Shadow Play Ent.'s Current Client Listing (Details available upon request)

  • Michael F. Blake, author
  • Darnell "Superchef" Ferguson
  • M. Beatryce Shaw, author/speaker
  • Bigg Marv, Label Consultant
  • Nebo Publishing
  • Samara Alexander, author
  • Cherie Johnson,actress/director/author
  • Bonnie Barnett, author
  • Tray Chaney, actor/author/recording artist
  • Yorli Huff, author/community activist
  • Bruce Tretter, Resident Chef
  • Herschel Dixon, Sports Analyst
  • Joseph Henderson, author
  • Mr. Mean Mug, author
  • Mary E. Gilder, author/speaker/talk show host
  • Carlos Spann, Video Photographer/Editor
  • Gail Ambeau, Artist/Fashion Designer/Stylist
Past clients of Shadow Play Entertainment include recording artist/author Corey "C-Murder Miller", recording artist Jack Squad, author Kia Stokes, author V. Lovell Brigham, model/actor Derrick Hargrove, recording artist Kut Supreme, author Pamela Samuels-Young, author Patricia A. Thomas, author T. C. Alexander, authors Rita B. Davis, Andre Johnson, Gary Kaschak, Steve Hyppolite, author Sherry Hill, author Anthony Littlefield, Jeanelle Lanham and others.

Shadow Play Entertainment also secured exclusive interviews with reality show contestants from VH1's I Want To Work For Diddy Season One and MTV's 50 CENT: The Money & The Power.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Author Joseph Henderson Rejoins Shadow Play Entertainment

Author Joseph Henderson joins the Shadow Play Entertainment Family
Contact:     Cyrus A. Webb, Publicist
                   Shadow Play Entertainment
Shadow Play Entertainment, the parent company of Conversations Book Club and Conversations LIVE! Radio, is pleased to announce that author Joseph Henderson is now being represented as a client of the organization.
Henderson is the author of the thought-provoking memoir I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE and has chronicled his struggles, challenges and triumphs in a book that is sure to find an audience with individuals of all ages.
Recently the author appeared on Conversations LIVE! to talk about the book and his experiences.
His book was then reviewed by Conversations Book Club President Cyrus A. Webb in the Clarion Ledger Newspaper (the Rankin Ledger insert). <Click the article below to enlarge>
Henderson's book was also chosen as one of Conversations "Top 100 Reads of 2008" as well, an honor that was bestowed long before he joined the family:

"Joseph's book would be getting attention whether Conversations represented him or some other publicity organization," says Webb. "We are pleased, however, to be working with him in sharing the message of the book as well as to show off the changes in his life. I DON'T WANT TO DIE ALL ALONE is full of lessons discovered by a man who had decided that failure was not an option."

To find out more information about Joseph Henderson, visit To contact Joseph Henderson for interviews, speaking engagements or events, contact Cyrus A. Webb at or 601.896.5616.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

(April 26-30, 2010) This Week On Conversations LIVE! Radio

(April 26-30, 2010)  Tens of thousands of individuals have tuned in to Conversations LIVE! Radio, making it one of the most successful programs produced on Blogtalkradio--- and this week's conversations show exactly why the show is so popular. Bringing listeners the best in current events, arts and entertainment from around the world, host and executive producer Cyrus Webb talks to movers and shakers in various fields as well as introduces new voices who need to be heard.

To listen to any of the shows live, simply visit Missed the live shows? Catch up for free at

MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST(12p.m. CST/10a.m.PT) --- Authors Norm Carroll and Toriano Porter 
Cyrus Webb welcomes author Norm Carroll to Conversations LIVE! Radio to discuss his career as a writer and his new book MIRACLES, MESSAGES and METAPHORS. At 30 min. past the hour, author Toriano Porter returns to Conversations to update Webb on his career.

MONDAY, APRIL 26, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Marissa Wilson and Talk Show Host Jordan Mercedes
Cyrus Webb welcomes author Marissa Wilson to Conversations LIVE! Radio to discuss her debut novel NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK and what she hopes readers get from the book. At 30 min. past the hour, Jordan Mercedes return to talk about her upcoming Vision Board project and how she is helping others to help themselves.

TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Cyrus Webb Presents "The Rhonda Teague Story: Invisible No More"
Host Cyrus Webb welcomes Rhonda Teague to Conversations LIVE! Radio to tell her story of living with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), how it impacts not just her but everyone around her as well---and what you need to know about the neurological condition. On June 10, 2004 Teague was bitten by a teen girl at the residential facility she worked at--- thus beginning the years of pain and discomfort. Never heard of the condition? She and over 200,000 and upwards of a million in the USA are left silent many times by lack of knowledge of this syndrome in the medical profession as well as the general public. Through this special presentation, Conversations LIVE! Radio will give her a voice and a unique opportunity to share her story with others. Join the conversation online through the live chat, the switchboard (347.426.3645) and email your questions to Webb at This is one discussion you don't want to miss!

TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Authors Deatri King-Bey and Shawnise Hadley
Cyrus Webb welcomes back author Deatri King-Bey to talk about her writing career and what's next for her in 2010. At 30 min. past the hour, Webb welcomes author Shawnise Hadley to the program in her first live primetime interview to discuss her book.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Martin Levin
Cyrus Webb welcomes back author Martin Levin to Conversations LIVE! Radio to discuss the events that led to the writing of his book WE WERE RELENTLESS.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author Kip Kreiling
In a special one-hour edition of Conversations LIVE! Radio, host Cyrus Webb welcomes author Kip Kreiling to discuss his new book THE IMPOSTER? and his battle with addiction. Webb and Kreiling will also discuss what others can do to break the cycle of addiction and answer your questions!

THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --Cyrus Webb Presents "The Patricia Singleton Story: From Victim To Survivor"
With the recent admissions of rape and incest among celebrities like Monique and others, attention is once again being brought on this important topic. Host Cyrus Webb welcomes Patricia Singleton to Conversations LIVE! Radio to share her own story of surviving such abuse and how she is using her experience to help others and continue to heal in the process. The phone lines and chat room will be open for this timely conversation.

THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2010 @ 8p.m. EST (7p.m. CST/5p.m. PT) --- Author/Poet James Cherry
Cyrus Webb welcomes author James Cherry to Conversations LIVE! Radio to discuss his career as a writer, the messages he hopes to pass on to readers and what's next for him in 2010.

FRIDAY, APRIL 30, 2010 @ 1p.m. EST (12p.m. CST/10a.m. PT) --- Author Nikki Turner and "Fashion Forward with Gail Ambeau"
At the top of the hour Conversations LIVE! welcomes bestselling author Nikki Turner to discuss her latest book. At 30 min. past the hour, Gail Ambeau hosts "Fashion Forward" with special guest supermodel Miguel Pardomo.

  For information on underwriting a program, advertising or being a guest, contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Monique's Success Inspires Up-And-Coming Designer To Dream Big

by Cyrus Webb for

It's not just those in the worlds of comedy, tv and movies that have found an inspiration in Academy Award-winning actress/comedian Monique. She has also encouraged an up-and-coming designer in Jackson, MS.

Wife, mother, grandmother, visual artist are just a few of the other hats that fashion designer Gail Rayford-Ambeau wears. In spite of the day to day challenges everyone faces, she has shown no signs of backing down or giving up. Instead she has joined aothers who are taking the bull by its horns and moving forward to their destiny. Just like one of her biggest sources of inspiration: Monique.

"When I look at what Monique has gone through and what she has achieved in spite of challenges," says Gail, "I can't help but think that if she could do it, then so can I."

Gail has been involved in art and fashion ever since she was five- years- old. As an eight-year-old student at Hawkins Elementary School in Toledo, Ohio a young Gail Rayford made her first complete outfit for her class show and tell. Dressed in a pair of purple pants made of that 1970’s 100 percent polyester, a matching denim vest and a hat that mixed both of the fabrics, Gail excitingly awaited her turn to show what she had crafted.

Almost 40 years later, that excitement contins. Today Gail is a fashion designer, stylist, radio show host, seamstress, visual artist and founder of Ambeau’s Art and Fashion. When many are saying that "Thin is in", like Monique, Gail is hoping to show that true beauty begins on the inside and can be visible in what one does---instead of what you look like on the outside.

In 2008 she hosted a fashion show in Jackson, MS with national recording artist and author Jacki-O as the special guest. In 2009 one of her garments was the key piece for national Gospel recording artist and Gospel Music Channel’s 2008 Gospel Dreams winner Melinda Watts debut video--- So Good. She also participated in the Florida Designers’ Expo which lead to styling model Tiffany Richardson from America’s Next Top Model (cycle 4) for a photo shoot with celebrity photographer Derek Blanks.

Her newest endeavors include motivational speaking and co-executive producer and host of Fashion Forward with Gail Ambeau on Conversations LIVE! Radio. She discusses fashion tips, trends to look out for and interviews celebrity guests. So far she has talked with actor and recording artist Tray Chaney (HBO's The Wire), singing sensations Willie Taylor (Day 26), Bertell and Abraham McDonald along with fashion designers Rami Kashou, Chris March and Laura Bennett from Project Runway fame.

At 45 years young, Gail may be a latecomer to the fashion industry, but she definitely believes that all things happen in God’s timing. “I can honestly say that it has not been easy but I have no regrets about the decisions that have been made thus far”. Her advice to those who aspire to follow their dream is to “first obey the voice of God, be willing to stick with it through the hard times to make it to the other side and be willing to give up some things.”

When she talks about who she would like in one of her designs, Monique's name always comes up. "I would love to show my appreciation for what she stands for to me," says Gail. "Monique represents for the everyday woman, especially the big girls like myself." For now she will continue to take each day as it comes, confident that dreams come true for those who believe.

Cyrus Webb is the Editor-In-Chief of Conversations Magazine and freelance writer. He can be reached at or at Additional information about Gail can be found at or at

Sunday, April 18, 2010

(April 18, 2010) News From The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign

In case you have missed the exciting updates made to The Write Stuff website at since the last newsletter, here is your brief recap of what has been going on with the growing literary organization.

* NEW WEBISODES OF THE WRITE STUFF: Host Cyrus Webb interviewed authors Electa Rome Parks and Mr. Mean Mug during their visits to Mississippi in March and April 2010. You can find their interviews on the site. For pictures from the visits, go to . In May 2010, Webb will interview Dr. Diane Hassan, author of ANGELS AMONG US...EVEN IN IRAQ during her visit to Mississippi.

* "Conference Call Conversations" Tour begins in May 2010: Shadow Play Entertainment has gathered over a dozen authors who are "touring" the country this Spring and Summer without even leaving their homes! It's called "Conference Call Conversations" and groups as well as authors can schedule tour stops now with any of those participating. Visit for details.

* 2ND ANNUAL NATIONAL DAY OF READING SET: You are encouraged to join us for the Second Annual National Day of Reading hosted by Shadow Play Entertainment and The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign. The date is Saturday, November 20, 2010. Make sure to mark your calendar and join us in encouraging the importance of reading. Last year, we held events all across the country. This year we hope to get every state involved in an event. Got ideas on what you want to do or have suggestions? Email Cyrus Webb at

* UPDATES FOR CONVERSATIONS BOOK CLUB: Make sure to visit to see the exciting updates at Conversations Book Club's website.

* CONVERSATIONS LIVE RADIO RECOGNIZED: We found out not long ago that our radio program Conversations LIVE! is one of the top internet programs available on with tens of thousands of listeners each week. Host Cyrus Webb has been on the radio for almost 7 years, but brought his show to Blogtalkradio in 2008 with incredible results. In 2010 alone has intervewed over 100 movers and shakers---with more scheduled. Missed any? Visit .

Year Two of The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign is proving to be just as exciting and productive as the first. Make sure to bookmark the site and check it often for updates.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

(May 21-22, 2010) Multi-media Personaliy Tray Chaney Visits Mississippi To Promote Reading, Music

(Monday, April 12, 2010) Just days before recording artist/author Jacki-O arrives in Mississippi to promote the importance of reading, Shadow Play Entertainment can now confirm that fellow client and friend Tray Chaney will be visiting the Magnolia State as well in late May 2010 as part of the Hip Hop and Books Project and The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign.

"I am excited about the visit to Mississippi," says Tray, who is known to many people across the world for his role as Poot Carr on HBO's The Wire. "The South has such a rich history, and I am looking forward to learning more about that history while sharing why reading is essential to being successful in the world."

This will be the first time that the multi-talented actor/author/recording artist has been to Mississippi, and he hopes to use his life as an example of what others can achieve in their lives with hard work and determination. Cyrus Webb, President of Shadow Play Entertainment and the Founder of both literary organizations is glad to have Tray visit the state as well. "I know that the young people especially will be able to get a lot out of what Tray has to say," says Webb. The two have been working together since 2009, and Webb believes that seeing a young man doing great things and wanting to share them others is exactly what some might need to see their own self-worth.

The dates of Chaney's visit to Mississippi are Friday, May 21st and Saturday, May 22, 2010. He will be sharing not just the importance of reading and the message of his autobiography THE TRUTH YOU CAN'T BETRAY, but his love of music as well. Chaney has been in the studio working on his debut album and has already created a buzz with his singles "Dilema" feat. Jazz of Dru Hill, "Baby Let's Go", "Make This Money", "Watch, Learn Listen" and the hot new song "I Wish" with Jacki-O.

Details will be posted shortly at For information about booking Chaney during his visit for interviews, appearances or performances, contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616.

(April 12, 2010) News From Shadow Play Entertanment

(Monday, April 12, 2010) As a thriving public relations and marketing organization, Shadow Play Entertainment has found itself involved in projects across the United States as well as the United Kingdom and Africa. It's continuing mission of "Molding To Meet Your Needs" has helped it continue to thrive and excel, making its success and that of its clients possible.

* President of Shadow Play Entertainment/Host of Conversations LIVE! Radio announces month-long hiatus to promote new project. Cyrus Webb, President and client of Shadow Play Entertainment, will be taking the month of June 2010 off from his daily radio show Conversations LIVE in order to promote the first book of his serialized novel BLESSED called In The Beginning. Webb will also be preparing to celebrate the seventh year anniversary of his radio program in July 2010. During the month of June 2010, hosts Bruce Tretter, Herschel Dixon and Gail Ambeau will also be on break from their respective shows until July 2010. For more information abou Webb's novel BLESSED, visit

* April 15-17, 2010 --- National Recording artist/author Jacki-O will be visiting Mississippi to promote the importance of reading, her novel GROWN & GANGSTA and discuss her upcoming autobiography RELENTLESS. Joining her during the visit will be author D. D. Turner (Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend) and Shadow Play Entertainment clients/authors Jermnine Demouchette (James Demouchette VS. The State of Texas) and Mr. Mean Mug (TATTOO TEARS). For full details, visit

* (Saturday, May 1, 2010) Dr. Diane Hassan visits Mississippi to talk about the people of Iraq and her moving book ANGELS AMONG US...EVEN IN IRAQ. Details will be posted at

* (Friday, May 21st and Saturday, May 22, 2010) Actor/Author/Recording artist Tray Chaney will make his first trip to Mississippi to promote not just the importance of reading and his book THE TRUTH YOU CAN'T BETRAY, but his love of music as well. Details will be posted shortly at For information about booking Chaney during his visit for appearances or performances, contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616.

* AUTHORS OF SHADOW PLAY GO ON TOUR THROUGH A CONFERENCE CALL NEAR YOU: One of the most exciting new developments for Shadow Play Entertainment is the announcement of the authors it represents discussing their careers and work with groups across the country without ever having to travel or stay in a hotel! Are you a member of a book club or group that wants to host such an event with an author at no cost to you? Then booking a stop on the "Conference Call Conversations Tour" is just right for you!The process is simple: 1) Contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616 to discuss what author you are interested in conversing with along with the date you have in mind for the conversation, city/state and approx number of . 2) Webb will check with the author on their availablility for the proposed date and help the group order autographed copies of the book as well as ensure the group gets the best price. 3)Once the date is book for the "Conference Call Conversations Tour", Webb will give the group the number they will call for the 'tour stop' with the author and aide in promoting the event online for other interested persons to be able to participate. It's that easy, and groups can schedule multiple 'stops' with as many authors as they would like. Participating authors include Electa Rome Parks (DIARY OF A STALKER), Jermaine Demouchette (JAMES DEMOUCHETTE VS. THE STATE OF TEXAS), J. Nicole Spencer (SARAH'S SECRETS), Andre Johnson (YEARNING FOR CONTROL), Steve Hyppolite (A WARRIOR'S PASSAGE), Mr. Mean Mug (TATTOO TEARS), Maria Stewart (LOOKING FOR CLOSURE), Mark Eller (TRAITOR), Gary Kaschak (LIFESTONE), Rita B. Davis (OVERWHELMED), Patricia A. Thomas (GOD REVEALS A MYSTERY), H. Michael Harvey (PAPER PUZZLE), T. C. Alexander (CONSEQUENCES OF ADULTERY), Dr. Diane Hassan (ANGELS AMONG US...EVEN IN IRAQ) and Tray Chaney (THE TRUTH YOU CAN'T BETRAY). What a great way to support authors and talk directly with the authors you love to read! Are you an author not represented by Shadow Play Entertainment but would like to join its authors on "tour" during the Spring and Summer? Contact Cyrus Webb using the information above.

For more information on any of the above news items, contact Cyrus Webb at, 601.896.5616 or visit

Friday, April 9, 2010

Order Your SIGNED COPY of GROWN & GANGSTA by rapper/author Jacki-O today!

National Recording artist/author Jacki-O will be signing copies of her must-read novel GROWN & GANGSTA April 15-17, 2010 in events held in Mississippi. Can't make it to the events but want to get a signed copy?

Order yours today! Place your order and let us know how the book should be personalized. The book will be shipped beginning Monday, April 19, 2010 and should arrive in 5 business days. All prices include shipping!

Signed Copy of Grown and Gangsta by Jacki-O

Have questions? Contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616.

Monday, April 5, 2010

(Sat. April 3, 2010) Author Rita B. Davis and Conversations: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

(Monday, April 5, 2010) On behalf of Shadow Play Entertainment and Conversations Book Club, thanks to those who came out to support author Rita B. Davis at Appetizers Restaurant in Pearl, MS on Sat. April 3, 2010.

Davis' book OVERWHELMED (published by Outskirts Press) tells the story of her son Chaunce Davis whose life was cut short much too soon---and how her family was able to deal with the challenges and loss.

During the discussion, the author shared how during her seventh month of pregnancy with her son she was told that due to health concerns with the child it might be best not to carry him to term. She was also told that if she decided to have the child, it was unclear whether he would live a few days or a few hours. In spite of what she was told, Rita and her husband relied on their faith and their son was born into the world. Though his time on earth was brief, the lessons they learned from him continue through thier lives and the pages of her book.

The author admits that even though she has always enjoyed books, she might now have been a writer if it had not been for Chaunce and what he had to endure. She hopes that her next book geared on helping others better understand children with special needs will continue to bring attention to the issue.

Rita B. Davis is the eighth author to meet with Conversations Book Club in 2010 as part of its "Read Well, Eat Well, Live Well" campaign. The literary organization will be hosting a total of 30 authors during the year.

Find out more about Rita at To see what is coming up next for Shadow Play Entertainment and Conversations Book Club, visit

Sunday, April 4, 2010

(Sun. April 4, 2010) News From Shadow Play Entertainment

With a new month, Shadow Play Entertainment is gearing up for many exciting events designed for people of all ages and interests. Here is a snapshot of what you should be aware of as we head into a new week... 

*     Shadow Play Entertainment is pleased to release the April 2010 roster for guests appearing on Conversations LIVE! Radio this month. Visit this link:

*     Congratulations to recording artists/authors Jacki-O and Tray Chaney for being featured in Community Options' newsletter called Choices. To read their interviews in the publication, visit this link:

*     (April 15-17, 2010) Shadow Play's recording artist/author Jacki-O is preparing to return to Mississippi as part of events scheduled with the Hip Hop and Books Literacy Campaign. Joining her will be authors Jermnine Demouchette and Mr. Mean Mug (also of Shadow Play) and guest author D. D. Turner (Chronicles of a Hip Hop Legend). See the details here:

*     Shadow Play's actor/author/recording artist Tray Chaney also responded to the death of award-winning journalist and writer David Mills who penned many episodes of The Wire, a show that Chaney was a part of. "I was deeply saddend by the recent passing of David," he said in a statement. "He was a talented writer and advocate for telling real stories. We should all be grateful for his creative genius, and know that he will live on through the many bodies of work he leaves behind."

*     Author Maria Stewart talks to  Cyrus Webb about the mysteious disappearance of her aunt Theresa Ferrara and what led her to write the book LOOKING FOR CLOSURE. Read the interview here,

*    Bestselling author Electa Rome Parks is featured in the most recent webisode for The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign. Watch the interview here:

*     One of Shadow Play Entertainment's newest projects is working with the Hip Hop group Playa Connected. Read the article about their journey here:  

*     Shadow Play Entertainment's Herschel Dixon, the host of "Herschel D's Weekly Sports Wrap-Up", talks about how his battle with weight and depression sidelined his hopes for a professional career in sports---and what he's doing now to fulfillment. Read and listen to his story here,

To stay abreast of everything Shadow Play Entertainment is doing across the country, visit For more information about how you can get involved, contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616. 

TAKE TEN: Author Maria Stewart

The family of Theresa Ferrara has had to deal with the nightmare that so many know all too well: losing a loved one to a tragic yet senseless act of violence. For some time the media and the public at large speculated as to what could have happened to this beautiful Long Island (New York) woman. In 2009, however, Theresa's neice Maria Stewart, decided to write a book about the aunt that she knew and dispel some of the falsehoods that hovered around her disappearance. LOOKING FOR CLOSURE is that book, and since its release, people have been able to look at the facts of the case with a fresh eye and can make their own judgments after doing so.

Maria talked with Cyrus Webb of Conversations about the book, her aunt and what she hopes readers get from it. The two also tackle the topic of how crime elements are portrayed in the world of entertainment, and how this can distort our view of them.

(NOTE: Maria Stewart talked to Webb on Conversations LIVE! about her experience and the book. Listen to the show here,

This is their conversation.

Tell the readers a little about yourself
I was born and raised on Long Island New York. I presently still live on Long Island. I am a hair stylist and have three children.

Maria, if it had not been for the tragedy that your family suffered, do you think you would have become an author?
Although I always loved writing , I don't think I would of become a writer. I think if you have a story that you think should be told you should tell it. I also found out by writing how healing it can be to get out things in your soul that have been preventing you from living life properly.

Talk about your relationship with Theresa, the focus of your book LOOKING FOR CLOSURE.
Theresa was my Aunt and closest family member to me. She was my mother's youngest sister. I worked with her, partied with her and just was very close to her. She was more like a big sister, not so much like the normal aunt/niece relationship. She looked out for me and taught me many things .

Maria, take us into the night that Theresa disappeared.
On Feb 10, 1979 at the end of a busy Saturday in our hair salon, Theresa got a phone call.The male on the phone asked to speak to Theresa and offered her an easy ten thousand dollars to lure her to the diner next store. She was under the dryer drying her hair, got the phone call and told me to hold her bag with the weeks receipts. She said if I am not back in 10 minutes to come and get her. That was the last time I saw her alive and well.

There's been alot of speculation as to what happened, and your family had to deal with the stories in the press about the case. Why did you feel it was important to go into the story yourself and write what would become LOOKING FOR CLUSURE?
I believe it is a story that should be told. There were over thirteen news articles she was in. She had a double life my family and I did not know about. I needed to talk about what really happened and what my family went through . The truth! No one ever hears the family's version and the truth to all the fabricated stories that were told. Although she did get involved with the wrong people, she was a hero to me. She helped put alot of bad people behind bars. I'm sure she prevented some murders and some children from doing drugs, from being an informant. A little different from this sexual tigress the papers portray her to be.

I also can help many people through my writing. Possibly people who lost a loved on through a murder or kid napping,or abused.My faith in god got me through it all. I give him all the credit. I also wanted to leave something for Theresa .Like a legacy. She didn't have any children. And I wanted to talk about what she had gone through in her life, the good and bad. She was a great person that made some mistakes .Maybe she was put on earth to put some bad people behind bars. I want the audience to see that there are some good things that can come out of a bad situation.If you don't look at life that way you probably wouldn't be able to get through it.

Can you give us an idea of what surprised or shocked you the most after you began your search for the truth?
What surprised and shocked me most was alot of things. Most of it was a shock to me. From the moment of her disappearance, her being an FBI informant, her involvement in the mob...right down to the DNA test results.

Since the book was released in mid 2009 what was the over all response to you telling Theresa's story?
The overall response has been overwhelming! Everyone loves my story. They can not believe what my family and I went through. Most of all ,they all tell me they could not put it down once they picked it up. They like the fact that I get right to the point without long drawn out chapters. All tell me also that it sounds like a movie.

Many times we as society sometimes glamorize crime family and stories about the mob. What do you think we should be mindful of about the the life we see on tv and in the movies?
I do think that tv and the movies glamorize and fabricate the stories about the mob crime families do how ever think the part of which how barbaric these men are in the way they think and kill people are all true. For instance in the Sopranos.The way those men killed people and covered it up and turned on one another ,along with the crooked cops and the FBI bugging them and all that is not far off from the truth .I've experienced all that in real life. That's not glamorized.Stuff like that really happens. These men are nuts!!

What is next for you now that your book has been published?
I actually have a script prepared from my story .I'm presently looking for representation. An agent ,producer or director that might be interested in a true crime non fiction mafia story. I decided to do this after numerous amounts of people told me I should. I worked on it with a friend that writes screenplays.He loved the story and thought it would make a great movie.

At the end of the day what do you hope people take away with them from your journey or truth from your aunts story?
I hope that people take away with them the fact that life is really hard. People make mistakes and sometimes its hard to get the bottom of what really is the truth.And that its hard to come to terms with sometimes you may never know all their is to know. And when that happens, you just have to let go and trust God .Even when you are not happy with the results and out come..I personally love a happy ending.To a movie ,book etc... Unfortunately, real life is not like that.

For more information about Maria Stewart's book LOOKING FOR CLOSURE, visit
To schedule interviews or appearances with the author, contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

LO AND YELLOW BOY: Staying "Connected" After Suffering Loss

LO AND YELLOW BOY: Staying "Connected" After Suffering Loss
by Cyrus Webb

Music was the unifying force between the members of the Mississippi-based Hip Hop group known as Playa Connected---and its founder, Carl Watts aka C. Watts, was also the face of it's name. For years they had been working to get their music heard and build their brand as an independent voice in the streets; however, on Friday, February 26, 2010, the group was delivered a heart-breaking blow with the death of the man who was it's driving force. Carl Watts passed away at the young age of 33, leaving remaining members Yellow Boy (age 25), Lo (age 22), Shaud (age 20), Iceberg (age 20) and Lil Earl (age 19) behind with a difficult decision: would they press on or would Playa Connected die with its leader?

The answer was simple.

"Playa Connected lives on," says Lo, who was not just a member of the group but related to Watts. "C. Watts didn't get to see his dream fully realized, so it's up to us to make sure we take it as far as we can. We can't give up."

For Yellow Boy, it's just as personal. "It was Carl that got me into rapping. I saw his drive and the passion he had for music, and that inspired me to get into it. I'm even more determined now, because I'm doing it for him and for all of us."

(Carl Watts seen here just two days before his death on Fri. February 26, 2010) Carl Watts managed to inspire people in and outside of music. There were many things that could have sidelined him: dealing with a speech impediment, several health issues and in 2009 suffering the loss of his mother---yet he pushed onward, accomplishing more than some individuals twice his age. In 2008, C. Watts was invited to New Orleans to perform in front of major label executives during a music showcase. In 2009 the group was able to get some radio play of their song "Habit", and other songs like "Substitute" were creating a modest buzz as well.

"Music was a part of the way he dealt with what was going on around him," Lo explains. "With music he didn't stutter. It was as if that was when he was truly alive."

Both Lo and Yellow Boy agree that Carl also stressed the business side of the music industry as well, letting them know the importance of marketing and promoting. "If something was going on dealing with music," says Yellow Boy, "Carl was going to be there if he could. He believed in networking just as much as performing. It wsa about keeping the name out there and being seen."

The members of Playa Connected have also vowed to keep up the work their founder did outside of music,too. In 2008 Carl became involved in a literacy-based project called Hip Hop and Books. It was a unique campaign began by fellow Mississippi native Cyrus Webb and national recording artist C-Murder geared towards encouraging reading among the urban community. The events included not just books but music as well. In early 2010 it was announced that this year's National Spokesperson for Hip Hop and Books would be National Recording artist/author Jacki-O---someone who Carl was a big fan of.

(Watts seen here with Jacki-O in 2010) Watts and Jacki-O had met in 2008 when she was in Mississippi promoting her novel GROWN AND GANGSTA. He was looking forward to seeing her again in April 2010 when she returned to the state to promote reading and host a rally in Jackson during her visit. In fact, the last post on Watts' Facebook page before he died was that he was reading her book.

"We were just talking about Jacki-O and the book the day he died," Lo recalls. "He was telling me how good it was and some of the things going on in it. It made me want to read it."

Now Lo and Yellow Boy will be representing Playa Connect at the very rally that C. Watts had hoped to attend and perform at. This will take place at Smith Park in downtown Jackson, MS on Saturday, April 17, 2010 with special guests including Jacki-O, D.I.G. M.E., LLC, Spida, Blak Jewel, Kut Supreme, Young Kizzle and others. The rally will include musical performances as well as authors Jermnine Demouchette and D.D. Turner who write about the urban/ Hip hop community and experiences. Lo and Yellow Boy are also a part of a special tribute in honor of C. Watts that is being produced by Shadow Play Entertainment.

Though it hasn't been easy to go into the studio without the man who gave them their start, both Lo and Yellow Boy know they have a responsibility to do it not just for themselves but to show appreciation for C. Watts' memory and hard work.

"It's Playa Connected for life," says Lo, who has taken on the name Lo Watts in honor of his cousin and friend's memory. "We can't stop. Watts' music will live on in us all. We're going to make sure of it."

For more information about Lo and Yellow Boy, contact Cyrus Webb at or 601.896.5616. You can also visit