House Is Not a Home (B-Boys Blues Series)

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Overview

In the sixth and final title of his groundbreaking, bestselling B-Boy Blues series, James Earl Hardy brings his beloved couple — Mitchell, the Buppie from Brooklyn, and Raheim, the homeboy from Harlem — into the twenty-first century.

As they prepare for the birthday party of Raheim's fifteen-year-old son, Errol (formerly known as "Junior" and "Li'l Brotha Man"), Mitchell and Raheim both juggle their own midlife crises and consider ...

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Overview

In the sixth and final title of his groundbreaking, bestselling B-Boy Blues series, James Earl Hardy brings his beloved couple — Mitchell, the Buppie from Brooklyn, and Raheim, the homeboy from Harlem — into the twenty-first century.

As they prepare for the birthday party of Raheim's fifteen-year-old son, Errol (formerly known as "Junior" and "Li'l Brotha Man"), Mitchell and Raheim both juggle their own midlife crises and consider once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

With the Big 4-0 just three years away, Mitchell is a little antsy: He has a very successful freelance writing career, but he longs for something more. And that something more finds him — a dream job from a most unlikely place. But he's gotten very comfortable working his own schedule and being a stay-at-home dad — does he really want to return to the daily grind of punching a time clock again?

Raheim has just officially entered his thirties — and, unfortunately, has the one gray hair to prove it. And after years of coming this close to getting roles won by the likes of Taye Diggs and Mekhi Phifer, he is finally offered the lead in a film that could make him a star. But will he do what no other Black actor has done before: play gay and come out in the process?

James Earl Hardy draws on the themes that put him on the map — love, family, and high drama in tandem with media phenomena like same-sex marriage, the down-low, gay adoption, and homo thugs — to create another vivid, vibrant, and saucy portrait of Black same-gender-loving (SGL) life and love.

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Editorial Reviews

— E. Lynn Harris
“A House Is Not A Home is so good you won’t want it—or the series—to end.”
—J.L. King
“I have been a fan of his work from his very first novel.”
Booklist
“Hardy’s sexy, romantic soaper is sure to please present fans and garner more.”
Kirkus Reviews
This wisp of a novel is the sixth and final volume in Hardy's B-Boy Blues series, about two gay black men and their friends and families. The action, what there is of it, extends over four days in June 2003. It's been ten years since Mitchell and Raheim became lovers, and four since they broke up. Now, Mitchell is freelancing as a journalist while raising two kids in his Brooklyn brownstone. Errol, one of them, is Raheim's son (abandoned by him) and about to turn 15. Five-year-old Destiny is the daughter of Mitchell's mother, thus actually Mitchell's sister, except that his mother, at 49, decided she was too old to raise another kid, although she's happy as a loving "grandmother." Unusual arrangements, but the house runs like clockwork thanks to Mitchell's expert care. And suddenly everything is coming up roses. Mitchell gets a fabulous job offer as editor in chief of the magazine he'd earlier parted from bitterly (it's under new ownership). Raheim is on a roll, too. He's kicked his gambling addiction, with the help of Gamblers Anonymous, and is living harmoniously with his father. He also gets a fabulous offer after a long dry spell-the lead in a movie about a gay ballplayer. And Errol, smart as a whip, is already being courted by Ivy League schools. In what amounts to a long curtain call, some old faces put in appearances. B.D. and Babyface are moving to Canada, where they'll have a legal marriage. Raheim's nemesis, Malice, is his nasty old self. Mitchell's old flame, Montee Simms, is still a sweetheart. Except for Malice, nobody speaks a harsh work in this lovefest. Errol, for example, has forgiven Raheim, just as Raheim has forgiven his dad. The message? Well, "Love is always worthit." The sweetness is cloying, though the inevitable reconciliation between Mitchell and Raheim is nicely understated. From lack of plot to banal dialogue, everything indicates that Hardy has squeezed the last drop out of this provender.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780066212494
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/24/2005
  • Series: B-Boy Blues Series
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

James Earl Hardy has written for Essence, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, the Washington Post, the Advocate, and the Source. The recipient of many prestigious honors and awards, he lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Read an Excerpt

A House Is Not a Home

A B-Boy Blues Novel
By James Hardy

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 James Hardy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0066212499

Chapter One

Friday,
June 6, 2003

The routine is so familiar that Mitchell doesn't have to look at the clock to know what time it is.

At 5:45 A.M., he wakes up when he hears the hall bathroom door close. The toilet flushes at 5:47. The water faucet comes on at 5:48; when it's shut off, it's 5:55. Then the door opens and Errol's footsteps travel pass Mitchell's bedroom door and upstairs to the fourth floor, where Errol hits the treadmill and works out. When he hears Errol's footsteps coming back down the stairway, it's 6:45. Mitchell rises and heads into his own bathroom to wash up as the hall bathroom door closes again. After showering, Errol heads out of the bathroom and continues heading down the hall at 6:57.

Knock, Knock.

The voice is a mumble since Errol isn't within earshot, but Mitchell knows what Errol is saying. . . .

"Destiny? Time to get up."

Errol closes his bedroom door at seven. That's when Mitchell makes sure Destiny is up.

It took her a while to get used to rising so early. When the school year began, she'd ignore the wake-up call and turn over. After being forced out of bed by Mitchell, she'd sleepwalk tothe bathroom. Sometimes she'd fall asleep while sitting on the toilet, so he'd have to watch her scrub and brush up. But now she needs no prodding or pushing. Just as he opens his own bedroom door and steps outside, she's marching into the bathroom.

At 7:01, Mitchell reaches Destiny's bedroom. He eyes the clothing hung over her rocking chair. She didn't change the outfit he chose for her the night before (let the weather warm up just a little like it has over the past few days, and she wants to wear a summer dress). He makes her bed. As he reaches Errol's room, Mitchell hears Errol's current Great Day 'N' Da Mornin' song: "Give It to Me While It's Hot," by TLC. Errol chooses a new one every week. The only artist granted more than a five-day run was Aaliyah; after her death in August 2001, she reigned with "More Than a Woman" for the entire month of September.

Mitchell puts on the coffee at 7:04 and gets The New York Times, which is usually stuck in one of the holes of their front gate. What he fixes for breakfast depends on what day it is. Monday is bacon, scrambled eggs, and cinammon toast. Tuesday is cereal and corn muffins. Wednesday is blueberry pancakes and turkey sausage. Thursday is oatmeal and fruit salad. On this day, Friday, "anything goes." He surprises them with one of their favorite combos: buttermilk biscuits and cheese omelets.

By the time the meal is prepared, it's 7:30. Errol is pouring their chocolate milk as Destiny enters the kitchen. "Jood morning," she sings.

"Jood morning," Mitchell and Errol respond.

As she's done so many times before, she proceeds to switch the thirteen-inch color TV that sits on the island from the Today show to Little Bill. She peers at Mitchell. "May I turn the channel?"

And, as he's done so many times before, Mitchell answers: "Yes, you may."

This is the first weekend of the month, which means Destiny will be visiting her grandparents. Errol, who normally heads up to Harlem to stay with his mother and stepfather, will remain in Brooklyn; he'll be having a party Saturday night to celebrate his fifteenth birthday.

"Are you gonna save me a piece of birthday cake?" she asks.

"Of course," Errol matter-of-factly declares, pinching her right cheek as he sits next to her.

She giggles. "Thank you."

Mitchell places their plates in front of them. He and Errol turn to Destiny, who takes both of their hands. They all bow their heads.

"God is great, God is good, thank You for our food, A-men," she sings.

"Amen," Mitchell and Errol reply together.

As Destiny laughs along with Little Bill, Mitchell and Errol talk about the party.

"Did you get ahold of that other deejay?" Mitchell asks.

"Yeah. He's got another party at midnight but it's in Crown Heights, so he can do it. He'll only charge us two hundred dollars."

"Jood."

Errol glances at the list Mitchell is making. "Oh, don't forget the blue bulbs."

"I won't. Are Sidney and Monroe coming over after school to help you set up the basement?"

"Nah, we'll do it tomorrow."

Mitchell pours himself a second cup of coffee. "You all should do it before you go to Monroe's tonight."

"Why?"

"You're going to the matinee tomorrow, right?"

"Yeah."

"That means you won't be back here until three." He examines one of Errol's twists; they've grown several inches over the past year. "It'll take at least an hour for me to touch up your hair."

Destiny pats her own 'do. "Are you gonna touch up mine, too?" She also has twists, which are shoulder-length.

"No. Yours will hold up for another week."

"Okay."

Errol takes his last bite. "But there's not that much work to do. Sweep, set up the chairs, make a space for the deejay."

He sighs. "Okay. And what about your room?"

"What about it?"

"Knowing you, it's a mess."

Errol shrugs. "It might be, but it's a manageable one."

"Yeah, I know, it may look a mess but you know where everything is."

"Right."

"At least clear a path so I can see the floor. And make up your bed."

Errol nods, turning his attention to The New York Times. Mitchell continues going over the shopping list; he'll make his first bimonthly trek to the supermarket at 10 A.M.

At 8:05, Destiny and Errol rise from the table. Errol takes their dishes, rinses them off in the sink, then places them in the dishwasher. She puts on her backpack; he picks up his duffel bag, placing the paper under his left arm.

"You two have a jood day," Mitchell advises.

"We will," they respond together.

Continues...


Excerpted from A House Is Not a Home by James Hardy Copyright © 2006 by James Hardy. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2005

    Sad To See It End.....

    So, its time for the curtain to fall...and let me be the first to say, i am so sad!!!! I dont about anybody else, but from the first word of B-Boy Blues to the last word of A House Is Not A Home, i have been in love with these characters...its like reading these books you feel as if you are one of the friends of theirs looking at their relationship and it kinda is sad because its like In Love The One Your With, it ends on a good note, then to read this and find out they broke up, its like OMG...the world aint right without them together...but overall the book was really good, it was a nice ending to the story of Lil Bit and Pooquie...i'm just sad to see it end, the book was really a tease, its one of those stories, where ur like come on man!!! Especially when you have grown with these characters like I have. But i'm sad and scared to see it end, because what James Earl Hardy created here was something to beautiful, a story that i dont know, just grasped a reader...can he do it again is what i'm wondering, this story is a hard one to top! But about the book, very good...Lil Bit and Pooquie will forever be with me...

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2005

    love me books to read

    it was a jood book but, it was a tease!! on pg.1 then last page book finished. love the characters like a said jood book but, just to quick

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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