Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Conversations Magazine, March/April 2024

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chef Charles Mattocks Makes Eating Healthier on a Budget Easier and Delicious

by Cyrus Webb

When it comes to eating healthier there are many reasons why some might see it as a challenge.  First there is the financial cost that many say are associated with it. Then there is the counting of the calories and trying to figure out how much of what to have each day.

Thankfully there are books like The Budget-Friendly Fresh and Local Diabetes Cookbook to help you out on both counts. Don’t let the fact that Chef Charles Mattocks is a diabetic and that the book has “diabetes” in the title keep you from enjoying what it has to offer. This book is really for everyone. What he has done is shown how you can still have delicious food that is not going to break the bank but will give you the nutrients you need in portions that are feeling and delicious.

He has taken a lot of the work on himself by telling you not just what is in each dish but what are some great alternatives that can be used as well.

Chef Mattocks knows how difficult it can be to eat right and take care of yourself, so with the various menu ideas he gives you in this cookbook he makes it a little easier. He has done his part to help. The rest of the work is up to you.

Listen to my interview with the Chef here. Get your own copy of The Budget-Friendly Fresh and Local Diabetes Cookbook on here.

Below you will find Chef Mattocks' recipe for Fiesta Fish Tacos

Fiesta Fish Tacos*
Serves: 4
Serving Size: 1 taco
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb tilapia fillets
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp minced cilantro
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
4 (6-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup cubed mango
Black pepper, to taste

1.Mix lime juice, garlic and olive oil in a glass bowl.
2.Add tilapia and marinate in refrigerator for one hour.
3.Place tilapia in a glass baking dish surrounded by green and red bell peppers, minced cilantro and tomatoes.
4.Bake at 350*F for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
5.Divide fish and veggies into four servings and place on each of the warmed tortillas.
6.Top with lettuce, cubed mango and a sprinkling of black pepper.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 260
Calories from Fat: 55
Total Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 1.4g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 50mg
Sodium: 190mg
Potassium: 675mg
Total Carbohydrate: 27g
Dietary Fibre: 4g
Sugars: 9g
Protein: 26g
Phosphorus: 260mg

 * Copyright (c) 2014 by the American Diabetes Association, Inc.
 From The Budget Friendly Fresh and Local Diabetes Cookbook

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Grammy Award-winning Artist Ciara Signs w/ Warner Bros, Offers Encouragement to Her Fans

A new year begins another great chapter for Grammy award-winning recording artist Ciara. On Friday, January 27, 2017 it was announced that she was joining the Warner Bros. Records family.

Throughout her 13-plus years in entertainment, Ciara has sold over 23 million albums and 16 million singles worldwide. Upholding an unbreakable string of smashes, her catalog boasts the No.1 hit "Goodies," Top 5 R&B chart hits "1,2 Step," "Oh," "Promise," and "Ride," and her most recent platinum-certified single and 27th charted hit "I Bet" from 2015's acclaimed Jackie. Known for her unparalleled dance abilities, Ciara's video archive showcases some of the most memorable choreography in pop music.

"We welcome Ciara to Warner Bros. Records and look forward to the next chapter of her storied music career," said Cameron Strang, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. Records.

"So excited about my new label home," Ciara posted online. To celebrate this new chapter of her career and life she will be doing a Facebook LIVE chat on Monday, January 30th @ 3p.m. eastern (2p.m. central/12p.m. pacific). Fans were encouraged to submit questions with the #AskCiara hashtag.

In true Ciara fashion, she also used the announcement of her new label home to offer some encouragement to her fans, especially the women. "This is truly a time where we can do anything,be anything we want" she wrote on Facebook. "There is No Limit! Dreams really do come true! I’m supercharged to make the World Dance again!"

Friday, January 27, 2017

Actress Christina Ricci talks Amazon Video's Z:The Beginning of Everything

With the new year a new show hit Amazon Video this month: Z: The Beginning of Everything. Starring actress Christina Ricci, who was inspired by the story after reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by author Therese Anne Fowler, the series takes us into the lives of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, from their courtship in Montgomery, Alabama, to their splash onto the New York social scene.

Recently actress Christina Ricci walked the Amazon Prime Red Carpet and spoke with Frankie Grande and Rachel Smith of Amazon's live show Style Code Live to talk about her new show and more.

"It was amazing," Ricci told them when discussing bringing Zelda to live. "I did so much reading in order to develop the series, I had so much information about her in my mind. And that really allows you to relax and trust yourself to behave in a spontaneous kind of impulsive way that lends so much to the part. So, It was intimidating, but I was so scared I did so much research that [I felt like] I was covered."

Stay connected with Christina Ricci and Z: The Beginning of Everything online. 

[REVIEW] Singer Jake Worthington's Newest Reminds Us to Cherish What We Love

Since appearing on The Voice and garnering fans around the world, recording artist Jake Worthington has kept Country Music lovers satisfied with music from his self-titled EP including songs like DON'T LET THE REDNECK FOOL YA and JUST KEEP FALLING IN LOVE as well as 2016's HOW DO YOU HONKY TONK.

Now with the new year in full swing he releases his single A LOT OF ROOM TO TALK (out now)---and it is sure to be another song that we keep talking about.

Unlike some of the music he is known for, Worthington takes on the darker side of relationships that don't work out---and gives voice to the one who messed up and is dealing with the consequences.

"There's an echo in this room," he sings, "that just won't let me be." What he hears is "all the angry words" he spoke to the woman he said he loves, and now he's understanding the power they had. "I can hear them in the halls. They're bouncing off the wall... Can't believe it's come to this, all this emptiness."

The realization is setting in. "I should have listened more to her," he admits. "I guess I got what I deserved. I sure do hear her now." And then there are the questions we all ask when we realize our part: "What good is pride now that she's gone? When did our house stop being home?" With us being alone, we realize as the song says "Now there's too many 'what ifs', opportunities I missed and a lot of room to talk."

I have to be honest and say that I can play this single easily on repeat, and I know I won't be the only one. The story it tells is one that reminds us to cherish what we love before it's too late. "I always thought she'd be around," the song admits, "never planned on missing her."  Maybe we will do as Jake sings and "look into the past and learn from my mistakes." Maybe we'll get the opportunity to "admit it when I'm wrong." In this case it doesn't seem to be enough so he says he'll "find the strength and move on." His hope? That he'll "grow from this but for now there's emptiness and a lot of room to talk."

Get ready for another song that will be a favorite on your playlist. A LOT OF ROOM TO TALK is sure to be one you continue to play through the year.

Listen to a snippet of A LOT OF ROOM TO TALK and get it for yourself on here.

Stay connected with Jake Worthington on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

12X Olympic Medalist Ryan Lochte signs with TYR Sport

This week it was announced that TYR Sport signed 12X Olympic Medalist Ryan Lochte to its roster of sponsored athletes.

As a truly iconic figure in the world of sports, Ryan has earned his status as one of
history’s most recognizable names in swimming. With showstopping appearances in the last
four Olympic Games, he remains the World Record holder in the 200 individual medley. In
addition, his seven individual Olympic medals are second all-time in the sport of men’s
swimming. Ryan has been named both American and World Swimmer of the Year twice in his
career (2010 & 2011) and has a total of 70 medals in major international competitions
including 45 first place finishes.

Ryan’s debut will be featured in TYR’s marketing campaign “Just Let Me Work,” and will
provide fans with a glimpse into what motivates the decorated athlete moving forward.

In addition to his success in the pool, Ryan is incredibly focused on charity. He is the
spokesperson for Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (Duchenne), an illness that has
personally impacted his family, as well as the Mac Crutchfield Foundation, an
organization dedicated to raising money for drowning awareness.

“I am thrilled that I will be continuing my swimming career with TYR Sport,” began Ryan.
“I still have so much more I want to accomplish and TYR offers the perfect platform to
achieve those goals. I’ve always been very impressed with the quality of their gear and
feel fortunate to be part of their family. I look forward to the next chapter.”

“TYR is incredibly excited to welcome Ryan Lochte to our family,” said Matt DiLorenzo,
Chief Executive Officer of TYR Sport. “Through his work in the pool he has elevated the
sport of swimming on a global scale. However, it is his humble and caring approach toward
his fans that has proven truly commendable. As a company we stand behind Ryan, and look
forward to seeing what he can achieve.”

Sunday, January 22, 2017

[REVIEW] ROCK AND ROLL: The Movie will make you laugh and think twice about giving up on your dreams

by Cyrus Webb

I think pretty much everyone knows that my sense of humor is not the best, but when a movie can make me laugh, think and get inspired it is definitely a 5-star experience for me.

With ROCK AND ROLL: The Movie you have a story that is all about possibilities and people's perceptions of you---and if you are going to allow them to define you. That is true in the case of the character David Roso in the film who wants to make his mark and prove others wrong in his quest to be an agent. It is also true of his reluctant client Steve Taylor (played by Darren Dowler) ---and what he has been told about himself and what he has come to then believe about himself. The two of them don't realize it at first, but they are exactly what the other needs.

Humor is a big part of this film, but the message can't be denied. If you want to succeed at your goal or dream sometime you have to be willing to risk it all. Otherwise if you just play it safe you will never do everything you should to turn your goal and dream into a reality. David realizes this early on. for Steve it is a slower process it seems, but when you have others pushing you, encouraging you to take a chance---it definitely becomes easier.

Like I said I am not known for my sense of humor, but I could look past some of the campier moments of this film and see a message that definitely spoke to me and I believe will speak to others as well.

Rent or purchase ROCK AND ROLL: The Movie on Amazon here.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

[Article] "The Book I Didn't Want to Read But Had to Share" by Cyrus Webb

by Cyrus Webb

Each year I easily read 200 books or more of various topics either for my own reading enjoyment or because of individuals coming on the radio show Conversations LIVE. Over the years I have gotten comfortable enough in myself that I decide quite easily who I choose to feature and whose book I will take the time to read and share with my growing audience. I understand the responsibility that comes with the platform that I have, and so I do the best I can to share things that are entertaining, thoughtful and will be great conversation pieces with others.

Bestselling author Tony Lindsay is someone who over the past decade I have come to look forward to reading every time he releases a book. His fiction has always taken the reader to places we're not used to going and his non-fiction has been poignant enough to make readers reflect. In 2016, however, he announced the release of his latest offering ACORNS IN A SKILLET: Stories of Racecraft in America. Now anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that conversations about race are not the norm for me. Not because I think they shouldn't be discussed but it normally happens in situations where the individual's personal experiences and passion lead the discussion rather than individuals actually trying to connect with one another over what is being said.

For this reason when I first got the book in the mail I read the back of the book and that was as far as it went. What was Tony wanting to achieve with this collection of stories dealing with race? Was it something I would feel comfortable discussing? Would I enjoy enjoy the book and his direction? All of these were questions I pondered, and because of the thought of what it could be I neglected reading the book for months.

In hindsight I realize that my reaction to the very fact that Tony Lindsay---someone I respect---had written a book dealing with race is exactly part of the problem that exists. The truth be told I didn't even give it a chance to speak for itself. I had made a decision based on what I THOUGHT it MIGHT be about rather considering what it actually was.

Now that I have read the book I can say that it is something that not only deserves my attention but has to be shared. What he has done is laid out situations that are all too real based on perception, bias and the idea that we can't understand or appreciate someone who is different than us.

Take a look at my Amazon review here and then I invite you to try ACORNS IN A SKILLET for yourself. I think you might find as I did that it time well-spent with a book.

Cyrus Webb is the host of Conversations LIVE radio show and the Editor-In-Chief of Conversations Magazine. He can be reached at cawebb4(at)juno(dot)com or at

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Filmmakers Abigail Fuller and Jai Jamison stop by #ConversationsLIVE

Recently #ConversationsLIVE host and #ConversationsMag Editor-In-Chief Cyrus Webb spoke with filmmakers Abigail Fuller and Jai Jamison about their love of telling stories through film and what it's been like to see the response to their work.

Abigail Fuller talked with Webb about her film DO YOU BELIEVE IN COLOR. "It's been a powerful experience to be able to screen the film nationally," she told him about the response to the story she has been able to share. Telling stories through film is something she knew she wanted to do. "It's something that I've always been drawn to and really can't remember a time when I wasn't pursuing that," she says. You can listen to the full conversation below.

Filmmaker Jai Jamison discussed his project TRI.  "I knew from a very young age that I wanted to tell stories," he told Webb. The two also discuss the importance of recognizing the journey and appreciating where you have been as you continue to move forward. You can listen to the full conversation below.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Avery*Sunshine Receives "Women of Impact" Award Before Touring w/Musiq Soulchild

Avery*Sunshine, whose single, "Come Do Nothing", premiered on last fall, was honored with a "Women of Impact" award a few weeks before she goes on tour with Musiq Soulchild, Lyfe Jennings, and Kindred the Family Soul.  This past Sunday, she was recognized for her hard work and dedication in the music industry along with other influential women including special guest, Karen Civil. The singer/songwriter/pianist whose eclectic mix weds soul, gospel, jazz, and R&B said "I'm excited and grateful to be acknowledged for doing something that I feel that I'm supposed to do. She continued by saying "it makes me want to continue doing more."

Fans can hear her new single and favorites, from her body of work, during the 22-city NuSoul Revival Tour that kicks off on Feb. 3rd in Raleigh, NC.  Visit to find out where to purchase tickets and to see where she will be performing.  To find out more about Avery*Sunshine, visit

About The Tour:  Musiq Soulchild will headline the tour following an exciting 2016 which included his seventh studio album, Life on Earth entering the US Billboard 200 at #27, his single "I Do" reaching #3 on Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, and performing in the highly anticipated musical adaptation of the cult classic, Love Jones.

He will be joined by platinum-selling R&B and soul singer-songwriter, Lyfe Jennings; beloved Grammy Nominated “First Couple of Soul”, Kindred the Family Soul and; Multi-Award Winning Artist, Avery*Sunshine whose loyal fanbase includes music icons Aretha Franklin, Baby Face, Teddy Riley, Jazzy Jeff, and Patti LaBelle.  Also appearing on the tour, in select cities, are Grammy Award-Winning singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele, Grammy Nominated singer-songwriter and record producer Dwele, and Grammy Nominated group, The Foreign Exchange.

The NuSoul Revival Tour seeks to send the message that "Good Music Still Lives!" while continuing to support artists whose music is the soundtrack, and in some cases, a blueprint of areas of our lives.  It also seeks to raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease which affects over five million individuals in the United States.

NuSoul Revial Tour 2017 dates
Visit to find out where to purchase tickets.
**All dates, venues, artist line-up, and on-sale information are subject to change.

Date           City                        Venue
2/3              Raleigh, NC            Duke Energy Center
2/4              Charleston, SC       North Charleston Performing Arts Center                              
2/10            Nashville, TN          Nashville Municipal Auditorium
2/11            Chicago, IL             Arie Crown Theater
2/12            Louisville, KY          Whitney Hall                                                                
2/14            Philadelphia, PA      Liacouras Center                                                            
2/17            Washington, D.C.    Constitution Hall
2/18            NYC                       Beacon Theater                                                              
2/24           Charlotte, NC         Ovens Auditorium
2/25           Detroit, MI             Fox Theatre                                                                
3/3             Norfolk, VA             Chrysler Hall
3/4             Dallas, TX              Verizon Theater                                                        
3/10           Atlanta, GA            Fox Theatre
3/11           St. Petersburg, VA  Virginia State Multipurpose Center                                
3/17            Columbus, OH        Palace Theater
3/18            Cleveland, OH        State Theater                                                          
3/24            Kansas City, MO     Midland Theater
3/25            St. Louis, MO         Peabody Opera House                                            
3/31            South Haven, MS   Landers Center
4/1              Houston, TX           NRG Arena                                                                
4/7             New Orleans, LA    Lakefront Arena                                                      
4/8              Jacksonville, FL     Times Union Center

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Model and Actor Mike V discusses the journey with Conversations

Social media has been a great place for individuals to connect with their fans and to share their work. Host Cyrus Webb found out about model and actor Michael Vinson aka Model Mike V thanks to Instagram and invited him to be a guest on #ConversationsLIVE.

The two discussed what it's been like to be on the journey to seeing his dreams become a reality, how the support has motivated him and allowed him to show others what's possible and what you can expect for him this year.

"Seeing the response is amazing," Mike said during the interview, "but I think more so going through the journey, understanding the process. Going from my first ever photo shoot to where I am now is amazing to see what you can do."

Though he enjoys seeing the finished product, Mike realizes that it's more than just what people see. "At the end of the day your brand is your name," he said. "If I don't market that then it's going to be like any other brand. It's a business at the end of the day."

Stay connected with Michael on his website at  Listen to the entire conversation below:

Friday, January 6, 2017

International Recording Artist Cheri Maree announces soul-stirring new project

On December 14, 2016 international recording artist Cheri Maree took to social media to announce her newest creation: a book! Now, it is with great pleasure that she shares details about---as Steve Harvey says in his latest book---her “Jump” with the world.

Cheri’s labor of love in book form is called WEALTHY WOMAN’S STEW. Co-written with media personality and author Cyrus Webb, the artist delivers her most powerful and personal project to date: sharing what were her darkest moments in life and how a dish made of eight simple ingredients gave her the jumpstart she needed to turn her life around.

“It was an honor to work with Cheri on this project,” says Webb. “What she shares about how she became the woman we have come to know and love is going to not only inspire women around the world to embrace their own personal power, but remind all of us how important it is to love ourselves in spite of our circumstances.”

WEALTHY WOMAN’S STEW will be officially available worldwide on February 14, 2017 on in print and for Kindle readers. Look for Cheri to be sharing details about the release and opportunities to connect with her in person and online soon.

“This entire process of writing about my Wealthy Woman’s Stew and its deeper meaning has really been phenomenal” Cheri says. “My hope is that sharing these experiences will inspire you to make your own amazing stews and that the insights I offer will help catapult you into a space of Personal Power, Healing and Joy.”

Information about pre-orders of the book will be coming soon. In the meantime, Cheri is available for speaking engagements, interviews, performances and panel discussions about the importance of loving oneself and getting back to a palace of wholeness. Stay connected with everything “Cheri Maree” on social media @cherimaree, by email at and her website

Graphics: Melanie Granderson Mickel
Photo by Ed Snapshot Brown

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Cyrus Webb Presents...10 Books to Read In 2017

by Cyrus Webb

I love to read, and thankfully in my profession I am able to read each and every day--as well as be introduced to new books and authors that I get to pass on to my audience through the radio show, web-series, book club and social media. As the year is coming to a close I wanted to share with you 10 books that I have had the privilege of reading that you might want to add to your reading list.

These books either were released after I compiled Conversations' Top Books of 2016 or will be new releases for 2017. Either way they are definitely worth your consideration.

Happy reading!

Cyrus Webb Presents... 10 Books to Read In 2017 (listed in no particular order)

  1. "Sisters One, Two Three" by Nancy Star (Lake Union Publishing)
  2. "I Liked My Life" by Abby Fabiaschi (St. Martin's Press)
  3. "Ashes" by Steven Manchester (The Story Plant)
  4. "Copycat" by Kimberla Lawson Roby (Grand Central Publishing)
  5. "Say Goodbye For Now" by Catherine Ryan Hyde (Lake Union Publishing)
  6. "Live, Love, Explore" by Leon Logothetis (Reader's Digest)
  7. "No Arms to Hold Me" by Zach Tate and Elissa Gabrielle (The Imprint Mass Media)
  8. "Her Every Fear" by Peter Swanson (William Morrow)
  9. "A Fatal Twist" by Tracy Weber (Midnight Ink Books)
  10. "Forever Is the Worst Long Time" by Camille Pagan (Lake Union Publishing)