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Last Night A DJ Saved My Life: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Lyah Beth Leflore
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $19.00
Kindle Price: $14.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Introducing Destiny Day, the hottest party promoter in New York City, who lives by a simple rule—“Get in, get yours, and get out”—until the unexpected possibility of love changes everything.
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life takes readers behind the velvet rope and inside A-list nightlife. At thirty-five, Destiny Day is at the top of her game. Having escaped her hardscrabble beginnings in the small Midwestern town she calls “East Boogie, Illinois,” she is the savviest sister walking around in a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes. As New York’s premiere party promoter, she has glitz, riches, and steers clear of any man who threatens to cramp her style. Her parties, held at the hippest clubs, are packed with hip-hop royalty; top celebs from the worlds of sports, film, and fashion; and New York’s most successful power brokers. Destiny’s personal life takes a backseat to her career, but she’s got two best friends and a string of men to keep her satisfied. However, when she meets Taye Crawford, an independent financial advisor, at one of her own fantastic parties, Destiny finds herself moving in a direction she never anticipated.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

lyah beth leflore is the coauthor of Cosmopolitan Girls. Having been a television producer and entertainment executive for over a decade, she’s an insider’s insider. Sean Combs, Biggie, Gerald Levert, Toni Braxton, and Mary J. Blige are among the numerous entertainers with whom she has developed professional and personal ties. She was an associate producer of the hit FOX television series New York Undercover, and producer of UPN’s Grown Ups. She has worked at Uptown Entertainment and Alan Haymon Entertainment. Lyah lives in Los Angeles.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

C.R.E.A.M.
(Cash Rules Everything
Around Me)


"I'm gonna give it to you straight, 'cause ain't nobody gonna sugar-coat shit in this world for you, or give you a damn thing. Anything you want you gotta make it happen for yourself.

"A woman's approach to life should simply be: Get in, get yours, and get out! Life is too short and there's too much money out here to be makin' to be wastin' time with a Negro who ain't got nothin'!"


I was just six years old when my mother told me that. She didn't teach me much, but Juanita Day's specialty was making money and men--old ones, young ones, ugly ones, fine ones (like my daddy), but never lazy-no-money-havin'-cheap-watch-run-over-shoe-wearin' ones.

Juanita was one woman who didn't let anything or anybody get in her way, either. I never saw her pick up a Bible or set foot in a church, but she believed God created two types of people: those who want what you have, and are always scheming on you; and those who want to align themselves with you because it looks good on their social resume (in other words, the how-can-I-be-down-wannabes). Juanita said the best way to avoid both was not to trust anybody.

I've pretty much followed that philosophy my whole life. It works well in my line of work, where everybody's beautiful, fabulous, and paid. Some are genuinely decent people, but a lot of the others are trapped in that superficial lifestyle of "bling and bullshit."

They're quick to say things like, "Oh, Destiny? That's my girl!" or "Yeah, me and D are tight!" The whole time, those same people are hatin' and trying to snake me out. That's why I never get too personal. I'm a businesswoman. I play the game to make my money.

To me, honesty and loyalty are two of the most admirable qualities a person can have, and only a handful of people I know possess both--Ainee and Uncle Charlie; my two best friends, Izzy and Rico; and Josephine, who in my adult life has become something of a surrogate mother to me. And then there's Jenna. I guess you could call her my protégée, but that seems a bit too formal. She's really more like an extension of my extended family. For them, I'd give my life. Everybody else can kiss my ass.

I don't give a damn if you're on fire and I'm the last person on earth with a bucket of ice water. If you're not one of those six people I just named, then, like Flavor Flav said, "I can't do nuttin' for you man!" You probably think I'm some cold-blooded bitch. Cold-blooded, no. Bitch . . . sometimes. We all have our days.

Maybe some psychoanalyst would say, "Destiny Day's perception of life and relationships is such, because of her dark and painful childhood." I agree my childhood wasn't as innocent as most small-town girls. I mean how many girls are born in what my Granny referred to as "the den of sin"? That den of sin otherwise known as East St. Louis, Illinois. A small, predominantly black town that's a spit's distance across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri.

The best part of East Boogie (that's what the folks from St. Louis called it), was that it had some of the most talked-about after-hours partyin' in the Midwest. People would say, "Watch your back and your pocketbook in East Boogie." But they'd bring themselves right on across the river and get their party on 'til the moon lost its fight with the sun.

I remember for the most part regularly hearing gunshots, walking on those dirt sidewalks in the blazing-hot summertime, and folks sounding off about crooked politicians. But it wasn't so bad. The good thing about small-town living, particularly in the black community, is that everybody knows each other and they look out for you.

As a kid, it seemed like everywhere I went--the neighborhood grocery store owned by Mr. Earl and Miss Bird, whose breasts were so big she always looked like she was on the verge of tipping over; one-eyed Winky down at the gas station, who used to sneak a peek up Juanita's skirt when he fixed our car (he always gave her a discount when my daddy wasn't around); and Miss Stella over at the beauty shop who had booty for days (her breath smelled like cigarettes and stale beer, and she talked real loud and liked to be all up in your face)--they all knew my name was Destiny and who my mama and daddy were.

I didn't spend much time in East Boogie, though. By the time I was ten years old my fairy tale had come to an end. Reason: drugs, the typical ghetto tragedy. That's the breaks, right? But don't shed tears for me. We've all seen this movie before. When you're livin' foul it catches up to you . . . eventually.

Juanita Hayes didn't have any family. One might say she was a wanderer who wandered right into Carlton Day's life. Lore has it that she came from the Southside of Chicago by way of Detroit. How she ended up in a lil hell-raising town like East St. Louis, I'll never know. A woman without a past, who gave a church boy hope for the future.

Carlton had a kind, innocent spirit that provided the right amount of security for what the whispering folk (you know, those same good people at the grocery store, the gas station, and the beauty shop) called a "loose woman." Juanita was too much for him, no matter how hard he tried to keep up with her. He just couldn't.

I never looked at Juanita and Carlton like a child does a "mommy" or "daddy." They were more like a big sister and brother. There's a whole lot more I could say about them, but I'll just sum it up like Rod Stewart did in his classic, "Young Hearts": Young hearts be free tonight. / Time is on your side.

But time wasn't, and I don't want to talk about it anymore. Would you?

Nah . . .

New York, and who I am now, are a long way from Miss Roxy's fried-chicken-and-tripe sandwiches and Juanita and Carlton getting high out of their minds. At thirty five years old I've got a lovely life. I'm at the top of my game as the premiere party promoter in New York City, smiling all the way to the bank, and free of male drama. I set the rules with the men in my life, and they either play by them or they've gotta go.

Juanita told me that when she first looked into my eyes she saw I was destined for greatness and that's why she gave me my name. Carlton, on the other hand, was just happy I had ten fingers and ten toes. Destiny Day . . . pretty cool name, right? It fits. I may be like Juanita when it comes to money and my insatiable thirst to fill my cup of life to the rim, and swallow it in one huge gulp, but let me be clear, I'm not like her. I'm never going to make the same mistakes she made.


Disk One
To the Beat Y'all


1 LADIES FIRST
2 LET'S GET IT STARTED
3 PUMP UP THE VOLUME
4 DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE
5 THE BREAKS
6 WHAT A MAN
7 YOU CAN'T PLAY WITH MY YO-YO


Ladies First


Josephine is a stickler for time and hates it when I'm late for tea. Maybe I should call? On second thought, I'd rather not hear her mouth twice. I stepped off the curb at 140th and St. Nicholas and scanned the Avenue. A few gypsy cabs race back and forth, but they're all occupied. Not even the occasional yellow taxi is in sight. I'm thirty minutes late and these Jimmy Choos were not made for walkin'.

I check my watch, zip up my mink-lined leather jacket, and slip on a pair of oversized Jackie O sunglasses. Although the sky's bright and clear, looks can be deceiving. Today's crisp fifty-degree temperature is a reminder that March is a lot closer to January than it is to July. Mother Nature can be extremely unpredictable this time of year in New York, and tomorrow she could blast us with a dose of snow and freezing rain.

I think she does it just to remind us that she's still running thangs. Ahh, the power of being a woman. We can change our minds any damn time we please and nobody better say a word. Therefore, since Mother Nature tends to be hormonal, a girl must be prepared in the City at all times. Your Birkin bag has to be stuffed with extra amenities like a pashmina, flip-flops for an impromptu nail-shop drop, and a compact umbrella, amongst other necessities--baby wipes, tampons, perfume, hand sanitizer, and condoms.

My cell phone rings. I hurriedly fish through my bag to answer it (the downside to toting around all those lovely amenities). By the time I find it, the screen reads: Call missed. It was Malik. I hit redial, but I get his voicemail. To further irritate me, somebody just nabbed a cab with my name on it, barely two feet away, because I was too busy fussing with the phone. Shit!

My voicemail alerts me. I hit the message retrieve button.

You have one new message . . .

Malik: Hey, Mama. Shit's been crazy and I'm in DC in the studio, 'bout to head to Atlanta. I get back tomorrow. Hit me on my Blackberry. I lost my other cell.

I roll my eyes. The usual.


The Lowdown


Identity: Malik (meaning "King") Sekou Jaru, aka hip-hop record producer and all-around music-industry power player. Godson of late jazz great Miles Davis. Son of famous jazz musician/producer "King" Jaru, founder of Jaru Note Records, whose producing resume is a who's who of greats in the jazz world.

Status: Single, probably for life. A sista's cool with that. Nice and simple is how we both like it.

Just the facts: Minimal Baby mama drama, gives the fierce sex-down, likes to splurge on baubles for Destiny, and his ice is always twinklin'. He has that hustler mentality that drives me mad crazy.

Hearing Malik's rugged voice did what it always manages to do . . . put a tiny smile on my face. We've been hanging out for almost a year, the longest time I've ever dated a guy. We aren't exclusive, I'm always going to keep me a couple on the side, but I guess I'd have to consider Malik my "main squeeze."

At last, a gypsy cab pulls over and I'm on my way. The sound ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 598 KB
  • Print Length: 306 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0767921186
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (December 18, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000XUDHWK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,857 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book July 12, 2006
Format:Paperback
I loved Last Night A DJ Saved My Life. Lyah LeFlore made Destiny Day come alive with her realistic prose. I especially loved how she made musical references to some of my favorite songs. The heroine was fiesty, and definitely doing her thing, but she was still vulnerable and that made her quite endearing. The storyline had me talking out loud to the characters, trying to help guide them on their journeys. It's a perfect summer read and it'll make you want to go to a good party and dance! Too bad I can't go to a real Destiny Day party! Loved it! Highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HOT SUMMER READ!!! July 6, 2006
By STAR
Format:Paperback
I loved the book. A real page turner. Destiny Day is definitely doing things her way. The situations and experiences that Destiny and her friends go through are those that all readers can relate to. I haven't read a book this fun in a while. Kudos to Lyah
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm ready to head to the club... June 7, 2006
By Leslie
Format:Paperback
Up and coming club promoter, off the chain night-life, lots of men, and great friends... Who could ask for more!!! I read LeFlore's first novel co-written with Burley and I enjoyed her solo style so much more... This novel was fast paced, heart thumping, and the story was flossy, yet had a heart... I loved this book! I look forward to reading future novels by this fresh new voice in Black fiction...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pumps Up The Volume June 7, 2006
Format:Paperback
Last Night A DJ Saved My Life : A Novel by Lyah Beth Leflore

Pumps Up The Volume

"East Boogie, Illinois," native Destiny Day allows nothing to get in her Prada feet wearing way in maintaining life at a rate of speed intended for that infamous pitfall of love not to catch up to her heart. While the concept of the story is not a new one, "Last Night A D. J. Saved My Life" pumps up the volume with sizzling sultry New York upscale soirée promoter. She's soaring high in her professional life as the crème de la crème in designing exclusive parties in lavish venues for the rich and famous in a glitzy backdrop of VIP's, in film, sports, & hip-hop industry. The author skillfully infuses the story with the lead characters interesting two best friends, a blend of support and sublte envy. This intersperses with how she handles a bevy of men grappling for her attention and keeps the reader jerking the pages of this debut novel forward.

The story is multi-tiered with a harrowing subplot that allows the reader excellent insight to why Destiny carefully nurtures her heart from the heartburn of love and life gone bad. But, when one is moving so fast in the opposite direction of love, you're bound to meet up with it again, as you swing into a full circle. That's right, by the time the mid thirty-ish Destiny rounds 360 degrees, she lands on the monopoly of Mr. Potential. The charming Taye Crawford, a sexy irresistible financial advisor. His mere presence is enough to remind Destiny's heart that she's human and subject to the vulnerability of love, maybe not by choice, but by inextinguishable chemistry. This of course stabs of reality!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok November 3, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was just ok to me it didn't have me sitting on the edge of my seat nor did it have me asking "What's going to happen next?" honestly to me this book was kind of borin.
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