perhaps three years before we took that noon day vow in the Fall of 1981.

            I thought it best to clear the air before dashing headlong into a soliloquy on the allegations of sexual misconduct recently leveled at Bishop Eddie Long of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia and the universal church''s response to homosexuality in its midst.  We start with this confession in part for two reasons. 

First, other posts on this online magazine addressing this topic have been written by men, who as young boys have had unwanted homosexual contact from church and school elders. 

This, thank God, has not been my experience.  I came to the Christian experience on August 28, 1959.  I was roughly two months shy of my eighth birthday.  My Bishop was Peter Randolph Shy, the presiding prelate of the Sixth Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.  He was perhaps the age I am today when we first met.  He was ninety-six years of age in 1995 when he summoned me to his hospital bed and requested that I draw up a Last Will and Testament for him.   His mind was clear as a bell.  He recalled the first time he laid eyes on me at the Mount Zion Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in 1956, just prior to the governing body changing the name of the church.  Somehow I remembered that day too.  I knew I had shaken hands with an extraordinary man dressed in a black suit and white shirt.  In a spiritual sense he never took his hands off me.  He watched me grow up into adulthood and fought for me to become the first youth delegate to the Quadruple Conference of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, which was held in Memphis, Tennessee the Spring of 1970.  He was a Bishop's Bishop, a preacher's preacher, a model for the laity as well as for others wishing to enter the ministry.  He was a man like all other men who have walked the earth, save perhaps, One.  Surely he had his faults, but, neither I nor the public were privy to them.  We fought with him mostly over pastoral appointments.  Always thinking we should have gotten someone other than the person he had assigned.  The day before his transition he asked me to come back to see him again.  Following work that day I drove over to the hospital, he was alone in his room.  I stood over him praying until he open his eyes and greeted me.  "Lawyer, where is your preacher," Bishop Shy queried me in a faint voice.  I was somewhat taken aback by his query and stood speechless.  He repeated himself, and then he met my silence with a beaconing finger. I moved closer. "Lawyer, you are your preacher, keep the faith and put God first in all that you do."  His eyes drifted closed and I left the room with a pledge to return the next day.  He slipped away before I could return. 

Secondly, when I suggested caution in a seemingly uncontrollable rush to prejudge Bishop Long on a Face Book thread several days after news broke that four young men in his mentoring program had alleged sexual misconduct, a young man called me "an old fool."  He further stated he "did not know how you lived so long thinking like you do.  You can go to Hell with Eddie Long."

His barb harkened me back to the mid 1990s when I represented a Muslim merchant who was denied a city permit to bring Minister Louis Farrakhan to speak in a park in an east Atlanta neighborhood to students attending Freaknic. Talk about getting one's fifteen minutes of fame; for two solid weeks I was awakened each morning to the sound of my voice on WGST radio or the voice of a newscaster detailing what my day's activities would be in my efforts to secure a permit for Minister Farrakhan's visit.  One morning my wife woke me up at 6am and asked what would I be doing that day; before I could tell her, a newscaster informed the public that I would be in a hearing appealing the denial of this permit.  I was amazed at the number of people who questioned whether I was a Muslim and mocked me for agreeing with the views of Minister Farrakhan.  By 1996 I had been on the Christian path for 37 years, perhaps far longer than many of my distracters had been in the earth. Yet had anyone cared to ask, no one would have been swayed by the commitment I made during Summer Revival 1959.

Such strong words to be leveled when only one side of the story is known.  Yet this young man's thrust and much of what others posited on social networks throughout the country last week points out the depths of how far we have sunk as a Christian nation.   Much, if not all of this rush to judgment came from the African American community.   I've watched other ethnic groups the past two summers in political discourse act like anything but the Christians they portend to be.  Yet I had thought the African American community was upholding the "Blood Stained Banner" of Christ.

However, other ethnic groups have watched in amazement as members of Bishop Long's community jumped on the side of his accusers, without waiting the five days it took for him to address the matter.  

Who, after all, created this 48 hour rule in public relations to address bad publicity?  Must matters of the Spirit adhere to mortal constraints?  In the Christian Methodist Church on Communion Sunday you can hear the congregation sing:  "He never said a mumbling word, He never said a mumbling word." This song depicts Christ's silence at the accusations hurled his way; points out when it comes to matters of the Spirit one should answer to the Spirit and not say one "mumbling" word to the flesh.

The Complaint alleges Bishop Long abused his "Spiritual Authority" in his relationship with these four men.  One can only reasonably assume that a grant of Spiritual Authority comes from God.  Man, as I understand the Christian Gospel, can not confer Spiritual Authority on the flesh.  I would think this principal is true in all Spiritual thought.  Thus Bishop Long must discuss this issue with his maker while he is yet in the flesh. 

At the same time God has given humankind the authority to manifest rules for the orderly progression of society.  This the State of Georgia has done, thus the rule of law requires a certain procedure for deciding what happens once a civil law suit has been filed.  

A civil suit does not assign guilt or innocence to the parties.  This fact seems to be lost on the horde calling for Bishop Long to abdicate the pulpit.  A civil suit determines whether the defendant had a duty not to cause harm to another, whether there was a breach of that duty and whether there were damages as a result of the breach.  The standard of proof in a civil suit is the preponderance of the evidence.  This is a lesser standard than the beyond a reasonable doubt standard in a criminal case.  A preponderance of the evidence is where, given the evidence, it is more likely than not the defendant violated the standard of care owed to the plaintiffs. 

The plaintiffs first have to prove that the Codal provision they sued under has jurisdiction over Spiritual Authority.  Once getting over this bar, the plaintiffs must establish Bishop Long was negligent in the exercise of his Spiritual Authority.  Then the plaintiffs must prove they were harmed as a result of some negligence on the part of Bishop Long. 

On first blush it would appear the plaintiffs can easily prove damages.  However a careful reading of the Complaints show they are silent on any mental health treatment any of the plaintiffs have incurred because of any mental trauma associated with the alleged sexual contact with Bishop Long.

Thus I was not surprised to see Bishop Long pledge to fight the plaintiffs in court, while at the same time making his personal confession to his Spiritual Authority.

While the Church is confused and in disarray over "he said/ he did the unthinkable to me", the Devil is in the vestibule sitting on ready.

What then can be said about the church universal's approach to homosexuality in the body of Christ?  From what I have observed, homosexuals are tolerated in most churches, which is a far cry from acceptance.  When I was a child most homosexuals were in, as they say the "closet." I was not aware that there were any homosexuals in my church as a teenager.  Surely there must have been some who feared ostracism from the church and society if their secret became known. 

Although not blessed with a good voice, as a young man I sought to sing in the church choir.  When a gay member of the choir attempted to take me aside for special voice lessons, several women who knew what his proclivities were scorned him and told him in no uncertain terms that it was okay for him to engage in his lifestyle outside of the church, but he was not to attempt to recruit the men of the church.  They then followed up with me and told me how embarrassed for me they had been and how proud of me that I did not embarrass him in any faction by pretending that his advances were not in fact advances.  This is how many churches in the past treated the homosexual congregant.   I didn't call him out.  I pretended he was only interested in providing voice lessons.  The attitude of the church can be summed up thusly:  We know what you are.  We don't care what you do outside the church.  But we do not condone what you are.

Then I had a preacher who went on what we would call today a  "homophobic rant".  Several Sundays in a row he called not for the homosexual element to repent, but to leave the church.  The assault was so strong I felt as uncomfortable for the object of his sermons as I had felt the night the male choir member made his advances.  Ironically, the preacher's son, who at the time of the rants was perhaps the age I was when I joined the Church, later took a baseball bat to a man who made homosexual advances towards him. How much of that behavior was a product of the sermons he had heard as a small child, I have often wondered in the years since this happened.

I do not believe homosexuals can expect to find acceptance in the traditional Christian Church and will have to form their own congregations to be able to worship in peace and with the feeling of acceptance each congregant comes to expect to feel in the place they worship.

This all leads us back to Bishop Long's address to his 25,000 strong congregation at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.  While others outside of the congregation urged him to step down, his flock said fight.  There is more at stake in this issue than the reputation of one man.  There is the mental health of four young men who have alleged Bishop Long has engaged in sexual conduct with them, there is the mental health of 25,000 people who have pledged their fidelity to Bishop Long, there are the outreach ministries of the church which are significant and then there is the prime interest:  The body of Christ must be exalted.  "We war not," the scriptures warn, "against powers and principalities, but against a dark Spirit."

Thus a civil complaint which sounds in the flesh gives new birth to the devil who is sitting on ready waiting for the doors of the church to open.


Harold Michael Harvey is the author of the novel PAPER PUZZLE. You can find out more information about him and his literary works at www.paperpuzzle.net.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here are the thoughts and feelings of the author of the article and are not necessarily those of Shadow Play Entertainment or Conversations Magazine.

(Sept. 27-Oct.1, 2010) This Week on Conversations LIVE Radio


(September 27, 2010) As Shadow Play Entertainment prepares to end one month and usher in another one, Conversations LIVE Radio is giving you a powerful week of discussions to fit individuals of all interests.

During the month of September 2010, host Cyrus Webb has interviewed over 40 individuals who had powerful stories to tell about their journey in life and how they were utilizing their talents and skills to make a difference. To hear the culmination of the month, simply tune in this week to find out what's next!

All shows can be heard live online at www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive or through the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645. All guests are strongly encouraged to call in 3-5 min. early to ensure they are on the line before the show begins and others call in to listen.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- Bestselling Authors Rhonda McKnight and Spencer Quinn
At the top of the hour, host Cyrus Webb welcomes bestselling author Rhonda Mcknight to Converations LIVE to discuss her writing career and her new book AN INCONVENIENT FRIEND. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with bestselling author Spencer Quinn abut his new book TO FETCH A THIEF.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m.pt) --- Authors Marquis Cooper and Tasha Wright
At the top of the hour, host Cyrus Webb talks to author Marquis Cooper about that led him to write the book SISTA LET ME TELL YA, BRUH IF YOU ONLY KNEW. At 30 min. past the hou, author Tasha Wright discusses her career as an author and her new book WHEN A TATTERED PAST CATCHES YOU. Finally at 45 min. past the hour, resident chef Bruce Tretter gives this week's Quick and Easy Cooking Tip.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- Author Bill Schley on Conversations LIVE
Host Cyrus Webb talks with Bill Schley about his life as an award-winning marketer and his brand new book THE MICRO SCRIPT RULES.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m.pt) --- Author Debra Christenson on Conversations LIVE
Host Cyrus Webb welcomes author Debra Christenson to Conversations LIVE to discuss writing for children and her book HAIRY HARRY.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m. pt) --- Authors Anthony Raimondo and David Kahane
At the top of the hour, host Cyrus Webb welcomes author Anthony Raimondo to Conversations LIVE to discuss the writing of RETURN TO EDEN. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with New York Times Bestselling author David Kahane about his new book RULES FOR RADICAL CONSERVATIVES.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 @ 8p.m. est (7p.m. cst/5p.m. pt) --- Author Russel Blake and Photographer Justin Lopzez on Conversations LIVE
At the top of the hour, host Cyrus Webb talks with author Russel Blake about his amazing success as a musician and author and what led him to write the book PROVERBS 31: The Virtuous Black Woman. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks to photographer Justin Lopez about the art he creates and how social media has helped him bring his skills to the world.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2010 @ 1p.m. est (12p.m. cst/10a.m.pt) --- Bestselling author Stephen Jay Schwartz on Conversatins LIVE
Host Cyrus Webb ends an incredible week of conversations with Los Angeles Times Bestselling author Stephen Jay Schwartz, talking about his career and his new book BEAT.

Missed any of the shows live? Listen to the podcasts for free at www.conversationsliveradio.com. Interested in being a guest on Conversations LIVE or advertising either on the website or on the air? Contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

(Sat. Sept. 25, 2010) Author Ed Slack's Visit To Mississippi: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

From Cyrus Webb ---> (Saturday, Septembr 25, 2010) On behalf of Shadow Play Entertainment, Conversations Book Club and all of their literary supporters, thanks for making Author Ed Slack's visit to Mississippi a success.

Over the course of the day and in three events, we were able to show that individuals throughout the state are committed to working together and supporting the importance of reading. Escorted by Conversations Book Club President and Founder Cyrus Webb and Stanley Clark of For The People Productions, the author traveled through Central Mississippi sharing the message of his book TWO LEGGED SNAKES.

The day began at Pearl Public Library in Pearl, MS where the author met patrons and interacted with library staff.





After that event it was on to Yazoo City, MS where Coach Staples of Focus On The Children, members of the city government and over a hundred residents came out to meet the author and support the Literacy Rally held in downtown Yazoo City.







The final event was at Appetizers Restaurant in Pearl, MS where the author shared in some great conversation over great food.



Ed Slacks is the 90th Conversations Book Club has hosted since November 2006. To find out more information about him and his book, visit www.twoleggedsnakes.com. To stay in contact with what's next for Conversations Book Club, visit www.thebestbookclub.info.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sexual Allegations Against A Popular Bishop Renews Conversation About Homosexuality and The Church

With sexual allegations being made against Atlanta-based Bishop Eddie Long by members of his own congregation, a new debate and dialogue is being given a voice nationwide concerning homosexuality in the Christian Church.

In light of the scandal that has erupted, abuse survivors and authors Larry "DaPharoah69" Wilson and Jonathan Spikes,both of Miami, FL, have released statements about their own experiences and what they hope will come out of the firestorm.

"As a bestselling author who has been statutory raped by two of my pastors when I was a teenager and never spoke out on it (till recently), I am deeply saddened. I won't degrade Pastor Eddie Long, for I don't know the entire story. I've been on both sides of abuse being a four year survivor of childhood rape, and survivng fals allegations against myself 14 years ago when I was 19. So I sympathize with both Eddie Long and the accusers. I do know opportunists are out there waiting to pounce on someone's fame for notoriety. But if it is true, then this reverberates how I felt when a pastor from a church I attended when I was 14 raped me and got up in the pews the very next Sunday damning all homosexuals to hell, looking me deeply in the eyes. I didn't feel I was worth anything. Its hard for anyone to actually come forward and admit someone did something to them, especially of a sexual nature. I feel that if you are a leader or a pastor leading a congregation, though you aren't perfect and you are without sin, you should monitor your actions and hold yourself at a high regard because those who you influence are also your fans, followers and supporters. Negativity befalls them as well when you participate in hidden agendas.

"This should be a wake up call to Pastors everywhere. Instead of bashing homosexuality more than you bash adulterers, murderers and men with more than one woman, pastors should show more understanding and humility towards his fellow man and woman. And with this understanding stereotypes and prejudices will be alleviated, and the church and a people can start to heal through charity." --- Bestselling author Dapharoah69, The King of Erotica



"The Minister Long allegations brings up the perfect opportunity for the church to finally address the issues of homosexuality. I feel the rejection of homosexuality is the norm in most churches. I know it was in the church that I once belonged to.

"From the pulpit, the pastor preached that homosexuality was contrary to God's word. "God ain't make man to sleep with man. How can you love God and indulge in homosexual sin?" I felt guilty. It made me feel that something was wrong with me. I prayed and prayed that God would take away my feelings toward men. I would lay on the floor and cry and plead with God. However, those feelings still remained. I hated myself. I felt as if I was going to burn in Hell.

"I desired to make it into Heaven so I constantly read my Bible, and I spoke in tongues, and I rebuked the Devil in Jesus̢۪ name, and I had declared spiritual warfare, and I had pleaded the blood of Jesus in order to keep my flesh free of homosexuality. But still, in the end, I was gay.

"I asked my preacher to pray with me. I just had to be free of the homosexual demon that plagued my life. He prayed and prayed. He even poured Olive Oil on the top of my head. He spoke in tongues. When he finished he told me that I was delivered. I jumped up and down and shouted for joy. I was delivered. After we prayed, my pastor urge me to find another church that deals with people like me because he don't tolerate those type of demons in his church.

"I questioned why homosexual sin was singled out by my pastor and my church congregation. But what about all of the other sins? I kept asking. Isn't sin--sin? If sin is sin, and no sin is greater than the other, why do churches reject homosexuality or make it appear that it is the ultimate sin? Pastor's commit adultery, fornication, theft, cast the first stone, and a whole slew of other things that is contrary to what the Bible teaches, but it seems to be accepted or not as sinful as homosexuality.

"Why tell me that I can be whatever I want to be, when being gay is not, and should never be a part of that whatever?" It's time for the church to answer this question, Why say that God loves you in-spite of, but then you reject me because of? It is time for some answers.

"I was molested as a child. It hurts when you put your trust in an authoritative figure, only for them to molest you. I never told anyone because of fear, guilt and shame. I did not want to get him in trouble. I felt like I caused it. I was so brain washed that I became attracted to all tall, dark skinned, muscular men because it reminded me of my abuser. Even as an adult, he still controlled my mind.

"I spent several years putting myself through psychological torture as I tried to hold on to the "secret." I acted out by participating in self destructive behavior. Through therapy, faith and writing my novel, I know what I AM and I AM NOT what you call ME!, I was finally able to let go of the pain and move forward with my life. I realized that it was my anger that gave him power over me, and it was my forgiveness that set me free. We can only move forward if we address the pain. Hopefully, the church is finally ready to address the pain." --- Jonathan Spikes, author of I KNOW WHAT I AM AND I AM NOT WHAT YOU CALL ME

Both DaPharoah69 and Jonathan Spikes are available for interviews and discussions to talk about their own triumphs over personal tragedies and how they have channeled their energy towards success and happiness. For more information, contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616. You can also visit www.shadowplayent.com.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

(Wed. Sept. 22) Conversations LIVE Welcomes Back Singing Sensation Abraham McDonald

(Wednesday, September 22, 2010) Conversations LIVE Welcomes back singing sensation Abraham McDonald

In one year he has been on the musical ride of his life, and there doesn't seem to be any stopping for recording artist Abraham McDonald. The Island Def Jam recording artist returns to Conversations LIVE and talks with host Cyrus Webb and guest co-host Mary E. Gilder about his remarkable journey in music from winning Oprah Winfrey's talent competition in 2009, signing a record deal and then touring the country. He also takes you through his first official single MIRACLE, the song BETTER THAN WORDS as well as the first single he introduced on Conversations in March 2010 I BELIEVE IN ME. This is one show you don't want to miss!

Listen to the show live online at http://tobtr.com/s/1270453 or through the studio number 1.347.426.3645. Missed McDonald's first interview on Conversations LIVE? Listen to it at www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

(Sat. Sept. 25, 2010) Shadow Play Entertainment Welcomes Dr. Ed Slack

(Saturday, September 25, 2010) Shadow Play Entertainment, Conversations Book Club and its literary partners are pleased to welcome Dr. Ed Slack, author of TWO LEGGED SNAKES(Understanding and Handling Manipulative People).

"I was introduced to the author earlier this year," says Mississippi native Cyrus Webb,35. He is the President of Shadow Play Entertainment, Conversations Book Club and host of Conversations LIVE Radio. "Dr. Slack was a guest on our radio show not long ago, and from there we began making plans to work together in scheduling some events."

Slack will be in Mississippi for one day only promoting his book, talking about what led him to writing and what he hopes others get from his advice.

* 11-1p.m. --- Dr. Ed Slack will be at Pearl Public Library (2416 Old Brandon Road * Pearl, MS) meeting patrons and signing copies of his books.

* 2:30-4:30p.m. --- Dr. Slack will be the guest of honor at the Triangle Cultural Center (Ste. A, 332 Main St. * Yazoo City, MS). Specal guests include the Mayor of Yazoo City, City Council member Aubrey Brent, Coach Johnny Staples of Focus on the Children, Stanley Clark of For The People Productions and Cyrus Webb. Free food and music available as well as performances from area schools.

* 6-7:30p.m. --- Dr. Slack will be the guest of "Spoken Word Saturdays" at Appetizers Restaurant (3000 HWY 80 * Pearl, MS) reading from his book and signing copies. Admission is free and food specials are available.

Books will be available for purchasing at all events. To find out more about the author and the book, visit www.twoleggedsnakes.com.

For details about any of the events surrounding the visit, contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616. Details can also be found at www.thebestbookclub.info.

(Sept. 19-24, 2010) This Week on Conversations LIVE Radio


(September 19-24, 2010) This week on Conversations LIVE host Cyrus Webb will introduce you to great literary and musical individuals who are living their dreams and giving the world their very best.

To listen to the shows live, simply visit www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive at showtime. You can also listen via the show switchboard at 1.347.426.3645. Guests are strongly encouraged to call into the studio at least 3-5 min. early to make sure you are connected before your segment goes live.



SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2010 @ 10:30a.m. EST (9:30a.m. CST/7:30a.m. PT) --- Inspirational Conversations with hosts Cyrus Webb and author Mary E. Gilder

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2010 @ 7:30p.m. EST (6:30p.m. CST/4:30p.m. PT) --- Author Venessia P. and recording artist Lindsay Katt
At the top of the hour Cyrus Webb welcomes author Venessia P. to Conversations LIVE to talk about her book ONE BET. At 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with Big Noice recording artist Lindsay Katt about her musical journey.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Charles Yu on Conversations LIVE
Host Cyrus Webb welcomes author Charles Yu to Conversations LIVE to discuss his book HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN A SCIENCE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Jo Davis and Recording artist Vanessa McLean of Mad June
At the top of the hour Cyrus Webb welcomes author Jo Davis to Conversations LIVE to discuss what led her to writing and her book DOMESTICS. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with Vanessa McLean of the group Mad June about their musical style and what's next for them. Finally at 45 min. past the hour, resident chef Bruce Tretter gives this week's QUICK AND EASY COOKING TIP of the week.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author John J. Miller on Conversations LIVE
Host Cyrus Webb welcomes author John J. Miller to Conversations LIVE to discuss his new book THE FIRST ASSASSIN and how Amazon Encore gave him a fresh start on reaching a wider audience.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Celya Bowers and Recording artist Lisa Pascarella
At the top of the hour Cyrus Webb welcomes author Celya Bowers to Conversations LIVE to discuss her literary journey and her book PROMISES OF FOREVER. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with recording artist Lisa Pascarella about what led her to music, and she introduces her single SHOWDOWN.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Recording artist Abraham McDonald returns to Conversations LIVE
In one year he has been on the musical ride of his life, and there doesn't seem to be any stopping for recording artist Abraham McDonald. The Island Def Jam recording artist returns to Conversations LIVE and talks with host Cyrus Webb and guest co-host Mary E. Gilder about his remarkable journey in music from winning Oprah Winfrey's talent competition in 2009, signing a record deal and then touring the country. He also takes you through his two official singles (MIRACLE and SHE MAKES MY HEART BELIEVE) as well as the first single he introduced on Conversations in March 2010 I BELIEVE IN ME. This is one show you don't want to miss!

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Shelley Seale returns to Conversations LIVE
Cyrus Webb welcomes author Shelley Seale back to Conversations LIVE to discuss her mission to bring attention to those who can't speak for themselves and what led her to write the book THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE: Invisible Children of India.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Authors Ricky Spann and Deborah Johnson on Conversations LIVE
At the top of the hour, host Cyrus Webb welcomes back author Ricky Spann to talk about his book MAN UP and what he hopes readers take away from it when it comes to personal responsibility. Then at 30 min. past the hour Webb talks with author Deborah Johnson about what led her to write the book THE AIR BETWEEN US.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Filmmaker/Director/Author Gary Hardwick and FASHION FORWARD with Gail Ambeau
He is responsible for bringing the world great movies like DELIVER US FROM EVA and THE BROTHERS as well as great books over the years. Now Gary Hardwick makes his first appearance on Conversations LIVE to discuss his amazing career with host Cyrus Webb and guest co-host Mary E. Gilder. Then at 30 min. past the hour, fashion designer Gail Ambeau brings this week's edition of FASHION FORWARD.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 @ 8:30p.m. EST (7:30p.m. CST/5:30p.m. PT) --- B Jay and Moe of G Unit Riderz on Conversations LIVE
Host Cyrus Webb welcomes B Jay and Moe of G Unit Riderz at a special time to Conversations LIVE to talk about the motorcyle group, its connection to 50 Cent and G Unit as well as how their lives are another example of what can happen when you don't give up on your dreams.

Missed any of the live shows? Catch up on all of the podcasts by going to www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive. Interested in how you can sponsor a show, underwrite a segment or be a guest yourself? Contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616. For additional information about Conversations LIVE, visit www.conversationsliveradio.com.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mississippi Native Pens Biography of New Orleans Rapper C-Murder


(Monday, September 13, 2010) One year after Platinum-selling recording artist Corey "C-Murder" Miller was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, Mississippi native and multi-meda personality Cyrus Webb began writing about the rapper's life. What was supposed to originally be a series of articles for his online magazine about the person he knew C-Murder to be has grown to a point where he has decided to turn it into a book.

"I think it's really unfortunate what has happened to Cee since the trial and conviction," says Webb, 35. He originally met the rapper in 2006 and was able to work with him on a literacy project, even starting a book club together in New Orleans. In 2008 the two hosted a weekly radio show called TRU Conversations and participated in online chats with young people to encourage them to do their best and discuss the choices they made. Cee and Webb last corresponded in early 2009.

"There is so much more to him than what has been written about on blogs, turned into jokes about his name and even what it is alleged that he did," says Webb. "He admits he was no saint, but everyone deserves to have their story told. That is what I want to do: give a fair portrait of the man so many only knew through his music and his name." In March 2010 Cyrus started talking with people who had either interviewed or knew Cee, fans impacted by his music and even those impacted by his work in the community to help young people.


The book will cover Cee's life growing up in New Orleans, the events that would shape his music, the rise of No Limit Records, the controversies that caused headlines, his relationship with his family, the music he produced that changed lives and his new venture into publishing. Webb saw firsthand the impact Cee made not only on publishing with his debut novel DEATH AROUND THE CORNER (published by Kensington Publishing), but the way he was able to bring new people to books. "The man sold tens of thousands of copies of his book just through Myspace," Webb says. He was so impressed with what C-Murder did with his book that in 2007 he wrote the judge on his case and asked that he be allowed to visit Mississippi to promote it. Though Cee was on house arrest, the request was granted and over 200 books were sold in just the two-day visit, making headlines nationwide. In 2008 Webb was also brought on as the tour coordinator for rapper Jacki-O when her book GROWN & GANGSTA was published by TRU Publishing, becoming its first release. (More below)





No release date has been set, however the tentative title is 'C-MURDER: A TRU Soldier's Journey.' Webb hopes to wrap up the writing of the book in November 2010 and is now reaching out to C-Murder's family to see if they want to be a part of the project. This includes famous brothers Master P and Silkk the Shocker who were a part of the No Limit clique. "It would be nice to have their support and blessing on the project," says Webb, "but it is an unauthorized biography. Regardless of whether I am able to speak with them or not, the project will go forth. I feel as though I owe that to Cee and his fans."

Cyrus Webb has been involved in the arts since 1999 and has worked in promoting literacy and the importance of education. Webb began hosting the radio show Conversations LIVE in July 2003 and has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment as well as rising stars. His co-ed book club Conversations Book Club began in November 2006 and has been nationally recognized for its commitment to promoting reading and conversations about important issues. As President of the PR firm Shadow Play Entertainment, Webb also represents over a dozen authors and public figures including actor/author/recording artist Tray Chaney (Poot from HBO's The Wire), Bigg Marv (cousin of M. C. Hammer and co-star of A&E's HAMMERTIME), recording artist/author Jacki-O and actress/producer/author Cherie Johnson (Punky Brewster/Family Matters).

Those who want to be interviewed for the project can contact Cyrus Webb to do so. To stay updated on the project, visit www.cyruswebb.com. Cyrus Webb can be reached at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616.




RELATED LINKS
* The report of Corey "C-Murder" Miller's visit to Mississippi in Oct. 2007
* C-Murder's first tv interview in 4 years, http://conversationsbookclub.blogspot.com/2007/11/c-murder-gives-conversations-his-first.html

Sunday, September 12, 2010

(Sept. 12-17, 2010) This Week on Conversations LIVE Radio


In the first 11 days of September 2010, host Cyrus Webb has already welcomed over 20 guests to the show, sharing new books, music,ideas and stories of inspiration. Now heading into the second full week of the month, Webb welcomes bestselling authors and international recording artists as well as rising stars who are making their own marks in the world. Conversations will also welcome Jamie Inman of www.stayinthepink.com to talk about her own battle with cancer and how she is using her experience to help others.

Below you will find yet another week of conversations you don't want to miss. To catch the shows live, simply visit www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive during show time to listen to the live stream. The show is also available to listen to through the switchboard at 1.347.426.3645. Guests of the show are encouraged to call into the switchboard at least 3-5 min. early and press "1" to ensure you are on the line before the show goes live and others crowd the line.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2010 @ 10:30.m. EST (9:30a.m. CST/7:30a.m. PT) --- Cyrus Webb and author Mary E. Gilder bring you this week' edition of INSPIRATIONAL CONVERSATIONS 

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2010 @ 7p.m. EST (6p.m CST/4p.m. PT) --- Big Noise Recording artists Young Dread and Tyka Nelson
Today's show is all Big Noise and its talented artists. Beginning at the top of the hour when host Cyrus Webb welcomes recording Young Dread to Converations LIVE to discuss how he is using his talent to build a brand for himself. The artist will also introduce new music. At 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with recordng artist Tyka Nelson about her musical journey, her famous brother (Prince) and what's next for her.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Richard Doetsch
Cyrus Webb welcomes author Richard Doetsch to Conversations LIVE to discuss his career as an author and his book THE THIEVES OF DARKNESS.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST(7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Authors Vishwa Prakash and Andrea Clinton
At the top of the hour host Cyrus Webb welcomes author Vishwa Prakash to Conversations LIVE to discuss his thought-provoking book WHO STOLE MY SOUL?. At 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Andrea Clinton about her literary journey.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Authors Daniel Kehlmann and John J. Miller
At the top of the hour host Cyrus Webb talks with literary superstar aniel Kehlmann about his incredible rise in the industry and his new book FAME. Then at 30 min. past the Webb talks with author John J. Miller about his new book THE FIRST ASSASSIN published by AmazonEncore and how Amazon is giving self-published authors new marketability.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010  8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Sasha Campbell and Universal recording artist Lisa Bouchelle
At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb talks with author Sasha Campbell about her incredible literary style and her new book CONFESSIONS. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb welcomes Universal recording artist Lisa Bouchelle about how her dreams are coming true through music.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST(12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- New York Times Bestselling author Nancy Taylor Rosenberg an Yvette Hayward
At the top of the hour host Cyrus Webb welcomes one of his favorite authors to Conversations LIVE:Bestselling author Nancy Taylor Rosenberg! She talks about her amazing career as an author and her brand new book MY LOST DAUGHTER. Then at 30 min. past the hour literary advocate Yvette Hayward returns to Conversations to tell her about this year's award show designed to recognized the best in African American literature.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Crystal Hubbard and recording artists Double-O and Michel'le
At the top of the hour Cyrus Webb welcomes author Crystal Hubbard back to Conversations LIVE to discuss her book TEMPTING FAITH. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with Big Noise recording artist Double-O about their musical journey. Finally at 45 min. past the hour, Webb welcomes legendary recording artist Michel'le to talk about her career in music, her first project in over a decade and what's next for her.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Jamie Inman of Stayinthepink.com
Host Cyrus Webb welcomes Jamie Inman of www.stayinthepink.com to Conversations LIVE to talk about her personal battle with cancer and how she is using social networking and her website to help others through advocate for the cause.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Authors Miriam Shumba and Devon Pearse
At the top of the hour, Cyrus Webb talks with author Miriam Shumba about her book SHOW ME THE SUN and what's next for her. Then at 30 min. past the hour Webb talks with author Devon Pearse about the events in her life that led her to write the book A LIGHTER SHADE OF GRAY.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2010 @ 1p.m. CST (12m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Authors Paul Stutzman and Jeff Carroll
At the top of the hour host Cyrus Webb talks with author Paul Stutzman about his journey that led to the writing of HIKING THROUGH. Then at 30 min. past the hour author Jeff Carroll talks about sports and his new book PERFECT RIVALS.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Authors Andrew Neiderman and Garrick Wade
At the top of the hour Cyrus Webb welcomes back international bestselling author Andrew Neiderman to discuss his amazing literary, the new book GUARDIAN ANGEL and being the ghostwriter for the V. C. Andrews brand. Then at 30 min. past the hour, Webb talks with author Garrick Wade about what led him to writing and his debut novel.

Missed the live shows? Catch the podcasts anytime at www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive. Want to find out additional information about Conversations, its guests and upcoming events? Visit www.conversationsliveradio.com. Do you have a story to tell or a product you want to discuss or advertise on Conversations LIVE? Contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.825.5883.

Friday, September 10, 2010

An American Arab woman speaks out: "The burning of the Koran will not destroy it... God will protect it"

by Cyrus Webb


In spite of the economy being the overwhelmng issue on the minds of most Americans, the issue of the proposed Islamic Center/Mosque blocks away from Ground Zero and the threat of burning the Koran have been replayed time and again in newspapers and on cable news.

Though there have been various opinions discussed regarding both issues, a young American Arab living in San Diego, CA believes the Koran holds the answer to what should be done.

"I start by quoting the Koran," says Samara, author of the thought-provoking book WHEN THE VEIL DROPS. " 'No disaster strikes except by permission of  Allah. (Juz 28, Surah 64, Verse 11).'

She continues by stating this: "The burning of the Koran will not destroy it. Muslims believe that God gave us the Koran and God will protect it. Instead of viewing the burning of the Koran as an insult or a disaster. Let us Muslims consider it a chance to reevaluate what we have done with the teachings of the Koran. As followers of a tolerant religion, we should accept that others need to show their anger and frustration with Islamists and terrorists.

"As followers of a tolerant religion, we should have never suggested the location of this
mosque/ islamic center. As followers of a tolerant religion, we should have studied the life of Muhammad and ask ourselves would our prophet have chosen this location for the mosque? I think not."

Samara was born and raised in an Arab country and she continues to live her daily life balancing te culture which she was born in with the culture she now lives in and identifies with. She goes on to say "Maybe this Koran burning is a warning sign given by God to Muslims to ask us to update Islam and reevaluate what some of us have done."

It is clear that her view isn't expressed by all, but it is one that is getting a voice as the debate continues to wage on.

For more information about Samara and her book WHEN THE VEIL DROPS, contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or 601.896.5616.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Education Not Ignorance Encouraged By Muslim In Mississippi In Light of Recent Controversy

by Cyrus Webb for Conversations Magazine (http://www.conversationsmag.com)


The brewing controversy over the proposed mosque near the site of Ground Zero in New York and the scheduled burning of the Koran in Florida on September 11, 2010 has sparked conversation worldwide among Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. In Mississippi, Jackson native, author and Muslim Joseph Henderson is concerned about the message that is being sent about his religion.

"I was not exposed to any other faith or religion growing up," says Henderson, 42. "The Muslim faith appealed to me because of the tolerence it taught, its messages about how to live and even on how we ought to treat each other." He has been practicing his faith for over 20 years. In his autobiographer I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE, he chronicles his journey in life, his road to redemption and the role faith played in his making a transformation.

Ironically, the very teachings that Henderson praises in the Muslim faith seem to be lacking among detractors and those with growing animosity towards Islam. Who does Joseph look to for guidance? It's Jesus. "We all look at Jesus as being the greatest figure, teacher and role model to walk the earth," he says. "Jesus embodied how we ought to live. That is what real Muslims believe."

When hearing about what is going on right now in America concerning Muslims, Joseph says this: "People truly have a lack of understanding of what Islam is really about and what Islam really means. If they wish to look at the trueness in contrast to what so-called extremeist are representing, that will help them to best understand what is the truth." Joseph also warns against painting an entire religion by a broad brush. "They see what a few people are doing that is negative and makes Muslims as a whole look bad. That's unfair. If we applied that standard to all religions, no one would be able to get along."

Probably one of the most troubling acts is yet to come: the threatening of the burning of the Muslim's holy book the Koran. "I see that as an insult not just to Muslims, but an insult to mankind," says Henderson. "When God sends scripture, he sends it for mankind to live by. To burn something that He has establishehd for humanity is like disrepecting him. This is why you have to respect all scripture: the Bible and the Koran."

One of the great things that is happening as a result of all of the controversy and uproars across the United States is the dialogue that seems to be taking place. Joseph says that could be a plus if the opportunity is not missed. "If people would do their own studying or their own inquiring on Islam and not listen to the negative, they will be able to form their own opinions about what is true and false. Then they will see that we all serve the same God."

For additional information about Joseph Henderson, visit www.joseph-henderson.com. Cyrus Webb can be reached via email at cawebb4@juno.com or at 601.896.5616.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

PEOPLE ARE TALKING: What Others Are Saying About The Conversations Brand


Since 2003, Cyrus Webb has been a driving force in the way things are talked about and discussed. As the Creator and Host of Conversations LIVE! Radio and the President of Conversations Book Club, Webb has talked to some of the biggest names in the world as well as emerging voices that are making their mark. At the end of the day, however, he realizes that his success is really because of those who talk with him and those who listen. Here is some of what is being said about the Conversations Brand...


"The service you do for authors and readers is remarkable. We appreciate you." --- John Saul, New York Times Bestselling author of FACES OF FEAR www.johnsaul.com

"Cyrus is incredible. I was in awe of his talents." --- Dale Garland, author of LETTERS FROM SWEETWATER

"I still don't see how you do what you do! You're an excellent interviewer..." Shirlita McFarland, author of Sunday Morning Secrets www.sundaymorningsecrets.com

"Your questions are great and you are an excellent interviewer – letting the guest make his/her points and intersecting at just the right time." --- Jim Randel, author of The Skinny On series www.theskinnyon.com

"You absolutely ask the best...most thought provoking questions...keep up the excellent work on your show!!!" --- Ish Major, M. D., author of LITTLE WHITE WHYS www.littlewhitewhys.com

"I just had to write to tell you what a pleasure it was speaking with you yesterday. Your questions about The Language of Secrets and its impact on readers were excellent...it was an honor to be interviewed by you! With thanks and all best wishes for your continued success." --- Dianne Dixon, author of THE LANGUAGE OF SECRETS www.diannedixon.com

"Thank you for the interview – it was terrific, and we appreciate being a part of your program. And thanks for the attention you put on books, the arts, and the creative process – you are doing wonderful things!" ---Joel Fotinos, author of THE PRAYER CHEST and the Vice President at Penguin Group and the founder/publisher of the Putnam Praise imprint.

"I am quite inspired by what you are doing through your broadcasting effort... You are truly seeking to help others find the best in themselves. Thank you for your positive influence in a world that needs it." --- Kip Kreiling, author of THE IMPOSTER www.kipkreiling.com

"The interview with Kathy Kinney (AKA Mrs. P) was great. It is nice that we have been able to create this new and inspiring character for her. She use to be 'Mimi' on the Drew Carey Show which was a very different character from Mrs. P. Your show is wonderful. I am going to become a regular listener. You have a great gift for interviewing." Dana Plautz, Mrs P Enterprises, LLC www.MrsP.com

"As a radio listener, I seldom hear a host ask as many good questions as you did. I was deeply gratified that you enjoyed our book and very appreciative of the opportunity to share it with an audience of fellow southerners." --- Author Barton Cockey www.thepaintedword.info

"You were very well prepared, set a great tone, and went way beyond the call of duty in the promotion department--a real pro. I will sing your praises whenever I get the chance." --- K. D. Koratsky, author of LIVING WITH EVOLUTION OR DYING WITHOUT IT www.livingwithevolution.com

"Thank you for the opportunity to be on your program. You are a scholar and a gentleman, (a vanishing entity) and provide a great service. Having been doing this for a few months now, interviewers fall two categories. The entertainers, and the educators. You are an educator, and that is a complement." --- Danielle Milano,M.D, author of SKINNY IS OVERRATED www.skinnyisoverrated.com

"[Yours] was the most reflective interview I've had yet and it made me recall a little of things that I've done that were beneficial to the people I knew. Maybe I do have some good karma points stored up in the cosmic bank somewhere. I appreciate you picking up on the larger themes in the book." Jake Adelstein, author of TOKYO VICE http://bit.ly/TokyoViceatAmazon

"You made it so easy for me to talk, and you ask great questions!" --- Michele Howe, author of BURDENS DO A BODY GOOD

"You are such a great host. Your voice is so powerful over the radio. Continue to share your talents and knowlege so others may be encouraged." --- Valerie Dodson, author of DON'T DELAY YOUR INCREASE http://www.dontdelayyourincrease.com

"Words are not adequate enough to extend a debt of gratitude to you for all you have done for me. A pen would run out of ink before I could write or say thank you over and over again. You have brought the book back to life or I could even say you have given it life. I have never been this motiviated to ger rhis moving until now. Thanks for working with me."--- Joseph Henderson, author of I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE www.joseph-henderson.com

Cyrus,I just wanted to touch bases with you and offer a heartfelt thank you. It was great to meet the new authors and become reacquainted with familiar faces. You provide a wonderful avenue by which people can be motivated to read. As an educator, I applaud your work. As a writer, I offer much love and appreciation. I love the invitation to join the addiction -- get hooked on books. Keep up the good work.
--- V. L. Green, author of REFLECTIONS and WHEN DESTINIES MEET


"Your review (of ABRAMO'S GIFT) was unique in that you distilled a life lesson from the story, something that no reviewer has done. You focused upon some essence from the characters that, frankly, I had never thought about consciously, but I'm very gratified that you saw it. By the way, yours is the mark of a fine writer/reviewer. I wish that they were all as perceptive as you are. Where I come from, when someone does something as well as you, and when a young person shows the potential that you do, we say he's doing 'the Lord's work.' I have 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." --- Don Greco, author of ABRAMO'S GIFT

"What a gentle and lovely, thoughtful host you are. And you threaded through the questions in the most amazing way..." Liz Rosenberg, author of HOME REPAIR

"It was such a pleasure talking with you, such a pleasure being presented with such thoughtful questions. That doesn't happen terribly often and I was sorry when it drew to a close." --- Philip Shepherd, author of NEW SELF NEW WORLD www.philipshepherd.com


"You are by far the most prepared host I have interviewed with." --- Kirk Wilkinson, author of THE HAPPINESS FACTOR www.thehappinessfactor.com

"Thanks Cyrus for using your influence to better the lives of others." --- Patricia Singleton, blogger http://patriciasingleton.blogspot.com

"Cyrus Webb is the most incredible person I've ever done an interview with! He understood my topic completely, and asked very insightful and perceptive questions!" --- Dan L. Hays, author of FREEDOM'S JUST ANOTHER WORD www.danlhays.com

"It is really refreshing to encounter an interviewer with his
intelligence, insights and who has actually read the book. I knew
nothing of him before this interview but I am completely impressed and
will keep an eye out for his undoubted career progress." --- Frederick LaCroix, author of THE SKY RAINED HEROES

"Being self-published. credibility means everything. Having me on your show and supporting me as you have is all part of that." --- Gary D. Kaschak, author of LIFESTONE http://www.garydkaschak.com

"Thank you from the "Bottom Of My Heart" for taking time out of your busy schedule to write the most inspirational "Review" for "The Bridge" on Amazon.com, and thank you once again for enabling me to share our "Miracle". May God continue to Bless you Cyrus and the work that you are doing on His behalf." --- Jackie Carpenter, author of "The Bridge"

" Since our first interview, I've been following on your website all that you are doing for literacy to the point that I have been inspired to put in my little grain of rice towards literacy as well." --- Susan Violante, author of INNOCENT WAR http://www.innocentwar.com

"Congratulations on your growing success! You certainly deserve it." --- Nesta Aharoni, author of MY GOODNESS: MY KIDS www.grassrootspublishinggroup.com

"Cyrus is an inspirational hardworker who believes in the importance of literacy awareness. I was able to be one of Cyrus's coordinators for his National Day of Reading campaign in November 2009. It was a great experience and I am happy to be on board again for 2010. Cyrus uses his platform as an advocate and radio host to spread positive messages and to make a difference. I would suggest him to anyone serious about making a change through in the field of literacy development." --- Tara Michener, author of WHO I AM NOT WHAT I AM

"It’s a pleasure to work with a professional who’s nicely prepared, with thoughtful questions and a great personality." --- David Kelly, author of BABE RUTH AND THE BASEBALL CURSE www.baberuthcurse.com

"There is something so amazing about standing on the edge of your dreams coming true. It's awe-inspiring, it's overwhelming and humbling. I want to thank you so much for taking part in my dream. I've listened to your other interviews and I think you are a special man." --- Kim Vazquez, author of LIVING IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR


"Thank you soooo much for allowing me to come on your show! It was an awesome
experience. I said I was nervous at first but you made me feel at ease. I can tell you got something from the book and read! I really hope that you were touched by it! Thanks for bringing out the part Mark 8:36!! Very impressive interview! May God Bless You and all your efforts!!" --- Cheryl Joyner Clark, author of NO MORE SUNDAY MORNINGS www.cheryljoyner-clark.com

"I have and will continue to sing your praises to all of my literary colleagues. Your book club is a model for others to emulate."
--- Reshonda Tate Billingsley, author of MY BROTHER'S KEEPER & EVERYBODY SAY AMEN. www.reshondatatebillingsley.com

"You were an excellent host. I'm more accustomed to interviewing than being interviewed but I did enjoy it. You're a very articulate and thorough interviewer..." Constantine Markides, host of Fourth Fiction www.fourthnight.com

"You are an impressive young man. I am passing my baton to you, now. I know you'll carry it fast into the second decade of the 21st century. 'Webb's WEBISODES!' 'Do the WRITE Thang!' Man, I love it! SUPER CYRUS WEBB is a YOUNG CAPED CRUSADER who has absolutely blown this OLD caped crusader's MIND!" Dr. John Telford, author of A LIFE ON THE RUN www.alifeontherun.com

"You're always so cool, calm, collected and prepared..." Gail Kearns, To Press & Beyond www.topressandbeyond.com

"You are a phenomenal host and I know you have a very promising future." --- Lessy'B, author of Sara's Song www.lessyb.net

"Thanks for the interview and review... You are a pro and not only did I enjoy the experience, I was very impressed at the effort you put into reading and understanding my stories. As you well, know, that is the salve that soothes the writer's worries! You earned a big fan today...I'll pass the word
far and wide! All the best." --- Gerry Boylan, author of GETTING THERE and GERRY TALES www.gerryboylan.com

"Cyrus, you are on the fast track to success!" --- Deborah Gary, author of TEENAGE MOTHER'S GUIDE TO SURVIVAL www.writingitright.com

"Enjoyed very much the questions you asked, which were quite thought-provoking and very different from the usual stuff that I get asked in interviews." --- Bestselling author William Kent Krueger www.williamkentkrueger.com

"Cyrus, I don't know how many ways I can say, "Thank you!" But, consider yourself thanked in every way that is possible. In addition to this interview which you presented so well the live interview I had with you,and your bookclub tonight was nothing short of amazing. The depths, and insights of tonight's conversation were just much more than I could have hoped or asked for. I ask a special blessing for you."
--- Evie Rhodes, author of OUT A ORDER & THE FORGOTTEN SPIRIT www.evierhodes.com

"Hello Cyrus, I loved doing the interview and thoroughly enjoyed talking with you.
You're a wonderful host and the interview is only as good as the host who is directing it." --- Carrie J. Keaton, author of TWO LOVES, ONE HEART www.carriejkeaton.com

"Real talk, Cyrus has the best author blog talk radio show out there." --- Rahman Muhammad, founder of Book Bullies

"I want to thank you so very much for giving me the opportunity to appear on your show. It was an honor to be part of Conversations Live, a show that consistently offers listeners meaningful content. You provide encouragement, contemplation and inspiration to your audiences. For me, your questions and the opportunity have allowed me to improve and grow. Thank you!" Cesca Janece Waterfield, author of BARTUB www.twohandedengine.net

"You're an awesome radio host." --- Ursula Hanks, author of IN MY HEART

"Cyrus, I want to thank you once again for featuring me on your radio show. I really enjoyed it. I do not take that moment lightly. I count it a privledge and an honor to be chosen in that capacity. You are making an awesome impact in many lives with your great works. It is my prayer that God richly bless you in all you are doing to bring about change and make a difference in this world." --- Charmaine Tucker, author of WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN http://charmainetuckerministries.com

"First of all let me start out by saying how grateful I am for all that you and Conversations Book Club has done for me as a writer. You guys are the best!" --- C. J. Domino, author of SIDELINE HO www.cjdomino.com

Celebrities and Rising Stars Unite To Promote The Importance of Reading


With all of the advancements that the United States has made over the years, illiteracy is one plague that seems to be growing, not shrinking. To help bring more attention to the importance of books and education, Shadow Play Entertainment, The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign and Conversations Book Club are excited to announce its new initiative TAKE TIME TO READ.

"It's all about making people feel okay about reading," says Cyrus Webb, a 35 year old Mississippi native and founder of the new program. "There are many reading projects out there that are doing alot of good, but some young people especially need to know that those they look up to believe that reading is important."

To that end, Webb went out soliciting the help of those in the music industry and other levels of entertainment, getting their thoughts on the importance of reading. Because of that, celebrities and those in the literary community are teaming together to urge the world to 'do it 15 minutes a day', encouraging others to take time every day to read. Thus far dozens of influentials and up-and-coming stars in the music industry and entertainment arena have signed on along with those who are interested in making a difference. Shadow Play Entertainment was pleased that actress, author and overall creative heavyweight Cherie Johnson (known for her roles in shows such as Punky Brewster, Family Matter, The Parkers and Days of our Lives) came on board the project as national spokesperson.

"Having Cherie out front is a real asset," says Webb. "Not only does she have the name recognition that will spark interest, she is also an author with her first book Around The World Twice just being released. She's already on the road promoting her novel, so the timing was just right for her to be able to speak about the literacy campaign as well."

Realizing this is a global problem, Webb also reached out to his friends around the world to join the cause, and is looking for other international partners to help spread the message. Individuals like United Kingdom Filmmaker Tom Sands and Nigerian Author UD Abdul Kareem have already joined the coalition and have made videos expressing their support. (TAKE TIME TO READ is Webb's third literary program, with the Hip Hop and Books literacy campaign and The Write Stuff literacy campaign still in effect.)

All of this is a part of the lead up to the 2nd Annual National Day of Reading on Sat. November 20, 2010. On that day Webb hopes to get just five people in each state to take at least one hour and spend it either reading together or discussing a book together.

Details about the TAKE TIME TO READ initiative and the pledge that the public can sign to show their support can be found at www.taketimetoread.com . To join the growing coalition, contact Cyrus Webb at cawebb4@juno.com or contact him at 601.896.5616. Details about Webb's other projects can be found at www.cyruswebb.com.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Cherie Johnson: Writing Her Success One Day At A Time


There is only one word that truly describes the young woman that is Cherie Johnson: Driven. After starring on shows like Punky Brewster and Family Matters as a chid, she has blossomed into a creative force to be reckoned with, not only acting, but executive producing, writing songs and balancing her love of work in front of and behind the camera.

In 2010, Cherie added a new title to her name, that of author. And if the rest of her life is any indication of what will happen in this new arena, the world better watch out.

On Tuesday, September 7, 2010, Cherie joined Shadow Play Entertainment's literacy campaign called TAKE TIME TO READ as the national spokesperson, sharing her thoughts on why reading is so important no matter what your career. She took out time out of promoting her first book Around The World Twice to talk with Cyrus Webb of Conversations Magazine about her journey, her success and what's next for her. 

Cherie, I know you are busy, so I really appreciate your taking out the time to speak with us. Many of our readers will know you from television, so let's start there. Looking back on it all, what has surprised you the most about where you came from and where you are today?

 Thank you so much for the interview. I think what surprises me most is this right here. The fact that people would want to interview me, that what I did 27 years ago on Punky Brewster would turn into a career. I honestly did not realize that I was working, or I was what people call "famous". I was just having fun doing what I love and feel so blessed that I have continued that.

 Did you expect the road of success that you have been blessed with while growing up?

 

       I knew very early on I was going to strive to be successful. I didn't know it would come through entertainment. I had plans on becoming an architect, and an author.

 

When did the stars seem to align for you? What project seemed to be your big break and what happened next?

 For me the realization click in 2005 while I was Co-executive producing and acting in a film called "Dead Tone". I have loved horror films since I was a small child, and here I was on set not just acting but producing. I was tickled. I went through a major reflection period on my life. From there on out it was simple I have the power to make all my dreams come true. Since then I have produced 5 other projects and wrote 1.

 

With some child stars it seems as though we always want to remember them that way and don't expect them to really grow up. Did you have any fear of what would happen to you as time went by and you got older?

 Never a fear but definitely have a point to prove to make people see me as the 34-year-old woman I am.  When I was working on Punky Brewter and Family Matters I never thought about it at all. I was a kid I didn't even realize I was working much less the impact that I was making on my own life as well as the life of other peoples. I never got into the habit of being an avid TV watcher so I didn't understand fully the impact it has on other people lives. I still don't think I fully comprehend it and I am floored daily when approached by people who either liked or disliked characters that I have played and the fact that people have a really hard time depicting between what is fact and fiction. People believe I am the character's I get paid to play. "Its crazy" but it's a compliment because it means I am doing my job well.

 Being in the public eye at any age is not easy. How did you avoid some of the pitfalls that have overtaken so many throughout the years?

 

       My job doesn't define who I am as a person. Fame is one of the most addicting drugs ever. I have never sought fame nor am I addicted to anything! I love what I do its my passion, if my passion is ever taken away God forbid I have many other goals. My mom told me early on the only stars in the world are in the sky.

  The reason we are speaking to you know is because of a new career you have begun this year, that of author. How did this come about, and when did you realize that writing was something you were interested in?

                            When I was 5 years old I made my mother a book out of paper and yarn. She told me it was the best book she had ever read! I promised her that one day I was going to have books in the library. See the library was really important to me when I was little. We didn't have one in my hometown Duquesne PA because white people burnt it down in 1968 because they didn't want black people to swim in their pool.

My mother would take me two towns over every week to check out a book. I was in love with the building. It was huge, white with pillars and had more books than I could count. The library was the most beautiful place I had ever seen (I'm from the hood). I always knew I wanted a piece of me to live in that building. 30 years later my dream is coming true.



The first book was recently released. What is the title and tell us what it is about?

 Around The World Twice is a story about two best friends whose lives are synonymous, despite the different social circles they traveled in. It is a story of true friendship in which both ladies, together, contribute to building each other up in order to become better and stronger women, as well as triumphant for love of self and one another.

Ashley is a successful half Black-half Latina female living a glamorous lifestyle of a Hollywood movie star, or so it would seem, if you were on the outside looking in. Truth is, she is tired of failed relationships and is fearful of being alone. She struggles to find love and begins to question herself.

 Lillian cashed in on the normal life of a housewife early...marrying the guy all the girls wanted back in high school, house, white picket fence, etc..she was living the American Dream. Her dream life soon becomes one that resembles a nightmare, leaving her vulnerable.

After an invitation and a lot of persuasion from her friend Ashley, Lillian decides to leave the security of her long time home in New York and move to Los Angeles. It is there that she realizes maybe she has more in her life to change than she may have initially thought...

 From what I understand, you have been signed to publish seven books. Some aspiring writers would be happy with just one. Do you feel any pressure for this phase of your life to be a success?

 

 I don't feel pressure; I think success comes when you love what you do. I love writing and the power if gives me to convey my story to an audience. The reward for me is then receiving their feedback. It's all about having fun and I enjoying being able to share my life with others. The real success is when I get to hear I have touched someone else's soul because a piece of my work stays with them forever.

 

Outside of the writing, what's next for you?

 

I have more films I will be producing and a TV show in development. This new chapter in my life is providing lots of opportunity that I will not let slip by. Sky is the limit!

 Thanks again for the time, Cherie. How can our readers stay updated on everything you are doing today?

Thank you so much I appreciate you for giving me this platform. I keep everything updated regularly. I can be found on www.twitter.com/cheriejohnson75  or www.Facebook.com/CherieJohnson75 .