Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Book Tour: Lutishia Lovely

Behind The Pen:  Meet Lutishia Lovely

Lutishia Lovely is the award-winning, best-selling author of sixteen novels. The Business Trilogy, her latest work, combines two of her passions: writing and food. This series (All Up In My Business, Mind Your Own Business and  Taking Care Of Business) centers around the Livingstons, owners of a soul food dynasty called Taste Of Soul—where sizzling scandal and delicious drama are always on the menu.  
Find out more about this series and Lutishia at her website:  Also please sign up for her newsletter, where readers are treated to contests, updates, excerpts from upcoming novels, contests and more!

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? What drives you to write? 
What makes me powerful as a person and a writer is my connection to and constant communication with Spirit, the ultimate creator!  Through this connection, and the beliefs I hold as a result of it, I know that God is all there is, that everything is possible, and that our beings are so powerful that everything we think and speak ultimately comes to pass. In short, our words (thoughts and spoken) create the world we live in.

BPM: How do you define success?
Being happy, healthy, living comfortably, sharing love and giving back.

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author?
I’ve learned a lot about myself. For one thing, I have more stories in me than I ever dreamed and that with all of my knowledge of oneness with Spirit, I am still more than I imagined. I’ve learned that when I don’t think I can write another word, I can actually write pages. And I’ve realized how much I enjoy using my gift to enrich others lives.

BPM: Besides the creative process, what is the most gratifying aspect of being a writer?
I am living my dream. I get to wake up every day and do what I love.  Now granted, some days I may not like every aspect of it.  The job of being a successful author is not for the faint of heart. But every time I finish a book that I’m proud of, or read letters about how my book has changed someone’s life, or why someone stayed up all night because they couldn’t put the book down, I’m reminded why I work so hard.
BPM: Share with us one thing most readers don’t know about you? 
Because of the succulent meat dishes described in The Business Trilogy, many people would be surprised to know that I’m basically vegan!  The descriptions and tastes so vividly portrayed in my writing comes from memory, research and a wild imagination!

BPM: What is your daily writing schedule like? How long did it take you to complete the book? 
My daily schedule varies but this year as many as eight hours a day have been devoted to writing with the rest of the work day divided between marketing, promotions and responding to readers. Because of the number of books I write a year, it is hard to give a specific time frame for how long each one takes to write. The processes overlap each other and at any given time I am usually writing one book, editing another and promoting a third.

BPM: We are amazed at how each of your books get better and better. How did you come up with the idea for your earlier books?
Ah, Ella, thank you so much! I strive to deliver excellent product which means the bar gets raised with each release! When it comes to contemporary fiction, this genre chose me! The storyline for my first novel, Sex In The Sanctuary, literally dropped into my spirit and most subsequent storylines come to me through characters who enter my head and force me to tell their story. How? By not shutting up until they get on the page!

BPM: Do you insert your own characteristics in your writing? 
Do I insert my own characteristics?  I’m sure that I do though most often not consciously. I must say that some of the characters I love so much are because they are so different me, often portraying characteristics that I wouldn’t dare exhibit, but secretly enjoy and even admire!

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
I think that most writers are full of advice! J I think my basic advice would be to study all aspects of the literary industry; beginning with that which is most important…writing a good book! Then, because of the ever-changing field that is the world of publishing, I’d suggest that they do their homework when it comes to which publishing vehicle helps them best reach their goal. And lastly I’d say…happy writing!!!

BPM: What's the most important role writers play in today’s world?
I’m not sure there’s one singular answer to that question. I believe our stories provide different things to different readers for different reasons. For some, our stories are entertainment, for others…escape.   Still others read the pages and see themselves in the storyline – often finding answers to questions, solutions to challenges and exposure to different points of view.  As a writer, my goal is multi-leveled:  to allow the character to have its voice, as well as to entertain, enlighten and inspire.   I believe that as one popular poem says, when we let our light shine, we give others permission to do the same.

BPM: Finish this sentence “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...” 
…the legacy of risk-taking, brand-making, light, laughter and love.

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Purchase Mind Your Own Business by Lutishia Lovely 
• ISBN-10: 0758265794
• ISBN-13: 9780758265791

Mind Your Own Business 
by Lutishia Lovely 
Lutishia Lovely dishes up a decadent helping of love, lust, greed, and secrecy in this riveting tale of a family's soul food dynasty... 

Life is good for the Livingstons. Business is booming, Taste of Soul  is launching a West Coast division, and Bianca Livingston and her brother, Jefferson, are vying to head it up—which means their long simmering rivalry is about to boil over...

Having completed a culinary course in Paris—along with a hot love affair—Bianca feels more than ready to take the reins in L.A. Her parents' insistence that she marry a man of their choosing only fuels her ambition. Jefferson is hoping the position will free him to be with the secret L.A. love his family would never approve of. But the two soon realize that between their meddling cousin, Toussaint, and the return of an enemy bent on crushing the Livingston empire, they aren't the only ones in this competition. And when company money mysteriously starts disappearing, they'll find it's hard to run a business when no one can mind their own...

Peer Reviews for Lutishia Lovely

"Lovely once again expertly illuminates the wacky world of the devout and devoutly devilish. " —Publishers Weekly on Reverend Feelgood 

"Vibrant characters, artful storytelling, and an original voice make Lutishia Lovely worth every moment. " —Donna Hill 

"A great new taste in the literary world. " —Carl Weber 

Chapter One from Mind Your Own Business 

"Why can't a woman be on top?" Bianca Livingston demanded, tossing shoulder-length, straightened hair over her shoulder. She stood over her older brother as if ready to strike, looking totally capable of kicking butts and taking names. Her quick smile, short stature, and girly frame had caused many men to underestimate her—to their peril. But anyone seeing her now—shoulders back, hands on hips, her perfectly tailored black suit and four-inch heels adding to her aura of power—would believe her capable of running almost anything. "I'm as qualified to run the West Coast division as you are, even more so, matter of fact." 
"You're qualified to run the kitchen, maybe," her older brother retorted. Jefferson suppressed a smile. He'd taunted his sister from birth, and he did so now. Her fiery personality was the perfect foil for his laid-back teasing. But even with his ongoing provocations, this time Jefferson's antics masked the seriousness of his quest. He had every intention of being the Livingston who moved to LA to establish the Taste of Soul restaurants both there and in Nevada. 
But unlike most Livingstons, he didn't like confrontation or competition. He'd quietly made his bid to step away from his cushy position in the finance department to run the West the same way he cooked his ribs: low and slow. "Isn't that why you spent the last nine months in Paris?" he queried to underscore his point. "Learning the fine art of cooking so that you could give our soul food some class?"

Actually, Bianca had fled to Paris to get away from the chain around her neck otherwise known as fiancé Cooper Riley, Jr. But only one other person knew this truth—her cousin, Toussaint Livingston. Initially, forestalling the marriage everyone else believed was a fait accompli was also why she'd expressed interest in running the West Coast locations. But now, after months of talking with Toussaint, who, besides being her confidant and a Food Network star, was also the ambitious brainchild behind their company expanding out West, Bianca wanted to relocate to put her mark on the Livingston dynasty and make the West Coast Taste of Soul restaurants shine.

Bianca replied, "Need I remind you that I have not only a culinary certificate from Le Cordon Bleu, but also an undergrad and a graduate degree in business administration?"

"No, little sis, you don't need to remind me." Jefferson's smirk highlighted the dimple on his casually handsome face, his sienna skin further darkened by the November sun. His deep-set brown eyes twinkled with merriment. "But do I have to remind you that I have double masters in business administration and finance?" Jefferson had been the first Livingston in two decades to follow up his stint at Morehouse with two years at Wharton's School of Business.

Bianca, knowing that she couldn't go toe to toe when it came to her brother's education, tried a different route. She walked away from Jefferson and sat in one of the tan leather chairs in the artistically appointed office. Reaching for a ballpoint pen that lay on his large and messy mahogany desk, she adopted a calmer tone, yet couldn't totally lose the petulance in her voice. "Jefferson, the only reason Dad is promoting the idea of your heading up the location is because you're the oldest."

"And the son, don't forget about that. You know Dad doesn't want to see his baby girl fly too far from the nest."

"Okay, probably that, too," Bianca conceded. It was no secret that when it came to her father, Abram "Ace" Livingston, she was the apple of his all-seeing eye.

"Besides, how are you even considering relocation when you've got a fiancé champing at the bit to get married? Cooper has been more than patient with you, Bianca. Not many men would let the woman they love move to the other side of the world, even if it was, as you successfully argued, for the union's greater good. What did you call it? Increasing your company value and the marriage's bottom line? As if being a Livingston isn't value enough? No, Bianca, Cooper allowed the wedding to be pushed back once already. He's not going to delay it a second time. And you know he isn't moving to LA."

Tears unexpectedly came to Bianca's eyes. She abruptly rose from the chair where she'd been sitting and walked to the window. The glory of the day, boasting colorful autumn leaves framed by a sunny blue sky, was lost on her. "You're probably right," she said, quickly wiping her eyes. "If everyone has their way, in six months I'll be married and in nine have a baby on the way." But how can I marry Cooper after what happened in Paris?

"Hey, sister, are you all right?"

Bianca jumped. She hadn't heard Jefferson rise, hadn't been aware that he'd walked from his desk and joined her at the window. "Actually, no, if you want to know the truth. Jeff, I—"

"Hey man, oh, Bianca, I'm glad you're both here." Toussaint Livingston burst into Jefferson's office, and now rushed toward his cousins on the other side of the room. The seriousness of his countenance took nothing away from a face that models would envy, along with six feet, two inches and almost two hundred pounds of delectable dark chocolate. "We need to roll to y'all parents' house right now. Emergency family meeting."

Their conversation forgotten, both Jefferson and Bianca turned at once, talking simultaneously.

"What's the matter?"

"What's going on?"

Bianca's heart raced with concern. "Why are we meeting at Mom and Dad's house, Toussaint, and not in the conference room?"

Toussaint turned and headed for the door. "That's what we're getting ready to find out. I'll meet y'all there."

Fifteen minutes later Toussaint, Jefferson, and Bianca joined their family members in the living room of Ace and Diane's sprawling Cascade residence. Toussaint's parents, Adam and Candace, and his brother, Malcolm, were already there. The trio from the office was the last to arrive and as soon as they sat down, Ace began speaking.

"We've got a situation," he said without preamble. "Somebody's stealing company funds."

Reactions were mixed, with bewilderment and anger vying for equal time.

"Who is it?" Bianca demanded, ready for battle though the culprit remained unnamed.

"We don't know," Ace replied. "But it's definitely an inside job."

The family members looked from one to the other, a myriad of thoughts in each mind. Who could it be? How did this happen? Is the guilty party somehow connected to someone in the room? One family member even pondered the impossible: Is the thief one of us?

"What kind of money are we talking about?" Toussaint

asked. "Hundreds, thousands ... more?"

"A couple hundred thousand," Ace replied, his tone somber and curt.

Again, responses were symphonic.

"What the hell?"

"Who could do such a thing?"

"Oh, hell to the N-O. We're not going to take this lying down."

"You're absolutely right, baby girl," Ace said to Bianca. "We're not going to stand for this, not at all. Nobody steals from our company without feeling the wrath of a Livingston payback." 


Copyright © 2011 by Lutishia Lovely. Excerpted from Mind Your Own Business by author Lutishia Lovely.    Excerpted by permission of DAFINA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this website. 

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Mind Your Own Business by Lutishia Lovely
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   |    Download to KindleISBN-10: 0758265794
ISBN-13: 978-0758265791 

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